[Barriger Map of Ch'orwon, Korea]
1953 (undated) 20 x 20.25 in (50.8 x 51.435 cm)
This is a c. 1953 U.S. Army field strategy map of Korea formally owned by Major General William Lillard Barriger with fascinating tactical annotations in manuscript. The map depicts the region surrounding Cheorwon, South Korea, which lies north of the 38th parallel and is one of the towns in South Korea closest to the demilitarized zone. Chorwon County was divided essentially in half by the DMZ, allowing for a modern-day Chorwon, North Korea, and Cheorwon, South Korea. Per the map, this example was used by Major General William Lillard Barriger, Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division from May 1953 to March 1954 (his name appears in the upper-left corner). We have been unable to locate a detailed record of Major General Barriger's service prior to his accession to command of the 2nd Infantry, which allows for the possibility that this map was used prior to his command of the division.
The symbols drawn on the map denote the position and make up of different army units. The boxes with 'X's mark infantry units, and the ones with dots represent artillery units. The boxes with 'E's stand for engineers, and finally the ones with ovals symbolize armored units. The letters on either side of the boxes give details about the unit, while the lines and 'X's on top of the boxes give the unit strength, from a company, to a battalion, regiment, brigade, and division, depending on which symbol is present. The circles toward the top of the map denote the boundaries of a certain unit's position. Since each of these positions are noted with two lines, that means that each circle represents the position occupied by a battalion. The smaller circles probably note the position of observation posts, in front of the combat line. Per the notations along the top border, the positions illustrated on this map most likely belong to the 3rd U.S. Division and the 2nd ROK (Republic of Korea) Division. Unfortunately, we have not been able to determine precisely which action taken during the Korean War corresponds with this map.
Cheorwon formed one of the points of what is known as the 'Iron Triangle'. The Iron Triangle was a key communist Chinese and North Korean concentration area and communications junction during the Korean War. The other two points on the triangle were formed by Gimhwa-eup in the south and Pyonggang in the north. The area was of strategic importance because it contained major road and rail links between Wonsan and Seoul. The Kumgangsan Electric Railway (which was closed during the conflict) and the Chorwon and Kyongwon Main Lines are depicted and labeled on this example. The Battle of White Horse, the Battle of Triangle Hill, and the Battle of Pork Chop Hill all took place within or near the Iron Triangle, although their exact location is not illustrated by this map.
This map was produced by the U.S. Army c. 1953.
William Lillard Barriger (1897 - 1976) was an American military officer who served in World War II and the Korean War. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Class of June 1918. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for conduct during World War II as a colonel in the Fifth Army. Barriger, at the rank of Major General, became commander of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea during the Korean War in May 1953, a position he would hold until March 1954. He was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal for ‘exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility from 4 June 1952 to 6 March 1954.’ Barriger retired as a U.S. Army Major General.
Good. Wear along original fold lines. Previously bordered in red substance that is slowly falling off. Blank on verso.