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Chapter 1 | The Battle of Chosin | American Experience | PBS

On Thanksgiving Day 1950, American-led United Nations troops were on the march in North Korea. U.S. Marine and Air Force pilots distributed holiday meals. But soon after that peaceful celebration, American military leaders , including General Douglas MacArthur, were caught off guard by the entrance of the People’s Republic of China, led by Mao Zedong into the five-month-old Korean War.

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  1. AmericanExperiencePBS

    AmericanExperiencePBS

    5 개월 전

    Learn more about THE BATTLE OF CHOSIN, including where to watch the full film: www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/chosin/

  2. Luis Ramon

    Luis Ramon

    9 시간 전

    McArthur could've foreseen and prevented this tragic battle. Been so close or on the border with China its intervention was a matter of time since they felt threatened, the Commander was supposed to have at least 40.000 men facing the enemy in that area.

  3. James Y

    James Y

    9 일 전

    General George Patton was so right when he said, Russia is bigger enemy than Nazi Germany. Churchill and Patton want to invade Russia and win; sickly Roosevelt was sold to his Uncle Joe (Stalin), and Eisenhower was a coward and not smart enough to see Russia’s global domination plan.

  4. Shadow747

    Shadow747

    11 일 전

    Entire korea would be communist if it werent for americans..

  5. Robert Cole

    Robert Cole

    12 일 전

    It’s amazing that just a few years earlier, America fought with China and Russia against the Japanese and Germans. How time changes things. That’s why the USA is always prepared to strike its enemy, even if it’s some general in Iran.

  6. Hendrik Huisman

    Hendrik Huisman

    16 일 전

    Where is the rest of this documentary?

    • AmericanExperiencePBS

      AmericanExperiencePBS

      16 일 전

      You can find links to watch the documentary on our website: www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/chosin/

  7. weirdshibainu

    weirdshibainu

    17 일 전

    They should have never been stranded there. Pure hubris by the brass and politicians. Can't imagine how many the Chinese lost.

  8. wjfjr73

    wjfjr73

    19 일 전

    God bless those Marines soon it will be the year 2020 in a couple hours and we cannot defend our Southern border with Mexico shame on you America

  9. Maxime Chastain

    Maxime Chastain

    19 일 전

    American experience = American defeat

  10. John O

    John O

    21 일 전

    My uncle was there. An Army sniper. He manned a Quad-50 anti-aircraft gun he used to repel the human wave bugle charges.

  11. Norman McNeal

    Norman McNeal

    21 일 전

    Korea,as Viet Nam, were not declared war!? Only declared conflicts. A lesson in why politicians are held harmless by the citizens whom elected them. Is it politicians fault, or ours? The United Nations and NATO are not your friends. Public schools are not either! That’s why it cost taxpayers to be sheep Both peoples we went to help, were sold out by politicians.

  12. Charlie Copp

    Charlie Copp

    22 일 전

    MacAurthers arrogance and incompetence were the reason behind this unnecessary meat grinder. Same with Peleliu.

    • American Atlas

      American Atlas

      20 일 전

      @Charlie Copp Because Nimitz's (King's really) Formosa plan was logistically impossible. Of course his plan still would have put the Palau Islands on the map, so I can only assume Nimitz felt Peleliu necessary regardless of the overall Philippines vs Formosa objective.

    • Charlie Copp

      Charlie Copp

      20 일 전

      Then why did Roosevelt green light MacArthur's invasion strategy over Nimitiz's and see it through?

    • American Atlas

      American Atlas

      20 일 전

      @Charlie Copp Well, true they both wanted it, but Nimitz directly got word from Halsey not to invade. In the end it was his plan, his call, and his responsibility. So I wouldn't call it equal.

    • Charlie Copp

      Charlie Copp

      20 일 전

      Nimitz and MacArthur's overall strategies both included the invasion. They were equally at fault for that blunder.

    • American Atlas

      American Atlas

      20 일 전

      Peleliu was Nimitz's blunder. MacArthur only supported it.

