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12th Division (North Korea)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Antong Choe Chun Guk 12th Infantry Division
ActiveJuly 1949 -
CountryDemocratic People's Republic of Korea
AllegianceKorean People's Army
BranchGround Force
Garrison/HQAnbyon County
EngagementsKorean War

12th Infantry Division was a division of the Korean People's Army during the 20th century. Originally, it was the 156th Division (Chinese: 第156师), which was created in November 1948 under the Regulation of the Redesignations of All Organizations and Units of the Army, issued by Central Military Commission on November 1, 1948,[1] basing on the 6th Independent Division, PLA Northeastern Field Army.

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The Korean War June 25th, 1950 - July 27th, 1953 At the end of WWII in '45, Korea was freed from Japanese control. North Korea was occupied by the Soviets while the South was occupied by American forces. By 1948 the country was divided in half at the 38th Parallel. With the capitalist South by Syngman Rheea and the communist North by Kim-il Sung. The Soviet troops withdrew from Korea in 1948 and U.S. troops withdrew in 1949, however, North and South Korea as enemies of one another would not accept the border between them as permanent. The North Koreans attacked South Korea on June 25th, 1950, advancing across the 38th Parallel. Around 75,000 troops of the North Korean People's Army defeated the Republic of Korea's Army with success. Capturing the capital city of Seoul, then occupying the whole of South Korea except for Pusan. This was a problem, as President Truman and the United States wanted to contain the spread of communism by preventing the domino effect. That is, if Korea fell, so would other countries to the ideology. South Korea appealed for support, and the United States pushed a resolution through the United Nations Security Council. The USSR did not use its veto power as it was boycotting the council because the new communist China was not accepted. In China's seat was the pro-U.S Chinese Nationalist government of Taiwan. An appeal was made by the Security Council for North Korea to withdraw its troops, but was ignored. As a result, approval was granted for UN army made of international force of 16 nations to send help to South Korea, commanded by General MacArthur. The UN troops, composed mainly of Americans, landed in South Korea in early July, but were soon pushed back on defense by the North Korean forces, forming a perimeter around Pusan to defend the line until reinforcements arrived in August. Now that their position was strengthened, MacArthur went on the offensive. On September 15th, the U.S. Marines X Corps launched an amphibious assault at Inchon. The North Korean troops were pushed back on the retreat over the 38th Parallel, and soon Seoul was recaptured along with the whole of South Korea by the end of the month. Now, MacArthur was to go beyond the initial idea of containment. Truman, worried of a Chinese response, nevertheless approved, and UN troops moved into North Korea on October 7th, 1950. On October 12th, they captured Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, and then the Yalu River, which was the border with the communist China. China retaliated by helping the North Koreans, sending 250,000 Chinese troops. The UN troops, overwhelmed by this new force, were pushed out of North Korea with heavy losses. By January 1951, Chinese and North Korean troops had captured Seoul. General MacArthur wanted to use the atom bomb on China, and was dismissed for insubordination by President Truman, who went back to a policy of containment. In June 1951, more UN troops were sent to Korea, eventually driving the North Korean to the 38th Parallel and stabilizing the front. Now, a stalemate set in. In July, peace talks began, but a compromise could not be found. Meanwhile, fighting continued and American pilots fought in the air against Soviet pilots using Chinese jet fighters and wearing Chinese uniforms. General Dwight D. Eisenhower took over as president in early 1953 and sought an end to the war. After two years of negotiations, an armistice was signed on July 27th, 1953 at P’anmunjŏm, on the 38th Parallel. A demilitarized zone was set up, which stands to this day. Subscribe and click the notification bell for more history videos. Thank you guys for all your support on the simple history YouTube channel. If you enjoy it, please consider visiting our Patreon page. There, you can show us your support for the channel by donating and make a huge difference in what we're able to create for you. Plus, you can get early access on upcoming videos. So let's keep it growing, and thank you for being part of this amazing community.


PLA Period

156th Division (1948–49)
Active1948.11 - 1949.6
CountryPeople's Republic of China
BranchPeople's Liberation Army
Part of43rd Corps
EngagementsChinese Civil War

The 156th Division was a Korean-Chinese unit, composing of both Chinese and Korean soldiers and formed part of 43rd Corps. Under the flag of 156th division it took part in the Chinese Civil War. On June 25, 1949, the division was disbanded and reorganized as Jiujiang and Nanchang military sub-district. In February 1950, all Korean soldiers from 156th Division regrouped in Nanchang and moved to North Korea, where it was re-organized as 7th Division(later 12th Division) of the Korean People's Army. Its divisional HQ was re-organized as HQ, 2nd Forestry Engineering Division.

As of disbandment division was composed of:

  • 466th Regiment (mostly Korean);
  • 467th Regiment (basically Korean);
  • 468th Regiment (basically Chinese).

North Korea Period

It was activated in Wonsan and was initially composed of Korean-personnel regiments of the PLA 156th Division and was initially composed of the 30th, 31st and 32nd Infantry Regiments. The unit was initially equipped with vehicles transferred to North Korea from the Soviet Union shortly after April 1950.

In April 1950, the People's Republic of China returned 12,000 more veterans of the PVA to Korea where they formed the 7th Division (redesignated the 12th about July 2, 1950).[2]

Artillery units of the 12th Division, at the time of the division's activation at Wonsan in April or May 1950, were composed of battle-seasoned Korean veterans from the Chinese Communist Army.[3]

Korean War

The 12th Division part of the North Korean advance from Seoul to Taejon during the Korean War. It also fought in the Battle of Pusan Perimeter. During this fight it suffered such heavy losses it merged with the NK 766th Infantry Regiment to regain its strength.[4]

On September 16, in the I Corps sector, elements of the Capital Division fought their way through the streets of An'gang-ni. The next day, advancing from the west in the II Corps sector, a battalion of the ROK 7th Division linked up with elements of the Capital Division, closing a two-week-old gap between the ROK I and II Corps. The NKPA's 12th Division waged a series of stubborn delaying actins against the Capital Division in the vicinity of Kigye as the North Koreans retreated northward into the mountains. Kigye fell back under South Korean control on September 22, 1950.[5]

In 2009 the location of the 7th Division was reported as Anbyeong-gun (Anbyon County), Kangwon Province.[6]


  1. ^ 《中央军委关于统一全军组织及部队番号的规定》,
  2. ^ Appleman, Roy E. (1992) [20-2-1]. "Armed Forces of North and South Korea, Chapter II". South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu. United States Army Center of Military History. 20-2-1.
  3. ^ 12th Infantry Division
  4. ^ Webb, William J. The Korean War: The Outbreak. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 19-6.
  5. ^ Gammons, Stephen L.Y. The Korean War: The UN Offensive. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 19-7. Archived from the original on January 15, 2010.
  6. ^
This page was last edited on 28 November 2019, at 02:29
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