Supporting the Attack

William T. Bowers

in Striking Back

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125640
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135366 | DOI:
Supporting the Attack

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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

Chapter.  5120 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

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