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Striking BackCombat in Korea, March-April 1951$
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William T. Bowers

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125640

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125640.001.0001

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Supporting the Attack

Supporting the Attack

3d Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 13–18 March 1951

(p.74) Chapter 4 Supporting the Attack
Striking Back

William T. Bowers

University Press of Kentucky

Effective logistical support was one of the key factors in the success of the 3d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, during its March advance in Operation Ripper. The battalion operations—the movement over extremely rugged terrain to the Hongch'on River, the successful attack on the main enemy defense line, and the sustained advance through a mountainous region to Ch'unch'on—depended on the ability of the battalion to keep its front line companies supplied with the essentials of food, water, and ammunition. Maj. Charles E. Harris, S-3 of the 5th Cavalry Regiment, notes the special problem of the 3d Battalion. Maj. James M. Gibson and 1st Lt. Henry S. Watcke explain the supply problem in the operation. Medical support becomes more of a challenge in rugged terrain. Despite these problems, the 3d Battalion succeeded in its mission of driving the enemy from the Hongch'on defense line back over the ridges to Ch'unch'on. The determination, skill, and ingenuity of the soldiers of the unit overcame all obstacles presented by the enemy and the terrain. Nonetheless, the results were disappointing, and General Ridgway continued to search for ways to destroy part of the retreating enemy forces.

Keywords:   supply problem, medical support, Operation Ripper, 3d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, Hongch'on River, Ch'unch'on, Charles E. Harris, James M. Gibson, Henry S. Watcke

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