Committee 11, Employment of Armor in Korea vol 2 .pdf
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Eployment ofAmr iKorea
PAT KM&x ~Pru
A RESEAR5H REPORT
THE. ARMORED SCHOOL
Fort Knox, Kentucky
CCI? INTERVENTION (3 November 19 50 to 24 January 19 51)
Gene ral conduct of the caxnpai gnfil
General comments on campaign.....221
Armored action during campaign..24
Comments on armored action**.......154
General Conduct of the Campaip
"Seoul City Sue", the North Korean version
was olften an inconscious source of amusement to the
UN troops in the early days,
ritth her -outrageous lies and heavy
In the days immediately following the INCHON'
landing, UN troops were particularly amused by her frenzied appeals
to the Chinese people for hel1p (in Eng-liJ.sh oddly enou0,1gh),
worried about 'whether. the Chinese would *respond or not.,
Rumors and reports reached the UN troops, placing l0arge Chienese
concentrations along the YALU River boundary.
wore on, however,
As the UN offensive
the Chinese made no- move to Intervene while the
North Korean army was rapidly being-destroyed.
As the pursuit into
North Korea pro-gressed, confidence spread that the war was almost
The possibility of4LChinese intervention seemed remote,.
The 26-27 October attack by the Chinese at UNSAIM and ON,1JONG
The 2 Novembet attack against the 8th Cavalry
gave the f11irst, hint that larTge scale Chinese intervention was a
The US I and IX Corks promptly disposed
of the CHONGI-LON River between KASAN and KUNU-RI,
to meet this
On 6 November General MacArthur announced that "a newi and
fresh army now faces us, backed by a possibility of large alien
The expected blow did not fall, however.
The enemy witlwp
drew almost out of contact in the west and the US X Corps began
makin'g substantial advances in the northeast sector..
With the Ei5ghth Army on V a_.
left flank braced for an
attack that wras not materiaiizing,
Vie X Corps and ROK troops
continued ex-p"loitatiLon up the east co-ast..
On 14 November t'he
P0K Capitol Division, having taken L1.tON-GCHON,
had pushed within
90 miles of the SIBERIAN border -and was meeting str'ong -North
The 1thRegimrent of;the 7th Divisioadac
ing against -little opposition,
reached the YALLU River at 'HYZS,_-3ADNJm.
To the south -and west., howitever,
defini"tel'y meeting strong resistance.
against two to three Chinese Divisions,
the 1st M"arine Division was
Fighqting up from HUNGNhi
the: MI-arines had pushed
pa-.-.st HAGARIJ and reached the CHOSIN R0EERVOIR on 16 November.
W,,ith the X Corps miaking successful advances on its right
and the Chinese having withdrawn from the..ir front,
resumed the offensive at 1000 hours 24 November.
and ~ ~
The line at this
I. nr KTh of&the NGO-N
During the 24th and 25th of Novemriber, the UN forces
advanced against little opposition.
Suddenly, on 26 November,
the BOK II Corps coflapsed und-er heavy attack,
started all along the line, graduall61y decreasing to the west near
S INAiiNJU where the 24-th Divisi*on was not in contact.
After shattering the ROK-held portion of the line, the*1
Chinese swung to the southwest on 27 November and started moving
down the river Line to-wards ANJU., threatening to turn the flank of
IX Corps, held at the tim e by the 2d- Division,,
On 28 November Gen-eral MacArthur announced that "wie face an
entirely new war".
Chinese i'ntervention had become a reality, and
the "l1arge alien reserves" had been comnmitted.
Esti.,mates of the
strength of the Chinese forces thrown into the war at this time
vary from 150,000 to 600,000,
as opposed to a UN strength- of.
approximatelyv 325,000 (including 100,000 FCKs),
It is certainl,
however, that the Chinese troops were massed in decisive superiority a@t the UN center.
The ROK TI Corps in the center had disi.ntegrated completely and was making futile attempts to establish a defensive
line south of PUKCHAN11G -with elements of its 6th 'Division, while
col'lecting stragglers from the 7th and Sth ROK Divisions.
To protect the open east flank of IX Corps the Turkish
chewed up bY Chinese attacks
while Protecting the flank
US TanCops asthy Withdrew
to form a line south of the
CHONXIHoN, The 19-th Cavalry
Regiment similarly took heavy
Uposition at UiiaM in order
the Withdrawal of the 24th Division.
Wi th an estimated six Chinese
armies (18 divisions) and
four more armies In res'erve
arrayed against the I fand
and the right flank exposed
by thle collapse of the
CHONGOHON River line Was
and all units
Were ordered -to f41
back -and delay,
X Corps meanwhile was under
attack by an estimated _12
Chinese divisions moving
against the Mari-nes,
As X Corps start.
ed a withdr awal to a beachhead
in the. Hz)aHUNG and HbiJ4AM
the gap in the UN lines became greatep,
ContatJwth Ei ghth
aIrmy was lost and the entire
rmy right flank exposed,
inviting a Chinese f lankingm"ovemenat
to cujt theesj
the south. Patrols, 2ir,
And naval observat'Ion were
keep the gap to the east
under surveillance, while
IICorps moved it'S 9th Division
Just northeast Of 5EOUL to
the gap and give depth
to the delaying.action,
The ensuing fall back
of the Eighth Army, more
referred to as the "bugoutt?
began wiith a successful
the C &l~
2? me Inc.
to cover the withdrawal through the city.,
At 0630 hours on5 December the Royal Ulster Rifles
crossed t-he TAEDONIG River, completingthevcainote
North Korean capitol of PYONGYANG.
