Unit Details

NKPA 4th Division

I Corps

 

 

 

Division Organization

CG Maj. Gen. Lee Kwon Mu
ADC
G-1 Personnel
G-2 Intelligence
G-3 Plan sand Operations
Lieutenant Colonel Powhida
Colonel MacLean
G-4 Logistics

 

Regiments 

 

NKPA 5th Regiment

 

NKPA 16th Regiment

 

NKPA 17th Regiment

 

NKPA 18th Regiment

 

 

4th Infantry Division
Active
Country North Korea
Allegiance Korean People's Army
Branch Korean People's Army Ground Force
Type Infantry division
Size division
Engagements Korean War

 History



The 4th Infantry Division was a military formation of the Korean People's Army during the 20th Century.



Activated in late 1948, the 4th Infantry Division in the summer of 1950 consisted of the 5th, 16th, and 18th Infantry regiments, plus an artillery regiment and antitank, self-propelled gun, engineer, signal, medical, and training battalions. Each infantry regiment had three battalions, while the artillery regiment had a battalion of 122-mm howitzers and two battalions of 76-mm guns. The division's basic triangular organization strongly resembled that of an American infantry division, except for its smaller artillery contingent and its much reduced logistical apparatus. The division's authorized strength was 10,381 officers and men, with most of its fighting power concentrated in the 2,590-man infantry regiments.[1]



Commanded by Maj. Gen. Lee Kwon Mu, a veteran of the Chinese Communist Forces and former NKPA chief of staff, and composed largely of ethnic Koreans who had fought in the Chinese Civil War, the division had played a major role in the capture of the South Korean capital. Its success in that campaign had won it the title of "Sŏul Division."

June 25, 1950 0400

At 4 a.m. a tremendous artillery barrage hits the 1st Division of the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) on the western end and other ROKA outposts along the 38th Parallel that divides North and South Korea. The invasion of South Korea by the North Korean Peoples' Army (NKPA) has begun. The artillery bombardment is quickly followed by ground attacks by the NKPA's 1st and 6th Infantry Divisions against the ROKA 1st Division.

The main effort by the NKPA comes later on the Uijŏngbu Corridor, a pathway to Sŏul, against the ROK 7th Division. The NKPA's 3rd and 4th Divisions and 105th Armored Brigade, supported by about 100 fighter planes, makes the assault.

-- The ROK 17th Infantry Regiment is forced to withdraw from the Ongjin Peninsula, as the NKPA follows with furious attacks all along the 38th Parallel.

-- North Korean forces reach the outer defenses of Sŏul.

-- North Korean radio in P'yŏngyang called the attack a "defensive action" against invading South Korean troops. Russian news outlets follow with stories in the same vein.

-- When the news reaches the United States, most Americans had never heard of Korea, much less know where it is. Throughout the Japanese 35-year occupation Korea, which ended with Japan's defeat in 1945, was called Chosin, and most maps used Japanese names for cities.

But more than 36,000 Americans would die there between June 25, 1950, and July 27, 1953.

Division of the north and south was adopted after being recommended by the Russians, so they could accept surrender of Japanese forces north of the 38th Parallel and Americans would do the same below the line.

American troops are stationed in Korea after World War II, but the last unit was pulled out in 1948. Only a military assistance group headquarters remained. South Koreans were left to create their own armed forces, largely using equipment left behind by U.S. forces.

June 25, 0530

The main North Korean attack, meanwhile, had come down the Uijŏngbu Corridor (Hiway 3 & 23) timed to coincide with the general attacks elsewhere. It got under way about 0530 on 25 June and was delivered by the NKPA 4th and 3rd Infantry Divisions and tanks of the 105th Armored Brigade. [03-25]

[03-25] DA Intel Rev, Mar 51, Nr ·78, p. 34; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 2 (Documentary Evidence of NKPA Aggression), pt. II, Opn Ord Nr 1, 4th Inf Div, 22 Jun 50; Ibid., Issue 3 (Enemy Documents), p. 65; G-2 Periodic Rpt, 30 Jun 50, Reserve CP (NKPA); The Conflict in Korea, p.
28.

