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
Air Battle of South Korea
The Air Battle of South Korea was an air campaign early in the Korean War occurring from June 25 to July 20, 1950, over South Korea between the air forces of North Korea and the United Nations, including the countries of South Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom. The month-long fight for air supremacy over the country saw several small engagements over airfields in Seoul and Taejon and ended in victory for the UN air force, able to destroy the small North Korean People's Air Force. Main Article: Initial Phase of Korean WarOn the morning 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 Army 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.
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. By June 27, the naval and air forces moving to Korea had authorization to attack North Korean targets with the goal of helping repel the North Korean invasion of the country. With the US forces accepting the North Korean attack as an act of war, it became imperative to evacuate civilians and American diplomats from Korea, as the forces of the north and south were battling across the peninsula. On June 27 the South Koreans were losing the First Battle of Seoul. Most of South Korea's forces retreated in the face of the invasion; the North Koreans would capture the city the next day forcing the South Korean government and its shattered army to retreat further south. In the meantime, US naval and air forces were evacuating US diplomats, military dependents, civilians by ship and air transport, hoping to get American civilians out of the country "by any means."
Civilians were being gathered at Suwon Airfield and Kimpo Airfield near Seoul, before moving to Inchon and out of the country. These airlifts and convoys were being escorted by aircraft from the United States, operating its aircraft from bases in Japan; the United States Air Force had 1,172 aircraft in the Pacific region at the time of the outbreak of the Korean War, including hundreds of F-80 Shooting Stars as well as numerous F-82 Twin Mustangs, B-26 Invaders, B-29 Superfortresses, among others. Hundreds of aircraft were available to be mustered against the North Korean invasion, many of them the newest jet engine-powered fighter aircraft; the aircraft could fulfill a variety of missions and were well equipped, well armed and out of reach of North Korean attack, with many bases safely in Japan. Additionally, the Fleet Air Arm of the United Kingdom, the Royal Australian Air Force of Australia provided assistance as 800 Naval Air Squadron, 802 Naval Air Squadron, No. 77 Squadron RAAF were dispatched to provide additional support for ground operations.
The combined airpower had about 33,975 personnel. The North Korean People's Air Force consisted of only 132 aircraft and 2,000 personnel, of whom only 80 were pilots and most poorly trained; the two Koreas had small air forces of their own, with the North Koreans' 132 aircraft organized into the KPAF 1st Air Division. At the early phase in the war, these aircraft were used boldly to the North Koreans' advantage. Aware of their air superiority over the Republic of Korea Air Force and not expecting UN intervention, they anticipated light resistance in the air. In all, the KPAF had 2,000 personnel. At the June 25 outbreak of the war, the US aircraft in Japan began moving to the closest bases to the Korean Peninsula, Itazuke Air Base and Ashiya Air Base. MacArthur ordered. North Korean aircraft first met US aircraft in combat during the Battle of Suwon Airfield, in which seven of the 13 North Korean aircraft were destroyed; the North Korean Lavochkin La-7 and Ilyushin Il-10 aircraft were outmatched by the superior North American F-82 Twin Mustang and F-80C Shooting Star aircraft, which had better-trained pilots.
The planes of the 8th Fighter Wing, which were attempting to defend Suwon to allow evacuation of UN civilians encountered repeated harassing attacks from North Korean aircraft operating out of Heijo Airfield in Pyongyang. Heijo was the KPAF's main base, but in the first few days in the war the US aircraft only had authorization to defend themselves if attacked, they could not conduct offensive operations into North Korea. During the day on June 29, the KPAF returned to attack Suwon, six sorties of North Korean aircraft strafed the airfield during the morning, but each time were driven off by American F-80s, in the course of these attacks Lieutenant William T. Norris and Lieutenant Roy W. Marsh each shot down a North Korean aircraft; the North Koreans were able to destroy a single C-54 Skymaster parked at the airfield. The sorties culminated in a battle above Suwon in the midst of a conference of US military leaders in the town. Leaders including Lieutenant General George E. Stratemeyer and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur witnessed the final sortie of the day, in which four North Korean aircraft attacked four P-51 Mustang aircraft over the town.
The four P-51s succeeded in shooting down all four of the North Korean aircraft, with Lieutenant Orrin R. Fox scoring two kills and Lieutenants Richard J. Burns, Ha
The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization, tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi and The Hague; the organization is financed by voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law; the UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; the UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.
