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

when a position was taken, the enemy main body dispersed to the flanks to avoid UN
artillery fire." Furthermore, these attacks were not a last gasp, a desperate and futile
attempt to inflict casualties and preserve honor in a final glorious attack like the Banzai
charges were. They were deliberate, carefully planned, and intended to succeed.32
In fact, in many cases throughout the Korean War, these tactics did succeed
against UN forces, particularly earlier in the war or against ROKs, causing many mass
"bug-outs," with the UN troops falling back or out-right breaking and running from the
enemy onslaught. The experience of a black night suddenly filled with shrieking whistles
and bugles, and screaming, charging men was enough to freeze the blood even of the
brave. The NKPA tactics were intended to strike fear into the heart of the enemy and
cause him to flee, or to be so demoralized that he could not repulse the attack. The fight
on Hill 812 is an example of how these tactics almost succeeded.
Nevertheless, the enemy had not the resources to maintain such a manpower-
intensive method of fighting, at least the NKPA did not. Their Chinese brethren could
have kept a steady flow of troops for years and years yet at the same rate of attrition
without being bled dry, but the North Koreans hardly had the manpower of vast China in
the tiny section of Korea it held. "It was also probable that, during the latter stages of the
Korean Conflict, North Korean troops realized they were fighting for their homeland and
would not trade space for time. The armistice talks no doubt influenced the Communist
armies to resort to a stubborn defense line."33
32/bid., 83.
33 Headquarters EUSAK, "Enemy Tactics," 75.

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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 January 30, 2015.