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
The Korean Peninsula is located in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 1,100 km from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the east and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the two bodies of water; the peninsula's names, in Korean and Japanese, all share the same origin, that being Joseon, the old name of Korea under the Joseon Dynasty and Gojoseon longer before that. In North Korea's standard language, the peninsula is called Chosŏn Pando, while in China, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia it is called Cháoxiǎn Bàndǎo. In Japan, it is either Chōsenhantō or Kanhantō. In Vietnam, it is called Bán đảo Triều Tiên. Meanwhile, in South Korea, it is called Hanbando, referring to the Samhan the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula, they both use "Korea" as part of their official English names, a name that comes from the Goryeo dynasty. Until the end of World War II, Korea was a single political entity whose territory coincided with the Korean Peninsula.
In August 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Imperial Japan, as a result of an agreement with the United States, liberated Korea north of the 38th parallel. U. S. forces subsequently moved into the south. By 1948, as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea was divided into two regions, with separate governments. Both claimed to be the legitimate government of all of Korea, neither accepted the border as permanent; the conflict escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—moved into the south on 25 June 1950. Since the Armistice Agreement ended the Korean War in 1953, the northern section of the peninsula has been governed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, while the southern portion has been governed by the Republic of Korea; the northern boundaries for the Korean Peninsula are taken to coincide with today's political borders between North Korea and its northern neighbors and Russia. These borders are formed by the rivers Amnok and Duman.
Taking this definition, the Korean Peninsula has an area of 220,847 km2. The Korean Peninsula has a temperate climate with comparatively fewer typhoons than other countries in East Asia. Due to the peninsula's position, it has a unique climate influenced from Siberia in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the east and the rest of Eurasia in the west; the peninsula has four distinct seasons: spring, summer and winter. As influence from Siberia weakens, temperatures begin to increase while the high pressure begins to move away. If the weather is abnormally dry, Siberia will have more influence on the peninsula leading to wintry weather such as snow. During June at the start of the summer, there tends to be a lot of rain due to the cold and wet air from the Sea of Okhotsk and the hot and humid air from the Pacific Ocean combining; when these fronts combine, it leads to a so-called rainy season with cloudy days with rain, sometimes heavy. The hot and humid winds from the south west blow causing an increasing amount of humidity and this leads to the fronts moving towards Manchuria in China and thus there is less rain and this is known as midsummer.
High pressure is dominant during autumn leading to clear conditions. Furthermore, temperatures remain high but the humidity becomes low; the weather becomes dominated by Siberia during winter and the jet stream moves further south causing a drop in temperature. This season is dry with some snow falling at times. Temperatures can drop to -20 °C in the mountainous areas; the Korean Peninsula is located in East Asia. To the northwest, the Amnok River separates the peninsula from China and to the northeast, the Duman River separates it from China and Russia; the peninsula is surrounded by the Yellow Sea to the west, the East China Sea and Korea Strait to the south, the Sea of Japan to the east. Notable islands include Ulleung Island, Dokdo; the southern and western parts of the peninsula have well-developed plains, while the eastern and northern parts are mountainous. The highest mountain in Korea is Mount Paektu; the southern extension of Mount Paektu is a highland called Gaema Heights. This highland was raised during the Cenozoic orogeny and covered by volcanic matter.
To the south of Gaema Gowon, successive high mountains are located along the eastern coast of the peninsula. This mountain range is named Baekdudaegan; some significant mountains include Mount Sobaek or Sobaeksan, Mount Kumgang, Mount Seorak, Mount Taebaek, Mount Jiri. There are several lower, secondary mountain series whose direction is perpendicular to that of Baekdudaegan, they are developed along the tectonic line of Mesozoic orogeny and their directions are northwest. Unlike most ancient mountains on the mainland, many important islands in Korea were formed by volcanic activity in the Cenozoic orogeny. Jeju Island, situated off the southern coast, is a large volcanic island whose main mountain Mount Halla or Hallasan is the highest in South Korea. Ulleung Island is a volcanic island in the Sea of
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
The Battle of Chosin Reservoir known as the Chosin Reservoir Campaign or the Battle of Jangjin Lake was an important battle in the Korean War. The name "Chosin" is derived from the Japanese pronunciation "Chōshin", instead of the Korean pronunciation. Official Chinese sources refer to this battle as the eastern part of the Second Phase Campaign; the western half of the Second Phase Campaign resulted in a Chinese victory in the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River. The battle took place about a month after the People's Republic of China entered the conflict and sent the People's Volunteer Army 9th Army to infiltrate the northeastern part of North Korea. On 27 November 1950, the Chinese force surprised the US X Corps commanded by Major General Edward Almond at the Chosin Reservoir area. A brutal 17-day battle in freezing weather soon followed. Between 27 November and 13 December, 30,000 United Nations troops under the field command of Major General Oliver P. Smith were encircled and attacked by about 120,000 Chinese troops under the command of Song Shilun, ordered by Mao Zedong to destroy the UN forces.