  13. Carl Hicks Jr

    Carl Hicks Jr

    22 일 전

    Nobody ever holds Harry Truman and his sonofabitch Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson, accountable for the sorry state of American forces in June 1950. Not only did the Johnson cut the number of divisions in existence [which he was under orders by the POTUS to do, Americans wanted 'demobilization NOW' in 1945], but he savaged the Defense budget and funneled every dime of DoD spending he did get into the Air Force and rockets. There was literally *NO* money to train the troops on Occupation Duty around the world on how to be soldiers instead of half-assed policemen. Combat regiments deployed with only two battalions, instead of the three the TO&E called for. Tank crews went to Korea who had not fired a round of main gun ammunition since Basic Training, and THAT was cut in half from the 1943 level of expenditure. Troops were hurriedly shipped to Pusan with their rifles un-zeroed and their support weapons still in Cosmoline! And it was an utter disaster. An entire infantry division [the 24th] was destroyed in detail, to such an extent that it's commanding general was taken prisoner and taken to Beijing, and the Pusan Perimeter came within a razor's edge of turning into an Asian Dunkerque. Now, giving Harry Truman the credit due, he took complete responsibility for the poor state of his command as Commander in Chief and immediately started making changes that made measurable positive differences. Unfortunately, those changes included calling up every officer and most senior NCO's in the Inactive Reserve and feeding them into the grinder. Almost all of these men had seen combat service in War Two, and it was damned unfair of the POTUS to reactivate with little or no warning all these men who'd done their duty already. But the only way to tell if an officer can lead in combat is to put them in combat and see if they break. Truman stated that if he had to send these half-trained draftees into battle, he was damned sure going to give them the best officers and NCOs he could. Let me also say that none of this should be seen as belittling the heroic defense put up by the Republic of Korea. With no heavy weapons, few fully trained officers, only semi-competent advisers in the USKMAG, poor weaponry and less ammunition, South Korean troops made miracles happen. But you can't hold the tide back with a bucket and you can't kill a T-34 with an M-1 Garand or worse, an Arisaka Type 99.

  14. PRonda Music

    PRonda Music

    22 일 전

    Bodies stacked like cord wood

  15. PRonda Music

    PRonda Music

    22 일 전

    Messed up a generation and the thousand yard stare

    • Carl Hicks Jr

      Carl Hicks Jr

      21 일 전

      I live in a cluster of major US military installations, and damned if I don't see that look at least a couple times a week from men much younger than me. Breaks my heart every time.

  16. trackrunner11

    trackrunner11

    23 일 전

    This is what I think of when I stand up and salute the American Flag! I,as an Army Veteren during the 80's ,never experienced war(thank God),but I will never ,ever forget you! God bless you all!

  17. Mark Anthony Valdez

    Mark Anthony Valdez

    23 일 전

    Regardless of what idealogies we fought for, war is such a terrible waste of energy and when finally there is cessation of hostilities each party realized they killed someone else's loved one who could have been a friend a neighbor a teacher in different times. Pray for all who valiantly faced the horrors of such things and that future generation would think of a better way to used excess energies. 💂💟👯

  18. Texasforever

    Texasforever

    23 일 전

    FDR was the USSR's little bitch and brought communism to the United States

  19. Texasforever

    Texasforever

    23 일 전

    Get rid of the UN

  20. Chris

    Chris

    24 일 전

    My dad just passed away on Dec 25, 2019 he was a Marine and never talked about his time served. He told me a few stories about how he saved a guys life and that guy called him 25yrs later and thanked him over the phone. I remember during a blizzard he called me and my friends sniffling after a sledding trip to the hill behind our house "the frozen chosen" he would say that many times over the years and I never knew what it meant, that is until today. We've been on the phone talking with the VA's office and we've chosen to bury him at Arlington National Cemetery they say he will have "Korea" marked on his tombstone for his service. RIP Dad

    • Mr Choo

      Mr Choo

      21 일 전

      Now you know how much of a real badass your dad was... & cause she was married to him, prob your mom too. Raised by Real Superheroes, not a sports star or tv celebrity or rap artist.

    • Carl Hicks Jr

      Carl Hicks Jr

      22 일 전

      Please allow an old cavalry corporal to offer his respects to your father and his condolences to the family [including you] I lost my mom a few years ago, so I know what you're feeling right now. Let me offer you a prayer taught to me by my Episcopalian rector: "May He who rules in Heaven keep you in the palm of His hand. May the pain of your grief be mercifully short and the joy of your memories be blessedly long."

