Edward Mallory "Ned" Almond was a senior United States Army officer who fought in both World War I and World War II, where he commanded the 92nd Infantry Division. He is best known as the commander of the U. S. X Corps during the Korean War. Born on December 12, 1892 in Luray, Almond graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1915 and joined the United States Army, he served in France during the latter stages of World War I. He fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of late 1918, during which he was wounded and received the Silver Star, he ended the war as a commander of a machine-gun battalion. On returning to the United States after the war, Almond taught military science at Marion Military Institute from 1919 to 1924, he attended Infantry School at Fort Benning in Georgia after which he resumed teaching at Marion until 1928. He taught at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, becoming acquainted with Lieutenant Colonel George Marshall, the assistant commandant of the school. In 1930, Almond graduated from the General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
After a tour of duty in Philippines, where he commanded a battalion of Philippine Scouts, he attended the Army War College in 1934 after which he was attached to the Intelligence Division of the General Staff for four years. Having been promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1938, he attended the Army War College, Air Corps Tactical School, the Naval War College, from which he graduated in 1940. Almond was assigned to staff duty at VI Corps HQ, Rhode Island. Soon after the outbreak of World War II, Almond was promoted to brigadier general and named assistant commander of the 93rd Infantry Division, based in Arizona at the time. Almond was for a time regarded by George Marshall a VMI graduate, Army Chief of Staff during World War II; this regard accounted in part for Almond's promotion to major general ahead of most of his peers and subsequent command of the 92nd Infantry Division, made of exclusively African-American soldiers, a position he held from its formation in October 1942 until August 1945.
He led the division in combat in the Italian campaign of 1944–1945. Although George Marshall picked Almond for this assignment because Marshall believed Almond would excel at this difficult assignment, the division performed poorly in combat with Almond blaming the division's poor performance on its African-American troops, echoing the widespread prejudice in the segregated Army that blacks made poor soldiers—and went on to advise the Army against again using African-Americans as combat troops. Almond told confidants. No white man wants to be accused of leaving the battle line; the Negro doesn't care.... People think being from the South we don't like Negroes. Not at all, but we understand his capabilities, and we don't want to sit at the table with them. In 1946 Almond was transferred to Tokyo as chief of personnel at General Douglas Macarthur's headquarters a dead-end job. Almond effectively handled the sizable challenge of staffing the occupation forces in Japan as American forces demobilized, standing out among MacArthur's lackluster staff.
Having won MacArthur's confidence as capable and loyal, Almond was the logical choice to become Chief of Staff in January 1949, when the incumbent, Paul Mueller, rotated home. After the initial North Korean attack in June 1950, United Nations forces were forced to withdraw and fell back to the Pusan Perimeter. MacArthur decided to counterattack with an amphibious invasion at Inchon in November; the invasion force, consisting of the 1st Marine Division and the 7th Infantry Division, was named "X Force" and was placed under the command of General Almond. Because the name X Force was confusing to logistics officers, upon Almond's suggestion, the formation was re-designated as X Corps. MacArthur split X Corps from the 8th Army placed Almond, who had no experience with amphibious operations, in command of the main landing force just before the landings. Almond earned the scorn of Marine officers when, during the early phase of the Inchon landing, he asked if the amphibious tractors used to land the Marines could float.
The invasion succeeded, but Almond did not pursue and most of the routed North Korean Army escaped northwards. During this time, Major General O. P. Smith, commander of the 1st Marine Division, part of X Corps from October until December 1950 had many conflicts with Almond. Almond had a poor relationship with Lieutenant General Walton Harris Walker, commander of the 8th Army. Historians have criticized Almond for the wide dispersal of his units during the X Corps advance into north-eastern part of North Korea, in November–December 1950; this dispersal contributed to the defeat of X Corps by Chinese troops, including the destruction of Task Force Faith, the narrow escape of the Marines at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Almond was slow to recognize the scale of the Chinese attack on X Corps, urging Army and Marine units forward despite the huge Chinese forces arrayed against them. Displaying his usual boldness, he underestimated the strength and skill of the Chinese forces, at one point telling his subordinate officers "The enemy, delaying you for the moment is nothing more than remnants of Chinese divisions fleeing north.
