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The Last Offensive

Back to Truce Tent and Fighting Front

The Foundation of Freedom is the Courage of Ordinary People

History  Bert '53  On Line

While the U.N. Command was attempting to allay the doubts and fears of Syngman Rhee and his government over the armistice, the Communists had not been idle. The disturbed state of affairs behind the UNC lines offered the enemy an opportunity to reap psychological and propaganda advantages by exploiting the differences. In addition, the winter lull in the fighting had enabled the Communists to build up their stockpiles of ammunition and materiel and to bring their combat units up to full strength despite the constant efforts of the Fifth Air Force to interdict the lines of communication. With a plentiful supply of well-fed, well-equipped, and battle-hardened troops at their disposal, the Communists were in a good position to launch a military offensive as well. If they could conclude the fighting with a successful assault upon the UNC lines, the general impression of a Communist military victory in the war might, in the eyes of the Asian community, be sustained. But there were difficulties that the enemy would have to surmount if he determined to pursue such a course, particularly in timing the offensive and in selecting the objectives. Unless the victory could be tied in closely with the conclusion of the truce, the Communist claims could be discounted. As for the seizing of terrain, the question was more complicated. Obviously the offensive must be on a large enough scale to merit Communist assertion of a military victory, yet on the other hand not so large as to threaten the loss of more territory along the front than the UNC was willing to sacrifice. As later developments showed, the problems of when to launch the assault and where to delimit it probably demanded much attention by enemy military planners in the spring of 1953.

The Preliminaries

During the month of April, while the negotiators at Panmunjom were arranging the details for the exchange of the sick and wounded and for the resumption of the plenary conferences, the tempo of operations had slackened. The flurry of activity in March had been superseded by a return to the smallscale probes and raids so characteristic of the winter months. Seldom was an enemy attack mounted with more than two companies; more often it was one or less. Since April was the spring thaw period, the sloppy condition of the ground helped to restrict the scale of operations; the uncertain status of the negotiations was also a factor. Eighth Army intelligence reports estimated that the enemy would continue to employ the active defense with the twenty-nine divisions available in or near the front line and would not stage a general offensive in the near future.1 (See Maps VI and VII. )

For the U.N. Command the resumption of the talks at Panmunjom had some side effects, especially upon strategic air operations. General Weyland had intended to mount a high altitude, B-29 night attack upon the Yangsi target complex near the mouth of the Yalu River in mid-April and Clark gave his personal approval on 12 April. But his superiors decided that since the sick and wounded prisoners were going to be assembled in that general area for movement to Panmunjom, the operation should be postponed. They did not wish to give the Communists any excuse not to go through with the prisoner exchange.2 Another attack, upon facilities at Koksan, fifty miles east of P'yongyang, was postponed for the same reason ten days later.3

In the matter of close air support, the negotiations played a less important role. Air Force, Navy, and Marine fighters and fighter-bombers continued to strike enemy troops and strongpoints whenever opportunity arose. During April, Navy and Marine pilots concentrated on Cherokee-type missions against targets that were out of reach of the artillery. They discovered that making successive runs in the same area for several days allowed them to become familiar with the terrain and tended to muzzle the antiaircraft fire in that vicinity. Evidently the Communists gunners could not be resupplied quickly and once they had fired the shells on hand were forced to sit and watch the attacks helplessly.4

On 21 April naval force jet pilots were given a chance to select their targets. The flyers on the U.S. carrier Oriskany chose the Hamhung highway bridge in northeast Korea and succeeded in demolishing two spans and damaging a third in their attack. From the naval night fighter patrol along the rail lines of northeastern Korea came an interesting report of two fighter flights chasing two fast-moving enemy trains into opposite ends of a short tunnel. Shortly after the trains vanished from sight there was a rush of steam and smoke pouring from the mouth of the tunnel that indicated a probable collision and damage to both trains.5

With the completion of the sick and wounded prisoner of war exchange and the initial plenary conferences at Panmunjom, the main reasons for restricting the UNC air forces disappeared. Since the meetings showed that the Communists were not going to come to terms quickly, Clark approved Weyland's request to increase the air pressure upon the enemy by striking sensitive targets in North Korea. On 10 May, 8 Thunderjets bombed the Suiho power plants again in the face of heavy antiaircraft fire, but did not succeed in knocking out the two generators still functioning. The attack on the Yangsi complex, deferred by the prisoner trade, was staged on the night of 10-11 May by 39 B-29's, and eight days later 18 B-29's returned and dropped another load of bombs on the area.6

One of the most dramatic strikes of the war came on 13 May. About twenty miles north of P'yongyang lay the big Toksan irrigation dam with a three-square-mile lake behind it. Air Force planners had long realized that destruction of irrigation dams would have a serious effect upon the rice crop of North Korea, but humanitarian considerations had argued against the bombing of such targets. As the war progressed, however, more and more of the rice crop found its way into military and international barter channels and this knowledge decreased the objections against destroying the dams. The Toksan dam was an especially strategic target for it was close to the main Sinanju-P'yong-yang rail line and to a major northsouth highway as well. Thus, 59 F-84 Thunderjets of the 58th Fighter-Bomber Wing set out in four waves to eliminate the dam on 13 May. The first 4 skipbombed the exposed face of the 2,300-foot dam and a second 4 loosed their bombs on the water side. Then 12 jets raced along the length of the dam and let go their loads. The fourth wave flew in close to the water side of the dam and tried to use the hydraulic pressure caused by the bomb explosions to complete the task, but as the planes returned to their base, the dam still held. Sometime during the night, however, the weakened dam succumbed to the pressure of the lake. Floodwaters poured forth and left a trail of havoc. Over six miles of rail lines and five rail bridges were damaged or destroyed and two miles of highway and five highway bridges suffered the same fate. Buildings, crops, and irrigation canals were all swept away in the devastating torrent.

Elated by the success of the Toksan mission, the Fifth Air Force followed up on 15-16 May and breached another dam north of P'yongyang at Ch'osan, thereby cutting a second railroad line and washing away three rail bridges. A third attempt to break through the dam at Kuwonga, also north of Pyongyang, on 21-22 May revealed that the enemy was now ready to counter the attack. As soon as the B-29's dropped their loads, the Communists lowered the water level by twelve feet and reduced the water pressure. A later raid forced the enemy to drain the lake completely in order to make repairs, so that although there was no flood damage, the reserve water supply was dissipated. Both of the rail lines north from P'yongyang were out of commission until 26 May and this probably placed a temporary strain upon the enemy's lines of communication.7

The Communists had learned their lesson by this time and efforts in June to repeat the earlier success at Toksan found the enemy quickly draining the reservoirs under attack. The water was lost, but flood damage was averted.8

Retaliation by the Communist air forces was always a possibility during the last months of the war since Russian jet bombers were made available to the Chinese Communists. Yet no effort to strike back materialized. The enemy carefully hoarded his air forces in the Manchurian sanctuary as he had previously and made no serious attempt to challenge UNC domination of the Korean skies.

