The Battle for Hagaru, December 1950.
….The roar of the 105’s, the shocking report of M-26’s and M4, the constant crack of rifles numbs my ears.
It was only 0100, you could tell the time by the temperature. The temperature had dropped another 10 degrees and the wind had really started to howl. Our visibility was down to less than 50 may 75m.
We all held our ground, tanks idling men hunkered down in whatever cover they could find. Even the illum shells didn’t help. Sporadic outbursts of fire would occur and the cries of the wounded and the dying could be heard on the wind. I was afraid enough to piss my pants. But it woulda froze before it it got far.
Around 0200 we got word that the 3/1 HQ was cut off past the end of the airstrip. Later on I learned they fought off 3 platoons of Chinese. A concerted effort was put into a counter attack to provide some cover for their retreat.
I received a runner from Army X Corps, and I was instructed to direct several platoons to start migrating towards Hagaru to reinforce against the push the Chinese were making thru the frozen paddies.
We had fought just off what can only be described as suicidal attack by an entire platoon of troops upon our 5 tanks. Several men died and 2 tanks were smokers. It was belated warmer near their burning shells.
This was way outta hand. We had dropped back behind the airstrip, and hunkered down in along the edge of Hagaru, trading space for time.
Wave after wave of them came at us. They hit the outskirts of Hagaru hard near the main road.
It was 0400 as I recall that the whole of East Hill lit up! “Holy shit. More commies. “ I exclaimed.
-The 240 Regiment had arrived.
For just that moment the sky was clear and what we saw sent a shiver of fear down our spines. The firefight up there looked friggen intense. The entire ridge was alight!
As the illumination rounds went a collective gasp went up around me. 100’s of shadows could be seen as they stretched down the hillside. Running darting furtive evil shadows.
There was a lull in the roar from our 105mm fire as they redirected and zeroed in on East Hill. Their firing became sporadic as they started direct fire at the ridgeline.
As I moved thru Hagaru, many of the soldiers eyed the hill in dismay. It was 0510. In 30-40 minutes it would be daylight and we were sitting ducks if the enemy took control up there.
–AT sec. and div HQ units are forced to retreat. The 240 takes losses doing it.
Hagaru was being encircled, but the bodies of the enemy lay thick in the snow. The M4’s cut a swathe thru units attacking the perimeter making they fall back in disarray.
–Chinese Assault Hagaru:
5str+5 step bonus=10
0size+4 a-fire range (ignore -1 illum for both) -3*** how do you deal with Terrain. Mods for Close Assault I feel like I’m buggering this up, calculating them 2 different ways, I’m fortunately getting the same result despite column shifts.***
US result -1 step.
US fires 6+5=11 0+4+2 they Paralyze the Chinese.
Round 2. 9str+4-3*terrain I think -2=-1
/ USA 11str +4-2=+2 rolls 63! -2 steps.
The 172 has 3 morale+3 hits+ 3 BM+1 for night +1 for paralysis. Yikes. – rolls Save Your Ass..I mean SYR.
The continued fire from all sides have bloodied, dulled and slowed the 172’s attack upon us.
Our tanks launch a conter attack an dover rune 2 MG sections that were paralyzed.
Visibility is back down to 75 m.
I hear some tanks take off for the base of East Hill, and we start gathering squads to drop back to cover the North side of Hagaru.
The fire in the sky is slowly being replaced by something much brighter. Thru the snow, the first feeble rays of the morning sun reflect crisply off the white mountain tops. The wind dies down. Yet I feel colder than ever.