During the early phases of the Korean Operations, the language barrier between US and ROK units caused long delays in reporting important intelligence information at all echelons of command. The Korean language lacks many modern words and unitary forms which caused many cases of mistranslation. The insufficient number of qualified linguists to carry on the necessary communications at the higher levels of command was critical.

It was recommended that additional linguists be trained for the Korean operations in both the Korean and Chinese languages. It was necessary in many cases to use Niesi personnel as liaison agents with Korean units, employing Japanese as the common language. In many Korean unite, the ROK furnished English-speaking personnel as interpreters for US officers. In the fall of 1951 each Korean Army Technical School was compiling a dictionary of its own to be submitted to a central agency which would in turn publish a complete technical dictionary.

This solution was not completely satisfactory. Because there remained a critical shortage of qualified linguists, it was a stop-gap measure employed pending the arrival of school-trained linguists from the CONUS. Upon arrival of trained linguists this situation improved greatly.

The solution was sound as far as it went, but the limitations in number and ability of the ZI-trained linguists (particularly Caucasian personnel) meant that they could never satisfy a problem wherein so many units and activities were concerned. The situation was further aggravated by the rotation problem. Lacking greatly in military


terminology and Asiatic background, Caucasian graduates of the Army Language School generally were not "qualified" linguists in the full sense of the word, but had merely a good foundation knowledge upon which to build.


Thorough screening should be exercised in the selection of Order of Battle personnel both before and after training in the specialized type of work. These personnel must be able and willing to devote a great amount of time to research and be capable of discerning significant items in a mass of documents. Order of Battle work is confining and often tedious, and involves considerable research which often results in little or no apparent progress. An example of this is the processing of many reports of a conflicting nature with a net result which prohibits accurate analysis. A definite and interesting challenge to a man who is inclined to this type of work, it is often nothing more than a boresome job to another individual who is not happy unless the results of his efforts are conclusive or at least relatively tangible.

During the Korean conflict replacements assigned to the Order of Battle Branch, G-2, Eighth Army, although graduated from Intelligence Schools, were at times not fully qualified to take over an assignment because of the unfamiliarity of those replacements with the peculiarities of the situation in Korea. When officer personnel reported to the Eighth Army G-2 Order of Battle Branch, they were given an orientation tour to acquaint them with the over-all functioning of the G-2 Section and were then assigned to understudy the person whom they were to replace. Enlisted personnel were utilized immediately on filing and extracting procedures to familiarize them with Order of Battle procedures.




Throughout the Korean activities the largest problem encountered by PI units was that of many new replacements not being sufficiently trained to interpret Korean photography. The Korean campaign provided an unusual proving ground for Photo Intelligence; it required familiarity with certain factors that were peculiar to the area and their effect on photo interpretation.

The static ground situation limited and reduced many other sources of information, with the result that photo reconnaissance became a major source of intelligence. Accurate and complete photo reports over a long period of time provided commanders at all levels with dependable intelligence. Air superiority enabled air photographers to cover almost any area desired. However, this superiority, plus the static ground situation, created difficulties for the photo interpreter. The enemy utilized camouflage and concealment to a maximum degree, and constantly improved his technique until the photo interpreter relied on related indications, assumptions, and knowledge of tactical disposition in order to locate enemy installations. It was necessary for him to be familiar with civilian activities in order to be able to detect any deviation indicating military activity.

Approximately two to three months were needed to train a replacement to the degree that he was a competent photo interpreter. The great manpower turnover caused by rotation was a further complication. Inasmuch as during the years 1952-53 the workload on PI units was extremely heavy, the training of replacements was an undesirable additional burden.


The 502d Military Intelligence Service Battalion received numerous inadequately-trained and unqualified enlisted personnel. These enlisted


men were often channeled through Eighth Army Headquarters solely because of their knowledge of some oriental language. While extremely beneficial, fluency in an oriental language does not in itself qualify enlisted personnel for assignment to an intelligence unit. Qualification obstacles most frequently encountered in these enlisted men were the security clearance requirements; lack of non-US citizenship; inadequate mastery of the English language; and lack of interpreter and/or interrogation experience.

