The Turkish Brigade in the Korean War

The Korean War, described by many, including then President Harry S. Truman, as a police action, marked the first time that the United States and the fledgling United Nations organization entered into a partnership to halt the advance of the Cold War into the Far East. A total of 22 nations agreed to send either troops or medical units. Sixteen countries responded to the U.N. resolution by sending troops to halt the invasion of South Korea by the North Koreans. One of the first of the major participants to send a brigade was Turkey. The first Turkish contingent arrived on October 19, 1950, and in varying strengths remained until midsummer 1954.

Initially, Turkey sent the 1st Turkish Brigade, commanded by Brig. Gen. Tahsin Yazici. The brigade consisted of three battalions commanded by Major Imadettin Kuranel, Major Mithat Ulunu, and Major Lutfu Bilgon. The Turkish Armed Forces Command (TAFC) was a regimental combat team with three infantry battalions, along with supporting artillery and engineers. It was the only brigade-sized UN unit attached permanently to a U.S. division throughout the Korean War. More than 5,000 men of the 1st Turkish Brigade, including liaison and the advance party, arrived in Pusan, South Korea, on October 17 from the eastern Mediterranean port of Iskenderun, Turkey. The brigade unloaded from their ship and proceeded to the newly opened U.N. reception center located just outside of Taegu. The bulk of the enlisted men were from small towns and villages in the mountains of eastern Turkey. For these volunteer officers and volunteer enlisted men who were just completing their compulsory two year service, it was not only the first time that they had left their native country--it was the first time they had been out of the villages of their birth. It was, at least for the enlisted men, the first time that they had encountered non-Muslims. Vast cultural and religious differences existed between the Turks and the Americans. Their commander, General Yazici, was an aging brigadier who had been a division commander fighting the British at Gallipoli in 1916. He was highly regarded in the Turkish military establishment and willingly stepped down a rank in order to command the first contingent of Turks in Korea. He had only one drawback--no real command of English--yet he was attached to an American division. Later, that lack of language proficiency would prove to be a major hindrance to his understanding of orders and troop deployments. The U.S. Army command was unaware of the difficulties in coordination, logistics and, above all, basic communication in a common language that would complicate orders and troop movements, especially in the crucial early months of their joint exercises. Unfamiliar food, clothing requirements and transportation would come to create more problems than the American high command had counted on. The dietary requirements of the Turks forbade pork products, and the American rations definitely contained pork products forbidden to all Muslims. A Japanese food processor was hired to provide rations that met the Turkish requirements. Bread and coffee presented other problems. The Turks favored a heavy, substantial bread containing nonbleached flour along with thick, strong, heavily sweetened coffee. The U.S. Army found a way to satisfy these needs along with those of the other Allied forces. Few American liaison officers were attached to the Turkish companies, thereby adding to the problems the Turks faced in their initial combat operations. Misinterpretation of orders resulted from the lack of communication between Allies. The problem, at first overlooked and judged to be only minor, only became exacerbated in the heat of battle. The Turks' arrival in Korea garnered a considerable amount of publicity. The Turkish soldiers' fierce appearance, flowing mustaches and great knives were a war correspondent's dream come true. Although they had not fought in a major conflict since

World War I, the Turkish soldiers had the reputation of being rough, hard fighters who preferred the offensive position and gave no quarter in battle. Most of the enlisted men were young and carried a sidearm sword that, to Americans and the other U.N. troops, appeared to be a long knife. No other U.N. troops were armed with that kind of knife, or indeed any other weapon out of the ordinary. The Turks had a dangerous proficiency in close combat with their long knives that made all other Allied forces want to stay clear of them. Turkish Brigade's Baptism of Fire Part 2: Flawed Offensives Most of the enlisted men were from the eastern steppe region of Turkey near the Russian border and had little more than three or four years of basic schooling. In the conscription process, they were given uniforms, plus some training by the Turkish military and their U.S. military advisers. Life in their native villages had been largely unchanged for hundreds of years. A central village well still provided water, and news of the outside world seldom penetrated village daily life. It was to that patchwork U.N. army, composed mainly of Americans but having diverse units from 16 other countries, that the orders suddenly came to General Walton "Johnnie" Walker's Eighth Army headquarters to mount a massive offensive and push for an early end to the war. General Douglas MacArthur's promise to relieve two divisions and have "the boys home for Christmas" gave the impetus to an ill-conceived move to the Yalu River. There were some expressed misgivings, especially by the Eighth Army commander, General Walker. Those objections, however, were quickly pushed aside by the clique that surrounded MacArthur. Pressure to conclude the war in one massive offensive became too difficult to contain. The generals and commanders in the field who would actually commit their men to one of the bloodiest campaigns of the war were protesting voices that were either never acknowledged or ignored. Intelligence reports given to MacArthur indicated the presence and capture of Chinese troops in late October and early November. Major General Willoughby, MacArthur's intelligence chief, kept him abreast of all incoming reports of larger numbers of Chinese troop movements. Nonetheless, the die was cast for Walker's Eighth Army. Walker tried several times to delay the inevitable by protesting the lack of logistical support and supplies that were en route from Japan and the United States, but all he accomplished was to increase MacArthur's ire toward him and impatience at the delay. Bitter winds from Manchuria churned over the steep, granitic mountains and treacherous valleys of North Korea. The coldest weather in at least 40 years gripped the land. Numbed and miserable soldiers tried to keep warm around makeshift fires made in empty 50-gallon drums. Medical units began treating their first cases of frostbite. More and more, Korea became the proverbial "Hell froze over." It was necessary to mix alcohol with the gasoline to prevent gas lines from freezing in the vehicles and equipment. Blood plasma had to be heated for 90 minutes before it could be used. Medicines that were water-soluble froze, and sweat that accumulated in the soldiers' boots froze during the night. The terrain of northern Korea, with its long v-shaped valleys, high craggy