This attack developed along two roads which converged at Uijŏngbu [about 10 miles due north of Sŏul] and from there led into Sŏul. The NKPA 4th Division drove straight south toward Tongduch'ŏn-ni from the 38th Parallel near Yonch'ŏn.

The NKPA 3rd Division came down the Kŭmhwa - Uijŏngbu - Sŏul road, often called the P'och'on Road, which angled into Uijŏngbu from the northeast. The NKPA 107th Tank Regiment of the NKPA 105th Armored Brigade with about forty T34 tanks supported the 4th Division; the 109th Tank Regiment with another forty tanks supported the 3rd Division on the P'och'on Road. [03-26]

[03-26] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 4 (Enemy Forces), p. 37; Ibid., Issue 2 (Documentary Evidence of NKPA Aggression), p. 45; Opn Plan, NKPA 4th Inf Div. Opn Ord Nr I. 221400 Jun 50; Ibid.,  Issue 94 (NKPA 4th Div), Ibid., Issue 96 (NKPA 3rd Div).

[03-Caption] ENEMY APPROACH ROUTES through Uijŏngbu Corridor.

The 1st Regiment of the ROK 7th Division, disposed along the Parallel, received the initial blows of the NKPA 3rd and 4th Divisions. In the early fighting it lost very heavily to enemy tanks and self-propelled guns. Behind it at P'och'on on the eastern road was the 9th Regiment; behind it at Tongduch'ŏn-ni on the western road was the 3rd Regiment.   [note]

June 26, 1950

Korean_War

The next morning only the 2nd Division headquarters and the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 5th Regiment had arrived at Uijŏngbu.

Korean_War

During the first day, elements of the 7th Division near Tongduch'ŏn-ni on the left-hand road had fought well, considering the enemy superiority in men, armor, and artillery, and had inflicted rather heavy casualties on the 16th Regiment of the N.K. 4th Division. But despite losses the enemy pressed forward and had captured and passed through Tongduch'ŏn-ni by evening. 

Korean_War

On the morning of 26 June, therefore, the N.K. 4th Division with two regiments abreast and the N.K. 3rd Division also with two regiments abreast were above Uijŏngbu with strong armor elements, poised for the converging attack on it and the corridor to Sŏul.

On the morning of 26 June Brig. Gen. Yu Jai Hyung, commanding the ROK 7th Division, launched his part of the counterattack against the N.K. 4th Division north of Uijŏngbu. At first the counterattack made progress. This early success apparently led the Sŏul broadcast in the afternoon to state that the 7th Division had counterattacked, killed 1,580 enemy soldiers, destroyed 58 tanks, and destroyed or captured a miscellany of other weapons.

Not only did this report grossly exaggerate the success of the 7th Division, but it ignored the grave turn of events that already had taken place in front of the 2nd Division. The N.K. 3rd Division had withdrawn from the edge of P'och'on during the night, but on the morning of the 26th resumed its advance and reentered P'och'on unopposed. Its tank-led column continued southwest toward Uijŏngbu.

General Lee of the ROK 2nd Division apparently believed a counterattack by his two battalions would be futile for he never launched his part of the scheduled counterattack. Visitors during the morning found him in his command post, doing nothing, surrounded by staff officers. 

