Monday, December 11, 2006

Mongolian Cavalry Leads New Attack -- December 12, 1950

Syracuse Herald Journal, Page 1

Bulk of Chinese Moving Toward Center of Korea
--2 Divisions--
Reds Try To Turn UN Flank
Thrust Could Peril Seoul
By Earnest Hoberecht Tokyo (UP)
Red China's invasion army, spearheaded by two Mongolian cavalry divisions, turned toward Central Korea today for an apparent drive to outflank the new United Nations defense line guarding Seoul.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur's headquarters reported that the tough Mongolia cavalrymen upped the number of Chinese divisions facing the 160,000 United Nations troops in Korea to 27 -- more than 300,000 men.

Another 700,000 Chinese are believed in reserve in rear areas.

A headquarters communique reported the bulk of the Chinese Reds moving increasingly toward the rugged center of the Korean peninsula as they advanced slowly south from the Pyongyang area.

A Chinese thrust down the center of Korea might turn the Eastern end of the United Nations Eighth Army's defense line around Seoul and threaten the capital's communications at Taegu and Pusan in the south.

For the moment, however, the United Nations forces were out of contact with the Chinese Reds on both western and northeastern fronts.

The Chinese broke off contact in the northeast after the last of 20,000 encircled U.S. First Division Marines and Seventh Division infantrymen escaped into the safety of the allied Hamhung-Hungnam beachhead yesterday.

Future movements of the escaped forces and 40,000 other 10th Corps troops in the bridgehead were shrouded by a firm security curtain.

Officers inside the perimeter told newsmen they were confident the outnumbered 10th Corps could "hold indefinitely" against the Communists. However, a UN fleet of transports and warships was waiting off Hungnam for ??? eventuality" -- including a Dunkerque evacuation.[snip]
The Chinese "are taking advantage of the period of no-contact to reinforce and resupply," a communique said.

"Additional units include two divisions of cavalry, one at present located in the east sector and another in the central-western sector.

"These, presumably Mongolian, are of moderate size, about 4,000 to 7,000 mean each. Lightly armed, they are extremely mobile, capable of traversing the roughest terrain.

"Their Mongol ponies are accustomed to the extreme low temperature and biting winds of the Mongolian plateau. They have extraordinary endurance and can operate on the barest minimum of food and water.

"Such cavalry units are employed on reconnaissance screening missions and also may be used to cut lines of communication and disrupt rear areas.

"Mongol cavalrymen are sturdy and tough. Their normal existence is one of hardhip and exposure to the elements. When additional supplies become necessary, camel trains are employed.


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