The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border; as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea had been split into two sovereign states in 1948. A socialist state was established in the north under the communist leadership of Kim Il-sung and a capitalist state in the south under the anti-communist leadership of Syngman Rhee. Both governments of the two new Korean states claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all of Korea, neither accepted the border as permanent; the conflict escalated into warfare when North Korean military forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—crossed the border and advanced south into South Korea on 25 June 1950. The United Nations Security Council authorized the formation and dispatch of UN forces to Korea to repel what was recognized as a North Korean invasion. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing around 90% of the military personnel.
After the first two months of war, South Korean and U. S. forces dispatched to Korea were on the point of defeat, forced back to a small area in the south known as the Pusan Perimeter. In September 1950, an amphibious UN counter-offensive was launched at Incheon, cut off many North Korean troops; those who escaped envelopment and capture were forced back north. UN forces approached the Yalu River—the border with China—but in October 1950, mass Chinese forces crossed the Yalu and entered the war; the surprise Chinese intervention triggered a retreat of UN forces which continued until mid-1951. In these reversals of fortune, Seoul changed hands four times, the last two years of fighting became a war of attrition, with the front line close to the 38th parallel; the war in the air, was never a stalemate. North Korea was subject to a massive bombing campaign. Jet fighters confronted each other in air-to-air combat for the first time in history, Soviet pilots covertly flew in defense of their communist allies.
The fighting ended on 27 July 1953. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty was signed, according to some sources the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict. In April 2018, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the demilitarized zone and agreed to work towards a treaty to formally end the Korean War. In South Korea, the war is referred to as "625" or the "6–2–5 Upheaval", reflecting the date of its commencement on June 25. In North Korea, the war is referred to as the "Fatherland Liberation War" or alternatively the "Chosǒn War". In China, the war is called the "War to Resist America and Aid Korea", although the term "Chaoxian War" is used in unofficial contexts, along with the term "Hán War" more used in regions such as Hong Kong and Macau. In the U. S. the war was described by President Harry S. Truman as a "police action" as the United States never formally declared war on its opponents and the operation was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.
It has been referred to in the English-speaking world as "The Forgotten War" or "The Unknown War" because of the lack of public attention it received both during and after the war, in relation to the global scale of World War II, which preceded it, the subsequent angst of the Vietnam War, which succeeded it. Imperial Japan destroyed the influence of China over Korea in the First Sino-Japanese War, ushering in the short-lived Korean Empire. A decade after defeating Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan made Korea its protectorate with the Eulsa Treaty in 1905 annexed it with the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty in 1910. Many Korean nationalists fled the country; the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was founded in 1919 in Nationalist China. It failed to achieve international recognition, failed to unite nationalist groups, had a fractious relationship with its U. S.-based founding president, Syngman Rhee. From 1919 to 1925 and beyond, Korean communists led internal and external warfare against the Japanese.
In China, the Nationalist National Revolutionary Army and the communist People's Liberation Army helped organize Korean refugees against the Japanese military, which had occupied parts of China. The Nationalist-backed Koreans, led by Yi Pom-Sok, fought in the Burma Campaign; the communists, led by Kim Il-sung among others, fought the Japanese in Manchuria. At the Cairo Conference in November 1943, the United Kingdom, the United States all decided that "in due course Korea shall become free and independent". At the Tehran Conference in November 1943 and the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the Soviet Union promised to join its allies in the Pacific War within three months of the victory in Europe. Accordingly, it declared war o
A frigate is a type of warship, having various sizes and roles over the last few centuries. In the 17th century, a frigate was any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description used being "frigate-built"; these could be warships carrying their principal batteries of carriage-mounted guns on a single deck or on two decks. The term was used for ships too small to stand in the line of battle, although early line-of-battle ships were referred to as frigates when they were built for speed. In the 18th century, frigates were as long as a ship of the line and were square-rigged on all three masts, but were faster and with lighter armament, used for patrolling and escort. In the definition adopted by the British Admiralty, they were rated ships of at least 28 guns, carrying their principal armaments upon a single continuous deck – the upper deck – while ships of the line possessed two or more continuous decks bearing batteries of guns. In the late 19th century, the armoured frigate was a type of ironclad warship that for a time was the most powerful type of vessel afloat.
