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My dad was an infantry Sergeant in the 1st Marine Div. He was there. He was on the first amphibious landing. I have pictures taken from a hilltop of the second and third landings. A few pictures of farms and locals taken from the march inland. The next set of slides are from his flight home. Nothing in between. He never spoke of what happened there. Mom said he had some bad nightmares (ptsd) for a couple years after he got home. He kept a K-Bar and a loaded Garand close by for the rest of his life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My dad was an infantry Sergeant in the 1st Marine Div. He was there. He was on the first amphibious landing. I have pictures taken from a hilltop of the second and third landings. A few pictures of farms and locals taken from the march inland. The next set of slides are from his flight home. Nothing in between. He never spoke of what happened there. Mom said he had some bad nightmares (ptsd) for a couple years after he got home. He kept a K-Bar and a loaded Garand close by for the rest of his life.
I was raised up around Marines and their kids, no one ever talked about it.
Must have been Hell for them.
 

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I have known many Marines over the years who were at the Chosin, one of whom was national president of The Chosen Few. Unfortunately, if every Marine I've met who claimed to have been there actually was, the Chinese would have been outnumbered. The fact is that the 1st Mar Div was surrounded and vastly outnumbered by CCF forces and had to fight its way out due to disastrously poor decisions made at the theatre command level. The leadership shown by the 1st Mar Div CO, O. P. Smith in deducing the true number of CCF forces in the reservoir area and distributing his troops accordingly, saved his command. The Army 31st RCT on the east side of the Chosin reservoir wasn't as fortunate and was annihilated as a consequence. In correctly evaluating the statements of CCF prisoners who spoke volubly concerning their numbers and intentions, the Marines realized that they weren't facing a few "volunteers" representing only elements of enemy divisions as Tokyo insisted, but that the Chinese army was present in force and had occupied Funchilin pass and blown the bridge over the chasm, severing the Marine MSR and blocking the only route to the coast. In a brilliant action. the 1st Marine Regiment attacked north from Koto-Ri and drove the Chinese defenders from the pass which was then bridged and the rest of the division was able to fight its way to Hamhung.
 

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"Retreat " is a loaded term, it implies defeat, demoralized troops, abandoned equipment, and sometimes destruction of units.

General Smith called it, "Attacking in another direction." Others called it, "a withdrawal from an untenable forward position."

In any case, the US X Corps and ROK I Corps extracted all of their operational equipment and weapons, as well as 350,000 tons of supplies, and escorted 98,000 civilian refugees out of North Korean controlled territory. Both Corps were still combat effective after the ordeal, unlike the Chinese 9th Army, which required a 3 month refit before being able to continue combat operations.

Call it a retreat if you want, but they were not defeated.
 

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Suggested readings:
On Desperate Ground by Hampton Sides
The Last Stand of FOX Company by Bob Drury
Chosin by Eric Hammel

it was a fighting retreat in the form of Dunkirk. And like Dunkirk it holds a prideful place in Marine lore as it should……
Have both. Good books. As stated, due to poor Intel and arrogance and or ambition of high command the Marines found themselves in an untenable position and were forced to withdraw. It was a coordinated fighting action that did lose ground, but lost no honor.
 

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The USMC museum at Quantico has an extensive section on the 'Frozen Chosin.' It is referred to as an "epic breakout" on this plaque dedicated to that event. Some pics I took in 2018:
Helmet Soldier Military person Event Font


Military person Military uniform Military camouflage Camouflage Helmet

...BTW, that area of the museum must have an extra A/C unit, as they keep the ambient temperatures noticeably lower in that darkened section to provide a little extra ambiance to that display area. I'd guess around 60 degrees F or so...just a random factoid.
Blue World Organism Sky Geological phenomenon


Squad Military person Soldier Marines Military camouflage
 

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I don't know enough about it to judge.
What do the experts say about this.
I used to work with an old Retired Marine who was there. He never wanted to talk about it.
What do you guys think?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chosin_Reservoir
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chosin_Reservoir#Movies_and_documentaries
Sir: If the old man was still here and read your point he would be fighting mad at you and have a few choice words for you.
When he came back from there he was quite different and didn’t talk a lot a lot of that time. Later in life he would talk to me a little after I joined the Corps. He was so proud of what they did.
Carry on !! Good
 

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Anything but a re re retrea anything but. Attacking in another direction is just that, a counterattack.

In my opinion warfare had changed from a WWII perspective. Mac was fighting WWII in an age where politicians wanted to control day to day operations, politically.

Instead of the country as a whole being conquered and garrisoned the forces had been moved as in battle groups, combat teams isolated from each other but to support each other in terrain that did not provide that option. And not having the resources needed to have a campaign of total war total defeat.

To spin up a manpower pool to fight a regional conflict has been killing U.S.Personnel ever since. Move in a fighting combat formation supported by another with a third in reserve. Has been the mantra ever since.

Warfare for the U.S. has changed beginning in Korea. The U.S. has not mobilized the country as a whole to combat any threat except for the Cold War.

Limited conflict to reduce cost, eco warfare.
 

