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The Punchbowl

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The Punchbowl, 1951
Center of eastern MLR

5th Marines Sniper, Punchbowl area 1951
Using M1903A3/Unertl


North Korea's surprise attack had devastated the much weaker ROK army; the US and the UN had stopped the murderous NK assault at the Pusan Perimeter; we struck behind the NK lines with MacArthur's brilliant assault at Inchon, routed them, and drove to the Yalu; China entered the war with hundreds of thousands of veteran foot soldiers, ambushed and routed us in turn and themselves invaded South Korea; we stopped them in turn, and began a slow, savage drive north and had about reached the original lines along the 38th parallel.

East of the Hwachon Reservoir a key segment of the Kansas Line ran through the southern rim of the Punchbowl, on its way to the coastal town of Kojin-ni, five milies above Kansong. This section of the line lay well above Route 24, so both X Corps and ROK I Corps could use that road as their MSR, and also receive supplies through the port at Kansong.

Val Fleet had wanted to use this area to stage for further advances north, using 1stMarDiv as the closing pincer of a trap to encircle NK troops caught in defending against the advance. However, at this stage of the war, political considerations prevented Eighth Army from any more significant offensive moves, and so began the terrible two year "Stalemate" in which the Army bled while truce talks dragged endlessly on.


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

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