Battle of Pusan Perimeter
The Battle of Pusan Perimeter was a large-scale battle between United Nations and North Korean forces lasting from August 4 to September 18, 1950. It was one of the first major engagements of the Korean War. An army of 140,000 UN troops, having been pushed to the brink of defeat, were rallied to make a final stand against the invading North Korean army, 98,000 men strong. UN forces, having been defeated by the advancing North Koreans, were forced back to the "Pusan Perimeter", a 140-mile defensive line around an area on the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula that included the port of Pusan; the UN troops, consisting of forces from the Republic of Korea, United States and United Kingdom mounted a last stand around the perimeter, fighting off repeated North Korean attacks for six weeks as they were engaged around the cities of Taegu, P'ohang, the Naktong River. The massive North Korean assaults were unsuccessful in forcing the United Nations troops back further from the perimeter, despite two major pushes in August and September.
North Korean troops, hampered by supply shortages and massive losses, continually staged attacks on UN forces in an attempt to penetrate the perimeter and collapse the line. However, the UN used the port to amass an overwhelming advantage in troops and logistics, its navy and air forces remained unchallenged by the North Koreans during the fight. After six weeks, the North Korean force collapsed and retreated in defeat after the UN force launched a counterattack at Inchon on September 15; the battle would be the furthest the North Korean troops would advance in the war, as subsequent fighting ground the war into a stalemate. Following the outbreak of the Korean War, the United Nations decided to commit troops in support of the Republic of Korea, invaded by the neighboring Democratic People's Republic of Korea; the United States subsequently sent ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goal of fighting back the North Korean invasion and to prevent South Korea from collapsing. However, US forces in the Far East had been decreasing since the end of World War II, five years earlier, at the time the closest forces were the 24th Infantry Division of the Eighth United States Army, headquartered in Japan.
The division was understrength, most of its equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending. Regardless, the 24th Infantry Division was ordered into South Korea; the Korean People's Army, 89,000 men strong, had advanced into South Korea in six columns, catching the Republic of Korea Army by surprise and routing it. The smaller ROKA suffered from widespread lack of organization and equipment, was unprepared for war. Numerically superior, KPA forces destroyed isolated resistance from the 38,000 ROKA soldiers on the front before moving south. Most of South Korea's forces retreated in the face of the advance. By June 28, the KPA had captured South Korea's capital of Seoul, forcing the government and its shattered forces to retreat further south. Though it was pushed back, South Korean forces increased their resistance further south, hoping to delay KPA units as much as possible. North and South Korean units sparred for control of several cities, inflicting heavy casualties on one another.
The ROKA defended Yongdok fiercely before being forced back, managed to repel North Korean forces in the Battle of Andong. Outnumbered and under-equipped US forces—committed in piecemeal fashion as as they could be deployed—were defeated and pushed south; the 24th Division, the first US division committed, took heavy losses in the Battle of Taejon in mid-July, which they were driven from after heavy fighting. Elements of the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, newly arrived in the country, were wiped out at Hadong in a coordinated ambush by KPA forces on July 27, leaving open a pass to the Pusan area. Soon after, Chinju to the west was taken, pushing back the 19th Infantry Regiment and leaving open routes to Pusan. US units were subsequently able to defeat and push back the KPA on the flank in the Battle of the Notch on August 2. Suffering mounting losses, the KPA force on the west flank withdrew for several days to re-equip and receive reinforcements; this granted both sides several days of reprieve to prepare for the attack on the Pusan Perimeter.
The KPA forces were organized into a mechanized combined arms force of ten divisions numbering some 90,000 well-trained and well-equipped troops in July, with hundreds of T-34 tanks. However, defensive actions by US and South Korean forces had delayed the North Koreans in their invasion of South Korea, costing them 58,000 of their troops and a large number of tanks. In order to recoup these losses, the North Koreans had to rely on less-experienced replacements and conscripts, many of whom had been taken from the conquered regions of South Korea. During the course of the battle, the North Koreans raised a total of 13 infantry divisions and one armored division to the fight at Pusan Perimeter; the UN forces were organized under the command of the United States Army. The Eighth United States Army served as the headquarters component for the UN forces, was headquartered at Taegu. Under it were three weak US divisions; these forces occupied the western segment of the perimeter, along the Naktong River.
The ROKA, a force of 58,000, was organized into five divisions.
