Sample History Paper on Battle of Kapyong

The Battle of Kapyong was a Korean war that fought during April of 1951. The war fought between the United Nations Command (primarily Australian, Canadian and New Zealand) and the Chinese People’s Army. The Battle of Kapyong occurred during the China Spring Offensive and saw the establishment of the blocking position by the 28th British Commonwealth Brigade in the Valley of Kapyong on the key routes to the north of Seoul. The three battalions – 2 Battalion, 4th Battalion, Australian Royal Regiment and Canadian Light Infantry received a political and military support of the Royal Artillery Regiment of New Zealand (Watson et al., 2014).

Strategic/Operation Overview

Considered one of the most decisive battles of the Korean War, Battle of Kapyong was fought between 24 and 26 April 1951. The 2nd Battalion RAR were stationed in the Valley of Kapyong as part of the many UN operations of establishing defensive buffers against communist advancement toward Seoul, South Korea. After successfully breaking through the area that was under siege of the South Korean Military, the Chinese Army attacked United Nations defensive force near the Kapyong River. The Australian positions were attacked by the night by the same force (Watson et al., 2014). The Australian force was forced to surrender in the following day. About forty two Australian soldiers died, 60 wounded and dozens taken as prisoners. The Canadian and Australian battalions were awarded by the Distinguished Citation Unit by the United States.

Chinese Offensives were launching their attacks during the night using an aggressive and intensive approach of grenades, mortars and machine guns. P5ID Mustang fighters and Meteors jets were also employed during the battle. They also attacked the headquarters of the Canadian battalion but the attacked was repelled. Although they were overwhelmed, the Canadian forces refused to withdraw believing that their position was a strategic point on the United Nations front. Although they successfully controlled the hill, the Canadian were completely cut off and were to be supplied using air drop (Watson et al., 2014).

Weather and terrain analysis

Minefields were laid and bunkers build. The troops also dug slit trenches that went down 4 or 5 feet owing to the rocky ground.

Comparison of the forces

United Nations Command

The UNC is a multinational unified force that was supporting and fighting on behalf of South Korea. The Resolution 82 was adopted by the United Nations Security Council calling for the ceasing of hostilities and total withdrawal of the North Korea forces. The 28th Infantry Brigade was comprised of the New Zealand, Australian, and Canadian units. The forces were sent out to Korea to fight during the Battle of Kapyong. The Brigade was joined in October 1950 by the 3rd Battalion, Australian contingent and Australian Royal Regiment and in November by 2nd Battalion (Fowler, 2014).

Chinese Spring Offensive

Also known as the Chinese 4th Phase Offensive, the Chinese Spring Offensive were military operations carried out by the Chinese People’s Army. The army was comprised of about 600,000 men for the Battle of Kapyong operation. Both forces were using highly sophisticated weapons including rifles, bombs, and machine guns (Fowler, 2014). The units of the sides received military training. Logistics and intelligence were supplied by the military commands and the United Nations. Chinese and Korean governments were in charge of supplying the Chinese Offensive with intelligence.

Leadership

James Stone was a major general who commanded the 2 PPCLI during the Battle of Kapyong. He was honoured by the United States government with the military decoration award for his military tactics in the war. Ian Ferguson – he served as a commandant of the Australian Army during the Battle of Kapyong. He was appointed as the lieutenant colonel. He commanded the 3RAR battalion to defend Seoul, South Korea. Ferguson was awarded the Service Distinguished Order (Fowler, 2014).

Describe the Action

Opening moves

The Canadian and Australian battalions were critical elements of the 28th British Commonwealth Brigade. They were operating under the authority of the United Nations Security Council. UN directed the military to use force as a way of restoring peace in Korea. The RAR landed in Korea in the late November 1950 and started taking part in the UN drive south towards River Yalu (Melady, 2016). Throughout the summer of 1951, both Canadian and Australian units gained extensive experience of dealing with Chinese military tactics in the hilly, harsh Korean terrain.

Major actions

As a part of a plan of luring the UN Forces into a vulnerable position, the Chine Offensive Unit withdrew to south of the 37th parallel. The Chinese Offensive shattered the South Korean 5th Division, and thus unleashing attack on the UN forces. In the following day, the 28th Brigade was ordered by the UN to secure the withdrawal of the South Korea through the River Kapyong. The 3RAR and 2PPLIC were assigned hilltop positions, with the Australian on the west and the Canadian on the east (Melady, 2016). Another 1st Battalion, the 28th Brigade Unit and New Zealand Artillery provided humanitarian aid support. For the first three days of the fighting, the Canadians and Australians were winning. However, the arrival of full-strengthened regiment powered the Chinese Offensive, forcing the UN forces to surrender.

Outcome

The United Nations forces’ efforts successfully halted the Chinese advances. Forty-three Australians died during the war. 60 men were wounded and five taken prisoners by the Chinese Offensive. The Canadian and Australian battalions were awarded a Presidential Unit Distinguished Citation. Relevance – the Battle of Kapyong was a critical episode during the Korean War because it helped preserve peace in the region (Melady, 2016). The soldiers of Canadian Infantry persevered in the face of adversities and helped prevent a catastrophic defeat of the UN forces and South Korea.

Lesson learned

Both the units (taking part in the battle) learned the importance of the amphibious configuration strategy of focusing on use of helicopters and the capability of carrying and offloading equipment and stores across shorelines, with a support of drones. This strongly emphasizes the integration of air, maritime and air capabilities as joint forces. United States worked in collaboration with the United Nations, which helped to consolidate the Canadian and Australian forces, and thus win the war restoring harmony in South Korea.

 

 

 

References

Watson, B. (2014). Recipe for Victory: The Fight for Hill 677 during the Battle of the Kap’yong River, 24-25 April 1951. Canadian Military History, 9(2), 2.

Melady, J. (2016). Korea: Canada’s forgotten war. Dundurn.

Fowler, M. (2014). “For extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance”: Kay’yong, 2 PPCLI and the Controversy surrounding the US Presidential Unit Citation. Canadian Military History, 13(4), 3.