I don’t know about you but when it’s hot I like to read or watch things about the cold. Seems to sub consciously cool me down. So lets take a look a frosty battle from 1951, The battle of Chipyong-Ni.

Taking place from 13–15 February 1951 between US and French units of the US 23rd Infantry Regiment and various units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (PVA). The battle, along with the simultaneous Third Battle of Wonju, has been called “the Gettysburg of the Korean War,” and represents the “high-water mark” of the Chinese invasion of South Korea.

Pile hats with M1943 hoods over them were the go to way of keeping your head warm.
Shovels are commonly kept on belts and the vast majority of soldiers only have 1 canteen.

There are some pretty cool photos from just after or before this battle. The mix of gear is pretty interesting. M1941 field jackets still in use and even M1903s. And the colonel had full winter combat set. I’ll do a second post with more photos.
Naturally I forgot to include my sleeping bag liner and shoepacs. There’s always something.

M1951 Cap, M1943 jacket and liner

Apparently the M1951 pile caps made it to the field rather early and before the rest of the the M1951 system. Almost all the gear here is WWII vintage.

From left to right; M43 Field Jacket, M43 pile liner, M1941 Field Jacket, then 2 more M43 jackets and a liner

Shoepacs are the name of the game here. Almost everyone has them on. The Vapor barrier “Mickey Mouse” wouldn’t be available until the end of the year.

Mix of magazines, one has a 30 round and the other 15 rounders. the standing soldier also looks to have a customer holster.
Looks like an M1903 on his shoulder
Still has a WWII vintage Winter Combat set aka “Tanker” Jacket and pants/overalls.


  1. If you want a “What If”, if Ray Davis’ night march had been unsuccessful the 1st Marine Division would have been destroyed with at most a few hundred stragglers making it to Pusan.
    And the USA would have gone to Nukes.
    Being able to pull up topo maps and Aerial views of his route (14 miles, at night, in a blizzard) gave me a much fuller appreciation of what he and his men did.
    It was a magnificent example of leadership and one of the most important small unit actions in USMC history.

    • A real diverse variety of Soviet, German, US and Japanese weapons from WW2 and the Type 24 rifle which was a Chinese copy of the mauser made for nationalist troops under Chiang Kai Shek. I *think* the chicoms called it the type 79.

      I wrote a lot about Korean war era weapons and US Infantry officer’s real time reports on their effectiveness during the war a looong time ago but I think the article was lost when the site went to the new version.

  2. The 03 could be an 03A4, plenty of them still around for Korea.

    Fehrenbach also wrote “This Kind of War” about Korea. He was an enlisted infantryman in WWII and an orificer in Korea, and knew more than just a little bit about the subject. Another good read.

    Good post Shawn, thanks much.


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