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
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Belgian United Nations Command
The Belgian United Nations Command known as the Belgian Volunteer Corps for Korea or "Brown Berets", is the name given to the Belgian-Luxembourgish military force sent to South Korea to fight in the Korean War by the Belgian government of Joseph Pholien. The battalion served in Korea between 1951 and August 1955, staying in Korea after the signing of the armistice. By the end of this period, 3,171 Belgians and 78 Luxembourgers had served tours of duty in Korea; when the Korean War broke out in 1950, Belgium was experiencing a period of turmoil. Belgium had been occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War between 1940–4 and reconstruction was still much in progress. Politically, the country was torn over the issue of the so-called Royal Question. With the centrist parties thus occupied, both Communist and right-wing Flemish nationalist parties enjoyed considerable support; the Prime Minister in office, when the UN declaration calling for soldiers to be sent to the aid of Korea was sent, was Joseph Pholien of the Christian Social Party, politically opposed to the rise of communism abroad and wished to gain support from the United States.
Both the Belgian and Luxembourgish governments decided to comply with the UN request to send troops to assist South Korea. Over 2,000 Belgians volunteered for service in B. U. N. C. Of these only 700 were selected for training at Leopoldsburg. After training, volunteers received their characteristic brown berets. Soldiers from Luxembourg who were trained alongside the Belgians were organised into 1st Platoon, A Company of B. U. N. C; the Belgian-Luxembourg Corps sailed from Antwerp to Pusan and arrived on 31 January 1951. On arrival in Korea, some South Korean troops were made part of the Belgian contingent in order to bring the regiment up to correct battalion strength along the lines of the US "KATUSA" or Commonwealth "KATCOM" programme. In April 1951, the Belgians fought in one of the key battles of the Korean War – the Battle of the Imjin River; the First Battalion was relieved by a new battalion fresh from Belgium in August 1951 which stayed until 1955. At the Battle of the Imjin River in 1951, the Belgian battalion held a key pass alongside the British Gloucestershire Regiment.
For actions at the Imjin, the Belgians received a US Presidential Citation. During the battle, Albert Crahay, commander of the unit, was wounded by a Chinese phosphorus shell and was evacuated to a hospital in Japan. B. U. N. C. Continued to see action and went on to earn further battle honours at Haktang-Ni – one of the series of battles at Broken Arrow – in October 1951 when the Belgians took up position on an isolated hillside and suffered relentless Chinese attacks which they repelled, killing over a hundred Chinese and losing only a handful of men themselves; the last main action fought by the Belgian contingent was at the Battle of Chatkol in April 1953. Belgian forces held a defensive arc position in the Iron Triangle for over 55 nights of Chinese assaults. After the cease-fire, it was seen as unnecessary to keep BUNC up to the strength it had during the war and it was reduced to some 200 men on 30 December 1954, like other UN contingents, it was viewed as necessary to maintain a presence in Korea during the uncertain peace following the negotiations at Panmunjom and the last members of the unit left Korea on 15 June 1955.
BELGIANS CAN DO TOO! was a slogan written across the windshield of Padre of the Unit's Jeep during the battles around the "Iron Triangle." Seeing the exhaustion of the troops, the Padre copied the motto of the US 15th Infantry Regiment alongside whom the Belgians were serving at the time to try to raise morale. The phrase was made famous in Belgium and is thought to summarise the spirit and courage of the Belgian contingent. 101 Belgian soldiers, 2 Luxembourgish soldiers and 9 South Korean soldiers attached to the Belgian contingent were killed during the war. 478 Belgians and 17 Luxembourgers were wounded in action and 5 Belgians are still posted as missing. 2 died in North Korean POW Camps. B. U. N. C. was awarded one American Unit Citation. The text of the US Presidential Unit Citation for actions at the Imjin River: The Belgian battalion with the Luxembourg detachment of the UN Forces in Korea is mentioned for exceptional execution of its missions and for its remarkable heroism in its actions against the enemy on the Imjin, near Hantangang, Korea during the period from 20 till 26 April 1951.
