Second Battle of the Hook
The Second Battle of the Hook was a battle fought between 18 and 19 November 1952 during the Korean War between elements of United Nations troops consisting of British troops of the 1st Commonwealth Division and Chinese forces on a vital sector known as the "Hook" position, the scene of much bitter fighting before and in the ensuing months. Attacking Chinese forces attempted to take the strategic position but were repelled by a combination of heavy firepower and effective counterattacks. On 14 April 1952 as a result of adjustments under Operation Westminster the 1st Commonwealth Division was deployed; the advanced party of 1st Black Watch had arrived in the divisional area on 8 June and by 22 June the battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel David McNeil Campbell Rose, had completed its concentration and it was arranged that training should be completed by 7 July, after which the Black Watch would join the 29th British Infantry Brigade. Under plan "Sovereign" the Commonwealth Division received orders on 23 October to take over the sector of the right battalion of the 1st US Marine Division west of the Samichon River.
The US Marines on a strategic crescent shaped ridge known as the Hook had defeated a Chinese attack known as the First Battle of the Hook a few days before and needed to be replaced for rest. This left sector was to become the responsibility of 29th brigade and to the extreme right, 2000 yards of its line between the Imjin and Kowang-san, was handed over to 1st ROK Division; this right sector became the responsibility of 28th Brigade with the Canadian 25th Infantry Brigade moving into reserve. The positions after the US marine battle had been so battered that many in the Black Watch found the defenses to be of little use. Koreans KATCOM's helped to shore up the defenses over the coming days sometimes under shell fire. On 18 November at about 7pm two Companies of Chinese infantry were spotted by a standing patrol on Warsaw, 500 yards below the forward positions on the Hook, they radioed a warning back and the patrol was attacked and neutralized by the Chinese. Troops from the Duke of Wellington's Regiment watched the battle from their positions on Yong Dong, two thousand five hundred yards away, laid into the Chinese with their machine guns firing on fixed lines over the Samichon valley and across the Black Watch for over eleven hours.
In addition the divisional artillery pounded the positions in front of the Scots and continued throughout the night. By the end of this time over 50,000 rounds had been expended and a lull in the battle came shortly before midnight as the Chinese appeared to have withdrawn. Within half an hour a bugle announced their return; some of the search lights were knocked out making it hard to find suitable targets both for artillery and small arms. The Chinese managed to get a footing on the position under the pressure of repeated attack on a narrow front. Despite heroic counter-attacks by the Black Watch they were forced back by sheer weight of numbers. Rose called on a counter-attack with a search and clearance operation using Centurion tanks of the B Squadron, 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoons; the Scots pressed forward, having failed to consolidate their positions the Chinese were not prepared to carry on the fight in daylight and they, as battlefield clearance squads moved in take out the Chinese wounded.
A few of the Scots had been captured when the forward platoons were overrun, but most had stayed safe in their tunnels and dugouts when their positions were known to be lost and occupied or overrun by the Chinese. With the daylight now strong the battle ended with the British troops having retained the position. For a second time, the Chinese had failed to evict UN forces from the Hook. Canadians notably Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry that had supported the Black Watch took over their positions so they could rest and take care of the casualties. Chinese attacks continued throughout the rest of the year and into 1953, at the end of January American Troops relieved the Commonwealth Division on the line and the Division was pulled back to rest and retrain; the Black Watch returned after two months, deployed to the Hook with one Rifle company being deployed on each of the features' four hills, Point 121, the Hook, the Sausage and Point 146. Another rifle company was loaned from the Dukes to be deployed on Point 146.
