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

will assist the rifle company or battalion to win ground at minimal cost [so much
for the stereotype that Marines are headlong and blindly aggressive and waste
lives].
In the typical situation, the rifle company has temporarily been brought in
check by intense automatic rifle (fire) from the high ground, and the enemy
deployment is such as to indicate that the line cannot continue its advance
without taking excessive losses from fire coming at it from several directions.
The company then calls for mortar fire on the position, meanwhile holding
its ground.
Simultaneously, or immediately following the mortar fire, artillery works
over the enemy ground from which fire has been coming, as well as the ridges
beyond it.
There is an air control officer with the company [probably an FAC from the
battalion TACP].
A number of planes have been called in and are on station. It is arranged
that as the final rounds of artillery fall, the planes will make their first strikes at
these same positions.
The infantry bounds forward as the planes begin to attack, or, depending
on the proximity to the CCF position, starts to advance the moment of final
impact.
This is not the rare or unusual instance of coordination between 1st Mar
Div's rifle components and the supporting arms in the attack.
It is the average procedure, and during operations in the north there were
relatively few deviations from it. Attack after attack, by the company, battalion or
regiment, was according to this same pattern.
Clear to the average rifleman was the proof that he was being helped by
every agency possible.
That this conviction gave extraordinary impetus to the infantry attack
would seem to be beyond question.
The multiplying of fires and the combining of flat trajectory, angle and
vertical missiles no doubt resulted in the killing of more CCF than would have
been done by any part of this combination acting singly.
However, the chief findings have to do with morale values, particularly
those rebounding to the benefit of the attacker.11
Marshall then continued with the analysis of CAS being more effective in
suppressing enemy fire than artillery, quoted in the previous chapter.
As can be seen from the above excerpts, Marine Fire Support Coordination was
a fundamental part of the Marine way of fighting and one that played out well in practice
as well as theory -- at least when the Marines were allowed to practice their way of

299

1 Ibid., IV-C-5 through IV-C-7.

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 December 19, 2014.