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Operation Thunderbolt - Reconnaissance in Force

Matthew B. Ridgway our Fighting General

Reconnaissance in Force

Operation Thunderbolt

Operation Thunderbolt: 25-31 January, 1951
Close Air Support for 7th Cavalry near Ich'on, January 26

After the protracted retreat from the Chongchon River, the longest in US history, the CCF appeared to have lost a lot of strength and to lack adequate logistical support. General Ridgway began preparing a general counter-attack to the Han and thence to Seoul and the 38th Parallel,

First, however, he needed some idea of Chinese forces below the Han River. He also wanted to inflict as many casualties as possible on the CCF while sustaining as few as possible UN casualties, so as to make the CCF hesitate if they did intend an immediate further advance south, to ensure that Eighth Army could stage for the counter-attack without interference.

These were the objectives of Operation Thunderbolt.


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