Instead the Communists adhered to the type of pressure that had been applied so frequently in the past-the ground assault. After a quiet first half of May, the enemy launched a series of limited objective attacks ranging in strength from company to regimental size; eighteen of these drives were of battalion size or larger. Despite the increase in tempo at the front, there were still no indications that the Communists intended to broaden the scale of operations into a general offensive. Rather they seemed to be concentrating upon winning dominating terrain features along the line to improve their positions both on the battlefield and at the truce tents at Panmunjom.9

The most ambitious enemy offensive came in the closing days of May in the U.S. I Corps sector. When the U.S. 25th Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Samuel T. Williams, had shifted over to the I Corps in early May in exchange for the U.S. 2d Division, it had promptly relieved the 1st Marine Division on the line. The new 25th Division sector was generally east of Panmunjom and northeast of Munsan-ni. On low hills, approximately ten miles northeast of Panmunjom and the same distance north of Munsan-ni, lay a series of outposts called the NEVADA Complex. (See Map 8.) General Williams assigned the responsibility for the defense of these positions and neighboring outposts, BERLIN and EAST BERLIN, to the attached Turkish Armed Forces Command under Brig. Gen. Sirri Acar on 5 May.10

Facing the Turkish forces were the three regiments- 358th, 359th and 360th- of the 120th Division, CCF 46th Army. Since the enemy seizure of Outpost RENO in March, the area had remained quiet except for the customary probes and patrols. But the Chinese capability of mounting a large-scale attack upon Outposts VEGAS, ELKO, and CARSON from RENO and other nearby hills posed a constant threat that demanded constant vigilance.

Tactically, possession of NEVADA Complex by the enemy would mean improved observation of the I Corps main line of resistance positions that lay south and east of the outposts. Since I Corps regarded these defensive positions as critical, the Turkish forces were instructed to hold them against all enemy attacks. This promised to be a difficult task if the Chinese were determined to take the outposts, for the latter were at a considerable distance from the main line of resistance and the enemy's approach routes were easier than those of I Corps.

It was not until 25 May, after the U.N. Command had made its final offer at the truce talks, that the Chinese artillery began to open up on the NEVADA complex. For the next three days the shells came in with growing frequency and enemy troop movements in the area increased. General Acar secured artillery support from I Corps and the 1st Marine Division artillery, in addition to that which the 25th Division could provide, to counter the Communist concentrations. From the 1st Marine Tank Battalion, 34 tanks rolled into position to funnel direct fire support to the outposts.

When the first attack came on the evening of 28 May, the Turkish units defending the outposts were well dug in and adequately armed. Barbed wire, trip flares, and mines were in place and automatic weapons sited to cover the enemy approach routes. There were 140 men at VEGAS, 44 at CARSON, 33 at ELKO, 27 at BERLIN, and 16 at EAST BERLIN.

On the heels of an intense artillery and mortar preparation, the 120th Division sent four battalions forward-two to the east against the main objective, VEGAS, one to the south against CARSON and ELKO, and one in a diversionary attack against BERLIN and EAST BERLIN. The last was halted and broken off early in the evening.

Over on VEGAS the Chinese succeeded in taking one small finger of the hill and clung tenaciously despite the heavy automatic weapons, small arms, artillery, and mortar fire at them. The Turks sent a reinforcing platoon in to bolster the defenders and it arrived in time to help throw back a three-pronged enemy assault on the outpost. After reorganizing, the Chinese again sent a force estimated at two battalions to take the position. Ammunition began to run low and the Turkish 2d Battalion commander sent another platoon accompanied by Korean Service Corps personnel to resupply the embattled troops. After a brief respite in the fighting, the enemy tried again and this time the Chinese pushed through and hand-to-hand combat broke out in the trenches.

Meanwhile the Chinese had added a second battalion to the assault on CARSON and ELKO and closed upon the Turkish positions. Bayonets and hand grenades were used freely as the Turks managed to throw back the attack. The battalion commander sent an engineer platoon, then committed the rest of the engineer company to the defense of CARSON. Shortly after midnight the pace slackened, but observers reported that a third enemy battalion was assembling to join in the assault. Fire support from the 1st Battalion of the Turkish force and the U.S. 35th Infantry Regiment helped to disperse this reinforcing enemy battalion.

As the night wore on, ELKO held out against continuing Chinese attacks, but the Turkish soldiers on CARSON were dying one by one. A few managed to slip over and join their comrades on ELKO, but the majority died in the trenches and bunkers from enemy fire. By morning CARSON belonged to the Chinese.

Convinced of the Chinese determination to take the NEVADA Outposts, General Williams placed the 1st Battalion of the U.S. 14th Infantry Regiment under General Acar so that the latter could commit his reserves to the counterattack.

Gradually the enemy gained control of the northwest portion of VEGAS and Turkish casualties were increasing. In a desperate effort to blunt the Chinese drive, the Turks began a counterattack to clear the hill. Savage in-fighting followed as the Turks slowly swept the enemy Off of VEGAS.

Nothing daunted, the Chinese regrouped and reinforced their offensive units, then came back again. They edged their way up VEGAS and met the indomitable Turks, who refused to be budged. Late in the morning of 29 May, the Turks launched a four-platoon attack that cleared VEGAS with cold steel. But the enemy in turn would not accept defeat and sent wave after wave of men against the Turkish stone wall, as casualties on both sides increased sharply.

The struggle for ELKO continued throughout of the night of 28-29 May, as the enemy increased his pressure against the remnants of the Turkish force on the hill. General Acar ordered Lt. Col. Carl E. Mann, the commander of the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, to send one of his companies to reinforce ELKO and to retake CARSON on the morning of 29 May. Company B approached ELKO from the southeast, overran the Chinese holdings around the outpost, and secured the objective after a 25-minute fight.

Using two platoons in the attack and two in the support roles, Company B then advanced west on CARSON. Midway between ELKO and CARSON, the company began to receive heavy automatic weapons, artillery, and mortar fire, and the assault slowed, then halted. Withdrawing to ELKO, Company B tried twice to gather momentum enough to break through the Chinese wall of fire on CARSON. Each time it failed and had to turn back. UNC artillery, mortars, and automatic weapons could not silence the Chinese weapons nor dislodge the enemy defenders.

After the third assault ground to a halt, the Chinese retaliated. Six times they crossed from CARSON to ELKO and on several occasions managed to advance within hand grenade range. Company B, stoutly supported by artillery, tank, mortar, and automatic weapons fire, forced the enemy to break off the attack each time and ELKO remained in UNC possession.