June 26, 1950 0800

     

His two battalions occupied defensive positions about two miles northeast of Uijŏngbu covering the P'och'on road. There, these elements of the ROK 2nd Division at 0800 opened fire with artillery and small arms on approaching North Koreans. A long column of tanks led the enemy attack. ROK artillery fired on the tanks, scoring some direct hits, but they were unharmed and, after halting momentarily, rumbled forward. This tank column passed through the ROK infantry positions and entered Uijŏngbu. Following behind the tanks, the enemy 7th Regiment engaged the ROK infantry. Threatened with encirclement, survivors of the ROK 2nd Division's two battalions withdrew into the hills. [03-45] 

This failure of the 2nd Division on the eastern, right-hand, road into Uijŏngbu caused the 7th Division to abandon its own attack on the western road and to fall back below the town. By evening both the N.K. 3rd and 4th Divisions and their supporting tanks of the 105th Armored Brigade had entered Uijŏngbu. The failure of the 2nd Division above Uijŏngbu portended the gravest consequences. The ROK Army had at hand no other organized force that could materially affect the battle above Sŏul. [03-46]

Korean_War

General Lee explained later to Col. William H. S. Wright that he did not attack on the morning of the 26th because his division had not yet closed and he was waiting for it to arrive. His orders had been to attack with the troops he had available. Quite obviously this attack could not have succeeded. The really fatal error had been General Chae's plan of operation giving the 2nd Division responsibility for the P'och'on road sector when it was quite apparent that it could not arrive in strength to meet that responsibility by the morning of 26 June.

The Fall of Sŏul

The tactical situation for the ROK Army above Sŏul was poor as evening fell on the second day, 26 June. Its 1st Division at Korangp'o-ri was flanked by the enemy 1st Division immediately to the east and the N.K. 3rd and 4th Divisions at Uijŏngbu. Its 7th Division and elements of the 2nd, 5th, and Capital Divisions were fighting un-co-ordinated delaying actions in the vicinity of Uijŏngbu.

During the evening the Korean Government decided to move from Sŏul to Taejŏn. Members of the South Korean National Assembly, however, after debate decided to remain in Sŏul. That night the ROK Army headquarters apparently decided to leave Sŏul.

June 29, 1950

[elements of the enemy's 6th Division started crossing the Han River west of the city in the vicinity of Kimp'o Airfield and ] occupied the air field on the 29th. [05-15] (Map 1)

Korean_War

After capturing Sŏul the North Korean 3rd and 4th Divisions spent a day or two searching the city for South Korean soldiers, police, and "national traitors," most of whom they shot at once. The North Koreans at once organized "People's Committees" from South Korean Communists to assume control of the local population. They also took steps to evacuate a large part of the population. Within a week after occupying Sŏul, the victors began to mobilize the city's young men for service in the North Korean Army. [05-16]

The N.K. 3rd Division, the first into Sŏul, was also the first to carry the attack to the south side of the Han River opposite the city. It spent only one day in preparation. North Korean artillery fire which had fallen on the south side of the Han sporadically on 28 and 29 June developed in intensity the night of the 29th.

 

August 1950

In the early days of August the NKPA closed on the Pusan Perimeter with ten divisions. It mounted strong pressure on all fronts, but its main effort was directed in the southwest the flanking attack of the 4th and 6th divisions designed to capture Masan and Pusan. It reinforced those divisions with the 83rd Motorcycle Regiment, tanks, motorized artillery and other units, plus thousands of fillers. The goal was to capture Pusan by August 15 the fifth anniversary of the liberation of Korea from the Japanese. The NKPA 6th Division (10,000 men) staging out of Chinju would renew the drive along the Chŏnju Masan road. To its north the NKPA 4th Division (7,000 men) would cross the Naktong and attack in concert toward Yŏngsan-ni, and Miryang, then turn south and link with the 6th Division for a joint attack on Pusan.

The NKPA decision to concentrate major strength in this sector had initially caused Johnnie Walker deep concern and led him to the hurried transfer of Bill Kean's 25th Division to reinforce John Church's skeletal 24th. But it was soon apparent that the NKPA strategy played into Walker's hands. It temporarily but decisively reduced pressure in the northwest sector against Taegu; it directed the main NKPA effort at what would prove to be Walker's main strength.