The UN forces were able to break out of the encirclement and to make a fighting withdrawal to the port of Hungnam, inflicting heavy casualties on the Chinese. US Marine units were supported in their withdrawal by the US Army's Task Force Faith to their east, which suffered heavy casualties and the full brunt of the Chinese offensive; the retreat of the US Eighth Army from northwest Korea in the aftermath of the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River and the evacuation of the X Corps from the port of Hungnam in northeast Korea marked the complete withdrawal of UN troops from North Korea. By mid-October 1950, after the successful landing at Inchon by the US X Corps and the subsequent destruction of the Korean People's Army, the Korean War appeared to be all but over. United Nations forces advanced into North Korea with the intention of reuniting North and South Korea before the end of 1950. North Korea is divided through the center by the impassable Taebaek Mountains, which separated the UN forces into two groups.
The US Eighth Army advanced north through the western coast of the Korean Peninsula, while the Republic of Korea I Corps and the US X Corps advanced north on the eastern coast. At the same time the People's Republic of China entered the conflict after issuing several warnings to the United Nations. On 19 October 1950, large formations of Chinese troops, dubbed the People's Volunteer Army, secretly crossed the border and into North Korea. One of the first Chinese units to reach the Chosin Reservoir area was the PVA 42nd Corps, it was tasked with stopping the eastern UN advances. On 25 October, the advancing ROK I Corps made contact with the Chinese and halted at Funchilin Pass, south of the Chosin Reservoir. After the landing at Wonsan, the US 1st Marine Division of the X Corps engaged the defending PVA 124th Division on 2 November, the ensuing battle caused heavy casualties among the Chinese. On 6 November, the PVA 42nd Corps ordered a retreat to the north with the intention of luring the UN forces into the Chosin Reservoir.
By 24 November, the 1st Marine Division occupied both Sinhung-ni on the eastern side of the reservoir and Yudami-ni on the west side of the reservoir. Faced with the sudden attacks by Chinese forces in the Eighth Army sector, General Douglas MacArthur ordered the Eighth Army to launch the Home-by-Christmas Offensive. To support the offensive, MacArthur ordered the X Corps to attack west from the Chosin Reservoir and to cut the vital Manpojin—Kanggye—Huichon supply line; as a response, Major General Edward M. Almond, commander of the US X Corps, formulated a plan on 21 November, it called for the US 1st Marine Division to advance west through Yudami-ni, while the US 7th Infantry Division would provide a regimental combat team to protect the right flank at Sinhung-ni. The US 3rd Infantry Division would protect the left flank while providing security in the rear area. By the X Corps was stretched thin along a 400-mile front. Surprised by the Marine landing at Wonsan, China's Chairman Mao Zedong called for the immediate destruction of the ROK Capital Division, ROK 3rd Infantry Division, US 1st Marine Division, US 7th Infantry Division in a telegraph to Commander Song Shilun of the PVA 9th Army on 31 October.
Under Mao's urgent orders, the 9th Army was rushed into North Korea on 10 November. Undetected by UN intelligence, the 9th Army entered the Chosin Reservoir area on 17 November, with the 20th Corps of the 9th Army relieving the 42nd Corps near Yudami-ni. Chosin Reservoir is a man-made lake located in the northeast of the Korean peninsula; the name Chosin is the Japanese pronunciation of the Korean place name Changjin, the name stuck due to the outdated Japanese maps used by UN forces. The battle's main focus was around the 78-mile long road that connects Hungnam and Chosin Reservoir, which served as the only retreat route for the UN forces. Through these roads, Yudami-ni and Sinhung-ni, located at the west and east side of the reservoir are connected at Hagaru-ri. From there, the road passes through Koto-ri and leads to the port of Hungnam; the area around the Chosin Reservoir was sparsely populated. The battle was fought over some of the roughest terrain during some of the harshest winter weather conditions of the Korean War.
