The ROKs had eight divisions, but only four deployed along the 38th parallel, and they only partially. Much worse, they had no air force, only 2.36 inch rocket launchers, no recoilless rifles, no heavy mortars, no medium artillery and no armor. The T34s, arguably the best tanks developed in WWII, advanced in a line-ahead formation. After scores of ROKs died under their treads, trying desperately to stop them with satchel charges and grenades, the tanks began moving through the survivors as though they were not there. At the same time, their infantry formations attacked in an inverted Y formation, sweeping around ROK opposition with the arms, encircling them, and finally crushing them.
The success of the Russian made T-34 Tank at the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 brought renewed enthusiasm for armor. As part of the Korean War build up of American forces, the 1st Armored Division was reactivated on 07 March, 1951 at Ft. Hood, TX.
Continuing its tradition of "firsts", Old Ironsides became one of the first divisions in the Army to integrate black soldiers throughout the ranks. It was also the only combat-ready armored division in the continental United States and the first to receive the M48 Patton Tank.
Training for nuclear war became a major theme in the mid-1950s. Accordingly, the 1st Armored Division participated in tests of the "Atomic Field Army" at Ft. Hood and in Operation SASGEBRUSH, the largest joint maneuver conducted since World War II. In February, 1956 the exercise was completed and the 1st Armored Division moved to its new home at Ft. Polk, Louisiana.
Toward the end of the 1950s, the Army's preoccupation with a nuclear battlefield waned. The Army experienced years of austere budgets. Reduced in size and moved back to Ft. Hood, the 1st Armored Division reverted to a training cadre for new inductees. The start of the 1960s, however, inaugurated a period of military renewal. Important changes in organization, doctrine, and equipment stemmed from the realization that the Army must be prepared to fight anytime, anywhere.
In 1962, the 1st Armored Division was brought back to full strength and reorganized. Brigades replaced Combat Commands, and the Division's aviation assets doubled. Intense training followed the reorganization. In October 1962 the 1st Armored Division was declared combat ready, just in time for the Cuban Missile Crisis. In response to the Soviet stationing of missiles in Cuba, "Old Ironsides" deployed from Ft. Hood, Texas to Ft. Stewart. The entire operation took just 18 days.
For the next six weeks, the 1st Armored Division conducted live-fire training and amphibious exercises on the Georgia and Florida coasts. One highlight was a visit from President John F. Kennedy on 26 November, 1962. Shortly thereafter, tensions eased and the 1st Armored Division returned to Ft. Hood.
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