Operation Pokpoong

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Operation Pokpoong
폭풍 작전 (暴風 作戰)
Part of the Korean War
Date 25 June - 31 July 1950
Location 38th parallel north
Result DPRK victory

Successful ROK delaying tactics

  • Devastation of DPRK II Corps
  • United States joins the war
  • UN passes UNSC Resolution 84
  • United Nations joins the war
  • DPRK fails to achieve strategic goals
Belligerents
 North Korea
 Soviet Union (limited)
 Republic of Korea
 United Nations
Commanders and leaders
North Korea Choe Yong-geon
North Korea Kang Geon
South Korea Shin Sung-mo
South Korea Chae Byeong-deok 
South Korea Chung Il-kwon
South Korea Son Won-il
United Nations Douglas MacArthur
United States Walton Walker
Strength
North Korea 198,380[1] South Korea 105,752[1]

Operation Pokpoong (폭풍 작전; Korean for Storm) was an offensive operation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) against the Republic of Korea (ROK) that marked the start of the Korean War. The operation began at 04:00 KST on 25 June 1950 along the 38th parallel north without a declaration of war.

The operation was planned by both the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). In addition, the USSR supplied weapons such as tanks and aircraft to its communist ally. With the support from the USSR, the DPRK was able to take control of the ROK capital Seoul within a few days.[2]

The original goal for the operation was to occupy the entire Korean Peninsula by 15 August 1950 ― 50 days, with an average 10 km advance each day ― in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the Gwangbokjeol.[2] However, heavy losses incurred by the DPRK II Corps, which was in charge of the eastern front, at the hands of the ROK 6th Infantry Division, enabled the ROK to delay the DPRK advance. Soon, the United States joined the war on June 27, and the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 84 on July 7.

Prelude[edit]

Since March 1950, Korean People's Army started to build up its armament, and redeployed its troops to get ready to attack the Republic of Korea. In May 16, officers of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics began final inspection for the war.[3]

The DPRK Ministry of People's Defense held high-ranking talks everyday since then. In June 10, the Ministry of People's Defense secretly summoned all division and brigade commanders to Pyongyang for the meeting.[3]

Kang Geon, the Chief of the General Staff of the DPRK, ordered troops to be fully ready for an offensive operation in disguise of defensive operation by June 23. In June 11, Korean People's Army was reorganized into two corps, and the divisions that were placed at the rear started to move as close as 10 to 15 km of north to the 38th parallel north.[3]

In June 18, the Ministry of People's Defense sent the Reconnaissance Order Number 1 (정찰명령 제1호) to division commanders to gather informations about locations of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and terrain. In June 22, after completion of reconnaissance and reorganization and approval from Joseph Stalin, Soviet military advisors ordered the Ministry of People's Defense to send the Engagement Order Number 1 (전투명령 제1호) to its divisions.[3]

In the meantime, Kim Il-sung informed Joseph Stalin that the war will be started on June 25, and Stalin consented the plan. As scheduled, Korean People's Army began the operation and crossed 38th parallel north at 04:00 KST of 25 June 1950. When the war began, Kim Il-sung held the governmental emergency meeting and stated the following to the members of the Workers' Party of Korea who did not realize the situation:

Comrades, the forces of traitor Rhee Syngman has crossed 38th parallel and started a full-scale invasion to challenge our northern republic.[3]

Order of battle[edit]

Almost entire forces from both sides were involved in the operation either directly or indirectly. The order is at the beginning stage of the operation, and only the major combatants are listed below.

Democratic People's Republic of Korea[edit]

Army[edit]

  • I Corps
    • 1st Infantry Division
      • 1st Infantry Regiment
      • 2nd Infantry Regiment
      • 3rd Infantry Regiment
    • 3rd Infantry Division
      • 7th Infantry Regiment
      • 8th Infantry Regiment
      • 9th Infantry Regiment
    • 4th Infantry Division
      • 5th Infantry Regiment
      • 16th Infantry Regiment
      • 18th Infantry Regiment
    • 6th Infantry Division
      • 13th Infantry Regiment
      • 14th Infantry Regiment
      • 15th Infantry Regiment
  • II Corps
    • 2nd Infantry Division
    • 5th Infantry Division
      • 10th Infantry Regiment
      • 11th Infantry Regiment
      • 12th Infantry Regiment
    • 7th Infantry Division
    • 8th Infantry Division
      • 81st Infantry Regiment
      • 82nd Infantry Regiment
      • 83rd Infantry Regiment
    • 15th Infantry Division
      • 48th Infantry Regiment
      • 49th Infantry Regiment
      • 50th Infantry Regiment
  • 9th Infantry Division
  • 10th Infantry Division
  • 13th Infantry Division
  • 105th Armored Brigade
    • 107th Armored Regiment
    • 109th Armored Regiment
    • 203rd Armored Regiment
    • 206th Mechanized Regiment
  • 549th Infantry Regiment
  • 766th Infantry Regiment

38th Parallel Guard[edit]

  • 1st Guard Brigade
  • 3rd Guard Brigade

Republic of Korea[edit]

Army[edit]

  • Capital Division
    • 3rd Infantry Regiment
    • 18th Infantry Regiment
  • 1st Infantry Division
    • 11th Infantry Regiment
    • 12th Infantry Regiment
    • 13th Infantry Regiment
  • 2nd Infantry Division
    • 5th Infantry Regiment
    • 16th Infantry Regiment
    • 25th Infantry Regiment
  • 3rd Infantry Division
    • 22nd Infantry Regiment
    • 23rd Infantry Regiment
  • 5th Infantry Division
    • 15th Infantry Regiment
    • 20th Infantry Regiment
  • 6th Infantry Division
    • 2nd Infantry Regiment
    • 7th Infantry Regiment
    • 19th Infantry Regiment
  • 7th Infantry Division
    • 1st Infantry Regiment
    • 9th Infantry Regiment
  • 8th Infantry Division
    • 10th Infantry Regiment
    • 21st Infantry Regiment
  • 17th Infantry Regiment

Navy[edit]

United States[edit]

Army[edit]

  • Eighth Army
    • 24th Infantry Division
      • Task Force Smith
      • 21st Infantry Regiment
      • 34th Infantry Regiment

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "전쟁 직전 남˙북한의 전력 차이는?" (PDF). Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense. 
  2. ^ a b "준비된 도발". Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "북한군의 남침 전투명령은 어떻게 하달됐는가?" (PDF). Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense.