13th Infantry Division

When the 13th Infantry Division was established is a matter of some debate as various Army documents from the Korean War indicate that the division was formed in March 1950, though the KIMH indicates that the division was activated in Sinuiju in May 1950. The nucleus is believed to have been either the 4th Independent Division that was located in Manchuria until July 1949, when it moved to North Korea (according to the Army during the Korean War) or the nucleus was the 1st Democratic Youth League Training Center in North P'yongan Province (according to KIMH).

The division was committed in the Mungyong area on 25 July 1950.

Organized along the lines of the typical North Korean infantry division, the artillery components of the 13th Infantry Division did not draw their full complement of artillery weapons until 15 June 1950, three months after the activation, of the division at Sinuiju. Like the rest of the division, the divisional - artillery crossed the 38th Parallel on 26 June at full T/O and E strength. In the engagements that followed commitment of the division, the effectiveness of the supporting artillery was progressively reduced by losses of artillery weapons and personnel casualties inflicted by UN counterbattery fire and air action and by an increasing shortage of ammunition and communications equipment which began to be severely felt in the early part of August. By 22 August the original armament of the artillery regiment had been reduced to 13 76mm field guns and nine 122mm howitzers and its strength had declined to around 900 officers and men. During the UN counteroffensive in September artillery elements of the division became completely disorganized and all artillery weapons that had net been destroyed were abandoned.

From November 1950 until February 1951 the artillery regiment of the 13th Division was reconstituted and retrained in Manchuria. Dummy artillery pieces were employed initially in this training until regular weapons became available in January. At that time the regiment is reported to have received 30 76mm and six 122mm artillery pieces plus a total of 3,900 rounds of ammunition for these weapons. Upon the departure of the artillery regiment from its training site in February six 2-ton trucks and 30 l-ton trucks were issued as prime movers. In March the regiment rejoined the rest of the division at Sinaxjung-ri.

During April 9 after the 13th Division had joined the II Corps, the most serviceable artillery pieces and trucks and 50% of the ammunition supply in the hands of the division artillery were transferred to the 1st Battalion of the artillery regiment, which was then attached directly to the artillery section of II Corps as a temporary artillery reserve. The battalion was subsequently committed in support of the corps offensive effort in the Inje Sector. Meanwhile the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 13th Division artillery regiment received further combat training near Kumgagwon-ni and as of the middle of August, had not yet seen any combat. Prisoners of war from the 1st Battalion indicated that the accuracy of the supporting fire delivered by that unit left much to be desired due to shortages of proper fire control equipment. Since forward observers were issued only binoculars to determine range and distance, it was generally necessary to fire nine or 10 rounds before the target had been zeroed in. However, by the middle of summer, ammunition resupply apparently no longer presented a serious problem to the enemy, for one of the captured members of this unit states that by August the 1st Battalion received 150 to 200 rounds of artillery ammunition every third or fourth day.

Some artillery was also available within the rifle regiments of the 13th Division. Reports dating from the period April to June 1953 indicate that each infantry regiment averaged approximately 12 82mm mortars, 18 14.5mm antitank rifles, some 76mm regimental howitzers and a varying number of 45mm antitank guns, which were often employed as direct support weapons.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:33:05 ZULU