Talking Proud Archives --- Military

Kapyong: Aussies and Canadians beat massive Chinese attack back

February 25, 2014

The prelude to the Battle of Kapyong, March-April 1951

In the previous section, we tracked the British 27th Infantry Brigade and then its successor, the 27 British Commonwealth Brigade (27 BC) from Pusan all the way north nearly to the Yalu, back to the 37th parallel, and now up to the 38th parallel and actually a bit beyond. In order to further set the stage for the Battle of Kapyong, I want to use a few different maps to return to early March and work our way up to the Battle of Kapyong, April 22-26. In the next section, I will discuss the actual battle, then in the following section, reflect on some memoirs I have found from the men who were there.

Most force movements during the Korean War are described in terms of reaching various Phase Lines. Finding good maps to depict these phase lines has been a real challenge. I have one here I will work with for as long as I can, and then I’ll probably have to switch to less informative maps.

I can’t say I’ll get most of the action in, perhaps not even a lot, but I have found enough to inform you of the events leading up to the Battle of Kapyong. I can assure you events were hectic and occurring at a frantic pace. My objective in this section is to get the 27 BC to Kapyong from its position a month before south of the 37th parallel.

This was complicated to assemble. I hope you are able to follow it, and if I have erred, please let me know at
edmarek@mac.com

IXCorpsAORRipper


You will recall from the previous section that General Ridgway, commander 8th Army, designed Operation Ripper to recapture Seoul and get is forces close to the 38th parallel. All hands wanted to get back to the prewar 38th parallel boundary but what they really wanted to do was to destroy as many Chinese forces as possible. Ripper began on March 7, 1951. One of the high priority targets was Ch’unch’on, noted by the green dot. I show you this because it is close to Kapyong, the subject of this story, which is the red dot.

Speaking in rough terms, the town of Hoengsong, marked by the blue dot to the southeast, is roughly on the same latitude as is Seoul, which is off this map to the left. Phase Line Albany was an objective of Ripper and I believe would move UN forces just north of Seoul, but that fighting was to the west in I Corps, which is adjacent to IX Corps, our corps for this story.

Let’s focus on the area south of Line Albany. On the map you will see “IX” standing alone, meaning IX Corps area of responsibility, AOR, and “X”, standing alone meaning X Corps AOR. You also see lines with “XX” in them, going roughly south to north, and then numbers on each side. These define the AORs for the major units involved. For example, look at the bottom of the map. To the far right you see “IX” which defines the eastern IX Corps AOR. Moving to the left, you see “1 Mar” for the 1st Marine Division, then “ROK 6” for the ROK 6th Division, then “Br 27” for the 27th BC, then “1 Cav” for the 1st Cavalry Division, then “24” for the 24th ID. As Operation Ripper kicked off, this is where these units were. Don’t worry just yet about anything above Line Albany, with one exception.

To the north, the top of this map display, in red, you see two Chinese Armies, the 40th Army and the 39th Army. PLA 40 and PLA 39, “PLA” standing for “People’s Liberation Army” or Chinese Army. As we move ahead to the Battle of Kapyong, we will focus on the 118th Division of the 40th Army.

British documents I have reviewed indicate that the plan was for the Chinese 40th Army to attack the center, and to have six rehabilitated divisions of the 20th and 27th Chinese armies sitting just to the 40th’s rear ready to jump in once the 40th made its break through.

The plan for Operation Ripper was to move to Line Albany and then to each of the other lines to the north in coordinated sequence. At this point in time, there were plenty of Chinese forces south of Line Albany that had to be defeated. It is one thing to say yo have reached Line Albany, quite another that you have rubbed out all the enemy. As an aside, I know in WWII our generals would say they defeated the enemy in a certain place, and left some units behind to “mop up.” I have read about those mop up operations --- fighting was often fierce and losses high.

In any event, clearing out the enemy south of Line Albany would be the task assigned to the 27 BC as the other forces moved northward. By the way, the route lines I will show on maps that follow are for descriptive purposes only. I have no idea what routes the 27 BC actually took.

27BCtoMaehwaSuan


As part of Operation Ripper, the 27 BC was moved to a mountainous area between Hoengsong and Wonju (off the map to the south). I wanted to show the approximate area but the exact area was just off the map to the right in the western edge of X Corps, in an area around Maehwasan mountain, which rises to 3,560 ft. Nonetheless, I marked the general area with an orange dot.

Maehwasanmountain

This is a photo of Maehwasan mountain, some rough country indeed.

