Battle of Inchon
The Battle of Inchon was an amphibious invasion and battle of the Korean War that resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal in favor of the United Nations. The operation involved some 75,000 troops and 261 naval vessels, led to the recapture of the South Korean capital of Seoul two weeks later; the code name for the operation was Operation Chromite. The battle ended on 19 September. Through a surprise amphibious assault far from the Pusan Perimeter that UN and South Korean forces were defending, the undefended city of Incheon was secured after being bombed by UN forces; the battle ended a string of victories over the Korean People's Army. The subsequent UN recapture of Seoul severed the KPA's supply lines in South Korea; the UN and South Korean forces were commanded by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur of the United States Army. MacArthur was the driving force behind the operation, overcoming the strong misgivings of more cautious generals to a risky assault over unfavorable terrain.
The battle was followed by a rapid collapse of the North Korean army. From the outbreak of the Korean War following the invasion of South Korea by North Korea on 25 June 1950, the Korean People's Army, had enjoyed superiority in both manpower and ground combat equipment over the South Korean Army and 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, attacking from the front and initiating a double envelopment of both flanks of the defending units, which allowed the North Koreans to surround and cut off the opposing force, forcing it to retreat in disarray. From their initial 25 June offensive to fighting in July and early August, the North Koreans used this tactic to defeat the UN forces they encountered and push it south. However, with the establishment of the Pusan Perimeter in August, UN forces held a continuous line which the North Koreans could not flank.
The KPA advantages in numbers decreased daily as the superior UN logistical system brought in more troops and supplies to the UN forces. When the North Koreans approached the Busan Perimeter on 5 August, they attempted the same frontal assault technique on the four main avenues of approach into the perimeter. Throughout August, they conducted direct assaults resulting in the Battle of Masan, the Battle of Battle Mountain, the First Battle of Naktong Bulge, the Battle of Taegu, the Battle of the Bowling Alley. On the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, the South Koreans repulsed three North Korean divisions at the Battle of P'ohang-dong; the North Korean attacks stalled. All along the front, the North Korean troops reeled from these defeats, the first time in the war North Korean tactics had failed. By the end of August the North Korean troops had been pushed beyond their limits and many of the original units were at far reduced strength and effectiveness. Logistic problems wracked the KPA, shortages of food, weapons and replacement soldiers proved devastating for North Korean units.
However, the North Korean force retained high morale and enough supply to allow for another large-scale offensive. On 1 September the North Koreans threw their entire military into one final bid to break the Pusan Perimeter, the Great Naktong Offensive, a five-pronged simultaneous attack across the entire perimeter; the attack caught UN forces by surprise and overwhelmed them. North Korean troops attacked Kyongju, surrounded Taegu and Ka-san, recrossed the Naktong Bulge, threatened Yongsan, continued their attack at Masan, focusing on Nam River and Haman. However, despite their efforts, in one of the most brutal fights of the Korean War, the North Koreans were unsuccessful. Unable to hold their gains, the KPA retreated from the offensive a much weaker force, vulnerable to counterattack. Days after the beginning of the war, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, the US Army officer in command of all UN forces in Korea, envisioned an amphibious assault to retake the Seoul area; the city had fallen in the first days of the war in the First Battle of Seoul.
MacArthur wrote that he thought the North Korean army would push the Republic of Korea Army back far past Seoul. He said he decided days after the war began that the battered and under-equipped South Koreans, many of whom did not support the South Korean government put in power by the United States, could not hold off the North Korean forces with American support. MacArthur felt that he could turn the tide if he made a decisive troop movement behind North Korean lines, preferred Inchon, now known as Incheon, over Chumunjin-up or Kunsan as the landing site, he had envisioned such a landing, code named Operation Bluehearts, for 22 July, with the US Army's 1st Cavalry Division landing at Incheon. However, by 10 July the plan was abandoned as it was clear the 1st Cavalry Division would be needed on the Pusan Perimeter. On 23 July, MacArthur formulated a new plan, code-named Operation Chromite, calling for an amphibious assault by the US Army's 2nd Infantry Division and the United States Marine Corps' 5th Marine Regiment in mid-September 1950.
