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

CHAPTER 3
SUMMARY OF MARINE OPERATIONS,
JANUARY-AUGUST, 1951
The events of that time might well be called the "Forgotten
Campaigns" of what is now often termed the "Forgotten
War."
-Ronald J. Brown
To give the reader perspective, it is necessary to summarize the interim period
between the Hungnam evacuation in late December, 1950 and the Fall Offensive of
1951.
After taking time out to recover from the losses of the Chosin Reservoir campaign,
1st Mar Div spent early 1951 involved in an anti-guerilla operation, called the "Pohang
guerilla hunt" by the Marines, in the vicinity of Pohang on the east coast of Korea about
one hundred miles south of the 38th parallel. This operation was well behind UN lines
and the goal was to root out guerillas hiding in the hills in order to protect the Eighth
Army supply line. Here MajGen O. P. Smith, still commanding the division, executed
anti-guerilla operations strictly in accordance with Marine "small wars" doctrine.' (See
Map # 5)
After weeks of patrolling after guerillas, the Marines saddled up for General
Ridgway's Operation Killer in mid February. They moved to the central front of Korea
near Wonju, and attacked north to Hoensong about eight miles away. After combat in
the hills above this town and four hundred Marine casualties to 2,000 for the enemy, the
Marines participated in Operation Ripper in March. Here, 1st Mar Div again attacked
Most of the summary of the operations leading up to the battles of August and September is drawn from
the following sources: U.S. Pacific Fleet, "Third Interim Evaluation Report"; Ronald Brown,
Counteroffensive; Allan R. Millett, Drive North, 1-37; and Allan R. Millett, Many a Strife, chapter 23.

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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 December 26, 2014.