Last time I was in Korea, I took a trip to the remote Northern Kangwon-do area to see the infamous Korean War battle site, the Punchbowl, the highway travels up and twists around the side of some high mountains before traveling adjacent to the Soyangho Lake.
The mountains are round, steep, and high; many reaching over 1,000 meters. They look more like mountains you would see in West Virgina. Extremely beautiful up there especially along the lake. The best part about exploring this area is the fact very few people venture up there.
The Punchbowl is the site of the infamous Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge battles. On these slopes during the Korean War 183 ROK Marines and 245 American Marines lost their lives to take these mountains from the defending North Korean soldiers. The combined ROK and American Marines inflicted 2,799 KIAs on the enemy and captured 557 POWs during the fighting. Securing these two mountains allowed the coalition forces to consolidate their hold on the Haean basin and to gain strategic ground over looking the North Korean territory to defend against any future North Korean offensives. This strategic ground remains valuable today in protecting the nation from future North Korean agression.
God bless them that gave all.
I recently read the book 'Breakout' about the Chosin Resevoir campaign. The things those Marines went through literally boggle the mind. Men froze to death every night for three solid week. Marines stuck their feet under frozen, but still conscious Chinese soldiers to keep them from freezing solid themselves overnight. Chinese troops, having lost thier sanity due to the -25 degree Farenheit conditions, would simply wander into the American camp, stand by a fire for a few minutes, and wander off. No one stopped them.
One Marine sergeant was shot in the face with a 9mm subgun round, and still managed to draw his 1911 and dispatch the attacking Chinese infantry, before shoving his eyeball back into its socket and continuing the fight. Unbelievable stuff.