The delaying line at this
time arced north f rom the mouth of the TABDONG on the lef t to
near KOKSAN on the right, with IX Corps patrolling to the east and
I Corps astride the PY0NGV 1OG-SOUL axis.* The.. fall back continued under medium enemay pressure.
To the north, X Cor-ps was hJastily trying to salvage its
troops from threatened encirclement and annihilation.
Regiment had been withdrawn f rom HYESANJI1 without meeting
major opposition, but the 1st Marine Division was battling its
way out of an encirclement in its epi c "attack in a different
A link-up between the Marines and elements of the
7th Divftion was made at EAG.,RU, nand together they fought back
to a li-nk-up with a battalion task force from the 3d Division
north 'of HA4MNUNG.,
Covered by the 3d Division, which had been disembarked to
hold the Perimeter around H-UKGKAMVL,
the 1st Marine and 7th Divis-
ions were evacuated by sea, as were the ROK Capitol Division and
other. ROK units.
On 16 Decembear; elements of the Marines and
7th Division were landed at PUSANT,
x Cor"ps completed the evacuation of the HUN2GNJAM beachhead
on 24 December.'
105,000 military personnel, 17, 506 vehicles, and
350,000 measurement tons of supplies had been snatched from under
the very noses of the Chinese.
An additional 91,000 civilian
refugees were also evacuated by sea,
Lt General W-alton Walker, the comimander of the Kighth
Army, died in a jeep accident on 23 December, and Lt General
Matthew B. Ridgeway assumed command of the still retreating Eighth
Army on 26 December.
The UIN dispositions ato the time ran roughlIy
along the 38tVh Parallel, the west flank fairly well manned wi'bth
1 Corps on the lef t and IX Corps on the righnt, and the east flank
poorly held by ROK troops.
Evacuated X Corps units were brought
into the INONJU'area to prevent a penetration in that area.
On 27 December a new Chinese attack hit between the ROK
9th and Capitol Divisions in'the east central sector and penetrated
Four days laterbthhe Chinese general offensive began with
attacks against the ROK 6th Division south of 'YONCHON,
troops once again collapsed and thre enemy drive began pushing
towards MO-HNOCUO,'N and HOSENOSONG against. the RON 9th Division with-.w
Moving to the east through the gap created by the
HO~s, the Chinese crossed the'IMJIN IRiver and attacked the US. .1
penetration through the ROKs, the I and IX Corps began a general
withdrawal, closely followied by the enemy.o
A bridgehead defense was established north of SEOUL by the
two US corps' to protect their 1..ith11drawnal across the MAN,' only to
be penetrated and almost enveloped by enenmy Loot troops moving
over the frozen surface of*L
On 3 January orders were
issued to withdraw across the 1AN and to abandon SEOUL.
A new UN defense line was established by I and IX Corps
wi'th the left flank2.anchored on thia west coast near ?YONGTASHK
and then running northeast t5o ;KNJU.
A task force from the 27th
Regiment (25th Division) probed to the north and encouantered
little or no resistance.
In the center, however, th7e ROK III Corps fell back and
the ROK I Corps on its right fell back also to maintain contact.
The US X Corps moved into the center to brace the sagging line
and to contain the North Korean II Corps, massing north of YONJU.
East of UONJU a strong en--emy force, moving south through
the undefended mountains,
posed a new threat.
Unless this move-
ment wvere counteredIVthe UN -forces wou'ld be split downT the midddle
and then latera.lly when the enemy turned west in a pi.ncers
The ene-my force, estimat..ed at 18,000, began their at!"
tempt to divide the UN forces by an attack on WONJUon,7 January.
assault began on 7 January with a f rontal attack of the city by
two divisions while two other divisions moved to envelop the city
and cut the roads to the south.
The initial2 attack -was repulsed, but the ene-my infiltrated
into the city at night and the nLext day (8January) was taken up
in flushing out the infiltrators.
On 9 January the attack was rea-W
sumied by a reinforced enemy, who besieged 1'ZNJU and required the
UN troops to fall back a short distance.
The 2d Division immed-
iately began probing attacks, and then from 10 to 13 January a
series of counterattacks, succeeding on '14 January in breaking up
the enemy cassault with the help of air support.
This last action
was par."ticularly bitter in that the tempe..rature fell to 25 below
zero during the final oQunterattack,
The main threat broken, the 2d Division withdrew on 17
January to shorten and strengthen the line.
Contact between the
US X Corps and the ICK III Corps wias re-aestabli-shed in the YONGVOL
area on 18 January, and the situation began to stabi'lize itself.
Infiltrated units -and oxtensive guerrilla activity were
a very real source of danger during this period, With guerrillas
active in the ANDONG are-a, as far west as M1UNGYONG and as far
south a-s TAEJON.