Approximately eighty percent of the linguists assigned to Eighth Army were draftees serving under the present draft law requiring two years duty. The average time to serve in Korea after graduating from school was 91 months. This usable portion was further reduced when clearance procedures were not instituted prior to the assignment of the individual to Korea. The average foreign language-speaking civilian, upon reporting for military service, has little or no knowledge of military intelligence or of military terminology. This adds an additional obstacle for the prospective linguist to overcome. In selecting students for language courses, this obstacle can be partly overcome by encouraging persons with previous military service and a language aptitude to become linguists.


The problem of insufficient Ground Liaison Team personnel, insufficient in both number and training, lasted throughout the period of hostilities. Since the T/O authorized only four officers and one enlisted man, it was necessary to double on duties, which caused both officers and enlisted personnel to work longer hours on a seven-day week basis than can be maintained efficiently over extended periods.


Officers were assigned to each echelon within the Tactical Air Group and Wing. This permitted the Ground Liaison Officers to become thoroughly acquainted with their own organization, the qualifications and limitations of pilots and aircraft, and operational procedures. Briefings and other miscellaneous duties were prorated among all Ground Liaison Officers. It was also necessary for the Group GLO to work with the Night Reconnaissance Squadron, inasmuch as no liaison officer was provided this squadron. An additional enlisted man was borrowed to provide two administrative shifts to operate the Ground Liaison Office.

Experience proved that Army Ground Liaison Officers should be with each echelon of the Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, from Wing Hq to one per reconnaissance squadron. Adequate enlisted assistance should be provided. Few officers assigned to this type duty were qualified, it is felt that they should be on flying statue so that they can understand intimately the limitations and capabilities of the aircraft with which the unit to which they are attached is equipped.


In the G-2 Section Eighth Army, it was found that an excessive number of Specific Requests for Information were received from various echelons. Since extensive EEI had already been established, these SRIs in many cases caused a duplication of effort, harassment of the collection agencies, and a delay in obtaining the information desired.

The Chief, Plans and Collection Branch, G-2 Eighth Army was made SRI co-ordinator. A format was devised which contained the information desired. In addition, a master control chart was prepared upon which this information was placed. This enabled the co-ordinator


to determine readily the status of any or all outstanding SRIs and also those completed or cancelled.

The solution allowed the G-2 Section, Eighth Army to have effective control over SRIs placed upon this headquarters, and also those placed upon the collection agencies available to this headquarters.


Prisoners of War are by far the best source of intelligence information. Throughout the Korean operation, instances have occurred where prisoners of war, attempting to desert or surrender, have been shot by friendly forces because of nervousness or other factors.

During the Korean operation it was often difficult to identify a prisoner of war after capture either by his unit identification or name. This was caused by capturing more than one POW from the same unit or bearing the same name. During his evacuation through channels, more than one numbering system was used; hence a POW would be referred to by several different numerical designations. To identify the POW concerned often required a great deal of explanation.

To correct this problem Army would assign blocks of numbers to corps, who in turn would assign blocks to its subordinate units. The capturing unit could then assign one of these numbers to the POW it had captured, and by this system a POW would be identified by one number from the time of his capture until release from Army control.

Since medical intelligence is primarily strategic in nature, medical interrogations were not conducted at levels below corps. Except for a few prisoners interrogated by the Corps Preventive Medicine Officer, all medical interrogations were conducted by the Medical Intelligence Officer at Army level.


During hostilities, prisoners of war with information of a tactical value were often captured by agencies who failed to report those POWs to Eighth Army for long periods of time. At times, POWs were not placed in proper channels for immediate evacuation, which resulted in a loss of time in obtaining and disseminating valuable intelligence information.