We're still attacking and we're going all the way to the Yalu. Don't let a bunch of Chinese laundrymen stop you." As stated by a close associate: "When it paid to be aggressive, Ned was aggressive. When it paid to be cautious, Ned was aggressive."Despite these mistakes and due to his close rel
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
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
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
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 Hwanggan
The Battle of Hwanggan was an engagement between United States and North Korean forces that took place on July 23–29, 1950, on a road north of the village of Hwanggan in southern South Korea, early in the Korean War. The battle ended in a victory for the North Koreans; the US Army's 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, newly arrived in Korea, was moved to a road north of Hwanggan to block the North Korean Korean People's Army's 2nd Division, advancing following the Battle of Taejon. In an unusually good first performance, the 27th Infantry was able to delay the North Korean division for a week, inflicting heavy casualties on it while suffering few casualties of their own; the North Koreans were able to overwhelm the US forces with sheer numbers, capturing Hwanggan and pushing the American units further south. However, the action solidified the 27th Infantry's position as a valuable reserve unit for the US Eighth Army during the Battle of Pusan Perimeter; the 27th distinguished itself in several critical battles, including the Battle of the Bowling Alley.
Following the invasion of South Korea by North Korea, the subsequent outbreak of the Korean War, the United Nations decided to commit troops to the conflict on behalf of South Korea. The United States sent ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goal of fighting back the North Korean invasion and to prevent South Korea from collapsing. However, US forces in the Far East had been decreasing since the end of World War II in 1945, at the time the closest forces were the 24th Infantry Division of the Eighth Army, headquartered in Japan; the division was understrength, most of its equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending. Regardless, the 24th Infantry Division was ordered into South Korea; the 24th Infantry Division was the first US unit sent into Korea with the mission to take the initial "shock" of North Korean advances, delaying much larger North Korean units to buy time to allow follow-on forces to arrive. The division was outnumbered and outgunned for several weeks as it attempted to delay the North Koreans, making time for the 7th Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division and other Eighth Army supporting units to move into position.
Republic of Korea Army forces in the meantime were systematically defeated and forced south along Korea's east coast, with entire divisions being overrun by the KPA' superior firepower and equipment. Advance elements of the 24th Infantry Division were badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on July 5, during the first battle between American and North Korean forces. For the first month after the defeat of Task Force Smith, 24th Infantry Division soldiers were defeated and forced south by the KPA's superior numbers and equipment; the regiments of the 24th Infantry Division were systematically pushed south in battles around Chochiwon and Pyongtaek. The 24th Infantry Division made a final stand in the Battle of Taejon, being completely destroyed in the process but delaying North Korean forces from advancing until July 20. By that time, the Eighth Army's force of combat troops was equal to North Korean forces attacking the region at around 70,000 for each side, with new UN units arriving every day.
In the east, the North Koreans advanced after taking Taejon. Four North Korean divisions approached the UN lines along separate routes; the KPA 15th Division was the first to move against the US 25th Infantry Division in the Battle of Sangju on July 20, where the division's US 24th Infantry would be pushed back by the North Korean advance. In the meantime, the KPA 3rd Division engaged the newly arrived US 1st Cavalry at the Battle of Yongdong on July 22, where that division would perform poorly; the KPA 6th Division moved further south, where it would confront the US 29th Infantry Regiment at the Hadong Ambush on July 27 destroying one of the regiment's battalions. The US units were performing poorly in their first engagements against North Korean units, as a combination of shortages of supplies and lack of experienced soldiers and officers plagued the UN forces at this stage of the war; as other North Korean forces were closing on Yongdong, the KPA 2nd Division continued its advance down the road from Hwanggan to Poun, having arrived in Taejon too late for the fight there.
Its orders were to pass through that town and come out on the main Seoul–Pusan highway at Hwanggan, about 10 miles east of Yongdong, placing it in the rear of the 1st Cavalry Division and on its main supply road. Responding to the threat, the Eighth Army ordered the US 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division to block the advance. After arriving in Korea, the regiment went to the Uisong area, 35 miles north of Taegu. On July 13, it moved from there to Andong to support ROK troops, but before it entered action in the fight in that city, it received orders to move to Sangju to assist the 25th Infantry Division's other two regiments in that battle. En route, it received still other orders to change its destination to Hwanggan, it closed there in an assembly area on the night of July 22–23; the 27th Infantry's mission at Hwanggan was to relieve the exhausted and decimated ROK units retreating down the Poun road. In the meantime it lost large numbers of its experienced officers as they were shifted to the US 24th Infantry.
