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

possible to save Eighth Army lives and to take out as many enemy weapons as
possible, meaning artillery. He then went on to justify the high casualty numbers
expended as being to keep the enemy off balance and that it "was mandatory that we
control the high ground features, so that we could look down the throat of the enemy
and thereby better perform our task of destruction. . . ." He summed up by saying that
these losses had saved thousands of others by bettering EUSAK's position on the
terrain; that the enemy's ability to counterattack had been crippled , and that his "hill-
hopping tactics" had not destroyed the Communists but had wounded them severely.5
That the Eighth Army was now looking down the enemy's throats would have been
an absurdly laughable statement to the men on Hill 812, but as for the effect of hurting
the Communists, they had certainly lost many men. In the Marine sector alone, the
enemy had suffered: 2,799 counted KIA; 2,374 estimated KIA; 4,707 estimated WIA,
and 557 POWs; a grand total of 10,442 casualties, in September 1951. For the NKPA
and CCF forces that faced the 2nd ID, from late August through October, the losses
were: 25,000 total; 1,473 KIA counted; 8,938 estimated KIA; 14,204 estimated WIA; and
606 POWs. In mid-September, EUSAK estimated the losses sustained by the
Communists since May 1951 to total 188,237. And with those sustained by the enemy
in the Fall Offensive (when it was finally finished in October) added in, that total rose to
234,000. Such numbers were probably exaggerated, but as stated by Clay Blair, "even
half that would have significantly hurt the CCF and NKPA units engaged." Total UN
s EUSAK, "Command Report," October 1951, 5-6, 29-30, and Plate 1; Lynn Montross, et al., The East-
Central Front, 202-203.


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. Accessed March 2, 2015.