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161

Tuesday, November 12th 2013, 4:57pm

6th October 1943, train no. 731 (Sinuiju-Gongchangling), near Nanfen

The two men kept the steam locomotive going at full speed. The heat in the operators cab was excruciating but nonetheless the firemen Byon Jung-Oh shoveled coals into the oven with vigor. Due to the noise the two could only men communicate by screaming.


Byon Jung-Oh: "Godamn, I am glad when we finally reach Gongchangling, this is really too much for work my old bones."

Kim Eui-Tae (train driver): "Yeah, it's dirty work to keep this baby going at full speed...and it's not good for the machine either. However, orders are orders and you know what they said. And you could see it like that: The faster we go the sooner we are back in Sinuiju."

Byon Jung-Oh: "True, the sooner we get out of this benighted country the better. Have you seen the locomotive of train no.546? It had bulletholes all over the boiler and some in the operators cab. It was a miracle they made it home somehow. I really hate to drive around like this within the range of Chinese fighter-bombers."

Kim Eui-Tae: "To be honest I am more worried about those Chinese partisans. They attacked two trains in the last week."

Byon Jung-Oh: "Well, we shouldn't worry about those armed Chinese peasants, those soldiers riding in the back will deal with them."

Kim Eui-Tae: "I wouldn't be too sure about that. Have you actually seen them? They looked like baby-faced schoolboys, if they see a Chinese with a rifle they will crap their pants and cry for mommy. And have you seen this NBID-guy?"

Byon Jung-Oh: "Yes. These NBIS-comissars are some boasted dullards."

Kim Eui-Tae: "You say it. And he really went ballistic when I asked him what's the reason behind the full-speed order."

Byon Jung-Oh: "Maybe we are transporting some super secret stuff."

Kim Eui-Tae: "Certainly. The NBID-guy didn't say anything about that. When I wanted to check myself, I noticed that all the wagons were sealed."

Byon Jung-Oh: "Strange."

Kim Eui-Tae: "Yes. But I figured out whatever we are transporting, it must be poisonous as hell. This NBID-commisar gave me a bag with two gasmasks in it, just before we departed from Sinuiju."

Byon Jung-Oh: "And?"

Kim Eui-Tae: "Nothing, he just gave it to me and said 'Just in case...'."

Byon Jung-Oh: "In case of what?"

Kim Eui-Tae: "I don't know. But I really don't want to think about it. When I checked the gasmasks I noticed that there were no filters. This NBID-asshat gave me gasmasks but forgot the filters."

Byon Jung-Oh: "Wait, do you hear that?"

Kim Eui-Tae: "What....?"

Byon Jung-Oh: "This humming sound."

Kim Eui-Tae: "Uhm...yes, now I hear it...that's engine sound. For god's sake...."

162

Tuesday, November 12th 2013, 9:29pm

03th October, Dalian, Headquarter of the Dalian Army Group

»How long we still need to place all units ?« asked General Dingzhi.

»Another three days. So long it will take until all divisions will arrive their assembly areas.«

Three days - three damned long days, thought General Dingzhi. Even our troops are currently severely attacked, we have stopped the Koreans, but can we now drive them back ?

But everyone was confident that operation HAMMER will be a success.

163

Tuesday, November 12th 2013, 9:33pm

06th October, Dalian, Headquarter of the Dalian Army Group

»Are we ready ?« asked General Dingzhi.

»Some hours more would be better, but we are ready.« The operations officer looked at his watch. »Operation 'HAMMER', the ground offensive for the liberation of the occupied area, starts in thirty minutes.«

The General played poker for his life and usually won. Meanwhile, all divisions had arrived, and were placed in their preparation areas. Even the elite division under the command of General Wei Li-huang was in the battle line south of Shenyang. The paratroopers were in the air since hours and certainly were just before their jump over the targets. In parallel with the ground offensive, the landing operation on the beaches of Donggang should start. So there was no looking back.

»It's time to tell the damned Koreans a lesson.« said General Dingzhi

164

Monday, November 18th 2013, 9:09am

Night of the 06th October, Wenden Air Field, Laiyang Peninsula

The men in the hull of the glider have already forgotten the name of the airfield. It's just one of those flat surfaces on the Laiyang peninsula, on which they had until moments ago stood in orderly rows. The doors were closed and they sat, tightly packed on the long bench, loaded down with weapons and ammunition. Their jump boots echoed on the wooden floor, and the glider pilot felt their eyes on the back of his head.