    • scott grasher

      scott grasher

      22 일 전

      @Chris Love that story. He sounds like an outstanding father & true Marine. The one thing about a Marine is the pride. Earning that title is not easy. When I leave this world I want to be in my dress blues.

    • Chris

      Chris

      22 일 전

      scott grasher I just got done talking to a life long friend of the family. I was telling her about how cool my dad was. When I was 12-13yrs old this old lady ran over my brand new skateboard with her Lincoln towncar while I was visiting a friend down the street. She didn't stop and when I knocked on her door crying (because I had begged and begged my mom for that skateboard) she told me I should have been skateboarding in the grass and slammed the door in my face. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was preparing for an epic battle he would lay out all his gear, my dad came into my room and found me preparing with full camo, face paint, flashlight, military trip wire, paint, a knife. He asked me "what the he'll are you doing!?" I told him what happened, he got pissed off and helped me plan my attack. He drove me there and I snuck over to her house and vandalized her car, snuck back down the street and my dad drove me back home. Mission: Successful

    • scott grasher

      scott grasher

      22 일 전

      I salute your father. He is now guarding the streets of heaven. Semper Fi.

  21. Dustin Cordell

    Dustin Cordell

    24 일 전

    RIP Pfc James Milton Cordell April 11 1995 45th inf division

  22. speshul

    speshul

    25 일 전

    My uncle was looking over into china. I saw video of it. The bulges blew as the Chinese came over the frozen yalu river. His group fired, use Chinese bodies for cover. He was shot, but it was so cold , his blood froze and saved his life

  23. Thế anh Hoàng

    Thế anh Hoàng

    26 일 전

    Thanks to America, Korea will never be united

    • chaosXpert

      chaosXpert

      21 일 전

      @Thế anh Hoàng China also lost in Vietnam

    • Thế anh Hoàng

      Thế anh Hoàng

      21 일 전

      @chaosXpert America is a giant made of cotton, they lost in Vietnam. So what beliefs can they stop China?

    • chaosXpert

      chaosXpert

      22 일 전

      The US is afraid of China? Yet China won't reunite Taiwan or slaughter protestors in Hong Kong because China fears the USA

    • chaosXpert

      chaosXpert

      22 일 전

      Thank Russia

    • Brian Byrnes

      Brian Byrnes

      25 일 전

      Thế anh Hoàng Haha we’ll see about that soon

  24. Laura Torres

    Laura Torres

    26 일 전

    My grandfather served in this battle, he lived with problems with his feet the rest of his life due to ice crystals forming in his feet during this battle. As I got older and I started working on my history degree in undergrad he started to share his stories from his time in Korea. He was a tough old man, it’s what kept him alive.

  25. Clyde Cessna

    Clyde Cessna

    27 일 전

    Remember that the Royal Marines fought and died at Chosin also.

    • Shawn Malone

      Shawn Malone

      26 일 전

      Task Force Drysdale!

  26. Dan Man

    Dan Man

    28 일 전

    They lived to tell the tale because the Chinese let them escape onto the boats.

  27. Dio Black

    Dio Black

    28 일 전

    Another war lost by politicians. Our gov refused to resupply and reinforce our troops and allies at a time we would of taken all of Korea and probably parts of China. President Truman failed greatly while the troops triumphed in disaster.

    • Dan Man

      Dan Man

      28 일 전

      They were never going to take an inch of China. You're fucking dreaming if you think they could.

  28. me

    me

    29 일 전

    The marines get the glory, as usual, but it was the US Army 31st and 32nd Infantry, abandoned and cut off by over 50k Chinese, that fought until they were literally out of ammunition, who suffered over 95% casualties. There is a documentary called Task Force faith that tells their tale. It is incomprehensible what these men went through. Truly shocking.

    • Aaron Blackstone

      Aaron Blackstone

      13 일 전

      The Army used to be badass back in WW2 and Korea. In today’s world, not so much. Usually, you always hear about the Marines getting the glory while the Army sits in the shadows. I served 11 years as an active duty Marine. The only “sharp” soldiers I ever saw were either Special Forces or Ranger (even though I never saw a Ranger). All other soldiers just seemed a little retarded. I’m not saying all regular Army soldiers are like that, it just seems like Army standards have taken a nose dive.