The road was created by cutting through the
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
Battle of Chongju (1950)
The Battle of Chongju took place during the United Nations offensive towards the Yalu River, which followed the North Korean invasion of South Korea at the start of the Korean War. The battle was fought between Australian forces from 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and the 17th Tank Brigade of the Korean People's Army for control of Chongju, North Korea and the surrounding area. After detecting a strong North Korean armoured force equipped with T-34 tanks and SU-76 self-propelled guns on a thickly wooded ridgeline astride the line of advance, the Australians launched a series of company attacks with American M4 Sherman tanks and aircraft in support. Despite heavy resistance the North Koreans were forced to withdraw and the Australians captured their objectives after three hours of fighting; that evening the North Koreans were reinforced, attacking the Australian southern flank manned by D Company 3 RAR, penetrating their perimeter. After two hours of fighting the assault was repulsed, the North Koreans subsequently launched a furious assault against A Company 3 RAR on the northern position, which failed amid heavy losses.
The following day the Australians advanced to the high ground overlooking Chongju and capturing a number of North Koreans in skirmishes. That afternoon the town itself was cleared by the remaining elements of the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade without opposition. North Korean casualties during the fighting were heavy, while Australian losses included their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Green, wounded in the stomach by artillery fire after the battle and died two days later; the Korean War began early in the morning of 25 June 1950, following the surprise invasion of the Republic of Korea by its northern neighbour, the communist Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Numerically superior and better-equipped, the Korean People's Army crossed the 38th Parallel and advanced south overcoming the South Koreans. In response, the United Nations decided to intervene on behalf of South Korea, inviting member states to send forces to restore the situation; as a consequence, American ground forces were hastily deployed in an attempt to prevent the South Koreans from collapsing, however they too were under strength and poorly equipped, by early August had been forced back by the North Koreans to an enclave around Pusan, known as the Pusan Perimeter.
Key US allies—Britain and Australia—also committed forces, although these were limited to naval contingents and were viewed as token efforts in the US. Under diplomatic pressure the British agreed to deploy an infantry brigade in July, would dispatch a second brigade as the crisis worsened; the Canadians agreed to provide an infantry brigade, although the first battalion would not arrive until December 1950. A total of 21 UN member states contributed forces. Australia was one of the first nations to commit units to the fighting, playing a small but sometimes significant part in the United Nations Command, led by General Douglas MacArthur. Forces deployed in Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force formed the basis of the Australian response, with P-51 Mustang fighter-bombers from No. 77 Squadron RAAF flying their first missions on 2 July, while the frigate HMAS Shoalhaven and the destroyer HMAS Bataan were committed to naval operations. During this time the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, preparing to return to Australia prior to the outbreak of the war, remained in Japan, however on 26 July the Australian government announced that it would commit the understrength and poorly equipped infantry battalion to the fighting, following a period of preparation.
Training and re-equipment began while hundreds of reinforcements were hastily recruited in Australia as part of K Force. The battalion's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Floyd Walsh, was subsequently replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Green. An officer with extensive operational experience fighting the Japanese in New Guinea during the Second World War, Green took over from Walsh due to the latter's perceived inexperience. On 23 September 1950, 3 RAR embarked for Korea. There it joined the British 27th Infantry Brigade, a garrison formation hurriedly committed from Hong Kong by the British government as the situation deteriorated around the Pusan Perimeter in late August to bolster the US Eighth Army under Lieutenant General Walton Walker. Commanded by Brigadier Basil Coad, the brigade was renamed the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade and consisted of the 1st Battalion and Sutherland Highland Regiment, the 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment and 3 RAR. Under strength, the two British battalions had each mustered just 600 men of all ranks, while the brigade was short on transport and heavy equipment, had no integral artillery support, for which it would rely on the Americans until the 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery arrived in January 1951.
