The battle is probably the most famous battle in the Chinese histories of the
Korean War and is called the Battle of Sangkumryung Ridge, named after a
tiny hamlet that used to exist just south of Osang San. At least one book was
solely devoted to the battle, one or more movies may have been made about
the fighting, and it is written up in memoirs of the commanders of the Chinese
forces at the time.

        The main U.S. force that took part in Operation Showdown was the
7th Infantry Division that had elements reach the Yalu River and also lost a
regiment on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir in late 1950. The division is
now a light infantry division at Fort Carson, Colorado.

        The main Chinese forces in the Battle of Sangkumryung Ridge were
the 29th Division and 45th Division of the 15th Army and later in the battle,
the 31st Division and 34th Division of the 12th Army.

        The 29th Division was part of the 10th Army at the start of the Korean
War, but was put into the 15th Army in Jan 1951 and went to Korea. After
the 15th Army returned to China and was made an airborne army under the
Air Force, the 29th Division became the Wuhan Military Region
Independent Division in 1961. In 1967, it was redesignated the 49th Division
of the re-established 17th Army and in 1969, when the 17th Army was
abolished, the division returned to Wuhan Military Region. Then in Jun 1976,
the division was transferred to the 19th Army and merged with the old 56th
Division to become the new 56th Division. The 19th Army was then
abolished and in 1976 the division was merged with the old Wuhan Military
Region Independent 49th Division. In 1985, it was put under the 47th Army.
In 1998, the division was downsized to the 56th Motorized Infantry Brigade
and is now part the 47th Group Army in the Lanzhou Military Region and is
located in Wuwei, Gansu. The 45th Division became an airborne division. It
and the other airborne divisions of the 15th Airborne Army were downsized
to brigades before the Tian’anmen Massacre, went to Beijing to put
down the rioting and along with the other airborne brigades again became
divisions afterward. The 45th Division is now in Huangpi, Wuhan, Hubei.
The 15th Airborne Army is directly subordinate to the Air Force GHQ in

        The 31st Division was part of the 11th Army and was put under 12th
Army for the Korean War. In Dec 1969, the 31st Division was redesignated
36th Division. Today the 36th Motorized Infantry Division is in Xinyi,
Jiangsu.  In the early 1990’s, the Central Military Commission
designated the 36th Division a “Rapid Reaction Unitâ€�.  In 1998, the
34th Division was downgraded to a motorized infantry brigade.  The brigade
is now in Chuzhou, Anhui.

        General Yang Delhi, commander of the Chinese Volunteers at the time,
wrote in his memoirs:

        â€œDuring the battle, the enemy fired around 1,900,000 artillery
rounds and dropped more than 5,000 bombs. The most for one day was
over 300,000 rounds and over 500 bombs. Some news reports at the time
said: ‘The hills were lowered by the blasts’ and this was no
exaggeration. One to two meters of earth and rock were blasted loose on
our two hills. The loosened earth on the hills was knee deep. Needless to say
there were no trees at all on the hills and you couldn’t even find a blade
of grass. No matter whether it was the enemy or us, we both called them â
€˜bloody ridges’.â€�

submitted by ASA Korea Member
                     Ellis Melvin
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