And so it was decided. On about September 1 the NKPA would make one last, desperate effort to push the Americans into the sea. The offensive would, for the first time, be intricately coordinated. But because of the lack of time and ability to redeploy forces and other factors rapidly, the plan was flawed. Rather than mass at one place for a decisive breakthrough, the NKPA would again attack everywhere at once around the perimeter. Four plus divisions would renew the drive to Pusan in the southwest sector toward Masan and the Naktong Bulge; three plus divisions would renew the drive to Taegu in the northwest sector; four divisions would renew the drive on Pohang in the northeast sector.[9-1]
In preparation for this offensive the NKPA substantially reinforced the perimeter. It added fresh, trained combat units, principally the 7th Infantry Division, sent to reinforce the 6th Division in the southwest sector, and two new armored regiments, the 16th and 17th, equipped with about forty T34 tanks each. In addition to regular forces, the NKPA rounded up about 35,000 boys and young men in North and South Korea and sent them south to help re-man the divisions at the perimeter. These troops brought the NKPA tactical forces to a total strength of about 98,000 men.[9-2]
The new tanks and the 7th Division gave the NKPA added punch, but on the whole it was a desperately tired and ragtag army. The surviving old hands had been fighting continuously for two months. There was an acute shortage of everything: artillery; rifles; burp guns; ammo; food; gasoline; medicine. The 35,000 fillers constituting about one third of the army were cannon fodder. They had no training whatsoever. Many had not even been issued individual weapons.
Of the three main NKPA drives, the strongest would again be that mounted in the southwest sector. It would be carried out by a total of five numbered divisions:
the wrecked 4th (5,500 men);
the recently mauled 6th (reinforced to 10,000 men);
the newly arrived veteran but under strength 2nd (6,000 men);
the newly arrived green 7th (9,000 men);
and the newly arrived green 9th.
The last had dropped one of its regular regiments,
the 87th, in the