It is still silent on the airfield. Lamplights haunts through the darkness. Near the front of the glider the contours of the tow plane are dimly visible in the gloom. Just behind Sergeant Cheng, who will steer this glider, sits lance-corporal Weng, group leader in the I. Battalion of the Parachute Assault Regiment. His young face reflects the nervous tension of many of the soldiers. Once again, he remembered the words that he had heard in the last briefing from the company commander, Lieutenant Tsu. Names have been etched in his mind, that he will probably never forget: Dandong Airfield, Road 201 and height 107. As he clutched the machine gun tighter on his knees, he thinks about the bridge over the river, which will be one of their first goals after landing. Voices are heard outside. Commands are shouted and signal lights flashes through the darkness.


»Now we will go« someone says into the oppressive silence, but no one answered at these words. In a rigid posture the ten men sitting on the spar. Suddenly all hell breaks out. Engines are sounding, dust clouds swirl past the glider, Exhaust flames are licking into the twilight.People running around and somewhere a flare rises into the air.


Sergeant Cheng lowers his eyes and looks at his clock.
It's half past three. When he raises his head again, the back of the sergeant behind the steering wheel became stiff. Outside, around the glider, a hurricane seems to rave. And then a kick hits the machine. The upper body of the paratroopers teeter back and then swing to the rhythm of the increasingly rapid pulling motion. The glider speeds up, bouncing a bit into the air before falling back, the towrope from the SAC-52 buzzing under tension.

With bated breath, the men stare into the dense wall of dust that has spread around the light aircraft. Every moment they are waiting for a hit, a terrible shock - but nothing happens. Sometimes the glider is hit by the offshoot of a propeller squall and shakes his wings. But they fly farther, higher and higher into swirling dust particles, and they first breathe slow when they saw again the flickering of the stars ...

165

Monday, November 18th 2013, 9:15am

some hours later, somewhere in the air over the south china sea

A voice sounds in the roar of the Sac-52 engines, and shreds of a song blowing in the noise. A second soldier jumped onto the melody and so it pass on, it moves down the line, from man to man. And then they sing their song, the song of the paratroopers. They actually sing, and maybe they don't even know why they do it. But maybe it helps them to drive away the excruciating pressure to the dark images, the fear of what is coming soon.
But then they close their mouths again, and stare down in front of them or on the sea, which is not far from them. If you look through the small window, they see in the pale moonlight the silhouettes of the other transport planes which flying with roaring engines low over the water. In each are sitting comrades, in every of the numerous aircrafts and gliders which fly to the destinations on the coast around Donggang: the area around the Donggang harbor, the airfield and the city of Dandong.


But still it is not the time, for they are 150 miles away from their target.They know where their objectives are, when their feet should touch the ground, and they know that they will jump from a height of not more than two hundred meters .......

Lance corporal Ming looks over at Sergeant Jufeng, who is sitting next to him. But the other seems not to notice the gaze. Jufeng stares at the barrel of his machine gun, which is laying on his knees, and Ming leans his head back and closing his eyes. As he listens to the roar of the engines, he thinks about the comrades of the Assault Regiment, which should have reached the destination about a quarter of an hour before them: the area at the height of 107 which overlooks the airfield at Dandong. Will they make it? Will they be able to destroy the anti-aircraft positions around the airfield ? Or will we have to jump right into the fire ? Thought follows thought, one darker than the other. Ming presses his head firmly against the slightly vibrating hull while he looks through one of the side windows down the sea.


Slowly slides the view of lance corporal Ming along the row of his comrades. Silently they sit there, their eyes somewhere. Each minute bringing them closer to the target. The horn will sound, above the head the combined hook of the rip cord is already hanging in the long hawser, and the flight engineer will stand beside the open door ...

Ming feels that something rises in him like a slow poison. He knows this because it has always been so - before each jump. The time creeps sluggish, with terrible slowness. The transport aircrafts are still humming flying to the northeast on low height. But then the left wing of the aircraft tends towards the sea. After a wide arc the SAC-52 curves to the north ....

