Operation Chromite

It was 59 years ago today . . .

OPERATION CHROMITE: MacArthur’s Masterstroke
The amphibious landing at Inchon, Korea and the drive to Seoul, September 1950

Introduction

The Korean War began at 04:00 on 25 June 1950 when large numbers of North Korean troops crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded South Korea with the objective of overthrowing the regime of President Syngman Rhee and unifying the whole Korean Peninsula under Communist control.

The United Nations, in an emergency session without the presence of the Soviet delegation who had staged a recent walk-out, passed an immediate resolution calling on North Korea to withdraw. When this was ignored, the United Nations Organization called for military intervention by member states to support the forces of South Korea and to help drive the North Koreans back over the 38th Parallel.

General Douglas MacArthur, then commanding the occupation forces in Japan and its virtual military governor, was placed in supreme command of the US forces which were the first to arrive in Korea. These were later joined by varying forces from a considerable number of United Nations member states all of whom agreed to serve under the overall command of MacArthur.

Overwhelmed by the North Korean forces (NKPA), the UN troops fell back and by the end of July 1950 occupied only the extreme south-east portion of the Korean Peninsula surrounding the port of Pusan which became the provisional capital of South Korea. Despite strenuous efforts by the NKPA, they were unable to break into the Pusan Perimeter and the North Korean high command became extremely anxious about the difficulties of supplying their armies surrounding the Perimeter through the communications bottleneck of the Seoul area and along their extended lines of communication.

MacArthur realized that if he could strangle these lines of communication, the force which did this could become the anvil against which the hammer of the troops within the Perimeter could strike the NKPA and so he looked for a suitable place for an amphibious landing for this purpose.

. . .

Decision

The American Joint Chiefs of Staff sent a delegation to Tokyo to meet with MacArthur in an endeavour to dissuade him from what they regarded as a suicidal operation. General Lawton Collins, Army Chief of Staff, and Admiral Forrest Sherman, Chief of Naval Operations, had a lengthy meeting with MacArthur and his senior commanders and advisers on 23 August 1950 at his headquarters in the Dai Ichi Building in Tokyo where a detailed briefing lasting some eighty minutes was presented by the staff of Admiral Doyle, the amphibious commander. Doyle himself then rose to make his own assessment by saying that, in his opinion, the best he could say about the operation was that it was not impossible. Both General Collins and Admiral Sherman presented the objections of the Joint Chiefs who recommended that Kunsan replace Inchon as the objective.

MacArthur sat quietly smoking his famous corn-cob pipe whilst all the objections to his plan were expounded, occasionally interrupting to ask a question. When the rest had finished, he quietly presented all the reasons which made him so certain of the correctness of the plan – the fact that the operation presented a gamble which the enemy was likely to discount for all the reasons which its opponents had advanced was, in itself, the main reason for attempting to do the apparently impossible. He drew the comparison with the assault of General Wolfe on the fortress of Quebec, emphasising the weakness of the enemy defences in this area which they obviously felt was unlikely to be attacked and stressing that no other landing area could so effectively pinch the vital nerves of the enemy and hasten the end of the war. His immense confidence allied to his enormous prestige as a field commander eventually won over all his detractors and the Joint Chiefs of Staff finally approved the landing having covered themselves by involving the President of the United States in their decision.

. . .

The plan of attack

On account of the tidal problems, the first attack had to be planned in two phases with approximately twelve hours between them. It was necessary for the island of Wolmi-do to be neutralized before the main force could proceed to land and, apart from the previous three days’ aerial and naval bombardrrients, this required an amphibious assault by US Marines who would occupy the island during the main landing. Thus the 5th Marines would land an assault battalion on the morning tide around 06:00 which was intended to overcome the garrison and occupy the island, holding it without further support until the evening tide when the main forces would land to the north and south of Inchon proper. These two landing forces would establish their own perimeters for the night of 15 September and break out on the morning of 16 September, link up together and drive inland to capture Kimpo airfield, cross the Han River and enter Seoul.