Infiltrated elements of the North Korean II
Corps at one time seriously threatened the !Arh4JU.-TANYAN G-ANDON G
Af ter contact vias re-established in the center on 18 Jan.uary, 1 and IX Corpst started pcatrolling to the north, seeking the
Operation W1olfhound was launched north of StD
as a recon-
naissance in-force and found that the front opposite I Corps in
the west was not heavily manned.
Task Force JOHRNN
reconnaissance in force, moved out along the ICHION-YOJU road- on
22 January and found that the line in the IX Corps sector was not
held in force either.
The first Chinese offensive had spent its momentum.
General Comments on
Despitd the fact that Chinese forces first entered the
war on 26 October, the exact degree of intervention wYas unknown for
some time,- The possibility, of "'large alien reservos" was announcled
on 6 November,
wviould appc~ir that a calculated risk wa-Rs taken
that the Chinese would intervene only with a token force,
abortive "home by Christmns"l offenIsive launched on- 24 November would
be a logical outcome of such a decision,
al].though the theory has
been advanced that the attack was to develop enemy intentions'
2. Regardless, of whtether or not the 24 November offensive
was launched on the basis ofa calculat.ed
stCatus and opera-tion of X, CorLps invited disaster.
The loss of
coordina-ted action between the righPt and left -liings of the UN
beachhead by X Corps, while skillfully zand successfuliy carried out,
exposed the entire ri'ght flI.ank ofI the Tighth Army -and provided the
enm ith an unparalleled opportunity to encircle and destroy the
bulk of the UN f orces in Korea.
US. forces and tChoi"-.r commanders displayed a tendencV to
see operations as extremes.
Over-optiism during the exploitation
to long penetrations without adequate flank security or
the 17th Regiment push to HT&SANJIN),
separated pushes against knownr *%esistance which we.rve virtually
"voluntary encirclements" (e.g. the 1st I>.rino advance to the
Over-pessimism resulted in "bugout fever",
As a corollary to this, howvlever, it must be pointed out
that, with the exception of certain ROK divisions,
the UIN forces
well in-desperate situa!2tions and accompolished
astonishing fea-ts of "tstaying p.,ower"I when required to do so.
astounding success Qf persona l leaadership,
as exemplified by the
change when General Ridgewa-y assumed con-mand,
indicates that much
of the blame for ovor.-ootimism and over-pessimism and their unfortunate results, may be-laid at the door of senior commanders rather
than individuals or junior cormanders alonv-e,
4. ROK troops again noroved unreli-Jable in the face of strong
were very adroit in finding the weak points of lines, and the
flanks and boundaries of units,
Penetrations were often preceded
by infiltrations to set up strong poi nts behind the line and cut
off the retreat of UN f orces.
The Chinese withdrawal after 6 Novermber was calcu-lated to
lure the Eighth Army into launching an attack, during which they
could be hit while on the move.
A multiple point attack was then
used, in accordance 'rvith Lin Fiao's doctrine:
enemy on the march...
"In attacking an
engage him in frontal a-1ttack while the main
forces attack his f lank.
Cut him i n two; a strong force should
attack the center and another strong -force the rear,,..."
can ren.adily be a-eer, that adaqu.-ate finnk s-ecurity or a
The enemny nreoczcupation with se izing MNJU robbed
them of the opportunity to bypass the resistance and turn the
right flank of the entire EightArmy.
This desire to seize
and hold towins -and cities is more typical of the North Koreans
than of the Communist Chinese,'who had defeated the ci,ty-.-bound
Nationali3sts for largely this very reason.
7. The superior maobility of the UN forces permitted a
rapid withdrawal from an untenable position and a breathing spell
in which to regroup:.
The Chinese lack of,mobility, on the other
hand, prevented close pursuit and the full exploitation of their
They simply could not move -fast enough to take
advantage of the Eighth Army t s exposed f lank,
nor could they main-
sufficient pressure on the retreaating UiN forces to keep the'
momentum of their advance.
logistical, support in a very short time,a deficiency that was to
become even more apparent as the war went on,
The value of naval superi1,ority' was forcibly brought
out by the successful evacuation of the HUNGNIAbi beachbatud.and the
stability of coastal flanks th-reugblnca
tne peLri'od, _flaCnks that
were controlled by navaoufi
Armored C Li.r'.
in the Korean conf lict.
These events comprise not only the actions
of a tank company and of infantry companies,
action of other type units:
but in addition the
reconnaissance company of an infantry
a angr cmpay;.nd a combat engineer company, fighting
During the latter part of November .1950 in the zone of the
US 25th Infantry Division, two of its regiments, the 24th and 35th,
-were on line in northwest Korea nnar and south of U1NSAN,
the site of
the overwhelming COF attack on elements of the Sth Cavalry Regiment
and 70th Tank Battalion on 1-2 November 1950.
