May 28  This day during the Korean War

May 28, 1953 – The third Battle of the Hook was a battle of the Korean War that took place between a United Nations force, consisting mostly of British troops, supported on their flanks by American and Turkish units against a predominantly Chinese force. There had been two previous engagements at the Hook earlier in the Korean War when first the United States Marine Corps, and later the British Black Watch regiment, had successfully held the Hook against Chinese assaults. The Hook was defended on a fourth occasion immediately prior to the armistice by two Australian battalions during the Battle of the Samichon River. The Chinese forces charged the forward British positions once the bombardment ceased. The Dukes were outnumbered by 5 to 1. The fighting that ensued was bloody and akin to the battles that the ‘Dukes’ had fought during World War I. Artillery shells rained down on the Hook, from both the Chinese and UN forces. The Chinese launched a second attack but were cut down by heavy artillery fire from UN forces. Further attacks occurred during the day, but all were defeated in heavy fighting. Just 30 minutes into 29 May, the Chinese forces launched another attack, but they were again beaten back. The Dukes began advancing up the line of the original trenches to dislodge the remaining Chinese forces in the forward trenches. The ‘Dukes’ secured the Hook at 03:30. For their action they were awarded the Battle Honour “The Hook” Between 19 May and 29 May, Chinese artillery fired over 20,000 shells onto the Hook position, and 11,000 of these shells were fired on the night of 28 May, with over 200 heavy calibre shells hitting the Hook positions in the one hour between 17:45 and 18:45. 37,818 shells of all calibres were fired by British artillery and the 1st US Corps artillery, including 155 mm, 8-inch, and 240 mm shells and 325 rockets from a US Rocket Battery. Firing directly upon the enemy, the Centurions of C Squadron, 1st Royal Tank Regiment used 504 20-pdr shells (the tanks also fired 22,500 rounds from their machine guns). Chinese casualties were estimated at 1,050 killed and over 800 wounded.  Of these, 167 were actually counted. There were probably many others unseen, perhaps accounting for the casualty figure of approximately 2,000 published elsewhere. The ‘Dukes’ suffered 3 officers and 17 other ranks killed, 2 officers and 84 other ranks wounded, with 20 men missing. There were other casualties from other supporting units listed below. In addition, there were a further 50 casualties from artillery and mortar attacks between 10 May and 28 May.

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