Second Battle of Seoul
The Second Battle of Seoul was a battle that resulted in United Nations forces recapturing Seoul from the North Koreans in late September 1950. Before the battle, North Korea had just one understrength division in the city, with the majority of its forces south of the capital. MacArthur oversaw the 1st Marine Regiment as it fought through North Korean positions on the road to Seoul. Control of Operation Chromite was given to Major General Edward Almond, the X Corps commander. General Almond was in an enormous hurry to capture Seoul by September 25 three months after the North Korean assault across the 38th parallel; the advance on Seoul was bloody after the landings at Inchon. The reason was the appearance in the Seoul area of two first-class fighting units of the Korean People's Army, the 78th Independent Infantry Regiment and 25th Infantry Brigade, about 7,000 troops in all; the KPA launched a T-34 attack, trapped and destroyed, a Yak bombing run in Incheon harbor, which did little damage. The KPA attempted to stall the UN offensive to allow time to reinforce Seoul and withdraw troops from the south.
Though warned that the process of taking Seoul would allow remaining KPA forces in the south to escape, MacArthur felt that he was bound to honor promises given to the South Korean government to retake the capital as soon as possible. On the second day, vessels carrying the U. S. Army's 7th Infantry Division arrived in Incheon Harbor. General Almond was eager to get the division into position to block a possible enemy movement from the south of Seoul. On the morning of September 18, the division's 2nd Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment landed at Incheon and the remainder of the regiment went ashore in the day; the next morning, the 2nd Battalion moved up to relieve a U. S. Marine battalion occupying positions on the right flank south of Seoul. Meanwhile, the 7th Division's 31st Infantry Regiment came ashore at Incheon. Responsibility for the zone south of Seoul highway passed to the 7th Division at 18:00 on September 19; the 7th Infantry Division engaged in heavy fighting with KPA forces on the outskirts of Seoul.
The Marines entered Seoul shortly after 7:00am on September 25 to find it fortified. Buildings were defended by machine guns and snipers, on Ma Po Boulevard, the main road through the city, the KPA had established a series of 8-foot-high barricades of burlap bags filled with either sand or rice. Located about 200-300 yards apart, each major intersection of the city featured such a barricade, the approaches to which were laced with mines, which were defended by a 45mm anti-tank gun and machine guns; each had to be eliminated one at a time, it took the Marines, on average, 45–60 minutes to clear each position. Casualties mounted. Edwin H. Simmons, a Major in 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, likened the experience of his company's advance up the boulevard to "attacking up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capital in Washington, D. C." He described the street as "once a busy, pleasant avenue lined with sycamores, groceries and tea shops." Anxious to pronounce the conquest of Seoul on MacArthur's insistence by the third-month anniversary of the war, Almond declared the city liberated on September 25, although Marines were still engaged in house-to-house combat.
Effective resistance would cease by September 27. After the battle, South Korean police executed citizens and their families who were suspected as communist sympathizers in what is known as the Goyang Geumjeong Cave and Namyangju massacres. Eugene A. Obregon, US Marine posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for shielding a fellow Marine during the battle First Battle of Seoul Third Battle of Seoul Operation Ripper Halberstam, David; the Coldest WInter – America and the Korean War. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 978-1-4013-0052-4. Hoyt, Edwin P. On To The Yalu, ISBN 0-8128-2977-8
Battle of Chumonchin Chan
The Battle of Chumonchin Chan or the Action of 2 July 1950 was the battle fought between surface combatants during the main phase of the Korean War. It began. On 2 July 1950, USS Juneau, HMS Black Swan, HMS Jamaica were sailing along the coast of the Sea of Japan when they encountered four North Korean torpedo and gunboats that had just finished escorting a flotilla of ten ammunition ships up the coast; the North Korean torpedo boats began an attack on the allied ships. Before their torpedoes could be fired however, they were met with a salvo of gunfire from the United Nations ships which destroyed three of the torpedo boats; the surviving North Korean craft fled. In July, Juneau encountered the same ammunition ships and destroyed them. Naval Battles of the Korean War. Archived 2 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
Battle of Inchon
The Battle of Inchon was an amphibious invasion and battle of the Korean War that resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal in favor of the United Nations. The operation involved some 75,000 troops and 261 naval vessels, led to the recapture of the South Korean capital of Seoul two weeks later; the code name for the operation was Operation Chromite. The battle ended on 19 September. Through a surprise amphibious assault far from the Pusan Perimeter that UN and South Korean forces were defending, the undefended city of Incheon was secured after being bombed by UN forces; the battle ended a string of victories over the Korean People's Army. The subsequent UN recapture of Seoul severed the KPA's supply lines in South Korea; the UN and South Korean forces were commanded by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur of the United States Army. MacArthur was the driving force behind the operation, overcoming the strong misgivings of more cautious generals to a risky assault over unfavorable terrain.
