Battle of Chongju (1950)
The Battle of Chongju took place during the United Nations offensive towards the Yalu River, which followed the North Korean invasion of South Korea at the start of the Korean War. The battle was fought between Australian forces from 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and the 17th Tank Brigade of the Korean People's Army for control of Chongju, North Korea and the surrounding area. After detecting a strong North Korean armoured force equipped with T-34 tanks and SU-76 self-propelled guns on a thickly wooded ridgeline astride the line of advance, the Australians launched a series of company attacks with American M4 Sherman tanks and aircraft in support. Despite heavy resistance the North Koreans were forced to withdraw and the Australians captured their objectives after three hours of fighting; that evening the North Koreans were reinforced, attacking the Australian southern flank manned by D Company 3 RAR, penetrating their perimeter. After two hours of fighting the assault was repulsed, the North Koreans subsequently launched a furious assault against A Company 3 RAR on the northern position, which failed amid heavy losses.
The following day the Australians advanced to the high ground overlooking Chongju and capturing a number of North Koreans in skirmishes. That afternoon the town itself was cleared by the remaining elements of the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade without opposition. North Korean casualties during the fighting were heavy, while Australian losses included their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Green, wounded in the stomach by artillery fire after the battle and died two days later; the Korean War began early in the morning of 25 June 1950, following the surprise invasion of the Republic of Korea by its northern neighbour, the communist Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Numerically superior and better-equipped, the Korean People's Army crossed the 38th Parallel and advanced south overcoming the South Koreans. In response, the United Nations decided to intervene on behalf of South Korea, inviting member states to send forces to restore the situation; as a consequence, American ground forces were hastily deployed in an attempt to prevent the South Koreans from collapsing, however they too were under strength and poorly equipped, by early August had been forced back by the North Koreans to an enclave around Pusan, known as the Pusan Perimeter.
Key US allies—Britain and Australia—also committed forces, although these were limited to naval contingents and were viewed as token efforts in the US. Under diplomatic pressure the British agreed to deploy an infantry brigade in July, would dispatch a second brigade as the crisis worsened; the Canadians agreed to provide an infantry brigade, although the first battalion would not arrive until December 1950. A total of 21 UN member states contributed forces. Australia was one of the first nations to commit units to the fighting, playing a small but sometimes significant part in the United Nations Command, led by General Douglas MacArthur. Forces deployed in Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force formed the basis of the Australian response, with P-51 Mustang fighter-bombers from No. 77 Squadron RAAF flying their first missions on 2 July, while the frigate HMAS Shoalhaven and the destroyer HMAS Bataan were committed to naval operations. During this time the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, preparing to return to Australia prior to the outbreak of the war, remained in Japan, however on 26 July the Australian government announced that it would commit the understrength and poorly equipped infantry battalion to the fighting, following a period of preparation.
Training and re-equipment began while hundreds of reinforcements were hastily recruited in Australia as part of K Force. The battalion's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Floyd Walsh, was subsequently replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Green. An officer with extensive operational experience fighting the Japanese in New Guinea during the Second World War, Green took over from Walsh due to the latter's perceived inexperience. On 23 September 1950, 3 RAR embarked for Korea. There it joined the British 27th Infantry Brigade, a garrison formation hurriedly committed from Hong Kong by the British government as the situation deteriorated around the Pusan Perimeter in late August to bolster the US Eighth Army under Lieutenant General Walton Walker. Commanded by Brigadier Basil Coad, the brigade was renamed the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade and consisted of the 1st Battalion and Sutherland Highland Regiment, the 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment and 3 RAR. Under strength, the two British battalions had each mustered just 600 men of all ranks, while the brigade was short on transport and heavy equipment, had no integral artillery support, for which it would rely on the Americans until the 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery arrived in January 1951.
