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Part II: "Report of the Operation 'Chungjeong' (loyalty) by the 20th Division" (First of 3 parts)
Date : 2008-11-19     Hit : 4053

- the full text as provided by the Ministry of Defense (Part 1 of 2)

The facts about the military suppression of the Gwangju Uprising are revealed in detail recently. A report of the 'Chungjeong operation,' the record of the activities by the 20th infantry division and the paratroopers attached to the division, was submitted to the Gwangju Hearing Committee. Document verification team of the committee cross-examined the original copy of the report which was kept in the Central Archives of the Army. The two documents were similar in content. The number of the killed etc., however, betrayed a considerable gap, and it caused controversy. The original copy at the Archive has it that the number of the people shot dead were 17, and that of arrested were 595 while the copy which the Army submitted to the committee says that 4 were killed and 322 were arrested. While the document which the Army submitted to the committee says that 08:00, May 21, the attitude of the Gwangju citizens were favorable to the operation executed by the 20th division, there is no statements similar in content to that in the original copy which reveals that the Army tried to propagate the operation as an act of placation. We publish the full text of the original copy which was kept in the Archive of the Army. The contents which appear only in the submitted copy, but not in the original copy, will be underlined. (Editor)


2.1. Synopsis

2.1.1. Unit transfer for the operation: Army operation # 80-21, 80-23
- The 61 regiment transfer: from 22:30, May 20 to 04:00, May 21, 1980 (by train)
- Division (-1) transfer: from 02:00 to 08:58, May 21, 1980. (by train)
- The 60 regiment transferred: from 22:00, May 21 to 07:00, May 22, 1980 (by air)

2.1.2. Strength

Unit
ranks
files
sum
60 regiment
88
1,514
1,602
61 regiment
82
1,413
1,495
62 regiment
84
1,450
1,534
headquarter unit
30
105
135
total
284
4,482
4,776



2.1.3. Date of operation: from May 21 to May 29 (nine days)
2.1.4. Operation area: in and around Gwangju (refer to 1:50,000 map of Gwangju)
2.1.5. General circumstances which necessitated the operation at the level of the divisional forces of arms.

24:00, May 17: Intermittent riots in and around Gwangju after nationwide extension of the martial law necessitated the dispatch of the 3rd, 7th, 11st airborne brigades. As the size of the number of crowds increase up to around 100,000 rapidly, in conformity with the operation number 80-21, three regiments of the 20th division and the headquarter unit were transferred to the Gwangju area by train or by air and committed to suppress the riot.

May 20: The crowds turned rioters and seized the arms and ammunitions in the Jeonnam Provincial Hall, Gwangju Police Station and other neighboring places not only to slaughter, set fire and rob innocent citizens, but attack army vehicles and burn down the ammunitions and the hospitals. Consequently, the situation grew worse so much as it would be impossible to keep order and the Gwangju saw an anarchic state.

21:00, May 21: Martial Law Commander ordered military units to defend themselves actively and the rioters at the outskirts of the city were quelled in part. The rioters, however, strengthened their numbers and encamped with the seized arms and ammunitions at the outskirts of the city and were confronted with the army. We, the army of the people, waited while appealing peaceful settlement of the situation to restore peace and order and to protect the life and property of the innocent people. The rioters at the mercy of gangsters, ruffians, and instigators, on the contrary, kept going on murdering, robbery and rape all the more. In this situation, to prevent the good citizens of Gwangju from getting hurt and to liberate them from the horror of the rioters, and to restore the peace and order of the nation, the army committed the operation.


2.2. Development of the Operation


May 20, 1980
20:00 About 100,000 rioting crowds were gathered in the downtown of Gwangju and the situations grew worse that it's impossible to keep order with the forces of police and the army within the area. The operation units received an order to dispatch the force of one regiment of 20th division to the city at 20:00 (Army operation number 80-20).
22:30 The 61 regiment departed Yongsan Train Station in Seoul and arrived at Songjeong-li Train station at 04:00 and redeployed at Sangmu army base.
22:30 20th and 30th divisions received an order to dispatch more force of arms (Army operation number 80-23).