The battle was followed by a rapid collapse of the North Korean army. From the outbreak of the Korean War following the invasion of South Korea by North Korea on 25 June 1950, the Korean People's Army, had enjoyed superiority in both manpower and ground combat equipment over the South Korean Army and United Nations forces dispatched to South Korea to prevent it from collapsing; the North Korean strategy was to aggressively pursue UN and South Korean forces on all avenues of approach south and to engage them, attacking from the front and initiating a double envelopment of both flanks of the defending units, which allowed the North Koreans to surround and cut off the opposing force, forcing it to retreat in disarray. From their initial 25 June offensive to fighting in July and early August, the North Koreans used this tactic to defeat the UN forces they encountered and push it south. However, with the establishment of the Pusan Perimeter in August, UN forces held a continuous line which the North Koreans could not flank.
The KPA advantages in numbers decreased daily as the superior UN logistical system brought in more troops and supplies to the UN forces. When the North Koreans approached the Busan Perimeter on 5 August, they attempted the same frontal assault technique on the four main avenues of approach into the perimeter. Throughout August, they conducted direct assaults resulting in the Battle of Masan, the Battle of Battle Mountain, the First Battle of Naktong Bulge, the Battle of Taegu, the Battle of the Bowling Alley. On the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, the South Koreans repulsed three North Korean divisions at the Battle of P'ohang-dong; the North Korean attacks stalled. All along the front, the North Korean troops reeled from these defeats, the first time in the war North Korean tactics had failed. By the end of August the North Korean troops had been pushed beyond their limits and many of the original units were at far reduced strength and effectiveness. Logistic problems wracked the KPA, shortages of food, weapons and replacement soldiers proved devastating for North Korean units.
However, the North Korean force retained high morale and enough supply to allow for another large-scale offensive. On 1 September the North Koreans threw their entire military into one final bid to break the Pusan Perimeter, the Great Naktong Offensive, a five-pronged simultaneous attack across the entire perimeter; the attack caught UN forces by surprise and overwhelmed them. North Korean troops attacked Kyongju, surrounded Taegu and Ka-san, recrossed the Naktong Bulge, threatened Yongsan, continued their attack at Masan, focusing on Nam River and Haman. However, despite their efforts, in one of the most brutal fights of the Korean War, the North Koreans were unsuccessful. Unable to hold their gains, the KPA retreated from the offensive a much weaker force, vulnerable to counterattack. Days after the beginning of the war, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, the US Army officer in command of all UN forces in Korea, envisioned an amphibious assault to retake the Seoul area; the city had fallen in the first days of the war in the First Battle of Seoul.
MacArthur wrote that he thought the North Korean army would push the Republic of Korea Army back far past Seoul. He said he decided days after the war began that the battered and under-equipped South Koreans, many of whom did not support the South Korean government put in power by the United States, could not hold off the North Korean forces with American support. MacArthur felt that he could turn the tide if he made a decisive troop movement behind North Korean lines, preferred Inchon, now known as Incheon, over Chumunjin-up or Kunsan as the landing site, he had envisioned such a landing, code named Operation Bluehearts, for 22 July, with the US Army's 1st Cavalry Division landing at Incheon. However, by 10 July the plan was abandoned as it was clear the 1st Cavalry Division would be needed on the Pusan Perimeter. On 23 July, MacArthur formulated a new plan, code-named Operation Chromite, calling for an amphibious assault by the US Army's 2nd Infantry Division and the United States Marine Corps' 5th Marine Regiment in mid-September 1950.
