Korean War/UN Defensive (1950)/Battle of Pusan Perimeter
June / 1950
August / 1950
From the outbreak of the Korean War following the invasion of South Korea by North Korea on 25 June 1950, the North Korean Korean People's Army had enjoyed superiority in both manpower and equipment over South Korea's Republic of Korea Army and the United Nations forces dispatched to South Korea to prevent it from collapsing. The North Korean strategy was to aggressively pursue U.N. and South Korean forces on all avenues of approach south and to engage them, attacking from the front and initiating a double envelopment of both flanks of the defending units, which allowed the North Koreans to surround and cut off the opposing force, forcing it to retreat in disarray, often leaving behind much of its equipment. From their initial 25 June offensive to fights in July and early August, the North Koreans used this strategy to defeat any UN force they encountered and push it south. However, with the establishment of the Pusan Perimeter in August, the U.N. troops held a continuous line which the North Koreans could not flank, and their advantages in numbers decreased daily as the superior U.N. logistical system brought in more troops and supplies to the U.N. forces.
When the North Koreans approached the Pusan Perimeter on 5 August, they attempted the same frontal assault technique on the four main avenues of approach into the perimeter. Throughout August, their military conducted direct assaults resulting in the Battle of Masan, the Battle of Battle Mountain, the First Battle of Naktong Bulge, the Battle of Taegu, and the Battle of the Bowling Alley. On the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, the South Koreans repulsed three North Korean divisions at the Battle of P'ohang-dong.
The North Korean attacks stalled as U.N. forces, well equipped and with large standing reserve units to draw upon, repeatedly repelled them. All along the front, the North Korean troops reeled from these defeats, the first time in the war North Korean strategy had failed.