Perhaps unknown to the NKPA, powerful American reinforcements were then arriving, or about to arrive, in Pusan. These were the Army's 2nd Infantry Division, the Army's 5th RCT, the Marine RCT, and the independent tank battalions. These forces comprised, in total, five regiments of infantry (fifteen battalions) at full or nearly full strength; six battalions of artillery; several tank battalions; an A/A battalion; combat engineers and other support units, numbering in total about 30,000 men. Added to the 24th and 25th Divisions, the reinforcements would bring the total American ground strength in the southwest sector to about 45,000 men twice the strength of the NKPA forces attacking toward Pusan.

19500801 0000 179tfw0

 

August 2, 1950

August


By the time it fell back to defensive positions on the South Korean peninsula, east of the Naktong River, on August 2, savage fighting had reduced the 24th to 9,882 men. The attachment of 486 U.S. troops and operational control of the 2,000-man Republic of Korea (ROK) 17th Infantry Regiment brought the aggregate strength to 12,368. Major General John Huston Church, a veteran of both world wars and recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, was now division commander. He replaced Maj. Gen. William F. Dean, who was a prisoner of the North Koreans.


Forming a lengthy, serpentine moat along two-thirds of the Pusan perimeter, the twisting Naktong flowed through a valley that averaged 1,000 yards wide, although the river itself averaged no more than 385 yards across and was from 1 to 3 1/2 yards deep.


The 24th occupied a sector 34 miles long, extending northward along the Naktong from its junction with the Nam River. The river frontage was extended by the many loops in the Naktong's course. Hill masses on both sides of the river rose an average of 220 yards, with some reaching 330 yards. The terrain was of equal elevation on either side of the river, except in the far north. There, Hill 409 on the east bank dominated the terrain to the west.


The three battalions of Colonel Kim Hi Chun's ROK 17th Regiment were deployed along the northern 30,000 yards of front, regarded as the most difficult sector to defend and reinforce because of the poor road network. General Church surmised that the North Koreans would strike there.
When the NKPA 4th Division instead attacked to the south, it was unexpected and came sooner than General Church thought it would. The U.S. 21st Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel Richard W. Stephens, was south of the ROK 17th. The 3rd Battalion (Lt. Col. John McConnell commanding), consisting of K and M companies, plus part of the regimental Heavy Mortar Company serving as a rifle unit, manned the 12,000-yard regimental front. The 1st Battalion, led by Lt. Col. Charles B. Smith, was deployed in separate company positions several thousand yards to the rear of the 3rd. The 14th Engineer Combat Battalion reinforced the 21st Infantry Regiment.

Aug 2
The Heavy Mortar Company was on the 21st Regiment's left flank, just north of a boundary with the 34th Regiment. The company established outposts of four to six men on a line of several thousand yards. A lone halftrack, armed with four .50-caliber machine guns (called a quad .50 by the troops), happened to be close by. Lieutenant Planter Wilson from the Heavy Mortar Company positioned the halftrack so that the four guns could fire all along the company front.


Company K was dug in about a mile from the mortar men, also on an extended frontage. Across the Naktong, a road ran parallel to the river.

 

19500802 0000 Naktong-1

 

August 3, 1950

August

Eighth Army on 3 August defined the boundary between the 24th and 25th Divisions as the south bank of the Naktong River, and made the commanding general of the 24th Division responsible for bridges, ferries, and small boats along the stream. General Church was to remove to the north bank, and destroy as he deemed advisable, all boats and ferries, and to prepare all bridges for demolition and blow them at his discretion.

     

At this time, Eighth Army planned for the 9th and 23rd Regiments of the 2nd Infantry Division to relieve the 24th Division in its sector of the line the night of 8 August, but events were to make this impossible. [15-22]

Opposite the 24th Division stood the N.K. 4th Division.

Above the 24th Division, the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division extended the line 18 air miles to a point 3 miles north of Waegwan. The actual river line was about 35 miles. The 7th Cavalry (less the 1st Battalion, which was in division reserve), the 8th Cavalry, and the 5th Cavalry Regiments were in position in the division sector, in that order from south to north. The division command post was at Taegu. Taegu, also Eighth Army headquarters, lay about 10 miles east of the Naktong River behind the center of the 1st Cavalry Division front. [15-23]

Opposite the 1st Cavalry Division was the N.K. 3rd Division.

The three American divisions each had fronts to defend from 20 to 40 miles long. The Naktong River Line at this time resembled closely the German front before Moscow after the first German withdrawal in 1941, when Guderian's divisions each had a front of 25 to 35 miles to defend. [15-24]

North of Waegwan, the ROK 1st and 6th Divisions of the ROK II Corps extended the line north along the Naktong for 20 more air miles, and thence north-east for about 10 miles toward Uisŏng. From there the 8th and Capital Divisions of the ROK I Corps continued the line northeast through Uisŏng where it turned east toward Yŏngdök on the coast. On the east coast the ROK 3rd Division held the right anchor of the U.N. line. The ROK Army headquarters was at Taegu with a forward command post at Sinnyong. ROK I Corps headquarters was at Uisŏng; ROK II Corps headquarters at Kunwi. [15-25]

North of Waegwan, the N.K. 15th and part of the 13th Divisions faced the ROK 1st Division; eastward, part of the N.K. 13th and the 1st Division faced the ROK 6th Division; beyond them the N.K. 8th Division stood in front of the ROK 8th Division; next in line, the N.K. 12th Division confronted the ROK Capital Division below Andong; and, finally, on the east coast the N.K. 5th Division and the 766th Independent Infantry Regiment faced the ROK 3rd Division. [15-26]

In summary then, the ROK Army held the east half of the line from a point just above Waegwan; the U.S. Eighth Army held the west or southern part. The ROK sector extended for about 80 air miles; the Eighth Army's for about 65 air miles. The ROK troops held the most mountainous portions of the line and the part with the poorest lines of communications.

The North Korean Army comprised two corps: I Corps controlled operations generally along the western side of the perimeter opposite the American units; II Corps controlled operations along the northern or eastern half of the perimeter opposite the ROK units. This enemy corps alignment remained unchanged throughout the Pusan Perimeter period of the war. [15-27]

The N.K. Army had activated its I Corps at P'yŏngyang about 10 June 1950, its II Corps at the same place about 12 June 1950. In early August 1950, the N.K. I Corps included the 3rd, 4th, and 6th (later also the 2nd, 7th, 9th, and 10th) Divisions; II Corps included the 1st, 5th, 8th, 12th, 13th, and 15th Divisions. Tanks and personnel of the 105th Armored Division were divided between the two corps and supported both of them.

The establishment of the Pusan Perimeter may be considered as a dividing line in viewing and appraising the combat behavior of the American soldier in the Korean War. The Pusan Perimeter for the first time gave something approaching a continuous line of troops. With known units on their left and right and some reserves in the rear, the men showed a stronger disposition to fight. Before the Pusan Perimeter, all through July and into the first days of August, there was seldom a continuous line beyond a battalion or a regimental position. Both flanks were generally wide open, and enemy troops moving through the hills could easily turn a defensive position. Supporting troops were seldom within reach. American soldiers, realizing the isolated nature of their positions, often would not stay to fight a losing battle. Few in July 1950 saw any good reason for dying in Korea; with no inspiring incentive to fight, self-preservation became the dominating factor.

 

19500803 0000 15sn

 

August 4, 1950

August

By 4 August, the N.K. 4th Division had concentrated its three regiments in the vicinity of Hyŏpch'ŏn and was studying the American dispositions and defenses opposite it on the east side of the Naktong. An officer from the division headquarters, captured later, estimated the division had a total strength of about 7,000 men at this time with about 1,500 men in each of the infantry regiments.