The 24th and 35th
Regiments were slowly advancing north but tie to terrain limita,
This corridor, or gap, was
tions a small corridor! separated them.
occupied by Task Force DDLVrN, composed of Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Company, and Comnpany B of the 89th Medium
Tank Battalion; Company B, 27th Infantry Regiment; Company B,
35th Infantry Regiment; 25th Reconnaissance Company; 25th Ranger
Company; and one 105mm howitzer artillery battalion in direct
This task force wias comman.nded by 1A. CcioWelborn T.
also commanding offico~r -)-ft'iee
The plan -of action*:J. '.
north, terrain would for
LI-s tedivision advanced
existing between the two reg-iments.
At daybreak on 23 Novem-rber -1950 Task Force DOLVfl departed YONGmO-DONG and moved north via IPSOK with the mission
of seizing and securing a series of hills, A, B, C, D,, and E
Company B, 35th Infantry, supported by Company
B, 89th Tank Battalion, seized Hill A -wCth little opposition,
but very stiff resistance was met before capture of Hill B.
B3Y Hightf aU Task Force DOLVWN was positioned with its forward
elements between Hills B and C.
During the action on this date,
Company B, 65th En ineer Battalion was supporting the Task Force
by being responsible for security of the road from YONG.PO-DONG to
the vicinity of Task Force D3LVD4 Command Post and the 25th Recoinraissane Company (Figure 49).'
On the morning of 24 November Company B,35th In-fantry
attacked and seized Hill C. Hill C being secured, the 25th
Ranger Company supported by tank fire of Company B, 89th Tank
Battalion attacked Hill 1T,
but met very stiff re-- si-,stance.
peated assaults railed to secure theDhacB7
force finally was compelled to
70 men in the iniLtial
Only 13 remained, the
ikIo : n'crnsg
oth ers having become casucitj
fant'-ry passed t-hrough
YOu4 P-o0- O,4
YA R Es
I -,: -------------
tank company, while the reconnaissance company occupied blocking
positions on, Hills A and B (Figure 50).
there was an almrost steady exchange of small arms and mortar fire.
Some artil-lery fire from Task Force DOLVIh was directed at- the
In spite of this contLinuous activity there were no signif-
icant changes in the location of any elements of'Task Fotrce
The 25th'of November found the-positions of the task force
fairly stable, although enemy Patrols were active in the vicinity
of forward elements of thre task force.
The 24th Infantry Regiment in its zone on the right ofTask Force DOVIN was mnee-ting stiffening resistance to the point
of being hanrd pressed in some locatities.
Task Force DOLIAJh was dissolved ani 26 November cand beqwcame a part of Task Force WILSONq (Brig Gen- VaLSON,
Division Comt-mander, 25th Infantry Division).
Because of the
situation, not only within the Task Force DOLTIin the 24th Infantry Regient arL
the Task Force was overexter"ckil--..7> .- xc
E and C were withdrawn.
on the high groDund soutt
27th ILnfant_ry yN«i:l
areas but with~
1-7T-2-7- 1-7 / TT
Company on Hill B..
The major portion of the reconnais-sance
company -occupied Hill A, while one pla1-toon -was deployed nearby
on. the "Turkey Neck" portion of land formed by the KURYQNG River
At about 2330 hours on-the 26th the reconnaissance
platoon on the "Turkeir Neck", west of the main body of the task
suddenly was attacked by a Chinese Communist Force of at
least company size,- The outnumbered platoon soon was overrun, a
few survivors escaping to rejoin elements of the task force to
By midnigh-t the Chinese wiere attacking on a large scale
all along the front of the 25th Division (Figure' 52).
At that time
27th Infantry was moved forward from its assembly area
to the task force CF area, iwhere it
occupied defensive positions
in conjunction with the S9th's Reconnaissance and Assault Gun
This allowed the CF defensive area to be tied in w,
the .25th Reconnaissance Company to.~the north on Hill A,
By 0230 27 November CCF elements had broken thro'ugh the
25th Division positions in the vicinity of both boundari~es of Task
Force WILSON-between the 35th Infantry and the task force on the
left, and between the task force and the 24th Infantry on the right.
A column of "thin skinned" vehicles With about 50 wounded attempted
to leave the task f.Porce area for the safety of the rear but ericountered an enemy road Mlock in the vicinity of SAijNGa-.DONG,
B189 IBC~ 3S
-T10. : = 24
3Ucc Y ARPK
S ?ffC0Rirv i~fNFORMATION
JL ASS IF
177TTT7777 7 ~
w I LSION
J1OWdc P- o- Pc*4
The -few urivr
escaped in the darkness,,Th
artilltery battalion had been in Position northwest of IPSOK
approxixwtely 500 y.,Lrds s:outhwest of the roadblock but had dis~placed to the rear without incident,
just prior to the ambush of
the vehicles carrying wounded,
At dawnm on 27 November the 25th Reconnaissance Company
moved from its position on Hill A to reduce the roadblock.
ro adb lock was neutralized and the reconnaissance company was
passing through that area to the south when reconstituted enemy
elements establish-ed another.k roadblock in that general vic-inity,
separating the southbound company from its last platoon.
a short time the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry arrived from the
south and enveloped and destroyed the roadblock, thereby relieving
some of the pressure on the task force (Figure 54)-. -IW-ith
enem~.y situat-ion relatively calm,
and the f riendly lines having been
the relief battalion then occupied blocking
pCositions north of the roadblock,
to wvithdraw south and regroup,
allowt~ing the battered'task -force
in preparation for early recomr.
m~nitment (Figure 55).
