This program is for the two day international conference, Korea: in from the cold. The program may be subject to minor changes.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

6.00 pm for 6.30 pm

Welcome reception at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea
113 Empire Circuit, Yarralumla

Day 1 – Thursday 6 October 2011

8.15 am


9.00 am

Opening address by The Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

9.15 am

Keynote: Setting a new paradigm in World Order: the United Nations action in Korea 

Professor Robert O’Neill AO (Australian Official Historian of the Korean War and former Chichele Professor of the History of War, University of Oxford)

10.15 am

Morning tea

Session 1

Politics by other means: strategic aims and responses

10.45 am

Understanding the forgotten war: the United States and Korea, 1945–1954

Professor Allan R. Millett (Ambrose Professor of History at the University of New Orleans and the Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Professor Emeritus of Military History at Ohio State University, USA)

11.30 am

China’s War for Korea: geo-strategic decision, war-fighting experience and high-priced benefits of the intervention, 1950–1953

Professor Xiaobing Li (University of Central Oklahoma, USA)

12.15 pm


1.15 pm

Fighting in the giant’s playground: Australians in the Korean War

Cameron Forbes (University of Tasmania)

2.00 pm

The transformation of the Republic of Korea Army: the wartime expansion and doctrine changes, 1950–1953

Dr Jongnam Na (Korea Military Academy, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Session 2

Panel discussion: Containment as opposed to escalation; attrition as opposed to swift decision

2.45 pm

International panel: Professor Robert O’Neill (chair), Professor Allan Millett, Professor Xiaobing Li, Mr Cameron Forbes and Dr Jongnam Na

3.30 pm

Afternoon Tea

Session 3

Korean skies and Korean waters: war in the air and at sea

4.00 pm

The air war in Korea: coalition air power in the context of limited war

Dr Richard P Hallion (National Air and Space Museum and formerly Chief Historian USAF)

4.45 pm

Korea: the first challenge for Australian naval aviation

Commodore Jack McCaffrie (Retd) (RAN Sea Power Centre)

5.30 pm

Close of day 1

7.00 pm for 7.30 pm

Conference dinner
Olims Hotel

Corner Ainslie and Limestone Avenues, Braddon
After dinner address: China and the Koreas: an Australian perspective
Rowan Callick (Asia-Pacific editor, The Australian)

Day 2 – Friday 7 October 2011

Session 4

Generals and lieutenants: command in the war

9.00 am

Australian higher command in the Korean War: the experience of Brigadier Wilton

Professor David Horner AM (Australian National University)

9.45 am

The reliving of minor tactics: a platoon commander’s war in Korea

Brigadier Colin Kahn DSO AM (Retd) (platoon commander, 1RAR, 1952)

10.30 am

Morning Tea

Session 5

Battles: Kapyong, Maryang San, Kowang San

11.00 am

The battle of Maryang San: Australia's finest feat of arms in the Korean War?

Dr Bob Breen (Australian National University)

11.45 pm

A Borderer recalls

Sir William Purves CBE DSO (platoon commander, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, 1951)

12.30 pm


1.30 pm

Conquering Kowang San, assaulting united: myth and misunderstanding in the shade of Maryang San, October 1951

Nigel Steel (Imperial War Museum)

Session 6

Panel discussion: the sharp end of the war

2.15 pm

Sir William Purves CBE DSO, Brigadier Colin Kahn DSO AM (Retd), Brigadier Jim Shelton DSO MC (Retd) (company commander 3RAR, 1951–52), Lieutenant Colonel Maurie Pears MC (Retd) (platoon commander 3RAR, 1951-52), and Lieutenant Colonel Alf Argent (Retd) (intelligence officer 3RAR, 1950–51)

3.15 pm

Afternoon Tea

Session 7

Care of the wounded

3.45 pm

Continuing the legacy: Australian military nursing in the Korean War

Dr Rebecca Fleming (formerly University of New England)


Closing address

4.30 pm

From Korea to Vietnam: Australian strategic policy after the Korean War

Dr Peter Edwards AM (Australian Official Historian, Southeast Asian Conflicts 1948-75)

5.15 pm

Close of day 2


This program may be subject to minor changes.


This conference is being convened by the Australian War Memorial. The support of the Australian Government through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is gratefully acknowledged.

Department of Veterans Affairs