The Black Watch found the Hook to be the same as. The Chinese artillery was based in a semi-circle of hills opposite the Hook, the guns were kept in tunnels, manhandled out to fire and quickly pushed back again to safety away from UN counter bombardment and air attacks; the Dukes relieved the Black Watch on the night of 12/13 May 1953 and expected to be attacked at any time. They fought the next battle for the Hook two weeks later. Citations BibliographyBarker, A J. Fortune Favours the Brave: The Battles of the Hook Korea 1952-53. Pen and Sword. ISBN 9780850528237. Dutton, John. Korea 1950-53 Recounting Reme Involvement. Lulu.com. ISBN 9780955675300. Jaques, Tony. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A Guide to 8500 Battles from Antiquity Through the Twenty-first Century. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0313335365. Johnston, William
Battle of the Samichon River
The Battle of the Samichon River was fought during the final days of the Korean War between United Nations forces—primarily Australian and American—and the Chinese People's Volunteer Army. The fighting took place on a key position on the Jamestown Line known as The Hook and saw the defending UN troops, including the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment from the 28th British Commonwealth Brigade and the US 7th Marine Regiment, fight off numerous assaults by the PVA 137th Division during two concerted night attacks, inflicting numerous casualties on the Chinese with heavy artillery and small arms fire; the action was part of a larger, divisional-sized Chinese attack against the US 1st Marine Division, with diversionary assaults mounted against the Australians. With the peace talks in Panmunjom reaching a conclusion, the Chinese had been eager to gain a last-minute victory over the UN forces and the battle was the last of the war before the official signing of the Korean Armistice. During the action the Chinese had attempted to make a breakthrough to the Imjin River along the divisional boundary between the US 1st Marine Division and the 1st Commonwealth Division in order to turn the Marine division's flank.
Yet with well-coordinated indirect fires from the divisional artillery, including 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery, support from British Centurion tanks of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, 2 RAR thwarted both assaults, holding The Hook. It was estimated that Chinese casualties numbered between 2,000 and 3,000 killed, with the majority of them inflicted by the New Zealand gunners. Meanwhile, on the left flank, US Marines had endured the brunt of the attack, repelling the Chinese onslaught with infantry and artillery. Only a few hours the Armistice Agreement was signed ending the war. Both sides subsequently withdrew 2 kilometres within 72 hours to create a 4-kilometre demilitarised zone. Following the Battle of Maryang San in early October 1951 the 28th British Commonwealth Brigade remained in defence for the rest of the month. Amid heavy fighting on the afternoon of 4 November the Chinese recaptured Hill 317, by held by the 1st Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers, in an action for which Private Bill Speakman was awarded the Victoria Cross.
The hill remained in Chinese hands until the end of the war. The Battle of Maryang San subsequently proved to be one of the last UN actions in the war of manoeuvre, with peace talks ongoing the fighting was replaced by a static war characterised by fixed defences, trench lines, patrols, wiring parties and minefields reminiscent of the Western Front in 1915–17. Construction of defensive localities sited in all-round defence with interlocking arcs of fire began immediately, although such operations were confined to the reverse slopes during the day due to artillery and mortar fire which made such operations hazardous. Patrolling and ambushing by both sides began in order to prevent the other from gaining control of no man's land; the 1st Commonwealth Division, which included British, Canadian, New Zealand and Indian troops, subsequently occupied part of the Jamestown Line—a UN defensive position which extended 250 kilometres across central Korea—in the US I Corps sector on the US Eighth Army's left flank.
The war was no less bloody though, the division remained in the line for all but two of the remaining nineteen months of the war. From 19 January 1952, the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment was in defence on the Jamestown Line as part of the 28th British Commonwealth Brigade before going into reserve on 18 April, where they remained until the end of June. Meanwhile, in early 1952 the Australian government had agreed to an American request to increase its forces in Korea, dispatching a second infantry battalion to join 3 RAR, fighting since September 1950; the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment arrived in Korea on 6 April 1952, with both battalions forming part of the 28th British Commonwealth Brigade under the command of an Australian brigadier. The brigade re-entered the line on 30 June and 1 RAR spent the following fourteen weeks patrolling and raiding, before the 28th British Commonwealth Brigade again went into reserve on 5 October; the brigade returned to the Jamestown Line in early November, with 1 RAR taking over the defences on Hill 355 from the Canadians.
The Australians were subsequently forced to clean up large quantities of rubbish left by the Canadians as well as repairing and camouflaging the defences, attacked by the Chinese. 1 RAR implemented an aggressive patrol program in an effort to regain control of no-man's land from the Chinese, allowed to establish hides close to the perimeter. Several Chinese outposts were subsequently destroyed during raids of up to company-size.3 RAR took over the defences on Hill 355 on 28 December 1952 and remained there until the 1st Commonwealth Division went into reserve at the end January 1953. On 21 March, 1 RAR was replaced in Korea by the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, after nearly twelve months operational service. Heavy fighting occurred in March, with the Chinese moving back over to a limited offensive in the US I Corps sector, in an attempt to regain the initiative following the winter. Heavy fighting occurred around The Hook, by held by the US 2nd Division following the relief of the 1st Commonwealth Division, the Old Baldy and Pork Chop Hill features held by the US 7th Division and in the western sector held by the US 1st Marine Division around the Vegas and Reno outposts.