As such, with a strength of nearly 1,000 men, the addition of 3 RAR gave the brigade increased tactical weight as well as expediently allowing the Australians to work within a familiar organisational environment, rather than being attached to a US formation. Under the command of the brigade were a number of US Army units, including 155 mm howitzers from the US 90th Field Artillery Battalion, M4 Sherman tanks from US 89th Tank Battalion and a company from the US 72nd Combat Engineer Battalion. By the time 3 RAR arrived in the theatre, the North Koreans had been broken and were in rapid retreat, wi
Battle of Kyongju
The Battle of Kyongju was an engagement between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from August 31 to September 15, 1950, in the vicinity of Kyongju in South Korea. It was a part of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, was one of several large engagements fought simultaneously; the battle ended in a victory for the United Nations after large numbers of United States and Republic of Korea troops repelled a strong North Korean attack. Holding a line north of P'ohang-dong, An'gang-ni, Kyongju, the so-called "Kyongju corridor," the Republic of Korea Army I Corps was unexpectedly hit with an attack by the North Korean People's Army's II Corps, part of the wider Great Naktong Offensive; the South Korean troops demoralized and struggling to maintain a strong defensive line, were pushed back from their positions. US Army units were called in to assist the South Koreans repel the attack. Fighting was heavy and the two sides fought to capture and recapture P'ohang-dong and An'gang-ni, with the North Koreans seeking to break through the Kyongju corridor as a way to attack the UN base at Pusan.
However, with large amounts of UN air and naval support, the US and South Korean ground forces were able to rout and force back the North Korean troops after two weeks of fighting. From the outbreak of the Korean War and the invasion of South Korea by the North, the North Korean People's Army had enjoyed superiority in both manpower and equipment over both the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and the United Nations forces dispatched to South Korea to prevent it from collapsing; the North Korean strategy was to aggressively pursue UN and South Korean forces on all avenues of approach south and to engage them aggressively, attacking from the front and initiating a double envelopment of both flanks of the unit, which allowed the North Koreans to surround and cut off the opposing force, which would be forced to retreat in disarray leaving behind much of its equipment. From their initial June 25 offensive to fights in July and early August, the North Koreans used this strategy to defeat any UN force and push it south.
However, when the UN forces, under the Eighth United States Army, established the Pusan Perimeter in August, the UN troops held a continuous line along the peninsula which North Korean troops could not flank, their advantages in numbers decreased daily as the superior UN logistical system brought in more troops and supplies to the UN army. When the North Koreans approached the Pusan Perimeter on August 5, they attempted the same frontal assault technique on the four main avenues of approach into the perimeter. Throughout August, the NK 6th Division, the NK 7th Division engaged the US 25th Infantry Division at the Battle of Masan repelling a UN counteroffensive before countering with battles at Komam-ni and Battle Mountain; these attacks stalled as UN forces, well equipped and with plenty of reserves repelled North Korean attacks. North of Masan, the NK 4th Division and the US 24th Infantry Division sparred in the Naktong Bulge area. In the First Battle of Naktong Bulge, the North Korean division was unable to hold its bridgehead across the river as large numbers of US reserve forces were brought in to repel it, on August 19, the NK 4th Division was forced back across the river with 50 percent casualties.
In the Taegu region, five North Korean divisions were repulsed by three UN divisions in several attempts to attack the city during the Battle of Taegu. Heavy fighting took place at the Battle of the Bowling Alley where the NK 13th Division was completely destroyed in the attack. On the east coast, three more North Korean divisions were repulsed by the South Koreans at P'ohang-dong during the Battle of P'ohang-dong. All along the front, the North Korean troops were reeling from these defeats, the first time in the war their strategies were not working. In planning its new offensive, the North Korean command decided any attempt to flank the UN force was impossible thanks to the support of the UN navy. Instead, they opted to use frontal attack to breach the perimeter and collapse it as the only hope of achieving success in the battle. Fed by intelligence from the Soviet Union the North Koreans were aware the UN forces were building up along the Pusan Perimeter and that it must conduct an offensive soon or it could not win the battle.
A secondary objective was to destroy the UN and South Korean units in that city. As part of this mission, the North Korean units would first cut the supply lines to Taegu. On August 20, the North Korean commands distributed operations orders to their subordinate units; the North Koreans called for a simultaneous five-prong attack against the UN lines. These attacks would overwhelm the UN defenders and allow the North Koreans to break through the lines in at least one place to force the UN forces back. Five battle groupings were ordered; the easternmost of these was for the NK 12th and NK 5th Divisions break through the ROK Capital Division and ROK 3rd Division to P'ohang-dong and Kyongju. The North Korean attack struck first on the UN's right flank on Korea's east coast. Although the NK II Corps general attack in the north and east was planned for September 2, the NK 12th Division, now with a strength of 5,000 men, started to move forward from the mountains earlier than planned, from where it had reorganized after its defeat in the Kigye and P'ohang-dong area.
