Translated from the Headlines （Toutiao 头条新闻）
Author: Wang Qing
In September 1952, the 23rd Army of the Volunteer Army entered the DPRK. The army first garrisoned on the east coast and was transferred to the front of the front at the end of the year, replacing the famous 38th Army, taking over the 30-kilometer defensive position from Jiangjundong to Sumudong.
In the front of the defensive positions in Chengshan and Zhishandong, there is a 205 high ground, which is defended by the 1st Battalion, 1st Battalion, 201st Regiment, 67th Division of the 23rd Army. To the southeast of 205 Heights, there is a small highland with a slope of only more than 30 square meters, which is directly connected to the US puppet army position in front of it. From a defensive point of view, this humble small highland is an important barrier for the 205 highlands. Therefore, the 1st company sent 3rd platoons led by the platoon leader Le Zhizhou to strengthen 1 Guoliunov heavy machine gun and 1 52-type 57mm Recoilless gun, defend this outstanding point.
Regardless of the small position, the 38th Army has dug two serpentine tunnels with a top thickness of more than 7 meters. The exits of the tunnels are connected to the trenches, the surface positions are constructed with circular fortifications, and the traffic trenches are covered with roofs. When the 1st company dispatched 3 platoons to the garrison, the company commander explained to Le Zhizhou: The surface position of this small highland can only accommodate 1 squad of troops. In the event of a large-scale attack by the US army, you should control the troops in the tunnel and move to the surface position at the right time. Send 1 team to 1 class. If the troops suffered too many casualties, they would immediately retreat to the tunnel, and cooperate with the company’s main force to launch a counterattack from the 205 high ground at night to restore the surface position.
The 23rd Army never expected from top to bottom that Lieutenant General Van Fleet, commander of the U.S. Eighth Army, actually “appointed” this unnamed small highland as a “testing ground” for senior officers and domestic reporters from the U.S. Eighth Army. The regiment showed off the “new tactics” he painstakingly researched. On the U.S. side, because the 205 high terrain resembles the character “Ding” in Chinese characters, it is called “Dingzishan”. In Van Fleet’s view, “Dingzishan” is a rare “soft persimmon” in the middle of the front: the isolation here is prominent, and it is difficult for the volunteers to rush to help. Just a few days after the 23rd Army took over the defense, all aspects of the situation may not be clear, and it is “unstabilized.”
Lieutenant General Van Fleet, commander of the U.S. 8th Army
In addition, Van Fleet was selfish. Because the “Allied Forces” suffered an unprecedented defeat in the previous “showdown operation”, namely the Battle of Shangganling, he himself has been criticized by the country. So he was eager to save his face with a trivial victory. In order to please the military academy classmates of the year, the incoming new President Eisenhower, Van Fleet set the time for attacking “Dingzishan” on January 25th, in an attempt to use this as a “meeting ceremony” to congratulate his old classmates on being elected to the throne. “. The code name of the action was “Whipping Action”. In order to ensure that there is nothing wrong, the commander-in-chief has used military resources that are more appalling than the famous “Van Fleet ammunition”.
Starting at 8 o’clock on January 25, the US Far East Air Force dispatched 196 sorties of F84 fighter-bombers, repeatedly bombing a small position on this hilltop that could only accommodate one squad. Nearly one hundred 105mm, 155mm, and 203mm artillery guns were also prepared for artillery fire simultaneously and suppressed the positions of the 23rd Volunteer Army in Chengshan and Zhishan to prevent their reinforcements.
Under the cover of combined air and ground fire, the 31st regiment of the US 7th Division dispatched 2 battalions of infantry and 33 tanks, and calmly completed the assembly in the safe zone. When the ground artillery fire extended to the volunteers, the US tanks immediately moved forward in two directions. Twenty-seven tanks approached the sides of the small high ground and used tank guns to fire close to the surface fortifications of the Volunteers. After the other 6 tanks rounded back to the side of the small highland, they used fire to blockade the only channel of the main force of the 1st company on the 205 highlands to reinforce the small highland.
The commanders of my 3rd row who were trapped in the siege were surprisingly calm. They waited patiently in the depths of the tunnel when the US military was carrying out joint air-ground fire preparations, leaving only one observer at the entrance of the tunnel. From 13:30, the US infantry started the charge, and Le Zhizhou, the platoon leader, measured the enemy’s troops according to the pre-war plan. Use combat teams to attack the U.S. platoon-level troops and class against U.S. infantry companies’ assault.