  29. michaelfitz56

    michaelfitz56

    29 일 전

    China had men without air support , tanks, half the equipment the UN forces , yet they Beat the UN forces to where there are now.

    • Lu77Xiaojun

      Lu77Xiaojun

      26 일 전

      UN forces men without chop sticks, panda bears, less than half the rice the Chinese forces, yet they stopped the entire Chinese forces to "where there are now".

  30. J C

    J C

    29 일 전

    May God continue to Bless America and it’s brave soldiers an Marines.

  31. Charles Surber

    Charles Surber

    개월 전

    Why is there a age restriction Kids need to learn this stuff

  32. Mr Choo

    Mr Choo

    개월 전

    My Dad, serving with the Corps, lost 3 toes off his left foot @ Chosin. He never discussed it, not once. At his funeral services, my high school English teacher, Mr. Lamarr appeared. Mr. Lamarr always wore old baggy suits with socks and sandals. He was a grumpy old guy who always seemed to be in a bad mood. During the services, he came over, introduced himself & was delighted to hear that I'd joined the Corps upon leaving high school. I felt horrible about the way my buddies and I had always given him a hard time! When taps were being played, he had his nurse help him to his feet & saluted the flag. The reason he had worn sandals was because he too had sustained serious injuries to his left foot. He told me that he was a "Butter Bar" serving under "Chesty". Thank you to all survivng members of the Chosin Few.

  33. mike force

    mike force

    개월 전

    great footage, awful narration. it was no shock the chi-coms entered korea. macarthur warned of it, and, having CRUSHED the nks in a brilliant counter attack, asked that he be allowed to pursue them into china, and kill off the skumbag commie regime before it became a real threat. communists in the us govt attacked macarthur instead, and he was removed from command. mccarthy was right, just overzealous. demoncraps today are OPENLY anti-American and communist. the avg repuklitard today is left of democrats in the 50's/60's. those uneducated in history are bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over.

    • mike force

      mike force

      29 일 전

      @Mike Carone he was a wise man...

    • Mike Carone

      Mike Carone

      개월 전

      Funny my Grandfather said the same he would always say the Gulf War

  34. Francis Rodgers

    Francis Rodgers

    개월 전

    I think you will that 41 Commando Royal Marines was there as well.

  35. Meschach Horne

    Meschach Horne

    개월 전

    Rest In Peace to my grandfather 1st Seargant Bobby Joe Horne. 11th Airborne division, Korea 1950-1951.

  36. Rogue infidel

    Rogue infidel

    개월 전

    To bad we didn't have Patton at this time. He knew communism was the biggest threat to the world after the Nazis.

  37. Mike Myers

    Mike Myers

    개월 전

    My father was there in marine fox company . he never did talk about it . but he was a heavy drinker an drinked till the day he died . i asked him one time when i was i think 13 years old about what he did in the marines in korea he looked at me an said it was none of my business .

  38. JohnGalt009

    JohnGalt009

    개월 전

    INtell missed 100,000 CHINESE jumping across the Yalu. It wasn’t just the Russkies. Chinese besting US ever since, Vietnam, Africa, economy, manufacturing, etc. just wondering if cheap goods from Walmart or Amazon was worth it. I say no.

    • JohnGalt009

      JohnGalt009

      22 일 전

      chaosXpert 🤖

    • chaosXpert

      chaosXpert

      22 일 전

      @JohnGalt009 Reread what you wrote. Makes no sense

    • JohnGalt009

      JohnGalt009

      22 일 전

      chaosXpert yes if does. It truncated a letter, that’s all.

    • chaosXpert

      chaosXpert

      22 일 전

      Nothing you wrote makes sense

  39. Ed McCaffrey

    Ed McCaffrey

    개월 전

    Having served in South Korea, the story of the "chosin few" is legendary. Mad respect for these men.

  40. James Shedd

    James Shedd

    개월 전

    The second China sent all those troops into Korea we should have nuked them into the stone age

    • David James

      David James

      27 일 전

      We were trying to unify NK not make it glow in the dark! Anyway MacArthur agreed with you but I I do not.

    • Dan Man

      Dan Man

      28 일 전

      That's just because you're a psychopathic white supremacist.