The term "frigate" was used because such ships still mounted their principal armaments on a single continuous upper deck. In modern navies, frigates are used to protect other warships and merchant-marine ships as anti-submarine warfare combatants for amphibious expeditionary forces, underway replenishment groups, merchant convoys. Ship classes dubbed "frigates" have more resembled corvettes, destroyers and battleships; some European navies such as the French, German or Spanish ones use the term "frigate" for both their destroyers and frigates. The rank "frigate captain" derives from the name of this type of ship; the term "frigate" originated in the Mediterranean in the late 15th century, referring to a lighter galley-type warship with oars, sails and a light armament, built for speed and maneuverability. The etymology of the word remains uncertain, although it may have originated as a corruption of aphractus, a Latin word for an open vessel with no lower deck. Aphractus, in turn, derived from the Ancient Greek phrase ἄφρακτος ναῦς - "undefended ship".
In 1583, during the Eighty Years' War of 1568-1648, Habsburg Spain recovered the southern Netherlands from the Protestant rebels. This soon resulted in the use of the occupied ports as bases for privateers, the "Dunkirkers", to attack the shipping of the Dutch and their allies. To achieve this the Dunkirkers developed small, sailing vessels that came to be referred to as frigates; the success of these Dunkirker vessels influenced the ship design of other navies contending with them, but because most regular navies required ships of greater endurance than the Dunkirker frigates could provide, the term soon came to apply less to any fast and elegant sail-only warship. In French, the term "frigate" gave rise to a verb - frégater, meaning'to build long and low', to an adjective, adding more confusion; the huge English Sovereign of the Seas could be described as "a delicate frigate" by a contemporary after her upper decks were reduced in 1651. The navy of the Dutch Republic became the first navy to build the larger ocean-going frigates.
The Dutch navy had three principal tasks in the struggle against Spain: to protect Dutch merchant ships at sea, to blockade the ports of Spanish-held Flanders to damage trade and halt enemy privateering, to fight the Spanish fleet and prevent troop landings. The first two tasks required speed, shallowness of draft for the shallow waters around the Netherlands, the ability to carry sufficient supplies to maintain a blockade; the third task required heavy armament, sufficient to stand up to the Spanish fleet. The first of the larger battle-capable frigates were built around 1600 at Hoorn in Holland. By the stages of the Eighty Years' War the Dutch had switched from the heavier ships still used by the English and Spanish to the lighter frigates, carrying around 40 guns and weighing around 300 tons; the effectiveness of the Dutch frigates became most evident in the Battle of the Downs in 1639, encouraging most other navies the English, to adopt similar designs. The fleets built by the Commonwealth of England in the 1650s consisted of ships described as "frigates", the largest of which were two-decker "great frigates" of the third rate.