This, too fell through. MacArthur decided instead to use the US Army's 7th Infantry Division, his last reserve unit in East Asia, to conduct the operation as soon as it could be raised to wartime strength. In preparation for the invasion, MacArthur activated the US Army's X Corps to act as the command for the landin
Battle of 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 Nam River
The Battle of Nam River was an engagement between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from August 31 to September 19, 1950, in the vicinity of the Nam River and the Naktong River in South Korea. It was a part of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, was one of several large engagements fought simultaneously; the battle ended in a victory for the United Nations after large numbers of United States and Republic of Korea troops were able to repel a North Korean attack across the river. Positioned in defense of Masan during the Battle of Masan, the US 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division took up positions along the Nam River, one of the many tributaries of the Naktong River on the southern flank of the Pusan Perimeter; the North Korean People's Army's 7th Division effected a crossing of the river on August 31, though the 35th Infantry was able to stem the North Korean advance, thousands of North Korean troops were able to exploit a hole in the line and surround the regiment.
What followed was an intense battle in which the US and North Korean units were engaged all along and behind the Kum River line. Though, the North Korean force was routed and defeated by the US troops. During the battle, the 35th Infantry was instrumental in forcing back the North Korean division and preventing it from advancing to capture Pusan; the delay was enough for UN forces to counterattack Inchon defeating the entire North Korean army at the Pusan Perimeter. The 35th Infantry's performance in the battle earned the regiment a Presidential Unit Citation. Following the June 25, 1950, outbreak of the Korean War after the invasion of the Republic of Korea by its northern neighbor, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United Nations decided to commit troops to 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, 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, 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 much larger North Korean units to buy time to allow reinforcements to arrive. The division was alone for several weeks as it attempted to delay the North Koreans, making time for the 1st Cavalry and the 7th and 25th Infantry Divisions, along with other US Eighth Army supporting units, to move into position. Advance elements of the 24th Infantry were badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on July 5, the first encounter between American and North Korean forces. For the first month after the defeat of Task Force Smith, the 24th Infantry Division 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 delaying North Korean forces until July 20. By that time, the Eighth Army's force of combat troops was equal to North Korean forces attacking the region, with new UN units arriving every day. With Taejon captured, North Korean forces began surrounding the Pusan Perimeter from all sides in an attempt to envelop it; the 4th and 6th North Korean Infantry Divisions advanced south in a wide flanking maneuver. The two divisions attempted to envelop the UN's left flank, but became spread out in the process, they advanced on UN positions 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. Forces of the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, newly arrived in the country, were wiped out at Hadong in a coordinated ambush by North Korean forces on July 27, opening a pass 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 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 Korean People's Army 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. During the lull in fighting following the Battle of the Notch, Eighth Army commander Lieutenant General Walton Walker ordered the US 25th Infantry Division, under Major General William B. Kean, to take up defensive positions on the Pusan Perimeter southern flank west of Masan. By August 15, the 25th Infantry Division had moved into these positions. Rough terrain west of Masan limited the choice of the positions; the mountain group west of Masan was the first defensible ground east of the Chinju pass.
The 2,000 feet mountain ridges of Sobuk-san dominated the area and protected the Komam-ni-Haman-Chindong-ni road, the only means of north-south communication west of Masan. To the north, from the Masan-Chinju highway to the Nam River, were several defensible positions; the most favorable was the high ground near Chungam-ni, which controlled an important junction connecting the Masan road with the road over the Nam River to Uiryong. It
Battle of Haman
The Battle of Haman was one engagement in the larger Battle of Pusan Perimeter between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from August 31 to September 19, 1950, in the vicinity of Haman County in South Korea. The engagement ended in a victory for the United Nations after large numbers of United States and Republic of Korea troops repelled a strong North Korean attack on the town of Haman. Operating in defense of Masan during the Battle of Masan, the US Army's 24th Infantry Regiment was stretched along a long line on a ridge to the west of the town, at Haman; when the North Korean People's Army 6th Division attacked the town, the US troops fought to repel their advance in a weeklong battle in which the 24th Infantry performed poorly, other US reinforcements were brought in to assist in fighting off the attack. The battle remained bitterly deadlocked long enough for another UN force to counterattack at Inchon, forcing the North Korean Army to retreat from Masan. Following the June 25, 1950, outbreak of the Korean War after the invasion of the Republic of Korea by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United Nations voted to commit troops to the conflict in support of South Korea.