The landing on Wolmi-do

Third Battalion Fifth Marines sailed from Pusan on 12 September loaded on the LSD (Landing Ship Dock) Fort Marion and the destroyer-transports Bass, Diachenko and Wan tuck. Escorted by British and New Zealand warships, they slipped north up the coast of Korea buffeted by the howling winds and mountainous seas that came in the wake of typhoon ‘Kezia’.

At midnight on 14/15 September they reached Inchon Harbour passing the brightly lit lighthouse of Palmi-do where the gallant Lieutenant Clark sat wrapped in his blanket. Accompanied by the gunfire support ships, they entered the harbour and at 05:45 on 15 September the naval bombardment by shells and rockets was resumed and Wolmi-do was soon blazing once again. By the light of these fires, carrier-based Corsair fighter-bombers strafed the beaches and at 06:31, just a minute behind schedule, the leading landing boats disgorged the first US marines on Wolmi-do. Ten minutes later nine tanks were landed comprising three with flamethrowers, three with bulldozer blades and three conventionally armed. These at once started to attack the defenders who were holed up in numerous caves and strongpoints. A few of the approximately 500 defenders were able to escape over the causeway to Inchon, about 120 were killed, 180 were taken prisoner and a few who refused to surrender were entombed in their caves and bunkers by the blades of the bulldozer tanks. The American flag was raised on the highest point of the island only 47 minutes after the first landing and at 08:00 Lieutenant-Colonel Taplett, the battalion commander, radioed the fleet ‘WOLMI-DO SECURED’.

At a cost of some 20 men wounded, the first phase was successfully completed and the 5th Marines settled down to long and apprehensive hours of waiting as the tide receded over the vast mud flats cutting them off from their supporting ships which were forced to withdraw down Flying Fish Channel. The North Koreans were by now fully alerted to the impending attack on Inchon itself and it was expected that they would attempt to reinforce the town. With this in mind, aircraft from the carriers flew interdiction sorties throughout the day covering a radius of 25 miles [40 km] from the landing area to seal it off whilst the Marines on Wolmi-do fired on any movements seen on the mainland. Their tanks had already broken through the lightly held roadblock on the causeway between Wolmi-do and Inchon but Lieutenant-Colonel Taplett was refused permission to push any of his troops across to establish a bridgehead on the mainland. Despite only having about 20 000 troops in the area of Inchon, the North Koreans made no attempt to reinforce the town.

The main assault on Inchon

Using what navigable channels there remained, the assault shipping for the main landing assembled and the main naval bombardment to cover Red and Blue Beaches began at 14:30 to the intense relief of the 5th Marines on Wolmi-do. Under the effect of the naval bombardment, Inchon slowly began to burn and a huge pall of smoke billowed upwards and began to drift south towards Blue Beach. At 16:45 as the landing craft began to push off from the transports, some 2 000 rockets were loosed off at the beaches and low-flying aircraft attacked the defenders with bombs and cannon.

On Wolmi-do, the men of 3rd Battalion had a grandstand view of their comrades as they landed on Red Beach just to the north and were able to give them fire support with every weapon they possessed enfilading the enemy defences from the south-east. The objective of the 5th Marines on Red Beach was the early capture of the important features of Cemetery Hill and Observatory Hill which dominated the town and the surrounding countryside. The ‘beach’ on which they were to land was, in fact, a stretch of sea-wall and at 17:31 when the first waves arrived, there was still some four feet of wall above the ramps of the landing craft. Scrambling up their hook-ladders or leap-frogging over the backs of their buddies, the first wave landed successfully under cover of a shower of grenades from their comrades behind them without being fired upon by the enemy. Enemy resistance was limited except for one or two isolated pockets although a larger group on the left of the ‘beach’ was more tenacious and killed eight Marines before they were dislodged. In 25 minutes Cemetery Hill had been overrun and a NKPA mortar company taken prisoner. The leading company moved forward into the town heading for Observatory Hill in the gathering darkness. By midnight the regiment held a firm line round these two vital features and eight LSTs (Landing Ship Tank) were firmly grounded at Red Beach disgorging a stream of tanks, trucks and stores with which to supply the attacking troops.

