Battle of Kumsong

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Battle of Kumsong
Part of the Korean War
Date 13–27 July 1953
Location Kumsong, Korea
Result Chinese victory[1]

 United Nations

Commanders and leaders
United States Mark W. Clark
United States Maxwell D. Taylor
United States Reuben E. Jenkins
South Korea Chung Il-kwon[2]
China Deng Hua
China Yang Yong[3]
Units involved

United States 8th Army

China 20th Army

China 9th Army

187,000 combat troops
numerous combat aircraft
240,000 combat troops[6]
1,360 artillery pieces
Casualties and losses
South Korean sources: 2,689 killed
7,548 wounded
4,136 missing[7]
Chinese estimation: 78,000[8]
Chinese sources: 32,253[8]
South Korean estimation: 66,000[9]

The Battle of the Kumsong River, also known as the Jincheng Campaign (Chinese: 金城战役; pinyin: Jīn Chéng Zhàn Yì), was one of the last battles of the Korean War as well as the last large-scale battle of the war. In July 1953, after the Republic of Korea (ROK) refused to participate in peace negotiations between the Communist and UN forces, the Chinese forces launched an attack on the Kumsong River Salient at the south of the town of Kumsong, scoring a victory over the UNC forces.


During the ceasefire negotiations seeking to end the Korean War, the UN and Communist forces were unable to agree on the issue of prisoner repatriation. ROK President Syngman Rhee, who refused to sign the armistice, released 27,000 North Korean prisoners. This action caused an outrage among Chinese and North Korean commands and threatened to derail the ongoing negotiations. As a result, the Chinese decided to launch an offensive aimed at the Kumsong River Salient, which was held by the ROK II Corps. This would be the last large-scale offensive the Chinese would ever commence in the war.


The battle was the only engagement of the war in which the Chinese forces had a clear superiority in firepower. After concentrating overwhelming strength in the Kumsong sector, the Chinese forces launched an offensive along a 22-kilometer front which broke the UNC defenses in the Kumsong River salient located north of the river. Responding to these developments, General Maxwell D. Taylor issued an order on July 14 for the US 3rd Infantry Division and ROK II Corps to retreat to the southern bank of the river, but the latter retreated in disarray after they lost contact and control with their respective units. Later the same day, however, the salient was completely destroyed,[1] along with the elite "White Tiger" regiment of the ROK Capital Division, and thousands of American and South Korean soldiers were taken prisoner. Chinese advances permitting them to control an area of 192.6 square kilometers. After penetrating 30 miles (19 km) southward to the banks of the river itself, they then consolidated their positions in the river's southern bank, thus creating a gap in the lines of the 8th Army.

On July 16, the ROK II Corps consisting of 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 11th Divisions, supported by UNC air power and artillery, counter-attacked the Chinese forces but were unable to retake the area in the face of heavy losses they suffered, and by July 20, their counteroffensive have died down. However, fighting in the area did not stop until July 27 that same year when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed, thus ending the battle and the war.



  • Chae, Han Kook; Chung, Suk Kyun; Yang, Yong Cho (2001), Yang, Hee Wan; Lim, Won Hyok; Sims, Thomas Lee; Sims, Laura Marie; Kim, Chong Gu; Millett, Allan R., eds., The Korean War, Volume III, Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 978-0-8032-7795-3 
  • Chinese Military Science Academy (2000), History of War to Resist America and Aid Korea (抗美援朝战争史) (in Chinese), Volume III, Beijing: Chinese Military Science Academy Publishing House, ISBN 7-80137-390-1 
  • Hermes, Walter G. (1992), Truce Tent and Fighting Front, Washington, DC: Center of Military History, United States Army, ISBN 0-16-035957-0 
  • Xue, Yan (徐焰) (1990), First Confrontation: Reviews and Reflections on the History of War to Resist America and Aid Korea (第一次较量:抗美援朝战争的历史回顾与反思) (in Chinese), Beijing: Chinese Radio and Television Publishing House, ISBN 7-5043-0542-1 

Further reading[edit]

  • Malkasian, Carter (2001). The Korean War 1950–1953. New York, NY: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-282-2. 
  • Paik, Sun Yup (1992). From Pusan to Panmunjom. Riverside, NJ: Brassey Inc. ISBN 0-02-881002-3. 
  • Zhang, Shu Guang (1995). Mao's Military Romanticism: China and the Korean War, 1950–1953. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0723-4.