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

north, this time to phase line Cairo about twenty miles away. Operation Ripper ended 29
March in the Marine zone of action, with all the division's objectives in hand. These two
operations cost the division 958 casualties to 7,000 estimated for the enemy.2 (See
Maps # 6, 7, and 8)
Through April, the division then participated in operations Rugged and Dauntless
where it advanced another twenty miles to Hwachon near the Hwachon Reservoir.
Intelligence sources correctly told Eighth Army another major Chinese offensive, the
"CCF Fifth Phase Offensive" was brewing, and it broke 22 April before the final
objectives of Dauntless had been reached.3 (See Map # 9)
In the actions that followed, the Marines encountered some of their toughest
fighting of the war in holding the eastern flank of a salient that developed in IX Corps
(the Army corps the division was a part of at the time) lines when the 6th ROK Division,
stationed on the Marines' left, dissolved under Chinese pressure. The Marines held and
could have continued to hold in their opinion, (anything that looks like a retreat is
disgruntling to a Marine) but the IX Corps commander, disagreed and had them pull
back to even out Eighth Army lines and avoid a situation where the CCF could
penetrate deeply south of 1st Mar Div and then cut east in its rear, effectively cutting off
its support and possibly surrounding it.4 (See Map # 9)
The Marines fell back by phase lines in good order, with some complex but
smoothly executed maneuvers that brought 1st Mar Div south and east to the zone of X
Corps. Thus the Marines were detached from IX Corps by order of Lt Gen James Van

27

2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.

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 May 3, 2015.