To the south, the landing at Blue Beach was much more confused and it was fortunate that the 1st Marines did not run into determined resistance. The combination of the gathering rain clouds and the billowing smoke from the fires started by the bombardment reduced visibility to a few metres. Few of the landing craft or the amphibious vehicles had serviceable compasses and the helmsmen relied on instinct coupled with their last general view of the landing area when they entered the thick gloom which covered this ‘beach’ which, too, was mainly a rocky sea-wall. Many units became separated in the smoke and one reserve battalion was landed some 2 200 yards [2012 m] from the designated beach area.

Many of the Marines in the assault were hastily mustered reserves. One Amtrak (amphibious troopcarrier) helmsman, when asked where the compass was, replied ‘Search me! Two weeks ago I was driving a bus in San Francisco.’ The sea-wall itself was breached by shells from the naval guns as well as by an LST ploughing straight into it which made a hole large enough to allow its bow doors to be opened through the wall to offload bulldozer tanks. These tanks literally buried enemy snipers who were shooting from slit trenches behind the wall. One Marine sergeant was horrified to see the barge of Vice-Admiral Struble approach the sea-wall with the Admiral and Major-General Almond, the Corps Commander, on board just as the sergeant was lighting the fuse on a demolition charge. After a brief burst of colourful language from the Marine, the barge moved to a safer distance to watch the charge blow a useful hole in the sea-wall.

Once ashore the confusion of the landing was overcome and the Marines began to move out, swinging north-east to cut off the town of Inchon from the east and working their way slowly through the industrial area where small pockets of enemy were fighting among the warehouses of the waterfront. By 01:30, 16 September, they had reached and cut the main road running due east to Seoul and along which any enemy reinforcements could have been expected to travel. On both beachheads the weary Marines dozed over their weapons anticipating a night counter-attack which never materialized whilst their radio operators struggled to make contact with missing units to draw the battalions together. Thanks to the very light enemy resistance, the effects of the heavy bombardment beforehand and the small numbers of NKPA troops in the area, the whole landing had been accomplished with minimal casualties amounting to 20 killed, one missing and 174 wounded some of which were, unfortunately, the victims of misguided fire from their own LSTs. Air cover throughout the operation was provided by Royal Navy Seafires and Fireflies from HMS Triumph and US Navy Corsairs and Skyraiders from the carriers Valley Forge, Boxer and Phillippine Sea. It appeared that the North Koreans had withdrawn almost all their aircraft from the Inchon-Seoul area once the Naval aircraft began their strikes on enemy airfields prior to the landings and virtually no enemy air activity was experienced. The sole exception was an abortive sortie by two Yak-9 fighter-bombers on 17 September. These aircraft dropped a few small bombs near the USS Rochester and HMS Jamaica which replied by shooting down one of the Yaks and driving off the other one.

. . .

inchon
Soldiers_Climbing_Sea_Wall_in_Inchon
Mac-at-Inchon

See also:
Operation Chromite Inchon Landing X Corps Report 1950
Battle of Inchon
Operation Chromite
Korean War: Operation Chromite
Operation Chromite: counterattack at Inchon
The Inchon Landing: Operation Chromite
Operation CHROMITE – The Inchon Invasion

So, 59 years later we’re still at war with North Korea, they still threaten South Korea, claim to have nuclear weapons, and MacArthur and Truman are long dead.

/remember, we only signed a ceace fire, not a peace treaty

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North Korea And Friends Want To Play Computer Games

I can only hope we’re winning this game and not playing nice while doing it.

U.S., South Korea Targeted in Swarm Of Internet Attacks

U.S. and South Korean authorities yesterday were investigating the source of attacks on at least 35 government and commercial Web sites in the two countries, officials said.