Carrying 60 guns, these vessels were as capable as "great ships" of the time. The term "frigate" implied a long hull-design, which relates directly to speed and which in turn, helped the development of the broadside tactic in naval warfare. At this time, a further design evolved, reintroducing oars and resulting in galley frigates such as HMS Charles Galley of 1676, rated as a 32-gun fifth-rate but had a bank of 40 oars set below the upper deck which could propel the ship in the absence of a favourable wind. In Danish, the word "fregat" applies to warships carrying as few as 16 guns, such as HMS Falcon, which the British classified as a sloop. Under the rating system of the Royal Navy, by the middle of the 18th century, the term "frigate" was technically restricted to single-decked ships of the fifth rate, though small 28-gun frigates classed as sixth rate; the classic sailing frigate, well-known today for its role in the Napoleonic wars, can be traced back to French deve
An ammunition ship is an auxiliary ship specially configured to carry ammunition for naval ships and aircraft. An ammunition ship′s cargo handling systems, designed with extreme safety in mind, include ammunition hoists with airlocks between decks, mechanisms for flooding entire compartments with sea water in case of emergencies. Ammunition ships most deliver their cargo to other ships using underway replenishment, using both connected replenishment and vertical replenishment. To a lesser extent, they transport ammunition from one shore-based weapons station to another. U. S. Navy ammunition ships are named for volcanos. During World War II, U. S. Navy ammunition ships were converted from merchant ships or specially built on merchant ship hulls of Type C2, they were armed, were manned by naval crews. Several of them were destroyed in spectacular explosions during the war, such as USS Mount Hood, which exploded in the Admiralty Islands on November 10, 1944, the Liberty ship SS John Burke, hit by a single kamikaze attack near the Philippines on December 28, 1944 and, captured on film by an amateur photographer on a nearby vessel.
The ship disintegrated in seconds with the loss of all hands. Contemporary U. S. ammunition ships of the Kilauea class are specially designed for their mission, which includes carrying dry and refrigerated cargo. They are manned by civilian crews; these ships are being replaced by the Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ships
A torpedo boat is a small and fast naval ship designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs rammed enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes, designs launched self-propelled Whitehead torpedoes, they were created to counter battleships and other slow and armed ships by using speed and the power of their torpedo weapons. A number of inexpensive torpedo boats attacking en masse could overwhelm a larger ship's ability to fight them off using its large but cumbersome guns. An inexpensive fleet of torpedo boats could pose a threat to much larger and more expensive fleets of capital ships, albeit only in the coastal areas to which their small size and limited fuel load restricted them; the introduction of fast torpedo boats in the late 19th century was a serious concern to the era's naval strategists. In response, navies operating large ships introduced smaller ships to counter torpedo boats, mounting light quick-firing guns; these ships, which came to be called "torpedo boat destroyers" and simply "destroyers", became larger and took on more roles, making torpedo attacks as well as defending against them, defending against submarines and aircraft.
The destroyer became the predominant type of surface warship in the guided missile age. In the modern era, the old concept of a small and cheap surface combatant with powerful offensive weapons is taken up by the "fast attack craft"; the American Civil War saw a number of innovations in naval warfare, including an early type of torpedo boat, armed with spar torpedoes. In 1861 President Lincoln instituted a naval blockade of Southern ports, which crippled the South's efforts to obtain war materiel from abroad; the South lacked the means to construct a naval fleet capable of taking on the Union Navy on terms. One strategy to counter the blockade saw the development of torpedo boats, small fast boats designed to attack the larger capital ships of the blockading fleet as a form of asymmetrical warfare; the David class of torpedo boats were steam powered with a enclosed hull. They were not true were semi-submersible. CSS Midge was David-class torpedo boats. CSS Squib and CSS Scorpion represented another class of torpedo boats that were low built but had open decks and lacked the ballasting tanks found on the Davids.
The Confederate torpedo boats were armed with spar torpedoes. This was a charge of powder in a waterproof case, mounted to the bow of the torpedo boat below the water line on a long spar; the torpedo boat attacked by ramming her intended target, which stuck the torpedo to the target ship by means of a barb on the front of the torpedo. The torpedo boat would back away to a safe distance and detonate the torpedo by means of a long cord attached to a trigger. In general, the Confederate torpedo boats were not successful, their low sides made them susceptible to swamping in high seas, to having their boiler fires extinguished by spray from their own torpedo explosions. Torpedo misfires and duds were common. In 1864 Union Naval Lieutenant Cushing fitted a steam launch with a spar torpedo to attack the Confederate ironclad Albemarle; the same year the Union launched USS Spuyten Duyvil, a purpose-built craft with a number of technical innovations including variable ballast for attack operations and an extensible and reloadable torpedo placement spar.
