Unit Details

NKPA 2nd Division


II Corps

Regiments 4, 6, 17


2nd KPA Division The Division's elements were organized in 1946 as part of the Peace Preservation Corps. It became a division in February 1948 with the 4th, 5th, and 6th Infantry Regiments.

The 2d KPA Division participated in the invasion of the south without its 5th Infantry Regiment. The 17th Infantry Regiment was assigned to it in late June 1950, and the Division then consisted of the 4th, 6th, and 17th Infantry Regiments.



The 2nd Division was made up of the following units:


2nd Division (North Korea)

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2nd Infantry Division
Active 1946 – ?
Country North Korea
Branch Korean People’s Army
Engagements Korean War

The 2nd Infantry Division was a military formation of the Korean People's Army (North Korea) that fought during the Korean War. It is uncertain when the unit was originally raised, however, it is believed to have been formed sometime between 1946 and 1947. It was officially activated at Naman in February 1948 under Major General Kang Kon with a total strength of 14,000 soldiers.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Early Involvement in the Korean War
  • 2 Formation
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Notes
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

[edit] History

[edit] Early Involvement in the Korean War

The Division’s artillery and other elements assembled near the 38th parallel on 12 June 1950 and went into battle for the first time during the fighting around Chunchon on 26–27 June, where the artillery units were badly mauled by accurate counter-battery fire from artillery units of the Republic of Korea.


 A tabulation of estimated enemy strength by major units as of 5 August follows: [15-58]

Unit Strength
1st Division 5,000
2nd Division 7,500
3rd Division 6,000
4th Division 7,000
5th Division 6,000
6th Division 3,600
8th Division 8,000
12th Division 6,000
13th Division 9,500
15th Division 5,000
105th Armored Division (40 tanks) 3,000
83rd Motorized Regiment (detachedfrom 105th Armored Division) 1,000
766th Independent Infantry Regiment 1,500

No reliable figures are available for the number of enemy tanks destroyed and for tank troop casualties of the 105th Armored Division by 5 August, but certainly they were high. There were only a few tank replacements during July.


July 21, 1950

The N.K. 2nd Division, which was supposed to have joined the 3rd and 4th in the attack on Taejŏn, failed to come up in time. This all but exhausted division did not leave Ch'ŏngju until on or about the 18th. It then moved through Pugang-ni southwest toward Taejŏn', apparently intending to cross the Kum River in the vicinity of the railroad bridge. It had yet to cross the Kum when it received word on 21 July that Taejŏn' had fallen. The 2nd Division thereupon altered its course and turned southeast through Poŭn, headed for Kŭmch'ŏn. [11-78]

During August and September, the Division fought in the Battle of Pusan Perimeter before heavy losses forced it to be re-organised in November at Kanggye. Losses were particularly bad for the Division’s artillery units, so much so that by December when the Division participated in the II Corps flanking action in the Hwach'on Sector it did so without any artillery pieces.

August 9

During the action in the southwest sector of the Pusan Perimeter in the first two weeks of August the NKPA continued pressure on the Taegu front. However, the NKPA having split off four of its crack divisions (2nd; 4th; 6th; 9th) to fight in the southwest sector, its strength at Taegu was greatly diminished.


During the battles of attrition that followed further losses were suffered and as the UN forces slowly pushed the North Koreans back up the peninsula and by the time the Division reached the II Corps assembly area near Hoeyang a comprehensive re-organisation was undertaken. Between March and May 1951 the Division was brought up to strength through a large number of new recruits, as well as a receiving a large amount of new Soviet-type equipment.

In May 1951 the Division took part in a renewed North Korean offensive that took it to Hajinbu-ri. As UN forces began to respond with heavy artillery attacks, the Division was forced to withdraw in early June to the Inje Area. For the next few months the Division undertook defensive operations in the area, and as the tactical situation was stabilised, the North Koreans were able to bring the Division back up to authorised strength. Supplies were said to be plentiful in this time, although quality of ammunition remained problematic.

