“At midnight, I have the order to attack. ‘Good luck.’, Commander Dong said to me. I saluted him. I didn’t know at the moment that it would be the last time we would see each other.
Running, I led my company up to the hill. This was a race between our soldiers and enemy bullets. I saw some of them get shot and fall. But I kept yelling loudly and pressing them hard. ‘Charge! Faster! To the top!’ The faster they could run, the better chance they had of surviving.
I kicked several men who had slowed down. I pushed those who were looking for cover from the American machine guns. The hill was pretty flat and totally stripped by the constant firing and shelling from both sides. There was no tree or rock left to hide behind.
Suddenly I felt like somebody had kicked me on my leg and I almost fell down. Somehow I managed to balance myself and continue running, but a slower pace, and many soldiers passed me.
After a short and bloody man-to-man fight at the top of the hill, the enemy troops gave up and withdrew to Unsan. ‘We made it!’ I cheered with the other soldiers, but I could not help but sit down on the ground.
‘Captain Zhou, you have been shot,’ one of my soldiers said to me. I reached for my knees and felt warm blood all over my left leg. A terrible pain in my left leg suddenly hit me, so strong that it almost knocked me out. A couple of soldiers helped me lay down on the ground and tried to stop the bleeding.
I stayed on the hill all night waiting for medical units. I wept for my leg and for the men killed on the hill.”
– Captain Zhou Baoshan. 39th Army. Chinese People’s Volunteer Force. November 1950. Korean War.
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.