The Historical past of Bikes in the Korean War

Rodolfo Schellin

Although the motorcycle is a taken for granted vehicle on the street these
times, its role as a vehicle in war is often ignored. In
this article, the position of the motorbike is explored in the context of
the Korean War and the crucial part which it played for the duration of this

Motorbike suppliers have a very long background of stepping up to the
plate and offering when their region is in will need. For the duration of WWI and
WWII, companies this kind of as Indian, Harley Davidson and Triumph
provided machines to the armed service which had been geared up to the specific specs of the Pentagon. In
truth, Harley Davidson produced over 90,000 machines for the U.S.
armed service throughout WWII on your own!

Early in the Korean War (August 1950), at least 45 bikes had been
destroyed during an abortive attempt to retreat. No, these
were not Harleys that ended up captured – they had been
North Korean
bikes captured by the U.S. 25th Division, 3rd Battalion, 5th
Marines. In truth, the newly fashioned North Korean Army (aided and qualified
by the Soviets and Chinese) experienced among the its 90,000 males an overall
bike reconnaissance regiment. On this specific working day, on the other hand,
the bikes met their match in the Corsairs that swooped down on
them with their 20mm guns and rocket attacks.

On the North Korean facet, the North Korean Army (NKA) used motorcycles
geared up with saddlebags []
thoroughly. When the NKA took around Seoul in July of 1950, the 12th
Motorbike Regiment secured crucial crossroads at Ch’ungju that
aided secure the central region and make it possible for the NKA to seize the city.
On the allied facet, the 17th Bike regiment assisted in routing
the NKA out of Seoul a quick time afterwards.

The main shift that took place during the Korean War was the
substitution of the motorbike by the Jeep in the U.S. Army. The
motorcycle experienced apparently been changed as the favored automobile for
tough terrain. The introduction of the Jeep was section of a
comprehensive method the U.S. Released to change growing old cars
from WWI (amongst which were the bike and sidecars). Whilst newer
bikes have been undoubtedly used through the Korean War (as observed above),
the Jeep changed it in a lot of places the place it experienced previously regarded

Possibly the actual background of the Korean War and the motorcycle is one
that will not be located by browsing by the heritage publications or searching
up dry figures these kinds of as how several motorcycles have been made use of in this or that
raid for this or that objective. The genuine record – the human
background, may possibly be summed up in the story of Mark Nozzolillo and his Honda
Shadow. This is a image of Mark’s father, Vince.

Vince is a veteran of the Korean War who lost a pal on the
battlefield in August of 1950. So stunned to see his buddy’s
overall body
getting carried out, the youthful guy (then 20 several years aged) turned to his
first sergeant and clung to him in an virtually fetal position, sobbing
uncontrollably. Nozzolillo himself explained he “just went
when he observed the sight. His son took the old photograph (very first printed
in 1955) and experienced it airbrushed to the fuel tank of his Honda.

The story in this article is a person of the tragedies of war that we have to all
recall, and the tribute a father paid to his son. That this tribute
was compensated on airbrushed motorbike is something all motorbike
enthusiasts can be very pleased of. It really is a memory that Mark will
each and every time he rides his bike.

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