In the United States, the attacks primarily targeted Internet sites operated by major government agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, according to several computer security researchers. But The Washington Post’s site was also affected.

South Korea’s main spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, said in a statement that it thought the attacks were carried out “at the level of a certain organization or state” but did not elaborate. The South Korean news agency Yonhap and the JoongAng Daily, a major newspaper in Seoul, reported that intelligence officials had told South Korean lawmakers that North Korea or its sympathizers were prime suspects. A spokesman for the intelligence service said that it could not confirm the report.

The attacks were described as a “distributed denial of service,” a relatively unsophisticated form of hacking in which personal computers are commanded to overwhelm certain Web sites with a blizzard of data. The effort did not involve the theft of sensitive information or the disabling of crucial operational systems, government and security experts said. But they noted that it was widespread, resilient and aimed at government sites.

Earlier this year, a number of South Korean news organizations reported that North Korea was running a cyberwarfare unit targeting military networks in South Korea and the United States. And North Korea, along with other countries, is known to be looking into U.S. cybersecurity capabilities and vulnerabilities, said Daniel T. Kuehl, an expert on information warfare at National Defense University.

See also:
US and S Korea fall victim to cyber-attack
US officials eye North Korea in cyber attack
North Korea a suspect in cyber attacks in US
North Korea may be behind White House cyberattack
Cyber Attack Finds More Targets
The U.S.-South Korea Cyberattack: How Did It Happen?
How a Brute-Force Cyberattack Works
National Intelligence Service
National Intelligence Service (South Korea)
National Defense University
National Defense University
Why Are We Not Stomping North Korea’s Guts Out?

Gee, with all their belligerent shenanigans lately, you’d think North Korea was really anxious to get their asses kicked.

/the question is, will we oblige them?

Why Are We Not Stomping North Korea’s Guts Out?

Just how much does Kim Jong-il have to taunt and torment us before we say enough is enough and obliterate the North Korean regional and world menace once and for all? Is there anything we won’t let them get away with, a line somewhere we’ll defend that they haven’t already crossed yet? After recently sentencing two U.S. journalists to 12 years hard labor, how much more in our face does North Korea have to get before we do something about it? What else does Kim Jong-il have to do before we finally push back, provide the fireworks for our Independence Day?

Japan warns that North Korea may fire missile at U.S. on Independence Day

North Korea may launch a long-range ballistic missile towards Hawaii on American Independence Day, according to Japanese intelligence officials.

The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles, would be launched in early July from the Dongchang-ni site on the north-western coast of the secretive country.

Intelligence analysts do not believe the device would be capable of hitting Hawaii’s main islands, which are 4,500 miles from North Korea.

Details of the launch came from the Japan’s best-selling newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun.
Both Japanese intelligence and U.S. reconnaissance satellites have collated information pointing to the launch, according to the report.

It is understood the communist state is likely to fire the missile between July 4 and 8. A launch on July 4 would coincide with Independence Day in the States.It would also be the 15th anniversary of North Korean president Kim Il-Sung’s death.

The Japanese newspaper also noted that North Korea had fired its first Taepodong-2 missile on July 4, 2006.

See also:
Report: NKorea may fire missile toward Hawaii
Report: N. Korea May Fire ICBM Toward Hawaii
Pentagon: North Korea Missiles Threaten US Homeland
Gates: Missile interceptors on way to Hawaii ahead of North Korea test
U.S. boosts missile defense amid reports of planned N. Korea test

Oh boy, we’re moving missile interceptors to Hawaii, just like we have for every North Korean missile launch so far. Will we intercept their missile? Probably not, we haven’t so far. Hey, I know, since we know exactly where their missile is, sitting on a launch pad, why don’t we really send a message to stop launching missiles and destroy it on the ground with a cruise missile strike, or would that be too provocative? God knows we wouldn’t want to upset Kim Jong-il.

