battle of pusan perimeter casualties

[129], At dawn on August 9, 1st Cavalry Division learned of the North Korean crossing. [67] In the meantime, the ROK 3rd Division had to evacuate its position after being surrounded by the NK 5th Division. On September 1, the KPA numbered approximately 97,850 in South Korea, and up to one third of this number is suspected to have been conscripts from South Korea. [5] By September 23, the North Koreans were in full retreat from the Pusan Perimeter, with UN forces rapidly pursing them north and recapturing lost ground along the way. One Indian Armed Forces officer was also killed in the incident, Colonel Manakampat Kesavan Unni Nayar, a representative from the United Nations Commission on Korea. The North Koreans attacked troops stationed there for six entire weeks, while also striking in other locations. [169] They subsequently canceled a second bombing of an area east of the Naktong, scheduled for August 19.[170][171]. [17] The ROK, a force of 58,000,[22] was organized into two corps and five divisions; from east to west, I Corps controlled the 8th Infantry Division and Capital Divisions, while II Corps controlled the 1st Infantry Division and 6th Infantry Division. [136], The terrain along the South Korean front on the Eastern corridor made movement extremely difficult. The Eighth Army was ordered to advance as far north as possible to Manchuria and North Korea's border with China, with the primary objective of destroying what remained of the North Korean Army and the secondary objective of uniting all of Korea under Syngman Rhee. US Marines disembark at Pusan on their way to the front lines. [179] Groups 1 and 2 were to begin their attack at 23:30 on August 31, and Groups 3, 4 and 5 would begin their attacks at 18:00 on September 2. [196][197], The most infamous North Korean war crime was the Hill 303 massacre on August 17, when 41 US prisoners of war were killed by KPA driving on Taegu. [16] However, defensive actions by US and ROK forces had delayed the KPA significantly in their invasion of South Korea, costing them 58,000 of their troops and a large number of tanks. Moreover, the hill was important for its proximity to lines of communication. During the battle, the North Koreans managed to drive back the United Nations forces to the Busan Perimeter. [71] UN units would then establish main defensive positions behind what was to be called the Pusan Perimeter. Medals of Honor were awarded to 17 US servicemen in the fight. However, the UN used the port to amass an overwhelming advantage in troops, equipment, and logistics, and its navy and air forces remained unchallenged by the North Koreans during the fight. [160] North Korean artillery and tank fire from the west side of the river supported the infantry crossing. The Busan Perimeter is a 140-mile stretch of land on the Korean Peninsula that is also home to Busan, a port. Though logistics situations improved over time, ammunition was short for much of the war. [61] The northern boundary was an irregular line that ran through the mountains from above Waegwan and Andong to Yongdok. The repeated attacks eventually broke and pushed back the North Korean forces. [208] The US 1st Cavalry Division suffered 770 killed, 2,613 wounded and 62 captured. By the end of August the North Koreans' only remaining advantage was their initiative. The main Korean north-south highway and the main double-track Seoul-Pusan railroad skirted its base. [119] The squadrons were moved to Tsuiki Air Field on the island of Kyushu, Japan. [104] At first tenacious KPA defense halted the Marines' push. [148] Marshal Choe Yong Gun served as deputy commander of the KPA, with General Kim Chaek in charge of the Front Headquarters. [63] At one bridge in the 1st Cavalry Division sector, the division commander attempted several times to clear refugees from the bridge but they continued to cross it despite warnings and several attempts to clear the bridge. [111][112] A second force attempted to cross the river further north but was hit with machine guns and artillery, falling back in confusion. [38] Support for the American and South Korean armies came through the United States and Japan. The 4th and 6th North Korean Infantry Divisions advanced south in a wide flanking maneuver. Based on the efficient Soviet model, this ground-based network relied primarily on railroads to transport supplies to the front while troops transported those items to the individual units on foot, trucks, or carts. Fourteen NKPA divisions had been all but annihilated. [124][127], By August 7, the KPA 13th Division had crossed the Naktong River at Naktong-ni, 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Taegu. 