Kapyong Day

Discussion in 'Other Conflicts' started by Cobber, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    The 24th of April is commentated by the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) and
    3 Btn RAR in particular as the commemorative day when they helped to stop a major Chinese offensive directed at capturing Seoul. This battle happened in the Kapyong river Valley so has the name Battle of Kapyong and the anniversary is named Kapyong day. The Chinese attackers consisted of a minimum of one full infantry division.
    The Australians and Canadians were sent forward into the Kapyong valley where the positions were given. The Aussies one hill the Canadians another to the left and slightly behind the Aussies, the 1st Middlesex Btn a mile or two behind their Bgd comrades in readiness for counter attack and holding a line as Brigade reserve a Coy of US Tanks, a Coy of US heavy Mortars and eventually the NZ Artillery Regt which had been sent forward to support Korean troops who were getting a hiding. The Kiwis made it back but had to set up their guns in the dark and while battle was rampaging right in front of them.
    The USA Mortar Coy took to the hills very early in battle in m,any cases leaving behind weapons (heavy and personnel) vehicles, and supplies, this was all saved and driven out late the next day. The USA Tanks at first copped a bit due to not placing the tanks in best places and ignoring any advice or other requests by Brit Comm 27th Bgd and the sub units. However once they got into the swing of the battle they proved invaluable with wonderful fire support, removal of wounded. They then load up with ammo and supplies and driving back through the hell that was the valley of Kapyong to the Australian positions. During battle for much of 23rd and night of 23/24th April 1951 the Chinese concentrated on the Aussies surrounding them and fierce hand to hand fighting, however late the next day the Aussies were finally able to withdraw back to friendly lines, even though still surrounded
    After failing to overrun and letting the Aussies get away the CCF set their eyes on the Canadians who fought excellently well untill the CCF finally had enough and withdrew.

    The Aussie 3 RAR, Canadian 2nd Btn PPCLI and USA Company A 72nd Heavy Tank Btn were all awarded a USA presidential unit citation.

    For full more information and maps etc see

    Kapyong - 23-24 April 1951

    “At last I felt like an Anzac, and I imagine there were 600 others like me.”
    Captain Reg Saunders, Officer Commanding, C Company, 3 RAR

    {Note Captain Reg Saunders was a Aboriginal Australian the first to be given commission in Aussie military, he had fought through all of WW2 being a private with 6th Divvy in Western desert and Greece, he then went on to serve as a senior NCO and Sublatern in infantry units in many battles during the South West Pacific campaign.}

    Kapyong came to be the most significant and important battle for Australian troops in Korea.

    In April 1951 the Chinese launched their spring offensive with the aim of retaking the city of Seoul. They quickly overran South Korean forces defending one of the major approach routes, the valley of the Kapyong River. Thirty kilometres further south, the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade hastily occupied defensive positions in an attempt to halt the Chinese advance. Kapyong valley was too large an area to defend with the forces available, and the brigade was spread very thinly.

    Throughout the night the Chinese repeatedly pressed the Australian positions, attacking in waves over their own dead and wounded.

    "Major O'Dowd then directed the radio operator to contact anyone. The American 1st Marine Division answered but their operator refused to believe who our operator was speaking for. Major O'Dowd took the phone and demanded to speak to the commanding officer. The general in charge of the [Marine] division came on the phone and told O'Dowd we didn't exist as we had been wiped out the night before. Major O'Dowd said, 'I've got news for you, we are still here and we are staying here.'"

    Fighting continued throughout the day with the Australians holding their positions, and the Chinese also engaging D Company. But late on 24 April, with their position now untenable, the Australians were forced into a fighting withdrawal down a ridge to the valley, where they rejoined the brigade. By the afternoon of 25 April the road through to the Canadians had been cleared of Chinese and 2 PPCLI was relieved by US Army units. On Anzac Day 1951, the Australians rested after a long fight.

    Thirty-two Australians were killed and 53 were wounded for their part in stalling the Chinese advance and preventing Seoul from falling into enemy hands.
  2. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    The battle lines of Kapyong, red = Chinese, blue left Canadians, Blue right Australians, Blue bottom Middlesex all of the 27th Brit Commonwealth Brigade.

    Attached Files:

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