MaehwasanmountainRange

This is a Google Earth photo of the area in which the 27 BC would be fighting from March 7-12, 1951. The instruction given the 27th BC was to destroy Chinese and NK forces in the area. All battalions of the 27th participated in what was known as the Battle of Maehwa-San. It was actually a series of battles for at least eight mountains, then referred to as Hills. Generally speaking, each of the 27th’s four battalions were tasked with individual hills. For some, there was almost no opposition, for others stiff opposition. By the time it was over, the 3 RAR had taken the worst of it, with 14 KIA and 39 wounded.

27BCtoLineAlbanyChipyongni


After the battle, the Chinese withdrew to positions about 5 kms to the north. The 27th got to Line Albany by March 13, second red arrow. Then the ROK 6 and 1st Cav Divisions moved forward and the 27th stayed behind in a reserve area near Chipyong-ni, shown by the third red arrow, which meant it left the X Corps area and moved back into the IX Corps area and under IX Corps control.

OperationRipperCourageous


Now remember, as the 27 BC was taking care of business, many other UN forces engaged in Operation Ripper were moving north.

BurkeBrian
As a reminder, on March 23, 1951, Brigadier Coad was sent to Hong Kong on compassionate leave because his wife was seriously ill, and his deputy, Colonel Brian Arthur Burke, was temporarily promoted to Brigadier and put in command of the 27 BC, while his brigade was resting in reserve. The 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery (16 RNZA) with 3.25-inch 25-pounder field guns was attached to the 27th BC. Incredibly, Lt. Colonel Stone, the Patricias commander, was evacuated the next day with smallpox, leaving Major H.D.P. Tighe in command of the 2 PPCLI. Stone would return --- tough old guy.

39thPLAMovesNorth


By March 31, the 39th Chinese Army withdrew (black arrow), leaving only the 40th Army positioned, for our purposes, north of Kapyong.

27BCto24IDarea


Following Ripper, the 27th Brigade was told to join the US 24th ID to participate in Operation Courageous (highlighted by red arrow on the left), part of the 8th Army endeavor to get back to the 38th parallel. The 27th reached its objective a few miles south of the 38th parallel on April 1, 1951. I believe that once it achieved this objective, it was in the area of Kapyong, the good old red dot.

The question for the leadership now was whether to cross the 38th again, which is located a bit north of Kapyong. The answer, of course was yes, get north of the 38th.

27BCtoKapyongRiverValley

The 27 BC was released from the 24th ID and told to advance with IX Corps up the Kapyong River Valley on or about April 3. This movement was part of Operation Rugged, designed to push north of the 38th. The 27th BC moved up the valley advancing 19 miles from April 3-15. The enemy was not strong in the area, but well positioned on hilltops. The 27th encountered heavy resistance before reaching Line Kansas, which is the dotted blue line.

HogeWilliam
As the 27 BC pushed north, the ROK 6 was to be on its right flank. The IX Corps, in addition to the 27th, also included the US 24th and 7th IDs, and the ROK 2nd and 6th Divisions, Major General William Hoge, shown here, in command.

You will recall that when leaders met in October to debate whether to send forces into Korea, Mao Zedong and Zhou en Lai wanted to go in, but others did not. As a result, Mao chose General Peng Duhai to command the Chinese Army. For the Fifth Offensive, Peng had a grandiose plan. William Johnston, in his book A War of Patrols: Canadian Army Operations in Korea, said Peng had sent out a message outlining his goals:

PengDuhai
“For our Spring Offensive, we have decided to make our objective the wiping out of three divisions (less one regiment) of the American Army, three brigades of British and Turkish troops, and two divisions of the Puppet (ROK) Army to the west of the northern Han River. First of all, we will mass our forces to wipe out the 6th DIvision of the Puppet Amy, the British 27th Brigade, the American 3rd Division (less one regiment), the Turkish Brigade, the British 29th Brigade and the 1st Division of the Puppet Army, and after this we can wipe out the American 24th Division and 25th Division.”

Peng is estimated to have had 630,000 troops to oppose 418,000 UN troops along the entire offensive front. I should mention here that while those numbers appear greatly in China’s favor, the offensive force always needs many more troops than the defensive force, in some cases as many as 3:1. China did not have this kind superiority, but it did present a most potent force.

