I Am Not Making This Up: Jocks In Action


Book Reviewer
A piece in "Britain at War" magazine this month, "High Noon at Sariwon," covers one of the most extraordinary encounters in modern warfare. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I am the writer)

Oct 1950. After the Inchon Landing, the North Korean People's Army is in retreat. Spearheading the UN advance into enemy territory is 1st Argylls. The battalion is tasked to seize Sariwon - a key crossroads and rail junction that opens the way to Pyongyang.

As the Jocks advance into the town up one axis, retreating enemy enter by another. The Argyll CO goes missing, then a company of Jocks and a regiment of NKs march - literally - into one another in the town center as night falls.

The NKs mistake the Scotsmen for Russians. Cheery fraternization takes place - one Argyll officer even has his bonnet snatched by an admiring female NK squaddie - before things go dramatically pear shaped.

The article sources veteran interviews, Imperial War Museum recordings, published sources, regimental records and the Cold War History Project to piece together what is (AFAIK) the fullest account of this near-unbelievable action ever printed.

Thanks to interviewees Sir Alexander Boswell, Alan Lauder, Adam MacKenzie and Viscount John Slim, as well as all staff at the Argylls' Regt Museum, Stirling Castle, and the IWM Reading Room.


Book Reviewer
Tiger Stacker:

The officer in question was the mortar platoon officer, Robin Fairrie. The NK squaddie is IDed in some accounts as a "comfort woman" but my guess is she was a nurse as, AFAIK, the NKPA had no comfort women.

FYI, the Sariwon encounter is mentioned in:
The Argylls' official history
The US official history of the Korean War
The UK official history of the Korean War
...though in no real detail.
I'll only believe it if Tropper66 tells us he was personally taught how to please a man by the comfort woman in question.
Just Google Argylls and Sariwon, or the Battle of Sariwon and the details are there to find.

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