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I don't know enough about it to judge.
What do the experts say about this.
I used to work with an old Retired Marine who was there. He never wanted to talk about it.
What do you guys think?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chosin_Reservoir
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chosin_Reservoir#Movies_and_documentaries
basically traumatized, its like re living all the events again takes a lot from a man. no matter how though, had, or prepared you think you are its just too much.

garry
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sir: If the old man was still here and read your point he would be fighting mad at you and have a few choice words for you.
When he came back from there he was quite different and didn’t talk a lot a lot of that time. Later in life he would talk to me a little after I joined the Corps. He was so proud of what they did.
Carry on !! Good
" . . . and read your point he would be fighting mad at you and have a few choice words for you." ????
Mad at me? Why? Did you read my post at all?
Those were not my words.
I am asking about a topic I've been aware of my entire life but do not know enough about it to judge for myself.

Here, I'll repeat my question:
"I don't know enough about it to judge.
What do the experts say about this.
I used to work with an old Retired Marine who was there. He never wanted to talk about it.

What do you guys think?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The USMC museum at Quantico has an extensive section on the 'Frozen Chosin.' It is referred to as an "epic breakout" on this plaque dedicated to that event. Some pics I took in 2018:
View attachment 491235

View attachment 491236
...BTW, that area of the museum must have an extra A/C unit, as they keep the ambient temperatures noticeably lower in that darkened section to provide a little extra ambiance to that display area. I'd guess around 60 degrees F or so...just a random factoid.
View attachment 491237

View attachment 491238
This is awesome! I'd love to go there one day on one of our trips north.
 

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I have known many Marines over the years who were at the Chosin, one of whom was national president of The Chosen Few. Unfortunately, if every Marine I've met who claimed to have been there actually was, the Chinese would have been outnumbered. The fact is that the 1st Mar Div was surrounded and vastly outnumbered by CCF forces and had to fight its way out due to disastrously poor decisions made at the theatre command level. The leadership shown by the 1st Mar Div CO, O. P. Smith in deducing the true number of CCF forces in the reservoir area and distributing his troops accordingly, saved his command. The Army 31st RCT on the east side of the Chosin reservoir wasn't as fortunate and was annihilated as a consequence. In correctly evaluating the statements of CCF prisoners who spoke volubly concerning their numbers and intentions, the Marines realized that they weren't facing a few "volunteers" representing only elements of enemy divisions as Tokyo insisted, but that the Chinese army was present in force and had occupied Funchilin pass and blown the bridge over the chasm, severing the Marine MSR and blocking the only route to the coast. In a brilliant action. the 1st Marine Regiment attacked north from Koto-Ri and drove the Chinese defenders from the pass which was then bridged and the rest of the division was able to fight its way to Hamhung.
Horst, good post. I was seeing a lady a few years ago whose father was also a "Chosin Few". His certificate and pen and pencil set said Sgt. Richard Dunbar #6-The Chosin Few. When I saw it and showed it to his daughter Patty, she said they spelled Chosin wrong. I said no thats the way it's supposed to be spelled. It's a place where your dad fought at and nearly did not make it back. She had never heard the story behind it.

Her dad was a 3 war Marine. His first landing was at Peleliu, then Okinawa with the 1st Mar. Div. Inchon with the 1st Mar Div. in Korea as a squad leader, and in Vietnam he was in a finance unit. -Lloyd 🍻
 
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Reading accounts of that battle always brings to mind an old one-liner: "Men, the enemy have surrounded us. We have them right where we want them."

As bloody and awful as it was, I can see why Marines hold it in the annals of honor along with some of their greatest victories.
 

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The theatre command in Tokyo ignored warnings of CCF intervention from every level while ordering the achievement of overly ambitious objectives in both the 10th Corp and 8th Army areas. These had the effect of creating lengthy MSRs with no flank protection against the CCF forces concealed in the mountains of both commands. The CCF then attacked both areas, cutting 8th Army to pieces and routing it, resulting in the loss of Seoul a second time. In spite of Almond, the 10th Corps commander's assistance in continuing that offensive even after the 31st RCT's mauling of 27 Nov 1950, the 5th Marines withdrew from their exposed positions at Yudam Ni and the Marines consolidated their forces at Hagaru Rim which stopped the CCF onslaught. Gen. Smith's successful fighting withdrawal from a suicidally badly exposed position at the Chosin provided the UN forces with their only success during this period.
 

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" . . . and read your point he would be fighting mad at you and have a few choice words for you." ????
Mad at me? Why? Did you read my post at all?
Those were not my words.
I am asking about a topic I've been aware of my entire life but do not know enough about it to judge for myself.

Here, I'll repeat my question:
"I don't know enough about it to judge.
What do the experts say about this.
I used to work with an old Retired Marine who was there. He never wanted to talk about it.

What do you guys think?"
Sorry, I stand corrected. I miss read read the post.. I had a similar question posted to the old man, by a non Marine about how they retreated.. He was not happy.
Those combat veterans that have lived thru that type of hell and survived deserve a special thanks from this country, and I'm sad to say, at this time , our country forgets what they did for us.. TKs for the post..
Carry On !!
 
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