Gee, looky here, after telling North Korea umpteen times that they’re not supposed to be proliferating weapons of mass destruction, they’re at it again. Why won’t they listen to us, aren’t they scared of what we might do in response? Apparently not.

U.S. Military Tracking North Korean Ship Suspected of Proliferating Missiles, Nukes

The U.S. military is tracking a flagged North Korean ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last Friday, FOX News has learned.

The ship, Kang Nam, left a port in North Korea Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore, according to a senior U.S. military source. The vessel, which the military has been tracking since its departure, could be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials.

“It is believed to be ‘of interest,'” a senior U.S. official told FOX News.

This is the first suspected “proliferator” that the U.S. and its allies have tracked from North Korea since the United Nations authorized the world’s navies to enforce compliance with a variety of U.N. sanctions aimed at punishing North Korea for its recent nuclear test.

The ship is currently along the coast of China and being monitored around-the-clock by air.

The apparent violation raises the question of how the United States and its allies will respond, particularly since the U.N. resolution does not have a lot of teeth to it.

The resolution would not allow the United States to board the ship forcibly. Rather, U.S. military would have to request permission to board — a request North Korea is unlikely to grant.

See also:
U.S. Navy tracks North Korean ship
Navy monitoring North Korean ship: U.S. officials
Navy monitoring North Korean ship: U.S. officials
N. Korean ship under U.S. watch
Source: Military watching suspicious NKorea ship
Navy Pursues N. Korea Ship; Tensions Rise
N.K.: Searching ships would be ‘act of war’

Well, it would be rude of us to board North Korea’s ship, probably carrying a cargo of WMD, without North Korea’s permission. Besides, the U.N. sanctions resolution, that we argued over for two weeks, doesn’t allow us to board North Korean ships anyway. So, I guess we’ll just follow it instead. I have another idea. where are the SEALs? You know, it’d be a real shame if the Kang Nam were to take on water and sink under mysterious circumstances.

And how does Kim Jong-il pay for all his nefarious activities that irritate us so and yet we do nothing about? He robs and scams us blind!

Warning: Counterfeit dollars from N. Korea

The Treasury Department warned U.S. financial institutions Thursday that the North Korean government may resort to “deceptive financial practices” to get around economic sanctions.

The advisory from the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network comes as the Obama Administration steps up its efforts to prevent North Korea from furthering its nuclear weapons program.

The government said it remains concerned about “high-quality” counterfeit U.S. currency being passed from North Korea and urged banks to scrutinize attempts by North Korean customers to make large cash transactions.

Banks should be wary of attempts to suppress the identity or origin of transactions made by North Korean clients, the advisory said. Money transfers made via third parties, and repeated transfers that appear to have “no legitimate purpose” should also raise red flags.

Global Insurance Fraud By North Korea Outlined

For Kim Jong Il’s birthday, North Korean insurance managers prepared a special gift.

In Singapore, they stuffed $20 million in cash into two heavy-duty bags and sent them, via Beijing, to their leader in Pyongyang, said Kim Kwang Jin, who worked as a manager for Korea National Insurance Corp., a state-owned monopoly.

Kim said he helped arrange the shipment and watched in February 2003 as the cash was packed. After the money arrived, Kim Jong Il sent a letter of thanks to the managers and arranged for some of them to receive gifts that included oranges, apples, DVD players and blankets, Kim said.

“It was a great celebration,” he said.

The $20 million birthday present and the gratitude of its recipient, who is known as the Dear Leader, were annual highlights of a sophisticated global insurance fraud that North Korea has concocted to provide its communist leadership with hard currency, said Kim, who spent five years as an executive of the state insurance company in Pyongyang and worked for a year at its banking subsidiary in Singapore before defecting to South Korea.

“This money helps keep Kim Jong Il in power at a time he is engaged in nuclear brinksmanship,” said David L. Asher, who supervised a State Department unit that attempted to track various illegal activities by North Korea during the Bush administration. “This is the gift that keeps on giving. It has become one of the North’s largest illicit revenue generators.”