It's time - thought lance corporal Ming, and then he sees that Lieutenant Jiangfu stood up and hooked the ripcord of his parachute into the steel cable along the upper side of the fuselage ...

166

Monday, November 18th 2013, 9:52am

6th October early morning .... Beach near Donggang

They huddled together, crammed and miserable, standing in chilly water that ran between their legs and drenched the men who sat on the ground. All boats were crammed with people and their equipment, cars, weapons, ammunition and all this stuff that the first wave of the assault needs. In a broad front the boats sped off. The rear motors hammered and churned the sea, the ships fired incessantly their guns and the shells howled in a curved trajectory to the beach.

»Much Ruckus«, said Lieutenant Zhang Fei, »it promises a good effect. The rest will be done by our air force.«

»We will see.« said another soldier leaning against the wall and smoking a cigarette.

»Get ready ! Get weapons and equipment« commanded Captain Hong-Lin. »The moment the ramp goes down, i want every man out of the boat ! Advancing quickly and keep in touch with your groups !« Zhang Fei clung on the ship's side and could not solve his gaze from the beach. He felt let down of the artillery. Especially now, when it mattered, in the moment when they headed defenseless to the beach, the naval guns had a break. A cannon of the enemy could choose their targets without being disturbed. Although there was fortunately not any firing, the tension grew.

»A hundred yards«, said Captain Hong-Lin, »Everyone ready ?« Silence !

A single Shot ! The shot blew a boat apart, and there were dead, wounded and unharmed soldiers. The wreckage of the vehicle drifted to the rear while the other boats were still heading to the beach. »They shoot !« Zhang Fei gasped »The Korean Devil kill us when we get off.« Again some shots, but they stirred up 'only' the water. And they were still fifty yards from the shore, a long distance in the fire.

Captain Hong-Lin shouted commands and gave instructions, they flitted across the waves and clutched their weapons. As suddenly the tail motor bubbled in shallow water and Captain Hong-Lin roared »Get out ! Attack !« , they jumped over board. Everyone tried as soon as possible to come away from the beach to get some cover.

The helmsmen tore around their oars, the boats headed back to the ships with full throttle to pick up the second wave. The rest of the first wave collected the material as first troops roamed the shore region. Smoking hoppers - stench, smoldering grass, silence. Like the peace of the graveyard under a leaden sky. The peace was only interrupted by a shot of a korean gun, that had to be somewhere close to beach.
»No men here«, said Hong-Lin and watched the area with his binoculars. »I sense a trap. They surely holed up somewhere and will attack us. Guys, watch carefully !« He crouched down and spread the map on the ground. »To the port we have to go in this direction. We first need to capture the harbour so our ships can land and unload more reinforcement, okay ? Maybe our paratroopers have already captured it, but we won't know until we reach them. Stay alert !«

167

Tuesday, November 19th 2013, 9:15am

Conquest of the airfield near Dandong



Task:
Battle group lands via parachutes and gliders directly in the area of the airfield and destroy as soon as possible the aircraft guns around the airfield. Securing of the landing zone by AT & AA Companies. Attack on the airfield with support of the MG Company. Taking and securing of the airfield so more troops could be landed by aircraft.

Battlegroup:
Air Landing Assault Battalion (parachutes & glider)
AT-Company (glider)
AA-Company (glider)
Signal Company (glider)
MG Company (parachutes)
MG Company (parachutes)

Second Wave and other additional troops:
other parts of the 10. Airborne Division (by aircraft landing on airfield)
28. Mountain Infantry Division (by aircraft landing on airfield)

168

Tuesday, November 19th 2013, 9:18am

Conquest of Donggang Harbour



Task:
Paratroopers landing directly in the area of the port for fastest possible conquest of the harbor. Harbor must be 'held' until the arrival of reinforcements from the beach landing zone. Subsequently, further reinforcements could be unloaded in the harbor.
 

