Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 138
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Tanks also provided valuable, "bunker busting" capability where they were able to
be moved into supporting position in the steep, rocky terrain. The 1st Mar Div had a
battalion of tanks organic to it, the 1st Tank Battalion (1/Tank), and their 90mm guns
could provide flat trajectory, highly accurate fire on targets far beyond the range of
mortars and recoilless rifles. However, in this area northeast of the Punchbowl, tanks
were limited by terrain as to the amount of support they could offer.61
Easy's resumed attack had the "maximum support of 81mm mortars, light and
heavy MGs and fixed bayonets." At 1500, 2/1 plunged through a "hail of enemy hand
grenades, mortar, small arms and automatic weapons fire to encounter the enemy in
their positions." This fighting entailed bayonet and hand to hand combat in order to
secure the summit of 749, "the southern extremity of the 1st Marine Division's Objective
The Marines of 2/1 made the crest with generous use of grenades and small arms.
Grenades hissed as their fuses ignited, BARs growled their guttural ire and spat out
streams of full-auto .30-06 slugs, M-1 Garand rifles "pinged" as their 8 round clips
ejected from the rifles and bolts snapped shut on fresh loads. Smoke and dust and mud
and fire stung the eyes and chocked in the throat as men tried to breath in a red cloud
of fury. Men closed with the enemy in narrow trenches and muddy gun pits to contest
for one another's lives with the butt of a rifle, or the honed steel of a bayonet punching
through a dirty cotton uniform to eviscerate the soft flesh beneath. Dark blood splattered
wetly on rocks and stained the earth with a new sticky mud as old as humanity. Grimy,
bone-weary Marines with parched throats and eyes ancient for their youth emerged
61 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 191; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 16.
62 st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 13.
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Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War, thesis, August 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/m1/153/?rotate=270: accessed February 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .