Uit Details

NKPA 6th Division

I Corps

 

6th KPA Division The Division was raised in March 1950 from troops of Korean descent who had served with the 166th PLA Division plus the former 1st Infantry Regiment of the 1st KPA Division. This regiment was broken up as a cadre for the Division's new regiments. It consisted of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Infantry Regiments.

CG
1. Pang Ho San,  Gen. NKPA
2.
ADC
1.
2.
Division Artillery
1.
2.
Chief of Staff
1.
G-1 Personnel
G-2 Intelligence
G-3 Plan sand Operations
1.
2.
G-4 Logistics

 

Regiments

 

NKPA 13th Regiment

 

NKPA 14th Regiment

 

NKPA 15th Regiment

 

 

6th Division (North Korea)

 

The 6th Infantry Division is a military formation of the Korean People's Army Ground Force.

Was part of the North Korean advance from Sŏul to Taejon. Fought in the Battle of Pusan Perimeter.

Currently the 6th Infantry Division is located along the DMZ near the village of Panmunjom. It is believed to consist almost entirely of a light infantry force but has been task organized with an attached T-62 or T-64 main battle tank battalion. It is reportedly part of II Corps (North Korea). In the event of another Korean War this division is likely tasked with seizing a foothold across the Imjin River in order to allow follow on forces to continue south.

The date that the 6th Infantry Division was formed in somewhat unclear as the Army during the Korean War believed that the 6th ID was established either in July 1949 or March 1950. It is believed the division was formed at Sinuiju from 10,000 Chinese Communist Army personnel of Korean descent from the 166th Division who had been "repatriated" in late 1949 together with the former 1st Regiment of the 1st Division. The Korea Institute of Military History indicates that the division was established in October 1949. All sources indicate that the unit was initially composed of the 13th Infantry Regiment, 14th and 15th Infantry Regiments, and the 6th Artillery Regiment.

The 6th Infantry Division took part in the opening moves of the North Korean invasion of South Korea, moving against the ROKA 1st Division on June 25, 1950. After suffering heavy casualties in the Inch'ŏn area, this division met no opposition in its move down the west coast. This unit had sustained heavy casualties in its attempts to take Masan, but its morale and combat effectiveness was still considered good.

June 25, 1950

The North Korean attack against the Ongjin Peninsula on the west coast, northwest of Sŏul, began about 0400 with a heavy artillery and mortar barrage and small arms fire delivered by the 14th Regiment of the NKPA 6th Division and the BC 3rd Brigade. The ground attack came half an hour later across the Parallel without armored support.

It struck the positions held by a battalion of the ROK 17th Regiment commanded by Col. Paik In Yup.

June 25, 1950

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.

June 25, 1950

The 13th and 15th Regiments of the NKPA 6th Division delivered the attack on Kaesŏng.

Most of the ROK 12th Regiment troops at Kaesŏng and Yŏnan were killed or captured.

 Only two companies of the regiment escaped and reported to the division headquarters the next day. Kaesŏng was entirely in enemy hands by 0930.

 

Darrigo, meanwhile, sped south out of Kaesŏng, reached the Imjin River safely, and crossed over to Munsan-ni.[3-20]  

 

July 8

South of the Han River only one enemy division, the 6th, initially was west of the Sŏul-Pusan highway.

 

July 11

The N.K. 6th, farthest to the west of the enemy divisions, had a special mission. After the fall of Sŏul, it followed the N.K. 3d and 4th Divisions across the Han as far as Ch'ŏnan. There the N.K. Army issued new orders to it, and pursuant to them on 11 July it turned west off the main highway toward the west coast. For the next two weeks the division passed from the view of Eighth Army intelligence. Various intelligence summaries carried it as location unknown, or placed it vaguely in the northwest above the Kum River.

Actually, the 6th Division was moving rapidly south over the western coastal road net. Its shadow before long would turn into a pall of gloom and impending disaster over the entire U.N. plan to defend southern Korea. Its maneuver was one of the most successful of either Army in the Korean War. It compelled the redisposition of Eighth Army at the end of July and caused Tokyo and Washington to alter their plans for the conduct of the war.


July 13

Departing Yesan on 13 July, the N.K. 6th Division started south in two columns and crossed the lower Kum River. (See Map III.) The larger force appeared before Kunsan about the time the 3d and 4th Divisions attacked Taejon. The port town fell to the enemy without resistance. The division's two columns united in front of Chonju, thirty miles to the southeast, and quickly reduced that town, which was defended by ROK police. [1]

The N.K. 6th Division was now poised to make an end run through southwest Korea toward Pusan, around the left flank of Eighth Army. In all Korea southwest of the Taejon-Taegu-Pusan highway, at this time, there were only a few hundred survivors of the ROK 7th Division, some scattered ROK marines, and local police units. [2]

 

July 16, 1950 1600


 Half of the town of Kunsan was occupied before nightfall, and the United States and ROK defenders withdrew under cover of darkness.


Next came the end run, with 6th Division units racing toward the capture of Namwŏn, Kwangju, Yŏsu, and Mokpu in the southwest corner of the peninsula. No opposition awaited except ineffectual delaying actions by ROK constabulary troops. After mopping up a few small pockets of resistance, the 6th Division pushed eastward to lead the North Korean drive toward Pusan.

 

July 20, 1950

 

The 6th Division departed Chŏnju,  on or about 20 July.

 

July 23, 1950

At Kwangju on 23 July the three regiments of the division separated. The 13th went southwest to Mokp'o on the coast, the 14th south to Posong, and the 15th southeast through Sunch'on to Yosu on the southern coast.

The division encountered little resistance during this week of almost constant movement.

