Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 35
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examined their contingency plans and ruled them out as too risky and subject at
any moment to another Ridgway veto.23
Almond was replaced as X Corps commander in July by MajGen Clovis E. Byers.
July also brought relief for the Marine division for a time when the 2nd Infantry Division
(Inf Div) took over the Marine sector and the 1st Mar Div moved to corps reserve. Here
the Marines received replacements, rotated many veterans home, and trained. "We
were in need of it [time in reserve]. We weren't particularly tired, but our gear was
getting worn. You can't keep your trucks up, you can't keep your material up. So we
moved back into reserve and it gave us a chance to refurbish our equipment and also to
do some training. Combat is a testing of training, but very often it's not very good
training, and you do a lot of things you'd rather not do."24
The training was to get ready for the potential landing, and after that was vetoed,
to perfect night operations and small unit tactics. Other training was conducted to
reduce the deficit of specialists in the division. In addition, thousands of Korean laborers
were added to provide the logistics trucks could not in the trackless mountains.25
General Byers, the X Corps commander, told General Thomas he wanted the 7th
Marines [detached from 1st Mar Div] moved up to "'back-stop' the 2nd Inf Div in the event
of a penetration. Thomas was not enthusiastic but agreed provided he be permitted to
move up and assume command of the 7th Regiment [7th Marines]. Thomas insisted that
all Marines in Korea must fight under his command and not under Army command. He
23 Allan R. Millett, Drive North, 43.
24 Gerald C. Thomas Oral Memoir, 869; Allan R. Millett, Drive North, 30-40.
25 st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," August 1951, 3; Allan R. Millett, Drive North, 30-40; U. S. Pacific Fleet,
"Third Interim Evaluation Report," 1-12.
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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/m1/50/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .