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II Army Corps

II Army Corps is a First Echelon unit of the Korean People's Army that is deployed along the DMZ where it can conduct offensive across the DMZ or provide defense in the event of an invasion. As the unit is a forward corps it is organized accordingly with three infantry divisions, three light infantry brigade, an armor brigade, two artillery brigades, and a river-crossing regiment.

P'yongyang established II Corps on June 12, 1950 and placed Lt. General Kim Kwang Hyop in command. During the Korean War the unit was comprised of the 2nd Infantry Division, the 13th Mechanized Division, and the 27th Infantry Division.

The NKPA plan for the invasion of South Korea called for II Corps to direct the 2nd and 12th Divisions to advance towards Hwach'on-Chunch'on-Kap'yung and Yanggu-Hongch'on-Suwon and Wonju and directed the 5th Division to advance fron Yanhyang towards Kangrung-Samch'ok. KIMH directed the 549th and 766th (the type of units were not identified) to conduct landing operations in the Chongdongjin and Imwonjin areas.

When the North Korean II Corps was reorganized in the late fall of 1950, the corps artillery regiment which had been organic to the corps during the summer campaign of 1950 was apparently not reactivated due to an acute and universal shortage of all types of artillery weapons. Upon commitment in the communist New Year's Eve offensive, the corps was still lacking in any artillery reserve. In March 1951, according to a seemingly competent source, an antiaircraft regiment organized and trained in Manchuria was assigned to the corps. The regiment was comprised of three identical battalions each of which consisted of two antiaircraft gun batteries, one antiaircraft machine gun battery and a command platoon; each had a total strength of approximately 420 officers and enlisted men. Each of the gun batteries had a strength of around 100 officers and men and was equipped with four 37mm M-1939 antiaircraft guns while the machine gun battery was armed with eighteen 12.7mm Dshk M-1938 antiaircraft, machine guns but had the same strength as the gun batteries, The battalion was furthermore equipped with eight trucks which were employed as prime movers for the antiaircraft guns, shortages in communication and fire control equipment ostensibly limited the effectiveness of this unit. The regiment was deployed in the corps rear area to secure the P'yonggang Airfield and other important military targets against UN air attacks and was still assigned to the corps at the time of the source's capture in the middle of June.

An exceedingly well informed North Korean artillery officer reports that the II Corps received a new issue of artillery weapons from the USSR during the latter part of May. Each division in the corps was allegedly issued the following artillery pieces: twelve 122mm howitzers, twelve 76mm field guns, twelve 76mm howitzers, eighteen 120mm mortars, eighty-one 82mm mortars and forty-eight 45mm antitank guns. However instead of being assigned directly to the divisions, a large portion of this armament remained with the corps artillery reserve. Concurrently with the receipt of these weapons, an intensive training program was inaugurated for all artillery personnel, most of whom were without any prior artillery experience or training. This same prisoner of war claims that at the time of his defection in June 1951, Major General KIM-i1 was the artillery officer of II Corps. His staffs included Colonel Kwon-Chin-Su, the artillery section chief of staff, and Lieutenant Colonel LEE-Chong-,Sun, the tactical planning (operations) officer of the corps artillery section. While this report had not been entirely confirmed it indicates if true that artillery elements of the II Corps had achieved a combat effectiveness and level of armament which cormpares favorably with the artillery potential at the time of the initial invasion.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:33:10 ZULU