This, too fell through. MacArthur decided instead to use the US Army's 7th Infantry Division, his last reserve unit in East Asia, to conduct the operation as soon as it could be raised to wartime strength. In preparation for the invasion, MacArthur activated the US Army's X Corps to act as the command for the landin
Battle of Chumonchin Chan
The Battle of Chumonchin Chan or the Action of 2 July 1950 was the battle fought between surface combatants during the main phase of the Korean War. It began. On 2 July 1950, USS Juneau, HMS Black Swan, HMS Jamaica were sailing along the coast of the Sea of Japan when they encountered four North Korean torpedo and gunboats that had just finished escorting a flotilla of ten ammunition ships up the coast; the North Korean torpedo boats began an attack on the allied ships. Before their torpedoes could be fired however, they were met with a salvo of gunfire from the United Nations ships which destroyed three of the torpedo boats; the surviving North Korean craft fled. In July, Juneau encountered the same ammunition ships and destroyed them. Naval Battles of the Korean War. Archived 2 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
Second Battle of Naktong Bulge
The Second Battle of Naktong Bulge was an engagement between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from September 1 to September 15, 1950, along 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 repelled a strong North Korean attack. After the First Battle of Naktong Bulge, the US Army's 2nd Infantry Division was moved to defend the Naktong River line; the division, untried in combat, was struck with a strong attack by several divisions of the North Korean People's Army which crossed the river and struck all along the division's line. The force of the attack split the US 2nd Infantry Division in half, the North Koreans were able to penetrate to Yongsan, promoting a fight there; the urgency of the threat to Pusan Perimeter prompted the US Marine Corps 1st Provisional Marine Brigade to be brought in to reinforce the US Army troops.
In two weeks of heavy fighting, the US forces were able to force the North Koreans out of the Naktong Bulge region. The North Koreans were further repulsed after the UN counterattack at Inchon, which culminated in the virtual destruction of the North Korean army. 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 Army and the United Nations forces dispatched to South Korea to prevent it from collapsing; the North Korean strategy was to aggressively pursue UN and ROK 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 due 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 ROK 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 center attack called for the NK 9th Division, NK 4th Division, NK 2nd Division, NK 10th Division break through the US 2nd Infantry Division at the Naktong Bulge to Miryang and Yongsan. During the North Koreans' September 1 offensive, the US 25th Infantry Division's US 35th Infantry Regiment was engaged in the Battle of Nam River north of Masan. On the 35th Regiment's right flank, just north of the confluence of the Nam River and the Naktong River, was the US 9th Infantry Regiment, US 2nd Infantry Division.
There, in the southernmost part of the 2nd Infantry Division zone, the 9th Infantry Regiment held a sector more than 20,000 yards long, including the bulge area of the Naktong where the First Battle of Naktong Bulge had taken place earlier in August. Each US infantry company on the river line here had a front of 3,000 feet to 4,000 feet
Battle of Haman
The Battle of Haman was one engagement in the larger Battle of Pusan Perimeter between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from August 31 to September 19, 1950, in the vicinity of Haman County in South Korea. The engagement 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 on the town of Haman. Operating in defense of Masan during the Battle of Masan, the US Army's 24th Infantry Regiment was stretched along a long line on a ridge to the west of the town, at Haman; when the North Korean People's Army 6th Division attacked the town, the US troops fought to repel their advance in a weeklong battle in which the 24th Infantry performed poorly, other US reinforcements were brought in to assist in fighting off the attack. The battle remained bitterly deadlocked long enough for another UN force to counterattack at Inchon, forcing the North Korean Army to retreat from Masan. Following the June 25, 1950, outbreak of the Korean War after the invasion of the Republic of Korea by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United Nations voted to commit troops to the conflict in support of South Korea.
The United States, as a member of the UN, committed ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goals of repelling the North Korean invasion and preventing South Korea from collapsing. By 1950, 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 US 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. However, it faced numerous disadvantages; the forces were poorly equipped. Headquarters Company, supporting platoon elements were much smaller than regulation stated, making them less effective. Most of the soldiers of the division had no combat experience and used to the luxuries of life in occupied Japan. Only one third of the officers in the Task Force had combat experience from World War II, only one in six enlisted soldiers had combat experience. Many of them volunteered to join the task force.