Peace talks resumed at Panmunjom on 6 April and an agreement was soon made to exchange sick and wounded prisoners
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
Third Battle of the Hook
The Third Battle of the Hook was a battle of the Korean War that took place between a United Nations force, consisting of British troops, supported on their flanks by American and Turkish units against a predominantly Chinese force. By 1953, elements of the United Nations forces were engaged in fierce fighting to prevent People's Volunteer Army forces from gaining ground, prior to a possible cease fire; this was to deny them additional bargaining power, during negotiations. One such action took place at a feature called "the Hook", a crescent shaped ridge near Sami Creek, a tributary of the Imjin River near Kaesong. There had been two previous engagements at the Hook earlier in the Korean War during 1952 when first the United States Marine Corps in October, the Scottish Black Watch regiment, had held the Hook against Chinese assaults upon their arrival the following month; this ridge was a place of tactical importance in the Commonwealth sector: it was a potential attack point which the Chinese needed to take before assaulting Yong Dong, opening up an invasion route to Seoul, the South Korean capital.
On 13 May 1953, the 1st Battalion the Duke of Wellington's Regiment were moved from its position on Yong Dong, to relieve the Black Watch, defending The Hook. During this period, the Black Watch had suffered 73 wounded and 20 missing. Over the next two weeks The Dukes were under constant sniper and artillery fire; this was followed up in a major action over the 28–29 May following heavy initial artillery and mortar fire, after which the Chinese infantry attacked in force. Between 19 May and 29 May'The Dukes' suffered 15 killed in 95 wounded and 32 missing, they were relieved by the Royal Fusiliers in the day of 29 May. The Chinese forces charged the forward British positions; the Dukes were outnumbered by 5 to 1. The fighting that ensued was bloody and akin to the battles that the'Dukes' had fought during World War I. Artillery shells rained down from both the Chinese and UN forces; the Chinese were cut down by heavy artillery fire from UN forces. Further attacks occurred during the day. Just 30 minutes into 29 May, the Chinese forces launched another attack, but they were again beaten back.
The Dukes began advancing up the line of the original trenches to dislodge the remaining Chinese forces in the forward trenches. The'Dukes' secured the Hook at 03:30. For their action they were awarded the Battle Honour "The Hook" Between 19 May and 29 May, Chinese artillery fired over 20,000 shells onto the Hook position, 11,000 of these shells were fired on the night of 28 May, with over 200 heavy calibre shells hitting the Hook positions in the one hour between 17:45 and 18:45. 37,818 shells of all calibres were fired by British artillery and the US Army I Corps artillery, including 155 mm, 8-inch, 240 mm shells and 325 rockets from a US Rocket Battery. Firing directly upon the enemy, the Centurions of C Squadron, 1st Royal Tank Regiment used 504 20-pdr shells; the Chinese casualties were 167 by body count, while their actual casualties were estimated at 1,050 killed and over 800 wounded. The'Dukes' suffered 3 officers and 17 other ranks killed, 2 officers and 84 other ranks wounded, with 20 men missing.
There were other casualties from other supporting units listed below. In addition, there were a further 50 casualties from artillery and mortar attacks between 10 May and 28 May. Casualties from other supporting units: 20th Field Regiment RA = 2 men killed, 4 wounded. 61st Light Regiment RA = 1 man killed. 1st Battalion King's Regiment = 7 men wounded. 1st Battalion Black Watch = 1 man wounded KATCOMs = 1 man killed. Total UN casualties = 24 killed, 105 wounded, 20 missing = 149 total. For their action, the Duke of Wellington's Regiment was awarded the Battle Honour The Hook 1953; the 1st Battalion's Headquarter Company was renamed "Hook Company". Shortly after on 2 June 1953, to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II the division's artillery fired red and blue smoke shells onto the Chinese lines, followed by a salute from Centurion tanks which fired HE shells onto a single target; the Hook was defended on a fourth occasion prior to the armistice by an Australian infantry battalion, a New Zealand artillery regiment and two American infantry regiments, supported by British tanks, during the Battle of the Samichon River.
1DWR War Diaries in WO 308/53, The National Archives, London Jaques, Tony. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A Guide to 8500 Battles from Antiquity Through the Twenty-first Century. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0313335365. Duke of Wellington's Regimental Museum, Korea