The Belgian battalion with the Luxembourg detachment, one of the smallest units of the UNO in Korea, has inflicted thirty-fold losses on the enemy compared to its own, due to its aggressive and courageous actions against the Communist Chinese. During this period considerable enemy forces, supported by fire by machine guns and artillery and attacked the positions held by the battalion but and Luxembourgers have continuously and bravely repulsed these fanatic attacks by inflicting heavy losses to the enemy forces... The extraordinary courage shown by the members of this units during this period has bestowed extraordinary honor on their country and on themselves By order of General Van Fleet; the Belgian-Luxembourg Corps served at three key battles of the Korean War – the Battle of the Imjin River and Battle of Haktang-ni 1951, the Battle of Chatkol 1953. The 3rd Parachute Battalion is based in Tielen; the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch, Luxembourg has a permanent gallery and memorial on the participation of B.
U. N. C in Korea. There is a small museum attached to the Barracks of the 3rd Parachute Battalion, Belgian Army, in Tielen, Belgium which focuses on the Belgian participation in the Korean
Battle of Masan
The Battle of Masan was an engagement between United Nations and North Korean forces, which took place early in the Korean War between August 5 and September 19, 1950, in the vicinity of Masan and the Naktong River in South Korea. It was part of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, was one of several large engagements fought simultaneously; the battle ended in a victory for the UN after large numbers of United States and Republic of Korea troops were able to repel the repeated attacks of two North Korean divisions. Operating as the extreme southern flank of the Pusan Perimeter, the US Army's 25th Infantry Division placed its regiments around the South Korean city of Masan, with the US 24th Infantry Regiment and 5th Regimental Combat Team based in Haman and nearby Sobuk-san, the US 35th Infantry Regiment based along the Nam River to the west of the city. Throughout the six-week battle, the Korean People's Army 6th and 7th Divisions attacked the 25th Division's regiments in an attempt to break through the UN forces and attack Pusan.
An initial UN counteroffensive out of Masan proved ineffective in stopping the North Koreans from advancing. In the subsequent fight, the 35th Infantry was able to repel the North Koreans at the Battle of Nam River and were regarded for these actions. However, the 24th Infantry performed poorly at the battles of Blue Mountain and Haman, forcing the 25th Division to muster reserves to counter the North Korean gains against the 24th; the UN units were able to defeat and repel the North Koreans including through a coordinated offensive across the entire perimeter. In delaying and pushing back the North Koreans, the 25th Infantry Division was able to buy time for the buildup of UN forces to in the Pusan Perimeter and the mounting of the counterattack at Inchon. Following the 25 June 1950 invasion of the Republic of Korea by its northern neighbor, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United Nations decided to commit troops to the conflict on behalf of South Korea; the United States, a member of the UN, subsequently committed ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goal of fighting back the North Korean invasion and preventing South Korea from collapsing.
However, 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, most of its equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending. Regardless, the 24th Division 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 was alone for several weeks as it attempted to delay the North Koreans, making time for the 1st Cavalry and the 7th and 25th Infantry Divisions, along with other Eighth Army supporting units, to move into position. Advance elements of the 24th Infantry Division 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 that defeat, the 24th Infantry Division was defeated and forced south by superior North Korean numbers and equipment in engagements around Chochiwon and Pyongtaek.
The division made a final stand in the Battle of Taejon, where it was nearly destroyed, but delayed 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. With Taejon captured, North Korean forces began surrounding the Pusan Perimeter in an attempt to envelop it; the KPA 4th and 6th Infantry Divisions advanced south in a wide flanking maneuver. The two divisions attempted to envelop the UN's left flank, but became spread out in the process, they advanced on UN positions with armor and superior numbers pushing back U. S. and South Korean forces. American forces halted the North Korean advance in a series of engagements in the southern section of the country. Forces of the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, 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. Soon after, North Korean forces took Chinju to the west, pushing back the US 19th Infantry Regiment and leaving routes to the Pusan 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. Lieutenant General Walton Walker and the Eighth Army began preparing a counteroffensive, the first conducted by the UN in the war, for August, it would kick off with an attack by the US reserve units in the Masan area to secure Chinju from the KPA 6th Division, followed by a larger general push to the Kum River in the middle of the month. One of his goals was to break up a suspected massing of North Korean troops near the Taegu area by forcing the diversion of some North Korean units southward. On August 6, the Eighth Army issued the operational directive for the attack by Task Force Kean, named for the US 25th Infantry Division commander, Major General William B. Kean.
