Leadership in the Crucible: The Korean War Battles of Twin Tunnels and Chipyong-ni (Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series)
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In Leadership in the Crucible, Kenneth Hamburger details the actions of the units in the United Nations counteroffensive following the Chinese intervention, including routine patrols, the harrowing battle of Twin Tunnels, and the pivotal siege of Chipyong-ni. The regiment was cut off from artillery fire support and was resupplied only by parachute drops. Repeatedly attacked by superior Chinese forces during the two nights and final day of fighting, the U.N. units finally welcomed relief by the armored Tank Force Crombez of the 1st Cavalry Division.
From extensive personal interviews and a careful reconstruction of the written record, Hamburger brilliantly analyzes the roles that training, cohesion, morale, logistics, and leadership play in success or failure on the front lines of limited war. He also addresses the vexing problem of when, and at what level, commanders have the right and even the responsibility to question lawful orders they believe are flawed.
In this careful consideration of combat leadership at all levels, Hamburger offers his readers stories of men sustaining themselves and one another to the limits of human endurance. By thoroughly sorting out the chaos, carnage, and courage of the battles, he provides a uniquely detailed description of these two crucial battles and a well-organized discussion of unit cohesion and command that is sure to become a classic in the field of leadership studies.
telling him and his comrades that every one of them would be afraid in combat. If they were not, they were either a liar or a fool, and he needed neither in his regiment. He also told them never to get too big to pray. Gains said this speech carried him through his toughest ﬁghting in Korea. No veteran remembers all The d Infantry Regiment and Col. Paul Freeman of the speech, but many recall Freeman’s promise to give every soldier three days oﬀ to settle his aﬀairs. Given all that had to
a speech to his men in which he congratulated them for their outstanding showing in their ﬁrst battle alongside the Americans. “Now you are prisoners of your glory,” he said, “for you must continue to live up to your reputation in future battles.” As one of his oﬃcers put it in a speech in France after the war, the French Battalion had “opened its book of gold and blood” at Wonju. The French had demonstrated the proper mind-set for expeditionary forces, that is, units ﬁghting with another army.
French Battalion for their victory at Twin Tunnels. He also decorated Colonel Freeman with the Distinguished Service Cross. Freeman later recalled that the large number of Chinese bodies scattered throughout the area impressed Ridgway.3 Freeman’s mission was to deny the enemy the use of the road net and hold the area that would become the left ﬂank of the d ROK Division when it maneuvered into line before attacking to the north. His experiences at Wonju and the Twin Tunnels had impressed upon
Hongchon area, and two attacking to the southeast from the Chipyong-ni area. . . . The enemy capability of eliminating the X Corps salient is now a “fait accompli.” The decision to continue his attack to the south remains with Isolated and Encircled at Chipyong-ni the enemy. Since he has been able to penetrate the salient and has additional [CCF armies] available as reinforcements, he deﬁnitely possesses the capability to continue the attack.3 The Decision to Stay at Chipyong-ni The d
no training in infantry skills. Many of the personnel who ﬁlled out the regiment were not up to the physical ﬁtness standards expected of the average infantryman.6 The attitude a soldier brought to the d often related directly to whether he had volunteered or been shipped oﬀ by his parent unit to ﬁll a quota. Unwilling warriors provided a challenge to their leaders. One unhappy levy from another unit was Pfc. Carlton C. Kluck: I was sent by way of troop train from Fort Riley, Kansas to Fort