The most critical situation of the day occurred in the first round of the US infantry offensive. Because Le Zhizhou had just sent a combat team to the surface position, the tunnel entrance was blocked by US military machine guns. If this deadly threat cannot be eliminated quickly, even if the combat team is brave, sooner or later it will be outnumbered. Fortunately, the combat team sent in the early stage was full of veterans of the Hundred Wars. In a very short period of time, they judged the threat of the enemy’s various forces and took the lead in launching a swift counterattack against the US infantry squad that blocked my tunnel with grenades and submachine guns and repelled them.
Since then, the inside and outside of the tunnel cooperated tacitly. The commanders and fighters holding the tunnels kept throwing grenades outwards, and the American soldiers who were swarming up lay on the ground and stopped moving forward. The combat team outside the tunnel used side-fire power to “call” the American troops lying on the ground one by one. In about 1 minute, 1 platoon force of the US army was reimbursed. The unconvinced US troops sent another platoon, but they followed in the footsteps of the former.
Upon seeing this, the US front-line commander immediately ordered his artillery to “plow” the hill again. Upon seeing this, Le Zhizhou immediately blew his trumpet and summoned the combat team on the surface to avoid the gun in the tunnel. At about 14:10, the U.S. Army launched another attack with two infantry platoons, but they never had the first “good luck”. Before they could get close to the front of the volunteers’ defense, they got grenades and explosives. “Warm hospitality” for bags and blasting cylinders. Finally, a few “hard” guys rushed up, but they were swept back by the volunteers’ submachine guns. After Le Zhizhou was injured, Chen Zhi, the deputy squad leader of the 3rd squad, ignored his clothes being scorched by incendiary bombs and his ears and used tenacious perseverance instead of Le Zhizhou to direct the battle. Warrior Liu Kaifa was wounded in his right eye and his face was bleeding, but he still insisted on fighting.
The two sides just went back and forth and hit 15:40 again and again, and the American infantry that suffered heavy losses was already “three drums exhausted.” At this moment, the Volunteer Army’s 23rd Corps artillery unit ignored the US air and ground fire suppression, and the supporting artillery fired from the depth hit the US infantry offensive starting position. The U.S. commander’s fighting will suddenly collapse, and Mingjin hurriedly ordered Mingjin to retreat.
“Operation Flogging” ended with the complete defeat of the US military. According to US statistics, they poured over 100 tons of aerial bombs and napalm bombs on this small highland, and fired 1.5 million rounds of various calibers and bullets, but failed to take this small highland. This reinforced platoon of the 23rd Volunteer Army had a total of 11 casualties and still had the strength to fight again. According to the statistics of the Volunteer Army, the number of casualties of the incoming US military was 150. However, after the war, the US military only admitted that it had suffered 77 casualties, but claimed that it had killed 65 volunteers.
This position was firmly controlled by the volunteers from beginning to end. God knows how the US military counts the casualties of the volunteers. But even according to the data released by the US military, considering the amount of ammunition they poured into the position, the battle was extremely ugly to lose. For such an unexpected ending, Van Fleet wanted to not mention it, so he went over and fell. Anyway, the gains and losses of this small highland would not affect the overall situation. Unexpectedly, some of the American journalists who were invited to watch the battle vividly depicted a large group of middle- and high-level generals holding an offensive plan and witnessing this shameful failed offensive scene.
After this battlefield report was published in the United States, the U.S. congressmen clung to them and sang the tunes higher and higher: “Is this a normal military operation? Or is it a gladiator performance for VIPs?” “What is the value of this kind of “experiment” that allowed American youth to die in vain?” Later, the “fire” was no longer aimed at Van Fleet but spread to the new President Eisenhower, who promised to end the Korean War as soon as possible during the election campaign. Body: “Mr. President, do you intend to end the war in this way?”
Eisenhower couldn’t bear the strong pressure, so he had to quickly let Van Fleet “dismiss get out of class”. The commander of the 8th Army never dreamed that he would not be able to steal the chicken by himself, and smack his horse’s ass on his horse’s leg, and finally compensate for his future. The 23rd Army of the Volunteers never expected that it was nothing but a small platoon-scale battle for myself, and it caused such a big wave on the other side of the ocean.