As their country was battered, many Koreans were turned-into refugees escaping a war zone. This photo - taken by Army Cpl. Walter Calmus on the 8th of January, 1951 - shows some of those fleeing people as they "slog through snow outside of Kangnung, blocking withdrawal of ROK [Republic of Korea] I Corps." Image online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.
As Chinese forces (the "CCF") aided North Korea in a First-Phase assault, they faced little opposition. An exception was in Sudong Gorge, along the east coast above Wonsan, where the Seventh Marines put up effective resistance.
Relieving the retreating ROK (Republic of Korea) 26th Regiment, the Seventh Marines fought the CCF 124th Division in very difficult, close-up combat conditions. As a result of their efforts, they were able to take CCF Prisoners of War.
Fighting man-to-man, the Seventh Marines inflicted considerable damage. The two individuals depicted in the photo are CCF Prisoners of War which the Seventh Marines took during the November 2-7, 1950 attack.
In late November of 1950, members of the First Marine and Seventh Infantry Divisions, fighting in bitterly cold, snowy weather at the Chosin Reservoir area, were in serious trouble. Desperately attempting to break out of a Chinese Communist encirclement, they unsuccessfully tried to join forces.
American combat engineers, still in North Korea, tried to slow the Chinese advance (another Chinese-perspective link) by placing satchel charges on a railroad bridge near P'yongyang. It did little good, for the moment, and American forces retreated in December of 1950.
Even naval successes included losses as bad weather further endangered UN forces.
In late December of 1950, Chinese forces crossed the 38th Parallel into South Korean territory.