The division was low in food supply and ammunition, its men suffered from low morale. On August 26, American and South Korean officers in the P'ohang-dong and Kigye area were optimistic.
The Hadong Ambush was an engagement between United States and North Korean forces, occurring on July 27, 1950, in the village of Hadong in southern South Korea, early in the Korean War. The fight ended in a North Korean victory following a successful ambush of US forces which resulted in heavy American casualties; the US Army's 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, a newly formed unit consisting of inexperienced new arrivals, was ordered to move to the South Korean village of Hadong to hold the pass there from advancing forces of the North Korean Korean People's Army. Unprepared for combat, the American forces walked into an ambush in which most of the battalion's command staff was killed in the pass, leaving lower-ranking soldiers to mount a disorganized defence against North Korean troops occupying prepared positions on higher ground. For three hours the battalion fought, pinned in a crossfire by North Korean soldiers on higher ground. North Korean forces were able to divide the American force and kill most of its commanders, further disorganizing the men.
Following the failed operation, the wounded US commander ordered a withdrawal, which became disorganized, resulting in hundreds of casualties. Destroyed after its first engagement, the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment was disbanded and merged with other units as the North Korean forces advanced through the pass and attacked US positions to the east. Following the invasion of South Korea by North Korea, the subsequent outbreak of the Korean War as a result, the United Nations decided to commit troops to the conflict on behalf of South Korea; the United States subsequently sent ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goal of fighting back the North Korean invasion and to prevent South Korea from collapsing. However, US forces in the Far East had been decreasing since the end of World War II in 1945, at the time the closest forces were the 24th Infantry Division of the Eighth United States Army, headquartered in Japan; the division was understrength, most of its equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending.
Regardless, the 24th Infantry Division was ordered into South Korea. The 24th Infantry Division was the first US unit sent into Korea with the mission to take the initial "shock" of North Korean advances, delaying much larger KPA units to buy time to allow follow-on forces to arrive; the division was outnumbered and outgunned for several weeks as it attempted to delay the KPA, making time for the 7th Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division and other Eighth Army supporting units to move into position. Republic of Korea Army forces in the meantime were systematically defeated and forced south along Korea's east coast, with entire divisions being overrun by the KPA's superior firepower and equipment. Advance elements of the 24th Infantry Division were badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on July 5, during the first battle between American and North Korean forces. For the first month after the defeat of Task Force Smith, 24th Infantry Division soldiers were defeated and forced south by the KPA's superior numbers and equipment.
The regiments of the 24th Infantry Division were systematically pushed south in battles around Chochiwon and Pyongtaek. The 24th Infantry Division made a final stand in the Battle of Taejon, being completely destroyed but delaying North Korean forces from advancing until July 20. By that time, the Eighth Army's force of combat troops were equal to North Korean forces attacking the region at around 70,000 for each side, with new UN units arriving every day. On July 20, 400 hastily assembled; the inexperienced soldiers were assigned to the 29th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, a command, preparing other battalions to move into Korea and to relieve the other units of the 24th Infantry Division. The new formations, now consisting of soldiers who had no combat experience and grouped into two battalions, were sent into Pusan; the headquarters of the regiment remained behind to form a new regiment. This regiment would be in charge of the defense of Okinawa but would be rushed into Korea; the two battalions landed in Pusan on July 21 and were assigned to the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, but they retained their designations as the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 29th Infantry Regiment.
