Colonel sacrifice, still named and shamed!Were the volunteers too harsh on the Watergate bridge?

2022-05-26 0 By

The release of the movie “The Watergate Bridge of Chojin Lake” has caused a lot of discussion.Film is a work of art, and the appreciation of art is a matter of opinion. Whether the work is good or bad can not be given a standard answer, but depends on the subjective cognition of the audience.However, historical films have their own particularity, how much can be consistent with historical facts, has become one of the evaluation criteria for some audiences.Even before the film was released, some people on the Internet argued that there had never been a fierce battle at the Watergate Bridge in history, so how could it be good to make up a fictional event that did not exist when so many real battles were not filmed?We will not discuss the dialectic between “authentic art” and “authentic art” here, only whether there was a fierce battle at the Watergate Bridge in history.The name “Watergate Bridge” is actually a product of the Internet age, derived from a controversial translation of the term from American war history sources.There is no such term in Chinese literature before the 21st century. In a summary made by Liao Zhengguo, deputy commander of the 20th Volunteer Army, after the Changjinhu Battle, he mentioned “blowing up Menhyeon and Baohou Zhuangdong Bridge”.In the original historical data “20 Army Diary”, it is mentioned that commander Zhang Yixiang ordered the “complete destruction of roads and Bridges”.As for the bridge the 20th Corps was about to blow up, it had no name at all, and it was not the only one known today as the Watergate Bridge.From the historical photos of “Watergate Bridge” that can be seen at present, combined with the remarks of Commander Smith of the 1ST Us Marine Division, this bridge is actually a part of jangjin Lake Power Station. Four huge concrete pipes are power generation facilities used for drainage. This scene is vividly restored in the film.In fact, the volunteers did mark it as “power station” on their maps.”Watergate Bridge” Perspective Many sources say that the “Watergate Bridge” was the only way for the Withdrawal of American troops to Hungnam Port, there is no other way.It’s true on maps, and it’s true in American military history.In the war history of the 20th Army, the battle for “Watergate Bridge” was so briefly recorded that later generations could not restore the details of the battle at that time, which also provided a lot of space for fictional creation of the film. Therefore, “Three Blows of Watergate Bridge” is indeed an excellent film theme.The first time the volunteers blew up the bridge was on December 1, 1950. A detachment of the 127th Regiment of the 58th Division of the 20th Army arrived at the destination after a long run and succeeded in blowing up the bridge.However, the American engineers worked with astonishing speed, using steel and wood to restore the bridge deck in 40 hours.Three days later, the volunteers blew up the bridge again, and the Americans repaired it with great efficiency.The damage of the first two bombings was not that great, so it was relatively easy for the AMERICANS to repair it.The third bombing, on December 6, was the most thorough, with volunteers using massive explosives to blow away the base of the pier, leaving a gash of more than 20 feet in the bridge deck.The volunteers judged that the damage was so complete that the Americans could not repair it in a short time.The bombed “Watergate Bridge” this is the “three Fried Watergate Bridge” in Chinese and American historical materials.However, neither Chinese nor American sources have detailed accounts of the battle, leading some to insist that there was no heavy fighting at watergate bridge.This statement is obviously unreasonable, if the first bombing of the bridge by the volunteers can be used as a surprise attack, then it is impossible for the United States army not to focus on the watergate bridge protection, it is obviously absurd to say that the volunteers can easily blow the bridge without a fierce battle.There are various reasons for the lack of detailed records in historical materials, but it is by no means certain that things not mentioned in books do not exist.The rest of the story is that the US military has been talking about the floating bridge components for years.This is well documented in the MILITARY history of the United States, which is why the Watergate Bridge is so famous on the Internet.In fact, the use of helicopters for bridge construction is not new to the U.S. military. It has been used many times since World War II.However, in extremely cold weather environment and complex terrain conditions, it is unprecedented to parachute bridge construction.Not many countries can do this today, let alone 70 years ago.If it is questionable whether there was a fierce battle on the Watergate Bridge, it is true that the battle at 1081 Heights, south of the Bridge, was extremely fierce.The fierce battle scenes in the film may also have been transplanted from this battle.The volunteers will not block the Hope of the United States army, completely pinned on blowing up a bridge, according to the combat deployment of the 9th Corps, in addition to arranging the team to carry out the task of blowing up the bridge, but also ordered the 20th Army 60 division 180 regiment to seize 1081 heights.The Americans, however, remained alert, and their patrols detected an ambush of volunteers on high ground.If the heights were not taken, the American engineers would be exposed to fire as they repaired the bridge.In the early hours of December 8, the 1st Marine Division sent a battalion to attack 1081.Because of freezing to death and frostbite and the serious reduction of 180 regiment, really unable to resist the American infantry in the aircraft artillery tank under the cover of the turn of the attack, coupled with the snow weather visibility is not good, failed to find the American movement in time, resulting in inadequate preparation, the position eventually lost.In a day of fierce fighting, the commander Zhao Hongji was killed, and one platoon of the second and third companies held their ground until they were all killed.Martyr Zhao Hongji, commander of the 180th regiment of the 60th Division of the 20th Army, captured the 1081 plateau, relieved the volunteer army of the fire harassment of the bridge repair, and ensured the bridge repair, which was undoubtedly a tactical success.The 180th regiment had suffered too many casualties in the early battle, and the number of soldiers clinging to 1081 was less than two companies, which was bound to be unable to complete the arduous task of blocking the Americans.But the Americans were awestruck by the volunteers’ unyielding fighting spirit, and admitted that they had literally been the last of their men who had been found frozen to death in foxholes after they had taken the heights.A summary of a volunteer’s campaign has always been rigorous and objective.In the preliminary Summary of the Battle in South Hamgyong province made by the 20th Army, it praised the 180th regiment for its heroic and tenacious fighting style, but also criticized the 180th regiment for “basically failing to accomplish its mission except for some containment tasks”, mainly for “failing to stop the enemy for more time and inflict more damage on the enemy”.The 20th Army believed that the reason why the 180th regiment did not complete the task of blocking the enemy was related to the lack of resolute command of the 60th Division.When the enemy has begun to run away to the south, the 60 division “appeasement troops cold hunger, lack of confidence to attack”, did not receive the command to pursue “failed to adjust the deployment of mobile flexibility”, the result lost the opportunity to annihilate the enemy.The 20th Army’s criticism of the 60th division and 180th regiment may seem harsh to people today, but it is a proud tradition of the Korean army to “don’t fight for credit and don’t expect blame.”In the summary of the battle of Jangjin-ho, the 20th Army seldom mentioned the influence of objective factors such as cold weather, and basically looked for problems subjectively.This seemingly harsh summary reflects our army’s pursuit of victory and tireless exploration of the inherent laws of war.This is also one of the important reasons why our army is invincible.Why is our volunteer army great?The answer lies in details like this.