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

leaflets immediately after they are dropped and mete out sever punishment to all
personnel found in possession of such a document.30
The primary enemy disadvantage was in morale. The Marines had high morale
while the enemy's was very poor. Indications of the low enemy morale was the
willingness of NKPA soldiers to surrender if out from under the vindictive eye of their
officers long enough to do so with out being executed, and that the prisoners taken by
the Marines often told of the poor and inadequate food they had. In addition, "the
capture of many enemy troops suffering from old wounds indicated that Communist
medical support was limited," a fact corroborated by Marine intelligence summaries.
Another SOP followed by the enemy forces undoubtedly contributed to their low morale,
though it maintained the maximum application of available manpower for firing
weapons. No NKPA was to receive medical attention while a firefight was still going on.
All personnel were to be fighting. Medical care was for after the combat was over.31
The enemy clearly did not have the manpower to expend on the heavy, bloody
counterattacks he launched against Marine positions time and time again. This broke
the back of the NKPA forces defending Kanmubong Ridge. Like the Marines in World
War II used to say about the Japanese, "when they Banzai, that's when we break their
backs," the relentless counterattacks of the NKPA broke their strength.
These attacks were not as suicidal and headlong as a Japanese Banzai charge,
however. They were launched with ample preparation, and retreat would be sounded
after a culminating point was reached with no penetration. In addition, the enemy often
had "waves" of reserves ready to exploit any penetration made by a previous wave. And
"the enemy counterattack did not extend beyond the limit of frontal supporting fire, and
30I bid., 10.
31 Headquarters EUSAK, "Enemy Tactics," 129.

313

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 July 14, 2014.