In interviews and court documents, Western insurers, U.S. officials and defectors such as Kim said the impoverished and isolated North Korean government has collected hundreds of millions of dollars from some of the world’s largest insurance companies on large and suspicious claims for transportation accidents, factory fires, flood damage and other alleged disasters. Still, recent attempts by international insurers to overturn North Korea’s claims have failed in British courts.

For years, the U.S. government and law enforcement agencies around the world have documented what they describe as state-sponsored criminality in North Korea. They have linked the North to illegal manufacturing and trafficking of drugs ranging from heroin to Viagra, as well as to expert counterfeiting of $100 bills and the production of high-quality counterfeit cigarettes.

Much less has been disclosed about North Korea’s international insurance claims, in part because they have been cloaked in legal settlements by firms with no interest in highlighting their losses.

“The exact scale of the fraud is hard to determine . . . because the insurance industry has been so gullible,” Asher said. North Korean insurance fraud “was absolutely something I should have been looking into more when I was running the [State Department’s] illicit activities initiative,” he added.

See also:
US warns banks about North Korea
U.S. Treasury warns on North Korea cash transactions
US Treasury Advises Vigilance By Banks Over N Korea
N Korea Insurance Scam Funds Weapons, Enriches Kim -Report
North Korea in global insurance scam: report
North Korea accused of massive state-sponsored insurance fraud
N.Korea ‘Made Millions from Insurance Scam’

We know what they’re doing to scam us and we can’t stop them. How do I know? Because they’re still doing it. The laugh at us and just ramp up their belligerence knowing full well there will be no consequences for their international outlaw behavior. They know that all they have to do is threaten us or our allies in the region and we’ll back down and do absolutely nothing to reign them in.

N. Korea Warns U.S. of ‘Thousand-Fold’ Military Action

North Korea warned Wednesday of a “thousand-fold” military retaliation against the U.S. and its allies if provoked, the latest threat in a drumbeat of rhetoric in defense of its rogue nuclear program.

Japanese and South Korean news reports said North Korea is preparing an additional site for test-firing a long-range missile capable of striking the U.S.

The warning of a military strike, carried by the North’s state media, came hours after President Barack Obama declared North Korea a “grave threat” to the world, and pledged that recent U.N. sanctions on the communist regime will be aggressively enforced.

North Korea chemical weapons threaten region – report

North Korea has several thousand tons of chemical weapons it can mount on missiles that could be used on a rapid strike against the South, said a report released on Thursday by the International Crisis Group (ICG).

North Korea in recent weeks has raised tensions in North Asia, responsible for one-sixth of the global economy, with missile launches, threats to attack the South and a May 25 nuclear test that led to U.N. sanctions.

The report from the prestigious non-governmental organisation said the consensus view is the North’s army possess about 2,500-5,000 tons of chemical weapons that include mustard gas, sarin and other deadly nerve agents.

“If there is an escalation of conflict and if military hostilities break out, there is a risk that they could be used. In conventional terms, North Korea is weak and they feel they might have to resort to using those,” said Daniel Pinkston, the ICG’s representative on Seoul.

The North has been working on chemical weapons for decades and can deliver them through long-range artillery trained on the Seoul area — home to about half of South Korea’s 49 million people — and via missiles that could hit all of the country.

“The stockpile does not appear to be increasing but is already sufficient to inflict massive civilian casualties on South Korea,” the ICG report said.

After decades of conditioning, North Korea has learned that the phrase “actions have consequences” doesn’t apply to them. They have steadfastly refused to negotiate or, when they have, they’ve broken every single agreement they’ve ever made. The only recourse left that will have any chance of changing their behavior is the use of force, in one form or another. How long will we let this oozing pus sac on the world’s ass continue to fester, hold us virtually hostage, and generally contaminate the concept of civilization?

/why are we not stomping North Korea’s guts out?