On 25 April 1945, 50 governments met in San Francisco for a conference and started drafting the UN Charter, adopted on 25 June 1945 in the San Francisco Opera House, signed on 26 June 1945 in the Herbst Theatre auditorium in the Veterans War Memorial Building. This charter took effect on 24 October 1945; the UN's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades during the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies. Its missions have consisted of unarmed military observers and armed troops with monitoring and confidence-building roles; the organization's membership grew following widespread decolonization which started in the 1960s. Since 80 former colonies had gained independence, including 11 trust territories, which were monitored by the Trusteeship Council. By the 1970s its budget for economic and social development programmes far outstripped its spending on peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War, the UN shifted and expanded its field operations, undertaking a wide variety of complex tasks.
The UN has six principal organs: the General Assembly. The UN System agencies include the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, UNESCO, UNICEF; the UN's most prominent officer is the Secretary-General, an office held by Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres since 1 January 2017. Non-governmental organizations may be granted consultative status with ECOSOC and other agencies to participate in the UN's work; the organization, its officers and its agencies have won many Nobel Peace Prizes. Other evaluations of the UN's effectiveness have been mixed; some commentators believe the organization to be an important force for peace and human development, while others have called the organization ineffective, biased, or corrupt. In the century prior to the UN's creation, several international treaty organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross was formed to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife.
In 1914, a political assassination in Sarajevo set off a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I. As more and more young men were sent down into the trenches, influential voices in the United States and Britain began calling for the establishment of a permanent international body to maintain peace in the postwar world. President Woodrow Wilson became a vocal advocate of this concept, in 1918 he included a sketch of the international body in his 14-point proposal to end the war. In November 1918, the Central Powers agreed to an armistice to halt the killing in World War I. Two months the Allies met with Germany and Austria-Hungary at Versailles to hammer out formal peace terms. President Wilson wanted peace, but the United Kingdom and France disagreed, forcing harsh war reparations on their former enemies; the League of Nations was approved, in the summer of 1919 Wilson presented the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations to the US Senate for ratification.
On January 10, 1920, the League of Nations formally comes into being when the Covenant of the League of Nations, ratified by 42 nations in 1919, takes effect. However, at some point the League became ineffective when it failed to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria as in February 1933, 40 nations voted for Japan to withdraw from Manchuria but Japan voted against it and walked out of the League instead of withdrawing from Manchuria, it failed against the Second Italo-Ethiopian War despite trying to talk to Benito Mussolini as he used the time to send an army to Africa, so the League had a plan for Mussolini to just take a part of Ethiopia, but he ignored the League and invaded Ethiopia, the League tried putting sanctions on Italy, but Italy had conquered Ethiopia and the League had failed. After Italy conquered Ethiopia and other nations left the league, but all of them realised that they began to re-arm as fast as possible. During 1938, Britain and France tried negotiating directly with Hitler but this failed in 1939 when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia.
When war broke out in 1939, the League closed down and its headquarters in Geneva remained empty throughout the war. The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization began under the aegis of the U. S. State Department in 1939; the text of the "Declaration by United Nations" was drafted at the White House on December 29, 1941, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins
Republic of Korea Marine Corps
The Republic of Korea Marine Corps known as the ROK Marine Corps, or the ROK Marines, is the marine corps of South Korea. The ROKMC is a branch of the Republic of Korea Navy responsible for amphibious operations, functions as a rapid reaction force and a strategic reserve; the ROKMC was founded as a suppression operations force against communist partisans in 1949, prior to the Korean War. The ROKMC fought in combat during the Vietnam War; the ROK Marine Corps, with 29,000 personnel, is organized into two divisions and two brigades under the Headquarters ROK Marine Corps. The ROK Marine Corps has about 300 tracked vehicles including assault amphibious vehicles, main battle tanks, self-propelled artillery. On April 15, 1949, the Republic of Korea Marine Corps was founded at Deoksan airfield in Jinhae with an initial strength of 380 men and was modeled around the United States Marine Corps. Lieutenant Colonel Shin Hyun-joon was appointed to lead as the first Commandant of the newly formed Marine Corps and he was promoted to Colonel on July 1, 1949.
Early ROKMC troops were issued with many secondhand weapons from the Imperial Japanese Army used during World War II, including the 7.7 mm Type 99 Light Machine Gun. The Marine Corps carried out suppression operations against communist elements in Jeju-do; the ROKMC saw combat actions including the Battle of Incheon. Throughout the Korean War, the ROKMC's role as a deployable amphibious force was defined. In 1955, the 1st Marine Division was established. South Korean President Park Chung Hee asked to participate in the Many Flags program and sent military units into Vietnam, despite opposition from both the Assembly and the public. In exchange, the United States agreed to reimburse additional military budgets to South Korea to help modernize its armed forces, totaling about a billion dollars; the three main units deployed to Vietnam were the ROKMC's Blue Dragon Brigade, ROKA Capital Division and the White Horse Division. Various South Korean special forces units were deployed; the Republic of Korea Army's Tactical Area of Responsibility was the southern half of the I Corps.