A prototype self-propelled torpedo was created by a commission placed by Giovanni Luppis, an Austrian naval officer from Rijeka a port city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Robert Whitehead, an English engineer, the manager of a town factory. In 1864, Luppis presented Whitehead with the plans of the salvacoste, a floating weapon driven by ropes from the land, dismissed by the naval authorities due to the impractical steering and propulsion mechanisms. Whitehead was unable to improve the machine since the clockwork motor, attached ropes, surface attack mode all contributed to a slow and cumbersome weapon. However, he kept considering the problem after the contract had finished, developed a tubular device, designed to run underwater on its own, powered by compressed air; the result was a submarine weapon, the Minenschiff, the first modern self-propelled torpedo presented to the Austrian Imperial Naval commission on December 21, 1866. The first trials were not successful as the weapon was unable to maintain a course on a steady depth.
After much work, Whitehead introduced his "secret" in 1868. It was a mechanism consisting of a hydrostatic valve and pendulum that caused the torpedo's hydroplanes to be adjusted so as to maintain a preset depth. During the mid-19th century, the ships of the line were superseded by large steam powered ships with heavy gun armament and heavy armour, called ironclads; this line of development led to the dreadnought class of all-big-gun battleship, starting with HMS Dreadnought. At the same time, the weight of armour slowed down the speed of the battleships, the huge guns needed to penetrate enemy armour fired at slow rates; this allowed for the possibility of a small and fast ship that could attack the battleships, at a much lower cost. The introduction of the torpedo provided a weapon that could cripple, or sink, any battleship; the first warship of any kind to carry self-propelled torpedoes was HMS Vesuvius of 1873. The first seagoing vessel designed to fire the self-propelled Whitehead torpedo was HMS Lightning.
The boat was built by John Thornycroft at Church Wharf in Chiswick for the Royal Navy. It entered service in 1876 and was armed with self-propelled Wh
A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for ferrying troops or supplies. In the age of sail, a gunboat was a small undecked vessel carrying a single smoothbore cannon in the bow, or just two or three such cannons. A gunboat could carry one or two masts or be oar-powered only, but the single-masted version of about 15 m length was most typical; some types of gunboat else mounted a number of swivel guns on the railings. The small gunboat had advantages: if it only carried a single cannon, the boat could manoeuvre in shallow or restricted areas – such as rivers or lakes – where larger ships could sail only with difficulty; the gun that such boats carried could be quite heavy. As such boats were cheap and quick to build, naval forces favoured swarm tactics: while a single hit from a frigate's broadside would destroy a gunboat, a frigate facing a large squadron of gunboats could suffer serious damage before it could manage to sink them all.
For example: in the Battle of Alvøen during the Gunboat War of 1807–1814, five Dano-Norwegian gunboats defeated the lone frigate HMS Tartar. Gunboats used in the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain during the American Revolutionary War were built on the spot, attesting to the speed of their construction. All navies of the sailing era kept a number of gunboats on hand. Gunboats saw extensive use in the Baltic Sea during the late 18th century as they were well-suited for the extensive coastal skerries and archipelagoes of Sweden and Russia; the rivalry between Sweden and Russia in particular led to an intense expansion of gunboat fleets and the development of new gunboat types. The two countries clashed during the Russo-Swedish war of 1788–90, a conflict that culminated in the massive Battle of Svensksund in 1790, in which over 30,000 men and hundreds of gunboats and other oared craft took part; the majority of these were vessels developed from the 1770s and onwards by the naval architect Fredrik Henrik af Chapman for the Swedish archipelago fleet.
