map of Inchon Landing
In September 1950, General MacArthur used an idea he had months earlier, but which all his advisors had rejected as too risky: an amphibious maneuver known as the “Inchon landing.” He turned North Korean aggression against itself by having his soldiers secretly flee on boats and then land, with reinforcements from other sources, north of the enemy to cut off their supply lines on a peninsula (see map).
That single maneuver turned certain defeat into certain victory, as the North Korean army was then stuck without supplies. But a month later communist Chinese began flooding into North Korea by the hundreds of thousands to help the fellow communists. General MacArthur wanted to defeat them also, but President Truman refused and fired MacArthur. In July 1953, a ceasefire was signed reestablishing the 38th parallel as the dividing line. A demilitarized zone on both sides exists to this day.