Limited Objective Attacks-UrInfantryX.Reinforced with Armor.
By mid-January 1951 the UN forces in western Korea were actively
patrolling wi-1th arm--ored task forcos to seek out the enm.My,
Y(ON EiP-0- DONCI
I WLE S S
Such an inf antry"-arror patrol was planned for the 27th
Regimental Combat Teem to execute on 15 January 1951.
ROT was located in area A., south of OSAN on the n-irht of 14-15
January (Figures 56 & 57).
The mission of the 27th ROT was
to attack to the front in its zone on 15 January with strong armor
task forces to disrupt enemy concentrations and inflict maxilmum
doeastruction on the enemy in' the OSAN-SUWION area.
For the operation three task 'forces were'organized within
the ROT as follows:'t
Task Force ABLE:
1st Battalion, 27th Infantry
Company C,589th Tank Battalion
Company D, 59th Tank Batta-1ion
Batte-3.ry A, 5th Field ArtilleQry Battalion
I Platoon, Engineers
25th Reconnaissance Company
Tacti cal-Air Control Party
Task Force BAKER:
2d Battalion., 27th Infantry,
Company B., 89th Tank Battalion
Task Force CH-ARLE:
IS - ic
and then north to secure-the left flank of, the 27th ROT.' By
1600 the task force had. arrive d at POYANO-N I (Point B).
perimeter defense for the night had been established by 1820
Task Force CHARLIE jum-rped off at 0700 on the 15th, Task
Force BAKER following CHARLIE at 0900?
At 0820 Task Force
CHARLIE encountered a blown bridge over the CHINhWPCHON River at
Point C, and the vehicular movement of the task force was delayed
until 1030 -while the engineers constructed a bypas
reached the outskirts &f'081k by 1145; by
Task Force CHA RLIE had arrived thiere,.
The task force pushed its
infantrymen across the river at 08kM, secured a brD."idgehead,
ptrolled in all directions,
and established contact -with te6t
Infantry (part of the 3d Infantry Division) on the right.
the bridge at Point 0 had been repaired,
permitting the tanks to
cross and join the task force in its defensive positions north of
Task Force BAKER established defensive positions just to- the
south of 031kW, tying in with the defense of the 65th Infantry and
maintaining the security of the crossing site.
Early on the morning of 16 January,
while Task Force ADIE
in the west continued its attack toward 8UStAN,
Task Force BAKER
passed through Task Force CHARLIE and attacked to the north.
At this time the main bo;dy of Task Force BAKER was at P:oint
H while a team from BAKER (consi~t ing of Company G, 27th Infantry
and Company B, 89th Tank Battali( n) wa=s. at Point I.
ments of Task Force BAKER then advanced rapidly, reaching unoccupied enlemy positions (Vicinity Point J) some 500 yards south
of SUW0'N before receiving enemy fire.
Due to the extreme cold
the bulk of the COP troops were in the houses in SUON,
some of them at a cons-iderable distance -from their battle positions'.
The. team from Po int I (cr-27. Inf, B89 Tk),, having moved forward,
deployed and engaged the completely surprised COP troops with
tank, mortar, machine gun., and small arms fire, inflicting an estimated 200 oasualties.
T"he suddenness of the attack by Task
Force, BAC-IR(caught the enemy wi~th a large portion of his defensive
As a- result the Chinese wA.ere forced to
scurry back to their battle stations under the withering fires of
the attacking force.
Task Force ABlE passed a team, consisting of Company C., 27th
Infantry and Comoany C,.89th Tank Battalion, through its other elements and by 1500 had secured one of AB12?S objectives,
crossing at Point K,
The tanks of the task force were held up by
a demolished bridge, but foot elements pushed to the Southwestern.
edge of S~TVvON,
Wivhile.wvithdrai-*ng,, Taskx Force BAI3--R engaged an estimated 100 enemy
east of the SUWTON airfield.
BY 1800 hours the withdrawing forces
had established perimeters for the night,
preparatoryr to engaging
in a coordinated occupation of SIJU',-ON proper, the following day.
Almost without exception the condition of the terrain confined both wvj.hee1ed and tracked vehiA.cular movement tOa_ the: available
weatlhet was cold and the ground covered by snow.
The road network of the east column was limited,
tions, carried out in that area during a previous withdrawal hampered
The road of the west column was poor, but supOported
tanks with difficulty.
Lateral routes throughout the area of opero"
ations were of little -value at this time.
Aerial vi.sibility was good on 15 January, but difficult
until midmorning on 16th due to ground haze and fog.
flig hts w.i-th a total of 20-1 sorties were flowin in
uport of the
operation on the first day and 27 flights of 107 sorties on the
Results Qn both days were excellent and totalled an
estimu~ated 950 enem-y casualties.,
Comnmunicat ions fr-eom the 25th InfaQntry Division Tactical
CF to forward elements of.th,-,e 27th ROT were augnented so as to
insure positive control at all times,
This precaution resulted
in continuous communications at all times during this operation,
200 enemy took attacking UN forces under fire from. the roofs of
The suddenness of the attack., plus the "flushing"
effect on the Chinese forces scattered within the buildings
createad an ideal situation for both ground and air attackers.