Instead of being given time to train and prepare to enter the front lines, the battalions were sent to the regiment's sector at Chinju. By July 22 the units were on the front lines with new equipment; the equipment, fresh from production lines, was not prepared for combat, despite promises from several commanders that the unit would be given time to do so. American planners believed that the Hadong area was under attack from elements of the KPA 4th Division, having just received replacements following its victory at Taejon. However, the soldiers in the area were from the KPA 6th Division under the command of General Pang Ho San; the two divisions were coordinating to envelop the UN's left flank and were spread out. Therefore, only groups of a few hundred were advancing through the region, some with small numbers of tanks. After arrival, the commanding officer of the 19th Infantry Regiment, Colonel Ned D. Moore, ordered the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry to move out and seize the Hadong pass, a road junction 35 miles southwest of Chinju, where about 500 North Korean soldiers were reported to be moving.
Eighth Army had received reports that the KPA had been fighting South Korean police who were resisting in the village of Hadong, 1 mile west of the pass. The battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel
The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border; as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea had been split into two sovereign states in 1948. A socialist state was established in the north under the communist leadership of Kim Il-sung and a capitalist state in the south under the anti-communist leadership of Syngman Rhee. Both governments of the two new Korean states claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all of Korea, neither accepted the border as permanent; the conflict escalated into warfare when North Korean military forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—crossed the border and advanced south into South Korea on 25 June 1950. The United Nations Security Council authorized the formation and dispatch of UN forces to Korea to repel what was recognized as a North Korean invasion. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing around 90% of the military personnel.
After the first two months of war, South Korean and U. S. forces dispatched to Korea were on the point of defeat, forced back to a small area in the south known as the Pusan Perimeter. In September 1950, an amphibious UN counter-offensive was launched at Incheon, cut off many North Korean troops; those who escaped envelopment and capture were forced back north. UN forces approached the Yalu River—the border with China—but in October 1950, mass Chinese forces crossed the Yalu and entered the war; the surprise Chinese intervention triggered a retreat of UN forces which continued until mid-1951. In these reversals of fortune, Seoul changed hands four times, the last two years of fighting became a war of attrition, with the front line close to the 38th parallel; the war in the air, was never a stalemate. North Korea was subject to a massive bombing campaign. Jet fighters confronted each other in air-to-air combat for the first time in history, Soviet pilots covertly flew in defense of their communist allies.
The fighting ended on 27 July 1953. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty was signed, according to some sources the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict. In April 2018, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the demilitarized zone and agreed to work towards a treaty to formally end the Korean War. In South Korea, the war is referred to as "625" or the "6–2–5 Upheaval", reflecting the date of its commencement on June 25. In North Korea, the war is referred to as the "Fatherland Liberation War" or alternatively the "Chosǒn War". In China, the war is called the "War to Resist America and Aid Korea", although the term "Chaoxian War" is used in unofficial contexts, along with the term "Hán War" more used in regions such as Hong Kong and Macau. In the U. S. the war was described by President Harry S. Truman as a "police action" as the United States never formally declared war on its opponents and the operation was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.
It has been referred to in the English-speaking world as "The Forgotten War" or "The Unknown War" because of the lack of public attention it received both during and after the war, in relation to the global scale of World War II, which preceded it, the subsequent angst of the Vietnam War, which succeeded it. Imperial Japan destroyed the influence of China over Korea in the First Sino-Japanese War, ushering in the short-lived Korean Empire. A decade after defeating Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan made Korea its protectorate with the Eulsa Treaty in 1905 annexed it with the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty in 1910. Many Korean nationalists fled the country; the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was founded in 1919 in Nationalist China. It failed to achieve international recognition, failed to unite nationalist groups, had a fractious relationship with its U. S.-based founding president, Syngman Rhee. From 1919 to 1925 and beyond, Korean communists led internal and external warfare against the Japanese.
