Audio accompanies this diorama at the Armed Forces History Museum, which depicts the harsh conditions endured by the authentically dressed soldiers. Several accessories, medals and memorabilia from this conflict are on display. The audio is the actual voice and oral history of Marv Sowinski, a U.S. Marine who was at the exact Korean War site that is depicted in the wall mural and background. This diorama is so accurate that one can almost feel the -40 degree coldness while standing “at the edge of the reservoir”.
A Brief Look at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir
At the onset of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir (November 27, 1950), weather conditions had deteriorated with freezing temps continuing throughout this 17 day conflict. The battle itself, occurring over rough terrain, began when the Chinese troops surrounded the United Nations troops. Though greatly outnumbered, the UN forces managed to not only break the hold but inflict a great number of casualties on the Chinese troops.
During this time, the 1st Marine Division consisted of almost 25,500 men. It wasn’t long before the division received support from the British 41 Royal Marine Commandos. The availability of significant air power during this battle turned out to be one of the single greatest concentrations of air defense during the Korean War. Between the 1st Marine Air Wing that was stationed in the area and the five aircraft carriers, a total of 230 sorties were launched on a daily basis to provide the necessary air support during the battle. The US Air Force was also able to air drop 250 tons of supplies each day to the UN forces.
Because of their victory at Chosin, the Chinese gained recognition as a major military force. However, since the US X Corps and the ROK I Corps were both able to escape with the Chinese suffering heavy casualties, the UN forces were able to maintain their position in Korea.