September, 1950: Inchon Landing Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

As the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter raged, United Nations commander General Douglas MacArthur prepared an amphibious assault behind Korean People’s Army (KPA) lines to cut its communications south and open a two-front war. Confident that Lieutenant General Walton Walker’s Eighth Army could hold Pusan, MacArthur built up another force for Operation Chromite.

As the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter raged, United Nations commander General Douglas MacArthur prepared an amphibious assault behind Korean People’s Army (KPA) lines to cut its communications south and open a two-front war. Confident that Lieutenant General Walton Walker’s Eighth Army could hold Pusan, MacArthur built up another force for Operation Chromite.

Although there was agreement on a landing, only MacArthur wanted the landing to be at Inchon. Korea’s second largest port, Inchon was fifteen miles from the capital city and the main KPA supply line south; cutting it would starve KPA troops on the Pusan Perimeter. However, Inchon’s tidal range, strong currents, and narrow channel all made a landing there extremely hazardous. MacArthur overrode all opposition, however.

On September 15, Lieutenant General Edward M. Almond’s Tenth Corps (First Marine Division and Seventh Army Division) carried out the landing. Destroyers and U.S. Marine and British aircraft provided support. The operation went off in textbook fashion, and Inchon was taken with light United Nations forces casualties. MacArthur’s timing was fortunate; Soviet mines were stacked ashore waiting to be laid.

U.S. Marines (in foreground) commandeer defensive trenches abandoned by North Korean troops as supplies are landed at Inchon. (U.S. Marine Corps)

The Eighth Army shortly broke out on the Pusan Perimeter and drove north. Seoul fell on September 26, and only some one-third of the KPA escaped across the thirty-eighth parallel. MacArthur was convinced the war was won.

Categories: History Content