Battle for Pusan: The Korean War Memoir of a Field Artillerymanby Addison Terry
On June 25, 1950, North Korean Army (NKA) forces shocked the world as they streamed across the 38th Parallel in the opening attack of a campaign to unite the peninsula by force of arms under the communist regime in Pyongyang. The ten-division North Korean attack, spearheaded by 150 Russian-made T-34 tanks, advanced quickly, capturing the South Korean capital city, Seoul, in four days.
American occupation forces had been withdrawn from the Republic of Korea (ROK) in 1949 leaving a modest group of advisors to the ROK army, whose eight divisions were capable of little more than maintaining internal security. Outnumbered and outgunned, the South was doomed to defeat if America's military might could not quickly be brought to bear. Unfortunately, America's military might was not in such good shape itself. With no obvious threat, the four divisions that remained in Japan had been allowed to become undermanned, underequipped, and poorly trained.
Hastily thrown into battle in a necessarily piecemeal manner, American units were defeated at every turn. Still, by August 1, 1950, U.S. forces finally stabilized a defensive perimeter around the far southern port city of Pusan. But, could they hold it?
Without enough troops to properly defend Pusan, the initial perimeter was little more than a string of hilltop strong points. Continuing fierce North Korean attacks threatened to break through at every turn. Lieutenant Terry's unit, the famed "Wolfhounds" of the 27th RCT (Regimental Combat Team), was used as a "fire brigade," rushing to shore up the imperiled American defenders as the NKA threatened to breakthrough at every turn. His memoir of these perilous times makes for exciting reading, replete with the drama and sacrifice of men in combat.
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