6th and 7th Divisions to break through the US 25th Infantry Division at Masan. People's Army People's Navy People's Air Force. Marines carrying a wounded comrade in a stretcher in August 1950. [109] The division was spread extremely thinly; already understrength, it presented a very weak line. [235] With virtually no equipment, exhausted manpower and low morale, the North Koreans were at a severe disadvantage and were not able to continue to pressure on the Pusan Perimeter while attempting to repel the landings at Inchon. But the defenders also paid a high price. For most of this span, the Naktong river is around 400 meters (1,300 ft) wide and 6 feet (1.8 m) deep, allowing infantry to wade across with some difficulty but preventing vehicles from crossing without assistance. North Korean generals thought such night attacks would prevent UN forces from firing effectively and result in large numbers of UN friendly fire casualties. [30] The United Kingdom also provided a small naval task force including an aircraft carrier and several cruisers. Only 20,000 to 30,000 of the NKPA troops that besieged Pusan returned to North Korea. This granted both sides several days of reprieve to prepare for the attack on the Pusan Perimeter.[21][22]. MacArthur and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pushed by US leaders in Washington, decided to aggressively pursue the shattered KPA into North Korea. The "Pusan Perimeter", was a 140-mile defensive line around the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula. [200], UN troops, particularly South Korean, were also accused of killing or attempting to kill captured KPA soldiers. [181] Within a week, though, the momentum of the offensive had been slowed and the North Koreans could not keep up the strength of their attacks. [32], From south to northeast, the KPA units positioned opposite the UN units were the 83rd Motorized Regiment of the 105th Armored Division and then the 6th,[23] 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 15th,[21] 1st, 13th, 8th, 12th, and 5th Divisions and the 766th Independent Infantry Regiment. [219], North Korean casualties for the battle are almost impossible to estimate precisely thanks to a lack of records. It was one of the first major engagements of the Korean War. [170] North Korean commanders are known to have issued more stern orders regarding treatment of prisoners of war after these incidents, though such atrocities continued. [81] As a result, the Battle of Pusan Perimeter was not one single engagement but a series of large battles fought between the UN and North Korean divisions all along the perimeter. [144] At the same time, the KPA did break through the perimeter at several points and were able to exploit their gains for a short time. UN forces began their final counteroffensive against the stalled North Korean forces on August 15. [201][202]Shortly before the Pusan Perimeter fighting, retreating 1st Cavalry Division troops and U.S. warplanes killed an estimated 250-300 South Korean civilians, mostly women and children, in the No Gun Ri massacre. Thus the UN ground combat force outnumbered the North Koreans 92,000 to 70,000. ADMIRAL CHARLES TURNER JOY. [58] The MND was mainly responsible for railroad transportation and supply procurement, while the Rear Service Department was responsible for road transportation. The only other natural entry through the line was at the town of An'gang-ni, 12 miles (19 km) west of P'ohang-dong, situated near a valley through the natural rugged terrain to the major rail hub of Kyongju, which was a staging post for moving supplies to Taegu. The United Nations forces were organized under the command of the United States Army. [140] Instead, they recommended fighter-bombers and dive bombers would better support ground forces. After six weeks, the North Korean force collapsed and retreated in defeat after the UN force launched a counterattack at Inchon on September 15. [156] Discovering the crossing, elements of the US 5th Cavalry Regiment directed automatic weapons fire against the North Koreans and called in pre-registered artillery fire on the crossing site. [49] The KPA's communications and supply were not capable of exploiting a breakthrough and of supporting a continuing attack in the face of massive air, armor, and artillery fire that could be concentrated against its troops at critical points. The fight ended in a victory for the United States after North Korean forces attempting to assault the US position were blocked and repelled repeatedly, suffering heavy casualties. Korean War, 1950-53. Task Force Kean consisted of the 25th Division, less the 27th Infantry and a field artillery battalion, plus the 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade attached—a force of about 20,000 men. Medals of Honor were awarded to 17 US servicemen in the fight. The Inchon landings took place on September 15, 1950, during the Korean War (1950-1953). [98][99] A second force attempted to cross the river further north but met with resistance and fell back. [96] The division was spread extremely thinly; already understrength, it presented a very weak line. [160] Gay ordered his division to counterattack the enemy gathering to force them across the river. As July 1950 faded into August, more