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

losses for August, September, and October were 60,000, with 22,000 being from the
United States.6
General Thomas was embittered by the order to stop the advance. He saw a halt
to the offensive as "tantamount to capitulation to the Communists . . . and the thought
that such sacrifices [as made by his division] would not produce an imposed peace.."
as very disconcerting indeed. Thomas thought an amphibious approach applied to the
operations in 1951 would have been much more successful. "Now to summarize our
offensive, though they turned down the Kojo operation [one of the Amphibious hooks
planned in 1951], which with very few casualties we could have gotten some results, we
had a frontal assault against one mountain range after another, just to keep pressure on
the North Koreans-pressure that cost us 2,000 casualties in the 1st Mar Div." That
pressure, however, had helped the 2nd Infantry Division in its fights to the west.7
In any case, Thomas would be with the division only until December. Higher
command in the UN forces may have decided that his continual agitation for better CAS
was detrimental to "consensus" and a "unified attitude" in the theatre. Thomas at one
point detected unsaid in a communication from Ridgway that the CINCUNC would
relieve him if he could do so without causing publicity.8
Nevertheless, for 1st Mar Div, the rest of the war on the eastern end of the UN line
would consist of digging entrenchments for the MLR and conducting limited patrols and
raids forward of the defensive line. After the offensive, the Marine zone of action was
6 Clay Blair, The Forgotten War, 950; U. S. Pacific Fleet, "Third Interim Evaluation Report," 15-25; Arned
Henshaw, Heartbreak Ridge, 127; EUSAK, "Command Report," October 1951, 5-6, 29-30, and Plate 1;
Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 202-203.
7 Gerald C. Thomas Oral Memoir, 892-93; Allan R. Millett, Many a Strife, 310; 1st Mar Div, "Historical
Diary," September 1951, 8.
8 Allan R. Millett, Many a Strife, 313; Gerald C. Thomas Oral Memoir, 889.


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 January 21, 2017.