Military Modelcraft International
operation ripper Image Credit: Military Modelcraft International
operation ripper Image Credit: Military Modelcraft International

Operation Ripper

Tomasz Janiszweski presents a scene from one of the pivotal battles of the Korean War

An almost forgotten conflict, the Korean War was the first ‘clash’ of the Cold War, with communist North Korea (backed by China and the Soviet Union) fighting South Korea (supported by the United Nations, principally the USA). Beginning in June 1950, the armed conflict lasted until July 1953, with a final armistice agreement being signed and the establishment of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (KDZ). The war is considered to have ended at this point, despite there being no actual peace treaty. North Korea, nevertheless, claims that it won the Korean War.

While the conflict is often characterised by air duels between the MIG 15 and F-86 Sabre, the fighting on land was no less fierce. Conceived by the commander of the US Eighth Army, General Matthew Ridgeway, ‘Operation Ripper’ (also known as ‘The Fourth Battle of Seoul’) was intended to seriously weaken the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army and the Korean People’s Army around Seoul, and to bring UN troops to the 38th Parallel.

From a modeller’s point of view, there is the potential for some fascinating subjects; in particular, painting US armoured vehicles with fabulous markings … tiger, dragon and devil faces, evidently designed to ‘spook’ superstitious Chinese soldiers. With this in mind, I was delighted when Tamiya announced their release of the ‘M4A3E8 Sherman – Easy Eight – Korean War’ (ref. 35359)

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