Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War

and 5th ROK Division to the west. "The constant pressure which the Division had applied
to the enemy on the Hays line proved beneficial to adjacent units on the left during the
period. The 35th ROK Regiment, 5th ROK Division advanced unopposed from Kansas
line positions to Hill 450. . . in the northwest quarter of the Punchbowl, approximately
3,300 meters south of Hill 1026. Over on the western rim of the Punchbowl, the 2nd
Infantry Division seized Hill 1181 . . ., approximately 4000 meters southwest of Hill 930,
with only light resistance reported." (See Map # 19) Casualties taken in the battle for the
ridge amounted to 15 KIA and 128 WIA in the 7th Marines, and 95 KIA, 2 MIA, and 367
WIA among the KMCs. This was a total of 110 1st Mar Div KIA, and 495 WIA. Enemy
losses were higher. Marines counted about 900 dead (estimates for KIA and WIA were
552 of the former and 756 of the latter) and took 50 prisoners. These are staggering
losses when one considers a NKPA regiment in total numbered only 1,500 men (a
Marine Regiment numbered more than twice that). The 3rd Regiment, 1st Division of the
NKPA Ill Corps was shattered by the battle. It had to shift into reserve on the hill mass
to the north while the 14th Regiment built up defenses along the same hill mass. It would
not be possible for the North Korean to maintain a war with those kinds of losses and no
reciprocal gains in territory (they had no "endless hordes" like the CCF). Soon, they
would have to head back to the negotiating table along with their CCF brethren.
However, the toughest fighting of the period for the U. S. Regiments of the 1st Marine
Division was yet to come.72
Jon Charles Genrich remembered how suicidal the enemy could be:
72 st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 8; Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 180;
1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 8, 31-32; Allan R. Millett, Drive North, 42; Lynn Montross,
et al., The East-Central Front, 180; Korean Institute of Military History, Korean War, Vol. 3, 154.

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Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/. Accessed September 23, 2014.