 

July 25. 1950

About 25 July, it reassembled at Sunch'ŏn, ninety air miles west of Pusan, and made ready for its critical drive eastward toward that port. Logistically, the division was poorly prepared for this operation. Its supply was poor and rations were cut in half and on some days there were none. [3]

Advancing next on Chinju, General Pang Ho San, commander of the N.K. 6th Division, proclaimed to his troops on the eve of the advance,

"Comrades, the enemy is demoralized. The task given us is the liberation of Masan and Chinju and the annihilation of the remnants of the enemy.... The liberation of Chinju and Masan means the final battle to cut off the windpipe of the enemy." [4]

Everywhere refugees fled the terror sweeping over southwest Korea with the advance of the North Korean Army and guerrilla units.

Jully 29, 1950

An entry on 29 July in the diary of a guerrilla tellingly illustrates the reasons for panic:

"Apprehended 12 men; National Assembly members, police sergeants and Myon leaders. Killed four of them at the scene, and the remaining eight were shot after investigation by the People's court." [5]

 

July 28

After the fall of Taejon, the N.K. 4th Division rested in the city for two days and took in 1,000 untrained replacements.

 

July 23, 1950

On the morning of 23 July, it started south from Taejon on the Kumsan road. It was joining the 6th Division in an envelopment of the United Nations' left flank. The N.K. 6th Division moved on an outer arc around the left of the U.N. position, the N.K. 4th Division on an inner arc. The two divisions were engaging in a co-ordinated movement on a theater scale. [35] (See Map III.)

At Kumsan the 4th Division received another 1,000 replacements that had trained only a few days.

Juy 25, 1950

Departing Kumsan on or about 25 July, the division reportedly left behind the tank regiment that had accompanied it ever since they had crossed the 38th Parallel together a month earlier. The tanks were to remain in Kumsan until the division had crossed the Naktong. [36]

July 28, 1950

 

On 28 July the first indication appeared in American intelligence estimates that elements of the N.K. 6th Division might have moved south.

July 29, 1950

The next day the Eighth Army intelligence section conjectured that the enemy had shifted troops southward. It stated that major parts of one enemy division probably were in the Chinju area and major elements of another in the Koch'ang area. While the estimate did not identify the enemy unit in the Koch'ang area, it erroneously repeated that "all elements of this division [the 4th] are attacking eastward along the axis Chinju-Masan." [37]

Even after the Hadong battle on the 27th, Eighth Army did not know that these troops were from the 6th Division.

August 5

 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.

June 25, 1950

The North Korean attack against the Ongjin Peninsula on the west coast, northwest of Sŏul, began about 0400 with a heavy artillery and mortar barrage and small arms fire delivered by the 14th Regiment of the NKPA 6th Division and the BC 3rd Brigade. The ground attack came half an hour later across the Parallel without armored support.

It struck the positions held by a battalion of the ROK 17th Regiment commanded by Col. Paik In Yup.

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, 1950 0900

Korean_War

The North Korean attack against the Ongjin Peninsula on the west coast, northwest of Sŏul, began about 0400 with a heavy artillery and mortar barrage and small arms fire delivered by the NKPA 14th Regiment of the NKPA 6th Division and the BC 3rd Brigade. The ground attack came half an hour later across the Parallel without armored support. It struck the positions held by a battalion of the ROK 17th Regiment commanded by Col. Paik In Yup. [14]

Korean_War


The first message from the vicinity of the Parallel received by the American Advisory Group in Sŏul came by radio about 0600 from five advisers with the ROK 17th Regiment on the Ongjin Peninsula. They reported the regiment was under heavy attack and about to be overrun. [15]

 

Before 0900 another message came from them requesting air evacuation. Two KMAG aviators, Maj. Lloyd Swink and Lt. Frank Brown, volunteered to fly their L-5 planes from Sŏul. They succeeded in bringing the five Americans out in a single trip. [03-16]

The Ongjin Peninsula, cut off by water from the rest of South Korea, never had been considered defensible in case of a North Korean attack. Before the day ended, plans previously made were executed to evacuate the ROK 17th Regiment. What was left, 2 battalions.

 

June 26, 1950

Korean_War

Two LST's from Inch'ŏn joined one already offshore, and on Monday, 26 June, they evacuated Col. Paik In Yup (17th Regiment, and most of two battalions-in all about 1,750 men. The other battalion was completely lost in the early fighting.

Korean_War

The 14th Regiment, 6th Division, turned over the Ongjin Peninsula area to security forces of the BC 3rd Brigade on the second day and immediately departed by way of Haeju and Kaesŏng to rejoin its division.

East of the Ongjin Peninsula, Kaesŏng, the ancient capital of Korea, lay two miles south of the Parallel on the main Sŏul-P'yŏngyang highway and railroad. Two battalions of the 12th Regiment, ROK 1st Division, held positions just north of the town. The other battalion of the regiment was at Yŏnan, the center of a rich rice-growing area some twenty miles westward.

The 13th Regiment held Korangp'o-ri, fifteen air miles east of Kaesŏng above the Imjin River, and the river crossing below the city. The 11th Regiment, of the 1st Division in reserve, and division headquarters were at Suisak, a small village and cantonment area a few miles north of Sŏul. Lt. Col. Lloyd H. Rockwell, senior adviser to the ROK 1st Division, and its youthful commander, Col. Paik Sun Yup, had decided some time earlier that the only defense line the division could hold in case of attack was south of the Imjin River.

Songak-san (Hill 475), a mountain shaped like a capital T with its stem running east-west, dominated Kaesŏng which lay two miles to the south of it. The 38th Parallel ran almost exactly along the crest of Songak-san, which the North Koreans had long since seized and fortified. In Kaesŏng the northbound main rail line linking Sŏul-P'yŏngyang-Manchuria turned west for six miles and then, short of the Yesŏng River, bent north again across the Parallel.