In carrying out Eighth Army's orders to block the Poun road, regimental commander Colonel John H. Michaelis, a West Point graduate known as an effective commander, assigned the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, to make contact with the first North Korean attacks. On the morning of July 23, Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert J. Check moved the
Battle of Osan
The Battle of Osan was the first engagement between United States and North Korean forces during the Korean War, on July 5, 1950. Task Force Smith, a U. S. task force of 400 infantry supported by an artillery battery, was moved to Osan, south of the South Korean capital Seoul, ordered to fight as a rearguard to delay advancing North Korean forces while additional U. S. troops arrived in the country to form a stronger defensive line to the south. The task force lacked both anti-tank guns and effective infantry anti-tank weapons, having been equipped with obsolescent 2.36-in. Rocket launchers and a few 57 mm recoilless rifles. Aside from a limited number of HEAT shells for the unit's 105-mm howitzers, crew-served weapons capable of defeating the T-34 Soviet tank had not been distributed to U. S. Army forces in Korea. A North Korean tank column equipped with ex-Soviet T-34/85 tanks overran the task force in the first encounter and continued its advance south. After the North Korean tank column had breached U.
S. lines the Task Force opened fire on a force of some 5,000 North Korean infantry approaching its position, temporarily holding up the North Korean advance. North Korean troops flanked and overwhelmed American positions and the remnants of the task force retreated in disorder. On the night of June 25, 1950, ten divisions of the North Korean People's Army launched a full-scale invasion of the nation's neighbor to the south, the Republic of Korea; the force of 89,000 men moved in six columns, catching the Republic of Korea Armed Forces by surprise, resulting in a rout. The smaller South Korean army suffered from widespread lack of organization and equipment, was unprepared for war; the numerically superior North Korean forces destroyed isolated resistance from the 38,000 South Korean soldiers on the front before it began moving south. Most of South Korea's forces retreated in the face of the invasion; the North Koreans had captured South Korea's capital of Seoul by June 28, forcing the government and its shattered army to retreat further south.
To prevent South Korea's collapse the United Nations Security Council voted to send military forces. The United States' Seventh Fleet dispatched Task Force 77, led by the fleet carrier USS Valley Forge. Although the navies blockaded North Korea and launched aircraft to delay the North Korean forces these efforts alone did not stop the North Korean Army juggernaut on its southern advance. U. S. President Harry S. Truman ordered ground troops into the country to supplement the air support; the strength of U. S. forces in the Far East, had declined since the end of World War II five years earlier and the closest unit was the 24th Infantry Division of the Eighth United States Army, headquartered in Japan. Cuts in U. S. military spending meant. Division commander, Major General William F. Dean determined that the 21st Infantry Regiment was the most combat-ready of the 24th Infantry Division's three regiments. Dean decided to send the 21st Infantry's 1st Battalion from the formation because its commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bradford Smith, was the most experienced leading man, having experience at the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II.
C-54 Skymaster transport aircraft airlifted one battalion from the division garrison under Smith's command into Korea. The battalion deployed to block advancing North Korean forces, performing a holding action while the rest of the division could be moved to South Korea by sea; when you get to Pusan, head for Taejon. We want to stop the North Koreans as far from Pusan. Block the main road as far north as possible. Make contact with General Church. If you can't find him, go to Taejon and beyond if you can. Sorry I can't give you more information --. Good luck, God bless you and your men! The first units of the 24th Infantry Division left Itazuke Air Base in Japan on June 30. Task Force Smith, named for its commander, consisted of 406 men of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, as well as 134 men of A Battery, 52nd Field Artillery Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Miller O. Perry; the forces were both poorly equipped and understrength: 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry had only two companies of infantry, as opposed to the regulation three for a U.
S. Army battalion; the battalion had half of the required number of troops in its headquarters company, half of a communications platoon, half of a heavy weapons platoon, armed with six obsolescent M9A1 Bazooka rocket launchers, two 75mm recoilless rifles, two 4.2 inch mortars, four 60mm mortars. Much of this equipment was drawn from the rest of the understrength 21st. A Battery, which formed the entire artillery support for the task force, was armed with six 105mm howitzers; these howitzers were equipped with 1,200 high explosive rounds, but these were incapable of penetrating tank armor. Only six high explosive anti-tank rounds were issued to the battery, all of them allocated to the number six howitzer sited forward of the main battery emplacement. A Battery had four.50 calibre M2 Browning heavy machine guns. Most of the soldiers of the task force were teenagers with no combat experience and only eight weeks of basic training. Only one third of the officers in the task force had combat experience from World War II, only one in six enlisted soldiers had combat experience.
Many of them volunteered to join the task force. The soldiers were each equipped with two days of C-rations. By July 1, Task Force Smith had arrived in South Korea and established a headquarters in Taej