By midafternoon, General Williams and I Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Bruce C. Clarke evidently felt that the Chinese intended to remain on the offensive until the outposts were taken. The strength on VEGAS was down to 40-odd men, many of them wounded, and to 20-odd on ELKO. Over 150 men had been killed and 245 had been wounded in the defense of the NEVADA complex. On the other hand, the Chinese casualties were estimated roughly at 3,000 men. The question was: Should the U.N. Command hang on to the outposts while the losses on both sides mounted, or should the terrain be evacuated and more UNC lives be conserved? Under the circumstances the commanders decided that the outposts had served their main purpose in uncovering and delaying the enemy attack. Early in the evening of 29 May orders went out for the Turks to withdraw from VEGAS and for the U.S. troops to leave ELKO.

It had been a bitter struggle as the losses on each side attested. Over 117,000 rounds of artillery fire and 67 close air support missions had aided the UNC ground units in withstanding the determined assaults of the Chinese. The enemy had sent 65,000 rounds of artillery and mortar fire in return, up to this point an unprecedented volume in the Korean War.

The tenacity of the enemy attack following the submission of the UNC 25 May proposal at Panmunjom indicated that the Communists were beginning to jockey for improved positions along the front in anticipation of an armistice.

Undeterred apparently by the casualties incurred, the enemy now seemed ready to use personnel and carefully hoarded supplies of ammunition with a free hand as the negotiations entered the final phase.

The Tempo Mounts

To General Taylor, as he watched the enemy gather strength for offensive action in the early days of June, the weakest links in the Eighth Army line lay in the U.S. I and IX Corps areas. As he pointed out to Clark on 2 June, the UNC positions north of the Imjin and Hant'an Rivers had not been chosen for their defensive strength. Relatively shallow penetrations would force the UNC to pull back behind the rivers and the enemy had the capability to push the Eighth Army troops back if he desired to expend the effort. In this event, Taylor continued, he would have to face the alternative of conceding the lost territory or of making costly counterattacks to regain the positions. Taylor was ready for an offensive and had alerted the reserves, increased photoreconnaissance by the Fifth Air Force, and enlarged the stockage of ammunition, but the problem of how long the Eighth Army should cling to present battle lines in the face of intense pressure remained to be settled.11

The Communists, however, did not choose to take advantage of the defensive weaknesses of the Eighth Army in the west. Instead they began to attack the eastern and central sectors of the line, where the ROK forces were concentrated. The enemy seized Hill 812, four miles northeast of the Punchbowl, from the ROK 12th Division, U.S. X Corps, on 1 June and Anchor Hill on the ROK I Corps front three days later. Despite heavy ROK counterattacks, the North Koreans accepted the casualties involved and continued to reinforce the holding forces. In view of the growing toll of ROK losses, the U.N. Command halted the attacks to regain Anchor Hill and sealed off Hill 812. By tying in all the positions abutting Hill 812 and then concentrating heavy artillery fire and close air strikes on the 1,000-square-meter area held by the North Koreans atop the hill, the UNC reportedly forced the enemy to use about seven battalions during the period 7-15 June to maintain possession of this small piece of terrain.12

Following the agreement on 8 June on the terms of reference for the exchange of prisoners, the Communists mounted their biggest drive since the spring of 1951. Again the chief targets of the enemy assault were the sectors guarded by ROK forces. Beginning on 10 June the Communists shifted their offensive threats from the east flank to the ROK II Corps and western X Corps lines in the Eighth Army center.

According to later reports, the enemy followed a customary pattern for the offensive. Before the attack, detailed plans were drawn up and carefully rehearsed on terrain similar to the contemplated objectives. Before the actual assault, heavy concentrations of artillery and mortar fire saturated the objective, then small forces moved up quickly to carry out a frontal attack. Other units joined in on the flanks of the objective until the pressure caused a penetration or breakthrough. Once an advantage was won, the Communists would seek to exploit it rapidly.13

The enemy's objective was the bulge in the Eighth Army lines that began roughly about 3 miles northeast of Kumhwa, extended northeast to the hills south of Kumsong, leveled off to the east for about 10 miles, then dipped to the southeast for some 13 miles to the village of Mundung-ni, northwest of Heartbreak Ridge. Since the terrain was very rough, ranging from hills 400 to Goo meters high in the west to somewhat over 1,000 meters at the eastern end of the bulge, the ROK troops defending the sector had great difficulty in maintaining lateral lines of communication. Five ROK divisions manned positions in the bulge, with the ROK Capital Division of the U.S. IX Corps on the left flank, the 6th, 8th, and 5th Divisions of the ROK II Corps in the center, and the ROK 20th Division of the U.S. X Corps on the right. The ROK 3d Division was II Corps reserve.

Facing the ROK forces were three Chinese armies. During the early days of June the enemy had brought in the CCF 68th Army and placed it between the 60th and 67th Armies. In addition, the Chinese had strengthened the 60th Army by attaching to it the 33d Division. Thus, the enemy had available for the attack on the bulge four new divisions that had been training on a similar type of terrain in the rear.14

For the first ten days of the month the enemy had been deceptively quiet on the central front. Then, on the evening of 10 June, the artillery fire became intense and the Chinese followed up with co-ordinated attacks ranging from a battalion to a regiment in strength on the sector held by the ROK 5th Division. Using elements of both the CCF 68th and 60th Armies, the Communists began to build up the pressure. Smashing through the outposts, the Chinese seized Hills 973 and 882, ten miles northwest of Heartbreak Ridge and part of the main line of resistance.15 ROK II Corps quickly released the 22d Regiment of the ROK 3d Division to the operational control of the ROK 5th Division to redress the enemy inroads on 11 June. Elements of the ROK 35th Regiment counterattacked to recapture Hill 973, but were only partially successful. Enemy units swiftly moved to the offensive again and forced the ROK troops to pull back 1,000 meters south of Hill 973. Two battalions of the 22d Regiment attempted to regain Hill 882 that same day and were able to approach the crest and dig in. Using the 22d, 27th, and 35th Regiments to launch counterattacks on 12 June, the ROK 5th Division was unable to drive the Chinese off the hills. Heavy artillery, mortar, and small arms fire, coupled with the enemy's willingness to reinforce his units and counterattack the ROK assault forces, prevented the UNC troops from recouping their terrain losses.

