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EAST of CHOSIN: Entrapment & Breakout in Korea, 1950. In November 1950, the U.S. Army's 3,000-man 31st Regimental Combat Team was on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir when 120,000 Chinese attacked.
EAST of CHOSIN: Entrapment & Breakout in Korea, 1950. Roy E. Appleman's East of Chosin, first published in 1987, won acclaim from reviewers, readers, and veterans and their families. For the first time, there was one complete & accessible record of what happened to the army troops trapped east of the Chosin Reservoir during the first wintry blast of the Korean War. Based heavily on the author's interviews and correspondence with the survivors, East of Chosin provided some of those men with their first clue to the fate of fellow soldiers.
In November 1950, the U.S. Army's 3,000-man 31st Infantry Regiment Combat Team was on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir when 120,000 Chinese attacked. Trapped & facing annihilation, the 31st RCT attempted to breakout with truckloads of dead & wounded. With only 385 survivors and delaying the Chinese advance by killing several thousand of them, the 31st RCT's bloody ordeal may have saved the 1st Marine Division on the west side of the Chosin.
In November of 1950, U.S. forces had pushed deep into North Korea. Unknown to them, Chinese troops well equipped for below-zero temperatures and blizzard conditions were pushing south. With the 1st Marine Division on the west side of the frozen Chosin reservoir, the army's hastily assembled 31st Regimental Combat Team, 3,000 strong, advanced up the east side of the reservoir. Task Force Faith in the extreme northern position caught the surprise Chinese attack. With rifles and vehicles often immobilized in the cold and snow, the task force struggled to retreat through a tortuous mountain gauntlet of enemy fire. With truckloads of dead and wounded trapped along on the road, a few of the 385 survivors trudged across the frozen reservoir to alert the marines to their plight.