In nine days, the Bridge was destroyed three times, and the AMERICANS repaired it three times and finally escaped. The real war was more brutal
On the night of December 5, 1950, Jiang Qingyun, commander of the 7th Company, 3rd Battalion, 240th Regiment, 8th Division, 27th Corps of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, led a commando platoon composed of an infantry platoon and a machine gun platoon to march concealed toward the Watergate Bridge under the cover of darkness.Their mission was to blow up the Watergate Bridge, completely cut off the retreat of the first American Marine Division, for the ninth Corps to perfect the end of the Chojin Lake battle to draw a full stop.With two Bridges already blown up, the U.S. army has built a complete fortification here, which, combined with the advantages of geographical location and the powerful firepower of the U.S. army, is basically an impossible task.Jiang qingyun later recalled: “When the enemy fired a shuttle machine gun, seven of our men fell. Four were killed and three were wounded.”However, the soldiers, under the leadership of Jiang Qingyun, succeeded in avoiding the enemy’s firing point and penetrating into the Watergate Bridge, while another platoon began to blow up the bridge for the third time.Because the first two explosions, so that the United States army is very easy to complete the reconstruction of the bridge, this time with a lot of charge, directly blew the Watergate bridge out of nearly 9 meters of a big gap, and the bridge foundation also carried out a thorough destruction.At the time, volunteers predicted that it would take at least half a year for the U.S. army to completely repair the bridge.As long as the 1st Marine division didn’t have wings, they were bound to die at the Watergate Bridge.But on December 7, U.S. Army engineers flew back and forth over the Bridge, in effect observing the damage and figuring out how to quickly restore the bridge so that the 1st Marine Division could safely return to South Korea.At noon on December 8, on the advice of bridge experts, the US military used C119 transport aircraft to drop eight groups of prefabricated pontoon bridge components into the ancient earth.Six of them were successfully recovered by the US army, which has exceeded the requirements for repairing the Watergate Bridge (four groups). The key is that the US has strong material production and supply capabilities behind it.Of the other two, one fell on a volunteer position and one was badly damaged and unusable.The American operation aroused the high alert of the volunteers, who were quickly reported to the ninth Corps headquarters.On December 8, the ninth Gave orders to pursue the first American Marine Division.At the front of the twentieth Army commander Zhang Yixiang keenly aware that the United States will repair the Watergate Bridge at all costs, so he asked the 180 regiment to fully attack to blow up other traffic arteries, destroy the Process of the American army to repair the bridge.On December 9, more than 1,000 troops from the vanguard of the 1st American Marine Division, following tanks and backed by aircraft and artillery, stormed the positions of the 180th.Under the attack of the superior firepower of the United States, 180 regiment suffered heavy casualties, commander Zhao Hongji heroic sacrifice.By the afternoon of that day, Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines had captured Height 1081, clearing the 180th from the outside of the attack on the watergate bridge.By six o ‘clock in the afternoon, the Americans had finished the final repair of the bridge.(2) The Battle of Watergate Bridge was a small part of the Battle of Chojin Lake, but it was one of the most critical steps in the latter part of the battle, as it depended on whether the First American Marine division could be wiped out of the area.The ninth Regiment, which fought at Jangjin-ho, was hastily dispatched to Korea despite early notification that it would join the war.At that time, the soldiers were still wearing summer uniforms. They were supposed to complete the task of changing clothes in Shenyang, but due to the concealment of the campaign and the tight time requirement, the train stopped in Shenyang for a short time. Only part of the winter cotton-padded clothes were thrown onto the train.The same was true in Korea.They faced temperatures of 20 or 30 degrees below zero, and were harassed by a large number of US reconnaissance planes and bombers.Under such circumstances, the troops had to rest during the day and advance at night.The ninth Corps consisted of the twentieth, 26th, and 27th armies, totaling 150,000 men.More than 19,000 people were killed or wounded, 28,000 were frostbitten and 4,000 froze to death in the battle of Chosin Lake.Chi Haotian, later vice chairman of the CMC, said in his memory that he was the battalion instructor of the 27th Army at that time and was the only one in his battalion who did not suffer frostbite.Battle of