Battle group:
Parachute battalion
Parachute Engineer Battalion
Anti-Tank Company
Anti-Tank Company
Anti-Tank Company

Second wave (Landing with gliders in the marked zone):
further Parachute Btln
3rd Marine Btln (specialized in urban warfare)

169

Friday, November 22nd 2013, 7:14am

7th October 1943, Radio Message

7-10-1943, 10:40

From: Submarine Command

To: Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Chosen

We lost contact with two of our submarines in the Bohai Sea. As intercepted Chinese radio messages indicate that two submarines have been sunken on the 28th September and 1st October, we declare the submarines CS-5 and CS-9 as lost in combat.
CS-6, the last remaining boat on station has been ordered to return to base. Due to substantial casualties all submarine operations in the Bohai Sea are postponed until further notice.

170

Monday, November 25th 2013, 11:53am

2nd October - 9th October 1943, Pyongyang, Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Chosen

Weekly combat report no. 11

The Chinese started their expected counter offensive three days ago, on the 6th of October. As the Chinese troops assaulted on several front sectors with determination it is difficult to predict the main axis of advance at this moment. However, the most likely axis of advance is along the road G16.
The situation at the front is critical, while the Chinese troops are still in the breakthrough phase the full effect of their efforts can not be overseen yet.
Chinese forces conducted an air- and seaborne landing at Donggang and were able to capture the city. This development is extremely concerning as we have only weak auxiliary forces in that area. The nearby cities of Dandong and Sinuiju are transport nodal points and of utter importance. Should any of those cities fall in the hands of the enemy or should the Chinese troops be able to cut off the coastal highway we would have difficulties in supplying the troops of the 2nd Army and thus the whole front could collapse.

Units of the 2nd Army reported an Chinese aireal attack on the 6th of October near Nanfen which caused approx. 2400 chinese civilian deaths, 175 friendly KIA and the loss of a freight train (train no. 731). Investigations of the 2nd Army and the NBID as well as reports of whitnesses suggest that the Chinese used chemical ordnance in this attack.





MC1/A2: Thanks to well developed defensive positions the Corps was able to repel several Chinese infantry assaults. The Chinese troops suffered heavy casualties without gaining ground.

IC5/A9;IC7/A9: Both corps are holding the line Pulandian-Yangshufangzhen against an continous onslaught of Chinese low-quality troops. The Chinese forces gained several kilometers but failed to achieve a breakthrough.

IC22/A2: Chinese forces achieved a breakthrough south of Haicheng between MC1 and IC22. RD25/IC22 which was defending the Haicheng area took heavy casualties and had to retreat north. Haicheng is however still under our control.

IC40/A2: Chinese minor attacks in the Anshan urban area. IC40 was able to hold its positions.

IC1/A2: Little fighting in Liaoyang. The Corps is reorganizing and preparing defensive positions in Liaoyang.

IC28/A2: IC28 took heavy casulaties while defending Benxi and the surrounding area against heavy Chinese attacks. The Corps is ordered to hold a slonga s possible, retreat south and destroy the bridges over the Taizi river in order to slow down the Chinese advance..

MtnC1/A1: MtnC1 is attacked by enemy forces from two sides. Chinese forces achieved no breakthrough yet.

IC4/A1: IC4 is in defensive positions along the northern flank of the 1st Army. Chinese activity is limited to recon operations.

air activity: The Chinese have air superiority over the battlefield and are flying strike mission against our supply routes and defensive strongpoints. We are only able to achieve airsuperiority locally and for a few hours. Friendly bombers sunk 3 Chinese freighters in the Bohai Sea.

casualty report week 11:

KIA: 12650
WIA: 10780
MIA: 1280
POW: 980
tanks: 31
light tanks: 28
armored vehicles: 84
unarmored vehicles: 124
art. guns: 42
fighter planes: 36
bomber planes: 29
recce planes: 5


deployments: Rifle Division No. 136

171

Tuesday, November 26th 2013, 10:34pm

10th October 1943, Special Directive No. 37


-----Confidential-----


From: Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Chosen

To: NBID Command


From the 11th October 1943 NBID commissars are authorized to assemble ad-hoc task-forces from the personnel of all Army Police Regiments and Border Regiments subordinated to the Army District North. With these task-forces the NBID is ordered to fullfill the following task as a measure of precaution and to hamper the Chinese war effort in the long run.

