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First Battle of the Naktong Bulge

By Robert L. Durham

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battle of Naktong bulge
“Kill your enemies completely without mercy!” proclaims a North Korean propaganda poster produced at the time of the battle.
battle of Naktong bulge
Task Force Smith was roughly handled by North Korean People’s Army during its invasion of South Korea in summer 1950. The task force was poorly equipped, and its soldiers had only eight weeks of training.
battle of Naktong Bulge
Soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division step ashore in Korea in July 1950. Soldiers of the beleaguered 24th Infantry Division fought tenaciously to buy time for elements of the 1st Cavalry and other reinforcements to move into position to fight the North Koreans.
battle of Naktong Bulge
Battle-weary troops of the U.S. Army’s 24th Infantry Division man a strongpoint on the Naktong River.
battle of Naktong Bulge
The Naktong Bulge was situated on the western flank of the Pusan Perimeter. In their initial assault, the North Koreans threatened to split the American defenses and sever supply lines to units deployed further north.
battle of Naktong Bulge
A U.S. Army 4.2-inch mortar team awaits orders during the battle. A number of American mortar positions were overrun during the initial attack of the North Korean 4th Infantry Division.
battle of nekton bulge
Trucks transport soldiers of the 24th Infantry Regiment to the front lines on the Pusan Perimeter. Despite desegregation of the U.S. Army in 1948, the regiment remained largely African-American.
battle of Naktong Bulge
A wounded soldier from the 25th Infantry Division waits stoically at an aid station behind American lines. Evacuating wounded men from the front lines during the initial North Korean attack proved a daunting task.

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A U.S. soldier comes upon an American prisoner who was executed by the North Koreans. The enemy showed little regard for the rules of the Geneva Convention.
battle of nekton bulge
Marines march past a North Korean T-34 tank that was knocked out by one of their M-26 Pershing tanks during the battle. The Marines also used their recoilless rifles and bazookas to destroy enemy tanks.
battle of nekton bulge
A Marine patrol walks the high ground overlooking the Naktong River. The North Korean army attacked over the same ground in September, but was hurled back by United Nations forces buttressed by armor and heavy weapons.

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