The ROKMC was deployed with the I Corps, alongside U. S. Marines. In 1974, Commander Lee Dong-Yong of the 1st Marine Division modified the 1st Division's infantry regiment to specialize its each of 3 battalions to Airborne/Amphibious Infiltration/Ranger; this system distinguishes the 1st Marine Division from other ROKMC brigades. In 1982, ROKMC established the'812th "Hammer" Unit', their mission was to perform retaliation operations against the DPRK forces. The unit's motto was'Kill'em all, Let God sort'em out', their training included a 10 km ruck march in an hour with full combat gear, carrying a 100 kg IBS overhead. Training included 12 km continuous sea swimming. In November 1987, the Headquarters Republic of Korea Marine Corps was re-established. On November 23, 2010, the Bombardment of Yeonpyeong incident occurred. There was a rigorous engagement between the North Korean army and a South Korean marine corps YP unit; as a result of this event, the South Korean government cancelled its Military Reform Plan 2020, to downsize the number of Marine Corps personnel deployed in North-West islands.
Instead, the South Korean government established the Military Reform Plan 307. Plan 307 affected ROKMC by deploying new ARTHUR artillery hunting radar to North-West islands until February 2012. With Plan 307, Northwest Islands Defense Command was established on June 15, 2011. ROKMC Commandant holds an additional position as NWIDC commander. With NWIDC, ROKMC Commandant can command Army, Airforce under NWIDC branch in actual combat situation. Plan 307 includes a plan to fortify all 5 islands in the North-West area until 2015 by constructing bunkers for tanks, K-9 Thunder, K-10 ARV and civilians, digging trenches, establishing Guided-Missile unit, equipped with 60 Spike missiles and 4 launchers, deploying the Hostile Artillery Locating System, manufactured by the Selex Galileo company, creating an AH-1S Cobra unit under the 6th Marine Brigade in Baengnyeongdo, increasing size of artillery units in Yeonpyeong from company to battalion which changed their number of K-9 Thunder from 6 to 18, deploying the K-SAM Chunma and the K-136 multiple rocket launcher to North-West islands and increasing numbers of marines in North-West islands by more than 1000.
On June 23, 2011, the South Korean National Assembly legislated a law that states the right that personnel management can be exercised by the ROKMC Commandant instead of the ROKN Chief of Naval Operations, legislating the ROKMC Deputy Commandant and specifying ROKMC's main operation as'amphibious operations' from ROKN'naval operations', including the ROKMC Commandant as a formal member of the joint chiefs of the staff council, legislating the ROKMC Commandant as a member of the Defense Project Promotion Committee, giving him rights to select the uniform from CNO to the ROKMC Commandant and making the latter exercise the rights of the Management of Military Supplies of the ROKMC. By dividing the ROKMC's main operation from ROKN, ROKMC made a stepping-stone to become a National Strategic Mobile Force. On October 15, 2011, The law mentioned above took effect. ROKMC retrieved their record of service back from ROKN on October 13. ROKMC started issuing new uniforms since October 1; the ROKMC used to wear their own distinct uniforms before 1973, but after the ROKMC HQ were dissolved, South Korean marines had to wear uniforms similar to those used by the South Korean navy
Battle of Ka-san
The Battle of Ka-san was an engagement between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from September 1 to September 15, 1950, in the vicinity of Ka-san 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. Attempting to capture Taegu as part of the Great Naktong Offensive, the North Korean People's Army's 1st and 13th Divisions advanced to the hill masses north of the city where they confronted the US Army's 1st Cavalry Division and the ROK Army's 1st Division; the North Koreans sought to occupy a number of hill masses, most prominently Hill 902, known to South Koreans as Ka-san, for the ancient fortress situated atop it. In two weeks of fighting in and around the fortress, the North Koreans were able to push back the UN forces from Ka-san and Hills 755 and 314 to the south, but the UN forces held out and the North Koreans were not able to consolidate their gains.
The UN forces defended the ground tenaciously assigning a battalion of engineers to fight on the front lines preventing the North Koreans from advancing long enough for a UN counterattack at Inchon which drove the North Koreans from the area. 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 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 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 3rd Division, NK 13th Division, NK 1st Division break through the US 1st Cavalry Division and ROK 1st Division to Taegu. Simultaneous with their attack at Ka-san, UN and North Korean units were deadlocked a short distance away in the Battle of Tabu-dong. In that sector, NK Major Kim Song Jun of the NK 19th Regiment, NK 13th Division had defected to the UN troops on September 1, he reported. The NK 13th Division, he said, had just taken in 4,000 replacements, 2,000 of them without weapons, was now back to a strength of 9,000 men.
