Throwing men against fire and steel

Sunday, December 13th, 2020

As the 23rd’s perimeter broke at Chipyong-ni on the night of 14 February 1951, the battle took in miniature the form it would have for the next few months, T. R. Fehrenbach explains (in This Kind of War):

The Chinese by prodigally throwing men against fire and steel had wiped out a defending unit. Any ground commander, given men and willing to spend them, can break any ground defense, in time, at any chosen place.


  1. Stephen Taylor says:

    And that’s how they’ll win in Taiwan.

  2. Harry Jones says:

    I’m wondering why China did poorly against Vietnam.

  3. VXXC says:

    We won at Chipyong-ni

    Just saying.

    We walked the battleground stationed in Korea, the actual decisive point for us a gentle rise, that was held by a LT and a PFC frantically firing a M1 Carbine and throwing back the Chinese grenades at one point.

    They held them, they pulled out the next day when the weather cleared and got slaughtered from the air.

  4. Vetrani Sui Sunt Circuli says:

    “I’m wondering why China did poorly against Vietnam.”

    The Vietnamese had been fighting for decades, and had an excellent militia system that held them for days until their regulars arrived. The Chinese hadn’t really been fighting since Korea. Veterans are worth their weight in Gold in War – in fact in any long war bounty hunters will seek them out for exactly money to sell them to whatever army.

    They also had a village system of entrenchments and tunnels facing the Chinese just like they had done to us…of course the Chinese trained them from late 40s until early 70s.

    The Vietnamese have a long tradition of fighting the Chinese. Vietnam is China’s Finland- they really just don’t want to ever go back there, just like the Russians will probably never invade Finland again.

  5. Kirk says:

    Harry, nobody “does well” against the Vietnamese…

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