mountain ridges and the lack of any real discernible roads, along with the incredible numbing cold sweeping across the forward-moving army, contributed the elements of tragedy that shaped the battle to come. The U.S. Army's 7th Division and other units were not prepared for arctic warfare. Few of the fighting units had arctic parkas. Yet they were ordered forward. On November 21, they were ordered to move across a riverbed containing what they had been told would be only ankle-deep water that would present no problem. The night before, however, upstream dams had been opened and the water released. The soldiers waded into frigid, waist-deep water with chunks of ice floating in it. After several unsuccessful attempts, the crossing was called off. Eighteen men suffered severe frostbite and had to have their frozen uniforms cut off. During the dogged advance, Walker's army became more thinly stretched as the Korean Peninsula widened and forced the army to cover more territory as it moved steadily northward. His order of battle was comprised of the U.S. I Corps, consisting of the U.S. 24th Division, the British 27th Brigade, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) 1st Division; the U.S. IX Corps including the U.S. 2nd and 25th Divisions and the 1st Turkish Brigade; the ROK 6th, 7th, and 8th divisions; and the 1st Cavalry Division in Army reserve. Walker was cautious about committing his troops. Intelligence tried to get some realistic estimates about the Chinese troop strength and their movements. Daily briefings in early November indicated a dramatic increase in Chinese and North Korean troop strength from 40,100 to 98,400 men. These estimates still were woefully inadequate. Part 3: Under Pressure Assembled in front of Walker's IX Corps in the west was the XIII Army Group of the Chinese Fourth Field Army, consisting of 18 infantry divisions totaling at least 180,000 men. Opposing the U.S. I Corps in the east was the IX Army Group of the Chinese Third Field Army with 12 infantry divisions of about 120,000 men. The total Chinese strength was about 300,000 men; 12 divisions of the North Korean Peoples Army added approximately 65,000 men to the enemy strength. The North Korean soldiers had recovered sufficiently from their earlier reverses at the hands of the Americans to be judged by their commanders to be battle worthy. Added to that array were about 40,000 guerrillas operating behind the U.N. lines. Enemy strength was more than slightly underestimated. The Chinese army had managed to move a vast number of troops by the most primitive means. Using animals and their own backs to transport supplies, they were not restricted to the primitive roads. They moved overland without the benefit of trucks or other mechanized equipment and therefore had the advantage of greater mobility. The United Nations, on the other hand, stuck with basic roads and improving existing roads to move men and equipment. Engineering companies moved ahead, trying to make roads passable for tanks and trucks.

Another difference that was to count very highly against the United Nations and the United States was adherence to routine, World War II thinking and tactics. Chinese used soldiers were expected to carry on their backs all the food each soldier required for at least six days. The food was cooked rice and soybean curds in concentrated form as well as similar items that required no cooking or heating in order to be eaten. Recovered diaries of the Chinese soldiers recount their pangs of hunger from these severely restricted rations, but they achieved their objective in the same bitter cold and biting winds and over the same terrain that handicapped their U.N. opponents. The Chinese generally marched at night and averaged at least 18 miles per day for approximately 18 days. In the daylight hours, they concealed themselves in the rough, mountainous terrain. The only daylight movement allowed was by scouting parties. Restrictions were so onerous that officers were authorized to shoot to kill any soldier who violated the order for concealment. Many of the Chinese movement tactics were similar to those used by Napoleon Bonaparte a century and a half earlier. On November 19, the U.S. 25th Division left Kaesong at 6 a.m. and bedded down at the mining town of Kunu-ri around 2 o'clock that night. The next day, the Turkish Brigade, which was largely an infantry unit without trucks for troop transport, was detached and reassigned to the IX Corps reserve at Kunu-ri. Walker's Eighth Army command was split down the middle by the Chongchon River. As part of the IX Corps' general northward advance, the Turks were ordered on November 21 to move north with the 25th Division. By November 22, 1950, the Turks had completed their assignment of neutralizing North Korean patrols in their assigned area. The steady movement to Kunu-ri had begun in earnest. Kunu-ri, much like all the other small villages in the northern sector, was mainly mud-and-stick houses. It was a totally unremarkable place, little different from any of the other villages perched on the mountainsides and in the deep valleys cut by swift-moving mountain rivers and streams. Advancing along with their American counterparts, the Turks were ordered to establish contact with the U.S. 2nd Division on the right flank of the IX Corps and also to cover the right flank and rear of their division. The brigade had received information concerning a Chinese regiment known to be northwest of Tokchon. General Yazici described the situation that confronted him in these words: "This was what the order was. Further intelligence was asked about the enemy and the ROK Corps, but none was available or more information was not supplied lest it lower the morale of the Turkish Brigade....The situation was serious, and demanded prompt action." On November 26, the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) launched strong counterattacks against the U.S. I Corps and IX Corps. The main Chinese force moved down the central mountain ranges against the ROK II Corps at Tokchon. The South Koreans could not withstand the attack and their defenses collapsed.

Part 4: Mixed Fortunes

Members of the Turkish Brigade move into position in December, 1950, shortly after suffering severe casualties attempting to block encirclement of the U.S. 2nd Division at the Chongchon river in North Korea.
The Chinese onslaught assumed alarming proportions, and the Turks were ordered to protect the U.N. right flank. Trucks were assigned to transport the Turks' 1st Battalion to Wawon, 15 miles east of Kunu-ri, about halfway to Takchon, unload and return for the 2nd Battalion. After insufficient trucks arrived, some of the brigade set out on foot. Orders, counterorders and garbled transmissions made the situation an unintelligible mess. The Turks were ordered to close the road and secure Unsong-ni. Trying later to explain the confusion of that time, General Yazici wrote: "There was no time to move the brigade to Unsong-ni and deploy it there before dark. Besides, the enemy, which was supposed to be at Chongsong-ni, was in fact too close to the line which the Corps wanted us to hold. That the Brigade might be subjected to a surprise attack before reaching its position was highly probable. Even more important was the fact that the civilian population had not been moved out of the area. If the peasants and the guerrillas that might have been infiltrated among them attempted to block the mountain crossing or the Wawon Pass in the rear, the Brigade might suffer heavily. As a matter of fact, the 2nd Division, of which we were supposed to defend the right flank, was withdrawing. It was impossible to fulfill the task from Karil L'yong, where the Brigade was, because the terrain was very rugged and thickly wooded. In order to protect the Kunu-riTokchon road and the other roads to the north and the south, a 12mile-wide front had to be held. This was impossible against a numerically superior enemy who knew the region well. Further, the terrain restricted the effective use of artillery and heavy infantry weapons." As Yazici clearly outlined, the Turks were in an unenviable situation. They had to withdraw to the southeast. That withdrawal compounded the exposure of the Turks' own east flank as well as the 2nd Division's east flank. Yazici ordered his men to move in the direction of Wawon northeast of Kunu-ri. The brigade had lost contact with corps.

