105th Armored Division (North Korea)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
105th Armored Division
Founded1948 (1948)
Country North Korea
Branch KPA Ground Force
TypeArmored division
Part of Korean People’s Army
EngagementsKorean War

The 105th Armored Division is a military formation of the Korean People's Army. It was North Korea's first armored unit and took part in the Korean War.

Formation and structure[edit]

The division was established in October 1948 as the "105th Armored Battalion" and increased to regimental strength in May 1949. By June 1950, the "105th Armored Regiment" had become the "105th Armored Brigade" with a strength of 6,000 men and 120 T-34 tanks. Its equipment – tanks, weapons and vehicles – was Russian-made.[1]

The brigade had three tank regiments – the 107th, 109th, and 203rd – and a mechanized infantry regiment, the 206th. The "83d Motorized Regiment" was also part of the division during the Korean War.[2] Each tank regiment had three medium tank battalions, each having 13 tanks. Each tank battalion had three tank companies with four tanks to a company. Tank crews consisted of five men. Battalion, regimental, and divisional commanders each had a personal tank. The mechanized infantry regiment had a strength of about 2,500 men.[3]

The 105th Armored Brigade was raised to division status in Seoul at the end of June 1950 before it crossed the Han River to continue the attack southward.[4]

The 105th Armored Division is at present equipped with Chonma-ho and Pokpung-ho tanks.[5]

Korean War[edit]

During the Korean War, it was part of the North Korean advance from Seoul to Taejon and subsequent Battle of Pusan Perimeter between August and September 1950.[2] The 107th Tank Regiment, equipped with T-34 tanks, defeated Task Force Smith during the initial advances of the Korean People's Army. The regiment then fought with the rest of the division in the Battle of Pusan Perimeter.[6]

After taking part in the Great Naktong Offensive, the 105th Armored Division was partly reconstituted and at the end of October and the first week of November 1950, it was committed to help the Chinese. The division used its tanks to provide fire support on a few occasions, but it played a negligible role in the fighting that followed and the U.S. Fifth Air Force destroyed most of its tanks behind the battle front. On November 7, U.N. aircraft reportedly destroyed six tanks, three armored cars, and 45 vehicles in Pakchon and the area eastward.[7]


  1. ^ Mizokami, Kyle (March 3, 2018). "North Korea's 105th Armored Division: Kim's Most Powerful Weapon to Win a War". The National Interest.
  2. ^ a b Webb, William J. The Korean War: The Outbreak. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 19-6.
  3. ^ Gudmundsson, Bruce I. (2004). On armor. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 161. ISBN 0-275-95020-4.
  4. ^ Appleman, Roy E. (1992) [1961]. "Armed Forces of North and South Korea, Chapter II". South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu. United States Army in the Korean War. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 20-2-1.
  5. ^ "North Korea". Tank Encyclopedia.
  6. ^ Webb, William J. The Korean War: The Outbreak. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 19-6.
  7. ^ Appleman, Roy E. "South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu", pg 720