The Chinese broadened the pressure upon the ROK II Corps on 12 June by attacking elements of the ROK 8th Division on the left flank of the ROK 5th Division. In the Capitol Hill sector, six miles northwest of Hill 973, which was defended by the 2 1st Regiment, the Communists used two companies initially, reinforced later with three more, and penetrated first the outposts and then the main line positions of the regiment. Two battalions of the ROK loth Regiment moved up to counterattack early on the morning of 13 June, but were unable to restore the original line. Another enemy attack by an estimated two companies during the afternoon forced the abandonment of a company outpost and further withdrawal by the ROK forces.

The next morning the Chinese continued the offensive, employing several companies to sustain pressure against the 21st Regiment. Although the ROK units fought off these drives, disaster struck on the evening of 14 June. First a reinforced battalion enveloped the 3d Battalion of the 21st, causing it to break up into small groups fighting independently to regain UNC lines. Two enemy companies then hit the main line positions of the 1st Battalion and forced it to pull back. A third attack by a reinforced battalion succeeded in enveloping the 2d Battalion. Assembling behind the lines, the remnants of the 21st managed to establish a new main line of resistance that was to prove short-lived.

On the right flank of the ROK 5th Division, the ROK 20th Division of the U.S. X Corps, guarding the sector known as Christmas Hill, four miles southeast of Hill 882, had also been subjected to enemy attack. On 10 June two enemy companies from the CCF 33d Division captured a company outpost on the approaches to Hill 1220, part of the Christmas Hill area. The ROK 61st Regiment counterattacked, rewon, and then relost the outpost. Further action to regain the position was suspended as the gravity of the situation on the ROK 5th Division front increased. When the Communists showed that they intended to retain possession of Hills 973 and 882, which were located on the main ridge leading to Hill 1220 from the west, the X Corps Commander, Lt. Gen. Isaac D. White, moved up the ROK 7th Division, the corps reserve, and placed it on the left flank of the ROK 20th Division.

While the ROK 7th Division was advancing north, the 61st Regiment made several efforts to relieve some of the pressure on the ROK 5th Division. The Chinese reacted quickly and managed to blunt each attack.

On 14 June the CCF 33d Division renewed the offensive against the ROK 5th and ROK 20th Divisions and forced the former to fall back south of the Pukhan River. This withdrawal exposed the flank of the ROK 7th Division, which had just reached its defensive lines. Fortunately, the Chinese this time failed to reorganize their attacking force quickly enough. X Corps artillery and Fifth Air Force close air support were concentrated on the enemy units facing the ROK 5th Division while the ROK 7th readjusted its front-line positions to tie in with the new ones established by the ROK 5th. On the other flank of the 5th, the ROK 8th Division also had to retreat over a mile to tie in its main line of resistance with its sister division on 15 June.

The two remaining regiments of the ROK 3d Division were ordered on 15 June to assume responsibility for the sector east of the 8th Division along the south bank of the Pukhan River, where they served to strengthen the left flank of the ROK 5th. As the ROK 3d Division took over its defensive positions, the ROK 22d Regiment reverted to the control of its parent unit. At the same time the ROK 5th Division was attached to the X Corps, which became responsible for the ground east of the Pukhan. The corps immediately made efforts to speed supplies and equipment forward to the ROK 5th and to replace its personnel losses. Since lateral roads were scarce, twelve H-ig helicopters were allocated to help out and they lifted a quarter of a million pounds of material forward to the front. On 16 June the ROK 11th Division shifted over from the ROK I Corps area to become ROK II Corps reserve.

The action tapered off during the next few days. In the ROK 8th Division territory west of the Pukhan on 16 June the enemy overran an outpost of the ROK loth Regiment on Finger Ridge, two miles east of Capitol Hill, but the Chinese units broke contact and withdrew that evening. The ROK 21st Regiment repelled several companysized attacks during the day. Later, aided by the 19th Regiment of the ROK 6th Division, the 21st Regiment mounted a counterattack and the enemy pulled back. Two Chinese companies penetrated the main line positions of the ROK 16th Regiment, 8th Division, southeast of Finger Ridge, but did not attempt to follow up the breakthrough. By the evening of 16 June, enemy operations on the 8th Division front had become sporadic.

During the next two days, the Chinese launched several minor assaults on the ROK 20th and 8th Divisions, effecting slight penetrations. By 18 June the situation began to be stabilized and the Eighth Army had an opportunity to survey the damage of the nine-day offensive.

The enemy had driven the ROK forces back an average of 3,000 meters along a 13,000-meter front and in the process had taken over a series of hill positions east of the Pukhan River. As a result of the Chinese drive, three ROK divisions had been redeployed in reinforcing and counterattacking roles. During the action the ROK units had taken a total of over 7,300 casualties while enemy losses were estimated at over 6,600. In close support of the UNC defense, Air Force, Navy, and Marine aircraft had flown 810 sorties in the nine-day period and the strategic air program had been delayed.

Elsewhere along the Eighth Army front, the Chinese had mounted a series of diversionary attacks on the U.S. IX Corps lines to keep the corps fully occupied while the main offensive was in progress. In the ROK 9th Division sector, the 70th Division of the CCF 24th Army launched a three-company drive on 11 June at outposts on Sniper Ridge. The next day 2 enemy companies penetrated main line positions of the division four miles west of Sniper Ridge in the area known as Boomerang. During the action the Chinese were reinforced with several additional companies and the ROK's brought up 6 infantry companies and 1 tank company before the enemy broke off the engagement. On the night of 13 June the Chinese committed 3 battalions of the 70th Division in the same sector and returned the following night with elements of 3 more battalions. On each occasion the enemy made no effort to hold on to the terrain gained; the Chinese withdrew before daylight to their own lines. The three-day assault on Boomerang proved to be costly for the 70th Division for its casualties were estimated at over 2,200 and close to 2,000 of these were killed and tallied by the ROK forces.16

The U.S. 3d Division on the left flank of the ROK 9th also received its share of attention. On 10 June the CCF 74th Division opened a succession of assaults against Outpost Harry, two-and-a-half miles southeast of Jackson Heights. Beginning with a company, the Chinese added two battalions and penetrated the position. Counterattack was followed by counterattack with the U.S. forces emerging on top on the morning of 11 June. The enemy came back with an estimated regiment that night and the pattern of the preceding encounter was repeated. There was a small-scale probe on 14 June and then a two battalion assault on 18 June, but the end result was the same. The 3d Division estimated that the Communist efforts to take Harry had cost over 4,200 casualties during the nine-day period.

Over in the Arrowhead (Hill 281) sector, five to six miles northwest of Ch'orwon, the ROK 2d Division experienced a company-sized attack on II June. The enemy took three outpost positions in the White Horse Hill area the next day, using a force estimated at a battalion, but did not retain possession long. In the morning hours they pulled back to their own lines.17

The U.S. I and ROK I Corps sectors were quiet during the big offensive, with only small unit actions, patrols, and probes. After 18 June the whole Eighth Army front settled back to the old pattern.