The designs and refined by the rival Danish and Russian navies, spread to the Mediterranean and to the Black Sea. Two variants occurred most commonly: a larger 20 m "gun sloop" with two 24-pounders, one in the stern and one in the bow a smaller 15 m "gun yawl" with a single 24-pounderMany of the Baltic navies kept gunboats in service well into the second half of the 19th century. British ships engaged larger 22 m Russian gunboats off Turku in southeast Finland in 1854 during the Crimean War; the Russian vessels had the distinction of being the last oared vessels of war in history to fire their guns in anger. Gunboats played a key role in Napoleon Bonaparte's plan for the invasion of England in 1804. Denmark-Norway used them in the Gunboat War. Between 1803 and 1812 the United States Navy had a policy of basing its navy on coastal gunboats, experimenting with a variety of designs. President Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic-Republican Party opposed a strong navy, regarding gunboats as adequate to defend the United States' major harbors.
They proved useless against the British blockade during the War of 1812. With the introduction of steam power in the early 19th century, the Royal Navy and other navies built considerable numbers of small vessels propelled by side paddles and by screws; these vessels retained full sailing rigs and used steam engines for auxiliary propulsion. The British Royal Navy deployed two wooden paddle-gunboats in the Lower Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River during the Rebellions of 1837 in Upper and Lower Canada; the United States Navy deployed an iron-hulled paddle gunboat, USS Michigan, to the Great Lakes in 1844. Von der Tann became the first propeller-driven gunboat in the world. Conradi shipyards in Kiel built the steam-powered 120 long tons gunboat in 1849 for the small navy of Schleswig-Holstein. Called "Gunboat No. 1", Von der Tann was the most modern ship in the navy. She participated in the First Schleswig War of 1848–1851. Britain built a large number of wooden screw-gunboats during the 1850s, some of which participated in the Crimean War, Second Opium War and Indian Mutiny.
The requirement for gunboats in the Crimean War was formulated in 1854 to allow the Royal Navy to bombard shore facilities in the Baltic. The first ships the Royal Navy built. In mid-1854 the Royal Navy ordered six Gleaner-class gunboats followed in the year by an order for 20 Dapper-class gunboats. In May 1855 the Royal Navy deployed six Dapper-class gunboats in the Sea of Azov, where they raided and destroyed stores around its coast. In June 1855 the Royal Navy reentered the Baltic with a total of 18 gunboats as part of a larger fleet; the gunboats attacked various coastal facilities, operating alongside larger British warships from which they drew supplies such as coal. Gunboats experienced a revival during the American Civil War. Union and Confederate forces converted existing passenger-carrying boats into armed sidewheel steamers; some purpose-built boats, such as USS Miami, joined the fray. They mounted 12 or more guns, sometimes of rather large caliber, carried some armor. At the same time, Britain's gunboats from the Crimean War period were starting to wear out, so a new series of classes was ordered.
Construction shifted from a purely wooden hull to an iron–teak composite. In the 19th century and early 20th century, "gunboat" w
Battle of Taejon
The Battle of Taejon was an early battle of the Korean War, between American and North Korean forces. Forces of the United States Army attempted to defend the headquarters of the 24th Infantry Division; the 24th Infantry Division was overwhelmed by numerically superior forces of the Korean People's Army at the major city and transportation hub of Taejon. The 24th Infantry Division's regiments were exhausted from the previous two weeks of delaying actions to stem the advance of the KPA; the entire 24th Division gathered to make a final stand around Taejon, holding a line along the Kum River to the east of the city. Hampered by a lack of communication and equipment, a shortage of heavy weapons to match the KPA's firepower, the outnumbered, ill-equipped and untrained American forces were pushed back from the riverbank after several days before fighting an intense urban battle to defend the city. After a fierce three-day struggle, the Americans withdrew. Although they could not hold the city, the 24th Infantry Division achieved a strategic victory by delaying the North Koreans, providing time for other American divisions to establish a defensive perimeter around Pusan further south.