American forces arrived in Pusan. The intent was to draw the line on retreating and hold off the Korean People's Army while the US Army built up its forces and launch a counteroffensive. [212] With other non-divisional units, the US Army's total casualty count for the battle was 3,390 killed, 9,326 wounded, 97 captured (9 of whom died in captivity) and 174 missing, adding up to 12,987 casualties. The Battle of the Pusan Perimeter lasts 45 days, sees 120,000 casualties and ends in a successful US-led defense of the city. The NK 15th Division seized Hills 201 and 346 on the east side of the river at the crossing site, before advancing eastward into the mountains toward Tabu-dong, 7 miles (11 km) away. [45], On July 1, the US Far East Command directed the Eighth United States Army to assume responsibility for all logistical support of the United States and UN forces in Korea. A map showing successive North Korean advance. [103], The 1st Marine Provisional Brigade, in conjunction with Task Force Hill, mounted a massive offensive on Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni on August 17. [14][83], An attempt to move the 25th Infantry Division's division trains through the valley became mired in the mud through the night of August 10–11 and was attacked in the morning by KPA forces who had driven American forces from the high ground. [88] Upon later inspection, the bodies of 75 men, 55 from the 555th Field Artillery and 20 from the 90th Field Artillery, were found executed when the area again came under American control. The table below lists the battles in which the U.S. suffered the most fatalities. [57], Shortly before the Pusan Perimeter battles began, Walker established Taegu as the Eighth Army's headquarters. Pusan was the only port in South Korea that had dock facilities large enough to handle a sizable amount of cargo. An army of 140,000 UN troops, having been pushed to the brink of defeat, were rallied to make a final stand against the invading Korean People's Army (KPA), 98,000 men strong. ISSN, "Far East Calsualties". The North Korean Army placed the division in reserve to be rebuilt by replacements. [97] However, Eighth Army requested several of its units to redeploy to Taegu to be used elsewhere on the front, particularly at the Naktong Bulge[21][96], An attempt to move the 25th Infantry Division's division trains through the valley became mired in the mud through the night of August 10–11. [145] These orders called for a simultaneous five-prong attack against the UN lines. [114] The KPA 766th Independent Regiment advanced around the ROK 3rd Division and took the area around P'ohang-dong. US Air Force bombers drop heavy ordnance near Waegwan. Most serious among these were accusations that some captured UN prisoners were tortured and executed. [81] The Americans initially advanced quickly though heavy KPA resistance. In the event, the airstrip remained under the protection of UN ground forces and never came under direct fire. [45] On July 24, the UN established its highest command under General of the Army Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo, Japan. [175], In planning its new offensive, the North Korean commanders decided that any attempt to flank the UN force was impossible thanks to the support of the UN navy. The division would sail 20 miles (32 km) south to Yongil Bay to join the other UN forces in a coordinated attack to push the KPA out of the region. The North Koreans attacked troops stationed there for six entire weeks, while also striking in other locations. [140] In the meantime, the ROK 3rd Division was heavily engaged with the NK 5th Division along the coastal road to P'ohang-dong. However, the attack failed to reach the Taegu-P'ohang corridor after being surprised and outflanked by the ROK 8th Division. The North Korean Army had been pushed beyond its limits and many of the original units were at much reduced strength and effectiveness by the end of August. Eventually, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and New Zealand provided ships as well. [3] The US also lost 60 tanks in the fight, bringing the total number lost in the war to that date to 136. [102][105] The 6th Division had been reduced to 3,000-4,000 and had to replenish its ranks with South Korean conscripts from Andong. The crime led UN Commander Douglas MacArthur to warn the North Koreans via leaflets and broadcasts that they would be held responsible for such crimes. [70], KPA forces had four possible routes in the perimeter: to the south, the pass through the city of Masan around the confluence of the Nam and Naktong rivers; another southerly route through the Naktong Bulge and into the railroad lines at Miryang; through the route into Taegu in the north; and through Kyongju in the eastern corridor. [57][120] This evacuation was carried out on the night of August 16. Stalled again by South Korean resistance, it halted to wait for reinforcements. 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