Chinese Fourth Phase (Defensive)

Tue, 01/30/1951 - Sat, 04/21/1951

Fourth Phase (Defensive) Campaign, Korea; 30 January – 21 April 1951.

The tempo of operations in Korea for the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (PVA) forced their commander, General Peng, to cease fighting so that his forces could recover over what should have been a necessary and extensive period, but the United Nations Command (UNC) resumed an offensive before he could recouperate and refurbish.

In January 1951, the Eighth Army launched Operation THUNDERBOLT, a reconnaissance in force op attacking PVA up to the River Han, and Operation ROUNDUP by X Corps, protecting Eighth Army's right flank, in central Korea. The Chinese counterattacked at the Battle of Hoengsong on 11 February to block X Corps. This new Chinese offensive ended by 15 February, at the Battle of Chipyong-ni, as the PVA was unable to sustain any further offensive operational capability. The Eighth Army, commanded by US Lieutenant General Ridgway, launched Operation KILLER on 21 February and then Operation RIPPER on 6 March. Ridgway went on to push the Communist forces out of Seoul. Further attacks slowly drove the Chinese and North Koreans north of the 38th parallel to Line KANSAS by 21 April 1951.

Ridgway was promoted to full general and replaced General MacArthur as Commander in Chief of the United Nations Command following the latter’s removal by US President Truman on 11 April 1951 for failing to ‘respect the authority of the President' having too often openly disagreed over matters of policy.