Before daylight on Sunday, June
25, 1950, Kim Il Sung, the North Korean Premier,
hurled eight veteran Infantry divisions South
across the 38th parallel.
Led by 120 Soviet T34 medium
tanks and extensive mobile artillery they quickly
crushed the valiant South Korean defenders, and
butchered their way down the peninsula until
stopped by United Nations forces at the Pusan
counter-attacked with our Marines at Inchon, far
behind North Korean lines, routed them, and our
Eighth Army struck back across the parallel
almost to the Yalu river and China.
But, in November 1950, China
entered the war with a veteran army, already
victorious in one of the most decisive battles in
history at Huai-Hai, in 1949 during their civil
war. Our armies were ambushed and again driven
deep back into South Korea.
Many of the United Nations fought
at our side, for example the British
Commonwealth, France and Turkey. Our Chinese
enemy was skillful, brave and resourceful. The
cruel murder of countless civilians and POWs will
forever dishonor North Korea, but overall both
sides fought well and courageously.
The battle-lines raged back and
forth, but by mid-1951 settled roughly along the
original Korean border, in about the same
positions the armies fought over for the next two
years until the Cease-Fire.
In winter of '52
President-Elect Eisenhower visited the front
lines near Chorwon, and then made it clear that
he was only interested in ending the war with an
honorable peace. At this time, about 700,000 CCF
and NK troops were in the line or in reserve,
facing about 350,000 UN infantry. The slaughter
went on until July 27, 1953, during which time
the CCF continually probed our lines to find
points of weakness, and attacked wherever they
thought they could improve their positions before
the truce. The Communists generally spent around
5 months digging large caves and underground
locations for their troops all along the line.
This protected them from UNC air and artillery,
as well as the weather. UNC generally relied on a
In between these main lines were
the Combat Outposts, where the majority of
fighting actually took place.
Most of IX Corps fighting took
place at White Horse, Triangle Hill and Jackson
Heights near the end of 1952, but fell off after
early November. In the Sniper Ridge slopes north
of Kumhwa the CCF continued to counter attack
when the ROKs took their outposts. This photo was
most likely taken by a ROK photographer at a
point when the ROKs had gained firm control of
the crest itself. Note how the gun ports are
protected by mounds of earth on either side, with
the snow and screening brush making them
virtually undetectable from the front. Of course,
all such forward slope positionw would have been
observed and marked long before any attack,
regardless of camouflage.