I am glad they did because my weapon jammed.
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The next day, his luck ran out. Pinned down by artillery fire, White got hit by shrapnel in the face and leg and was evacuated to a naval hospital in Japan. Jean White posing for a picture during the capture of Uijongbu following the landing at Inchon on the march north, some time between September 28th and October 3rd, By the time White returned to his unit in early December, a lot had changed on the front lines. Together with U.
With highly disciplined nighttime-only marches, these forces evaded detection and entered the war in early November. But their evasive maneuvers lured Marines and U. Army divisions into a valley around a storage lake called the Chosin Reservoir. You…could see these freshly dug bunkers along the sides of the hills… Turns out, the Chinese were there all along.
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Whited occupied a roadblock with his anti-tank unit between Hagaru-ri and Yudam-ni, the farthest western concentration of Marines in the valley. When Chinese forces launched a major assault there on the night of November 27th, all hell broke loose, he remembers. The first [Chinese fighter] that I hit, I hit him six times with my carbine, and the guy ran right past me. He went back around 20 yards before he fell. Like many Marines and Infantrymen in the Korean War, Whited felt ill-equipped for the type of combat he faced there.
This allowed the 5 and 7 Marines to move east and southward out of the valley. Far worse off were the 31 and 32 Infantry Regiments on the east side of the Reservoir, who suffered the brunt of Chinese attacks. Having just returned to action on December 2, White was now part of the effort to bring about 4, men northward from the southeastern tip of the reservoir to secure the exit of the 10, Marines and Army Infantry men trapped in the Chosin Reservoir valley. Altogether, between 20, and 25, U.
Making their way south toward an evacuation seaport required the Marines and Army Infantry to march some 70 miles down a winding, icy mountain road—through a stretch called Hellfire Valley and then down Funchilin Pass. The narrow road was littered with burnt-out cars, broken equipment, redundant gear and dead Chinese soldiers. Under a clear sky, the troops huddled together at 40 below zero.
And luckily, the skies cleared and we were able to bring in airpower and everything. The air support did little to keep the men warm, however. For White, his frostbite ended his combat career, and he was carried out through the Funchilin Pass. But things looked dire when that path out of Koto-Ri almost closed off for U. On December 6, Chinese forces blew up a crucial bridge over a treacherous mountain gorge, cutting off the evacuation route. Instead, about two weeks later, the two veterans enjoyed Christmas in Pusan—with a hot turkey dinner.
Neither White nor Whited recalls much concern over the fact that their liberation of South Korea had escalated into a war against Communist China. If you got a target, shoot at it. The men on the ground were not the only ones unprepared for Chinese intervention. The headquarters of the UN war effort in Tokyo lacked the necessary intelligence to warn advancing troops. Whited and White not only feel let down by Tokyo, but they have little good to say about General MacArthur who, after Chosin, pressed to expand the war into and against China. MacArthur was ultimately relieved of his command by President Truman, who opposed the idea, remaining committed to keeping Korea a "limited war.
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To shoot their weapons, they had to take off their clumsy mittens. Weapons failed to fire, car batteries went dead and lubricant jelled up in weapons and in vehicles. The blood plasma the U. A bugler blows a song as tribute amidst a row of white crosses marking the graves of the lives lost at the Chosin Reservoir while soldiers from the First Marine Division pay their respects.
The losses at Chosin Reservoir had been painfully high for U. The estimated 18, casualties included about 2, killed in action, 5, wounded and almost 8, who suffered from frostbite.
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But there were troops worse off still—the Chinese. Their feet were nothing but ice. Hastily mobilized from Manchuria for deployment in Korea, they lacked any winter clothing or sufficient food. Some 30, Chinese soldiers perished from cold alone, along with about 20, combat casualties. Was Chosin Reservoir a defeat for American troops? Any map illustrating the troop movements would suggest yes. MacArthur reinitiated the bombing campaign against bridges in the northernmost provinces, but succeeded in destroying only a third of them.
This week in history: China enters the Korean War
The Chinese had become excellent fighters during their extended civil war and their battles against the invading Japanese during WWII, and put up a ferocious fight, even surrounding the vaunted X Corps at Chosin Reservoir. Truman announced in a press conference that the US was considering using the A-Bomb. On December 23, General Walton H. Walker died in a car accident, giving Lt. On January 4, , Ridgway evacuated Seoul and Inchon.
From there, Ridgway rebuilt the confidence and morale of his men, by getting better food and warmer coats for them. Ridgway's striking success upset MacArthur, who realized Ridgway's successes in Korea were undermining MacArthur's justifications for attacking Chinese territory. MacArthur badmouthed Ridgway's conservative strategy as one of stalemate, leading US troops to label Ridgway's strategy as "Die for Tie. Why did the PRC intervene in Korea? The PRC viewpoint made a certain amount of sense.
After all, since the US broke its promise not to cross the 38th Parallel, what reassurance could the Chinese have that the US would keep its promise and not cross the Yalu?
Resolving to use force, PRC leaders decided that if they were going to fight the US, the initial attack would have to be as efficient as possible. For this reason, they planned a surprise attack, secretly moving troops across the Yalu. China, using the element of surprise, did not declare war. Furthermore, so that it could officially disavow responsibility, the PRC troops claimed to be "volunteers.
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