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Operation Killer

General Ridgway, our best fighting general in the Korean War, concluded from Recon that the enemy assault forces were withdrawing to refit before continuing their assault. This was consistent with previous enemy needs to re-stage after about a week of combat. In spite of feeble support from many of his staff, by 3/51 General Ridgway decided Eighth Army should immediately counter-attack to deny the enemy any rest and drive them from their forward positions in Operation Killer.

CCF Prisoners

Operation Killer: February 20 - March 6, 1951

Chinese dead, and prisoners captured by men of 1st Cavalry Division

The primary objective of Operation Killer was to annihilate enemy forces below the Arizona line. However, the enemy had begun a general withdrawal, offering only scant resistance in the area and immediately on the end of this Operation Ridgway initiated Operation Ripper, which was basically to advance and secure positions suitable for staging a general assault to recapture Seoul and again reach the 38th Parallel.

Ridgway's staff appears to have been incompetent, if not actually craven. Apparently they were the same gentlemen mainly responsible for the Eighth Army flight when the CCF first struck in full force, with no attempt to significantly delay them by shifting defensive positions in depth. Now, when Ridgway realized the CCF were overextended and weakened and that Eighth Army was developing in skill and confidence to the point where he could and should launch a general offensive, his staff recommended a voluntary and complete surrender of the offensive. Instead of attacking, his staff recommended withdrawal to the old Pusan Perimeter. When Ridgway ordered the counterattack instead, they sneered at him behind his back, calling him "Wrong Way Ridgway."

Fortunately for many reasons, unlike his staff Ridgway was really a soldier and a man, and a true General of Infantry.


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