It was on this same date that Syngman Rhee released the Korean nonrepatriates and introduced a new note of uncertainty into the truce negotiations and into the course of military operations as well. If the Communists had geared their offensive operations to coincide with the last days of the war, as some UNC officers believed, so that they might reap the political and psychological advantages of ending the long struggle on a high note, the ROK Government's provocative action that threatened to postpone the conclusion of the armistice must have been disconcerting.18 If the cease-fire were unduly delayed, the June effort by the Communists might well become ancient history and the enemy might have to mount another offensive close to the end of the war. Thus, the possibility existed that the fighting might flare up again later on.

Since the ROK Army had been the chief target of the recent enemy attack and might also have to bear the brunt of future Communist pressure, the question of its efficiency and reliability under fire was of considerable significance. During the course of the enemy assault, the Korean Military Advisory Group personnel had ample opportunity to observe the progress of the ROK Army under heavy enemy attacks. They concluded that the size and intensity of the Chinese assault accounted for the initial enemy successes in the battle. Although hard hit, in many cases ROK units had continued to fight and had inflicted many casualties upon the foe. When pressure had increased, they had promptly taken up blocking positions behind the line to stem further advances. On the other side of the ledger, KMAG reported, there was a tendency among ROK officers to depend too heavily upon one type of communication. When this broke down, units often lost contact with their companion and supporting forces, making co-ordination between them difficult or impossible. The question of "face" continued to play an important role in the ROK Army, KMAG went on, since officers delayed informing their superiors quickly and fully about unfavorable developments that might cause the officers to lose face. Thirdly, the ROK leaders frequently placed too much reliance upon artillery fire when small arms and mortar fire would be more appropriate. KMAG reported that it was attempting to remedy these defects immediately.19

Despite the deficiencies, the ROK Army appeared to be far more mature and effective than it had been during the spring of 1951 under comparable conditions. The training and experience acquired in the interim were beginning to pay off. Whether or not the ROK forces could stand by themselves against an allout offensive was still a moot question, but there could be little doubt about their improvement.

Final Test

The brief respite on the battlefield ended on 24 June and the Communists disclosed their decision to devote special attention to the ROK divisions along the front. Concentrating on the eastern and central sector of the line, they evidenced their intention to demonstrate to the South Koreans that continuation of the war would be a costly business.

First to feel the effects of the resumption of operations was the ROK 9th Division. In the Boomerang area, northwest of Kumhwa, the CCF 70th Division sent two separate company-sized attacks against the main line positions of the ROK 29th Regiment and then rapidly reinforced them to battalion size during the night of 24-25 June. The ROK forces fought off these attempts to pierce their lines until the Chinese broke off the fight and withdrew, carrying an estimated 800 casualties with them. In the Sniper Ridge area, the ROK defenders were less successful. A reinforced Chinese company drove them from an outpost and refused to be ejected in turn. On 25 June the Chinese tried again to seize a neighboring outpost, but the ROK troops clung tenaciously to their positions despite the loss of over 240 dead and wounded. In repulsing the Communist drive, the 29th Regiment estimated that the Chinese casualties were more than double their own.20

Southeast of the confluence of the Imjin and Yokkok Rivers in the U.S. I Corps sector lay a series of outposts manned by the ROK 1st Division. The increase in vehicle traffic and in artillery fire from the enemy in front of these outposts warned the I Corps that the Chinese were preparing for an offensive late in June but gave no indication of the scale. On 25 June elements of two regiments of the 7th Division of the CCF 1st Army, supported by heavy artillery fire, struck the outposts on Bak, Hannah, and Hill 179 and mounted diversionary attacks against five other strongpoints. The ROK 1st Division received orders from the U.S. I Corps to hold on despite the strength of the offensive units, and artillery fire started to interdict the enemy lines of approach to the defensive positions. Gradually the Chinese pushed their way into the trenches and bunkers where bitter handto-hand combat broke out. Grenades flew back and forth. Bit by bit the ROK troops were forced to pull back until the enemy won the crests of the hills. By the morning of 26 June the Chinese were in possession of Bak, Hannah, and Hill 179. The ROK 12th Regiment moved up to reinforce the ROK 15th, which had borne the brunt of the battle, and they launched two battalionsized drives on Bak on 26 June and one on Hill 179 on 27 June. Neither was able to regain the outposts.

The Chinese moved forward against nearby Outpost Queen on 28 June and penetrated ROK positions on this hill. Counterattacks against the determined Chinese forces on Queen, Hill 179, and Bak on the same day were all repulsed. When the I Corps commander, General Clarke, broke off the efforts to retake the lost outposts on 29 June, the enemy remained in control.

After the action General Clarke voiced his objections to the practice of attempting to cling unyieldingly to isolated points far in front of the main line of resistance. The garrison could not be reinforced easily because of the distance and terrain between the outposts and the main line, whereas the enemy's task was much simpler. Once the enemy closed in, artillery, mortar, and air strikes were of little value because of the danger of hitting friendly forces. Under conditions like these, the outcome could only be a high cost of casualties far above the worth of the outposts, Clarke declared.21

Over on the ROK II Corps-U.S. X Corps front the quiescent period had been spent in reorganizing the battered ROK 5th Division. By 26 June the ROK 5th was adjudged ready for action once again and control of the division was returned to the ROK II Corps. In the meantime the ROK 7th Division had taken over the ROK 20th Division's positions on the right flank of the ROK 5th.22

During the night of 26 June the 179th Division of the CCF 60th Army dispatched one regiment against elements of the ROK 5th east of the Pukhan River and a second regiment against units of the ROK 7th Division on the main ridge leading to Hill 1220. Heavy artillery and mortar fire accompanied the attacks and the Chinese pressed on vigorously despite a staunch defense by both ROK divisions. As the ROK 5th stubbornly gave ground and retreated to the next terrain line, the ROK 7th also had to pull back to protect its left flank. The Chinese pressed on and managed to penetrate the ROK 7th's positions on Hill 938 just northwest of Hill 1220. For several days the ROK 7th counterattacked to regain Hill 938, but the enemy refused to yield possession. The Chinese held the hill with a small force and permitted the ROK troops to move in, then directed heavy artillery and mortar fire on the area and counterattacked in mass. After several experiences along this line and study of the growing list of ROK casualties, Lt. Gen. Isaac D. White, the corps commander, shifted to a policy of containment on 3 July. Terrain to the rear was readied for defense and helicopters rushed up materials and ammunition to prepare the new fortifications for further attacks. The Chinese made two attempts on 4 July to move in closer to Hill 1220, but the ROK 7th fought off both of these assaults.23

The intensification of enemy operations and the reports from intelligence sources that the enemy intended to launch a major offensive in the ROK II Corps-U.S. X Corps sectors, with the Hwach'on Reservoir as the objective, led General White to redeploy his forces in an effort to buttress the right flank of the ROK II Corps. Beginning on 1 July he sent the U.S. 45th Division westward to relieve the ROK 20th and one regiment of the ROK 7th Division. The latter became responsible for a smaller segment of the front and was placed under the ROK II Corps. On to July the ROK 20th Division relieved the U.S. 40th Division in the Heartbreak Ridge area and the 40th Division displaced west to strengthen the right flank of the 45th Division. The X Corps was also reinforced by the movement of the U.S. 5th Regimental Combat Team from the IX Corps on 1 July. While the X Corps was shifting its forces the action on the corps front fortunately subsided to a level that did not interfere with the redeployment.

