on the high ground. However, the Marines sighted were elements of Fox Company, and
the area in question was not yet in Marine hands.11
Finally, at 1555, word came in as to the locations of Fox Company's platoons.
Because word had not been received did not mean that Fox Company had been
negligent in reporting in, often the radios and landlines were unreliable--the radios for
various reasons and the wire because anything from enemy fire to a passing vehicle to
a Korean laborer acquiring wire to tie his burden could sever it. The best possible
approach available to the advancing Marines was the southwest finger ridge, which the
2nd Platoon had ascended. It was heavily wooded to provide concealment and at least
part of the route was in defilade from enemy MG fire on the objective. This platoon,
under 2ndLT Roth (no first name given) soon saw that the tree cover had been cleared
from the summit of Hill 812 and in a radius of 65 yards from the top. This area was
devoid of any vegetation, a prepared enemy kill zone. The ridge leading to 812,
furthermore, was a razorback ridge.12
The enemy emplacements along the ridge are illustrated in Map # 32. "The
forward slope.., was defended by a series of mutually-supporting, well dug-in,
prepared fortifications, mostly bunkers with embrasures for automatic weapons. These
were positioned in a rough semi-circle. . . and were interspersed with numerous rifle
pits and foxholes of the small, compact, enemy-type. These gave the enemy coverage
of approximately 180 degrees in an arc. . . and effectively delivered fire on nearly all
routes of approach." The enemy defenses showed that they expected the Marine attack
" Ibid., 29.
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 November 28, 2014.