May 21
02:30 The Headquarter-Division and the 62nd regiment departed Yongsan station and arrived at Songjeong-li at 08:58. The force was redeployed at Sangmu army base at 10:00 and get prepared to commit operation.
08:00 The 61 regiment was dispatched to suppress the rioters around the Gwangju industrial complex, but failed to return (The number of force of arms were 82 officers and 1,413 ranks and 40 vehicles.).
Effect: As the gathered crowd of 2,000 got extremely excited, after talking with the representative of the crowd, the commander of the 61 regiment judged that the operation is impossible and pulled out to the base after getting permission from the commander in chief. It helped for the citizen of Gwangju to have a favorable attitude to the operation that was executed by the 20th division.
08:10 The moment when the commanding vehicles arrived in front of the Gwangju industrial complex by road, 14 vehicles of 1/4 tonnage were captured and two of the soldiers got injured, and one was disappeared. But 25 has escaped and returned at 12:00 to the base. The one disappeared found alive later and identified as the corporal Bag yunsu of the 62 regiment.
Just before the departure in Seoul the division's logistics staff asked the 3rd corps logistics staff to announce to the CTC logistics staff that 14 vehicles for commanding purposes are to move by road. The 3rd corps logistics staff notified the fact to the CTC logistics staff. But the CTC didn't posted a messenger yet and the vehicles moved into Gwangju without warning. This is why the vehicles were captured.
To block off the rioters from moving into and out of Gwangju and neighboring areas, troops were posted for the first time.
One regimental force was posted to the Provincial Hall and another one to Sangmu Hall. While scouting in helicopter, the commander of 61 regiment and three battalions commanders judged and reported that intermittent sniping of the rioters around the Provincial Hall makes it impossible to go on the surveillance any longer.
17:00 Positioning of the troops were rearranged. To block the state road 1, one regiment was posted. One regiment was posted to block the toll gate. One regiment was posted between Gwangju and Sonjeong-li.
18:20 The 2nd battalion of the 62nd regiment was confronted with the crowds as soon as posted at the Armed Forces Hospital.
18:55 The 3rd battalion of the 62nd regiment was dispatched to the gate of the Songjeong-li airdrome and Seochang bridge.
18:55 The 1st battalion of the 61st regiment was dispatched to block the state road between Gwangju and Mogpo. (11 officers and 207 ranks)
18:56 The 3rd battalion of the 61st regiment was dispatched to block the toll gate. (11 officers and 228 ranks)
19:25 The 62 regiment took charge of guarding Songjeong-li. One company took charge of the residence of the commander in chief, another company the outside the Headquarter, one another company the north fence, and one the ammunitions.
21:00 After receiving an order to reinforce (Army operation number 80-23), regiment 60 moved by air from the Seongnam airdrome to the Songjeong-li airdrome and arrived at 07:00 next morning.
21:00 The crowds turned rioters and more and more got excited. They began to shoot with the arms seized at the reserved army ammunitions and attempted to get hold of the operation unit at some operation zones.
21:00 The army secured the measure of active self-defense and the Combat and Command Headquarters (CTC) ordered to execute the right of self-defense with the following code of conduct: Warn them. Don't let the others come near to you. In case they approach you, you are allowed to shoot them in the belly.
21:30 Two tanks and two APCs were reinforce to the operation zone of the 2nd battalion of the 62nd regiment.
22:11 Six buses driven by the rioters and the 2nd battalion of the 61st regiment confronted on the road to Mogpo, and clashed for the first time (till 04:00 next morning) in response to the shots from the rioters.
The blocked area where the 2nd battalion of the 61st regiment took in charge (on the road toward the right side of the Udang mountain) six buses full of rioters rushed in to the to break the barricade from the direction of Mogpo to Gwangju. The unit stopped them, but one of the rioters in the bus shot at our troops and one was injured in the head. Our forces immediately fired at them and two buses were turned upside down.
Four of the buses, however, in the meantime, sped away into the city. They returned to the same place with 10 vehicles full of the rioters, and attacked our forces later.
Results: Killed three, captured 16 pieces of arms, and arrested one. We fired off about 500 ammunitions and one was sent back to the Seoul Army Hospital by a helicopter. Two of our forces were injured.
Effect: We taught the rioter to know that they are not fit for the battle with the army and succeeded in arousing fear with superior marksmanship of our forces.
23:25 Dispatched reinforcements to where the 2nd battalion of the 61st regiment is in charge. (One battalion and two companies of five officers and 125 ranks, and a search company of three officers and 67 ranks.)