DauntlessRuggedKOrea

Despite these numbers, Ridgway still wanted to get back to the 38th parallel, and actually wanted some breathing space north of the 38th. He suspected a major Chinese offensive was coming and he wanted to get set to defend as far north of Seoul as he could get. So he launched Operations Rugged and Dauntless, highlighted by the yellow arrows. The black arrow highlights the 38th parallel which is a light grey line crossing the peninsula. Operation Rugged was first, launched on April 5, designed to establish Line Kansas, the dotted blue line roughly paralleling closely to the 38th parallel. The 27 BC advanced up the Kapyong Valley. It met increased resistance as it approached Phase Line Kansas on April 9.

IronTriangleKorea


Then Ridgway ordered the I and IX Corps to advance against the Iron Triangle. They began to do so on April 9. The Iron Triangle was an enemy logistics hub, about 20 miles north of Line Kansas. Both Corps reached Line Kansas on April 5. By April 20 X Corps reached it as well. Next in the plan was to move even farther north to Line Wyoming.

VanFleetJames
Now, in the midst of all this, we have political trouble in the US leadership. General MacArthur had felt he already had approval to march north again. But now he was now much more outspoken, saying he felt an invasion of mainland China was in order. This was contrary to President Truman’s desire to negotiate a peace and the general feeling in Washington that a return to pre-invasion lines at the 38th parallel was a satisfactory outcome. Truman recalled MacArthur from Tokyo on April 11 and replaced him with General Ridgway, who had been commanding the 8th US Army. So Ridgway, promoted to his fourth star, was now the commander of UNC. Lt. General James Van Fleet (shown here) would replace Ridgway.

NewsImpeachTruman

There’s some mighty history here. There were calls to impeach Truman. The politics and social upheaval in the US over this move were turbulent. Truman’s position was that he had to maintain civilian control over the military, and from a policy standpoint, he had set it as I just described. So MacArthur was out. I might remark that aside from MacArthur’s pompous demeanor, even with Truman, he had made some critical errors in judgement about the Chinese and even the initial NK invasion.

Firing MacArthur was quite a jolt at a very difficult time. He was recalled on April 11, and Ridgway took command that day. From a military standpoint, MacArthur’s recall made no difference. The UN forces and Chinese forces were all in position, both sides had plans, and they continued executing them and their soldiers kept fighting.

It is important to note that just before the Chinese Fifth Offensive, the 1 A&SH was relieved and returned to Hong Kong in April 1951. It had lost 44 KIA and 181 WIA during its fight in Korea. The 1 A&SH had fought its way from the Pusan Perimeter north almost to the Yalu and then back, and now it was time for it to go home. The 28th British Infantry Brigade was considered to be the relief-reinforcement force for the 1 A&SH and other units. The 28th had arrived in December 1950, and would be heavily engaged in the Chinese Fifth Offensive as well. It was renamed the 28th British Commonwealth Brigade and included two British and one Australian infantry battalions and would later include the 16 RNZA and the 3 RAR.

But back to the 27 BC. Its Order of Battle (OB) at present was the 1 MX, 3 RAR, 2 PPCLI the 16 RNZA, and some support units.

IndianMedicalUnitKOrea


rangarajAG
One of those support units was an Indian medical unit, which by the way, is an interesting subject for further study --- the value of Indian medical units in this war. This is a photo of an Indian Army medical unit encampment during the Korean War. India sent no ground combat forces to Korea, but did send the 60th (Parachute) Field Ambulance platoon, the 60 PFA. It included 627 medical personnel, Lt. Colonel A.G. Rangaraj in command. These medical people would parajump into the combat zone along with the combat force. They had gone north along with the fighting forces and took care of the Allied forces when they were withdrawing, always having to set up shop, take care of the wounded, tear down, and move south, and set up again. The 60 PFA served for 3.5 years, the longest single tenure by any military unit under the UN flag. In all, they treated about 200,000 wounded. … which included 2,300 field medical operations … and in the meantime, also trained local Korean doctors and nurses. The troops had great faith in their abilities.

Let’s get another look at geography.

KapyongMap


Kapyong is located about 36 miles northeast of Seoul as the crow flies. Its location was strategically significant.

ChorwonKaesonApproaches

Why was Kapyong strategically significant? Largely because of geography. There traditionally have been three avenues of approach for large numbers of forces including mechanized-armor from North Korea to South. They are: Kaesong-Munsan approach to the west, the Chorwon Valley approach through the center, and along the east coast. The first two avenues lead directly to Seoul, which is about 40 miles south of the DMZ. To defend Seoul from a North Korean-Chinese attack, you have to defend these two avenues. As you can see, Kapyong is on the southern portion of the Chorwon approach.

