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China's 1st Phase Offensive

In a violent initial reconnaissance, about 30,000 veteran CCF foot infantry devastated our unprepared forces, destroying the ROK 7th and 15th Infantry, and hitting our 8th Cavalry Regiment almost as fiercely. Apparently our high command didn't learn much from this, but the CCF did.

CCF Strikes - 1st Campaign

October 25-November 5, 1950

The CCF entered the Korean War with a short, violent probing offensive. Although elements of three CCF Armies ... the 38th, 39th, and 40th, about 150,000 veterans of guerilla warfare ... were in place, apparently only about 30,000 CCF foot infantry were mainly deployed. These veteran troops, directed by skillful patrol actions and experienced planning, wreaked devastation among our unprepared and disorganized forces. They destroyed the ROK 7th and 15th Infantry Regiments and also inflicted about 800 casualties on our 8th Cavalry Regiment, capturing over half our equipment while smashing us back.

The CCF tactics were strange to us, they being extremely effective by night and by infiltration and highly effective roadblocks. Even their methods of communications, such as the whistles used in small-unit assault above, seemed eerie and helped demoralize many of our troops.

On November 5, the CCF broke off contact to evaluate the results of their attack and the capabilities of their enemies. This was musunderstood by the UN High Command, who were relying on China's intent by faulty CIA Intelligence. Still, they had ample information on the power and guile of the forces facing them in the field, and fatally underestimated both the strength and the intent of the CCF forces. After re-grouping, Eighth Army again formed on the Chongchon River to launch a general assault on November 25, risking possible world nuclear war in an assault to get our forces "home for Christmas."

In retrospect, this was an incredible, almost incomprehensible blunder.

But egomania doesn't belong exclusively to American leaders. Shortly, China was to make a similar and equally fatal blunder.

Such is war.

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

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