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

defending the left flank of X Corps on the line between it and IX Corps, as IX Corps
advanced. The Chinese offensive had shot its bolt, leaving EUSAK a great chance to
crush the CCF in Korea.10
The offensive did not move quickly enough to satisfy Van Fleet or Ridgway, so X
Corps was added to the assault on 23 May in a move to cut across the base of a CCF
salient before the Chinese could withdraw. The plan didn't work, however, because X
Corps moved too slow and the Chinese withdrew too fast. Thus X Corps would continue
the attack to the north. The 1st Mar Div drove north with its corps toward Yangu on the
east end of the Hwachon Reservoir during this offensive and reached it on 31 May.
Here was Line Topeka, and the Marines occupied a zone along it." (See Map #11)
In this advance the Marine utilized their preference of using ample supporting
arms to trade steel for lives, inflicting harsh punishment on the enemy while suffering
little for itself. The estimates of enemy losses were 10,000. The Marines actually
counted 1,870 dead and took almost 600 prisoners. Most of the killing was effected by
artillery. The division's own casualties numbered 83 dead and 731 WIA (Wounded in
Action). "For at least one week the 1st Marine Division had fought by its book, and it
suffered negligible casualties by pounding every objective with preparatory air strikes
and artillery concentrations."12
Van Fleet, at this point, wanted to try some amphibious envelopments up the coast
with the 1st Mar Div and 3rd Infantry Division, but these plans were vetoed by higher
headquarters. At the time, intimations that the CCF and North Koreans wanted to
negotiate had been sensed in Washington. And UNC wanted to simply drive forward

30

10 Allan R. Millett, Drive North, 1-37.
11 Ibid.
12 Ibid., 18, 1-37.

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 August 4, 2015.