Therefore, Yazici assumed responsibility and ordered his men to position themselves at Wawon. When they reached Wawon, they attacked toward Tokchon, on foot and without tank support. The terrain was upstream along the Tongjukkyo River into the mountain divide that separated the Chongchon River from the Taedong drainage. Here, the headwaters of the Tongjukkyo River fan out into numerous small streams. When he received intelligence that air observers had seen hundreds of Chinese moving toward Tokchon, Maj. Gen. Laurence Kaiser, commanding the U.S. 2nd Division, remarked, "That's where they are going to hit." The Chinese counteroffensive actually struck all along the front. Two platoons of the Turkish Brigade assigned reconnaissance duty were now given rear-guard duty. The Chinese followed the brigade closely. The reconnaissance unit engaged the oncoming Chinese at the Karil L'yong Pass, was unable to break contact. Only a few men survived. The Turks had achieved one objective--they had tied down the enemy. The Chinese suffered heavy casualties trying repeatedly to take the Turkish position, and all their attacks were repelled. Finally, Yazici, understanding that the brigade was being encircled by the numerically superior Chinese, ordered withdrawal. The Turks were isolated in the subzero temperatures, their orders not fully understood. And during the night, the Chinese kept up a steady barrage of sudden noises using drums, bugles, whistles, flutes, shepherds' pipes and cymbals, along with the shouting, laughing and chattering of human voices. The offensive had changed and now became a rout of the U.N. forces. The engulfing enemy constantly changed tactics and directions.. Communications resumed with the Turkish Brigade. Some orders were understood, but most were not. The brigade was ordered to merge with the U.S. 38th Regiment, cover the 38th's flank and secure a retreat route westward. In the confusion of the retreat and the garbled, misdirected and delayed messages, that crucial directive was two hours late in delivery. The column got turned about in the mass confusion and congestion of the road. Once again, as the Turks approached Wawon, they encountered heavy enemy fire. The CCF had arrived before the Turks were able to reassemble and assume defensive positions. The Chinese ripped into the ragged column and the soldiers were ordered to turn about once again. The Turkish 9th Company took the brunt of the attack as it covered for the retreating main body. The 10th Company of the brigade's 3rd Battalion received orders to form the brigade's general outpost line. Major Lutfu Bilgin, commander of the 3rd Battalion, sent his 9th Company to defend the 10th and 11th companies' flank. The Chinese eased off on the 10th but continued to besiege the 9th and the 11th. Midmorning on November 28, the Chinese broke through and attacked the 9th's position in force. The company was overrun, and Major Bilgin and many of his men were killed.

Enemy reinforcements tried to encircle the entire brigade. General Yazici, however, assessed the situation and took steps to protect his flank and avoid encirclement. The CCF poured forward, and the Turks were caught in the trap that the Chinese were laying. Suddenly, the Chinese broke off after encountering strong resistance of the 3rd Battalion. During the withdrawal, the Chinese had attacked the Turks with overwhelming force and the brigade took such high casualties that by November 30 it was destroyed as a battleworthy unit. The only support the Turks received from IX Corps was a tank platoon and truck transportation. That was added to the brigade's artillery and enabled some of the brigade to survive. Part 5: Aftermath The flow of messages and changed orders to the Turks on the road to Tokchon on November 27 reflected the lack of precise information and the high level of uncertainty that IX Corps and the Eighth Army experienced as they struggled to interpret the rapidly enfolding events. One certainty was that, during the day, the Chinese attacked the leading 1st Battalion at Wawon and this ambush inflicted the devastating blow to the Turks. The battalion was surrounded, and a hand-to-hand battle between Chinese bayonets and Turkish long knives took place. It was reported that the two companies of Turks were still fighting east of Wawaon and had about 400 men wounded. General Yazici was at his headquarters in Taechon, a larger village southeast of Kunu-ri. The Turks held out at Wawon until the afternoon and then withdrew to another position southwest of Wawon. Again, the Chinese outflanked those Turks, who then withdrew toward Kunu-ri. The Turkish battalion lost most of its vehicles. The survivors scrambled into the hills when all other means of escape was denied them. By that time, the Chinese held all the roads. The Turks continued to fight delaying actions to gain time for the rest of their troops to reform and establish some semblance of an orderly defense, but they were not successful in any of those efforts. At the 2nd Division Headquarters, information about the Turks and their actual movements was more and more difficult to obtain. The tanks sent toward the Turks' position were repeatedly turned back. Confusion led to startling events, such as American soldiers simply abandoning their positions and equipment, including their weapons. The Chinese appeared to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Confirmation of Chinese movements was sparse and often erroneous. The Chinese, reported to be just ahead, turned out to be advancing on the soldiers from behind. The Turks decided to evacuate the command post. A new and yet ancient style of warfare had begun. The Chinese and North Koreans used a multiple of tactics in a mountainous terrain that left little, if any, mobility. The weather had become an enemy as cruel as the terrain. The Turks and Americans, unable to communicate and coordinate, fought valiantly, but without much direction and without knowing what their fellow soldiers and units were doing.

The U.N. response to the Chinese offensive in November 1950 has been described as a "bugout," a massive retreat that should not have happened. Very little has been written about the conditions that contributed to the failure of MacArthur's November offensive, an offensive that began with high expectations of bringing the soldiers home for Christmas. Afterward, the words "home for Christmas" rang hollow in the ears of both the military and the politicians. The terrain, the weather, the lack of adequate language skills by the Americans and the Turks, and the lack of options for that massive an operation preordained the bloody, tragic outcome. In the course of the U.N. offensive and the Chinese counteroffensive, the 1st Turkish Brigade suffered 3,514 casualties, of which 741 were killed in action, 2,068 wounded, 163 missing and 244 taken prisoner, as well as 298 noncombatant casualties. The Turks, armed and trained by American military advisers, did better than even they had hoped or expected in this, their first real combat since World War I. The American units to which they were attached respected their skills and tenacity in combat. Some comments by American officers give insight into the Turks and their abilities. "They really prefer to be on the offensive and handle it quite well," went one appraisal. "They are not as good at defensive positions, and certainly never retreat." Another report told of their patrol skills: "Certain Turkish patrols always reported high body counts when they returned from patrols. Headquarters always scoffed at the high numbers, much higher in fact than any other unit, until the Turks decided to bring the enemy bodies back and dump them at headquarters for the body count." The Turks acquitted themselves in a brave and noble fashion in some of the worst conditions experienced in the Korean War. Very little else could have been required or expected of them. Their heavy casualties speak of their honor and commitment. Their bravery requires no embellishment. It stands on its own.
This article was written by A.K. Dawson and originally published in Military History Magazine December 1997. A.K. Dawson teaches history in Darwin, Australia.


