Belgium

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Kingdom of Belgium
 

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  • Country Profile
    country profile
    Location Western Europe
    Capital Brussels
    Population 10,827,519(as of 1st  Jan.  2010)
    Area 30,528㎢ (1/10 the size of the Korean Peninsula)
    Religion Roman Catholic (75%), Islam (3.5%), Protestants, Orthodox, Anglicans, Jews
    Form of Government Constitutional Monarchy System
    Language Dutch, French and German
    Currency Euro
    Independence Day
    (National Holiday)
    Jul. 21, 1831 (Leopold I ascended the throne)
    Date of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations 23  March, 1901
    Establishment of Military Attache In Belgium(Military attache in France taking the responsibility, reestablishment in 2008), residing in Korea and China (Jun. 2000)
    • BELGIUM (Brussels)
    • New Zealand
    • New Zealand
  • Key Roles

    Key Roles during the War

    The 1st Belgian Battalion arrived in December 1950 and was attached to the 3rd US Infantry Division in January 1951. It was replaced by the 2nd Belgian Battalion in August 1951. The 2nd Belgium Battalion remained in Korea until June 1955. Assigned to the 29th British Regiment of the 3rd US Division, the Belgian Battalion demonstrated excellent combat capabilities in battles. During the offensive in February 1951, the Belgian soldiers were in charge of Mt. Gumgul, northern part of the Imjin River, while the British Fusilier Battalion was in charge of the left side. On the right side was a steep cliff of the Imjin River, and beyond the cliff was the 65th Regiment of the 3rd US Infantry Division.

    At that time, the Belgian Battalion was in a difficult situation. The British Fusilier Battalion was attacked by the Chinese forces and was nearly isolated. At that moment, Lieutenant Colonel Crehigh composedly defended Mt. Gumgul and secured the withdrawal route, so that the Belgian Battalion was able to withdraw safely to Jeongok area where the 65th US Regiment was encamped.

    The Belgian Battalion secured the Mt. Gumgul stronghold and blocked the Chinese forces’ advance for two days, which enabled the 29th British Brigade to withdraw safely to the rear area without suffering heavy casualties. Because of such an outstanding battle at the Mt. Gumgul stronghold, the Belgian-Luxembourg Battalion was awarded official commendations from the US President, the Commander-in-chief of the 8th US Army, and the Belgian Minister of Defense.

    Participation History

    Participation History
    Unit Participation Period Note
    Belgian Battalion Jan. 1951 to Jun. 1955 Assigned to the 3rd US Division in Mar. 1951
    Assigned to the 29th British Regiment in Apr. 1951
    Assigned to the 3rd US Division in Aug. 1951

    Casualty Statistics

    Casualty Statistics
    Total KIA WIA MIA POW

    440

    99

    336

    4 1
  • Key Battles

    Battle of Geumgul Mt. (Wet of Jeonkok 6km ; 1951. 4. 22~25)

    This was the battle in which the Belgium and Luxembourg Battalion fought against the Chinese Communist 188th Division during the Chinese Communist 1st Spring Offensive. This Battalion met with the Chinese Communist 1st Spring Offensive while defending Geumgul Mt. after being attached to the British Commonwealth 29th Brigade of the U.S. 3rd Division. If the Chinese Communist Army had captured the area, the roads over the Jeonkok - Yeoncheon - Cheolwon line could have been cut off and the troops retreating along that line could have been surrounded by the enemy. Therefore, the Battalion had to defend the position until the retreat of all troops adjacent on their right was completed. As the Chinese Communist Army dispatched a division size of troops to attack Geumgul Mt. and captured the bridge over Imjin River in the south of Geumgul Mt. that was a key point over the retreat path of the Battalion. Therefore the Battalion was surrounded by the enemy but it defended its position until the end. During this development, the retreat of adjacent troops was completed and the Battalion was able to retreat. While the U.N. Air Force was covering the vicinity of its position, the Battalion was divided into a walking formation and a vehicle formation. The line of vehicles stormed through the captured bridge with U.S. tank's support and the walking unit retreated to the Jeonkok direction after crossing the Imjin River, east of Geumgul Mt. Later, this Battalion was dispatched to Bongam-ri, 5km west of Dongducheon to assist the withdrawal of the British 29th Brigade troops in the battle zone and then it was withdrawn to Euijeongbu direction as a reserve unit.

    Battle of Hakdang-ri (Hill 388, 1951. 10. 11~13)

    This was the battle in which the Belgium and Luxembourg Battalion fought against enemy troops under the command of the Chinese Communist 78th Division. While carrying out the outpost guarding duty at Hill 388 located between Cheolwon and Pyonggang after being attached to the U.S. 3rd Division, the Battalion defeated Chinese Communist attacks launched twice on the night of 11, and defeated the Chinese Communist's 2 company size troop attack on the night of 12. The Battalion transferred the position to the 2nd Battalaion of the 65th Division and became a reserve unit after this battle.

    Battle of Kimhwa Jatgol (1953. 2. 26~4. 21)

    Ceremony for the unit awarded with the U.S. Presidential Medal
    Lieutenant General Crahay,
    the first commander of the Belgium
    - Luxembourg Battalion,
    revisiting Korea in 1976, 23 years
    after his participation in the war

    his was the battle in which the Belgium and Luxembourg Battalion fought against enemy troops under the command of the Chinese Communist 70th Division while defending the main defense line at Jatgol, 5km northwest of Kimhwa. During this period, the Battalion defeated several Chinese Communist attacks on the outpost and the main position and defended northern Kimhwa. Especially on Apr. 18 and 19, a regiment size of Chinese Communist troops attacked both the main defense line and outpost simultaneously but this Battalion defeated them with the artillery support of the Division and Army Corps.

    After the cease-fire agreement, the Belgium and Luxembourg Battalion left in Jun. 1955.