  41. Hereward the Wake

    Hereward the Wake

    개월 전

    Tell us all yanks, what major conflict have you ever won on your own? Allow me...........NOT FUCKING ONE!

  42. Hereward the Wake

    Hereward the Wake

    개월 전

    That would be where a whole US marine division RAN AWAY and just 500 ROYAL MARINES covered their cowardice, that battle???

  43. John Recaptcha

    John Recaptcha

    개월 전

    to the guys who were there and especially the ones who parishes there. I could never repay you, but I thank you, I'll always remember you and may god bless you and your friends.

  44. Pursuit Happitarian

    Pursuit Happitarian

    개월 전

    Mac Arthur started this war by going into N. Korea against orders.

  45. John Recaptcha

    John Recaptcha

    개월 전

    About 10 years back I crossed paths with a Korean war vet who fought in this battle. I was in a small town on leave with my family, I had my cadet uniform on and this car pulled up that had plates that read "Gung Ho"...out step this elderly man and his wife ( they were on their way to a restaurant) but they saw me, stopped and read out loud my last name as it was tagged on my uniform. They asked if I was from the academy that was in the area. I said yes. He asked which branch are you going into, I said Marines. He pointed to his chest and said "1st Marine Division, Korea 1950". I knew exactly what that meant. We embraced and I hugged this man as if he were my big brother. I'm glad he survived because he was a very very colorful guy. Just a real pleasure to talk to. I wish him and his wife well. Truth be told, the debt we owe him and his friends is boundless, can never be repaid. Especially the ones who lost their lives and limbs. Just cherish, appreciate, and remember them.

    • Mr Choo

      Mr Choo

      개월 전

      Thank you for sharing that memory.

  46. wafflehead dude

    wafflehead dude

    개월 전

    WOW! THAT'S MY FATHER AT THE END OF THIS PART. HIS BROTHER WAS THERE ALSO.

  47. John Burr

    John Burr

    개월 전

    Thank you for your service and sacrifice. I live in South Korea which has freedom and no more poverty. Communism is like pest, it kills people and make people unhappy. North Koreans including people who live in Chosin suffer from tyranny. They are not free, they could be executed only because of possess bible or watching American movie. God bless America and save poor North Koreans.

  48. kokomo kid

    kokomo kid

    개월 전

    "GARRY 💜 OWEN"

  49. JD

    JD

    개월 전

    Look at a satellite image og the Korean Peninsula at night. The North is in the dark while the South is illuminated with life That's called FREEDOM!!! My father, Edward J. was there with the 1st Marine Div. 7th Battalion . I miss him so much

  50. Dan Faudie

    Dan Faudie

    개월 전

    MacArthur killed more than Americans needlessly than any other general in American history

    • Cody Jackets

      Cody Jackets

      20 일 전

      wow Boomers really hate MacArthur.

    • JohnGalt009

      JohnGalt009

      개월 전

      Kevin Morin Agreed with you 100%, right up until you said “Democrats”. That part doesn’t make a scintilla of difference in the overall. MacArthur always enjoyed great press; his wife carried on his infallible legacy. His total Fubar at Chosin (overextending, no supplies, ignoring intell, etc), led to evac at Hungham, and Ship of Miracles, etc. We’re it not for one US commander ignoring orders at a key crossroads at that Chosin route split (Smith? Can’t recall- think he also put in an airfield there), we would’ve been wiped out @ Chosin to the last man. I know “DD” certainly enjoyed his stay in MNL @ their premier hotel; same place/room figured ignominiously with that recent USN purchasing scandal w that guy “Fat something”. In retrospect, China’s been beating us ever since.

    • Herbie Schwartz

      Herbie Schwartz

      개월 전

      Dugout Doug!

    • Kevin Morin

      Kevin Morin

      개월 전

      "Dugout-Doug" was his name and his ego was an American killer! From lining up planes in Manila to be bombed, to his 'return' to the Island's a few years later- Doug was a man about himself! 'Course, Truman's cowardice in failing to use the 29's past the Yalu River is equal- proving we can't every trust democrats' in command.

  51. Keith Roberts

    Keith Roberts

    개월 전

    Didn’t the politicians call this a police action?

