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Korea’s Chosin Reservoir
The Chosin Reservoir Campign
In the mountainous terrain of North Korea during sub-zero winter conditions, along and in the hills surrounding a primitive road barely wide enough for a single modern vehicle to pass, the battle of Chosin Reservoir took place. It has been termed by historians as the most savage battle in modern warfare, and was cited by President Reagan in his first inaugural address as one of the epics of military history.
Chosin Reservoir campaign began on November 27 at Yudam-ni with Chinese Communist action against the 5th and 7th Marine Regiments on the west side of the reservoir. On the 28th, the battle commenced throughout the 1st Marine Division sector.
Approximately 20,000 allied troops (about 17,000 of them men of the 1st Marine Division) were attacked by 120,000 CCF whose orders were to annihilate the allies “to the last man.” This fierce, bloody battle, unparalleled in modern history, resulted in 15,000 allied casualties. 2,500 were killed in action, 5,000 were wounded in action, and 7,500 suffered severe frostbite and cold injuries. The enemy forces endured crippling losses. 40,000 were dead, and thousands more were down with wounds and frostbite.
The 1st Marine Division and attached units fought their way back into action a month later, while seven of the ten CCF divisions never entered combat again during the Korean War.