The soldiers were each equipped with two days of C-rations. 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 for several weeks to buy time to allow reinforcements to arrive, such as the 1st Cavalry and the 7th and 25th Infantry Divisions. 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 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. They made a final stand in the Battle of Taejon, where they were completely destroyed, but their resistance kept the North Koreans from advancing until July 20. By that time, the number of Eighth Army front-line combat troops was equal to number of 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 penetrate the UN's left flank, but became dispersed in the process. They advanced on UN positions with armor and superior numbers pushing back US and South Korean forces. American forces were defeated 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 into the Pusan Perimeter. Soon after, North Korean forces took Chinju to the west, pushing back the US 19th Infantry Regiment and leaving routes to the perimeter 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 reequip and receive reinforcements. This granted both sides a reprieve to prepare for the attack on the Pusan Perimeter. 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-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. To the north, from the Masan–Chinju highway to the Nam River, there were several defensible positions; the best one was the high ground near Chungam-ni, which controlled the important road junction connecting the Masan road with the one over the Nam River to Uiryong.
It was essential for the 25th Infantry Division's right flank connect with the left flank of the 24th Inf
Battle of Hwanggan
The Battle of Hwanggan was an engagement between United States and North Korean forces that took place on July 23–29, 1950, on a road north of the village of Hwanggan in southern South Korea, early in the Korean War. The battle ended in a victory for the North Koreans; the US Army's 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, newly arrived in Korea, was moved to a road north of Hwanggan to block the North Korean Korean People's Army's 2nd Division, advancing following the Battle of Taejon. In an unusually good first performance, the 27th Infantry was able to delay the North Korean division for a week, inflicting heavy casualties on it while suffering few casualties of their own; the North Koreans were able to overwhelm the US forces with sheer numbers, capturing Hwanggan and pushing the American units further south. However, the action solidified the 27th Infantry's position as a valuable reserve unit for the US Eighth Army during the Battle of Pusan Perimeter; the 27th distinguished itself in several critical battles, including the Battle of the Bowling Alley.
Following the invasion of South Korea by North Korea, the subsequent outbreak of the Korean War, the United Nations decided to commit troops to the conflict on behalf of South Korea. The United States 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 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 North Korean 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 North Koreans, 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' 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 in the process but delaying North Korean forces from advancing until July 20. By that time, the Eighth Army's force of combat troops was equal to North Korean forces attacking the region at around 70,000 for each side, with new UN units arriving every day.
In the east, the North Koreans advanced after taking Taejon. Four North Korean divisions approached the UN lines along separate routes; the KPA 15th Division was the first to move against the US 25th Infantry Division in the Battle of Sangju on July 20, where the division's US 24th Infantry would be pushed back by the North Korean advance. In the meantime, the KPA 3rd Division engaged the newly arrived US 1st Cavalry at the Battle of Yongdong on July 22, where that division would perform poorly; the KPA 6th Division moved further south, where it would confront the US 29th Infantry Regiment at the Hadong Ambush on July 27 destroying one of the regiment's battalions. The US units were performing poorly in their first engagements against North Korean units, as a combination of shortages of supplies and lack of experienced soldiers and officers plagued the UN forces at this stage of the war; as other North Korean forces were closing on Yongdong, the KPA 2nd Division continued its advance down the road from Hwanggan to Poun, having arrived in Taejon too late for the fight there.
Its orders were to pass through that town and come out on the main Seoul–Pusan highway at Hwanggan, about 10 miles east of Yongdong, placing it in the rear of the 1st Cavalry Division and on its main supply road. Responding to the threat, the Eighth Army ordered the US 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division to block the advance. After arriving in Korea, the regiment went to the Uisong area, 35 miles north of Taegu. On July 13, it moved from there to Andong to support ROK troops, but before it entered action in the fight in that city, it received orders to move to Sangju to assist the 25th Infantry Division's other two regiments in that battle. En route, it received still other orders to change its destination to Hwanggan, it closed there in an assembly area on the night of July 22–23; the 27th Infantry's mission at Hwanggan was to relieve the exhausted and decimated ROK units retreating down the Poun road. In the meantime it lost large numbers of its experienced officers as they were shifted to the US 24th Infantry.