To bolster the rear areas and the security of the prisoner of war camps, Clark in late June ordered the 24th Infantry Division, under Maj. Gen. Charles L. Dasher, Jr., to prepare for a temporary move from Japan to Korea. Moving by air and water the 34th Regimental Combat Team arrived in the Korean Communications Zone on 3 July; the 19th Infantry Regiment followed on 11 July; and the 21st Infantry unloaded at Pusan on 12 July.24

In the first days of July the Communists carried out few attacks in strength, but the Eighth Army had no illusions about the future. Reports of troop movements, heavy traffic, and stockpiling behind the enemy lines alerted all commanders that the Communists were preparing to strike again in force. Enemy counterreconnaissance screens made it difficult to ascertain how much strength the Chinese were massing, but the concentrations were greatest on the central front around Kumsong.25

The first offensive, however, came in the Ch'orwon rather than in the Kumsong sector. On 6 July elements of the CCF 73d Division attacked through the defensive positions of the CCF 69th Division and struck two ROK 2d Division outposts on Arrowhead. For over thirty hours the defenders had to repel the Chinese forces, often at close range. The Communists drew back on 8 July to regroup, but that night they returned in the wake of 6,500 rounds of artillery and mortar fire, and won possession of the north slope of one of the ridges. A ROK counterattack on 9 July failed to oust them and action became intermittent. Early on 11 July, two ROK companies, in a fight lasting almost three hours, forced the Chinese to pull back. During the battles for Arrowhead the ROK commander rotated his assault troops. In the 11 July encounter he used four battalions to exert maximum pressure and to provide a continuous flow of fresh troops. The six-day struggle for Arrowhead caused over 500 casualties for the ROK 2d Division while the estimated Chinese losses were slightly over 750.26

In the Porkchop Hill area, the U.S. 7th Division met an attack from its opposite number in the Chinese Army on 6 July. An unknown number of enemy soldiers fought their way up the slopes of Porkchop and took up squatter's rights on a part of the crest. The 17th Regiment quickly reinforced its defenders at the outpost with two additional companies. On the night of 7-8 July the U.S. troops launched two counterattacks to drive the Chinese from the crest with no success. The enemy struck back on the next evening and the U.S. 7th Division tried to counterattack again on 9 July, but neither could dislodge the other. On the following day the Chinese executed a series of assaults, ranging from company to battalion size, which the U.S. forces again withstood.

Generals Taylor, Clarke, and Trudeau, the army, corps, and division commanders respectively, conferred on the night of to July and decided that the Chinese disregard for casualties and obvious intent to hold on to the outpost on Porkchop outweighed the tactical value of UNC retention of the position. The Eighth Army commander believed that the withdrawal should be carried out by night, but the 7th Division G-2, who had recommended the move, pointed out that the Chinese were accustomed to the daily sight of armored personnel carriers taking ammunition and supplies to the troops on the hill. Since the carriers were inclosed, the G-2 went on, the enemy had no way of knowing what they contained. A daylight evacuation using the carriers would avoid the hazards of a night operation and would keep the Chinese in the dark to boot, he concluded. After hearing these arguments, General Taylor agreed.27

On the afternoon of 11 July, after the carriers moved up over the usual route, the troops climbed aboard and rode back without incident. From intelligence sources the I Corps later learned that the Chinese had thought that the vehicles were moving forward to support another attack rather than a withdrawal. When nearly two days after the evacuation they realized what had happened and advanced to occupy the hill, they were hit with all the artillery at the disposal of the 7th Division and had to contend with a great number of booby traps as well.28

The resumption of armistice negotiations at Panmunjom on to July and the apparent pacification of Syngman Rhee during early July provided an incentive for the last Communist offensive. With the end of hostilities at long last in sight, the enemy was faced with its final opportunity to give the world a convincing display of Communist military might; to teach the upstart ROK forces another lesson; and to improve defensive terrain positions in the bargain. The June offensive had accomplished these aims to some degree, but much of the Kumsong salient still remained.29 Furthermore, the ROKA units had bent but not broken under the Communist assault; perhaps this time the Chinese might really give them a trouncing.

By evening of 13 July the Communists had moved elements of five Chinese armies into attack and support positions along the central sector that encompassed the Kumsong salient. Facing them from west to east lay the ROK 9th and Capital Divisions of the U.S. IX Corps and the ROK 6th, 8th, 3d, and 5th Divisions of the ROK II Corps.

The increase in the tempo of artillery and mortar fire on 13 July corroborated earlier intelligence reports from prisoners, deserters, agents, and reconnaissance that the Communists were about to launch a major drive aimed primarily at ROK units on the central front. After darkness descended, the Chinese forces moved forward en masse. A reinforced regiment from the 72d Division of the CCF 24th Army struck the ROK 9th Division's right flank while the 203d Division of the CCF 68th Army smashed into the ROK Capital Division guarding the left shoulder of the Kumsong bulge. Friendly outposts were overrun as wave after wave of Chinese joined the assault. By midnight, enemy units had penetrated the main line of resistance up to 1,000 meters in some places. In the Sniper Ridge sector-long a bone of contentionfriendly forces had to pull back to avoid being cut off. Throughout the night the pressure continued, with huge expenditures of artillery and mortar fire from both sides.30

In the ROK 6th Division area adjacent to the Capital Division, four battalions from the 204th Division of the CCF 68th Army hit a company-sized outpost of the ROK 19th Regiment. By the morning of 14 July, they had penetrated the main line positions of the regiment and surrounded one friendly battalion. Elements of the 204th Division moved through the ROK 6th Division sector and then swung to the west and joined in the attack upon the Capital Division.31

To the east the Chinese on 13 July sent four companies to surround an outpost in the ROK 8th Division lines and a battalion against a company outpost in the ROK 3d Division area on the right shoulder of the Kumsong salient. They also attacked the ROK 5th and 7th Divisions to keep them occupied while the main assault was in progress.