Upon receiving this intelligence, 1st Cavalry Division commander Major General Hobart R. Gay alerted all of his division's front-line units to be prep
Battle of P'ohang-dong
The Battle of P'ohang-dong was an engagement between the United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War, with fighting continuing from 5–20 August 1950 around the town of P'ohang-dong, 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 their forces were able to drive off an attempted offensive by three North Korean divisions in the mountainous eastern coast of the country. Forces of the South Korean Republic of Korea Army, supported by the United States Navy and United States Air Force, defended the eastern coast of the country as a part of the Pusan Perimeter; when several divisions of the North Korean People's Army crossed through mountainous terrain to push the UN forces back, a complicated battle ensued in the rugged terrain around P'ohang-dong, which contained the vital supply line to the main UN force at Taegu. For two weeks North Korean and South Korean ground units fought in several bloody back-and-forth battles and retaking ground in which neither side was able to gain the upper hand.
Following the breakdown of the North Korean supply lines and amidst mounting casualties, the exhausted North Korean troops were forced to retreat. The battle was a turning point in the war for North Korean forces, which had seen previous victories owing to superior numbers and equipment, but the distances and demands exacted on them at P'ohang-dong rendered their supply lines untenable. Following the invasion of the Republic of Korea by its northern neighbor, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the subsequent outbreak of the Korean War on 25 June 1950, the United Nations decided to enter the conflict on behalf of South Korea; the United States—a member of the UN—subsequently committed ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goal of fighting back the North Korean invasion and to prevent South Korea from collapsing. However, 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, headquartered in Japan.
Advance elements of the 24th were badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on 5 July, the first encounter between American and North Korean forces. For the first month after the defeat of Task Force Smith, 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 until July 20. By that time the 8th Army′s force of combat troops were equal to North Korean forces attacking the region, with new UN units arriving every day. While the 24th Infantry Division was fighting on the Korean western front, the 5th and 12th North Korean Infantry Divisions advanced on the eastern front; the North Korean army, 89,000 men strong, had advanced into South Korea in six columns, catching the Republic of Korea Army by surprise, resulting in a complete rout.
The smaller South Korean army suffered from widespread lack of organization and equipment, it was unprepared for war. Numerically superior, North Korean forces destroyed isolated resistance from the 38,000 South Korean soldiers on the front before it began moving south. With Taejon captured, North Korean forces began surrounding the Pusan Perimeter from all sides in an attempt to envelop it; the 4th and 6th North Korean Infantry Divisions advanced south in a wide flanking maneuver. The two divisions attempted to envelop the UN′s left flank, but became spread out in the process. At the same time the NK 5th and 12th Divisions pressured the South Koreans on the right flank, they advanced on UN positions with armor and superior numbers defeating U. S. and South Korean forces and forcing them further south. On 21 July the NK 12th Division was ordered by the II North Korean Corps to capture P'ohang-dong by 26 July. Though they were pushed back, South Korean forces on the right flank increased their resistance further south, hoping to delay North Korean units as much as possible.
North and South Korean units sparred for control of several cities, inflicting heavy casualties on one another. The Republic of Korea Army forces defended Yongdok fiercely before being pushed back, they performed well in the Battle of Andong, forcing the NK 12th Division to delay its attacks on P'ohang-dong until early August. The South Korean forces had undergone significant reorganization, after receiving a large number of recruits by 26 July, the South Korean Army had reached an effective strength of 85,871 men. Along the South Korean front of the perimeter, on the eastern corridor, the terrain made moving through the area difficult. A major road ran from Taegu 50 mi east to P'ohang-dong on Korea's east coast; the only major north-south road intersecting this line moves south from Andong through Yongch'on, midway between Taegu and P'ohang-dong. The only other natural entry through the line lies at the town of An'gang-ni, 12 mi west of P'ohang-dong, situated near a valley through the natural rugged terrain to the major rail hub of Kyongju, a staging area for moving supplies to Taegu.
Gen. Walton Walker—commanding the 8th Army—chose not to reinforce the area, as he felt the terrain made meaningful attack impossible, preferring to respond to attack with reinforcements from the transportation routes and air cover from Yonil Airfield, south of P'ohang-dong. With the exception of the valley between Taegu and P'ohong-dong, the terrain along the line was roug