In carrying out Eighth Army's orders to block the Poun road, regimental commander Colonel John H. Michaelis, a West Point graduate known as an effective commander, assigned the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, to make contact with the first North Korean attacks. On the morning of July 23, Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert J. Check moved the
Battle of Pyongtaek
The Battle of Pyongtaek was the second engagement between United States and North Korean forces during the Korean War, occurring on July 6, 1950 in the village of Pyongtaek in western South Korea. The fight ended in a North Korean victory following unsuccessful attempts by American forces to inflict significant damage or delays on advancing North Korean units, despite several opportunities to do so; 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 victory at the Battle of Osan the day before. The regiment emplaced at Pyongtaek and Ansong attempting to form a line to hold the North Koreans in an area where the terrain formed a bottleneck between mountains and the Yellow Sea. Half of the regiment's strength was ordered to retreat from its position before the North Korean force was encountered, leaving the flank open for the remaining force, 1st Battalion at Pyongtaek.
The battalion encountered North Korean forces the morning of July 6, after a brief fight, was unable to repel them effectively. The battalion mounted a disorganized retreat to Cheonan several miles away, having failed to delay the North Korean forces in their movement south. 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.
US President Harry S. Truman subsequently ordered ground troops into the nation. 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 of the Eighth United States Army, headquartered in Japan under the command of Major General William F. Dean. However, the division was under strength, most of its 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. 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 could be 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 24th Division's 34th Infantry Regiment, with 2,000 men organized into the 1st and 3rd Battalions, was the second US unit into Korea, was sent by rail north from Pusan; the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry emplaced at Pyongtaek, 10 miles south of Osan, to block the next North Korean advance. Pyongtaek was a village consisting of wooden huts and muddy roads In the meantime, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry was emplaced at Anseong, several miles east; the two battalions were assigned to form a line to block any North Korean advance. Terrain south of the Ansong–Pyongtaek line was more open, meaning the line sat on a bottleneck, with mountain ranges to the east and an inlet of the Yellow Sea to the west.
Therefore, Dean considered the line vital to his defensive plans. The 1st Battalion was unprepared for a fight as it was poorly trained and had no tanks or anti-tank guns to fight North Korean armor. Shortages of equipment hampered the entire division's efforts. Shortages in heavy guns reduced artillery support to the entire division. Communications equipment and ammunition was absent, large amounts of equipment were en route but the division had been under-equipped in Japan. Most of the radios available to the division did not work, batteries, communication wire, telephones to communicate among units were in short supply; the division had no tanks: its new M26 Pershing and older M4A3 Sherman tanks had not yet arrived. One of the few weapons that could penetrate the North Korean T-34, high explosive anti-tank ammunition, was in short supply; the paucity of radios and wire hampered communication among the American units. The battalion's new commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ayres, was given faulty intelligence, he told his command that the Koreans advancing south were poorly trained and poorly equipped.
The battalion formed a line 2 miles north of Pyongtaek, in a series of grassy hills and rice paddies where it dug in and prepared for advancing North Korean forces. The soldiers of the battalion were equipped with only M1 Garand rifles or other weapons, C-rations, less than 100 rounds of ammunition each, whilst only one M2 Browning machine gun was available to each platoon. There were no grenades and little to no ammunition for any of the heavier weapons which could be used against North Korean tanks. Additio
Battle of Osan
The Battle of Osan was the first engagement between United States and North Korean forces during the Korean War, on July 5, 1950. Task Force Smith, a U. S. task force of 400 infantry supported by an artillery battery, was moved to Osan, south of the South Korean capital Seoul, ordered to fight as a rearguard to delay advancing North Korean forces while additional U. S. troops arrived in the country to form a stronger defensive line to the south. The task force lacked both anti-tank guns and effective infantry anti-tank weapons, having been equipped with obsolescent 2.36-in. Rocket launchers and a few 57 mm recoilless rifles. Aside from a limited number of HEAT shells for the unit's 105-mm howitzers, crew-served weapons capable of defeating the T-34 Soviet tank had not been distributed to U. S. Army forces in Korea. A North Korean tank column equipped with ex-Soviet T-34/85 tanks overran the task force in the first encounter and continued its advance south. After the North Korean tank column had breached U.
