Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Willa M. Bruce

Second Advisor

Dr. Bruce Garver


The Battle of the Chongchon River was the worst defeat suffered by the U.S. Army since the fall of Bataan and Corregidor in 1942, and claimed more American lives than any other battle ever fought by the United States in the post-World War II era. The United States Second Infantry Division was the principal American division engaged in this battle, as it fought a desperate rearguard action to hold off overwhelming numbers of Chinese soldiers in order to allow other American and South Korean divisions to escape to safety. This thesis is a detailed study of the actions fought by the United States Second Infantry Division in the Battle of the Chongchon River. The thesis utilizes interviews conducted by the author with Second Division veterans of the battle, as well as official United States Army documents and records, to demonstrate that the valiant delaying action fought by the Second Division in this battle greatly slowed the Chinese Second Phase Offensive and helped to save the Eighth United States Army in Korea from destruction.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of History and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright, 1994 Robert B. Bruce

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