Heartbreak Ridge Battle

A scramble for highlands so fierce that the reporters called the battle ‘Heartbreak Ridge Battle’

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  • Date:
    1951.9.23~ 10.15.

    Bangsan-myeon Yanggu-gun Gangwon-do – Satae-ri Dong-myeon area

    Engaged Forces:
    US 2nd Division vs Communist Chinese 68th Army 204th Division, North Korean 6th, 12th, 13th Division

    A scramble for highlands so fierce that the reporters called the battle ‘Heartbreak Ridge Battle’

  • After the US 2nd division occupied the Bloody Ridge, consisted of highlands connected horizontally, due to the order of US 8th Army to attack continuously, got ready to attack the Heartbreak Ridge. The US 2nd division defended the Bloody Ridge, and at the same time tried to attack the Heartbreak Ridge.
    The communist army was defending the Mundeung-ri valley and Satae-ri valley against this attack. The US 2nd division decided that attacking the Heartbreak Ridge from the flank will be better than attack from the south, because the ridge was organized vertically. Eventually, they occupied the east highlands of the Heartbreak ridge first on 1951 September 12th, and prepared for attack on the rest of the ridge.
    The US 2nd division attacked the Heartbreak Ridge on September 13th 06o’clock after preparatory fire. They occupied the 850 highland due to big sacrifices, but they got counterattacked by the North Korean forces at night, and had to retreat leaving 30 casualties. The division commander ordered attack from the south for a two-way attack, but only casualties increased and couldn’t occupy the highland.
    After then, the 2nd division commander decided to initiate a combined attack of 3 regiments under the support of artillery and tanks to secure the Heartbreak Ridge. The division settled Operation Touchdown, starting with an attack from the south of the Heartbreak Ridge, and occupying the 931 highland on the south and 851 highland on the north in order.
    The US 2nd division started attack at night after artillery and air support starting at October 5th 21:30. As a result, they occupied the 931 highland by October 6th in the morning. After then, the special forces flanked both sides of the 851 highland.
    The communists also added the communist Chinese army. At the same time, the 23rd regiment attacked the 851 highland. The French Battalion captured the 851 highland about at the dawn of October 13th. After then at October 15th, the 38th regiment occupied the 1,220 highland.

  • It took a month of bloody fights for the US 2nd division to seize the Heartbreak Ridge from September 13th. But they had 3,700 casualties from this month of battle.
    The communist army also had been known to have 21,000 casualties during this battle. As the reporters called, the ‘Heartbreak Ridge’, the UN forces needed a big sacrifice to takeover this ridge.


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