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North Korea’s Psychological Warfare

Heroes Remember

North Korea’s Psychological Warfare

Life in the trenches was a, it was a situation where you had a stand-to, stand-to method. You occupied your trench and you were prepared to do whatever you had to do if an attack occurred. And, that was why you were there. The enemy knew exactly where we were and they had the ability to shell us at will or whenever they chose, and they did. But they never shelled us to the point where, where they totally obliterated that whole system that we had set up. I often wondered why they didn't. They could have. It wasn't because they didn't have the wherewithal to do that. They could have. But they shelled us to the point that we were continually on edge and I think it's Oriental torture tricks that they were pulling on us. It sounds like the water drip system that they used. But it, they, yeah, we were always on edge. You had to be. At night you would... I remember the first week on, the second week on The Hook. It was the first position we occupied. This young fellow from Nova Scotia, he was having a bad time. He couldn't handle this situation at all and every noise that he heard was a Chinaman. There was Chinese in the wire. He could, and it was getting worse and pretty soon he was seeing them up in trees. There wasn't a tree big enough to hold a squirrel hardly around there let alone a Chinaman, but they're in there, he could see them. And this morning I went to our NCO and I told him, I said, this guy's going to break up. And we stood down, Alfred went to his bunker and we heard a shot and he'd shot himself in the foot so he went home, but he had totally collapsed, like he totally broke down. He was, he was crying and that's before he went to his bunker, and they shouldn't have, should never have let him go by himself but they did. And it wasn't that kid's fault. He tried. You know there was a time when he would've been shot instead of discharged so maybe we made some progress, I don't know. This trench situation, it's hard on the nerves, extremely. I would sooner, far sooner been out in the valley on a patrol than standing all night in the frigging slit trench... waiting and listening.

Mr. Ferguson describes North Korea’s efforts to unnerve Canadian entrenchments, and offers a vivid example of its success.

Luther Ferguson

Luther Ferguson was born in Mayview, Saskatchewan on October 23, 1933. He describes himself as being “unworldly, poorly educated and having low self-esteem.” Mr. Ferguson felt that the Army offered him the best opportunity to both further his education and improve his life. He enlisted in 1951, and soon found himself a combatant in the Korean War, where he served in the infantry. Mr. Ferguson’s accounts lean heavily on the psychological impacts of training and warfare, and the devastation experienced by the civilian population during the Korean conflict.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Luther Ferguson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
Hill 187
Royal Canadian Regiment

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