Estimated total enemy casualties we-re 1150, while total friendly
casualties for the entire operation were one killed and one
Reconnaisslance in Force-Reinforced Tank Battalion.
Th roughout the Korean operations it had been a basic eleme~nt in
enemy ta( tics to feel out the United Nations lines until a weak
point could be found prior to an, attac4, Normally,
se-lected wias in a ROK unit's sector.
Because of this usual
enemy practice, the US IX Corps on 20 January 1951 directed that
the US 1st Cavalry Division conduct a reconnaissance in force in
the general area north of the RQOK 6th Division sector.
to develop the enemy situation in the area; dis-
rupt enemy attack precparations and destroy matimum enemy per--W
sonnel and materiel; and to demonstrate the presence of tanks
in the area.
W'ithdrawal was. to be effected before becoming
Thle task force for the operation was tot include
one tank bat'.talion .reinforced with infantry,
That battalion wias released to the 1st Cavalry Division for this
IMaior Gener-al Gay., Conandingr General, 1st Cavalry Divi
sion, decided to employ the divisinsngai
covier the entire operati1on., reinforced by "Mosquito"l spotter
and all tactical air support available.
decided that the ofleration wvould be initiated only in clear -weather,
in order to make maximum use ofP.
available aircraft, o all
General GayT requested that Colonel Rodgers,
Armor Officer (formerl7y cormmiand-ing 70th Tank 'Battalion), be placed
in command of the task force since the ope.-ration lwas rmrl
His recuest w,,as not favorably considered,
quently Lt Col Johnson, Infantry, Regimental Commander, 8th Cavalry,
wias announc-ed as commiander of the task f-orce,
wh01ich wtas later to
be de.signated Task Force JOHNSON.
On 290 January, only tentative plans were disusdcnen
ing Task Force JOIMhISON.
It was expected that on 21 January, more
comlete information -would be a-vailabl-e on the approaches to and
thle area of the-intended reconnaissance,
Surpl-ies had become Critical due to a supply, train having
been wrecked in t.-he south.
Hownever, the division hlad received
but it was not an entirely saitisfactory source5 because of the
immense effort required by both the Air Force and the receivi-ng
The drop claused Much damage to then. supplies, not to rnen*
tion the fact that on the average one parachute in each plane did
not open, normally resulting in.-the total destruction of that
On 2_1 January,
in accordance with the IX Corps directive,
the 1st Cavalr-y Division issued orders to effect the accomplishment
of Tas"k Force JOHNSON.
Elements comprising Task Force JOHN4SON wdere the 70th Tank
8th Cavalry; Battery C, 99th Field
Art-illery Battalion; I platoon of*- Comptny C, 8th Engineer Battalion;
3d platoon of Heavy M,'ortar Company, 8th Cavalry; and medic6al suoPort f rom Medical Company,
The task -force was- to be
assisted by divisional organic aircraf t, Mosqu-Lito observation
planes, and a
llt11t of tactical air supaort.
Organnization of Task Force JOHNSON 1Pwa:Is as followtisr
Lt Col Jennings, Commanding
Company A, 70th Tank Battalion
Command Group, Headquarters 3d Battalion, 8th
TASK FORCE JOHNtSON
LIi i r
To EA sr
c HI NCRONW
SCALE - MiLES
S1mm M11ort or Platqon, Company M, 8th Cavalry
t t Col Ziein, Corru-anding
Company C, 70th Tank Battalion
Company L, 8th Cavalry
Battery C., 99th Field Arti-*lle-,ry RBattalion
Reconnaissance Platoon, 70th Tank Battalion
75mm Recoilless Rifle Platoon, Company M, 8th
3d Platoon, Heavy Mviortar Comapanyr,
Company C, 8th Engineer Battalion
Lt Col Johnson was directed' to assemble his task force at
south of CHUISAI, on t-he night of 21 January.
From tha-1t poi*nt, it
'T"as to jump off at 220700 and -proceed
along the river road (reference- points along route were designated
for- reporting progress).
The point n-riarked
was de3signated as a reserve area and
artillery position aeTeam C ws directed t-o remaipin'at- this
point ith the miss-ion of prroviding secuirity for the artillery.
It was also ordered to be prepared to assumTe blocking positions
in the vicinity of the o'ass approilmately 2,500 yards north of
and to cover the wv~ithdrawral of Teams A and B.
The mi'ssion of Team B wasL-. to proce~ed to 1ST BASE and 2D
possible; and to return, even::f its objective had not been
Team A was instructed to return along its route of'
Tea-m B was t.o f ollow Team A, and the mv,-ithadrawal of' both
to be covered by Teany C.
For the inf antry portion of the task force General Gay
deliberately seleqted the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalr-,y (the
suffered heavy casualties at UMWANI November 1950).
hoped that this unit would be abl-,e to "f lush out" the enemry in
order to al-TTlow the Air Force to dem,-olish thorn.
