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

Another problem was limits from EUSAK on the amount of ammunition that could
be expended. The shortage of ammunition at the front is one probable reason. Though
these limits were obviated in an emergency, the pre H-hour bombardments and other
uses of artillery were not as generous as might otherwise be the case.41
Logistical support for the division was mostly from the same sources as other U. S.
divisions in Korea. And, "logistically the Division maintained a high degree of material
preparedness for an amphibious operation or whatever assignment it was called upon
to perform."42
Like the attacks of the 2nd ID to the west, the attacking units were fed somewhat
piecemeal into the grinder. However, the 1st Mar Div had no choice in the matter since
its commitments to defend the Kansas Line and to keep the 1st Marines in corps reserve
tied up more than half its offensive power. But this situation would soon change as the
1st Marines were released from reserve and the 5th Marines from responsibility on Line
Kansas. However, at no time in the Punchbowl Offensive for the 1 Mar Div were more
than two regiments engaged simultaneously. Besides, by the time the 1st Marines was
finally at the front, the 7th Marines and KMC Regiment both had already been chewed
up and would have been necessarily kept in reserve anyway, so either way, the use of
the division in a divided manner curtailed its strength.
But then again, considering the difficult terrain, it may be that no more than two
regiments could have been committed even if the commanding general had had them
available and so desired to use them. This certainly seems plausible given the logistical
difficulties of operating in the area. Furthermore, the reason the 1st Marines was in corps
41 st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 11; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September
1951, directives received.
42 st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 4.


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 17, 2017.