Battle of Chumonchin Chan
The Battle of Chumonchin Chan or the Action of 2 July 1950 was the battle fought between surface combatants during the main phase of the Korean War. It began. On 2 July 1950, USS Juneau, HMS Black Swan, HMS Jamaica were sailing along the coast of the Sea of Japan when they encountered four North Korean torpedo and gunboats that had just finished escorting a flotilla of ten ammunition ships up the coast; the North Korean torpedo boats began an attack on the allied ships. Before their torpedoes could be fired however, they were met with a salvo of gunfire from the United Nations ships which destroyed three of the torpedo boats; the surviving North Korean craft fled. In July, Juneau encountered the same ammunition ships and destroyed them. Naval Battles of the Korean War. Archived 2 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
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
Battle of the Bowling Alley
In the Battle of the Bowling Alley, United Nations forces defeated North Korean forces early in the Korean War near the city of Taegu, South Korea. The battle took place in a narrow valley, dubbed the "Bowling Alley", north of Taegu, it followed a week of fighting between the Korean People's Army 13th Division and the Republic of Korea Army's 1st Division along the latter's last defensible line in the hills north of the city. Reinforcements, including the US Army's 27th and 23rd Infantry Regiments were committed to bolster the South Koreans' defenses; this battle and several others were smaller engagements of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter. For another week, North Korean divisions launched all the troops they had in massed attacks against the ROK and US lines, their attacks, which occurred at night and were supported by armor and artillery, advanced with infantry and tanks in close support of one another. Each North Korean attack ran into well-established UN lines, where US tanks and entrenched infantry were positioned to counter them.
Strikes by US aircraft ravaged the attacking North Koreans. The fighting was fierce with many casualties on both sides where the North and South Koreans fought one another; the repeated attacks broke and pushed back the North Korean forces. They continued their push against the Pusan Perimeter until they were outflanked in the Battle of Inchon. Following the invasion of the South Korea by North Korea on June 25, 1950, the UN voted to use force to defend South Korea; the United States, a member of the UN committed ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goal of pushing back the North Korean invasion and preventing South Korea from collapsing. But US forces in the Far East had been decreasing since the end of World War II, five years earlier, at the time the closest force was the 24th Infantry Division, headquartered in Japan; the division was understrength, most of its equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending. The 24th was ordered to South Korea; the 24th Infantry Division was the first US unit sent into Korea with the mission to take the initial "shock" of North Korean advances, delaying much larger North Korean units to buy time to allow reinforcements to arrive.
The division fought for several weeks while the 1st Cavalry, 7th Infantry and 25th Infantry Divisions and Eighth United States Army supporting units were arriving. Advance elements of the 24th were badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on July 5, the first encounter between American and North Korean forces. For the first month after the defeat at Osan, the 24th Infantry Division was defeated and forced south by superior North Korean numbers and equipment; the regiments of the division were systematically pushed south in engagements around Chochiwon and Pyongtaek. The 24th was annihilated in the Battle of Taejon, but was able to delay the North Korean forces until July 20. By that time, the Eighth Army's force of combat troops were equal to North Korean forces attacking the region, with new UN units arriving every day. After the fight at Taejon, UN forces were pushed back before halting the North Korean advance in a series of engagements in the southern section of the country. Forces of the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry, newly arrived in the country, were wiped out at Hadong in a coordinated ambush by North Korean forces on July 27, opening a pass to the Pusan area from the west.
Soon after, North Korean forces took Chinju, east of Hadong, pushing back the US 19th Infantry Regiment and leaving routes to Pusan open to direct North Korean attacks. The UN formations were subsequently able to defeat the North Koreans in the Battle of the Notch on August 2, halting their advance from the west. Suffering mounting losses, the KPA force withdrew for several days to re-equip and receive reinforcements; this granted both sides a reprieve to prepare for the attack on the Pusan Perimeter. Meanwhile, the Eighth Army commander Lieutenant General Walton Walker had established Taegu as his headquarters. At the center of the Pusan Perimeter line, Taegu stood at the entrance to the Naktong River valley, an area where North Korean forces could advance in large numbers in close support; the natural barriers provided by the Naktong River to the south and the mountainous terrain to the north converged around Taegu, a transportation hub and the last major South Korean city aside from Pusan itself to remain in UN hands.