long jin lake from November 27, though the U.S. marines tutor teachers oliver Smith also expected in the region may was ambushed by volunteers, the whole army marching slowly, prepared to defense when camping, can form the strategic cooperation between the army, but still surrounded by a volunteer soldier completed the split.By November 30, all kinds of bad news were coming to the division. Smith knew that the volunteers were going to wipe them out in the area.The 1st Marine Division is America’s flagship force, which once shone on the battlefield in World War II.The only thing we can do now is to withdraw, to ensure that this army can safely withdraw, in order to maintain the dignity and glory of the army, otherwise it will be an unprecedented Waterloo in the history of the American army, but also the biggest shame of Smith himself.Smith quickly drew up a plan to withdraw from Hagaru-ri, Goto-ri, and Jinhung-ri, but the army was so thoroughly divided and surrounded that it was impossible to escape in one body.In the process of withdrawal, the 1st Marine Division was mostly tanks and artillery, with the air force’s artillery resources overhead and the land forces quickly following behind.Despite this, the 31st Infantry regiment of the 7th Infantry Division, known as the polar Bear Regiment, was wiped out and its combat designation was cancelled.The bad weather, coupled with the powerful firepower of the American mechanized equipment, made the annihilation battle of the 9th Corps a very big trouble, and also caused limited advantages to the American army objectively.The two sides waged a bloody battle in the area. During the day, the U.S. troops took the position and at night, the volunteers took it back. At the most difficult time, the U.S. troops advanced less than one kilometer a day.Still, the first Marine division was closing in on the Bridge.Once they crossed the Watergate Bridge, the annihilation mission was basically over.(3) Shuimen Bridge is located 6 kilometers south of Guduli. It is 8.8 meters wide. It is a suspended bridge with no other roads around it.The watergate Bridge was so important that it was the scene of a deadly battle between the two sides. The movie “Watergate Bridge of Chosin Lake” was about this bridge.The initial plan of the volunteers was to trap the Americans near the Watergate Bridge, but it soon proved impossible.The superior equipment of the Us forces made it easy for them to capture the bridge during the day and keep the troops moving unimpeded.With no air power or artillery to support the volunteers, the only option was to blow up the bridge.The ninth Corps commander Song Shilun asked the 20th army 58 division 180 regiment at all costs, blow up the Watergate Bridge.On the night of November 30, 1950, engineers from the 180th Regiment made a quiet appearance at the Watergate Bridge.The first bombing of the bridge went smoothly, with the U.S. troops in the area unprepared, cold and tired.According to the recollection of Tan Youming, the vice commissator of the 20th Army, the troops dispatched at the same time also caused a large number of casualties to the bridge repairing troops of the United States, in order to disrupt the rhythm of the enemy’s bridge repairing.(4) It was the first time for the ninth Corps to fight against the Americans, so it lacked a correct understanding of the Combat effectiveness and logistical support capabilities of the Americans, and made the same mistake in destroying the Watergate Bridge.According to their experience in fighting the Kuomintang army in the past, if they can blow up the bridge, the task will be basically completed. The next task will be to encircle and annihilate the enemy, and there will be no escape at all.But the surrounding American troops began to repair the bridge on December 1. They cut down the nearby trees, quickly decomposed into planks, and joined them with steel firmware. The bridge was soon repaired.Volunteers on The 1801 Heights near the Watergate Bridge soon noticed the problem and reported it to headquarters on December 2.Considering that the U.S. military has strengthened its defense forces in the area, it is impossible to blow up the bridge as easily as the second time.On the night of December 3, our army sent a battalion to harass the American troops in this area.At the same time, sent a company to carry out the second blasting task of the Watergate Bridge, determined to complete the destruction of the Watergate Bridge.In view of the rapid repair level of the U.S. army, the 1st Battalion of the 180th Regiment also carried out large-scale damage to the bridge repair materials in the vicinity after the second bombing mission was completed, ensuring that the U.S. army could not use the nearby woods and timber.On December 4, the Americans soon discovered that the Watergate Bridge had been blown up again.This time, there was no suitable wood around and the damage was severe.The US army sent the 73rd Engineering Battalion directly under the 10th Army to directly build the M2 steel beam ruts bridge at the broken part of the Watergate Bridge. Both sides had come to the most critical moment of the life-and-death contest.(5) On December 5, the first American Marine Division had entered the final phase of preparation for its withdrawal.At the same time, the 26th corps of the 9th Corps had already arrived at Hagaru-ri to stop the Americans from fleeing south.Under such circumstances, the third operation to blow up the bridge began.This time both sides paid special attention to the Watergate Bridge, with the AMERICANS stepping up security and the volunteers stepping up sabotage.On the night of December 5, the volunteers made their first attempt to destroy the bridge by blowing it up in the face of continued resistance from the American troops.By the evening of the next day, volunteers were out again to destroy the foundations of the bridge.On the following three and four days, the same was done. On the one hand, the partial repair of the US army was damaged, and on the other hand, the damage to the bridge foundation and surrounding facilities was strengthened.By the evening of December 7, the main force of Marine 14th had retreated to the watergate Bridge.After several days of heavy fighting on both sides, the volunteers faced more difficulties.On The 8th of December, in particular, unusually low temperatures set in. The temperature dropped to 30 or 40 degrees below zero. A large number of volunteers were frostbitten and some froze to death.A company of volunteers had already crossed the bridge, and their mission was to wait for the arrival of the first Marine division south of the bridge in case the Bridge was repaired.But the most respectable company froze to death on the south bank of the Watergate Bridge, and when the first Marine division rushed by, terrified, and found all the soldiers frozen to death in their hiding positions, they knew they were an unconquerable force.The ninth Corps was rapidly approaching the Watergate Bridge, and the situation was desperate.Time was running out for the 1st Marine Division, and they sent a distress call to the American top brass.U.S. military officials quickly contacted Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a Japanese company, and asked them to build a better M2 steel beam in a short time.The Japanese quickly assembled thousands of people to work on the project and finished production by December 6th.As early as December 5th, the U.S. military began conducting airborne tests using an air base in South Korea.Because the steel beam was very heavy, a parachute was used to drop it, causing severe deformation.The problem was solved perfectly by using two parachutes to drop a set of M2 steel beams.Starting on the evening of December 6, more than 100 technicians were dispatched to complete all the preparations for the drop, including aircraft, parachutes, and tractors.The airdrop was completed on December 7.On December 9, U.S. engineers finished repairing the bridge.When the news reached the headquarters of the volunteer army, Peng dehuai and others were shocked. They had no idea that the Americans were able to airlift 1.1 tons of steel beams to the battlefield.There is actually very little information about the battle at Watergate, although it did exist.There is almost no record of this in our military history, and only some clues can be found from the recollections of some veterans.For example, Mr. Zhou Wenrong, deputy instructor of the first battalion of the 180 Regiment, recalled that only 16 of his battalion had survived the battle at the Watergate Bridge, and 110 of them had been taken prisoner.In American historical records, only the battle data of December 8 and 9 at Watergate Bridge are scattered.But a comprehensive analysis of these documents reveals that the Battle at Watergate bridge lasted for nine days, from December 1 to December 9, 1950.There have been three explosions, three repairs and a constant battle over the area.Of course, the Battle of Watergate was not satisfactory to either side, and it was a disgraceful retreat for the Americans, so they don’t want to talk about it too much.For the volunteers, the main force of the FIRST U.S. Marine Division fled from the area after failing to complete the mission of blowing up the Watergate Bridge, and the goal of wiping out the enemy at Jangjin Lake was not accomplished, and the volunteers were criticized by the headquarters.So many soldiers who fought in this area were killed that it is difficult to get very detailed information.But there was no doubting the significance of the battle. The soldiers of the 9th Corps were able to display a strong will, a fearless spirit of sacrifice, and a Stoic spirit of starvation in the face of bad weather and superior American firepower.Maybe that’s what watergate Bridge was all about!On the occasion of the film’s release, I would like to dedicate this document to the loveliest people who fought in the Korean war.