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China's Foot Infantry meets the Marines

CCF Prisoners of 7th Marines

November 2, 1950, CCF Prisoners of Seventh Marine Regiment

The only defeat suffered by the CCF in their 1st Phase assault came at the hands of the Seventh Marines, in Sudong Gorge on the east coast above Wonsan. From November 2-7 the Marines relieved the retreating ROK 26th Regiment, met and destroyed the CCF 124th Division in savage close-up combat. The 1st Marine Air Wing had inflicted terrible casualties on the 124th Division, but CCF prisoners said Marine mortars and supporting artillery inflicted even more. In the final analysis, the Marine infantry, fighting man to man, determined the outcome.

These prisoners were taken on November 2, and look to be tough fighting men. That was certainly the case with the 124th in general. The Marines were just tougher.

As a direct consequence of this lone defeat, the CCF determined during their evaluation after the 1st Phase assault to target the entire 1st Marine Division when they resumed their attacks. This led to the savagery of the Chosin Reservoir battles.

An engrossing account of the mortar actions is told by Mortar Platoon Leader Joe Owen in "Colder Than Hell", Naval Institute Press, 1996.

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