From south to north, the city was defended by the US 1st Cavalry Division, the ROK 1st Division and the 6th Division, which were under the command of ROK II Corps. The 1st Cavalry Division was spread out along a long line on the Naktong River to the south, with its 5th Cavalry and 8th Cavalry regiments holding a 24,000-meter line along the river south of Waegwan, facing west; the 7th Cavalry held position to the east in reserve, along with artillery forces, ready to reinforce anywhere a North Korean crossing could be attempted. The ROK 1st Division held a northwest-facing line in the mountains north of the city while the ROK 6th Division held position to the east, guarding the narrow valley holding the Kunwi road into the Pusan Perimeter area. Five North Korean divisions amassed around Taegu to oppose the UN forces in the city. From south to north, the 10th, 3rd, 15th, 13th, 1st North Korean Divisions occupied a wide line encircling Taegu from Tuksong-dong and around Waegwan to Kunwi; the North Korean army planned to use the natural corridor of the Naktong River valley from Sangju to Taegu as its main axis of attack for the next push south, so the KPA divisions all moved through this valley, crossing the Naktong at different areas along the low ground.
Air Battle of South Korea
The Air Battle of South Korea was an air campaign early in the Korean War occurring from June 25 to July 20, 1950, over South Korea between the air forces of North Korea and the United Nations, including the countries of South Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom. The month-long fight for air supremacy over the country saw several small engagements over airfields in Seoul and Taejon and ended in victory for the UN air force, able to destroy the small North Korean People's Air Force. Main Article: Initial Phase of Korean WarOn the morning of June 25, 1950, ten divisions of the North Korean People's Army launched a full-scale invasion of the nation's neighbor to the south, the Republic of Korea; the force of 89,000 men moved in six columns, catching the Republic of Korea Army by surprise, resulting in a rout. The smaller South Korean army suffered from widespread lack of organization and equipment, was unprepared for war; the numerically superior North Korean forces destroyed isolated resistance from the 38,000 South Korean soldiers on the front before it began moving south.
To prevent South Korea's collapse the United Nations Security Council voted to send military forces. The United States' Seventh Fleet dispatched Task Force 77, led by the fleet carrier USS Valley Forge. By June 27, the naval and air forces moving to Korea had authorization to attack North Korean targets with the goal of helping repel the North Korean invasion of the country. With the US forces accepting the North Korean attack as an act of war, it became imperative to evacuate civilians and American diplomats from Korea, as the forces of the north and south were battling across the peninsula. On June 27 the South Koreans were losing the First Battle of Seoul. Most of South Korea's forces retreated in the face of the invasion; the North Koreans would capture the city the next day forcing the South Korean government and its shattered army to retreat further south. In the meantime, US naval and air forces were evacuating US diplomats, military dependents, civilians by ship and air transport, hoping to get American civilians out of the country "by any means."
Civilians were being gathered at Suwon Airfield and Kimpo Airfield near Seoul, before moving to Inchon and out of the country. These airlifts and convoys were being escorted by aircraft from the United States, operating its aircraft from bases in Japan; the United States Air Force had 1,172 aircraft in the Pacific region at the time of the outbreak of the Korean War, including hundreds of F-80 Shooting Stars as well as numerous F-82 Twin Mustangs, B-26 Invaders, B-29 Superfortresses, among others. Hundreds of aircraft were available to be mustered against the North Korean invasion, many of them the newest jet engine-powered fighter aircraft; the aircraft could fulfill a variety of missions and were well equipped, well armed and out of reach of North Korean attack, with many bases safely in Japan. Additionally, the Fleet Air Arm of the United Kingdom, the Royal Australian Air Force of Australia provided assistance as 800 Naval Air Squadron, 802 Naval Air Squadron, No. 77 Squadron RAAF were dispatched to provide additional support for ground operations.
The combined airpower had about 33,975 personnel. The North Korean People's Air Force consisted of only 132 aircraft and 2,000 personnel, of whom only 80 were pilots and most poorly trained; the two Koreas had small air forces of their own, with the North Koreans' 132 aircraft organized into the KPAF 1st Air Division. At the early phase in the war, these aircraft were used boldly to the North Koreans' advantage. Aware of their air superiority over the Republic of Korea Air Force and not expecting UN intervention, they anticipated light resistance in the air. In all, the KPAF had 2,000 personnel. At the June 25 outbreak of the war, the US aircraft in Japan began moving to the closest bases to the Korean Peninsula, Itazuke Air Base and Ashiya Air Base. MacArthur ordered. North Korean aircraft first met US aircraft in combat during the Battle of Suwon Airfield, in which seven of the 13 North Korean aircraft were destroyed; the North Korean Lavochkin La-7 and Ilyushin Il-10 aircraft were outmatched by the superior North American F-82 Twin Mustang and F-80C Shooting Star aircraft, which had better-trained pilots.