Inte lligence reporte d that 'two Nd'rtb. Korean d ivisions we
located north and east of KIivYANG1CJNG-,NI (thi1s town was two or
three Miles west of the l1ft
oundary of Task Force JOHINSON).
wveap.Reports further listed anCOF company, armeqd with automnatic
onsituated four miles east of K1Ji±Y'AiGJZNG-NT.
of *theregaiments were reported by a POWT to-be loca-ted in t'he area-:
This la)st report had been corroborated
by ROK patrols a--nd civilians (Figure 58).
All olements of Task Forfce JOHNSON wvere assembled in the
task force assembly area DUGOUT (at C-HUESAN) by-v
Task Force JOIENSON jumped of f at 220700,
Order of mnarch was Team B,3Te:-)rn A, Reoonnaissance Platoon, 70th
Tank BattaliLonatry C
99th Field &rtillery'Battalion, and
movement of Team A to the Ncest,
M~"ission of Team A -was to sweep from H0IS to 3D BASE and
patrol a,ggre.-ssively until 221430..
M'i"ssion of Team C was initially in re.=serve,
security for artillery and to be prepared to assum-,e blocking posi~stions in vicinity of Z and to cover withdrawal of Teams -A and B.
Team B crossed the TI at DUGOUT at 220700, proceeded di:rectly to HOtS through a ba.!ttalion of the ROK 6th Division at
From H0tiZ the advance was slowed, but continued steadily
The village was cleared 'and secured,
were dispatched to 1ST BA.,SE and 2D)BA'SE while elements. of the
Team proceeded to the west a distance of approximately 1,500 yards.
The foot pa-..trol th-at wa-:s dispatched to 2D BASE -was ambushed at
about 221115 by concealed machine guns,
and three wounded.
re.-s'ulting in two killed
The patrol had -passed machine gun positions
eengthmas the emplacements were completely covered;
As friendly troocps passed, the occupants raised the cover of the
foxhole, f ird'd a short burst, and withdrew1P, into the hole.'10
patrol was unaible to dislo)dge the enemy so it w-ithdrew to the main
force where they reported the locat-ion of the machin e gun posi*t-ionp.
Tanks engaged the reported locations.
Enemy troops in the
vicinity o-f 1ST BASE n ermittedoloading elem ents of the Team to
of Team B, showied deep emplacements,
just -above the
level of the road.
Patrols were not dispatched to the top of the
hill in this orea,
Friendly areprtend a relaCItively hneavy defense
IST BASE.n.O Sition on the reverse slope o(-f
Three separate strikes
were p-laced on those positions and villages in the ravines to the
northeast, followed by heavy artillery concentrations.
were reported as excellent,
Tdaim A f ollowned Team B from HOER 30 minutes later- in order
to permit-Teanm B to clear and secure the town of YA,NGJN-RI.
strike was requested on a vlloge o.n the'right flank of the route of
advance of Team A.
Artaillery concentrationis on the route of
oreplanned but not executed, when cnmmunicAtions f illed
between the f orwi~ard obcEerver with the team and the _firing battery.
The first observer had a 1:*250,000 ma-p, which was pralctically useless.
This d-eficiency wvkas co*_,rrected when the second observer"
W.hen Team A reahoed OCiION4TT foot
arrived wtfith a 1:50 ,000 imao.
patrols were-d-ispantch-red t
the e.nast where RON elements had re-_
porteI.d .one enemy company.
As Team A rea-.)ched I
dispatched northest to 3D BASE.
There was no evidence of enemy.,
but th-ere wore a few civilians in the area.
that a mnixed force oC-f 1,200 North Koreans and CCF had gone through
01-01441 o th
of 20 January, stoppngonly
ovilla-,ges near the rad indiclated onl
the normal traff11ic of the few civilians still
in the area.
A was o3rdercd to withdraw at 221305 when Team B renDrted that
the enemy was capable of flsnking its position and interfering
with the wftjithdrawal of' Team A.
This report wxas based o-n t'he
frequency of air strikes -and the va-ried spotus at
Hoviever, the nature of the route of withdrawal w.as such
th at it was imperative that as much daylight as possible be available for the movemn~en't of tannks.
Snow and ice on the narrow roads
wer-,e a 'serious impedimrent. to tan),rk movement,
Team B continued to engange in intermittent fire fights wATith'
the enemy until 221510.
In addition to small1 :3as -a.nd mi.,achine guns,
afew rounds of mortar (ostr
apparent tanrget or pattern-,,
?s 60mm and 32mmn) fell with no
a total of nine rwounds.
rnreiD-r.3tory, to withlldr-awing,_12 mr,-ore m-nortar 'rounds, fell
100 ya-:rds wiest of the road jnto
posit-ions were never locad.
All commanders wperecueriePd and
they reported that they weArre una)ble to hoaLr the soun-4d of mortar
firing, observing the rounds only as they fell.
A's Team B cleared
YjtIOJI-RI, they received small arms, machine gun, and one hand
indicating that the enemy was moving in to establish
No casualties resulted in thisL action.
ed out. _ Despite -prior coordination and the agreement that no
ROK pat'rols would work north of the IS grid line, one patrol from
the ROK _19th Regimjent was picked up in YANGJI-RT, at-about 221145.0
The artillery air observer reported what he believed to be
an enemy CP at N, Artillery fire resulted in a hasty abandonment
of the largest building in thevillage.
