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B A T T L E F I E L D    K O R E A

On 15 February, in the freezing pre-dawn, the Chinese hurled several savage attacks against Hill 112 and at one stage overran the forward company. The men fought their way back to the two supporting companies and, after bitter hand-to-hand fighting, the Middlesex held the position. Later that morning, 3 RAR was to take up the advance with C Company on the right of the road and B Company on the left. To assist C Company, the Middlesex was to take Hill 121, which dominated the valley on the right about 1,400 metres forward of Hill 112. The Middlesex was unable to get to Hill 121 because of heavy mortar and machine-gun fire. No further effort was made to move forward on the right and C Company later moved to the left.

B Company secured its first objective unopposed but sighted the enemy in large numbers about a mile to the north and north-east on high ground to the left of the valley that included Hill 195 just south and overlooking Chuam-ni. A and B companies were ordered to capture that feature by attacking from the left. B Company was unable to move forward beyond the forming-up position because of machine-gun fire from higher ground further to the left (Hill 316). Air strikes, artillery and mortar fire failed to locate the various enemy positions and B Company was withdrawn.

Late in the afternoon, A Company commenced attacking the spur running south from Hill 195 and came under heavy fire from right, left and front. The fire from the right came from Hill 121 on the other side of the valley. By nightfall A Company had fought most of the way up the steep, icy slopes onto the enemy position, but heavy concentrations of fire pinned the Australians down and A Company was withdrawn under cover of darkness.

On the morning of 16 February, the resumption of the attack on Hill 195 was cancelled by brigade headquarters due to enemy troop concentrations a few miles to the east. When D Company's 12 Platoon moved onto the south spur of Hill 316, it again encountered enemy fire from well dug-in positions. During the night of 16/17 February, 12 Platoon remained on the spur. Throughout the day there was little activity and sporadic enemy mortar fire fell in the battalion area. Snow continued to fall. The night was quiet except for an enemy patrol that was quickly dispersed by B Company fire.

At dawn on 17 February, 12 Platoon advanced and secured Hill 316 which had been abandoned by the enemy. During the rest of the day the remaining high ground south of the Sanggyo-Don to Chuam-ni road was taken by A, B and C companies. The enemy had clearly abandoned his positions in a hurry as food and weapons had been left behind. On 18 February the Argylls and Middlesex occupied further high ground to the north-east and north-west. At the same time, in the region of Sogu-ri, Headquarters 3 RAR counted at least sixty bodies, twelve jeeps and three light tanks belonging to the ill-fated US reconnaissance force strewn along the road. On 19 February 3 RAR moved into brigade reserve in the Chuam-ni area. During the period 13-18 February, 3 RAR casualties had totalled four killed and sixteen wounded.


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