Blood on the Hills

Blood on the Hills: The Canadian Army in the Korean War

DAVID J. BERCUSON
Copyright Date: 1999
Pages: 288
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/9781442671461
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  • Book Info
    Blood on the Hills
    Book Description:

    Covering training, manning, equipment, and combat efforts, this is first full non-offical history of the Canadian Army?s operations from the summer of 1950 to the ceasefire of 1953.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7146-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    David J. Bercuson
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. Maps
    (pp. xvii-2)
  6. INTRODUCTION: The Forgotten War
    (pp. 3-11)

    Lindsay, Ontario, 22 November 1951. Ontario Tory Premier Leslie Frost was ecstatic as the results of the day's provincial election poured in to his committee rooms. 'It sure looks like victory,' he told the swelling crowd early in the evening. It was more than just victory, it was a triumph. The people of Ontario had plumped for the Progressive Conservatives for the third election in a row. As the night passed and the liquor flowed in victorious Tory committee rooms across the province, the triumph turned into a crushing defeat for the opposition; Frost was going to have the largest...

  7. ONE Canada's Post-War Army
    (pp. 12-34)

    The Hague, the Netherlands, 21 May 1945. It was a beautiful day for a parade, warm and sunny, and the capital of the Netherlands was decked out in its finest. Canadian and Dutch flags and the Union Jack hung from windows and balconies; red, white, and blue bunting festooned street lamps and road signs. The sidewalks and roads were swept and clean, and the red brick of the houses contrasted starkly with freshly painted trim. The immaculately washed windows sparkled in the afternoon sun.

    Today was the day on which the Dutch would thank the Canadians for their part in...

  8. TWO The Special Force
    (pp. 35-59)

    Vancouver, Monday, 7 August 1950. John Meredith Rockingham sat behind his desk in the offices of the Pacific Stage Lines bus company and listened as the executive of the Amalgamated Transit Union presented their case. It had been a busy day at the bus company, and even though it was now well into the supper hour, Rockingham just knew that these union men had lost no ardour for their cause. Rockingham – Rocky to his friends – was superintendent of Pacific Stage, responsible for labour relations.

    Would the company allow its drivers to take an hour off for lunch each...

  9. THREE Preparing for Battle
    (pp. 60-82)

    Pusan Harbor, Republic of Korea, 18 December 1950. Most of the 917 men of Lt.-Col. Jim Stone's 2PPCLI crowded the deck of the U.S. troopshipPvt. Joe Martinezas it nosed slowly towards Pier 2. It was mid-afternoon; the strange sights, sounds, and smells of this busy port enthralled the new arrivals from Canada. Located near the delta of the Naktong River, Pusan was Korea's second largest city and its most important deep-sea port. The harbour was like an open bowl surrounded by steep hills, with the island of Mok-to almost like a bottle-stopper in the entrance. The docks, wharfs,...

  10. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  11. FOUR Kap’yong
    (pp. 83-111)

    The situation at the front was in a renewed state of flux when the Patricias (2PPCLI) began preparations to join 27 British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade (27 BCIB) in mid-February 1951. On 11 February the Chinese launched their Fourth Phase Offensive on the central front. They intended to split the U.S. Eighth Army away from X Corps, but Ridgway's reinvigorated troops were ready for them. At Chipyong-ni, south of the 38th parallel, a torrent of well-organized defensive firepower and determined U.S. infantry held fast in their positions, killed thousands of attackers, and stopped the Chinese cold. The offensive collapsed; six days...

  12. FIVE The Brigade
    (pp. 112-142)

    0800, 4 May 1951. The SSMarine Adderdocked in the crowded harbour at Pusan carrying most of the soldiers and some of the equipment of the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group. The Canadians crowded the railings and peered at the warships, harbour craft, lighters, oilers, and troop transports lined up at the piers or anchored in mid-harbour. They watched Korean dockhands manhandle the ropes tyingMarine Adderto her place of rest after long weeks at sea. They wondered what lay ahead.

    Rockingham had flown from Fort Lewis, Washington, to make sure that preparations were completed for the arrival...

  13. SIX The Saddle
    (pp. 143-161)

    2100, 9 November 1951. It was hard for the seventy men of ‘C’ Company and the Scout platoon of the Royal 22nd to be totally silent as they moved cautiously out from the main battalion positions on the Jamestown Line and crept down the forward slope towards Hill 166. Everyone knew that the Chinese held the hill in strength, but no one was certain of the exact disposition of their defences. If any of the men moving out that night had known the history of their regiment in the First World War, they would have seen the similarity between the...

  14. SEVEN The Line
    (pp. 162-194)

    Jamestown Line: Canadian sector; a day between December 1951 and July 1953:

    Don B. Urquhart spent a year as a platoon sergeant in Korea, virtually all of it on the line: 'A typical day in Korea never happened,' he would later remember. 'Most days were boring, some were hair raising, no two were ever the same.'¹ Nor were the experiences of all companies or battalions the same. But in many respects Canada's soldiers in Korea lived similar lives the entire time they held the Jamestown Line. At first light the front-line troops would 'stand to,' much as their predecessors had...

  15. EIGHT Blood on the Hills
    (pp. 195-220)

    19 March 1952. Spring came all at once to central Korea. The upper air flow over Korea suddenly reversed itself, and instead of cold dry air arriving from Siberia, the jet stream pumped moist warm air from the East China Sea over the peninsula. The flow brought steady downpours, while rising temperatures thawed out the frozen paddies and the roads recently packed hard with snow or slick with ice. On the line, the rain leaked into bunkers and poured into trenches. It mixed with the thawed-out earth to make a thick gumbo that lay everywhere. Men walked about huddled under...

  16. EPILOGUE: Home from the Hills
    (pp. 221-230)

    Canada was reluctant to commit ground forces to a war in Asia in the summer of 1950; Ottawa began making preparations to withdraw the 25th Brigade even before the armistice. London floated the idea of a continued joint Commonwealth military presence, in Malaya perhaps, or Hong Kong, but that idea was as welcome to the Canadian government as haemorrhagic fever. Korea had been Canada's second military experience in Asia, but Canada was, first and last, a North Atlantic nation, and NATO would be Canada's number-one military priority for the next forty years.

    In October 1953, 3PPCLI left Korea; within the...

  17. Notes
    (pp. 231-252)
  18. Sources
    (pp. 253-258)
  19. Illustration Credits
    (pp. 259-260)
  20. Index
    (pp. 261-269)