Operation Polecharge

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Operation Polecharge
Part of the Korean War
Date15–19 October 1951
LocationAround the 38th Parallel
Coordinates: 38°00′N 126°49′E / 38.000°N 126.817°E / 38.000; 126.817
Result United Nations victory
Belligerents

 United Nations

China Chinese People's Volunteers
Units involved
United States Fifth Cavalry Regiment
United States Eighth Cavalry Regiment
Belgium Belgian Battalion
China Unknown
Casualties and losses
~2,900[1] ~16,000[1]

Operation Polecharge was an offensive undertaken by United Nations (UN) forces during the Korean War between 15–19 October 1951, following on from the successful Operation Commando which established the Jamestown Line.

Background[edit]

Operation Commando involved five United Nations divisions of I Corps; the US 1st Cavalry Division, the US 3rd, 25th Infantry Divisions, the South Korean 1st Division, and the 1st Commonwealth Division. The operation was intended to form a line of defense just north of the 38th parallel and ended on 15 October 1951, having successfully established the Jamestown Line. However, a few hills south of the line remained in Chinese hands and threatened supply lines to Seoul. Operation Polecharge was intended to seize control of these high positions.[1]

Operation[edit]

The Fifth Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division, together with a Belgian battalion attached to the 3rd Infantry Division, was tasked with the capture of Hills 346, 272 and 230.[1] The Eighth Cavalry Regiment would provide support if required.[2]

The operation began on 15 October with the seizure of Hill 346 by the Fifth Cavalry.[3] On 18 October Hill 230 was captured after initial attacks, supported by the Eighth Cavalry, were strongly rebuffed.[4] Hill 272 was also strongly defended by the Chinese but fell to UN forces on 19 October, marking the successful conclusion of Operation Polecharge.[1]

During Operations Commando and Polecharge, the UN forces inflicted heavy losses on the Chinese forces, in order of 16,000 men, and forced the Chinese to retreat north to their next line of defence, Yokkok-chon.[1] The 1st Cavalry Division had suffered 2,900 casualties, including losses incurred during Operation Commando, and was withdrawn to Japan the following month.[5]

Aftermath[edit]

Operation Polecharge saw the Jamestown line secure as well as the elimination of the threat posed by the Chinese forces to the UN's supply lines to Seoul. The conclusion of Operations Commando and Polecharge also marked the beginning of the static phase of the Korean War as well as the resumption of armistice negotiations at Panmunjom.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Edwards 2009, p. 67.
  2. ^ Korea Institute of Military History 2001, p. 219
  3. ^ Edwards 2010, p.212.
  4. ^ Edwards 2006, p. 250.
  5. ^ Blair 1987, p. 949.
  6. ^ Malkasian 2001, p. 53.

References[edit]

  • Blair, Clay (1987). The Forgotten War: America in Korea 1950–1953. New York, NY: Times Books. ISBN 9780812916706. OCLC 15790880.
  • Edwards, Paul M. (2006). Korean War Almanac. New York, NY: Facts on File. ISBN 9780816060375. OCLC 58830739.
  • Edwards, Paul M. (2009). Combat Operations of the Korean War: Ground, Air, Sea, Special and Covert. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. ISBN 9780786444366. OCLC 423588102.
  • Edwards, Paul M. (2010). Historical Dictionary of the Korean War. Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810874619. OCLC 669500979.
  • Korea Institute of Military History (2001). The Korean War. 3. Lincoln, NE: Bison Books. ISBN 9780803277960. OCLC 474998758.
  • Malkasian, Carter (2002). The Korean War 1950–1953. Essential Histories. Oxford: Osprey. ISBN 9781841762821. OCLC 50387977.