While these are good and the only avenues of approach, the Korean Peninsula is mountainous, especially along the Kapyong area. The mountains are not the highest in the world, but high enough and very steep. They offer outstanding observation points and fighting positions, and are tough to climb, especially in battle.

The Allies knew the Chinese were coming on their Fifth Offensive. The Chinese had three army groups ready to launch the offensive. This is an important point to remember. The Allies knew they were coming, how they would be coming, and generally the size of the forces that would be coming. The movements to Kapyong were no surprise to anyone.

ChineseSpringOffensive


The Chinese launched their Fifth Offensive on April 22. As you can see, this was no fly-by-night offensive. This was the real McCoy. Just look at all those red arrows. It depends on who’s account you read. Some say the Chinese attacked across a forty mile front with nine armies of about 250,000 troops. Six Chinese armies struck directly at 8th Army I Corps forces lined up north of Seoul, while three armies attacked X Corps to the east. Others say 300,000 Chinese, I have seen as high as three field armies of 700,000 men. With this map, I highlight the PLA 40th Army which as you will recall was the one left in this area after the 39th Army left. It turns out the 39th did not really leave. If you look to the top right corner, you see a Chinese attack near the Hwacheon Reservoir. That was by the 39th Army. I’ll come back to this in a moment.

But you see the many Chinese lines of attack coming straight down at Kapyong (in the black box), our famous red dot. Also note the blue line north of Seoul that spans across the peninsula. If you can read it, this phase line is called the “No Name” line. It was just north of Seoul. This is where I Corps was to hold as its last resort. Fall back from the No Name line and lose Seoul, and the UN Command might well have abandoned the whole peninsula to the Chinese. I know it was on MacArthur’s mind earlier and was on Ridgway’s mind as well, even though he would not acknowledge it publicly.

One Chinese objective was to get on the road to Seoul’s northeastern sectors. I know this map above is hard to read, but if you squint hard enough, you’ll note the grey line marking the MSR into northeast Seoul from Kapyong. And, at the bottom of my rectangle, you can see that it is Route 17. That’s the road the ROK 6 was to protect above Kapyong and if required, protecting that road would and did fall to the 27 BC.

HwacheonReservoirMarinesKorea

This is a different view of what the other map was telling you, but it points out a few things I wanted to highlight.

The initial major Chinese thrust came at the Hwacheon Reservoir, launched by the PLA 39th Army. The green line on the right reflects the eastern side of the IX AOR. The 1 MAR had the area between the green lines, and the ROK 6 had the area west of the left green line. I believe the ROK 6 was to the north and west of the reservoir. The blue box reflects the AORs of various Korean Marine Corps (KMAR) units, and the blue ellipse, as I read the maps, reflects the disposition of the 1 MAR units behind them, which included the 1-1, 3-1, 3-7 and 2-7 Marine Regiments and the 1 MAR HQ. They stood east of Kapyong, while the 24 ID stood to the west.

Between April 22-23 the Chinese broke through the KMC lines up at the reservoir and the KMC units began to withdraw to the south toward Chuncheon. A massive number of Chinese forces to the west headed straight at Kapyong as I had previously said but also penetrated the 1 MAR AOR and attacked it along its entire western flank.

Both the IX and X Corps were ordered to withdraw.

ROK6thDivisionPatch
We have got to talk about the ROK 6th Division, the “Blue Stars.” It was one of the original divisions of the ROKA, founded on April 11, 1948. As I noted early on, the 6th was in the Pusan Perimeter holding the line to the east and then it also broke out along with the others. The division marched its way north to within 50 miles of the Yalu River when the Chinese came streaming in. Indeed in late October 1950, the Chinese hit the division’s elements with a surprise attack and the division fought hard. But it was badly damaged as early as October 1950. It was placed in reserve in ROK II Corps to the east, reorganized and prepared for battle. It was not the only one to take a pummeling. The US 2 ID, the Turkish Brigade, and the ROK 6th, 7th, and 8th Infantry Divisions were thrashed and would need time to recover.

The division’s men, like many others, were demoralized by the ferocity of the Chinese onslaught, and kept on getting hit hard by the Chinese. The ROK II Corps as a whole was beat up badly as it was withdrawing, often using the 6th Division to cover its withdrawal. In late November or early December 1950, the 6th was sent over to IX Corps. It, along with the 7th Cav, kept getting hit over and over. Nonetheless, it held to its task of covering the 8th Army’s right flank as the 8th moved south.

