These reenactment photos show how brutal the pivotal battle of the Korean War was

The Korean War, also known as the Forgotten War, began on June 25, 1950, when the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), with 75,000 soldiers, invaded the Republic of Korea (ROK) by crossing the 38th Parallel latitude line that separated the two countries.

As ROK forces struggled to repel the Chinese- and Russian-backed invaders, a US-led UN coalition decided to intervene and assist the nascent South. After three years and an estimated 5 million casualties later, the two nations eventually signed an armistice agreement that separates them to this day.

In honor of the 66th anniversary of the Korean War, South Korean and US soldiers held a reenactment of a crucial fight that helped turn the tide for South Korea.

Here are a few pictures of reenactment of the Nakdong River Battle:


South Korean and US Army soldiers reenact the Nakdong River Battle to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Korean War, on September 22, 2016, in Waegwan, South Korea.

source
Ahn Young-joon/AP

Prior to the battle, ROK and UN forces were pushed to the southeastern tip of Korea, also known as the “Pusan perimeter.” Here, South Korean soldiers donning North Korean uniforms charge with the North Korean flag.

source
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Source: US Army


With orders to defend the Nakdong River, this battle would eventually be known as the “pivot” point in the Korean War. In this picture, UN troop reenactors in green and DPRK soldiers wage battle.

source
Ahn Young-joon/AP

Source: US Army


In order to prevent DPRK forces from moving forward to their farthest advancement to date, the railway bridge was destroyed.

source
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Source: US Army


The Nakdong River was crucial in that it created a natural border that prevented DPRK forces from advancing towards the city of Deagu.

source
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Source: US Army


It was also considered to be the last line of defense for the coalition forces that were previously in retreat.

source
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Source: Britannica


On August 17, 1950, at a nearby hill, 41 US prisoners of war were led to a ravine and shot with their hands tied behind their back as the North Koreans retreated.

source
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Source: US Senate Committee on Government Operations


“Either protect the Nakdong line or die trying …” was reportedly said by the commanding general of the US Eighth Army, Gen. Walton Walker.

source
Ahn Young-joon/AP

Source: US Army


In previous years, the event was held before an audience of over 1,500 Korean War veterans and 20,000 service members and civilians.

source
Ahn Young-joon/AP

Source: US Army


The Korean War was also the first war between jet aircraft. Here, South Korean aircraft participate in the reenactment event.

source
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Source: CNN


As of June 2016, more than 7,800 US soldiers are still unaccounted for.

source
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Source: CNN


“If the best minds in the world had set out to find us the worst possible location in the world to fight this damnable war … the unanimous choice would have been Korea,” said former Secretary of State Dean Acheson.

source
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Source: US Department of Defense


But amid the seriousness of the reenactment, fun was still had. During the event, South Korean special-warfare-command soldiers participated by putting on a show.

source
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images