Jipyeong-ri Battle

During the 4th offensive of the Communist Chinese, the US 23rd regiment blocked the attack of 5 Chinese divisions, and raised the morale of the entire US forces.

  • Date:
    1951.2.13~ 2.15

    Location:
    Jipyeong-ri Yangpyung-gun Gyunggi-do area

    Engaged Forces:
    US 23rd Regiment vs. 6 regiments from the Communist Chinese 115th, 116th, 119th, 120th, 126th Division

    Summary:
    During the 4th offensive of the Communist Chinese, the US 23rd regiment blocked the attack of 5 Chinese divisions, and raised the morale of the entire US forces.

  • In the start of 1951 Feburary, the UN forces and Korean forces were pushed back to Suwon-Samchuk line due to the New Year Offensive(3rd offensive) by the Communist Chinese and North Korean forces, and were planning to counterattack towards the north. The US 1st and 9th corps advanced to the Hangang River by Operation Thunderbolt in the west, and the US 10th corps captured Wonju and was keeping on advancing to the North. The enemies were having rest and preparing for a massive offensive in the spring. However, they were surprised by our speedy advance and needed to respond and initiated their 4th offensive. In this process, the Jipyeong-ri Battle occurred, during the US 23rd regiment defense operation.
    US 10th corps commander major general Almond planned Operation Round Up to destroy enemy forces with the support of the Korean 3rd corps. He also thought that this would threaten the western front of the enemy, and help our forces advancing in the west.
    ‘Operation Round Up’ started at February 5th. The US 10th corps commander targeted Hongcheon, but was damaged greatly by the offensive of the Communist Chinese from the 11th, and the 2nd division 23rd regiment was stuck out on the west end.
    Peng Dehuai damaged the Korean forces in Hoengseong and tried to surround and destroy the 23rd regiment with 6 regiments in Jipyeong-ri. The corps commander tried to order the 23rd regiment to retreat, but the 8th army commandeered stopped this order.
    General Ridgeway realized the strategic importance of Jipyeong-ri. Jipyeong-ri was the crossway of roads and a major transportation point with the Jungang Railroad passing. It acted as a threatening factor to the Chinese, and an important defensive point for the US forces.
    The 23rd regiment commander colonel Freeman thought that the subordinates could be isolated if they defended around the highlands. That was why he decided to prepare perimeter defense. Combined with the powerful air support and aerial supply, there stood a chance. Until the attack of the foes, they prepared all the mines and fire nets despite their lack of troops.
    The Communist Chinese forces first thought that it they took over Hoengseong and pressure Wonju, the US forces of Hipyeong-ri will retreat. However the US forces stayed, and the Chinese initiated their attack against them. 6 regiments were put in to cut off their escape routes and eliminate the US forces.
    On the 13th 17:30, the Chinese started their attack on Jipyeong-ri, but the full-scale attack started at 22 o’clock. The battle was fierce, and even the regiment commander got injured, but the US army defeated the Communist Chinese due to the cooperation from the connected line.
    In the daytime of 14th, the air force bombarded the highlands along Jipyeong-ri and supported the regiments ammunition and supplies with transporters. On the same time the 9th corps was ordered to make a route to Jipyeong-ri.
    At the night of 14th, the Communist Chinese started to attack again. One defense post of a company was broke, but the damage didn’t get larger. Rather the US forces fought back to take back the defense post in the morning of the 15th, and at the same time the 9th corps succeeded in connecting with the 23rd regiment with TF Crombez. After they were connected, the resistance of the Communist Chinese weakened greatly.
    Peng Dehuai planned to erase the 23rd regiment in Jipyeong-ri, but after the failure continued to the 3rd day, ceased fire at the 15th 17:30 and the Communist Chinese retreated.

  • As a result, the Jipyeong-ri Battle played a major role in stopping the Communist Chinese February Offensive. The first surprise attack gave some damage, but the later defense was successful, and the later attacks of the Chinese were defeated. This battle greatly raised the morale of the UN forces, which were defeated in the North Korean area.

  • U-U-J-M-P-1 U-U-J-M-P-2 U-U-J-M-P-3

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