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ROK 3rd Division Crosses 38th Parallel

Rather than moving towards well-deserved total victory, these battle-hardened troops were heading towards the killing grounds that China was preparing. Almost three years of desperation and slaughter remained before even a "Cease Fire" would be attained.

The ROK 3rd division endured some of the most savage fighting in the Korean War.

The Plan For Complete Victory

ROKs invade North Korea

ROK 3rd Division Crosses 38th Parallel Heading for Pyongyang

These lightly armed troops, carrying cartridge belts with canteens but no packs, are moving to locate and engage enemy forces which they assume are not in strength. Like our 24th Infantry in the Pusan Perimeter, the North Koreans had fled after being crushed at Inchon and Seoul, throwing away their weapons as they ran, and the opportunity to unify Korea was too much temptation for South Korean leaders, and shortly for UN command as well..

The error of their leaders' judgement would be clear when, in less than two months, these troops would be routed in their turn by the veteran Chinese foot infantry.

Rather than hard-won victory after great suffering and loss, the next two years would prove that the terrible slaughter and suffering had barely begun. Even more for North and South Korean civilians than these confident warriors.

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

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