The division, with little or no preparation for it, intended to make an immediate crossing of the river in co-ordination with other crossings northward. [17-6]

August

On the American side, General Church considered the northern part of the 24th Division zone the more difficult to defend and reinforce because of its poor road net. He believed for this reason that the North Koreans were more likely to cross the river in that part of the division zone rather than in the southern part. Therefore, when the N.K. 4th Division crossed in the southern part, opposite the 34th Infantry, the crossing was not where he had anticipated it would be, and it also came sooner than he had expected. [17-7]

19500804 0000 17sn

 

August 5, 1950

CHAPTER XVII

The First Battle of the Naktong Bulge

The influence of growing fire-power on tactical defense is evident.... The defensive is able more than before to carry out its original mission, which is to break the strength of the attacker, to parry his blows, to weaken him, to bleed him, so as to reverse the relation of forces and lead finally to the offensive, which is the only decisive form of warfare.

RITTER VON LEEB, Defense

August

The dog days of August were at hand. The men in Eighth Army who survived that period spoke afterward of it as "the days along the Naktong." The Eighth Army no longer could withdraw when enemy pressure became oppressive. It had to stand and fight and hold, or be driven out of Korea.

August

General Walker's defense plan centered on holding the road and rail lines running in a large oval east of the Naktong, from Pusan north through Miryang to Taegu, and hence east through Yŏngch'ŏn to KYŏngju, where they turned back south to Pusan. Any further withdrawal and loss of these lines of communication would render difficult any later U.N. attempt at a counteroffensive.

The North Koreans, in preparing to attack the Pusan Perimeter and its communication system, had available four lines of advance toward Pusan:

August

They tried them all simultaneously in August, apparently believing that if they did not succeed at one place they would at another.

Along the Perimeter, the most important terrain feature for both the United Nations and the North Koreans-helping the former and hindering the latter-was the Naktong River, the second largest river in Korea. It formed a huge moat in front of almost three-fourths of the Perimeter. Its numerous great folds and bends resembled a huge snake contracting its length before coiling. Along its lower course, the river is generally from one-quarter to half a mile wide and more than six feet deep. Great sand beaches appear at many places when the river is not swollen by rain. Hills come down close to the water's edge on either bank, and rice paddy valleys of varying sizes finger their way among the hills.

In Korea, the term hill came to mean to the soldiers anything from a knoll to a towering mountain. A few of the hills bordering the lower Naktong below Taegu on the east side rise to 1,200 feet elevation; three or four miles back from the river they climb to 2,500 feet. On the west, or enemy, side of the Naktong, the hills bordering the river are higher than on the east, reaching 2,000 feet in many instances. North of Taegu, along the upper reaches of the river, from Waegwan in a semicircle east to Andong, the hills rise still higher, many of them to elevations of 2,000 and 3,000 feet.

The line of the Naktong as organized by the American forces was a series of strongpoints on the highest hills, affording views of both the river and the natural avenues of travel from it. During the day, these points were hardly more than observation posts. At night they became listening posts and tight little defense perimeters. Some of the posts were manned only in the daytime. Others were held by no more than half a squad of men. No one expected these soldiers to fight in position; they were a form of intelligence screen, their duty being to observe and report. Jeep patrols during the daytime ran along the river road. Quite obviously, the river line was thinly held. Reserve troops some miles back from the river were ready to counterattack against any enemy crossing.

Artillery and mortars were in positions back of the river. They were laid to fire on known ferry and other probable crossing sites. The role of the artillery and the mortars was to be a vital one in the Perimeter fighting; their fire could be massed, within limits, against any major enemy effort. The infantry and the artillery together were disposed so as to hold the commanding ground and control the meager road net. The roads necessarily were all-important.

No one doubted that the North Koreans intended to force a crossing of the Naktong without delay. Time was against them. Every passing week brought closer the prospect of more American reinforcements troops, tanks, artillery, and planes. North Korean Premier Kim Il Sung had set 15 August as the date for final victory and the liberation of all Korea. This date marked the fifth anniversary of freedom from Japanese rule. [17-1]

The Naktong Bulge

Seven air miles north of the point where the Naktong turns east and the Nam enters it, the Naktong curves westward opposite Yŏngsan-ni, in a wide semicircular loop. The bulge of land formed by this river loop measures four miles east-west and five miles north-south. This particular loop of the river and the land it enclosed on three sides became known to the American troops as the Naktong Bulge during the heavy fighting there in August and September. (See Map IV.)