In a comparison of accuracy of information obtained at Division, Corps, and Army levels, the Army-level interrogations were found to be much more reliable. This was not caused by inefficiency on the parts of Division and Corps interrogation teams, but rather was the result of fear and time. Communist soldiers were told to fight to "death"; therefore, no instructions were given to them as to what to say if captured. They had been told that if captured they would be subjected to torture and/or bacteriological experiments and then be put to death. Therefore, when a Chinese or North Korean soldier was captured, he was afraid of what was going to happen to him and, as a result, lied or bluffed to stall for time. Division interrogators in their limited time, could only partially break this fear. At Corps level the POW, beginning to have hope, told fewer lies and conflicting stories. Before Corps interrogators could verify and reinterrogate, their allotted time limit was up. By the time the POW reached the Army enclosure he had lost much of his fear and, as a result, was usually very willing to talk.

When questioning either Chinese or North Korean POWs, interrogators had to be very careful about the use of leading questions. If a POW had an idea of what information was desired, he would lie most obligingly. When this happened, the POW told a different story each day until the result of the interrogation was a mess of jumbled statements, none of which were accurate. Difficulty was also experienced in causing the POW to respond in accordance with the line of questioning because of their tendency to dissertate at great length upon irrelevant details of their life which had no military connection.



During the Korean operations, documents were generally handled in accordance with FM 30-15 and FM 30-5. US Divisions, as a rule, appeared to be conscious of the value of captured documents, although individuals, through ignorance or the desire to retain souvenirs, removed valuable documents from intelligence channels in some instances. Other incidents involved stapling or pasting item slips to the documents or in other ways marring the document, and occasionally forwarding "C" value documents without a batch slip or means of indicating circumstances of capture. The value of a document is necessarily impaired if higher echelons are unable to determine the circumstances of capture.

ROKA Divisions and Corps, lacking training in the handling of documents, frequently engaged in practices detrimental to the intelligence effort. In one instance a battalion commander, receiving a captured document he believed to be of immediate or potential value to him, retained the document for reference, taking the document out of channels until its value was considerably reduced. ROKA commanders receiving a document they felt was of more value to ROKA G-2 (documents with a political tone) than to Eighth Army G-2 frequently forwarded such documents to ROKA G-2 directly. Usually these documents would be forwarded eventually to Eighth Army G-2, but at the cost of a reduction in intelligence value.

Because of the difficulties encountered with ROK units, a somewhat cumbersome arrangement was made with the ROKA for the forwarding of all documents. This arrangement functioned successfully in the static situation of the Korean operations, but would have required modification to meet the conditions of a fluid operation.

It was found advantageous to keep records of documents received at Eighth Army Headquarters from each corps and division. Such records are relatively easy to keep and are valuable in:


1. Indicating a comparison of documents received from each unit.

2. Estimating the flow of documents to be expected from a unit as a result of its participation in a given action.

3. Indicating unite which are below average or lax in the forwarding of documents.

The solution outlined above proved adequate to meet requirements of static warfare and the current armistice. There are, however, many imponderables involved in planning for a fluid situation. The greatest of these is the extent of development of the ROKA at such time as a mobile combat situation develops. Any plan evolved in the immediate future, therefore, would at best be tentative.

All documents on the front line were collected and given a batch number. These documents were then scanned at a company level if there was a translator present. They were then forwarded through channels and scanned at each echelon for information of immediate value. Documents were translated in their entirety at Eighth Army and the translation distributed to the interested parties. As with the case of P0Ws, the time required for these documents to reach Army level and be translated often caused them to be of little value for Order of Battle purposes.

When documents were captured, they were reported by spot report in the same manner as reporting POWs. Any identification or portion of interest in the scanned documents would be sent by corps to Eighth Army.

Evidence of enemy units as well as enemy unit identifications, strength, location, movement, mission, or disposition must be timely to be of value. The spot report of important information disclosed by captured documents fulfills this requirement.



