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

length of time; and to develop technical and tactical proficiency in the individual
Marine and the units of this command.9
Subjects covered included "boat team training; mines and booby traps; tank-
infantry tactics; assault of a defended beach; tactical training of the individual Marine;
battalion in the attack and defense; regiment in the attack and defense; platoon assault
and reduction of fortified position; and the tactical employment and firing of all
weapons."
For example, the 1st Marines conducted a field problem on August 20 that lasted
four days. It involved, "an attack and a retrograde upon CCF units. The problem was
highly successful in that it exercised the staff in further integrating the actions of the
companies and battalions into an even more smoothly functioning organization, and
personnel in unfamiliar positions were given a chance to operate under near combat
conditions."11
Another illustration of Marine training during the period, and the method by which
Marines would assault defended bunkers in September, occurred on a "gloomy, dank
and depressing day at the height of the Korean monsoon." A platoon of Marines
slogged up the muddy hills of their reserve area in column while water ran down their
backs beneath their ponchos. "Their problem was a demonstration, a platoon assaulting
a fortified position with supporting weapons." The lieutenant detailed the purpose of the
problem to the men: "Men, today you will witness the proper method of assaulting and
securing a fortified position with a minimum number of casualties." And blocks of TNT
were set off on the ridge to simulate an artillery barrage (shells were in too short a
9 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," August 1951, 2-3.
10 1st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," August 1951, 1.
11Ibid.

41

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 October 21, 2014.