The delay imposed at Taejon prevented an American rout during the subsequent Battle of Pusan Perimeter. During the action, the KPA captured Major General William F. Dean, the commander of the 24th Infantry Division, highest ranking American prisoner during the Korean War. Following the invasion of the Republic of Korea by its northern neighbor, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United Nations committed forces on behalf of South Korea; the United States subsequently sent ground forces to the Korean peninsula to contain the North Korean invasion and to prevent the collapse of the South Korean state. American forces in the Far East had decreased since the end of World War II, five years earlier; when forces were committed, the 24th Infantry Division of the Eighth United States Army, headquartered in Japan, was the closest US division. The division was under-strength, most of its equipment dated from 1945 and earlier due to defense cutbacks enacted in the first Truman administration.
The division was ordered into South Korea. The 24th Infantry Division was the first US unit sent into Korea to absorb the initial North Korean advances, disrupt the more numerous North Korean units; the 24th Division delayed the North Korean advance to allow the 7th Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division, other Eighth Army supporting units to establish a defensive line around Pusan. Preceding the Battle of Taejon, some of the Bodo League massacres took place around Taejon, where between 3,000 and 7,000 South Korean leftist political prisoners were shot and dumped into mass graves by South Korean troops recorded by a US Army photographer. Task Force Smith, an advance element of the 24th Infantry Division was badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on 5 July, during the first encounter between American and North Korean forces. Task Force Smith retreated from Osan to Pyongtaek, where US forces were again defeated in the Battle of Pyongtaek; the 24th Infantry Division was forced south by the North Korean force's superior numbers and equipment in engagements at Chochiwon, Chonan and Yechon.
American soldiers were untrained and unprepared at the outbreak of the war, this lack of training showed in engagements with North Korean units which were much more disciplined. Most of the Americans were out of shape, untrained and had no combat experience. On 12 July, the division's commander, Major General William F. Dean, ordered the division's three regiments, the 19th Infantry Regiment, 21st Infantry Regiment, the 34th Infantry Regiment, to cross the Kum River, destroying all bridges behind them, to establish defensive positions around Taejon. Taejon was a major South Korean city 100 miles south of Seoul and 130 miles northwest of Pusan, was the site of the 24th Infantry Division's headquarters. Dean formed a line with the 34th Infantry and 19th Infantry facing east, held the battered 21st Infantry in reserve to the southeast; the Kum River wrapped north and west around the city, providing a defensive line 10 to 15 miles from the outskirts of Taejon, surrounded to the south by the Sobaek Mountains.
With major railroad junctions and numerous roads leading into the countryside in all directions, Taejon was a major transportation hub between Seoul and Taegu, giving it great strategic value for both the American and North Korean forces. The division was attempting to make a last stand at Taejon, the last place it could conduct a delaying action before the North Korean forces would converge on the unfinished Pusan Perimeter; the 24th Infantry Division's three infantry regiments, which had a wartime strength of 3,000 each, were below strength on their deployment, heavy losses in the preceding two weeks had reduced their numbers further. The 21st Infantry had 1,100 men left; the 34th Infantry had only 2,020 men and the 19th had 2,276 men. Another 2,007 men stood in the 24th Infantry Division artillery formations; these counts placed the division's total strength at 11,400. This was reduced from the 15,965 men and 4,773 vehicles that had arrived in Korea at the beginning of the month; each of the regiments had only two battalions of infantry as opposed to the normal three.
Large numbers of men had to be pulled from the lines from combat fatigue. Morale was low for the soldiers, who were exhausted from days without sleep. Casualties among the division's commissioned officers were high, forcing younger officers
Sea of Japan
The Sea of Japan is the marginal sea between the Japanese archipelago, the Korean Peninsula and Russia. The Japanese archipelago separates the sea from the Pacific Ocean, it is bordered by Japan and Russia. Like the Mediterranean Sea, it has no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure from the Pacific Ocean; this isolation reflects in the fauna species and in the water salinity, lower than in the ocean. The sea has bays or capes, its water balance is determined by the inflow and outflow through the straits connecting it to the neighboring seas and Pacific Ocean. Few rivers discharge into the sea and their total contribution to the water exchange is within 1%; the seawater has an elevated concentration of dissolved oxygen that results in high biological productivity. Therefore, fishing is the dominant economic activity in the region; the intensity of shipments across the sea has been moderate owing to political issues, but it is increasing as a result of the growth of East Asian economies. Sea of Japan is the dominant term used in English for the sea, the name in most European languages is equivalent, but it is sometimes called by different names in surrounding countries reflecting historical claims to hegemony over the sea.
