displacement with every effort being made to expedite the move in order to be prepared
for any change in the mission assigned."27
The first objective was one assigned by X Corps, hence it was called a "corps
objective," (an objective assigned by the division would be called a "division objective"
and so on). Called Yoke Ridge, it resembled the jagged maw of an angry dragon in its
topographical contours on a map. (See Map # 15) This ridge was made up of hills 930,
1000, 1026, 924, and 702 on the east-west axis, and hills, 602, 702, 680, 755, and 793
on its north-south axis. It would be part of the Hays Line, the next phase/defensive line
in the plan for X Corps's "limited objective" advance. Yoke Ridge, too, had the Soyang
River at its back, and other knife edge ridges branched off from it. Pine and brush
concealed a multitude of defensive emplacements on its slopes constructed from earth
and logs. Direct pinpoint hits from heavy supporting arms and the assault of infantry
Marines would be needed to reduce most of them; the enemy had no intention of
In fact, the defenders, the 6th Regiment, 2d Division, II NKPA Corps, had orders to
hold at all costs. North Korean officers that allowed their units to retreat had only
execution as their reward. The enemy in the area was well armed and well supplied, AF
(Air Force) efforts to render the opposite effect through interdiction notwithstanding. In
artillery, the enemy had more tubes than the Marines by a ratio of 92 to 72 guns, many
of them in large calibers. (The enemy also had a number about equal to the Marines in
mortars and machine guns.) The NKPAs were also extremely accurate in the
employment of their artillery. While standing around a campfire one night in a rearward
27 st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," August 1951, 4.
28 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, chapter IX; U. S. Pacific Fleet, "Third Interim Evaluation
Report," chapter 15. The hills were named for height in meters above sea level.
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 February 9, 2016.