World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Battle of the Hook

Article Id: WHEBN0002155176
Reproduction Date:

Title: Battle of the Hook  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Bankfield Museum, Battle of the Samichon River, MV Empire Windrush, Major Henderson incident, Battle of Andong
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Battle of the Hook

Third Battle of the Hook
Part of the Korean War

Soldiers of the British Duke of Wellington's Regiment during a lull in fighting at the Hook.
Date May 28–29, 1953
Location Near Kaesong, Korea
Result United Nations victory
  • Retention of original hill positions.[1]
Belligerents
 United Nations
 China
Commanders and leaders
Brigadier Joseph Kendrew Unknown
Strength
1,500 [2] 6,500 [3]
Casualties and losses
24 killed
105 wounded
20 missing
c.1,050 killed
800 wounded [4]

The Third Battle of the Hook (Chinese: 坪村南山) was a battle of the Korean War that took place between a United Nations force, consisting mostly of British troops, supported on their flanks by American and Turkish units against a predominantly Chinese force.

Background

By 1953, elements of the United Nations forces were engaged in fierce fighting to prevent People's Volunteer Army forces from gaining ground, prior to a possible cease fire. This was to deny them additional bargaining power, during negotiations.

One such action took place at a feature called "the Hook", a crescent shaped ridge near Sami Creek, a tributary of the Imjin River near Kaesong. There had been two previous engagements at the Hook earlier in the Korean War during 1952 when first the United States Marine Corps in October, and later the Scottish Black Watch regiment, had successfully held the Hook against Chinese assaults upon their arrival the following month. This ridge was a place of tactical importance in the Commonwealth sector: it was a potential attack point which the Chinese needed to take before assaulting Yong Dong, and opening up an invasion route to Seoul, the South Korean capital.

On 13 May 1953, the 1st Battalion the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (the "Dukes") were moved from its position on Yong Dong, to relieve the Black Watch, who had been defending The Hook.[5] During this period, the Black Watch had suffered 12 soldiers killed, 73 wounded and 20 missing. Over the next two weeks The Dukes were under constant sniper, mortar and artillery fire. This was then followed up in a major action over the 28–29 May following heavy initial Artillery and Mortar fire, after which the Chinese infantry attacked in force. Between 19 May and 29 May 'The Dukes' suffered 15 killed in action, 95 wounded and 32 missing. They were relieved by the Royal Fusiliers later in the day of 29 May.[6]

Battle

The Chinese forces charged the forward British positions once the bombardment ceased. The Dukes were outnumbered by 5 to 1. The fighting that ensued was bloody and akin to the battles that the 'Dukes' had fought during World War I. Artillery shells rained down on the Hook, from both the Chinese and UN forces. The Chinese launched a second attack but were cut down by heavy artillery fire from UN forces. Further attacks occurred during the day, but all were defeated in heavy fighting.

Successive Chinese assaults on the Hook position defended by the 1st Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's Regiment on the night of 28 May 1953. The fourth Chinese assault on the right flank of 1 battalion, the Duke of Wellington's was repulsed by the 1st Battalion, The King's Regiment, with the aid of artillery support.

Just 30 minutes into 29 May, the Chinese forces launched another attack, but they were again beaten back. The Dukes began advancing up the line of the original trenches to dislodge the remaining Chinese forces in the forward trenches. The 'Dukes' secured the Hook at 03:30. For their action they were awarded the Battle Honour "The Hook"

Chinese shelling

Between 19 May and 29 May, Chinese artillery fired over 20,000 shells onto the Hook position, and 11,000 of these shells were fired on the night of 28 May, with over 200 heavy calibre shells hitting the Hook positions in the one hour between 17:45 and 18:45.

United Nations shelling

37,818 shells of all calibres were fired by British artillery and the US Army I Corps artillery, including 155 mm, 8-inch, and 240 mm shells and 325 rockets from a US Rocket Battery.

Firing directly upon the enemy, the Centurions of C Squadron, 1st Royal Tank Regiment used 504 20-pdr shells (the tanks also fired 22,500 rounds from their machine guns).[7]

Aftermath

Chinese casualties were estimated at 1,050 killed and over 800 wounded.[8] Of these, 167 were actually counted. There were probably many others unseen, perhaps accounting for the casualty figure of approximately 2,000 published elsewhere.

The 'Dukes' suffered 3 officers and 17 other ranks killed, 2 officers and 84 other ranks wounded, with 20 men missing. There were other casualties from other supporting units listed below. In addition, there were a further 50 casualties from artillery and mortar attacks between 10 May and 28 May.[9]

Casualties from other supporting units:

  • 20th Field Regiment RA = 2 men killed, 4 wounded.
  • 61st Light Regiment RA = 1 man killed, 7 wounded.
  • 1st Battalion King's Regiment = 7 men wounded.
  • 1st Battalion Black Watch = 1 man wounded (attached to 1DWR)
  • KATCOMs = 1 man killed.
  • Total UN casualties = 24 killed, 105 wounded, 20 missing = 149 total.

For their action, the Duke of Wellington's Regiment was awarded the Battle Honour The Hook 1953. Later, the 1st Battalion's Headquarter Company was renamed "Hook Company".[10]

Shortly after on 2 June 1953, to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II the division's artillery fired red, white and blue smoke shells onto the Chinese lines (a "feu de joie"), followed by a salute from Centurion tanks which fired HE shells onto a single target.[11]

The Hook was defended on a fourth occasion immediately prior to the armistice by an Australian infantry battalion, a New Zealand artillery regiment and two American infantry regiments, supported by British tanks, during the Battle of the Samichon River.

References

  1. ^ WO/308/53 The National Archives (TNA), London.
  2. ^ WO/308/53 TNA, London.
  3. ^ WO/308/53 TNA, London.
  4. ^ WO/308/53 TNA, London.
  5. ^ DWR War diary, sheet 1, 13 May 1953, National Archives
  6. ^ DWR War diary, report by LtCol F.R St P Bunbury, 29 May 1953, National Archives
  7. ^ WO/308/53 TNA, London.
  8. ^ WO/308/53 TNA, London.
  9. ^ WO/308/53 TNA, London.
  10. ^ WO/308/53 War Diary. TNA, London.
  11. ^ Sarson Centurion tank 1943-2003 p20

Further reading

  • 1DWR War Diaries in WO 308/53, The National Archives, London
  • Jaques, Tony (2006). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A Guide to 8500 Battles from Antiquity Through the Twenty-first Century. Greenwood Press.  

External links

  • Duke of Wellington's Regimental Museum, Korea.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.