Precision fire on theO
building and subsequent a-rt"lle~ry fire in the area resulted in at
least five c.nremy killed. Other v"llagesithzoefoprin
were ta-D.ken under artillery fire and left burning.
Team C disposed one, tank platoon in the pass north of
HOME to cover the 11-widrawal Qf advance elements through this bottleneck.
The 70th Tank Battalion, Reconnaissance Platoon, patrolled
with tanks between Teams A and B, and by vehicle from YANGJI-RI
HOE to keep the road open,
contact was renorted at
any time during its paltrols.
eleme.nnts of Task Force JOHNSON returned to DUGOUT
(at CHUNSAN%) on 22 January without further incident except for
the tremmendous difficulties in movement of the vehicles over the
In mqanyv instances straw ma_-ts had to be placed on
the road in .6rder to gain tra--xc tion on the ic-y roads,
Th.roughout the daylighit hours of the operation army aircraft wa,s oeha,
overwatching the task force.
Comments -on Armored Action
Armor*Task Force, Offense to Perimeter
()Infantry-meavy task force was suitable
the mountainous terrain involved in this action..
(2) Units 0of different types (in
rifle, tank, ranger, reconnaissance,'and
engineer companies) require .most careful and coordinated employment
in order to obtain
maximumn advantage f rom their capabilities,
and to mainimize adverse
effects of their limnitations.
Proficiency in perimeter defense is essential
for combating an enemy such -as the CC?.
toss of the wounided at the roadblock might have
been prevented i*0 f. armored "personnel carr-iers
had been available and
(1) Coordinoted trainint
be conducted a
all unit levels.
We must not confine our train.
ing. to desir-able or "ttypical" situations,
Commanders 'at all
levels must know the capabilities-and limitations
of other units,
in addition to those of +thePirwn
prior-training, to-minimize the."results of these reverses.
ing in perimeter defense is a must,
(3)A studly should be conducted to determine
the feasibility of employment of an armored carrier for transoorting wounded, not only for armored units, but for infantry
units as wiell.
to the.n. ditch",
A wounded man cannot protect himself, by "taking
fQr example., as readily as other .'-ersonnel.
2. Limited Obiective Attacks
Tnf a tr
will pay off.
Well-,planned and violently e-xecuted operations
That is shown byr the comprarison of friendly and
enemy casualties in this operation,
The "flushing"t of the.:
enemy by the ground
forces presented the tactical a:ircraft wtiith an ideal situation,
Re commenda tions:
(1) Leaders must be made to realize the advan"-
of well-planned but violently executed
operations as opposed to over.~cautious,
that often reveal intentions to the enemy and allow him to pre"pare for every friendly move,
(2) Ground commanders should use tactical air
artillery? , nd tactical 'aircraftall Light isolated, individ-
Reconnaissance in Forcea.
Reinforced Tank Battalion.
(1) Even though the task force was not heavily
engaged during the operation,
it must be considered as being
successful in accomplishment of,-its maultiple mission, in developing
the enemy situation in the area, disrupting enemy attack prenarations
and destruction of enemy personnel and materiel, and the demonstration of the ptesence of tanks in the area-,
Composition of the task force and of thel
teams wvas tactically sound,
due consideration is given to the
mission, and to the terrain and condition thereof.
the tanks experienced difficulty in negotiating some of the icy
slopes, the advantages of their armor and fire power outwveigh
the traff-icability restrictions.
Continuous overwiatching of the operation by
army -aircraft renders invaluable assistance to the units on the
particularly in such mountainous terrain with the additional
lim-itation of a limit ed road net.
Also, one must consider the
additional confidence instilled in the ground uni~t, knowing that
their "eyes" are searching ahead for routep,
same tank battali'on that usually wia-s apprortioned out to the three
regiments of the 1st Cavalry Pivision, thence down to battalions
anopany sized infantry units for tactical operatiJons.
b.* Re commendatiogs:
Trafficability of tanks on icy slopes must be
improved to enable our forces to have so-called- "all weather"
The placing of straw mats in front of the tank on
the ice by dismounted troops is not a feasible solution,
if the tanks are receiving enbmy f11ire, of any type.
N0 TS F011i. IIYTSR
MacArthur t s communique of 28 November 1950
inc-ludes the commient that the Chine-se attacwk "has shattered the
high hopes that we had-entertained that the intervention of the
Chinese was only of a token nature,.."
Colonel Rigg Robert B, Red China's Fgtn
Hordes, (varrisburg,Pa., Miltr.eviePbihigC.
3lntervio._w with Captain Robert W. Harrington, Commianding
25th Reconnaissance-~Company, period 23-27 November 1950.
Lesson Bulletin No.
Limited Objective Attack", Arm'or Combat
16, H-eadquan.rters I US Corps, 1 April1 1951
Ilbid,$ p 2.
1st Cavalry Division, 20 Janucary 1951,
22 Januar'y 1951.
Interview with Lt Colonel Jack
F~xecutive Officer, .70th Tank Battalion, R& Metzdorf, then Major,
period 21-22 January 1951,