Outpost Kelly: A Tanker's Story

By Jack R. Siewert | Go to book overview

5
Outpost Kelly Is Lost

FIFTEENTH DAY, 2130 HOURS

Rain ran off my poncho and into my boots. In my haste to observe the action on Outpost Kelly, I had not bothered to lace the boots up. My binoculars were not much help in the rain and darkness, either. Standing in the revetment I could see, dimly, quick flashes of explosions concentrated on Kelly. The roar of reports piling on each other in rapid succession was continuous, but muffled by the rain. I had been standing in the revetment only a few moments when there came the sharp cough of our 4.2-inch mortar tubes launching a salvo. I am witnessing a long enemy barrage, I thought. What was going on? Probably preparation for an assault on the outpost by the Chinese, I reasoned. All the racket and commotion out there, sixteen hundred yards away, was the combined result of both Chinese and U.S. shelling. Did it mean more than an assault on the outpost? Could this be the prelude to a general assault on our lines? The timing could not be better for the Chinese. The 15th Infantry Regiment had relieved the 7th Infantry and just this day had assumed responsibility for the left flank of the 3rd Infantry Division. Turmoil and confusion accompany such an event. Troops new to the terrain and unfamiliar with the location of their specific areas of responsibility were vulnerable to indecision. Surprise, catching your enemy flatfooted, was an important element in a successful assault. How much did the Chinese know about the change of commands and the transfer of responsibility?

-76-

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Outpost Kelly: A Tanker's Story
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • 1 - Reconnaissance Up Front 1
  • 2 - Close and Join 12
  • 3 - Hill 199 28
  • 4 - Stuck in the Mud 63
  • 5 - Outpost Kelly Is Lost 76
  • 6 - >the Fight for Outpost Kelly 92
  • 7 - Return to Home Station 136
  • Epilogue 143
  • Notes 147
  • Glossary of Terms and Acronyms 151
  • Bibliography 155
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