Chinese Third Phase Offensive

Sun, 12/31/1950 - Mon, 01/08/1951

Following the end of the Second Phase Offensive, the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) was ordered to attack the United Nations Command (UNC) forces around the 38th parallel on 31 December 1950. When they did so, they destroyed a number of South Korean divisions and began breaking through the UNC defensive line. Chairman Mao's aim in ordering the Third Offensive was to force the will of the United Nations and the US President into abandoning South Korea and withdrawing from the Korean peninsula.

Avoiding the threat of encirclement, the UNC forces withdrew from Seoul on 3 January 1951; the PVA recaptured Seoul on 4 January. When the US Eighth Army and the US X Corps withdrew another 50 miles the PVA were reaching near-physical exhaustion after continuous fighting over the First and Second Offensives and in danger of over extending their operational area. By 8 January, their third offensive of the Korean War was over.