1. In coordination with retreating friendly forces infrastructure which is vital for the Chinese offensive maneuvers has to be methodically destroyed (tunnels, mainroads/highways, railroads, aridges, airfields, harbour facilities)

2. All industrial infrastructure critical for the Chinese war effort has to be demolished (factories, refineries, powerplants, transmission lines)

3. Elimination of civilians which may be valueable for the reconstruction of the infrastructure and industry in the area (engineers, pilots, doctors, high ranking state servants)

172

Wednesday, November 27th 2013, 12:59am

11th October 1943, Special Directive No. 38


-----Confidential-----


From: Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Chosen

To: Army District North


NBID-commissars concluded that China used chemical weapons in the Nanfen airraid of the 6th of October. We don't exect this to be a singular incident and therefore all front troops as well as auxiliary troops behind the front have to prepare themselves for further Chinese c-attacks.
To retaliate the Nanfen raid and to improve the deteriorating situation at the frontline, ADN is permitted to use c-ordnance at its own discretion in order to bring the Chinese offensive to a halt.

173

Wednesday, November 27th 2013, 4:23pm

12th October 1943, Dandong, Headquarters of the Battle Group 'Chulsoon'


Major General Byon Chulsoon woke up with headaches. Barely 3 hours of sleep. It was early in the morning and still dark outside but the noise in the former Chinese police station where the headquarters of Battle Group 'Chulsoon' was set up, was already ear-battering: telephones were ringing, typewriters were clicking and people were yelling at each other.
But it was neither the lack of sleep nor the hustle and bustle in the HQ which caused his headaches. It was the thought of his so called "Battle Group": A Brigade sized de-facto non existent formation. After the Chinese landed at the coast near Donggang and enemy paratroopers took southern parts of Dandong within hours he gathered all troops in the area to defend Dandong with its vital transport infrastructure.
Unfortunately there were not many friendly troops around, a riflecompany of an AA regiment, a military police batallion and several platoons of auxiliary and supply troops. Many of those men never fired a weapon in real combat before.

To make things worse, there was almost no intel on enemy strength and compostion available. A division or corps sized enemy; probably paratroopers, naval-infantry and other elite formations.
They had at least an advantage of 3:1 and even if the enemies wouldn't have been superior in numbers, Major General Byon Chulsoon wouldn't have had much of a chance to survive with his B-team against Chinas finest.

Major General Byon Chulsoon looked at the map and shook his head in disbelief:

"Impossible."

He knew how important Dandong was for the supply of the 2nd army, he knew that if Dandong would fall into the enemy hands, the war could be lost within weeks. But still it was not possible to defend the city with the available forces for more than 72 hours.
It would have needed a tactical genious to achieve anything other than a total defeat for Chosen in this battle and Major General Byon Chulsoon had no illusions concerning his own abilities. He wasn't one of those generals who smashed through the enemy lines with looking left or right. He was no hero, no daredevil, quite the opposite.
He was responsible for the logistics and supply assets in Dandong, the last time he took part in a maneuver was in the year 1931 and hafter he returned from that maneuver he was sick for almost three weeks.
Major General Byon Chulsoon loved the warmth of his bureau and the smell of printing ink but this time there was no other option, he had to go outside, do whatever is necessary and survive...perhaps.


174

Wednesday, November 27th 2013, 9:27pm

13th October 1943, Radio Message

13-10-1943, 17:54

From: HQ 28th Infantry Corps

To: 2nd Army




Chinese forces were able to cross the Taizi river with ponton bridges and achieved a breakthrough with heavy artillery support and massive infantry attacks. Chinese tanks exploiting the gap battered an artillery unit of Rifle Division No.45 and overran a field hospital as well as a supply column. We have no sitrep from RD45 at the moment, however friendly casualties are expected to be high. The larger part of RD45 is routing and in a state of disorder.
To avoid the encirclement of RD6 and to reestablish defensive lines IC28 will retreat to the line Gongchangling-Lingxiacun-Huanxi Lingcun.




This unfortunate Chosenian supply column drove into and enemy armored spearhead.