S. lines the Task Force opened fire on a force of some 5,000 North Korean infantry approaching its position, temporarily holding up the North Korean advance. North Korean troops flanked and overwhelmed American positions and the remnants of the task force retreated in disorder. On the night of June 25, 1950, ten divisions of the North Korean People's Army launched a full-scale invasion of 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 Armed Forces by surprise, resulting in a rout. The smaller South Korean army suffered from widespread lack of organization and equipment, was unprepared for war; the numerically superior North Korean forces destroyed isolated resistance from the 38,000 South Korean soldiers on the front before it began moving south. Most of South Korea's forces retreated in the face of the invasion; the North Koreans had captured South Korea's capital of Seoul by June 28, forcing the government and its shattered army to retreat further south.
To prevent South Korea's collapse the United Nations Security Council voted to send military forces. The United States' Seventh Fleet dispatched Task Force 77, led by the fleet carrier USS Valley Forge. Although the navies blockaded North Korea and launched aircraft to delay the North Korean forces these efforts alone did not stop the North Korean Army juggernaut on its southern advance. U. S. President Harry S. Truman ordered ground troops into the country to supplement the air support; the strength of U. S. forces in the Far East, had declined since the end of World War II five years earlier and the closest unit was the 24th Infantry Division of the Eighth United States Army, headquartered in Japan. Cuts in U. S. military spending meant. Division commander, Major General William F. Dean determined that the 21st Infantry Regiment was the most combat-ready of the 24th Infantry Division's three regiments. Dean decided to send the 21st Infantry's 1st Battalion from the formation because its commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bradford Smith, was the most experienced leading man, having experience at the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II.
C-54 Skymaster transport aircraft airlifted one battalion from the division garrison under Smith's command into Korea. The battalion deployed to block advancing North Korean forces, performing a holding action while the rest of the division could be moved to South Korea by sea; when you get to Pusan, head for Taejon. We want to stop the North Koreans as far from Pusan. Block the main road as far north as possible. Make contact with General Church. If you can't find him, go to Taejon and beyond if you can. Sorry I can't give you more information --. Good luck, God bless you and your men! The first units of the 24th Infantry Division left Itazuke Air Base in Japan on June 30. Task Force Smith, named for its commander, consisted of 406 men of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, as well as 134 men of A Battery, 52nd Field Artillery Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Miller O. Perry; the forces were both poorly equipped and understrength: 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry had only two companies of infantry, as opposed to the regulation three for a U.
S. Army battalion; the battalion had half of the required number of troops in its headquarters company, half of a communications platoon, half of a heavy weapons platoon, armed with six obsolescent M9A1 Bazooka rocket launchers, two 75mm recoilless rifles, two 4.2 inch mortars, four 60mm mortars. Much of this equipment was drawn from the rest of the understrength 21st. A Battery, which formed the entire artillery support for the task force, was armed with six 105mm howitzers; these howitzers were equipped with 1,200 high explosive rounds, but these were incapable of penetrating tank armor. Only six high explosive anti-tank rounds were issued to the battery, all of them allocated to the number six howitzer sited forward of the main battery emplacement. A Battery had four.50 calibre M2 Browning heavy machine guns. Most of the soldiers of the task force were teenagers with no combat experience and only eight weeks of basic training. Only one third of the officers in the task force had combat experience from World War II, only one in six enlisted soldiers had combat experience.
Many of them volunteered to join the task force. The soldiers were each equipped with two days of C-rations. By July 1, Task Force Smith had arrived in South Korea and established a headquarters in Taej