In China, the Nationalist National Revolutionary Army and the communist People's Liberation Army helped organize Korean refugees against the Japanese military, which had occupied parts of China. The Nationalist-backed Koreans, led by Yi Pom-Sok, fought in the Burma Campaign; the communists, led by Kim Il-sung among others, fought the Japanese in Manchuria. At the Cairo Conference in November 1943, the United Kingdom, the United States all decided that "in due course Korea shall become free and independent". At the Tehran Conference in November 1943 and the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the Soviet Union promised to join its allies in the Pacific War within three months of the victory in Europe. Accordingly, it declared war o
Battle of Battle Mountain
The Battle of Battle Mountain was an engagement between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from August 15 to September 19, 1950, on and around the Sobuk-san mountain area in South Korea. It was one of several large engagements fought during the Battle of Pusan Perimeter; the battle ended in a victory for the UN after large numbers of United States and Republic of Korea troops were able to prevent a North Korean division from capturing the mountain area. Operating in defense of Masan, the US Army's 25th Infantry Division placed its 24th Infantry Regiment and 5th Infantry Regiment on Sobuk-san to defend its two peaks, P'il-bong and Hill 665, which would be known as "Battle Mountain." What followed was a month-long struggle with the North Korean People's Army's 6th Division, in which Battle Mountain changed hands 20 times. During the deadlock, neither side was able to secure a definite victory in capturing the mountaintop, but the US forces succeeded in their mission of preventing the North Koreans from advancing beyond Battle Mountain, paving the way for the North Koreans' eventual defeat and withdrawal from the area after the Battle of Inchon.
Following the June 25, 1950, outbreak of the Korean War as a result of the invasion of the Republic of Korea by its northern neighbor, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United Nations committed troops to the conflict in support of South Korea. The United States, a member of the UN, subsequently dispatched ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goal of pushing back the North Korean invasion and preventing South Korea from collapsing. However, the number of US forces in the Far East had been decreasing since the end of World War II, five years earlier, at the time the closest forces were the 24th Infantry Division, headquartered in Japan; the division was understrength however, most of its equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending. Regardless, the 24th was ordered to South Korea; the 24th Infantry Division was the first US unit sent into Korea with the mission to take the initial "shock" of North Korean advances, delaying the much larger North Korean units to buy time to allow reinforcements to arrive.
The division was alone for several weeks while the 1st Cavalry Division and the 7th and 25th Infantry Divisions moved into position, along with other Eighth United States Army supporting units. Advance elements of the 24th Infantry were badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on July 5, the first encounter between American and North Korean forces. For the first month after the defeat at Osan, 24th Infantry was defeated and forced south by superior North Korean numbers and equipment; the regiments of the 24th Infantry were systematically pushed south in engagements around Chochiwon and Pyongtaek. The 24th made a final stand in the Battle of Taejon, where it was completely destroyed but delayed North Korean forces from advancing until July 20. By that time, the Eighth Army's force of combat troops were equal to North Korean forces attacking the region, with new UN units arriving every day. With Taejon captured, North Korean forces attempted to envelop the Pusan Perimeter; the 4th and 6th North Korean Infantry Divisions advanced south in a wide flanking maneuver.
The two divisions were forced to spread their units along a thin line, but managed to penetrate the UN's left flank with armor and superior numbers pushing back US and South Korean forces. American forces were pushed back before halting the North Korean advance in a series of engagements in the southern section of the country; the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, newly arrived in the country, sustained massive casualties at Hadong in a coordinated ambush on July 27 that opened a pass to the Pusan area. Soon after, North Korean forces took Chinju to the west, pushing back the US 19th Infantry Regiment and leaving routes to the Pusan area open for more North Korean attacks. US formations were subsequently able to defeat and push back the North Koreans on the flank in the Battle of the Notch on August 2. Suffering mounting losses, the KPA force in the west withdrew for several days to re-equip and receive reinforcements; this granted both sides a reprieve to prepare for the attack on the Pusan Perimeter.
The Eighth Army commander, Lieutenant General Walton Walker ordered the US 25th Infantry Division, under Major General William B. Kean, to take up defensive positions on the Pusan Perimeter's southern flank west of Masan. By August 15, the 25th Infantry Division had moved into the line, but rough terrain west of Masan limited the choice of its positions; the mountain group west of Masan was the first defensible ground east of the Chinju pass. The 2,000-foot mountain ridges of Sobuk-san dominated the area and protected the road from Komam-ni to Haman to Chindong-ni, the only means of north–south communication west of Masan. Northwest of Komam-ni was the broken spur ridge of P'il-bong, dominated by 900 feet Sibidang-san, along the Nam River. Sibidang provided an excellent observation point for the surrounding area, US artillery emplaced in the Komam-ni area could interdict the road junction at Chungam-ni; the US 35th Infantry Regiment set up positions at Sibidang-Komam-ni, in the northern part of the 25th Infantry Division defense line.
