STATIC WAR

The first year of the Korean War was a time of Ebb and Flow. North Korea, the United Nations, China, and again the United Nations and again China successively scored crushing victories and successively were dealt crushing setbacks. A reasonable overview of these phases can be gained from the Korean War Photo-History. With the UN finally well conditioned to fight the Infantry war which Korea had truly become, Eighth Army was ordered to halt significant attacks and dig in across the width of the Korean Peninsula. In this way began the static war which absorbed the Royal Australian Regiment for two full years, and in which I believe we did our part bloody well.

When the Commonwealth division area stabilized around the end of 1951, our area of responsibility ran from The Hook in the west along The Samichon valley, then turned through the Bowling Alley and up to and including hill 355.

The Division's total front line extended about 18000 yards, but the distance from the enemy differed widely in many places. The Hook saw our troops actually sharing the same feature as the Chinese, only some 300 yards apart. The Samichon region differed in places but at its widest the lines were as much as 2000 yards from each other. There were features such as hill 75 which sat in the valley and were occupied by the Chinese, there was no point in Comm div trying to take it as it was covered on two sides by the main Chinese features up close and connected by tunnels.

The eastern end of the valley turned pretty much sharp right and became the Bowling Alley, here the oponents were several hundred yards apart varying greatly in different areas.

The eastern end of the valley came to a halt at the bulk of 355 and its foothills, like a cork in a bottle. The total of this Comm div front covered the classic invasion route to the south along the Samichon Valley and what was known as The Uijongbu corridor.

This was the area manned by 3RAR and later 1 & 2 RARs when they arrived to bolster Australian strength. 3RAR would have been on almost every section from October 51 until July 53, and never lost a position to the enemy.


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