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Batthe Of Chipyon Ni Korea Essay

1876 words - 8 pages

Amid the snow-covered hills in the tiny village of Chipyong-Ni, Korea, a battle ridden 23rd Regimental Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division made a decisive stand from February 13-15, 1951 that would lead to the first operational win against a much stronger and larger force. In what some considered being the Gettysburg of the Korean War, the Battle of Chipyong-Ni was a bitterly contested engagement between the X Corp, 23rd Regimental Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, under the command of COL. Paul Freeman the North Korean People’s Army and the Chinese Communist Forces’ (CCF). This analysis will demonstrate that COL Paul Freemans’ ability to properly use mission command ultimately led to the first operational defeat of the enemy since the Korean War had started.
According to Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 6-0, mission command philosophy is, “the exercise of authority and direction by the commander using mission orders to enable discipline initiative within the commander’s intent to empower agile and adaptive leaders in the conduct of unified land operations.” Commanders execute mission command throughout all phases of the operations process. ADP 5-0 states that, “Commanders drive the operations process.” The six steps that allow Commanders to drive the operations process are: understand, visualize, describe, direct, lead, and assess. I will discuss four of these steps used by COL Freeman’s analyze his ability to properly execute mission command in this Battle.
COL Freeman’s first step in the operations process was to understand the operational environment and the problem he was facing. The mission of the 23rd RCT at Chipyong-ni was to dominate the road intersection at the center of the village and occupy the high ground ringing the town in order to protect the right flank of I Corps while also anchoring the left flank of the X Corps defenses around Wonju. Col. Freeman and the 23rd RCT moved into the Chipyong-ni area on February 5 after destroying the CCF’s 125th Division at the battle of the Twin Tunnels a few miles to the southeast. Col Freemans’ forces consisted of three organic infantry battalions, the well respected French battalion, the 1st Ranger Company and some short range artillery. As friendly units on his flanks were forced to withdraw by concentrated enemy attacks, Col. Freeman realized that the 23rd RCT at only seventy percent manning, now occupied a salient in front of the main defensive line. Col. Freeman requested permission to fall back and integrate his unit into the 2nd Infantry Division defenses around Wonju. But his request was denied by General Ridgway and he was told he would stay and fight. Gen Ridgway was convinced that Chipyong-ni was the key to stopping the Chinese advance. Given those orders, Col. Freeman established a tight perimeter defense around the village and surrendered the surrounding hills which dominated the approaches into the town to the Chinese since his force was too small to properly outpost them all....

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