IX Corps (United States) - History - Korean War - Stalemate


In September, the UN Forces launched another counteroffensive with the 24th Infantry Division at the center of the line, west of the Hwachon Reservoir. Three of I Corps divisions advanced behind the 24th Infantry Division in Operation Commando. Flanked by the South Korean 2nd and 6th Divisions, the 24th advanced past Kumwha, engaging the 20th and 27th CPV Armies. These attacks were fierce, though enemy resistance was not as strong as it had been in previous offensives. In November, the Chinese attempted to counter this attack, but were unsuccessful. It was at this point, after several successive counteroffensives that saw both sides fighting intensely over the same ground, that the two sides started serious peace negotiations. In January 1952, IX Corps was again reorganized, now containing the 7th Infantry Division and the newly-arrived 45th Infantry Division. Two months later, it was reorganized with the 2nd Infantry Division, the 40th Infantry Division, and the South Korean 2nd, 3rd, and Capital Divisions.

In October 1952, Chinese forces conducted a large offensive against IX Corps' sector, against the hilly countryside around the Iron Triangle region of Chorwon, Kumhwa, and Pyongyang. The 38th CPV Field Army sent heavy assaults against the South Korean forces guarding Hill 395 in the Battle of White Horse. At the same time, Chinese forces attacked Arrowhead Hill, which was held by the 2nd Infantry Division two miles away. Both hills changed hands several times, but after two weeks and almost 10,000 casualties, the Chinese were unsuccessful in capturing either objective and withdrew.

On 14 October 1952, IX Corps launched an offensive, Operation Showdown, intended to improve its defensive lines by capturing a complex of hills and force Chinese lines back. This complex included Pike's Peak, Jane Russell Hill, Sandy Hill, and Triangle Hill, northeast of Kumhwa. The 7th Infantry Division advanced, encountering resistance from the 15th Chinese Field Army. In the ensuing Battle of Triangle Hill, the four hills were captured and recaptured by both sides several times in the heaviest fighting that year. Eventually, the UN forces withdrew having been unsuccessful in capturing their objectives. UN forces suffered 9,000 killed and the Chinese suffered 19,000 killed or wounded during the fighting. The result of the battle had only been a slight improvement in IX Corps' positions, as Chinese positions had been too well fortified for the UN forces to take and hold the ground. For the remainder of the year, US and Chinese forces both conducted a series of smaller raids on each other's lines, avoiding major conflicts, as armistice negotiations continued unsuccessfully. In November, the Chinese launched another offensive to retake ground lost during these operations, which was again repulsed by UN forces.

In January 1953, IX Corps was reorganized for the last time and now consisted entirely of South Korean forces. It retained command of the South Korean 3rd Infantry Division and Capital Division, and gained command of the South Korean 9th Infantry Division. The corps maintained a position around Chorwon, flanked to the west by I Corps and to the east by the South Korean II Corps. Though the South Korean II Corps saw a major attack against its lines in July 1953, IX Corps and its divisions only fought in limited engagements, usually with company-sized formations attacking or defending fortified positions against the Chinese until the end of the war. No major attacks against the corps were conducted through 1953, until the armistice was signed in July, ending the war.

Read more about this topic:  IX Corps (United States), History, Korean War

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