Epic in scale, audacious in concept, the Inchon invasion dramatically altered the course of the Korean War—and validated anew the importance of being able to project sea power ashore.
The amphibious assault at Inchon marked the Cold War rebirth of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The expertly planned and boldly executed air-sea-ground attack of September 1950, Operation Chromite, put to rest the post-World War II argument that globe-spanning warplanes armed with atomic bombs were all that was needed for the United States to fight and win wars of the future. Sea power projected ashore would enable the United Nations to preserve the independence of the Republic of Korea and limit the conflict to the Korean Peninsula. Throughout the Cold War, Navy-Marine Corps amphibious forces, aircraft carrier battle groups, and surface warships bristling with guns (and eventually long-range ship-to-shore missiles) discouraged aggression around the world and, when necessary, contributed to the success of American arms.