In weapons and material of war, it was generally known that the NKA was equipped predominantly with Soviet materiel. This fact remained relatively constant, although other enemy characteristics fluctuated widely. The knowledge that the NKA was equipped with Soviet equipment and weapons of war did not begin to answer the technical intelligence problem which confronted US troops in Korea. Far more pertinent were the questions: were NKA arms and equipment of the most modern type? in what quantity were Soviet arms available? and how did these arms match up against American equipment? Too few technical intelligence units were available during the initial operations, and the activities were of such a rapid, moving nature that little enemy equipment fell into friendly hands.

Technical intelligence units of all branches of the Army were dispatched as rapidly as possible from CONUS to the Korean theater. Through the work of these units, it was confirmed that the bulk of the equipment in the hands of the enemy, particularly artillery and other heavy material, came from Soviet surplus stock and was not of the most recent design. Following the UNC autumn counter-offensive in 1950, the thoroughly routed NKA lost or abandoned almost all of its heavy equipment, particularly its artillery weapons. In evaluating the enemy's weapons and materials and comparing them to weapons and equipment of the Soviet Army, it was readily confirmed that the NKA was predominantly an obsolescently equipped army. One interesting element of the status of NKA equipment received from USSR was that many POWs reported that a large portion of the materiel was composed of old models but of recent manufacture.

Through the proper hurdling of exam materiel captured by UNC forces, four major objectives were achieved:

1. Effective counter weapons and counter tactics were promptly developed.

2. New ideas were promptly exploited for our own benefit.


3. Early deductions were made as to the state of enemy resources for war.

4. Usable enemy supplies were used to augment our own supplies.

Though it was proved that the materiel in the hands of the NKA during the early phases of hostilities was of antiquated Soviet pattern, the effectiveness of other forms of enemy equipment must be Judged in the light of what US and ROK forces could put up against the enemy. Unquestionably, the NKA equipment, by and large, was inferior to that of US materiel, but in the initial stages of the operations the NKA was capable of bringing massive superiority in both quantity of area and quantity of manpower to bear against friendly troops. When US forces approached equal size to the NKA, the entire picture of the Korean operations changed, and the UNC was the overwhelmingly more powerful in Korea until the entry of the Chinese Communist Forces into the conflict. This created an entirely new picture.

Technical intelligence agencies were aware that the ROKA was retaining CEM for possible use by either the National Police or the ROK Army. This handling or mishandling of CEM seemed rather unnecessary inasmuch as the ROK Government was being supplied with ample US equipment to maintain both these units. In addition to US equipment, many Japanese items were being reconditioned in Japan under US contract for the ROKA. It was rumored many times that the ROKA was keeping the CEM for future activities, since they felt the UNC would eventually evacuate Korea and leave them on their own.

Indoctrination programs were initiated at all levels to educate all members of the armed forces to do their part in reporting, turning in, and evaluating all items of CEM. Intelligence training for the purpose of indoctrinating the individual soldier with the importance of active co-operation in handling CEM and stressing the


significance of technical intelligence to the success of the over-all military effort was developed.

Technical Intelligence units were activated by the ROKA, and many of these units participated in activities during the closing months of hostilities. Other newly activated units later received training from US technical intelligence detachments in the field. Prior to the Cease Fire, the ROK units in many cases were abiding by prevailing directives regarding the turn-in of CEM more readily than US units. In addition to this, the US technical intelligence units were invited to exploit most of the CEM presently in possession of ROKA at the various depots.

It was recommended to higher headquarters that technical intelligence training be included in all intelligence training programs, both in the CONUS and the overseas theaters. It was further recommended that one man in each unit be designated as the technical intelligence co-ordinator, who would gather up the CEM, tag it, report it to his S-2, and finally see that it was evacuated to the unit's respective salvage collecting point.