May 22
00:15 Reinforcements were arrived and deployed along the operation zone of the 2nd battalion of the 61st regiment.
The army took measures to execute active self-defense and aroused fear among the rioters with sophisticated marksmanship.
07:00 The 60 regiment completed transfer by air and assigned at the airfield. (88 officers and 1,514 ranks)
07:22 The rioters around Songjeong-li began to move in twelve buses. They were confronted with the 3rd battalion of the 62nd regiment at the gate of the airfield. (No firing.)
07:30 The rioters were threatening the hostages at the Mareug-li army apartment complex. And the Combat and Training Headquarters ordered to dispatch two platoons to guard the area. Two platoons of the company 12 of the 61 regiment were posted at 09:58.
10:35 The commander of the division asked the principal of the logistics division to reinforce vehicles. Three tanks were reinforced to the 3rd battalion of the 60th regiment, the 3rd battalion of the 62nd regiment, and the 1st battalion of the 62nd regiment.
12:00 The armor school was reinforced with six tanks and three APCs.
13:35 The rioters of Songjeong-li demanded permission to get in Gwangju in return for voluntary return of the arms.
15:00 About 300 rioters of Songjeong-li were permitted to go into Gwangju in a bus and three trucks. Among them 160 headed to Gwangju. Arms and ammunitions returned were 37 M1s, 10 carbines, 10 air rifles, and about 100 ammunitions.
16:30 Battalions 2 and 3 of the 60 regiment got hold of the Songjeong-li area and assigned to guard the munitions facility in Gwangsan Police Station.
Results: Our forces marched into Songjeong-li and blocked the roads and secured major facilities and munitions such as class 1 and class 3 at the Sam-yang Tire Company, police stations, and the train station. Got the arms and ammunitions returned and permitted about 150 people to get into and out of Gwangju.
16:50 Reconnoiter in force that covering the whole Songjeong-li area.
17:00 The 2nd battalion of the 62nd regiment launched an operation to secure Armed Forces Hospital and clashee with the rioters at about Dolgogae Pass. The rioters were threatening sniping at the places like as the rooftop of the apartment. Division staffs also helped to fight out.
17:50 Got hold of Armed Forces Hospital.
Achievement: Three were shot to kill, 10 were injured, and 25 were arrested.
Casualties: One KIA, and four injured.
* Decision to launch the operation was made to secure better treatment for the injured (both civilian and military) despite inevitable sacrifices.
* Effect: Tested the resisting fire-powers of the rioters. And made the rioters experience the terror that might be raised if clash with the army.
18:00 The 2nd battalion of the 62nd regiment confronted with the rioters. Confronted again at the distance of 1 km.
21:05 Two search units of the division (two officers and 18 ranks) were lay ambushed between Sangmu army base and Armed Forces Hospital.


May 23
06:60 Issued an order to secure the KBS Broadcasting Station.
06:47 Assigned the 3rd battalion of the 61st regiment (10 officers and 197 ranks) to Bia KBS Broadcasting Station (completed at 08:00)
11:48 Issued operation guide-lines as to the construction of the blocking line.
* Never allow the armed rioters to pass over the blockade.
* Arrest those who do not resist, but shoot to kill those who resist.
* In case the rioters attempt to run on, shoot to kill with APCs or tanks.
* Watch and prevent the rioters from escaping not only at the main roads but by-ways.
14:30 10 riot policemen were reinforced to West Police Station(8), and Gwangju Police Station(2).
15:00 Wirelesses Signal Units (P-77:30, KP-6:50, VRC:160 each) were reinforced by Army Communications Command's office.
16:00 Rearranged the positioning of the troops in preparation for the later operations. The 2nd battalion of the 61st regiment at Mogpo line completed alteration (Infantry School). The 3rd battalion of the 61st regiment at the via KBS Broadcasting Station, and the toll gate completed alteration (Armored School). The 2nd battalion of the 62nd regiment at Armed Forces Hospital completed alteration (Infantry School). The 3rd battalion of the 62nd regiment at Seonchang bridge completed alteration (Artillery School). The 1st battalion of the 62nd regiment at Sangmu army base completed alteration (Chemical School).
19:15 Issued an order to reinforce to Mudeung Mountain area (completed at 20:54).


May 24
01:10 Received an order to alternate (operation number 80-14).
02:00 Issued an order to prepare the alteration of the forces.
09:00 61 regiment started to move to the Junam village on the state road between Gwangju and Hwasun.
09:50 The 62 regiment started to move to the Gwangju Penitentiary area.
10:50 The 61 regiment completed alteration with 11 paratroop units.
12:30 The 62 regiment completed alteration with three paratroop units.
14:00 The 60 regiment started to move and arrived at Sangmu army base at 15:30.
17:00 All force of arms completed re-encampment.
18:00 Issued an order to cease fire (operation number 80-16).
21:00 The CTC commander issued and order to reinforce the guard.


May 25
11:20 The company 7 of the 62 regiment completed pulling out the vehicles.
11:40 Received an order from the CTC (# 80-15 of the operation loyalty) and passed down the order.
11:55 The company 7 of the 61 regiment was pulled out by air.
13:00-24:00 All force of arms were ordered to plan and prepare the later operations.


May 26
08:00 Each regiment commander summoned meeting to map out operations(S-3).
11:00 Received the order of the operation loyalty (operation number 4).
13:00 Meeting was called up and passed down the divisional operation (number 80-8).
23:00 Airborne units began to infiltrate into Gwangju.


