Korean War/CCF Intervention (1950-51)/Battle of the Chosin Reservoir (Battle of Changjin)
November / 1950
December / 1950
Description The Battle of Chosin Reservoir, also known as the Chosin Reservoir Campaign or the Changjin Lake Campaign was a decisive battle in the Korean War. "Chosin" is the Japanese pronunciation of the Korean name, "Changjin". The UN forces relied on Japanese language maps dating from their occupation of Korea which had only ended five years earlier at the conclusion of World War II. Shortly after the People's Republic of China entered the conflict, the People's Volunteer Army 9th Army infiltrated the northeastern part of North Korea.
On 27 November, the Chinese 9th Army surprised the US X Corps commanded by Major General Edward Almond at the Chosin Reservoir area. A brutal 17 day battle in freezing weather soon followed. In the period between 27 November and 13 December 1950, 30,000 United Nations troops (later nicknamed "The Chosin Few") under the field command of Major General Oliver P. Smith were encircled and attacked by approximately 120,000 Chinese troops under the command of Song Shi-Lun, who had been ordered by Mao Zedong to destroy the UN forces. The UN forces were nonetheless able to make a fighting withdrawal and broke out of the encirclement while inflicting crippling losses on the Chinese. While the battle resulted in the Chinese pushing the UN out of North Korea, it was a Pyrrhic victory. The evacuation of the X Corps from the port of Hungnam marked the complete withdrawal of UN troops from North Korea.