The United States, as a member of the UN, committed ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goals of repelling the North Korean invasion and preventing South Korea from collapsing. By 1950, US forces in the Far East had been decreasing since the end of World War II, five years earlier, at the time the closest forces were the US 24th Infantry Division, headquartered in Japan; the division was understrength, most of its equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending. Regardless, the 24th was ordered to South Korea. However, it faced numerous disadvantages; the forces were poorly equipped. Headquarters Company, supporting platoon elements were much smaller than regulation stated, making them less effective. Most of the soldiers of the division had no combat experience and used to the luxuries of life in occupied Japan. Only one third of the officers in the Task Force had combat experience from World War II, only one in six enlisted soldiers had combat experience. Many of them volunteered to join the task force.
The soldiers were each equipped with two days of C-rations. The 24th Infantry Division was the first US unit sent into Korea with the mission to take the initial "shock" of North Korean advances, delaying much larger North Korean units for several weeks to buy time to allow reinforcements to arrive, such as the 1st Cavalry and the 7th and 25th Infantry Divisions. Advance elements of the 24th Infantry were badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on July 5, the first encounter between American and North Korean forces. For the first month after the defeat of Task Force Smith, the 24th Infantry was defeated and forced south by superior North Korean numbers and equipment; the regiments of the 24th Infantry were systematically pushed south in engagements around Chochiwon and Pyongtaek. They made a final stand in the Battle of Taejon, where they were completely destroyed, but their resistance kept the North Koreans from advancing until July 20. By that time, the number of Eighth Army front-line combat troops was equal to number of North Korean forces attacking the region, with new UN units arriving every day.
With Taejon captured, North Korean forces began surrounding the Pusan Perimeter from all sides in an attempt to envelop it. The 4th and 6th North Korean Infantry Divisions advanced south in a wide flanking maneuver; the two divisions attempted to penetrate the UN's left flank, but became dispersed in the process. They advanced on UN positions with armor and superior numbers pushing back US and South Korean forces. American forces were defeated before halting the North Korean advance in a series of engagements in the southern section of the country. Forces of the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, newly arrived in the country, were wiped out at Hadong in a coordinated ambush by North Korean forces on July 27, opening a pass into the Pusan Perimeter. Soon after, North Korean forces took Chinju to the west, pushing back the US 19th Infantry Regiment and leaving routes to the perimeter open for more North Korean attacks. US formations were subsequently able to defeat and push back the North Koreans on the flank in the Battle of the Notch on August 2.
Suffering mounting losses, the KPA force in the west withdrew for several days to reequip and receive reinforcements. This granted both sides a reprieve to prepare for the attack on the Pusan Perimeter. Eighth Army commander Lieutenant General Walton Walker ordered the US 25th Infantry Division, under Major General William B. Kean, to take up defensive positions on the Pusan Perimeter southern flank west of Masan. By August 15, the 25th Infantry Division had moved into these positions. Rough terrain west of Masan limited the choice of the positions; the mountain group west of Masan was the first defensible ground east of the Chinju pass. The 2,000-foot mountain ridges of Sobuk-san dominated the area and protected the road from Komam-ni to Haman to Chindong-ni, the only means of north–south communication west of Masan. To the north, from the Masan–Chinju highway to the Nam River, there were several defensible positions; the best one was the high ground near Chungam-ni, which controlled the important road junction connecting the Masan road with the one over the Nam River to Uiryong.
It was essential for the 25th Infantry Division's right flank connect with the left flank of the 24th Inf
Battle of 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