Turkish postage stamp printed during the Korean War (30 Kurus) The advance party of the Turkish Brigade or Turkish Armed Forces command, arrived in Pusan on 12 October 1950. The main body numbering 5190 troops arrived five days later, on 17 October. Brigadier General Tahzin Yazici commanded the brigade. Colonel Celal Dora was assistant Brigade Commander. When the main body arrived the brigade went into bivouac near Taegu where it underwent training and received U.S. equipment. The brigade was attached to the U.S. 25th infantry division so after limited training the brigade moved north to the Kaesong area to join the division.

The Turks in the Korean War
(The Turkish perspective from "The Korean War -- a short history by the Turkish War Veterans Association.) The Turkish Brigade has been the subject of the world's praise, by showing a very superior combat capability which provided our state with honor through the successes it won one after another during the three year period of blood and fire starting from the hardest and most critical moment it entered the battlefield until the signing of the "Ceasefire" agreement. Because addressing all the battles of the Turkish Brigades, however briefly, will extend the subject, we will just suffice to list the battles fought and briefly address the most important ones. The Turkish brigades, between the dates of November 1950 and July 1953, have fought the following battles the Kunuri diversion; the Kumyangjangni-Illi-431-639 -Imjin attacks; 22/23 April 1951; the Chorwon-Seoul diversion; the Taegyewonni defense; the Barhar-Kumhwa-701 attacks; and the Wegas defense battles. We will not just talk here

about the battles accomplished by our Brigades--for the Turkish brigades have accomplished all their war tasks without default but about four important battles which affected the course of the war. And these are the battles of Kunuri, Kumjangjangni, Taegyewonni and Wegas. The Kunuri Battle The United Nations Forces started to attack on the morning of 24 November 1950, under the command of Five Star General Douglas MacArthur with the objective being the Yalu River (Border Line). At this time the Turkish Brigade was constituting the reserve force of the IXth Army Corps, 3.5 km. west southwest of the town of Kunuri. The attacks of the United Nations Forces had easily developed until the evening of 25 November. However the attacks of the Chinese which started as raids on the night of 25/26 November 1950, created great surprise and confusion at the fronts. When morning came on 26 November it was understood that the Chinese Forces had penetrated the front of the II'nd South Korean Army Corps situated in the Central Segment of the front and that they had stalked behind the U.S. Divisions situated on the western segment of the front. Especially the Chinese Forces, advancing towards Tokchon from the area of the II (Second) South Korean Army Corps had started to threaten the Eighth Army and specifically the IXth (U.S.) Army Corps. Therefore upon the IX Army Corps advance the Turkish Brigade on reserve against the forces threatening its eastern side and back. After dusk on 26 November the Turkish Brigade began to march by way of the Kunuri-Kaechon-Sinnimni-Wawon-Tokchon. The Brigade was given the task of capturing the town of Tokchon. The Turkish Brigade had started to advance towards the battlefield having undertaken a very rare and heavy war task which reserves could ever meet against disproportional enemy forces and under negative conditions. Having spent the night in Wawon the Brigade restarted to march at 0530 in the morning (27 November). As the units were crossing the steep Karill Yon Mountain and as the Advance Guard were descending on the Tokchon Valley (1430 hrs) the Army Corps gave the order "Do not advance any further and get on the defensive on the line which you have reached." General Tahsin RAZICI having read in the order the seemingly innocent and unimportant news "If you do not have troops in Changsangni, our aircraft have identified a force about the size of a regiment whose nationality is unknown" perceived a danger and ordered the Turkish Brigade to get on the defensive not where the Army Corps ordered, but on the Wawon line 15 km, back west. General Yazici's decision would take the Turkish Brigade back from the point of destruction and bring it to a point which would prevent the destruction of the allied forces. Let us briefly dwell here. We have to show the degree of validity of the claim that "the U.S. general spent the Brigade by using it as a pawn" which had been tried to be imposed on our public. When our accounts are looked at it is obvious how General Tahsin Yazici took responsibility whenever required to protect the existence of the Brigade and to

successfully implement the tasks of war. General Yazici never gave in to the short and dark orders of the U.S. generals such as Stop-Go.The reinforced Reconnaisance Unit which was the rear guard of the Brigade prevented the enemy from striking the Brigade at night, by distracting the enemy raid which started on the night of 27/28 November at 2400 until dawn on 28 November. At 0800 hours on 28 November the Wawon Battle of the Brigade began. That day all of the attacks of the numerically superior enemy forces first against the Pass Axis and then against the Pass' Points of Shoulder were broken. In the fore-noon the close enveloping operations were defeated with our counter offensives. In the afternoon upon the efforts of the enemy to cut the Kunuri-Wawon road by transferring forces to the back beyond the effective area of the Brigade, General Yazici ordered preparations to be made for the withdrawal of the Brigade to the Sinnimni segment. It was understood that both sides of the Brigade were open and that friendly forces had withdrawn. We would want to strongly emphasize this point. During the Korean War the enemy always found the opportunity to surround the Brigade by penetrating neighboring friendly unit fronts. But no enemy attack ever succeeded in penetrating the front of the Turkish Brigade. The Brigade started to withdraw to the Sinnimni segment from Wawon after dusk at 1830 hours. The units which withdrew to Sinnimni hastily started to occupy defensive positions. At 2400 hours the attack of the enemy started in the form of a raid. While the units which were situated in favorable terrain continued to defend, the other units of the Brigade failing to hold started to withdraw towards Kunuri. Part of the units which had withdrawn were stopped west of Sinnimni through the tough and resolved stance of the Brigade Command and put in a new defensive position. Fore-noon on 29 November an attack was undertaken with an Infantry Company to save the II'nd Battalion and the 2nd Company which were under enemy encirclement in Sinnimni. The enemy circle was broken and the safe withdrawal of the units to Kaechon was provided for. The attacks undertaken by the enemy in the afternoon against the Kaechon position were destroyed to their last soldiers. However the forces which the enemy sent beyond the effective area of the Brigade to the back could not be stopped. Faced with this situation, at 1530 hours General Tahsin Yazici ordered the II'nd and III'rd Battalions to withdraw to the west of Kaechon. Before the battalions could get 2 km. away from Kaechon, they were divided into small groups by the effective fires they received from three directions. As the Brigade was entering the night of 29/30 November, the Hacham-Kunuri road was cut and the enemy circle was complete. At 1715 hours the I'st Battalion which had withdrawn from Kaechon engaged in combat in the Hacham circle. Although the units were dispersed and liaison and management was non existent, the small groups managed by the young officers started to break the enemy circle. The Brigade succeeded in getting out of the Hacham circle through attack and infiltration actions which continued all night long.