    • timmycrw91

      timmycrw91

      21 일 전

      My father fought in Korea in the Army Corps of Engineers. He never talked about the war, but did say that it was them (the Army Corps of Engineers), NOT the Marines, who went in first, LOL. If you referred to Korea as the "Korean War", my father would jump down your throat, "It wasn't a war, it was a "police action" !! My youngest brother asked my father once where his uniform was. My father's reply? "That was the first thing I gave back!" He was very angry about how the war went, and probably because he was just too young for WWII and expected the US to just smash any enemy, which didn't happen. On a lighter side, that same brother of mine asked my dad at another time if he ever went on a cruise. Smiling, my dad said, "Yeah. One-way, to Korea!" LOL, I laughed at that ! He died in 1981, and I went to live with my grandmother, his mom. Some years after living with her, she told me and my 2 brothers that my dad was a Purple Heart recipient. Know what lie he told her about that? That the whole unit got one because so many of them got wounded, LOL. I still don't know where he served in Korea, or what kind of wound he got......

    • Douglas MacArthur

      Douglas MacArthur

      개월 전

      Yes they did.

  52. Bob ap Bob

    Bob ap Bob

    개월 전

    MacArthur refused to believe his own intelligence. Happened again in 2003

    • Bob ap Bob

      Bob ap Bob

      개월 전

      @Shaon Thomas there were many different intelligence sources reporting of Chinese activity not just recon. MacArthur had made his mind up much like George W in 2002-3.

    • Bob ap Bob

      Bob ap Bob

      개월 전

      @Shaon Thomas It was more than recon missions. It was national intelligence telling him that the Chinese were planning to attack. MacArthur convinced Truman that nothing was going to happen. Recon intel is only one part.

    • Shaon Thomas

      Shaon Thomas

      개월 전

      Bob AP Bob..that is crazy...what is the purpose of having recon missions if command doesn't believe what recon teams are reporting?

  53. Cat Myers

    Cat Myers

    개월 전

    South Koreans live in a free society to this day because of their sacrifice.

  54. Derro Farm

    Derro Farm

    개월 전

    Australians died there,God bless their sacrifice.

    • Derro Farm

      Derro Farm

      개월 전

      @Mike Berg yep you kiwis saved our bacon at long tan,we team up well bro,and yes I do believe K force was defending S korea with US and its allies

    • Mike Berg

      Mike Berg

      개월 전

      Derro Farm Long Tan we were artillery for the Aussies,I must look up NZ K force.

    • Derro Farm

      Derro Farm

      개월 전

      @Semper fidelis Semper Paratus Thanks, yeah the UN are a joke now more than ever.

    • Derro Farm

      Derro Farm

      개월 전

      @Semper fidelis Semper Paratus Hahahahahah fukn hilarious, dont you know 100 Aussies are better than all you skirts put together?

    • Derro Farm

      Derro Farm

      개월 전

      @Mike Berg Dont know about that,The Kiwis usually bat with us Aussies.

  55. Tommy Bender

    Tommy Bender

    개월 전

    Meat grinder. .I knew two men that were there. Chit they aged 20 years. . No kidding. .

  56. Helo Kitty

    Helo Kitty

    개월 전

    American's failure in north east asia is inevitable, that is as true as trump's re-election in 2020

    • JD

      JD

      개월 전

      North East Asia, huh? You're brilliant

  57. eogg25

    eogg25

    개월 전

    I was in High School when this was going on. I remember the Americans did not have proper winter clothing. Every day they showed the death toll in the newspaper. 50 thousand men in 4 years.

  58. Jordie Gundersen

    Jordie Gundersen

    개월 전

    I Regard people who don’t recognise and respect the incredible importance of the British and US military personnel and their sacrifices, as imbeciles.. We would not have freedom as we know it if it wasn for British audacity and the US efforts!! There are some EU countries that refuse to accept this fact. They are the countries that blunder and keep on blundering!!

  59. Mclovin 2018

    Mclovin 2018

    개월 전

    wheres chapter 2?

    • AmericanExperiencePBS

      AmericanExperiencePBS

      개월 전

      You can find where to watch the full documentary on our website: www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/chosin/

  60. Lance Rexington

    Lance Rexington

    개월 전

    Remember this battle the next time you buy Communist Chinese made crap.

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