The Forgotten Victory - FranceEnglish 2013.07.04 15:23
Defend Korea as my homeland
French national tricolor flag represents liberty‧equality‧benevolence. French troops took a part in defending ROK by fighting battles courageously with sacrifices during the Koran War. Such action illustrated the meaning of its national flag. French army consisted of one infantry battalion and one Navy destroyer had never retreated from all battles despite of any sacrifices.
Maurice Navarre, deceased in the Korean War, died at the age of 79. He willed, "Scatter my ashes at 931 highland, a ferocious battlefield, where my fellow soldiers lay beneath the ground." This will was achieved in 2007 by cooperation between France and ROKA.
When there was an outbreak of the Korean War, France did not have enough power to spare to help Korea due to undergoing war at Indochina. However, in addition to sending out one destroyer on July 22, 1950, France initiated one infantry battalion for dispatch, supported by troops on active service and reserve forces on Sept. 18. French land force arrived at Busan on Nov. 11.
Although dispatched French army did not have large number of soldiers, it was a strong elite troop consisted of soldiers from the Maritime Corps, airborne troops, the Foreign Legion, and capital defense army. Especially battalion commander Ralph Monclar Ltc, the leader of the troop, was Lieutenant General at the Foreign Legion, but voluntarily downgraded his rank in order to participate in the Korean War.
The French battalion participated in Wonju battle as its first battle in the Korean War on Jan. 10, 1951 after it was assigned under US 2nd division. The French battalion fought hand-to-hand against regiment-scale Chinese army at dual tunnel battle, occurred near Jipyeongri on Feb. 10. Consequently, the battalion defended AOR highland till the end, and dealt a fatal blow to its enemy by shooting 1,300 enemies dead. The troop received US presidential citation and won official commendation from French Army for its service.
The French battalion participated in Jipyeongri battle with US 23th regiment on Feb. 13, and it underwent bloody fight for 3 days against enveloping attack by 3 divisions of Communist Chinese army. By doing so, it performed a significant contribution on blocking Chinese army's attack on February; the enemy attack was aimed to divide UN military fronts. Later, the battalion suffered large number of sacrifices at fierce battles: ridge battle, arrow-head highland, and etc. Despite of such losses, it defended their AOR till the end and made it possible for Korea to have advantageous position at the armistice talks.
French army suffered 1,289 humane losses in total: 262 warriors dead, 1,008 soldiers injured, 7 missing, 12 POWs, and etc. The number was equal to French participating troops at the time, and this means that there were few war veterans returned without any scratches after the war. French war veterans-returned from Korea after their deaths like Navarre-sacrificed themselves for Korea, having their mind just like protecting their homeland.
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