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Operation Ripper

Operation Ripper was a step toward securing the safety of South Korea without completely destroying our enemies. General Ridgway felt that regaining the 38th parallel would be a "tremendous victory" for the Eighth Army, in that the Communist invasion would have been stopped - exactly the U.N.'s mandate. He emphasized, "we didn't set out to conquer China."

Operation Ripper

Operation Ripper: March 6-31, 1951

25th Infantry Division Tanks re-cross the Han, March 7, 1951

Operation Ripper


As in Killer, the primary objective of Operation Ripper was to destroy enemy forces and equipment and hamper his efforts to conduct a new offensive. Also, rather than make a direct assault across the Han to re-capture Seoul, Ripper was to outflank Seoul and the area north as far as the Imjin River. Then, Ridgway hoped to take Seoul by a flanking attack from the east or by sufficient threat to induce the enemy to withdraw.

In the event during Ripper, with 1st Cavalry Division providing cover, the 7th Marines took Hongchon which did indeed result in the CCF abandoning Seoul which was reoccupied by the ROK 1st Division, supported by the US 3rd Division, on March 15.

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Causes of the Korean Tragedy ... Failure of Leadership, Intelligence and Preparation

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