Kapyong was 'Not' the Korean War
Australian Casualties
Korea Remembered

The following is to show those with short memories that Kapyong was not the Korean War.

Brigadier Coad at the Apple Orchard

'I saw a marvelous sight. An Australian platoon lined up in a paddy field and walked through it as though they were driving snipe. The soldiers, when they saw a pile of straw, kicked it and out would bolt a North Korean. Up with the rifle and down with a North Korean and the Australians thoroughly enjoyed it.'

Location WIA KIA
Taegu   2
Kyamipo 1  
Yongju 10  
Pakchon B/B 16 8
Pakchon - Chongju 1  
Chongju 35 9
Pakchon, 5.11.50 32 14
Uijongbu   1
Tokchon 2 1
Seoul 3  
Ichon 2 1
Chuam-ni 16 4
  5 1
Hill 614 12 3
Hill 587 1  
Hill 410 31 12
Chisan 15 3
Hill 760 4  
Salmon - Sardine 8  
Prior To Kapyong 196 59
Kapyong 58 33
Entire Korean War 1,240 291 (plus 39 MIA)

*Note:- The earlier battles were of the short and sharp variety and in duration not much more than half a day, whereas Kapyong casualties are shown for April 23, 24, 25.

Who did have the fiercest battles ? We should not forget those early "skirmishes."

Max J. Eberle.

Australia in the Korean War, 1950-53 - Extracts

'Australia's involvement in the war was much more significant at the level of policy formulation than at tbe level of combat operations.'

'The Defense Committee was prepared to sanction the immediate transfer to Korea of that part of the Battalion already in Japan, if the Government considered that great political urgency was attached to the move.'

'For much of the Korean War period, even when combat was at its most intense, planning for the future defense of Malaya and its maritime environs occupied a higher place in the deliberations of Cabinet and the Defense Committee than did the Korean War.'

Re:- The casualty list on this Page.

I recently attended a luncheon at Paddington Woolhara R.S.L. Tbere were many friends there and all had a good time.

However, I must disagree with the remarks of the guest speaker when he mentioned that Kapyong was the first major battle in which the Australians were involved in Korea.

I feel I should mention the Apple Orchard when our youngest troops, those young fellows in C Company who, in their first encounter, went "up the Guts" with fixed bayonets. It was fortunate there were so few casualties, very fortunate. When the bullets are flying they are all big battles.

Then there is the Battle of Broken Bridge, 16 wounded and 8 Killed in action. How many have to die to qualify for a big battle? How about Chongju with 35 wounded and 9 Killed and again Pakchon on November 5 when tberewere 32 wounded and 14 killed.

After a couple of other minor skirmishes there was Hill 410 with 31 wounded and 12 killed. Another skirmish?

The early battles were attacks against North Koreans dug in on the top of hills and our boys had the task of climbing those hills in open ground. Most of the early battles were won in about half a day or a little more and for such a short time I would consider the casualty lists quite horrendous.

However they were only'skirmishes' in the minds of some who were not there, those that can only see the situations they were in as being of any great importance. Unfortunately the men who lost their lives in those early "skirmishes" are just as dead as those who were killed at Kapyong.. "Lest we forget".

This is not to denigrate those who served in the Kapyong battle, they fought a tremendous action and were well worthy of the Honour bestowed upon them by various governments. The young diggers who had their baptism of fire at the Apple Orchard, when they went in with a bayonet charge without the support of artillery or mortars, also deserve high praise, not eo be forgotten entirely.

There is a tendency today to speak of the Korean War as if it commenced on April 23 1951 and there are those who scoff and say it started at Maryang-san or The Hinge. Anything that went before is not worth mentioning.

I am sorry to say, you will always get an argument from myself, Charlie Green, and the 255 casualties which preceded Kapyong. I guess it all depends on when one heard the "Call of the Bugle".

Max J. Eberle

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