On 30 November 1950 the various groups advancing to Sunchon from the south of Tunuri met with a new enemy circle here. The Sunchon Pass had been under enemy control for the past two days. The attacks which the 2nd US Division undertook from the north and the British Brigade from the south had not produced results. After a short rest, our infantry started to attack the enemy which had dug in on the Sunchon Pass. With this attack in which US Infantry and tanks also participated the pass was opened. The bayonet of the Turkish Infantry had once again asserted its rule, and had opened the Sunchon Pass where the 2nd Division had come up against a stone wall. Thus the battles of the Brigade which were given the name Kunuri came to an end in a successful conclusion. The Turkish Brigade had succeeded to provide the necessary time and space for the withdrawal by preventing the encirclement of the Eighth Army and the IXth Army Corps and the destruction of the 2nd US Division, through the battles it fought on the dates of 27-30 November. The Turkish Brigade, which had no war experience, was affecting a great battle from its roots, was saving the friendly Army, which was starting to roll down a dangerous cliff, by stopping the superior numbers of enemy forces. Thus the Brigade was achieving fame in the world by playing an important role in the course of the war in its first battle. Echoes of the Kunuri Battle "4500 soldiers in the middle of the firing line have known how to create miracle. The sacrifices of the Turks will eternally remain in our minds." - Washington Tribune "The courageous battles of the Turkish Brigade have created a favorable effect on the whole United Nations Forces." - Time "The surprise of the Korean battles were not the Chinese but the Turks. It is impossible at this moment to find a word to describe the heroism which the Turks have shown in the battles." - Abent Post "The Turks have shown in Kunuri a heroism worthy of their glorious history. The Turks have gained the admiration of the whole world through their glorious fighting in the battles." - Figaro "The Turks who have been known throughout history by their courage and decency, have proved that they have kept these characteristics, in the war which the United Nations undertook in Korea." - Burner - U.S. Congressman "There is no one left who does not know that the Turks, our valuable allies, are hard warriors and that they have accomplished very great feats at the front." - Claude Pepper, U.S. Senator "I now understand that the vote I gave in favor of assistance to Turkey was the most fitting vote I gave in my life. Courage, bravery and heroism are the greatest virtues which

will sooner or later conquer. In this matter, I know no nation superior to the Turks." Rose - U.S. Senator "While the Turks were for a long time fighting against the enemy and dying, the British and Americans were withdrawing. The Turks, who were out of ammunition, affixed their bayonets and attacked the enemy and there ensued a terrible hand to hand combat. The Turks succeeded in withdrawing by continuous combat and by carrying their injured comrades on their backs. They paraded at Pyongyang with their heads held high." - G.G. Martin - British Lieutenant General "The Turkish forces have shown success above that expected in the battles they gave in Korea." - General Collings - Commander US Army "We owe the escape of thousands of United Nations troops out of a certain encirclement to the heroism of the Turkish soldiers. The Turkish soldiers in Korea have added a new and unforgettable page of honor to the customs and legends of heroism of the Turkish nation." - Emanuel Shinwell - U.K. Minister of Defense "The heroic soldiers of a heroic nation, you have saved the Eighth Army and the IX'th Army Crops from encirclement and the 2nd Division from destruction. I came here today to thank you on behalf of the United Nations Army." - General Walton H. Walker, Commander, Eighth Army "The Turks are the hero of heroes. There is no impossibility for the Turkish Brigade." General Douglas MacArthur - United Nations Forces Commander in Chief "The military situation in Korea is being followed with concern by the whole American public. But in these concerned days, the heroism shown by the Turks has given hope to the American nation. It has inculeated them with courage. The American public fully appreciates the value of the services rendered by the Turkish Brigade and knows that because of them the Eighth American Army could withdraw without disarray. The American public understands that the United Nations Forces in Korea were saved from encirclement and from falling in to the hands of the communists by the heroism shown by the Turks." - 2 December 1950, from the commentary of a US radio commentator The Turkish Brigade, as can be understood from the summary of the Kunuri battles and the echoes it produced in the world, had successfully accomplished its mission. The Brigade was proud to have informed the country of the news of success which the state and nation expected, at the highest level. A handful of soldiers had provided the state with power, great opportunities and esteem. Kumyangjangni Battle The United Nations Forces had been morally and materially very shaken at the end of the enemy attacks which had started on the night of 25/26 November 1951. The efforts to

stop the enemy were not producing any results. The Chinese who had gained the initiative were advancing and were striking the United Nations Forces blows one after the other. Winter, snow, battles lost one after the other and the losses suffered had left nothing resembling morale in the United Nations soldiers. The atmosphere was one of total defeat. The Chinese had become something which could not be stood up against or dealt with. From private to general the Army was engulfed in an air of subversive, dissolving, and collapsing panic. The various reconnaissance units were returning in panic and giving exaggerated hope breaking reports. Thus under these conditions plans had been started to be prepared for the evacuation of Korea and the units were ordered to reconnoiter secretly the avenues of withdrawal and places to board transport. In these hopeless and dark days in which the soldiers had completely lost their will to fight and the Chinese had advanced just waving their arms, according to rumors General MacArthur said "Try for once the Turkish Brigade, wait for the news which will come from them. Do not make a decision before letting the Turkish Brigade reconnoiter." Whatever the case was, the Brigade this time was being sent to the fire at a critical stage, just as it was at Kunuri. The Brigade was being given a new and important war task, which would play an important role on the testing of the battles. On 25 January 1951 the Turkish Brigade started to advance towards enemy lines by starting from two columns. After advancing 1.5 km. the enemy was engaged. The companies started to attack enemy positions like arrows out of bows. At 100 hours the fortified positions of the enemy were entered and enemy resistance was crushed. The companies did not wait long to open and spread again and started to look for the enemy. After advancing north about 2.5 km. the defensive positions of the enemy were encountered at the 185 altitude Hill line. The 10th Company succeeded in entering the enemy defense position at 1500 hours in this segment where intensive fire battles took place. A relentless and close combat had started all along the front. The enemy was defending its position literally to "its last breath". Darkness had fallen but decisive results could not be obtained. The enemy was resisting and our soldiers were attacking. A very complex and dangerous situation had occurred with the enemy and friendly forces mixed within each other. The Army Corps gave the order for "Turks to fix their bayonets where they reach and not withdraw even one step". The companies thought attacking and finishing the job of the enemy more logical than waiting nose to nose with the enemy under the maddening cold and as if on cue started attack all together. At 0500 hours on the morning of 25 January the defensive positions of the enemy were wholly captured. The Infantry who did not want to let the enemy take a breather continued to advance at 0700 hours on 26 January. After 5 km. a new defensive