The design, manufacture, and employment of materiel by the enemy during the Korean operations have been and are of vital interest to the Eighth Army. To enable the Army to keep abreast of the development and manufacture of the enemy's war potential, a highly specialized organization was placed in the field to collect, report on, and evacuate all items of enemy materiel captured on the battlefield. On the whole, a vast amount of intelligence was collected from CEM during the year 1953. Through the analysis of the CEM by various technical agencies, Eighth Army was able to determine the quality of manufacture, capabilities, and limitations of the captured equipment.



Eighth Army requirements for reconnaissance photography were never fully achieved during the Korean activities. These requirements as stated in negatives per day were based on the quality of photographic detail as provided by 1/5000 scale. If better equipment had been available, which would have produced the same amount of detail from a smaller scale coverage, the requirements in negatives per day would in proportion to the decreased scale.

In defensive action 1/5000 scale coverage, or the equivalent in detail, of the Army front is required once every three days. This detailed coverage is necessary to expedite identification of types of enemy equipment, signs of troop or other activity and other factors necessary to basic Army intelligence. Most of the confirmed intelligence data in Korea was obtained by photo interpretation. Cover along an Army front seventy-five miles wide by twenty miles deep, at a scale of 1/5000 and flown once every three days, would require an average of 3,250 negatives per day. The following is a breakdown of required daily photographic coverage:

Army Front coverage, 1500 sq. mi., flown once in 3 days at 1/5000 3,250 negs/day
Deep cover of 10% of enemy rear areas, 600 sq. ml., once in 10 days at 1/5000 380 negs/day
Special cover, various categories, 1/3000 400 negs/day
Night strips, 9"x9" negs., scale 1/5000 100 negs/day
Night mosaics, 9"x9" negs., 1/5000 820 negs/day
Obliques, large scale 50 negs/day

In offensive action, the need for front-line coverage and deep cover increases slightly over that needed during a defensive or static situation, although the needs for other types of photographic reconnaissance remain relatively the same. However, it is felt that requirements will vary inversely with the increased speed of the advance. The reasons for the difference in needs are as follows:


1. In the initial stages of an attack, front-line cover must be complete and continuous. Care must be taken that the scheme of the attack is not disclosed by selectively photographing only those areas of prime importance. The deep cover taken must include several likely objectives deep in the enemy rear.

2. Once the offensive has successfully begun, the photographic effort must be directed towards securing photographs which can be delivered to the interested units in time to be used. This photography, of necessity, should be of areas far enough in advance of the unit concerned on any given day so that it can be processed, interpreted, annotated, reproduced, and delivered before the unit reaches the area photographed. Requests for photography must be closely co-ordinated with the G-3 estimate of the rate of advance of the attack. The deep cover taken after the offensive has begun would be used to develop objectives for future airborne, armored, or amphibious operations.

Front line cover of Army front, 1500 sq. mi., scale 1/5000, flown every other day 3,800 negs/day
Deep cover of 10% of enemy rear areas flown once every five days at scale 1/5000 850 negs/day
Special cover, scale 1/3000 flown daily 400 negs/day
Night strips, 9"x9", 1/5000, daily 100 negs/day
Night mosaics, 9"x9", 1/5000, dally 800 negs/day
Obliques, large scale, 1/5000, flown daily 50 negs/day

In most cases photographs were taken on a 1/7000 scale inasmuch as to fly 1/5000 scale would nearly double the number of sorties to be flown. Nearly 70% of the photography flown in Korea was at Eighth Army request. The increase in reconnaissance sorties to meet this requirement could not be fully obtained with equipment available in Korea. Also photographs taken at night were needed to include mosaics, in order to confirm suspected areas of enemy activity during darkness; this need was met to a limited extent in the form of night


strips. However, present limitations on the number of flash bombs that can be carried on the B-26 aircraft have restricted the extent of night photography.


There was a serious lack of knowledge of strike damage assessment on close air support targets, particularly on TADP-controlled drops. Photographic coverage of front-line targets proved largely ineffective for bomb-damage assessment. With the receipt of so little information, the planning and selection phases of the air-ground operations is hindered to a great extent.


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