The 35th Regiment line extended from a point 2 miles west of Komam-ni to the Nam River and turned east along that stream to its confluence with the Naktong River. It was a long regimental line, about 26,000 yards, twice the length a regiment was assigned; the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, held the regiment's left flank west of Komam-ni, the 2nd Battalion held
Battle of the Bowling Alley
In the Battle of the Bowling Alley, United Nations forces defeated North Korean forces early in the Korean War near the city of Taegu, South Korea. The battle took place in a narrow valley, dubbed the "Bowling Alley", north of Taegu, it followed a week of fighting between the Korean People's Army 13th Division and the Republic of Korea Army's 1st Division along the latter's last defensible line in the hills north of the city. Reinforcements, including the US Army's 27th and 23rd Infantry Regiments were committed to bolster the South Koreans' defenses; this battle and several others were smaller engagements of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter. For another week, North Korean divisions launched all the troops they had in massed attacks against the ROK and US lines, their attacks, which occurred at night and were supported by armor and artillery, advanced with infantry and tanks in close support of one another. Each North Korean attack ran into well-established UN lines, where US tanks and entrenched infantry were positioned to counter them.
Strikes by US aircraft ravaged the attacking North Koreans. The fighting was fierce with many casualties on both sides where the North and South Koreans fought one another; the repeated attacks broke and pushed back the North Korean forces. They continued their push against the Pusan Perimeter until they were outflanked in the Battle of Inchon. Following the invasion of the South Korea by North Korea on June 25, 1950, the UN voted to use force to defend South Korea; the United States, a member of the UN committed ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goal of pushing back the North Korean invasion and preventing South Korea from collapsing. But US forces in the Far East had been decreasing since the end of World War II, five years earlier, at the time the closest force was the 24th Infantry Division, headquartered in Japan; the division was understrength, most of its equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending. The 24th was ordered to South Korea; the 24th Infantry Division was the first US unit sent into Korea with the mission to take the initial "shock" of North Korean advances, delaying much larger North Korean units to buy time to allow reinforcements to arrive.
The division fought for several weeks while the 1st Cavalry, 7th Infantry and 25th Infantry Divisions and Eighth United States Army supporting units were arriving. Advance elements of the 24th were badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on July 5, the first encounter between American and North Korean forces. For the first month after the defeat at Osan, the 24th Infantry Division was defeated and forced south by superior North Korean numbers and equipment; the regiments of the division were systematically pushed south in engagements around Chochiwon and Pyongtaek. The 24th was annihilated in the Battle of Taejon, but was able to delay the North Korean forces until July 20. By that time, the Eighth Army's force of combat troops were equal to North Korean forces attacking the region, with new UN units arriving every day. After the fight at Taejon, UN forces were pushed back before halting the North Korean advance in a series of engagements in the southern section of the country. Forces of the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry, newly arrived in the country, were wiped out at Hadong in a coordinated ambush by North Korean forces on July 27, opening a pass to the Pusan area from the west.
Soon after, North Korean forces took Chinju, east of Hadong, pushing back the US 19th Infantry Regiment and leaving routes to Pusan open to direct North Korean attacks. The UN formations were subsequently able to defeat the North Koreans in the Battle of the Notch on August 2, halting their advance from the west. Suffering mounting losses, the KPA force withdrew for several days to re-equip and receive reinforcements; this granted both sides a reprieve to prepare for the attack on the Pusan Perimeter. Meanwhile, the Eighth Army commander Lieutenant General Walton Walker had established Taegu as his headquarters. At the center of the Pusan Perimeter line, Taegu stood at the entrance to the Naktong River valley, an area where North Korean forces could advance in large numbers in close support; the natural barriers provided by the Naktong River to the south and the mountainous terrain to the north converged around Taegu, a transportation hub and the last major South Korean city aside from Pusan itself to remain in UN hands.
