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The Research on the Operational Guidance during the Korean War -Focused on the Battle of Hyeon-ri Area-

정명복 1

1육군군사연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The main purpose of this article is to research on the UN Forces’ and the Chinese Communist Forces(CCF)’s operational guidance during the CCF’s Second Phase of the 5th Campaign. After the UN Forces’ across the 38th Parallel, the CCF decided to enter the Korean War. There were many purposes behind their participation of the war such as 1) to aid North Korea, 2) eliminating the suspicion of Stalin, 3) giving the CCF the experience of modern warfare, 4) accelerating the modernization of the CCF, 5) reconstruction of the Chinese economy, 6) strengthening of China to prepare for Taiwan’s liberation, 7) joining UN, 8) to trade South Korea with the removal of the US Forces in Taiwan, 9) to lure the Kuomintang Forces to mainland, 10) eliminating the danger of US launching a nuclear attack or retaliatory actions against China, 11) to restore North and South Koreas to how it used to be. But in regards of operational guidance it was essentially to extract the UN Forces from Korea so they can control the Korean Peninsula. The CCF separated their progress into two periods-maneuver warfare period and the period of positional warfare. the Second Phase of the 5th Campaign was the last one used in the maneuver warfare period. During the Second Phase of the 5th Campaign, CCF focused on annihilating four divisions (3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th Division) of the ROK Armed Forces through the envelopment operations of Hyeon-ri, Chimkyo-Bangneri and envelopment of Soksari area. They also attempted to cut off the ROK Army III Corps’ withdrawal routes by concentrating six divisions in the ROK Army 7th Division Area. During the early period, the UN Forces came against massive loss as the III Corps found their main supply routes cut off, but effective use of delaying tactics and the Eighth Army’s calm response to the crisis enabled their forces to hold off the CCF and launch a successive counterattack and as a result the CCF damaged with a greatest number of casualty since entering the Korean War. During their Second Phase of the 5th Campaign, Peng Teh-huai used maneuver warfare and annihilation tactics learned from the past to make up for their inferiority in artillery compared to the UN Forces. Through the tactical surprise attack by two armies they achieved their early objectives of penetrating at Hyeon-ri area which was the north-east side of the UN Forces’ forward edge. However, some problems such as 1) not spending enough time for the preparement of the war, 2) misjudging the ROK Armed Forces’ withdrawal routes, 3) not anticipating serious logistics problem, 4) unflexible tactics were found during this period. Van Fleet, the Commander of the Eighth Army, at first struggled to deal with the enemy’s surprise attack, but soon recovered himself and counterattacked the enemy through the mobility of the 3rd Division and tremendous use of artillery later named the "Van Fleet way Fire Rate". His counterattack was successive but also from this we can analyze his negatives such as 1) poor decision-making shown when cutting off the ROK Ⅲ Corps’ withdrawal routes, 2) misjudging the information given so that enemy could launch their surprise attack, 3) misplacing the boundary of battle area between the US Ⅹ Corps and the ROK Ⅲ Corps. Second Phase of the 5th Campaign was the turning point for the UN Forces to shift their position to offensive and ultimately became a decisive factor to enforce China to the negotiation table.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.