line of the enemy was encountered. The Brigade was attacking with all its capabilities in this segment which the enemy was defending with all its power and insistence. In this battle in which the Brigade emerged with honor, the attack which the enemy undertook against Seoul produced no results. The command which did not want to miss the opportunity formed by the Brigade breaking the attack power and morale of the enemy did not delay the decision to replace defense with attack. The enemy which could not find the opportunity to change its battle formation from attack to defense started to withdraw towards the 38th parallel suffering a heavy defeat. As the Brigade was taken back after this famous new battle it was met with the enthusiastic show of sympathy and appreciation by the friendly soldiers along the way. The friendly soldiers were running along the road and shouting, "The First Returns". The location where the Brigade gave the night battle on 17/18 May was given the name "The Turkish Fortress". The commander in chief of the United Nations Forces, General Matthew B. Ridgway, said, "I had heard of the fame of the Turkish soldiers before I came to Korea. The truth is I had not really believed what I had heard. But I now understand that in fact you are the best, and most trustworthy soldiers of the world" and thus explained the emotions he felt and the assessments he reached from the Teagyewonni Battle. Now let us briefly and last address the Wegas [Vegas] Battle of the Brigade. The Turkish Brigade Provides "Cease Fire" In June 1951 the United Nations Forces had advanced up to the Imjin River-ChorwonKumhwa line. The trials at 1950 and 1951 could not obtain decisive results and the parties mutually went on the defensive and stopped the attack operations. This meant that the Korean War had remained where it started and that the war had not reached the established objective. Now no other operations could be made except ambush, reconnaissance and battle front line conflicts. The great military operation had stopped. The parties who understood that they could not solve the Korean problem with arms had started "cease fire" discussions. The discussions held at Panmunjon were protracting and were not reaching a result. The fact that the discussions were often being out and reconciliation could not be provided was increasing the chances of the big military operation restarting. For this reason the parties were strengthening their defense lines, and were waiting ready to meet possible attacks. The enemy had started to prepare in order to once more try its luck with arms. The attack which had been undertaken not much later with large forces against the front of the Turkish Brigade had two aims. Either they would have their demands accepted at the Panmunjomn "cease fire" discussions or they would reach the conclusion by penetrating allied lines.

Thus this attack which the enemy had much previously planned in a detailed manner and put into implementation by using all its experience had started on 28 May 1953 at 1948 hours. The techniques employed and the will to fight shown by the enemy in this attack had been of a commendable level. In this attack, which continued for thirty hours, all the echelons of the enemy from private to general fought with all their strength in the recognition of the importance of the aim pursued. For this battle would be the last one to establish the result in Korea. In case of defeat they would have to accept the consequence, but if success would be achieved the military operation would develop and at least political advantages would be gained. Thus the Turkish Brigade had to again meet an enemy attack which had a decisive aim and which was well prepared and resolute. In the front the positions were very close to each other. Such a situation had serious tactical disadvantages. Besides, having to wait in tight, humid and dark positions was tiring and irritating the soldiers. As the days passed in such a manner on 28 May at 1948 hours the war again became bloody with the attack of the enemy supported by intense fire. The enemy attacks which intensified on the front of the II'nd Battalion of the Brigade led to very bloody and sometimes crisis-like battles on the hills of Garson [Carson], Big Wegas [Vegas], Elko and Little Wegas [Vegas] which continued for thirty hours. The aforementioned hills changed hands frequently during the bloody battles which continued in big savagery from 1948 hours on 28 May 1953 to 2400 hours on 29 May night and day without stopping. The enemy started the attack at 1948 by smokebombing the Little Wegas Hill. It entered positions at 2000 hours. As the enemy was reinforcing Little Wegas, our Infantry counter attacked at 2115 with fire support. At 2119 the enemy started to run having failed to hold. The enemy which managed to capture a bunker was destroyed at 2151 with bombs and bayonet charges. At 2152 hours, Garson and Elko were completely smoked. The enemy is turning Big Wegas into hell with artillery and mortar fire. The enemy which entered Big Wegas was thrown back at 2158 with bayonet charges. Ammunition began to run low at the battle front lines. At 2208 the enemy re-entered Big Wegas. At 2220 hours enemy reinforcements reached Big Wegas. At 2220 hours enemy reinforcements reached Big Wegas. The enemy was subjected to intense artillery fire. At 2240 a counter attack was undertaken against Big Wegas. The enemy attacked Garson at 2245 hours. At 1315 hours our Infantry re-capture Big Wegas. The enemy who had entered Elko was thrown back at 2315 hours. No opportunity was given to the enemy, which had entered Little Wegas, to hold and as a result of a counter attack the Hill was re-captured at 2334 hours. At 2330 the enemy entered Big Wegas. At 2353 the enemy attack against Elko and Garson began. Wired and wireless communications were cut. The situation started to present a full scale crisis. Hand to hand combat is continuing at battle front lines. At 0040 hours the enemy started to attack Little Wegas. The enemy is trying to capture the battle front lines before daylight. At 0120 the enemy enters Garson.

At 0150 fighting continues with the enemy who has entered some of the bunkers on Little Wegas and Big Wegas. Communications cannot be established with Garson. At 0323 those enemy soldiers entering Little Wegas and those approaching in order to reinforce surrender to our soldiers. At 0347 the Brigade gives the order to attack Big Wegas. Garson is in the hands of the enemy. At 0427 the enemy reinforces Big Wegas. At 0505 Garson is being shelled. Little Wegas in holding but the wounded can not be evacuated. With the attack at 1050 we take Big Wegas. The enemy is running. Everywhere there are dead and wounded. At 1115 the American company attacked Garson from Elko, however, upon being surrounded by the Chinese, started to withdraw at 1600 hours. At 1543 the Chinese entered Elko. Hand grenade combat started in Elko. The enemy occupied a bunker. After this it entered Big Wegas at 1615. Our infantry immediately counter attacked and threw the enemy back. The battle is continuing high tension. At 1933 hours the enemy started to attack Little Wegas from Big Wegas. At 2005 our 2'nd Artillery Battery started to burn. At 2021 it had completely burned. At 2050 the Division decided to evacuate Wegas. The enemy can not enter Wegas. But at 2109 our infantry withdraw upon orders. At 2020 Wegas is completely evacuated. The command who fought the enemy had been given the required lesson decided to stop the bloody battle. At the end of the bloody battles which continued for thirty hours the enemy, with the withdrawal of our battalion, had captured Big Wegas, Elko and Garson. But because it had used up all its attack strength it could not undertake another attack against the main battle line. The attacks of the enemy which it undertook with the large forces it had concentrated and with strong artillery and mortar groups, for thirty hours was caught up in the battle front lines. During these battles, according to the report of our artillery advance surveillance officer, we suffered 300 and the enemy around 2000 casualties. On the other hand General Ridgway explains the casualties suffered in the battles with the following figures "The Turkish Brigade suffered 104 dead and 376 wounded. The enemy losses were established to be 2200 dead and 1075 wounded" (*). (*) Refer to "The Korean War" written by the General Matthew Ridgway - p. 220. The enemy understood after this battle that there was no option but to "cease fire" and to restart the laying-down-of-arms negotiations in a lively and willing manner. In fact before long the "cease fire" was signed. The Turkish Brigade affected the "cease fire" which was signed in Korea, through the battles it fought on 28 and 29 May 1953. As can be seen, the Turkish Brigade had often demonstrated successes during the Korean battles, which affected the course of the war. Finally, the Turkish Brigade also fought the last battle leading to the "cease fire". Of course all these battles were not easy and without loss.

