"An attempt to describe accurately the scene inside the perimeter of Task Force Faith on the morning of 1 December 1950 runs the risk of appearing macabre. Very probable, however, even Hollywood will not be able to duplicate it in stark tragedy and horror....
By dawn on 1 December members of the Task Force had been under attack for 80 hours in sub-zero weather. None had slept much. None had washed or shaved; non had eaten more than a bare minimum. Due to the season of the year, darkness covered about 16 hours of each 24 hour period - and during the hours of the darkness the enemy exploited his terror weapons such as bugles, whistles, flares, burp-guns, and infiltration tactics. The ground was frozen so solidly as to hamper digging, so rifleman and weapons crews occupied very shallow trenches. The dead, concentrated in central collecting points, had to be used as a source for all supplies including clothing, weapons, and ammunition. Everyone seemed to be wounded in one fashion or another and to varying degrees of severity. Frozen feet and hands were common. The wounded who were unable to move about froze to death. Trucks and jeeps and trailers were ransacked for ammunition and any kind of fabric that would serve for bandages or clothing. But the factors that discouraged and disheartened most were these: Everyone could see that the weather was growing worse, which meant the loss of air support and aerial resupply; that relief from Hagaru-ri in any force less than regimental size could never reach us; that another night of determined attacks would surely overrun the position." Page 194.
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Map of the positions of the 31st RCT.
Taken from EAST OF CHOSIN,
Copyright material. Used by permission of Texas A&M University Press. Material may not be copied without permission of the Texas A&M University Press.)
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Other books by Roy Appleman:
ESCAPING THE TRAP: The U.S. Army X Corps in Northeast Korea, 1950
DISASTER IN KOREA: The Chinese Confront MacArthur
RIDGEWAY DUELS FOR KOREA
For other military history books, stop by the website at: Texas A&M University Press