From south to north, the city was defended by the US 1st Cavalry Division, the ROK 1st Division and the 6th Division, which were under the command of ROK II Corps. The 1st Cavalry Division was spread out along a long line on the Naktong River to the south, with its 5th Cavalry and 8th Cavalry regiments holding a 24,000-meter line along the river south of Waegwan, facing west; the 7th Cavalry held position to the east in reserve, along with artillery forces, ready to reinforce anywhere a North Korean crossing could be attempted. The ROK 1st Division held a northwest-facing line in the mountains north of the city while the ROK 6th Division held position to the east, guarding the narrow valley holding the Kunwi road into the Pusan Perimeter area. Five North Korean divisions amassed around Taegu to oppose the UN forces in the city. From south to north, the 10th, 3rd, 15th, 13th, 1st North Korean Divisions occupied a wide line encircling Taegu from Tuksong-dong and around Waegwan to Kunwi; the North Korean army planned to use the natural corridor of the Naktong River valley from Sangju to Taegu as its main axis of attack for the next push south, so the KPA divisions all moved through this valley, crossing the Naktong at different areas along the low ground.
Second Battle of Seoul
The Second Battle of Seoul was a battle that resulted in United Nations forces recapturing Seoul from the North Koreans in late September 1950. Before the battle, North Korea had just one understrength division in the city, with the majority of its forces south of the capital. MacArthur oversaw the 1st Marine Regiment as it fought through North Korean positions on the road to Seoul. Control of Operation Chromite was given to Major General Edward Almond, the X Corps commander. General Almond was in an enormous hurry to capture Seoul by September 25 three months after the North Korean assault across the 38th parallel; the advance on Seoul was bloody after the landings at Inchon. The reason was the appearance in the Seoul area of two first-class fighting units of the Korean People's Army, the 78th Independent Infantry Regiment and 25th Infantry Brigade, about 7,000 troops in all; the KPA launched a T-34 attack, trapped and destroyed, a Yak bombing run in Incheon harbor, which did little damage. The KPA attempted to stall the UN offensive to allow time to reinforce Seoul and withdraw troops from the south.
Though warned that the process of taking Seoul would allow remaining KPA forces in the south to escape, MacArthur felt that he was bound to honor promises given to the South Korean government to retake the capital as soon as possible. On the second day, vessels carrying the U. S. Army's 7th Infantry Division arrived in Incheon Harbor. General Almond was eager to get the division into position to block a possible enemy movement from the south of Seoul. On the morning of September 18, the division's 2nd Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment landed at Incheon and the remainder of the regiment went ashore in the day; the next morning, the 2nd Battalion moved up to relieve a U. S. Marine battalion occupying positions on the right flank south of Seoul. Meanwhile, the 7th Division's 31st Infantry Regiment came ashore at Incheon. Responsibility for the zone south of Seoul highway passed to the 7th Division at 18:00 on September 19; the 7th Infantry Division engaged in heavy fighting with KPA forces on the outskirts of Seoul.
The Marines entered Seoul shortly after 7:00am on September 25 to find it fortified. Buildings were defended by machine guns and snipers, on Ma Po Boulevard, the main road through the city, the KPA had established a series of 8-foot-high barricades of burlap bags filled with either sand or rice. Located about 200-300 yards apart, each major intersection of the city featured such a barricade, the approaches to which were laced with mines, which were defended by a 45mm anti-tank gun and machine guns; each had to be eliminated one at a time, it took the Marines, on average, 45–60 minutes to clear each position. Casualties mounted. Edwin H. Simmons, a Major in 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, likened the experience of his company's advance up the boulevard to "attacking up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capital in Washington, D. C." He described the street as "once a busy, pleasant avenue lined with sycamores, groceries and tea shops." Anxious to pronounce the conquest of Seoul on MacArthur's insistence by the third-month anniversary of the war, Almond declared the city liberated on September 25, although Marines were still engaged in house-to-house combat.
Effective resistance would cease by September 27. After the battle, South Korean police executed citizens and their families who were suspected as communist sympathizers in what is known as the Goyang Geumjeong Cave and Namyangju massacres. Eugene A. Obregon, US Marine posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for shielding a fellow Marine during the battle First Battle of Seoul Third Battle of Seoul Operation Ripper Halberstam, David; the Coldest WInter – America and the Korean War. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 978-1-4013-0052-4. Hoyt, Edwin P. On To The Yalu, ISBN 0-8128-2977-8