August

Northward from the confluence of the Nam with the Naktong, the 24th Division held the line of the lower Naktong for a distance of sixteen air miles, or a river front of about thirty-four miles. The 34th Infantry was on the lower, southern part; the 21st Infantry was on the upper part together with the ROK 17th Regiment. The 19th Infantry, just arrived from Masan, was re-equipping in the rear. In general terms, the 34th Infantry held the area west of Yŏngsan-ni, in the Naktong Bulge, while north of it the 21st Infantry held the area west of Ch'angnyŏng.

The 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry, held the river line in its regimental front, while the 1st Battalion was in a reserve assembly area about four miles back from the river near Yŏngsan-ni,. (Map 9)

August

The 3rd Battalion front was about nine miles, or 15,000 yards long. [17-2] One may contrast this battalion frontage of 15,000 yards with one of 10,000 yards for a division at full strength, which U.S. Army doctrine considered normal.

The three rifle companies of the 3rd Battalion-I, L, and K, in that order from north to south-were on high hills overlooking the Naktong River. An unoccupied gap of more than two miles lay between I and L Companies, and another of more than three miles lay between L and K Companies. Because of the river's course around the bulge, the three company positions resembled the points of a broad triangle; I and K were the two extremities at the eastern base and L the apex at the bulge of high ground extending westward in the big fold of the river. Along this stretch of river there were at least six ferry crossing sites. [17-3]

For almost the entire regimental front, hills 500 to 600 feet high rose from the narrow river valley, in some instances abruptly from the water's edge. In this nine miles of front two valleys formed entrances from the river into the hill masses stretching eastward. The northern entrance was at the Ohang village ferry crossing This crossing lay in the gap between I and L Companies at the northern edge of the bulge. The other natural entrance into the regimental zone lay four air miles south at the under side of the bulge.

The 4.2-inch mortars supporting the 3rd Battalion were about a mile and a quarter back of the river in the draw that penetrated the hills from the Ohang ferry site. The 3rd Battalion command post was half a mile farther, southeast in this same draw, at the village of Soesil. Commanding the battalion was Lt. Col. Gines Perez, just arrived from the United States. At Yŏngsan-ni, six miles east of the river, Colonel Beauchamp had his regimental command post.

General Church ordered all civilians in the 24th Division zone to evacuate from an area five miles deep east of the river. He warned them that if they failed to do so, his troops might shoot them on sight as possible enemy agents. He said he could take no more chances with civilians; "If we are going to hold here, we cannot have any enemy behind us." [17-4]

The N.K. 4th Division Attacks Into the Naktong Bulge

The first enemy crossings of the Naktong River, west of the Andong mountain barrier, other than reconnaissance patrols, came on 5 August at three different places. Two were north of Waegwan in the ROK Army sector. The third was thirty miles south of Waegwan opposite Yŏngsan-ni,, in the 24th Division sector, in the big bulge of the Naktong. This third crossing of the river was made by the N.K. 4th Division and was the one to have consequences which first threatened the Perimeter.

August

(Map 9: NORTH KOREAN FORCES ENTER THE NAKTONG BULGE, 5-6 August, 1950)

Maj. Gen. Lee Kwon Mu commanded the N.K. 4th Division. Already he had received the highest honors, the "Hero of the Korean Democratic People's Republic" and the "Order of the National Flag, 1st Class," for achievements with his division. Forty years old, Lee had been born in Manchuria, had served in the Chinese Communist 8th Route Army, and, according to some reports, he had been a lieutenant in the Soviet Army in World War II. After attending a school in the Soviet Union in 1948 he returned to Korea where he became Chief of Staff of the N.K. Army. Eventually he was relieved of this post. Shortly before the invasion he was recalled by Premier Kim Il Sung's personal order and given command of the 4th Division. The division itself in August 1950 held the honorary name of "The 4th Sŏul Division," "Sŏul" indicating recognition of the division's part in the capture of that city. [17-5]

