Battle of the Barricades: U.S. Marines in the Recapture of by USMC (Ret.), Colonel Joseph H. Alexander

By USMC (Ret.), Colonel Joseph H. Alexander

The second one conflict of Seoul used to be the conflict to recapture Seoul from the North Koreans in overdue September 1950. the development on Seoul was once sluggish and bloody, after the landings at Inchon. the explanation was once the looks within the Seoul sector of 2 top quality battling devices of the North Korean People's military, the 78th autonomous Infantry Regiment and twenty fifth Infantry Brigade, approximately 7,000 troops in all. The NKPA introduced a T-34 assault, which was once trapped and destroyed, and a Yak bombing run in Incheon harbor, which did little harm. The NKPA tried to stall the UN offensive to permit time to enhance Seoul and withdraw troops from the south. notwithstanding warned that the method of taking Seoul could permit closing NKPA forces within the south to flee, MacArthur felt that he used to be sure to honor offers given to the South Korean executive to retake the capital once attainable. at the moment day, vessels sporting the U.S. Army's seventh Infantry department arrived in Incheon Harbor. common Almond was once desirous to get the department into place to dam a potential enemy circulate from the south of Seoul. at the morning of September 18, the division's 2d Battalion of the thirty second Infantry Regiment landed at Incheon and the rest of the regiment went ashore later within the day. the subsequent morning, the second Battalion moved as much as relieve an U.S. Marine battalion occupying positions at the correct flank south of Seoul. in the meantime, the seventh Division's thirty first Infantry Regiment got here ashore at Incheon. accountability for the region south of Seoul street handed to seventh department at 18:00 on September 19. The seventh Infantry department then engaged in heavy scuffling with with North Korean infantrymen at the outskirts of Seoul. prior to the conflict, North Korea had only one understrength department within the urban, with nearly all of its forces south of the capital. MacArthur in my view oversaw the first Marine Regiment because it fought via North Korean positions at the highway to Seoul. keep an eye on of Operation Chromite was once then given to significant basic Edward Almond, the X Corps commander. basic Almond used to be in a huge hurry to seize Seoul by means of September 25, precisely 3 months of the North Korean attack around the thirty eighth parallel. On September 22, the Marines entered Seoul to discover it seriously fortified. Casualties fixed because the forces engaged in determined house-to-house scuffling with. nervous to pronounce the conquest of Seoul, Almond declared town liberated on September 25 although Marines have been nonetheless engaged in house-to-house strive against. This U.S. Marine Corps heritage presents specified information regarding a big element of the Korean conflict. topics lined during this historical past comprise: the first Marine department; significant common Oliver P. Smith; Seoul/Wonsan crusade; aerial clinical evacuation; shut air aid within the recapture of Seoul; marine wrestle cars; Bushmaster; 1950 highway combating.

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Additional resources for Battle of the Barricades: U.S. Marines in the Recapture of Seoul (Marines in the Korean War Commemorative Series)

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Despite these counterattacks, the war was moving north, well above Seoul. Indeed, South Korean troops were about to cross the 38th Parallel. On 29 September, General MacArthur and South Korean President Syngman Rhee and their wives returned to Seoul for a triumphant ceremony, accompanied by a large official retinue. The concentration of so many VIPs within the smoldering city so soon after the heavy fighting made General O. P. Smith nervous. Isolated NKPA antiaircraft gunners still exacted a price against allied planes flying over the city’s northern suburbs, especially the slow flying observation aircraft of VMO6, which lost a single-engine OY and an HO3S-1 helicopter on the day of the ceremony.

To their astonishment, the Marines learned that their corps commander considered the military defenses of Seoul to be broken. “The enemy is fleeing the city to the northeast,” the communique concluded. ” In truth the Marines and soldiers would still be fighting for full possession of the capital 48 hours past General Almond’s announced liberation date, but the issue was insignificant. The troops viewed the battle from purely a tactical perspective; their corps commander sensed the political ramifications.

In view of the allies’ disheartening performance in the Korean War to date, MacArthur, and Almond, had earned the right to boast. Further, although the Marines might not like to admit it, General Almond was essentially correct in his flash message the night of the 25th—the main body of the North Korean defenders, the remnants of a division, was indeed retreating north. What surprised all components of X Corps was the NKPA decision to expend the equivalent of an armored brigade in suicidal night attacks and die-hard defense of the main barricades to keep the Americans ensnared in the city.

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