Today in history 70 years ago, September 13th 1951, the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge began. The battle was a follow on battle from the previous months Battle of Bloody Ridge. Part of a series of limited objectives to straighten out the defensive line around the area know as The Punchbowl. Having pushed the North Korean units off the previous ridges the elements of the US 2nd Infantry Division (with its attached French Battalion) and South Korean 8th Division moved to take the next series of points centered on Hill 931. The defenses on Heartbreak Ridge have been considered to have been even tougher than the ones one Bloody Ridge owing to more time to prepare as well as learning form the previous battle. The month long battle consisted mainly of frontal assaults as the terrain didn’t allow for much movement. The slog was only broken when engineers managed to clear obstacles from a small trail then widen and reinforce it to accommodate M4A3E8 Shermans. With the tanks and all 3 regiments committed air and artillery support the ridge was finally, slowly taken. Public opinion had by this time turned against “limited-objective” operations of this nature, and military censorship resulted in far less media focus on the other October battles that followed Heartbreak Ridge. Which would help explain the difficulty I had in finding material for this battle.
Some pretty interest and color photos at this link http://www.kwvdm.org/personal_info_detail.php?id=PDoyle
Special thanks to Korean War Showcase for helping with this.