175

Friday, December 6th 2013, 4:23am

14th October 1943, Radio Message

14-10-1943, 18:04

From: Rifle Division No. 12

To: HQ 5th Infantry Corps

Since four days the Division is holding its positions against furious Chinese frontal attacks. On this day alone, the Chinese troops launched three head on assaults against our lines. Despite the enemy casualties were much higher than ours, the Rifle Regiments at the frontline are already worn out and suffer from battle fatigue. The Division is running low on artillery shells and on machinegun ammo. As the Division is unable to hold its current positions for more than 24 hours the commander of RD12 asks for permission to retreat while such is still possible in an orderly fashion.



Chosenian infantrymen defending their trenches. The attacking Chinese troops of the Armygroup 'Dalian' are of low quality and lack heavy equipment. Reckless frontal attacks have led to terrific Chinese casualties but failed to overcome the Chosenian defenses until now.

176

Saturday, December 7th 2013, 3:23am

9th October - 16th October 1943, Pyongyang, Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Chosen

Weekly combat report no. 12

The Chinese exploited their breakthroughs on several locations: Especially the breakthrough at Haicheng is critical, Chinese spearheads advanced almost 40km and we have only one Division trying to slow down their thrust.





MC1/A2: MC1 was holding defensive positions at Dashiqiao and was not involved in any major battles for the last 5 weeks. The Corps is rested, almost at full strength and currently preparing for Operation Longinus.

IC5/A9: After repelling several Chinese attacks the Corps had to retreat several kilometres. The Corps is low on ammo and supplies and took moderate casualties during the last week.

IC7/A9: Due to the retreat of IC5 the Corps had to give up the city of Pulandian and retreat northeast. The Corps took light to moderate casualties during the last week and is low on supply.

IC22/A2: IC22 was unable to seal off the enemy breakthrough and suffered considerable casualties. RD25 is trying to slow down the Chinese advance along the G16 highway while the bulk of IC22 is still located in the vicinity of Anshan. Haicheng was lost after fierce battles with Chinese attackers.

IC40/A2: IC40 is abandoning its positions at Anshan and retreating southeast.

IC1/A2: IC1 is slowly retreating from Liaoyang and provides flank security for IC40.

IC28/A2: Chinese troops crossed the Taizi river west of Benxi and almost managed to encircle a friendly division in Benxi. Ulimatley the city had to be abandoned and IC28 tried to establish a new defensive line further south (Gongchangling-Lingxiacun-Huanxi Lingcun). However, with armor and artillery support the Chinese forces managed to overcome this second line of defence. Chinese spearheads are advancing south along the road G304. Weak friendly forces are defending Nanfen.

MtnC1/A1: After heavy Chinese assaults from multiple directions MtnC1 had to withdraw from Fushun.

IC4/A1: IC4 is securing the northern flank of the 1st Army. Chinese activity is increasing. Aggressive recon operations and probing attacks have been reported.

Battle Group 'Chulsoon': The Situation at Dandong/Dongang is still very critical. BG 'Chulsoon' was able to fend off two Chinese attacks into Dandong. However the Chinese forces were able to get as close as 1km to the coastal highway G11 which is vital for supplying the 9th Army (IC5/IC7). Our supply convoys are harassed by Chinese artillery and mortar fire. Friendly reinforcements are expected to reach the area of operations on the 18th/19th of October.

air activity: The Chinese have total airsuperiority while our own airforce is trying to cover the retreat of our groundforces. Several airfields had to be evacuated due to the quick advance of the enemy.



casualty report week 12:

KIA: 14420
WIA: 19780
MIA: 2970
POW: 2560
tanks: 17
light tanks: 9
armored vehicles: 109
unarmored vehicles: 356
art. guns: 154
fighter planes: 28
bomber planes: 15
recce planes: 3




deployments: Rifle Division No. 178, 26th Tank Batallion (Jp), 800th Infantry Brigade (Jp)

177

Saturday, December 7th 2013, 5:04am

16th October 1943, Ghaizou, Headquarters of the 2nd Army





General Kang Chan-Sook (Commander of the 2nd Army): "The plan for Operation Longinus has been approved. I think it is possible. You are a gifted officer and you have the finest formation of Chosens Army at your disposal."

Lieutenant General Choi Dae-Du (Commander of the 1st Motorized Corps): "Fine. I have no doubts I can achieve a decisive victory. My men are rested and well motivated, the plan is not without risk but if we act swiftly I don't think the Chinese will have enough time to react."