By the morning of 14 July the pattern of the Communist offensive attack had developed as the enemy increased the weight of his pressure upon the ROK 3d Division. Battalion and two-battalion attacks accompanied by heavy artillery and mortar support broke through the ROK 3d outpost system and drove into the main line positions. The 22d and 23d Regiments received assault after assault, but with the aid of the 18th Regiment in blocking positions managed to hold on. Then four enemy companies filtered in through the adjacent ROK 5th Division sector and swung in behind the 23d Regiment. When the indication of a double envelopment became apparent, the ROK 3d began to pull back.

As the Chinese pierced the ROK lines along the central front and cut off units from their parent organizations, the situation became confused. Soldiers from the 6th, 8th, and Capital Divisions found themselves defending strongpoints together. Lateral and front-to-rear lines of communications were soon out of commission and radio and foot messengers became the chief means of sending and receiving instructions and information. Sister regiments were often out of contact and unaware of what the other was doing. Reports trickling in from the front were often delayed and usually incomplete as the ROKA commanders displayed their customary unwillingness to forward unfavorable news that would cause them to lose face.

Despite the lack of details, it was apparent after the first day of the Chinese assault that the enemy's use of major elements of six divisions had made serious inroads in the ROK Capital and 3d Divisions' sectors. Since these guarded the shoulders of the salient, the ROK 6th and 8th Divisions were in danger of having their flanks exposed to a double envelopment. General Taylor, therefore, on 14 July ordered the ROK Capital, 6th, 8th, 3d, and 5th Divisions to fall back south of the Kumsong River line at the base of the bulge. This would straighten out the defensive line and shorten the front to be covered. In the process of complying with Taylor's instructions, however, the ROK commanders lost contact with and control of some of their units, with the result that many of them did not stop at the Kumsong line. Instead they continued to retreat farther south replacing the bulge with a sag in the Eighth Army lines.

The intensity and determination of the Chinese offensive impressed Clark and Taylor to the point that they decided to fly reinforcements from Japan to Korea to bolster the front. The U.S. 187th Airborne RCT was rushed to Korea and on 14 July Taylor attached the unit to the U.S. 2d Division. The latter took over the U.S. 3d Division's positions, and the airborne troops relieved elements of the ROK 9th Division, permitting the ROK's to narrow their front and to strengthen the left flank of the retreating Capital Division. In the meantime, the U.S. 3d Division shifted over into blocking positions behind the Capital Division to stem the enemy advance. As the Capital's units fell back, they passed through the 3d Division and were reorganized and rehabilitated in the rear. On 15 July the 3d took over responsibility for the Capital Division's sector and assumed operational control of the division.

In the ROK II Corps area, Taylor released the ROK 11th Division to the corps commander, Lt. Gen. Chung Il Kwon, who dispatched the division forward to relieve the ROK 3d Division. The ROK 6th Division was also withdrawn from the line and, along with the ROK 3d, was reorganized and reconstituted. Thus, on 15 July, the Eighth Army had the ROK 9th, the U.S. 3d with the remnants of the Capital Division, the ROK 11th, 8th, and 5th Divisions on the front lines from west to east to check the Communist offensive. On 16 July the ROK II Corps received orders to counterattack and restore the Kumsong River line. The enemy offensive had slowed by this time and the Chinese were engaged in the involved task of organizing the defense of the terrain they had taken and in replacing the heavy casualties they had suffered in breaking through the ROKA positions.

The ROK 11th, 8th, and 5th Divisions, attacking abreast, launched the counteroffensive the same day. Against variable enemy, opposition they edged forward toward the Kumsong River east of Kumhwa. Between 16-19 July the three divisions, with the 6th, 3d, and 7th ROK Divisions in blocking positions in reserve, attained the high ground south of the river. On 19 July the ROK 6th Division passed through the 5th Division and assumed responsibility for its sector. Efforts to cross the river and take defensive positions on the north bank of the Kumsong met with increasing enemy resistance and were abandoned after 20 July. For the last week of the war the ROK II Corps held the Kumsong River line against minor enemy pressure.

Despite the gains of the counteroffensive, the Chinese had removed the Kumsong salient and straightened out their lines on the central front. Their penetration had been approximately six miles and the weight of their assault had cut off and disorganized many of the ROKA units facing them. It had taken nine ROK and U.S. divisions in blocking and counterattacking roles to halt the Communist advance and to regain some of the lost terrain. The enemy offensive had also provided additional. grist for the Communist propaganda mill, which loudly claimed military victory for its side. On the other hand, the price that the enemy had paid to sustain a major drive was extremely high; the Eighth Army estimated that over 28,000 casualties had been inflicted upon the Chinese during their breakthrough and its aftermath.32

While the ROK II Corps was carrying out its counteroffensive, the Communists exerted pressure upon several scattered points along the Eighth Army line in an effort to take longcontested hills and outposts prior to the signing of an armistice. The reasons behind this pressure were difficult to fathom, since all of the threatened points fell in the demilitarized zone and would have to be abandoned by the UNC forces anyway. As it turned out, the Communists had to surrender possession of their new gains shortly thereafter.

The operations along the front during the last week of the Korean War subsided again to smallscale probes and patrols, as each side now anticipated that the armistice soon would be signed.

The Tally Sheet

A recapitulation of enemy activity in the final months might prove helpful in assessing the military situation when hostilities ended.33 (Map VIII)

Map VIII. The Eighth Army Front Line, 27 July 1953

The close relationship between the Communist military operations and the truce negotiations at Panmunjom were apparent through the April-July period. As the two sides moved toward settlement, the intensity of the enemy's operations varied according to the prospects for reaching final agreement. Beginning in late March, the Communists assumed an increasingly offensive attitude at the front and displayed a willingness to employ their forces more lavishly than they had in the past.

While the negotiations dragged in late April and early May, the tempo of enemy action slackened again. In the closing days of May, after the 25 May UNC proposal, which seemed to offer the possibility of a truce within the near future, the Communist attacks commenced to pick up impetus once again. The agreement on prisoners of war on 8 June was followed by the large-scale assaults of 10-17 June which succeeded in attaining better terrain positions, cowing the growing ROK opposition to the armistice, and providing the Communists with a propaganda mantle of military victory.

The dramatic release of the Korean nonrepatriates by Syngman Rhee on 18 June reintroduced the elements of uncertainty into the situation and ground operations again declined until the truce meetings resumed on to July. Then, in their largest offensive since the spring of 1951, the Communists sought to repeat the June objectives on a more grandiose scale.