BlackRobert
The ROK 6 was between the US 24 ID and the 1 MAR, the former on its left flank, the latter on its right flank. In his book, A Ranger Born: A Memoir of Combat and Valor from Korea to Vietnam, Robert W. Black, a former Army Ranger, was in Korea as an enlisted man, along with a total of about 750 other Rangers all together. Black was attached to the 24 ID, serving with the 19th and 21st Infantries and the 5th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) at various times. They would go out usually in platoon size (32 enlisted, one officer) drawn from their Ranger company on combat patrols “looking for trouble.” They would try to make their way through enemy positions to the enemy’s rear, and get air support to attack the enemy.He was with the 3rd Platoon of the 8th Ranger Infantry Co. (Airborne), the “Devils.”

He said:

““The 1st Marine Division was on our right and we were on the left. In the center was the 6th Republic of Korea (ROK) Division. It was April or May 1951 when the Chinese began their ‘Fifth Pass Offensive,’ the biggest military engagement of the war against us.”

In April 1951, I do not know the exact dates, the 24 ID was in pitched battle with the Chinese offensive. The 8th Rangers were attached to the 24 ID. Black was with his 33-man platoon on a scouting mission, knowing that if they found the Chinese, they risked being vastly outnumbered. On this mission, they found nothing. But then, a 19th Infantry Intelligence and Reconnaissance (I&R) team had been spotted by the Chinese, and the recon patrol came flying out of the woods across a field to another set of woods. The Chinese, two reconnaissance companies, were in hot pursuit, and the Rangers were hidden in a perfect position. They waited for the Chinese to make their way into the field, and then mowed them down, leaving over 70 dead.

The Chinese at first withdrew, but then pursued them. The Rangers were hit hard but managed their way to the Allied front lines and the Chinese in pursuit withdrew.

On April 22, two platoons of Rangers were sent out on individual missions. As they pressed forward, an officer in a jeep raced up to them and called off their mission and told them to withdraw. The Chinese were advancing in waves. They then learned the ROK 6 was in deep trouble to their east, which would leave an open gap toward Kapyong. The Chinese would soon pour through this gap. The 27 BC was about 20 miles away.

The Rangers were resupplied and prepared to move out. Their problem was they could not get an accurate assessment of what was happening to the ROK 6, but they understood the importance of that division’s mission. So then the 8th Rangers were told to advance to the area occupied by the ROK 6 and gather information and return it to the 24 ID.

Ninety men went out on this one. They headed into the mountains. They came close to the Chinese and moved away, and then found South Korean soldiers who had been left behind when their units fled. These ROKA joined with the Rangers and helped them carry their extra ammo. They climbed to observation points where they could see the strong enemy advances, and called in artillery. Black said there was a lot of air power coming to the area as well. They then discovered the ROK 6 had retreated and broken apart, fleeing some 21 miles to the south. Black then wrote:

“In response, the 24 ID refused (turned) its right flank and the 1st Marine Division turned its left flank to create a U-shaped defense that encompassed the former area of the 6th ROK. To stop the Chinese attack, the British brigade and the 5th Cavalry Regiment were committed at the base of the penetration. The ninety men of the 8th Rangers were at the upper and middle portion of the U.”

Black said the ROK 6 retreat forced the 24 ID to fight on its right flank and on its front. Its men were spread thin, with many gaps between them. The Chinese found the gaps and moved through them to hit the division’s rear. He said:

“Throughout the area, American units were withdrawing.”

He commented:

“That night we camped on Hill 1010. The next morning when we woke and looked down from the hill we could see a river of brown-clad Chinese soldiers flowing by the bottom of our hill. We were behind enemy lines and our only way out was to fight our way through the Chinese. Off in the distance, on the other side of the Chinese troops, we could see an American unit.”

He would also comment:

“We moved onto a razorback ridge known as Hill 628. We could see from our vantage point the Chinese were about to attack the Americans. So we didn’t have any choice but to attack the Chinese.”

His description of the fighting was that individual units started to break apart, and oft times individual troops found themselves fighting alone, “sometimes fighting in one direction while others were moving and shooting at other points of the compass. We threw our dead out of their holes and occupied them....casualties were scattered about. Nearly one-third of the company was hit.” The Rangers were then told to get out, and they would have to do so on their own with no help from the 24 ID, whose units were having their own battles to fight.