May 27
01:00 The 3rd brigade (14 officers and 66 ranks). The 7th brigade (39 officers and 224 ranks). The 11th brigade (four officers and 34 ranks).
02:00-03:00 Each regiment was assigned to the PL*1 line.
04:00 Striking units of the 3rd airborne brigade penetrated around the Provincial Hall.
04:10 Eleven shots were heard at the Provincial Hall.
04:15 The 3rd airborne brigade clashed with the enemy. Casualties: One got injured.
04:23 The 7th airborne brigade was engaged in a violent battle with the enemy and killed two of them.
04:25 The 61 regiment clashed at around Jeonnam National University Hospital.
04:30 Each regimental forces of the division passed on over the PL*1 line.
04:38 The 11st airborne brigade clashed with enemy at Jeon-il building and Tourist Hotel.
04:40 Secured Jeon-il building and the hotel.
04:45 Issued an order to move 18 tanks and 75 APCs.
04:50 The 3rd airborne brigade and the rioters were engaged in hard battle. The 3rd airborne brigade asked reinforcement of the divisional forces.
04:51 The 61 regiment was reinforced at the Provincial Hall.
04:53 The 91st artillery battalion (six officers and 190 ranks) prepared to reinforce and moved in front of the Hospital.
04:55 Divisional forces passed on over the PL*2 line. There was hard battle at the operation zone of the 61 regiment (Gwangju Park, the Provincial Hall). Casualties: Two got injured.
05:04 The 11st airborne brigade arrested two rioters at Tourist Hotel.
05:05 18 vehicles and five APCs were moved to the Provincial Hall.
05:06 The 7th airborne brigade was engaged in battle at Gwangju Park. Casualties: One was killed in action, four were severly injured, and two were slightly wounded.
05:08 Tanks and APCs paused to wait while moving on in front of the hospital.
05:10 The 2nd battalion of the 61st regiment rushed into and occupied Gwangju Police Station.
05:13 Intermittent shots were heard at Jeon-il building.
05:16 500MD armed chopper showed firepower in the sky above the Provincial Hall.
05:18 The 11st airborne brigade were engaged in battle with 40 rioters and two were wounded.
05:21 The 3rd airborne brigade occupied around the Provincial Hall and enjoined with 61 regiment. Achievement: Killed two, arrested 200, and recovered 2,000 guns and ammunitions. Casualties: One was severely injured.
05:25 The 3rd airborne brigade occupied Gwangju City Hall.
05:30 The 60 regimental forces secured the operation zone.
05:32 The 61 regiment occupied the Provincial Hall completely.
05:42 The 7th airborne brigade occupied Gwangju Park and enjoined with the 1st battalion of the 61st regiment.
05:53 The 2nd battalion of the 62nd regiment was confronted with 15 rioters and clashed at Gyerim Elementary School.
06:00 Reconnoiter in force flying with two AH-1Js and three 500MDs were pulled out.
06:01 18 tanks and five APCs were arrived at the Provincial Hall and redeployed.
06:02 Cleared Jeon-il building and Tourist Hotel and enjoined the 61 regiment. Achievement: Recovered 16 carbines and one LMG.
06:14 Regiments 61, 62 secured the operation zones.
06:17 Temporary report of the CTC commander. Achievement: Killed two and arrested 207. Casualties: One killed in action, and five were injured. Civilian Casualties: A woman got wounded.
06:20 Jeon-il building and YMCA were occupied completely. Achievement: Arrested 27.
06:29 Two patients were sent back by helicopter.
06:34 The 11th airborne brigade reported the results of the battle: Arrested 29. Killed three. Recovered 500 carbines, one M16, one M203, a wireless, an LMG, and four boxes of ammunitions.


May 27
06:50 The 62 regiment reported the results of the battle. Killed three. Arrested 20. Recovered a gas mask, three carbines and a P-77 wireless.
06:51 The 91st artillery battalion was reinforced at the Provincial Hall and redeployed.
07:05 The 3rd, 7th and 11th airborne brigades pulled out of the operation zones.
07:25 The 20th Division took over all the task.
07:40 15 tanks and two APCs and a vehicle of 1/4 tonnage demonstrated around the downtown of Gwangju and reinforced to the forces at the Provincial Hall later.
08:00 Rearranged the positioning of the troops. Scouted and cleared the area. And exercised a control over the people at night. Platoons secured strong-points and patrolled the area.


May 28
12:00 Rearranged the forces at the level of company and cracked down the remnants and strengthened patrols.

May 29
04:00 Handed all the task over to the police. The division forces focussed on watching and preserving important facilities and safety targets.

 

 

Part 1| Part 2| Part 3


 

Source: http://gshin.chonnam.ac.kr/cnu518/4documents.htm#Part%20II:%20%22Report
Rights: The May 18 Institute/Prof. Shin

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