The Korean War, which began with an unprovoked attack by North Korea in 1950, went on for three long years. Over 100,000 soldiers of the United Nations forces, including those of the Republic of Korea, were killed and three times that number wounded. United Kingdom casualties amounted to some 300 Officers and 4,000 Other Ranks.
The Royal Engineers deployed a Field Squadron to Korea in the Autumn of 1950 and this was expanded to a Regiment the following year. Involved in fierce fighting, the Sappers suffered grievous casualties including 42 killed and several hundred wounded. Their gallantry was rewarded by numerous gallantry awards, including two DSOs, thirteen MCs, (one by the author), eight MMs and the most distinguished of all, a Distinguished Conduct Medal, second only to the Victoria Cross.
It was a vicious war whose intensity never slackened and in the last two months alone the Communist artillery fired over 700,000 rounds against 4.7 million fired back by the United Nations. The Royal Engineers were involved at all levels, from patrols and minefields, to defense works and, providing support to all manner of operations such as transportation, bridging and the important provision of postal services, so vital for morale.
Inevitably, though, the focus in that of a war like Korea is often on sapper participation in the forward area where they were often involved in close-quarter fighting with the enemy. Sappers certainly lived up to the title of this book: Fight, Dig and Live.
|Publisher:||Pen & Sword Books Limited|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
General Sir George Cooper GCB MC DL was commissioned into the Royal Engineers and served as a Troop Commander in Korea (where he was awarded the Military Cross). His career culminated as Adjutant General (the second most senior Army appointment). He has been Colonel Commandant Royal Engineers and Chief Royal Engineer.
He is co-author of an acclaimed anthology The Bengal Sappers (2003).
Table of Contents
Prologue The Background to Conflict 1
Chapter 1 Early Days 7
Chapter 2 55 Field Squadron goes to Korea 12
Chapter 3 The Imjin Battle, 22-25 April 1951 36
Chapter 4 Consolidation 47
Chapter 5 Advance over the Imjin 58
Chapter 6 Life in the Line 66
Chapter 7 Operation Dragon 73
Chapter 8 Roads Again 75
Chapter 9 Spring Returns 77
Chapter 10 The Hook 86
Chapter 11 On a Lighter Note 92
Chapter 12 The Final Months 115
Chapter 13 Night Life in Korea 141
Chapter 14 The Cruellest Months 149
Chapter 15 Routine 156
Chapter 16 The Dukes' Battle 162
Chapter 17 Rip Van Winkle 169
Chapter 18 A Fragile Peace 177
Chapter 19 The Immediate Aftermath 183
Chapter 20 Dejà Vu 197
Epilogue: The Last Post 195
1 Korea, 1950 vii
2 Battle of the Imjin, 1951 37
3 The Hook, that deadliest of hills 136
4 The Hook - Rip Van Winkle 171
5 Area of Operation 1st Commonwealth Division, October 1951 to July 1953 showing principal roads and tracks built and maintained by Divisional Engineers 182