Korean War

UN Counter Offensive
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1951 May 20 - Jul 1

UN Counter Offensive

Hwach'on Reservoir, Hwacheon-g

The UN May–June 1951 counteroffensive was launched in response to the Chinese spring offensive of April-May 1951. It was the final large-scale offensive of the war that saw significant territorial changes. By 19 May the second phase of the spring offensive, the Battle of the Soyang River, on the eastern section of the front, was losing momentum due to reinforcement of the UN forces, supply difficulties and mounting losses from UN air and artillery strikes. On 20 May the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) and Korean People's Army (KPA) began to withdraw after suffering heavy losses, simultaneously the UN launched their counteroffensive in the west and central portions of the front. On 24 May, once the PVA/KPA advance had been halted, the UN began a counteroffensive there also. In the west UN forces were unable to maintain contact with the PVA/KPA as they withdrew faster than the UN advance. In the central area the UN forces made contact with the PVA/KPA at chokepoints north of Chuncheon inflicting heavy losses. In the east UN forces had remained in contact with the PVA/KPA and progressively pushed them back north of the Soyang River.


By mid-June UN forces had reached Line Kansas approximately 2–6 miles (3.2–9.7 km) north of the 38th Parallel from which they had withdrawn at the start of the spring offensive and in some areas advanced to Line Wyoming further north. With the discussions for the start of ceasefire negotiations underway, the UN advance stopped on the Kansas-Wyoming Line which was fortified as the Main line of resistance and despite some limited attacks this would essentially remain the frontline throughout the next 2 years of stalemate.


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Last Updated: : Sun Mar 05 2023