The planes of the 8th Fighter Wing, which were attempting to defend Suwon to allow evacuation of UN civilians encountered repeated harassing attacks from North Korean aircraft operating out of Heijo Airfield in Pyongyang. Heijo was the KPAF's main base, but in the first few days in the war the US aircraft only had authorization to defend themselves if attacked, they could not conduct offensive operations into North Korea. During the day on June 29, the KPAF returned to attack Suwon, six sorties of North Korean aircraft strafed the airfield during the morning, but each time were driven off by American F-80s, in the course of these attacks Lieutenant William T. Norris and Lieutenant Roy W. Marsh each shot down a North Korean aircraft; the North Koreans were able to destroy a single C-54 Skymaster parked at the airfield. The sorties culminated in a battle above Suwon in the midst of a conference of US military leaders in the town. Leaders including Lieutenant General George E. Stratemeyer and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur witnessed the final sortie of the day, in which four North Korean aircraft attacked four P-51 Mustang aircraft over the town.
The four P-51s succeeded in shooting down all four of the North Korean aircraft, with Lieutenant Orrin R. Fox scoring two kills and Lieutenants Richard J. Burns, Ha
Second Battle of Seoul
The Second Battle of Seoul was a battle that resulted in United Nations forces recapturing Seoul from the North Koreans in late September 1950. Before the battle, North Korea had just one understrength division in the city, with the majority of its forces south of the capital. MacArthur oversaw the 1st Marine Regiment as it fought through North Korean positions on the road to Seoul. Control of Operation Chromite was given to Major General Edward Almond, the X Corps commander. General Almond was in an enormous hurry to capture Seoul by September 25 three months after the North Korean assault across the 38th parallel; the advance on Seoul was bloody after the landings at Inchon. The reason was the appearance in the Seoul area of two first-class fighting units of the Korean People's Army, the 78th Independent Infantry Regiment and 25th Infantry Brigade, about 7,000 troops in all; the KPA launched a T-34 attack, trapped and destroyed, a Yak bombing run in Incheon harbor, which did little damage. The KPA attempted to stall the UN offensive to allow time to reinforce Seoul and withdraw troops from the south.
Though warned that the process of taking Seoul would allow remaining KPA forces in the south to escape, MacArthur felt that he was bound to honor promises given to the South Korean government to retake the capital as soon as possible. On the second day, vessels carrying the U. S. Army's 7th Infantry Division arrived in Incheon Harbor. General Almond was eager to get the division into position to block a possible enemy movement from the south of Seoul. On the morning of September 18, the division's 2nd Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment landed at Incheon and the remainder of the regiment went ashore in the day; the next morning, the 2nd Battalion moved up to relieve a U. S. Marine battalion occupying positions on the right flank south of Seoul. Meanwhile, the 7th Division's 31st Infantry Regiment came ashore at Incheon. Responsibility for the zone south of Seoul highway passed to the 7th Division at 18:00 on September 19; the 7th Infantry Division engaged in heavy fighting with KPA forces on the outskirts of Seoul.
The Marines entered Seoul shortly after 7:00am on September 25 to find it fortified. Buildings were defended by machine guns and snipers, on Ma Po Boulevard, the main road through the city, the KPA had established a series of 8-foot-high barricades of burlap bags filled with either sand or rice. Located about 200-300 yards apart, each major intersection of the city featured such a barricade, the approaches to which were laced with mines, which were defended by a 45mm anti-tank gun and machine guns; each had to be eliminated one at a time, it took the Marines, on average, 45–60 minutes to clear each position. Casualties mounted. Edwin H. Simmons, a Major in 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, likened the experience of his company's advance up the boulevard to "attacking up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capital in Washington, D. C." He described the street as "once a busy, pleasant avenue lined with sycamores, groceries and tea shops." Anxious to pronounce the conquest of Seoul on MacArthur's insistence by the third-month anniversary of the war, Almond declared the city liberated on September 25, although Marines were still engaged in house-to-house combat.
Effective resistance would cease by September 27. After the battle, South Korean police executed citizens and their families who were suspected as communist sympathizers in what is known as the Goyang Geumjeong Cave and Namyangju massacres. Eugene A. Obregon, US Marine posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for shielding a fellow Marine during the battle First Battle of Seoul Third Battle of Seoul Operation Ripper Halberstam, David; the Coldest WInter – America and the Korean War. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 978-1-4013-0052-4. Hoyt, Edwin P. On To The Yalu, ISBN 0-8128-2977-8
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti