French Battalion in the Korean War

French Battalion In The Korean War

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French Battalion in the Korean War

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The French Battalion in the Korean War () was a battalion of volunteers made up of active and reserve French military personnel sent to the Korean Peninsula as part of the UN force fighting in the Korean War.


Lieutenant General Monclar, Inspector of the Foreign Legion and a hero of World War II, supported Chief of Staff of the French Army General Blanc's decision to form a volunteer force and agreed to command the new unit. The French Battalion arrived in Pusan (modern day South Korea) on November 29, 1950 and was placed under the operational control of the 23rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division . The battalion carried out several successful early actions and earned the respect of General Ridgway, commander of the U.S. Eighth Army.

From January 7–12, 1951, the French Battalion participated in the First and Second Battle of Wonju where, thanks to a decisive bayonet attack, it stopped the North Korea advance. That episode was echoed around the world by American war correspondents reporting from the theater. It was followed by the Battle of the Twin Tunnels (February 1–2, 1951) and of Chipyong-ni (February 3–16, 1951). These combats, during which the battalion resisted the attacks of four Chinese divisions for three days, allowed the 8th Army to score a victorious counter-offensive. Three weeks later, the battalion was engaged in combat for Hill #1037 (about 50 miles east of Seoul) and lost 40 dead and 200 wounded while attacking and capturing the...
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