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Sturgeon's House

70th anniversary of Battle of "Happy Valley"


Monochromelody
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70 years ago, January the 2nd, 1951. To the North of Seoul, in the mountains and hills near Go-yang-tong(高阳洞), British 1RUR dug in and fought against advancing PVA forces. 1RUR got a task force called Cooperforce to support, this is a tank unit from Royal Tank Regiment and Royal Artillery, equipped with Cromwell tanks. 

When Matthrew Ridgeway assigned the order of withdraw in this afternoon, the US force covering British force's left flank quickly escaped from their sector, leaving the British were completed unawared and uncovered. 

When the night falls, was cold and dark in the valley. 1RUR had to withdraw in the darkness. All of a sudden, a US spotter aircraft flew over the valley, drop some illumination flares upon the retreating convoy. 

Fierce battle broke out when flares fall down, PVA firing from all directions, the cold valley became deadly kill zone. Some PVA soldiers put away their rifles, assaulting with hand grenades, satchel charges and Bangalore torpedoes. They even set up mortars on the hill, laying shells with direct fire. 

200 British soldiers and artillerymen were killed or captured in one night. 1RUR's Battalion Commander Tony Blake was believed KIA. Cooperforce was completely knocked out, all 12 tanks were destroyed or captured by light infantry. Leader Ashley Cooper were also killed. 

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