Background of Participation
As the UN Secretary-General requested military aid to South Korea, Turkey informed the UN in the middle of July that it would dispatch ground forces in the amount of 4,500 soldiers. Turkey established the 1st Brigade on August 3rd. It had independent combat capability. Brigadier Tahsin Tazici was appointed as the commander of the Brigade.
As the UN urgently needed additional forces, the units of the Brigade departed Turkey by American transport ships from the 20th to the 29th of September. The Turkish Brigade arrived in Pusan on October 17th, and moved to the UN camp in Daegu.
Activity of the Ground Forces
On November 20th, the Brigade moved to Kunu-ri. It became a reserve unit of the US 9th Corps. As Chinese forces launched the November offensive, the Turkish Brigade engaged in a fierce combat on November 28th with CCF for the first time since its entry into the Korean War. Unfolding delaying tactics, the Brigade retreated to Pongmyong-ri. But it faced serious difficulties as Chinese forces detoured the Brigade and intercepted its retreat route.
After maintenance, the Brigade launched an attack on Hill 151 and Kuemyangjang-ri on January 25th when the US 1st Corps launched a re-counterattack. The next day, the Turkish soldiers occupied Hill 151 through a bloody hand-to-hand battle. They killed 474 enemy soldiers. They soon captured Kuemyangjang-ri, too.
Afterwards, chasing Chinese forces, the Brigade secured the bridgehead of the Hantan River on April 12th. It advanced to the hills north of Changseunchon on April 21st. Chinese forces, which had started the April offensive, tried to break through the 1st Brigade by advancing to its rear on April 22nd. Although the Turkish soldiers did their best to deter it, eventually they had to retreat. In this battle, 66 were killed, 35 wounded and 105 missing. On April 30th, the Brigade withdrew to Mangwuri and reorganized their units. On November 16th, the 1st Brigade turned over its missions to the 2nd Brigade, which arrived in Korea on September 2nd.
The 2nd Brigade repelled Chinese attacks twice with curtain fire on the Hill Byol, north of Cholwon on December 14th. The Brigade killed 88 enemy soldiers in its first combat. On February 20th, 1952, the Turkish 2nd Brigade was attached to the US 10th Corps in the middle east front after eight weeks of field training. It was deployed on the main resistance line at Bia-ri, north of Yanggu. For the purpose of observing the enemy situation, it installed a Sandbag Castle outpost only 25m from enemyâs traffic trench.
On March 12nd, the CCF launched a preemptive attack with two companies on the Sandbag Castle outpost. The Brigade repelled it by mobilizing all of its fire power. On April 18th, in order to remove the enemy outpost, the Brigade killed 40 of the enemy by surprise attack. On August 20th, the 3rd Brigade took over the 2nd Brigadeâs duty. On May 2, 1953, the Turkish 3rd Brigade took over the Panbu-ri region along the riverside of the Imjin River. At 01:00, May 16, CCF made a surprise attack on the Vegas and Berlin outposts. On May 28th, after sunset and shelling the front of the Brigade, CCF re-attacked the two outposts with two battalions. The next day, after a fierce offensive and defensive fight, the Brigade was forced to hand over the outposts to the enemy. In this combat, 151 Turkish soldiers were killed, 239 wounded, and 2 missing, while Chinese forces suffered about 3,000 casualties. On July 7th, the Brigade moved to Yonghyon-ri, southeast of Uijonbu, where it met the armistice.
Turkey entered in the Korean War with 14,936 soldiers. Among them, 721 were killed and 2,147 wounded. After the armistice, the Turkish army withdrew from Korea in 1954 with the exception of one Company which left Korea in 1966.