The Official Newsletter of the
Shenandoah Valley Chapter #313
Korean War Veterans Association
Battles of Bloody Ridge & Heartbreak Ridge.
Article by Ray Ewing.
The battle of Bloody Ridge took place from August 18, to September 5, 1951. The site is located in the hills just north of the 38th parallel in central Korea. North Korean and Chinese forces occupying the hills were attacked by South Korean and American forces.
The U.N. assault raged for ten days as the communists repulsed one assault after another. After repeated attacks U.N. forces succeeded in taking one hill before heavy and constant rains made operations almost impossible. Slippery slopes and muddy bogs slowed the attacks. Fighting did continue however, with additional American forces joining in the fight. With a combination of frontal assaults and flanking movements supported by heavy artillery and air the U.N. forces finally succeeded in forcing the communists to withdraw.
The communists withdrew to a series of ridges 1,500 yards north to what would soon become known as “Heartbreak Ridge”, where they set up a formidable network of trenches. The battle of Heartbreak Ridge was
a month long campaign fought from September 13 to October 15, 1951. The site of the battle was a seven mile long stretch of land over three steep peaks separated by steep valleys.
After having been driven back from the Bloody Ridge battle, the North Korean and Chinese forces entrenched themselves on these ridges. It was well suited for them as an important staging area from which they could attack South Korea. Steep inclines that led to the crest of the ridge line severely hampered the assault led by American and French forces. The battle often see-sawed between the opposing forces. One side would capture a ridge only to be forced off by the inevitable counter attack resulting in a high rate of casualties.
The communists were supported by resupply depots just to the west of the ridges. After
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