Turkish Brigade in Korean War ( 25th June - 26 Nov. 1950 )
Dr. M. Galip Baysal

The Korean War is one of the most comprehensive and significant wars that took place within almost the 60 odd years following World War II. It began on the morning of 25th June 1950 with a surprise assault initiated by the North Korean Armed Forces who had been preparing for an offensive for a long time, without any apparent pretext or provocation. Consequently, it continued to expand, with the United Nation Forces, formed for the first time in history comprising about 20 free nations including Turkey, fighting on the side of South Korea and Communist Chinese Forces fighting on the side of North Korea until 27 July 1953 on which date the war came to an end through an interim truce Due to the political conditions prevailing at that time, Turkey was the first nation following the U.S. to respond positively to the United Nations call assigning a 5000 men strong Brigade to the United Nation Armed Forces. The Brigade; which came to be known as “ The Turkish Brigade” entered the war in late Nov 1950, at almost the same time as Communist Chinese Forces started fighting on the side of North Korea.The Brigade took an active part in numerous battles of various size until the signing of the truce. The 27-30 Nov 2006 is the 56th anniversary of “ “Kunuri Battles”. We have prepared this article in two parts, on the anniversary of this unfortunate episode to commemorate the soldiers who fought and shed blood for a sacred cause, thousand of miles from their homes, and to briefly review the operations conducted by the Turkish Brigade, which was renowned for its exploits during this war. We think that for all military and even civilian personnel, of what country they are from, there are great benefits to be obtained from recognizing and being informed about both the positive and negative aspects of operations conducted by a unit of such a small scale. Thus, it will be possible to have a better idea about the degree of impact a unit may have, regardless of his size, on the outcome of combat and indirectly, even the outcome of the war



The Koreans have a 4000 years old history, they are a people bound to the infertile land of the Korean Peninsula, and are different from the Chinese, the Manchurians and Japanese. They had passed the civilization of Ancient China to Japan, and although they are very peaceful people, their geographical location caused the country to be used as a natural bridge and buffer zone, never allowing the Koreans to find the peace they sought. The history of Korea, much like that of Anatolia, which also constitutes a natural bridge between Asia, Europe and Africa, abounds with foreign invasions. Korean Peninsula is regarded both as a bridgehead for those who want to cross to Asia and as a stepping stone for those who want to cross to the Japanese Islands. For these reasons any power whose intention has been or would be to control the Far East for its national interests, must always have and want to have Korea under its control. The region of Korea has been a source of political conflict, confrontation and armed combat, initially between her close neighbors China and Japan; and later, upon Tsarist Russia gaining a foothold in the Far East in the second half of the 19th Century, between China, Japan and Russia. The original reason for conflicts could not have been only Korea; the real objective of the scramble was the reach and widespread lands of Manchuria. China had maintained control over Korea since the reign of the Manchu’s. In the 19th Century, The Japanese Empire as early as its founding years tried to intervene economically in Manchuria. As a result, Japanese and Chinese Empires started fighting in Korea in 1894. The Japanese defeated Chinese Forces near Pyongyang and with the Shimoneski Treaty, signed on seventeen April 1895; The Manchu Empire resigned its rights over Korea and abandoned Taiwan to Japan. Although Korea came under Japanese control later, the expansionist policies of the Tsarist Russia to the north influenced Russian- Japanese relations. Russia tried to carve out a peace from Manchuria without any regard for the Japanese Empire and Seized bases and fortresses and started approaching the River Yalu in order to gain control over Northern Korea. It is interesting to note that; the idea to divide Korea along 38th Parallel between Japan and Russia first emerged in 1896, during this conflicts. When Japanese Army and Navy defeated Russians in 1904 they gained control over the entire Area.

The Koreans could not make use of Wilson’s Principles at the end of World War-I, since Japan was then in the ranks of Entente Powers. In spite of this, Korean nationalists formed two provisional governments outside Korean territory. One of these was under Dr. Syngman Ree, the other formed by Kim Kao. During World War II, the Korean issue was for the first time dealt with at 1943 Cairo Conference. The portion of the conference communiqué

pertaining to Korea and signed by Chiang-Kai-Shek, Churchill and Roosevelt is as follows: “ The three major states, U.S., Britain and China, who are well aware of the captivity of the Korean People, have decided that Korea will be granted her independence due course.” At that time, Soviet Russia had not yet taken part in a war in the Far East and it was decided that Korea would be occupied only by U.S. troops at the appropriate time. Later, when it was understood at the Yalta Conference in Feb 1945 that the USSR would take part in the war in the Far East, the commanders agreed to confer the duty of ousting the Japanese from Korea jointly to Soviet and U.S. troops. As is known, in May 1945, Japan received from the Allies a call to surrender in early August. When Japan refused to oblige, Atom Bombs were dropped for the first time in history on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on 6 and 9 Aug 1945 respectively. Meanwhile, the USSR declared war against Japan on 8 August and Japanese stated they would surrender to the U.S. on August 10th. Soviet Troops started entering Northern Korea through Manchuria on 12th August. While these troops were rapidly moving through Korea, U.S. forces were hundreds of miles away. Soviet Forces had to be stopped somewhere. Thus 38th Parallel was suggested as a border. Upon adoption of this proposal, there were suddenly two Koreas. These incidents, which took place immediately following World War-II, closely resemble incidents, which took place at the beginning of the war, during the same months six years before when the Soviets invaded Eastern Poland in much the same way they occupied Korea, while the Germans were invading Western Poland. The developments that took place between Sep 1945 and June 1950 may be summarized as follows: A. While the U.S. and the Free Nations were striving to settle the dispute by setting up Military Government in South Korea through democratic means and in compliance with U.N. resolutions, the Soviets were not favoring any solution short of uniting Korea under communist rule as they had intended from the outset. Although the Committee, which was set up to work on a solution, was allowed to work freely in South Korea, it was not allowed to cross the 38th parallel. The Committee decided to hold elections in South Korea on 10th May 1948. The elections were held and the “ Republic of Korea” was formed five days after a constitution was accepted on 12th July. The first president elected was one of the early freedom fighters, Dr. Syngman Ree. Three and a half months after the elections in the South, North Korea, which had been under the control of the “ People’s Council” since 1945, held elections on 25th August 1948 for 572 members of Parliament, supposedly representing the whole of Korea and “The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea” was formed. Thus, in 1948, two separate governments were established



