The Korean War broke out on the 25th June 1950 when communist North Korea invaded South Korea. It went on to be one of the bloodiest conflicts of the 20th century, with over 3 million dead. HMS Belfast was stationed in the Far East at that time, and was soon in action. In her two years of service in Korea, she saw more action than at any point during the Second World War, firing more than 8,000 rounds from her 6-inch guns.

The Korean War was primarily fought on land, so why did HMS Belfast see such intense action during this period? Why was the Navy so important during the war? And what made the so-called Forgotten War so brutal?

The hottest point of the Cold War


HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast

Explore London's iconic warship. 
HMS Belfast and Scharnhorst thumbnail
Second World War

Battle of North Cape: HMS Belfast and the sinking of the Scharnhorst

Scharnhorst was one of the most dangerous German warships of the Second World War, and the last of her kind. In late December 1943, she was sunk, after attempting to intercept two Arctic convoys. What happened at the Battle of North Cape?
Representatives of United Kingdom, Canadian, Australian and Belgian units of the British 29th Brigade stand at Parade Rest, during ceremonies in which the American Presidential Unit Citation was awarded to the Gloucestershire Regiment and the 170th Independent Mortar Battalion, Royal Artillery for a heroic and sacrificial stand against encircling Chinese, 23-25 April 1951.
Cold War

A Short History Of The Korean War

At the end of the Second World War, Korea – which had formerly been occupied by the Japanese – was divided along the 38th Parallel. This was an internal border between North and South Korea based on a circle of latitude.