Task Force Kean consisted of the 25th Division, less the 27th Infantry Regiment and a field artillery battalion, with the 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade attached. Together this represented a force of about 20,000 men; the plan of a
Battle of Nam River
The Battle of Nam River was an engagement between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from August 31 to September 19, 1950, in the vicinity of the Nam River and the Naktong River 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 were able to repel a North Korean attack across the river. Positioned in defense of Masan during the Battle of Masan, the US 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division took up positions along the Nam River, one of the many tributaries of the Naktong River on the southern flank of the Pusan Perimeter; the North Korean People's Army's 7th Division effected a crossing of the river on August 31, though the 35th Infantry was able to stem the North Korean advance, thousands of North Korean troops were able to exploit a hole in the line and surround the regiment.
What followed was an intense battle in which the US and North Korean units were engaged all along and behind the Kum River line. Though, the North Korean force was routed and defeated by the US troops. During the battle, the 35th Infantry was instrumental in forcing back the North Korean division and preventing it from advancing to capture Pusan; the delay was enough for UN forces to counterattack Inchon defeating the entire North Korean army at the Pusan Perimeter. The 35th Infantry's performance in the battle earned the regiment a Presidential Unit Citation. Following the June 25, 1950, outbreak of the Korean War after the invasion of the Republic of Korea by its northern neighbor, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United Nations decided to commit troops to the conflict on behalf of South Korea; the United States, a member of the UN, subsequently committed 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, five years earlier, at the time the closest forces were the 24th Infantry Division, headquartered in Japan. The division was understrength, 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 much larger North Korean units to buy time to allow reinforcements to arrive. The division was alone for several weeks as it attempted to delay the North Koreans, making time for the 1st Cavalry and the 7th and 25th Infantry Divisions, along with other US Eighth Army supporting units, to move into position. 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 of Task Force Smith, the 24th Infantry Division 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 delaying North Korean forces until July 20. By that time, the Eighth Army's force of combat troops was equal to North Korean forces attacking the region, with new UN units arriving every day. With Taejon captured, North Korean forces began surrounding the Pusan Perimeter from all sides in an attempt to envelop it; the 4th and 6th North Korean Infantry Divisions advanced south in a wide flanking maneuver. The two divisions attempted to envelop the UN's left flank, but became spread out in the process, they advanced on UN positions 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. Forces of the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, 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.
Soon after, North Korean forces took Chinju to the west, pushing back the US 19th Infantry Regiment and leaving routes to the Pusan 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 Korean People's Army 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. During the lull in fighting following the Battle of the Notch, 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 southern flank west of Masan. By August 15, the 25th Infantry Division had moved into these positions. Rough terrain west of Masan limited the choice of the positions; the mountain group west of Masan was the first defensible ground east of the Chinju pass.
The 2,000 feet mountain ridges of Sobuk-san dominated the area and protected the Komam-ni-Haman-Chindong-ni road, the only means of north-south communication west of Masan. To the north, from the Masan-Chinju highway to the Nam River, were several defensible positions; the most favorable was the high ground near Chungam-ni, which controlled an important junction connecting the Masan road with the road over the Nam River to Uiryong. It
Battle of Chonan
The Battle of Chonan was the third engagement between United States and North Korean forces during the Korean War. It occurred on the night of July 1950 in the village of Chonan in western South Korea; the fight ended in a North Korean victory after intense fighting around the town, which took place throughout the night and into the morning. The United States Army's 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division was assigned to delay elements of the North Korean People's Army's 4th Infantry Division as it advanced south following its victories at the Battle of Osan and the Battle of Pyongtaek the days before; the regiment emplaced north and south of Chonan attempting to delay the North Koreans in an area where the terrain formed a bottleneck between mountains and the Yellow Sea. The 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry set up a defensive perimeter north of the city, by nightfall was engaged in combat with superior numbers of North Korean troops and tanks. American forces, unable to repulse North Korean armor, soon found themselves in an intense urban fight as columns of North Korean troops, spearheaded by T-34 tanks, entered the town from two directions, cutting off U.