both claiming to be the sole representative of all of Korea. D. In accordance with a United Nations resolution, U.S. and Soviet occupation Forces left Korea after these governments were formed.


The political situation in Korea at the beginning of 1950 can be summarized as follows: Following the withdrawal of Soviet and U.S. troops, the dispute between the two Korean Republics had turned into bitter hostility due to the incompatibility of the regimes. The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea backed and encouraged by Communist China and USSR was aiming at uniting North and South Korea under a communist regime. It had prepared a large offensive army in order to realize this aim by force. The Armed Forces of South Korean Republic, on the other hand, was far from being able to defend its own country. Two-aid and security agreement were signed between the U.S. and the Republic of South Korea on 31 Dec 1948 and 26 Jan 1950 respectively. Meanwhile, the Soviets had signed a ten-year aid agreement with the Peoples Democratic Republic on 20 March 1949. In 1950 the World witnessed to raise another great power that was to have a considerable influence on the Communist Block. The Communists, who increased their activities after World War-II, succeeded in ousting the nationalists, headed by ChiangKai-Shek, from the Continent by a victory they won on 8 Dec 1949, thus initiating a new epoch in the history of Asia. The Soviets withdrew their claims on Manchuria to resolve their dispute with Communist China and a 30-year “Friendship and Mutual Defense Agreement” was signed between Mao-Tse-Tung and Vichinsky, Russian Foreign Minister, on 14th Feb 1950. The Chinese now had their eyes on the islands after they consolidated their hold on the mainland on 23rd April 1950, they captured Hainan and on 16th May 1950 (almost 40 days before the beginning of the Korean War) they captured Chushan Island. Euphoric with victory, and adopting an expansionist policy they now look towards Formosa and some other islands on which Chian-Kai_Shek was confined. In view of the prevailing circumstances prior to the outbreak of war, it was obvious that North Korea would be supported by the Soviet Union and China and that the U.S. in the event of the hostilities would support the South.


The war broke out on the morning of June 25th 1950 at 0400 (local time), with North Korean artillery fire directed at Kumpo Peninsula to the west of Seoul and followed at 0800 by the crossing of the border at various points by North Korean Forces which seemed to be extremely well prepared for the operation. At 1100, North Korea declared war against South Korea claiming that the South Korean units had crossed the border along the 38th parallel. The objective of North Korea was to rapidly destroy weak South Korean forces and capture the peninsula as fast as they could, before the U.S. could intervene, and thus create a “Fait Accompli”. The U.N. Security Council in emergency session same day at 1400 (the USSR boycotted the Council and therefore lost its veto ability), passed a resolution, which said: “The North Korean attack has disrupted international peace. The fighting should be stopped immediately and North Korean Forces should withdraw beyond the 38 parallel.” The North Korean Forces disregarded the resolution completely and continued their rapid operations. From that moment on, a relentless race against time began between North Korea and U.N. Community. This initial phase of the operation can be summarized as a rapid advance of North Korean Forces; continuous withdrawal by the South Korean Forces and U.N. Forces trying to defend the “Pusan Bridgehead”, thus attempting to gain time for the deployment of contingencies from several U.N. countries (including Turkey). Towards the end of July 1950, the remaining South Korean Forces, and three U.S. divisions, which had deployed piecemeal had to withdraw all the way to Taegu due to the quantitative superiority and intense pressure by the North Korean Army. Thus “Pusan Bridgehead” was formed. During the defense of the Pusan Bridgehead, which was an achievement the U.N. could be proud of, the attacking power of the North Korean Forces was diminished and the U.N. Forces assigned to the Korean Theater had started arriving. The U.N. Command gaining land, naval and air superiority, initiated a general offensive on September 15 upon orders by Gen Mc Arthur who had been commander-in-Chief since July 24th, by a landing operation conducted at Inchon, west of Seul. This may be referred to as the beginning of the second phase of the war. The U.N. attack developed rapidly. During the initial stage 6 North Korean divisions were enveloped and destroyed. The U.N. forces went beyond Seoul and advance up to the 38th Parallel. When Gen Mc Arthur was authorized to continue past the 38th Parallel after negotiation held at the U.N., the U.N. Forces crossed the 38th Parallel on 9 Oct 1950, occupied the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on 24 Oct and reached the Sinuiju- Hungnam line by the end of Oct. In November 1950, while the U.N. Forces were getting ready to deal the final blow to North Korea, activities intensified in Communist China. In early October, Communist Chinese Prime Minister Chou-en-Lai said in a radio broadcast that: “The Chinese nation can not remain silent while her neighbors was being invaded.” And that “The Chinese Nation has always been on the side of the Korean Nation.” The propaganda

that followed harped on the theme that:” The U.S., in much the same way as Japan did in the past, was intending to invade China and Asia via Korea. As an initial step, Chinese forces in Manchuria were increased. It is estimated that these forces were increased to 850.000 at the beginning of Oct 1950. Until 15 November U.N. Forces continued north and some Communist Chinese forces were detected. The U.N. advance stopped and only minor actions took place along the entire Front” between 15-24 Nov 1950.” Regardless of Communist China’s stance at this stage, the U.N. Command was determined to occupy the whole of North Korea up to the River Yalu. The general belief of the command was that China did not have as many units in the north as has been reported, that China would not go to war unless her own territory and Manchuria came under attack, and that even if she did, she could not achieve much in the face of the much more superior U.N. Air Power. The previously planned offensive was launched on 24th Nov 1950 upon Gen Mc Arthur’s orders, with participation by the Turkish Brigade for the first time.

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