As such, with a strength of nearly 1,000 men, the addition of 3 RAR gave the brigade increased tactical weight as well as expediently allowing the Australians to work within a familiar organisational environment, rather than being attached to a US formation. Under the command of the brigade were a number of US Army units, including 155 mm howitzers from the US 90th Field Artillery Battalion, M4 Sherman tanks from US 89th Tank Battalion and a company from the US 72nd Combat Engineer Battalion. By the time 3 RAR arrived in the theatre, the North Koreans had been broken and were in rapid retreat, wi
Battle of Kyongju
The Battle of Kyongju was an engagement between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from August 31 to September 15, 1950, in the vicinity of Kyongju in South Korea. It was a part of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, was one of several large engagements fought simultaneously; the battle ended in a victory for the United Nations after large numbers of United States and Republic of Korea troops repelled a strong North Korean attack. Holding a line north of P'ohang-dong, An'gang-ni, Kyongju, the so-called "Kyongju corridor," the Republic of Korea Army I Corps was unexpectedly hit with an attack by the North Korean People's Army's II Corps, part of the wider Great Naktong Offensive; the South Korean troops demoralized and struggling to maintain a strong defensive line, were pushed back from their positions. US Army units were called in to assist the South Koreans repel the attack. Fighting was heavy and the two sides fought to capture and recapture P'ohang-dong and An'gang-ni, with the North Koreans seeking to break through the Kyongju corridor as a way to attack the UN base at Pusan.
However, with large amounts of UN air and naval support, the US and South Korean ground forces were able to rout and force back the North Korean troops after two weeks of fighting. From the outbreak of the Korean War and the invasion of South Korea by the North, the North Korean People's Army had enjoyed superiority in both manpower and equipment over both the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and the United Nations forces dispatched to South Korea to prevent it from collapsing; the North Korean strategy was to aggressively pursue UN and South Korean forces on all avenues of approach south and to engage them aggressively, attacking from the front and initiating a double envelopment of both flanks of the unit, which allowed the North Koreans to surround and cut off the opposing force, which would be forced to retreat in disarray leaving behind much of its equipment. From their initial June 25 offensive to fights in July and early August, the North Koreans used this strategy to defeat any UN force and push it south.
However, when the UN forces, under the Eighth United States Army, established the Pusan Perimeter in August, the UN troops held a continuous line along the peninsula which North Korean troops could not flank, their advantages in numbers decreased daily as the superior UN logistical system brought in more troops and supplies to the UN army. When the North Koreans approached the Pusan Perimeter on August 5, they attempted the same frontal assault technique on the four main avenues of approach into the perimeter. Throughout August, the NK 6th Division, the NK 7th Division engaged the US 25th Infantry Division at the Battle of Masan repelling a UN counteroffensive before countering with battles at Komam-ni and Battle Mountain; these attacks stalled as UN forces, well equipped and with plenty of reserves repelled North Korean attacks. North of Masan, the NK 4th Division and the US 24th Infantry Division sparred in the Naktong Bulge area. In the First Battle of Naktong Bulge, the North Korean division was unable to hold its bridgehead across the river as large numbers of US reserve forces were brought in to repel it, on August 19, the NK 4th Division was forced back across the river with 50 percent casualties.
In the Taegu region, five North Korean divisions were repulsed by three UN divisions in several attempts to attack the city during the Battle of Taegu. Heavy fighting took place at the Battle of the Bowling Alley where the NK 13th Division was completely destroyed in the attack. On the east coast, three more North Korean divisions were repulsed by the South Koreans at P'ohang-dong during the Battle of P'ohang-dong. All along the front, the North Korean troops were reeling from these defeats, the first time in the war their strategies were not working. In planning its new offensive, the North Korean command decided any attempt to flank the UN force was impossible thanks to the support of the UN navy. Instead, they opted to use frontal attack to breach the perimeter and collapse it as the only hope of achieving success in the battle. Fed by intelligence from the Soviet Union the North Koreans were aware the UN forces were building up along the Pusan Perimeter and that it must conduct an offensive soon or it could not win the battle.
A secondary objective was to destroy the UN and South Korean units in that city. As part of this mission, the North Korean units would first cut the supply lines to Taegu. On August 20, the North Korean commands distributed operations orders to their subordinate units; the North Koreans called for a simultaneous five-prong attack against the UN lines. These attacks would overwhelm the UN defenders and allow the North Koreans to break through the lines in at least one place to force the UN forces back. Five battle groupings were ordered; the easternmost of these was for the NK 12th and NK 5th Divisions break through the ROK Capital Division and ROK 3rd Division to P'ohang-dong and Kyongju. The North Korean attack struck first on the UN's right flank on Korea's east coast. Although the NK II Corps general attack in the north and east was planned for September 2, the NK 12th Division, now with a strength of 5,000 men, started to move forward from the mountains earlier than planned, from where it had reorganized after its defeat in the Kigye and P'ohang-dong area.
The division was low in food supply and ammunition, its men suffered from low morale. On August 26, American and South Korean officers in the P'ohang-dong and Kigye area were optimistic.