S. forces. The fight resulted in the near destruction of the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry as well as the death of the 34th Infantry Regiment's new commander, Colonel Robert R. Martin. On the night of June 25, 1950, 10 divisions of the North Korean People's Army launched a full-scale invasion on the nation's neighbor to the south, the Republic of Korea; the force of 89,000 men moved in six columns, catching the Republic of Korea Army by surprise, resulting in a disastrous rout for the South Koreans, who were disorganized, ill-equipped, unprepared for war. Numerically superior, North Korean forces destroyed isolated resistance from the 38,000 South Korean soldiers on the front, advancing south. Most of South Korea's forces retreated in the face of the invasion, by June 28, the North Koreans had captured Seoul, South Korea's capital, forcing the government and its shattered forces to withdraw south; the United Nations Security Council voted to send assistance to the collapsing country. United States President Harry S. Truman subsequently ordered ground troops into the nation.
However, U. S. 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 of the Eighth United States Army, performing occupation duty in Kyushu, Japan under the command of William F. Dean. However, the division was under strength, was only two-thirds the size of its regular wartime size. Most of the 24th Infantry Division's equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending following World War II. In spite of these deficiencies, the 24th Infantry Division was ordered into South Korea, with a mission to take the initial "shock" of North Korean advances while the rest of the Eighth Army could arrive in Korea and establish a perimeter. From the 24th Infantry Division, one battalion was assigned to be airlifted into Korea via C-54 Skymaster transport aircraft and move to block advancing North Korean forces while the remainder of the division was transported to South Korea on ships; the 21st Infantry Regiment was determined to be the most combat-ready of the 24th Infantry Division's three regiments, the 21st Infantry's 1st Battalion was selected because its commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles B.
Smith, was the most experienced, having commanded a battalion at the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II. On July 5, Task Force Smith engaged North Korean forces at the Battle of Osan, delaying over 5,000 North Korean infantry for seven hours before being routed and forced back. During that time, the 34th Infantry Regiment set up a line between the villages of Pyongtaek and Ansong, 10 miles south of Osan, to fight the next delaying action against the advancing North Korean forces. 34th Infantry Regiment was unprepared for a fight. The 1st Battalion, left alone against the North Koreans, resisted their advance in the brief and disastrous Battle of Pyongtaek; the 34th Infantry was unable to stop North Korean armor, because equipment had not arrived that could penetrate the thick armor of the T-34 tank. After a 30-minute fight, the battalion mounted a disorganized retreat, with many soldiers abandoning equipment and running away without resisting the North Korean forces; the U. S. forces at Pyongtaek and Ansong were unable to delay the North Korean force or inflict significant casualties on the enemy.
Having pushed back U. S. forces at both Osan and Pyongtaek, the North Korean 4th Infantry Division, supported by elements of the North Korean 105th Armored Division, continued their advance down the Osan–Chonan road, up to 12,000 men strong under division commander Lee Kwon Mu in two infantry regiments supported by dozens of tanks. They were well trained, well equipped, had high morale following previous victories, giving them advantages over the poorly trained and inexperienced Americans. Following the retreat from Pyongtaek, the scattered 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry retreated to Chonan, where the rest of the 34th Infantry Regiment was located. At the town were elements of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry that had not made up Task Force Smith at the Battle of Osan. Brigadier General George B. Barth, 24th Infantry Division's artillery commander, ordered the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry to hold positions 2 miles south of town before Barth left for Taejon; the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry was sent to join it.
At the same time, L Company of the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry was ordered to probe north of the city and meet the advancing elements of the North Ko