WoundedTankKorea

Removing wounded soldier from tank

Black then talked about Lt. Dave Teich, USA, platoon leader of 3d Platoon Company C, 6th Medium Tank Battalion, whose tanks were there covering the withdrawal. He volunteered to take his five tanks with wounded aboard to a safer location. The Rangers moved to the valley floor. He said, “Some of the wounded coming off the ridge line .... used their hands to hold in their intestines. Captain Herbert had pushed his fingers into the wounds in his neck and shoulder to staunch the bleeding and was among those walking.”

TankPlatoonBlackRangerEscape


They managed to get out. By the time this was over, Black’s 3rd Platoon had one-third casualties. This photo is of the 3rd Platoon, 6th Tank Battalion that helped the Rangers out. Lt. Teiche is circled in red.I found this on the 8th Ranger Facebook Page. There was a note attached to it that read:

“This is the tank platoon that came to the aid of the surrounded Rangers and allowed them to escape from the enemy in Korea. They risked their lives to help, because they had no infantry support.”

As an aside, Black would rise to the rank of major and fight again in Vietnam, and then rise to colonel.

8thRangerAOR


Black was well aware of where the 27 BC was and what its responsibilities were. This map was also presented by the 8th Ranger Facebook Page. Note that the 8th Ranger AOR was in the region of the Iron Triangle we had described earlier. Note that he has Kapyong (Kapyong-ni) highlighted, so he knew where the 27 BC was.

When we get to the
Memoirs section you will see that some from the BC 27 complained, almost mocked the manner in which some Americans retreated along with the ROK 6. I will not quarrel with those men’s memoirs. But I wanted to be sure that all hands understood Americans in this area were fighting their asses off with great valor and courage, and they understood the importance of Kapyong.

I will also remark that because of what happened to the ROK 6 north of Kapyong, that division has gotten a lot of bad press. Recall this division fought its way out of Pusan to near the Yalu and back as well, and had taken more than its share of licks. I am not certain the bad press is entirely deserved. I know at one point during its withdrawal, its men didn’t even have weapons or transport, and had to grab whatever they could to survive. I leave both these subjects at that.

Regardless of my view, the realities were as summed up here:

Dan Black reported for Canada’s
Legion magazine on July 14, 2011:

“In the IX sector, the 6th ROK Div. took most of the heat. The South Koreans tried to consolidate their position but by midday on April 22 they were desperate; soldiers and vehicles—mixed with thousands of refugees—retreated south through the Kapyong River Valley.”

Capt. Murray Edwards, 2 PPCLI, described the ROK 6th Division retreat like this:

“They all came streaming back in front of us. The Chinese were mixed in with them. It was a mixture of Koreans and Chinese.”

No one will argue that the Chinese Fifth Offensive had ROK and US forces withdrawing from north of Kapyong and heading south. Somewhere in here General Hoge, the IX Corps commander, is said to have warned the 27 BC which was in reserve to get ready and establish defensive positions north of Kapyong. Hoge was mightily concerned that the Chinese would break through Kapyong. He reportedly told the 27 BC on the afternoon of April 23 to block the two approaches to the village and prevent the Chinese from cutting down Route 17 to Seoul.

As a reminder, the Order of Battle (OB) for the 27 BC was the 1 MX, 3 RAR, 2 PPCLI and the 16 RNZA. The Argylls had left just prior to the Battle of Kapyong. The 1st Middlesex was to have left as well but was held back to support Kapyong defenses. Of all the units in the 27 BC, the 2 PPCLI had the least combat experience. You will recall both the 1 MX and the 3 RAR had gone from the Pusan Perimeter all the way up to near the Yalu and now back.

KapyongRiverOverview


Here we have identified the Kapyong River, the Pukhan River, and at the very bottom, the location of Kapong City. The Chinese came down the road along the Kapyong River through the valley area. The Chinese had three avenues of approach by this time, but decided to concentrate their initial efforts on the Kapyong approach, and the area of the Imjin River just to the west, held by the British 29th Infantry Brigade.

Believe it or not, we have tracked the British 27th Infantry Brigade and then its successor the 27 BC from Pusan all the way north nearly to the Yalu, back to the 37th parallel, and now up to the 38th parallel and actually a bit beyond, and then over to Kapyong.

ChneseForces5thOffensiveApril51

The Chinese Fifth Offensive has begun, it was targeted mainly at the center lines, including Kapyong, and we are finally ready to face the Battle of Kapyong, April 23-26, 1951. This photo shows Chinese forces on their way to execute their Fifth Offensive in April 1951.