Winter on the Hook
At the end of November General West began to redeploy his
forces so that, instead of two brigades being forward and one in
reserve, all three brigades were in the line and each had one
battalion in reserve. The new arrangement afforded each brigade
commander the advantages of a narrower front to control and of
defence in depth; it also provided him with a ready counterattack
force. The 28th Brigade continued to hold the Division's
right sector, the British Brigade side-stepped to take over the
centre of the front, and the Canadians moved up on the left.
Brigadier Bogert assigned the Royal 22e to the Yongdong feature
and the Patricias to the Hook, and placed the RCR (less one
company under Lieut.-Colonel Wood's command) in reserve behind
the PPCLI position.
The next two months proved to be a relatively quiet period,
the chief activity being improvement of the defensive works,
particularly on the Hook. This was a continuation of a project
which the British had started early in November; and its
importance had been demonstrated in the attack of the 18th-l9th,
prior to which the Chinese artillery had flattened the open
defences. The defenders, having tunnels in which to take
shelter, had called down artillery fire on their own position and
thus prevented its being overrun by the assaulting infantry.
Immediately on the 25th Brigade's return to the front, a troop of
the 23rd Field Squadron carried on with the tunnelling programme;
and later the entire squadron, assisted by Korean labour, joined
in. Although working in solid rock and frozen ground, in January
1953 alone they constructed over 70,000 cubic feet of tunnel.
During the whole period in the line, the infantry - with RCE and
Korean assistance - deepened and extended its trenches,
reinforced command posts, observation posts and bunkers, and
installed additional earthworks of all types.
Patrolling, while by no means neglected, was not as strongly
emphasized as it had been in the early summer; nor, at least as
far as the Canadians were concerned, did any more company raids
take place. The enemy's artillery was considerably less active
now than it had been in previous months, and his infantry
refrained from attacks on any such scale as those against the RCR
and the Black Watch in October and November. As a result of
these conditions, Canadian casualties in December 1952 and
January 1953 were 57 - 12 killed and 45 wounded - compared with
131 in May and June 1952 and 232 in September and October.
Towards the end of December the RCR relieved the Patricias,
the latter becoming brigade reserve. As before, the reserve
battalion contributed one company to the battalion defending the
Hook. The Royal 22e remained on the Yongdong feature until
Next day, for the first time in the 18 months since its
inception, the Commonwealth Division was withdrawn into reserve;
its new location was about seven miles south-west of the
Imjin-Hantan junction. Only the divisional artillery remained
forward, its role being to support the relieving force, the 2nd
U.S. Infantry Division. (As it included a number of non-American
units, this formation was sometimes referred to, unofficially, as
the 2nd U.N. Division.) The Commonwealth Division remained in
reserve until early April, during which time it carried out
training exercises on battalion, brigade and divisional levels.
In the largest of these exercises, one directed by Corps
Headquarters and code-named "Eveready", Divisional Headquarters
together with all its brigade and battalion headquarters and the
whole of the 29th Brigade counter-attacked a hypothetical enemy
penetration in the Chorwon sector.
-This is an archive of a previously published work in the public domain. As a record of an already published work, it should not be changed or updated, except to improve the visual layout, to wikify the page or to add pertinent categories. Place names and others written in old romanization should stay the same way as well, but after wikifying please add a redirect to the present system of romanization (i.e. creating a redirect from Pusan to Busan or Kwangju to Gwangju).
-While content in the Galbijim wiki is by default under the GFDL, this work is in the public domain worldwide because it meets one or more of the following criteria: </br>-It has been so released by the copyright holder; Its copyright has expired; Or, it is ineligible for copyright.