19500805 0000 17sn

First Battle of the Naktong Bulge. N.K.-4 forces three crossings of the Naktong against the 24th Division and ROK 17th Regiment. Heavily outnumbered, N.K.-4 still almost breaks through, but US and ROKs hold. The Marine Brigade is again brought into action, closely supported by two Carrier-based Corsair Squadrons from MAG33. They throw N.K.-4 back across the Naktong, eliminating them as a fighting force. N.K.-4 did not re-group until after the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) enter the war.

19500805 0000 19500819 Naktong

August

Underestimation of enemy losses in the first five weeks of the war led in turn to an exaggerated notion of the enemy forces facing the U.N. Command along the Pusan Perimeter. The enemy had probably no more than 70,000 men in his committed eleven divisions, one independent mechanized regiment, and one independent infantry regiment, as he began crossing the Naktong River on 4-5 August to assault the U.N. forces in the Pusan Perimeter.

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
69,100

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.

19500805 0000 15sn

August

The North Koreans probably had no more than 3,000 armored personnel and forty tanks at the front on 5 August.

While no exact information is available as to the number of enemy artillery pieces and heavy mortars still in action by 5 August, it probably was about one-third the number with which the North Koreans started the war. The 4th Division artillery, for instance, reportedly had only twelve guns on 5 August when the division reached the Naktong. [15-60]

19500805 0000 15sn

August 6, 1950

August

Having crossed the river on 6 August, the enemy in the space of four days had expanded his lodgment to include the larger part of the 4th Division, the unit which Task Force Smith had run up against on 5 July.

19500806 0000 0603usnops0

10500806_0001_LP001

(Notes)

10500806_1400_LP001

10500806_2130_LP001

19500806 2300 Naktong-1

19500807 0000 190tfw0

19500807 2300 Naktong-1

19500808 0000 0109usmcops0

19500808 0000 0602usnops0

19500809 0000 211tfw0

19500808 0000 0602usnops0

19500810 0000 0109usmcops0

19500808 0000 0602usnops0

19500810 0000 0602usnops0

19500810 1800 17sn

19500811 0600 17sn

19500812 0000 16sn

19500812 0000 19sn

19500812 1600 197tfw0

19500813 0900 17sn

Sunday June 25, 1950 (Day 001)

Sunday June 25, 1950 (Day 001)

Sunday June 25, 1950 (Day 001)

Tuesday August 1, 1950 (Day 038)

Wednesday August 2, 1950 (Day 039)

Wednesday August 3, 1950 (Day 040)

Friday August 4, 1950 (Day 041)

Saturday August 5, 1950 (Day 042)

Sunday August 6, 1950 (Day 43)

Monday August 7, 1950 (Day 44)

Tuesday August 8, 1950 (Day 45)

Wednesday August 9, 1950 (Day 46)

Thursday August 10, 1950 (Day 47)

Friday August 11, 1950 (Day 48)

Saturday August 12, 1950 (Day 49)

 

 

19500818 1237 0110usmcops0

19500818 2000 210tfw0

19500818 2100 17sn

Wednesday July 05, 1950 (Day 11)

Ironically, on 19 August, the day its [4th N.K. Div] defeat became final, the division received from the North Korean headquarters the order naming it a "Guard Division" for outstanding accomplishments in battle (Taejŏn). [17-84]

[note]

19500819 0845 Naktong-1

19500819 0900 17sn

19500819 0900 212afgm0

19500820 0000 0603usnops0

19500820 0000 0605usnops0

19500820 0000 21sn

19500820 0000 migs

19500822 0000 221tfw0

19500823 1730 0203usmcops0

Sunday June 25, 1950 (Day 001)

19500826 0700

19500830 0000 0111usmcops0