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Ridgway reformed Eighth Army after their ambush by Chinese Armies and disastrous retreat, and General Almond began a "a Reconnaissance in Force". Ridgway's G-2, Col. Robert G. Fergusson, attributed a lull in Chinese attacks after the retreat to their resupply, transportation, and reinforcement difficulties. Accordingly, Ridgway halted Almond's advance to better consolidate Eighth Army lines.

While consolidation was still in flux, China's XIII Army Group re-opened attack on 11 February toward Hoengsong. In their path lay the ROK 8th Division.


CCF XIII Army Group Attacks Hoengsong
Destroys ROK 8th Division, February 12, 1951

Battle For Hoengsong

Restoring The Balance

The overwhelming attack by four CCF Divisions and two NK Divisions against numerically inferior and widely spread forces of the ROK 8th and 3rd Divisions quickly broke down their resistance. This exposed the left flank of X Corps and permitted the communists to advance rapidly and cut off the MSR, blocking the only route of withdrawal for the tanks, artillery and motorised elements caught north and west of Hoengsong.

Equipment losses included 28 105mm howitzers, 6 155mm howitzers, 6 tanks, 1200 crew-served weapons and more.

The rapidly advancing Chinese troops were stopped by the 23rd Regimental Combat Team (23d Infantry, French battalion, 1st Ranger Company, 37th FAB, supported by the British 27th Brigade and Task Force Crombez) at Chipyong-ni.

After being stopped, the CCF did not immediately press their attack, and Eighth Army withdrew to strong defensive positions along the Wonju line where they completed consolidation. General Ridgeway called this sequence of violence, setback, resolute defense and regrouping the turning point of the war.

Hoengsond Casualty List

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

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