General Kang Chan-Sook: "Yes, speed is key. The corridor is just about 20 kilometres wide. Our intelligence is limited but the Chinese security element should not be too strong, maybe an Infantry Division and some auxiliary and supply units. You should have recaptured Haicheng after 48 hours and the gap should be closed after 72 hours. IC22 will be unable to provide assistance and don't count on our airforce - you will be on your own."

Lieutenant General Choi Dae-Du: "Well...72 hours...that will be tricky."

General Kang Chan-Sook: "I know, I know, but if it takes you longer our counterattack could get bogged down by Chinese reinforcements."

Lieutenant General Choi Dae-Du: "I will use all available troops then, my 215th Engineer Brigade will have to hold the defensive line around Dashiqiao while I conduct the counterattack at Haicheng with both my Armored Brigades and Cavalry Division No. 18."

General Kang Chan-Sook: "Yes, the defensive lines at Dashiqiao will be weak during our counterattack but we have to risk it. Just think of what is at stake. If you fail, three Corps at Anshan could be encircled and even the 9th Army at the coast could be cut off. The entire front would collapse like a house of cards."

Lieutenant General Choi Dae-Du: "But if I succeed, we could encircle and destroy up to 3 enemy corps."



CET-2B tanks of the 1st Armored Brigade are marching to their staging areas. Operation Longinus will start in the morning of the 17th October.

178

Tuesday, January 7th 2014, 4:29pm

17th October 1943, Dashiqiao, 1st Motorized Corps Headquarters


Due to the absence of sufficient reconaissance the infantry has to get the job done...

During the night between the 16th and 17th October infantry squads of the 1st Motorized Corps probed the Chinese frontlines southwest of Haicheng in order to gather informations about the enemies disposition and strength.
Reports of those reconnaissance units suggested that the area south of Haicheng was defended by weak Chinese infantry units which were concentrated around a few defensive strongpoints.
Therefore, after a final briefing with his division and brigade commanders, at 0600 Lieutenant General Choi Dae-Du gave the order to commit Operation Longinus.



Situation at 0600.

179

Tuesday, January 7th 2014, 5:23pm

From the memoirs of Lieutenant General Choi Dae-Du "Decisive battles in the first Sino-Chosen war" (published 1962)


Chapter VI: The destruction of the 1st Motorized Corps.

In autumn 1943 the tides were eventually turning in favor of the Chinese forces. Their October-offensive wreaked havoc among our fatigued troops and after after just a few days they achieved several major breakthroughs. By mid October Army sized Chinese forces rushed through the gap at Haicheng into the rear area of our 2nd Army and the situation became very critical.
Our generals had little time to react and to come up with a decent plan to counter the Chinese advance and therefore it was decided to launch a hasty assault against Haicheng in order to close the frontline and to cut off the Chinese spearheads.
I was the commanding officer of the 1st Motorized Corps during that time and as my Corps was the only formation in shape to conduct such an assault I got the orders to prepare my forces for an offensive push against Haicheng. [...]
While in hindsight it can be said that the odds of the operation were very disadvantageous, back then we had little reliable informations about the enemies' composition and strength.
After some short artillery barrages to soften up Chinese defensive strongpoints the 1st and 3rd Armored Brigade began their advance at around 0615 local time. While the initial assault was performed as planned, things got out of control soon after. An armored unit of AB1 captured the village of Gourd Yucun at around 1115. AB3 conquered the village of Balizhen at the same time after a heavy battle with a Chinese supply unit. In the afternoon AB1 overcame Chinese defences at Gaijicun while the 18th Cavalry Division and AB3 were forming up to assault the suburbs of Haicheng. Things went downhill from that moment on....

180

Tuesday, January 7th 2014, 6:01pm

17th October 1943, Combat Report

17-10-1943, 18:55

From: 1st Armored Brigade

To: 1st Motorized Corps Headquarters

The current situation is confusing. 1st Tank Batallion acting as the Brigades lead element was ambushed near the village of Yima three hours ago and is currently involved in heavy fighting with Chinese forces.
The batallion took heavy casualties so far. Attempts to reinforce the ambushed unit were unsuccessfull as the road G15 lays under constant Chinese artillery bombardement.