At this time the 2nd Artillery Regiment was detached from the Division to conduct a three month period of training at Hoeyang, whilst the Division’s rifle or infantry regiments received a certain amount of artillery pieces, including a number of regimental howitzers of the 76mm calibre.

[edit] Formation

The 2nd Division was made up of the following units:


June 25, 1950 0830


 At0830 a ROK officer at the front sent a radio message to the Minister of Defense in Sŏul saying that the North Koreans in the vicinity of the Parallel were delivering a heavy artillery fire and a general attack, that they already had seized the contested points, and that he must have immediate reinforcements-that all ROK units were engaged. [03-27] The strong armored columns made steady gains on both roads, and people in Uijŏngbu, twenty miles north of Sŏul, could hear the artillery fire of the two converging columns before the day ended. At midmorning reports came in to Sŏul that Kimp'o Airfield was under air attack. A short time later, two enemy Russian-built YAK fighter planes appeared over the city and strafed its main street. In the afternoon, enemy planes again appeared over Kimp'o and Sŏul. [03-28]


Eastward across the peninsula, Ch'unch'ŏn, like Kaesŏng, lay almost on the Parallel. Ch'unch'ŏn was an important road center on the Pukhan River and the gateway to the best communication and transport net leading south through the mountains in the central part of Korea. The attacks thus far described had been carried out by elements of the NKPA I Corps.


From Ch'unch'ŏn east ward the NKPA II Corps, with headquarters at Hwach'ŏn north of Ch'unch'ŏn, controlled the attack formations. The NKPA 2nd Division at Hwach'ŏn moved down to the border, replacing a Border Constabulary unit, and the NKPA 7th Division did likewise some miles farther eastward at Inje. The plan of attack was for the 2nd Division to capture Ch'unch'ŏn by the afternoon of the first day; the 7th Division was to drive directly for Hongch'ŏn, some miles below the Parallel. [03-29]


The 7th Regiment of the ROK 6th Division guarded Ch'unch'ŏn, a beautiful town spread out below Peacock Mountain atop which stood a well-known shrine, Nocheon-ri, Sutasa, with red lacquered pillars. An other regiment was disposed eastward guarding the approaches to Hoengsŏng. The third regiment, in reserve, was with division headquarters at Wŏnju, forty-five miles south of the Parallel.

The two assault regiments of the NKPA 2nd Division attacked Ch'unch'ŏn early Sunday morning; the NKPA 6th Regiment advanced along the river road, while the NKPA 4th Regiment climbed over the mountains north of the city. From the outset, the ROK artillery was very effective and the enemy 6th Regiment met fierce resistance. Before the day ended, the NKPA 2nd Division's reserve regiment, the 17th, joined in the attack. [03-30]


Korean_War   Korean_War

Lt. Col. Thomas D. McPhail, adviser to the ROK 6th Division, proceeded to Ch'unch'ŏn from Wŏnju in the morning after he received word that the North Koreans had crossed the Parallel.

June 26, 1950

Korean_War Korean_War

Lt. Col. Thomas D. McPhail, adviser to the ROK 6th Division, proceeded to Ch'unch'ŏn from Wŏnju in the morning after he received word that the North Koreans had crossed the Parallel. Late in the day the ROK reserve regiment arrived from Wŏnju. A factor of importance in Ch'unch'ŏn's defense was that no passes had been issued to ROK personnel and the positions there were fully manned when the attack came.


The battle for Ch'unch'ŏn was going against the North Koreans. From dug-in concrete pillboxes on the high ridge just north of the town the ROK 6th Division continued to repel the enemy attack. The failure of the N.K. 2nd Division to capture Ch'unch'ŏn the first day, as ordered, caused the N.K. II Corps to change the attack plans of the N.K. 7th Division. This division had started from the Inje area, 30 miles farther east, for Hongch'ŏn, an important town southeast of Ch'unch'ŏn. The II Corps now diverted it to Ch'unch'ŏn, which it reached on the evening of 26 June. There the 7th Division immediately joined its forces with the 2nd Division in the battle for the city.

Apparently there were no enemy tanks in the Ch'unch'ŏn battle until the 7th Division arrived.