As Clark later commented: "There is no doubt in my mind that one of the principal reasons- if not the one reason- for the Communist offensive was to give the ROK's a 'bloody nose,' to show them and the world that 'PUK CHIN'- Go North- was easier said than done."34

Of some significance was the fact that the enemy used Chinese rather than North Korean troops during most of the important attacks and that the bulk of the offense was directed against the ROK forces. It suggested that the Communists desired to improve the relative strength of the North Korean and ROK forces prior to the truce. If this were their hope, they were doomed to disappointment, for despite the losses of the period, the ROK ground forces rose from 537,350 at the end of March to 590,911 at the close of July, while the North Korean ground forces remained close to 260,000 during the four-month span.35

The following table of casualties and artillery expenditures serves to depict more graphically the intensification of combat activity between April and July:

Communist UNC
Date 1953 Casualties (Est.) Artillery Rounds Casualties Artillery Rounds 105-mm. and Above
April 10,500 51,690 4,343 1,255,015
May 16,454 99,340 7,570 1,747,718
June 36,346 329,130 23,161 2,710,248
July 72,112 a 375,565 29,629 2,000,982

a Highest total during the Korean War.

The Communists established two artillery records for themselves in July, the highest total for any month and the highest total for a ten-day period197,550 rounds during the 11-20 July span. The freedom with which enemy troops expended artillery and mortar shells demonstrated clearly that their supply situation had improved greatly and that they were willing to fire the rounds necessary to support their attacks. Even after the drains of June and July, there were no shortages of ammunition except on a local basis.

Thus, at the close of the shooting war the Communists were in fairly good condition, militarily speaking. Despite the large personnel losses of June and July, there were over a million Chinese and North Korean soldiers under arms in Korea. They were eating three meals a day as compared to two during the earlier stages of the war and were adequately clothed. The enemy transportation and communications systems had been continually bombed and harassed during the conflict, but the prodigious use of manpower, on the one hand, and camouflage, deception, and subterfuge, on the other, had permitted the Communists to maintain their forces at the front and to create stockpiles as well. The enemy armies were in a position to continue the limited type of warfare of the 1951-53 period for a considerable length of time if the need had arisen. Fortunately, the developments at Panmunjom during July obviated this eventuality, at least for the nonce.


1 Hq Eighth Army, Comd Rpt, Apr 53, pp. 19, 30.

2 (1) Msg, A 4390, FEAF to CINCFE, 11 Apr 53. (2) Msg, CX 61886, CINCFE to JCS, 12 Apr 53. Both in UNC/FEC, Comd Rpt, Apr 53, incls 110, incls 1 and 3. (3) Msg, DA 936440, CSUSA to CINCUNC, 14 Apr 53.

3 Msg, CINCFE to CG AFFE, 24 Apr 53, in UNC/FEC, Comd Rpt, Apr 53, incls 1-110, incl 10.

4 COMNAVFE, Comd and Rpt, Apr 53, sec. 1-3, 1-10.

5 Ibid., sec. 1-4, 1-5, 1-23.

6 Futrell, The United States Air Force in Korea 1950-1953, p. 624.

7 (1) FEAF Comd Rpt, May 53, pp. 1-6. (a) Futrell, The United States Air Force in Korea 1950-1953, pp. 624ff.

8 FEAF Comd Rpt, Jun 53, p. 3.

9 Hq Eighth Army, Comd Rpt, May 53, pp. 1, 8.

10 The following account is based upon: (1) Hq Eighth Army, Comd Rpt, May 53, pp. 50-57; (2) U.S. I Corps, Comd Rpt, May 53, pp. i8-28; (3) U.S. 25th Div Comd Rpt, May 53, pp. g-io; (4) U.S. 14th Inf Regt, Comd Rpt, May 53.

11 Msg, G 5558 KCG, Taylor to Clark, 2 Jun 53, in Hq Eighth Army, Gen Admin Files, Jan-Jun 53.

12 (1) KMAG, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, p. 16. (2) U.S. X Corps, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, pp. 1-3.

13 U.S. IX Corps, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, p. 34.

14 In addition to those already mentioned, the following major deployment changes had taken place prior to the outbreak of the June offensive. For the enemy the CCF 1st Army replaced the CCF 47th Army on the western front. For the UNC, the ROK 5th Division relieved the ROK 3d Division in the ROK II Corps area on 18 April and the U.S- 40th Division relieved the ROK 20th Division in the U.S. X Corps sector on 25 April. Two days later the U.S. 2d Division had passed to the operational control of the U.S. IX Corps. On 16 May the ROK 20th Division had relieved the ROK 7th Division at the front in the U.S. X Corps area.

15 The account of the mid-June enemy attack is based upon the following sources: (1) Hq Eighth Army, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, pp. 36ff. (2) U.S. X Corps, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, pp. 4-8. (3) KMAG, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, pp. 11ff.

16 U.S. IX Corps, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, pp. 8-10.

17 Ibid., pp. 3-6.

18 See U.S. IX Corps, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, pp. 31-32.

19 KMAG, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, p. 17.

20 U.S. IX Corps, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, pp. 10-12.

21 U.S. I Corps, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, pp. 10-12, 29.

22 U.S. X Corps, Comd Rpt, Jun 53, p. 6.

23 (1) Ibid, pp. 7-8. (2) U.S. X Corps, Comd Rpt, Jul 53, p. 3.

24 U.S. 24th Inf Div, Comd Rpt, Jul 55, pp. 1-8.

25 Hq Eighth Army, Comd Rpt, Jul 53, pp. 25-26.

26 U.S. IX Corps, Comd Rpt, Jul 53, pp. 2, 27, 28.

27 Interv of author with Col Leonard G. Robinson, 6 December 1960. Colonel Robinson was G-2 of the 7th Division at that time.

28 U.S. I Corps, Comd Rpt, Jul 53, pp. 23-24.

29 Hq Eighth Army, Comd Rpt, Jul 53, pp. 25-26.

30 U.S. IX Corps, Comd Rpt, Jul 53, pp. 3-4, 30-32.

31 The account of the July offensive is based on the following sources: (1) Hq Eighth Army, Comd Rpt, Jul 53; (2) U.S. IX Corps, Comd Rpt, Jul 53; (3) KMAG, Comd Rpt, Jul 53; (4) G-3 Opns Jnls, 13-20 Jul 53.

32 Hq Eighth Army, Comd Rpt, Jul 53, pp. 17, 51, 58.

33 The statistics in the following section have been extracted from the Headquarters, Eighth Army, Command Reports, for April, May, June, and July 1953.

34 General Mark W. Clark, "The Truth About Korea," Collier's, vol. 133, No. 5 (March 5, 1954) , p. 48.

35 The ROK totals includes ROKA combat, service, and security troops, KATUSA, and the ROK marines while the North Korean figures include combat, security, and support troops.

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