The sea is called Rìběn hǎi or Jīng hǎi in China, Yaponskoye more in Russia, Chosŏn Tonghae in North Korea, Donghae in South Korea. A naming dispute exists about the sea name, with South Korea promoting the English translation of its native name as the East Sea; the use of the term "Sea of Japan" as the dominant name is a point of contention. South Korea wants the name "East Sea" to instead of or in addition to "Sea of Japan; the primary issue in the dispute revolves around a disagreement about when the name "Sea of Japan" became the international standard. Japan claims the term has been the international standard since at least the early 19th century, while the Koreas claim that the term "Sea of Japan" arose while Korea was under Japanese rule, before that occupation other names such as "Sea of Korea" or "East Sea" were used in English; the International Hydrographic Organization, the international governing body for the naming bodies of water around the world, in 2012 recognized the term "Sea of Japan" as the only title for the sea, stated they would will review the issue again in 2017.
For centuries, the sea had protected Japan from land invasions by the Mongols. It had long been navigated by Asian and, from the 18th century, by European ships. Russian expeditions of 1733–1743 mapped Sakhalin and the Japanese islands. In the 1780s, the Frenchman Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse, traveled northward across the sea through the strait named after him. In 1796, a British naval officer, William Robert Broughton explored the Strait of Tartary, the eastern coast of the Russian Far East and the Korean Peninsula. In 1803–1806, the Russian navigator Adam Johann von Krusenstern while sailing across the globe in the ship Nadezhda explored, in passing, the Sea of Japan and the eastern shores of Japanese islands. In 1849, another Russian explorer Gennady Nevelskoy discovered the strait between the continent and Sakhalin and mapped the northern part of the Strait of Tartary. Russian expeditions were made in 1853–1854 and 1886–1889 to measure the surface temperatures and record the tides.
They documented the cyclonal character of the sea currents. Other notable expeditions of the 19th century include the American North Pacific Exploring and Surveying Expedition and British Challenger expedition; the aquatic life was described by V. K. Brazhnikov in P. Yu. Schmidt in 1903–1904; the Japanese scientific studies of the sea became systematic since the 1920s. American and French whaleships cruised for whales in the sea between 1848 and 1892. Most entered the sea via Korea Strait and left via La Pérouse Strait, but some entered and exited via Tsugaru Strait, they targeted right whales, but began catching humpbacks as right whale catches declined. They made attempts to catch blue and fin whales, but these species invariably sank after being killed. Right whales were caught from March with peak catches in May and June. During the peak years of 1848 and 1849 a total of nearly 160 vessels cruised in the Sea of Japan, with lesser numbers in following years; the Sea of Japan was a landlocked sea.
The onset of formation of the Japan Arc was in the Early Miocene. The Early Miocene period corresponds to the Japan Sea starting to open, the northern and southern parts of the Japanese archipelago separating from each other. During the Miocene, there was expansion of Sea of Japan; the north part of the Japanese archipelago was further fragmented until orogenesis of the northeastern Japanese archipelago began in the Late Miocene. The south part of the Japanese archipelago remained as a large landmass; the land area had expanded northward in the Late Miocene. The orogenesis of high mountain ranges in northeastern Japan started in Late Miocene and lasted in Pliocene also. Nowadays the Sea of Japan is bounded by the Russian mainland and Sakhalin island to the north, the Korean Peninsula to the west, the Japanese islands of Hokkaidō, Honshū and Kyūshū to the east and south, it is connected to other seas by five straits: the Strait of Tartary between the Asia