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 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 Taejon
The Battle of Taejon was an early battle of the Korean War, between American and North Korean forces. Forces of the United States Army attempted to defend the headquarters of the 24th Infantry Division; the 24th Infantry Division was overwhelmed by numerically superior forces of the Korean People's Army at the major city and transportation hub of Taejon. The 24th Infantry Division's regiments were exhausted from the previous two weeks of delaying actions to stem the advance of the KPA; the entire 24th Division gathered to make a final stand around Taejon, holding a line along the Kum River to the east of the city. Hampered by a lack of communication and equipment, a shortage of heavy weapons to match the KPA's firepower, the outnumbered, ill-equipped and untrained American forces were pushed back from the riverbank after several days before fighting an intense urban battle to defend the city. After a fierce three-day struggle, the Americans withdrew. Although they could not hold the city, the 24th Infantry Division achieved a strategic victory by delaying the North Koreans, providing time for other American divisions to establish a defensive perimeter around Pusan further south.
The delay imposed at Taejon prevented an American rout during the subsequent Battle of Pusan Perimeter. During the action, the KPA captured Major General William F. Dean, the commander of the 24th Infantry Division, highest ranking American prisoner during the Korean War. Following the invasion of the Republic of Korea by its northern neighbor, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United Nations committed forces on behalf of South Korea; the United States subsequently sent ground forces to the Korean peninsula to contain the North Korean invasion and to prevent the collapse of the South Korean state. American forces in the Far East had decreased since the end of World War II, five years earlier; when forces were committed, the 24th Infantry Division of the Eighth United States Army, headquartered in Japan, was the closest US division. The division was under-strength, most of its equipment dated from 1945 and earlier due to defense cutbacks enacted in the first Truman administration.
The division was ordered into South Korea. The 24th Infantry Division was the first US unit sent into Korea to absorb the initial North Korean advances, disrupt the more numerous North Korean units; the 24th Division delayed the North Korean advance to allow the 7th Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division, other Eighth Army supporting units to establish a defensive line around Pusan. Preceding the Battle of Taejon, some of the Bodo League massacres took place around Taejon, where between 3,000 and 7,000 South Korean leftist political prisoners were shot and dumped into mass graves by South Korean troops recorded by a US Army photographer. Task Force Smith, an advance element of the 24th Infantry Division was badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on 5 July, during the first encounter between American and North Korean forces. Task Force Smith retreated from Osan to Pyongtaek, where US forces were again defeated in the Battle of Pyongtaek; the 24th Infantry Division was forced south by the North Korean force's superior numbers and equipment in engagements at Chochiwon, Chonan and Yechon.
American soldiers were untrained and unprepared at the outbreak of the war, this lack of training showed in engagements with North Korean units which were much more disciplined. Most of the Americans were out of shape, untrained and had no combat experience. On 12 July, the division's commander, Major General William F. Dean, ordered the division's three regiments, the 19th Infantry Regiment, 21st Infantry Regiment, the 34th Infantry Regiment, to cross the Kum River, destroying all bridges behind them, to establish defensive positions around Taejon. Taejon was a major South Korean city 100 miles south of Seoul and 130 miles northwest of Pusan, was the site of the 24th Infantry Division's headquarters. Dean formed a line with the 34th Infantry and 19th Infantry facing east, held the battered 21st Infantry in reserve to the southeast; the Kum River wrapped north and west around the city, providing a defensive line 10 to 15 miles from the outskirts of Taejon, surrounded to the south by the Sobaek Mountains.
With major railroad junctions and numerous roads leading into the countryside in all directions, Taejon was a major transportation hub between Seoul and Taegu, giving it great strategic value for both the American and North Korean forces. The division was attempting to make a last stand at Taejon, the last place it could conduct a delaying action before the North Korean forces would converge on the unfinished Pusan Perimeter; the 24th Infantry Division's three infantry regiments, which had a wartime strength of 3,000 each, were below strength on their deployment, heavy losses in the preceding two weeks had reduced their numbers further. The 21st Infantry had 1,100 men left; the 34th Infantry had only 2,020 men and the 19th had 2,276 men. Another 2,007 men stood in the 24th Infantry Division artillery formations; these counts placed the division's total strength at 11,400. This was reduced from the 15,965 men and 4,773 vehicles that had arrived in Korea at the beginning of the month; each of the regiments had only two battalions of infantry as opposed to the normal three.
Large numbers of men had to be pulled from the lines from combat fatigue. Morale was low for the soldiers, who were exhausted from days without sleep. Casualties among the division's commissioned officers were high, forcing younger officers
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
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