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

another offensive, hone the edge of X Corps's fighting units lest they become soft
through inactivity, and improve the defensive line in the corps sector by "elbowing"
forward to take better, more commanding terrain and remove sags in the line-in other
words, straighten it out. Straighter lines meant shorter lines, and shorter lines meant
less linear miles of territory to fortify and defend. It also meant fewer salients and
bulges, which were more vulnerable to enemy attack, penetration, exploitation, and
encirclement. Shorter defense lines furthermore allowed EUSAK to use fewer men to
defend the line and pool the remainder in reserve to counter an enemy attack, or
perhaps make one of its own if the truce talks produced no results.20
The terrain north of the Punchbowl was also critical, because in enemy hands it
could be used to observe the defenses on the Kansas Line to call in supporting fire on
it. If this terrain were in UN hands, not only would the enemy be deprived of this
observation, another advantage would be that the UNC (United Nations Command)
forces could make it difficult for the enemy to launch attacks against the UN MLR
(United Nations) (Main Line of Resistance) in this sector from yet more overlooking high
ground.21
Of course, the "ground-pounders" who fought there remembered the terrain
differently. Jon Charles Genrich observed:
20 Walter G. Hermes, United States Army in the Korean War: Truce Tent and Fighting Front (Washington,
D. C.: United States Army Center of Military History, 1992, first published 1966): 81-82; Headquarters
EUSAK, "Command Report," July 1951, book 1, "Commanding General's Journal," 21 July 1951,(National
Archives, RG 407, Records of U. S. Army Field Commands, Command Reports, 1949-1954);
Headquarters EUSAK, "Command Report," July 1951, section I, 8; Headquarters X Corps, "Command
Report," August 1951, (National Archives, RG 407, Records of U. S. Army Field Commands, Command
Reports, 1949-1954): 45; Headquarters X Corps, "Command Report," September 1951, (National
Archives, RG 407, Records of U. S. Army Field Commands, Command Reports, 1949-1954): 3.
21Walter Hermes, Truce Tent and Fighting Front, 81-82; Headquarters EUSAK, "Command Report," July
1951, book 1, "Commanding General's Journal," 21 July 1951; Headquarters X Corps, "Command
Report," August 1951, 45; Headquarters X Corps, "Command Report," September 1951, 3.

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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 20, 2014.