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Captured North Korean Weapons

Photos and Specifications of Enemy Weapons of 1951

Captured North Korean Weapons

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Russian 14.5mm antitank rifle PTRD-1941 (Degtyarev) with satchel of AP rounds
DP 7.62 mm Ruchnoy Pulemyot Light Machine Gun
Japanese 7.7mm rifle
Russian 7.62mm Carbine M1944
Russian Model PPSh41 7.62mm submachine gun

"Pursuit and Exploitation"

It is remarkable that the Chinese Army (CCF) accomplished anything at all against the modern arms, mighty artillery and overwhelming air superiority of UN forces. For the first year of the war, the CCF was armed with a baffling array of small arms of varying degrees of effectiveness. These did include the Russian PPSh 'burp guns', but mostly consisted of US and British arms captured from the Nationalists, and weapons taken from the Japanese following WWII. Each Chinese division had only one b attalion of pack weapons, no tanks or towed guns, and for anti-tank weapons relied on satchel charges of TNT, which in reality were no defense at all

The North Koreans, however, had been extensively prepared over a long period by the Russians, and were thoroughly equipped with Soviet arms. In addition to T34/85tanks and SU76 self-propelled 76mm guns, they had a formidable array of effective small arms, some of which are shown above. Even the 7.7mm Japanese rifle shown is more lethal than the 6.5mm Japanese weapons sometimes used by the CCF.

Two weapons possessed by both the CCF and the NK were terrible indeed: The 7.62mm Maxim, usually with its steel shield for protecting the crew, and the 120mm mortar. The effective range of the Maxim was over a mile, in the hands of experts, and the veteran communist armies were certainly expert. In addition, unlike the US, the communists had smokeless powder. When firing the Maxim from long distances, they were undetectable by either sound or puffs of smoke. The first inkling our troops often had was seeing their comrades spinning and falling, their bodies and faces savagely torn. The huge 120mm mortar round, with its great explosive power, similarly came from great range and had great destruction.

When falling back, the communists routinely sighted their almost undetectable Maxims to place grazing fire on the forward slopes we would occupy, and registered their mortars on the reverse slopes we would fall back to once we came under machine gun fire.

The communists suffered greatly from our superior artillery and air power, but they knew how to fight as infantry. And they did it very, very well.

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

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