It’s hard to understand how a ‘peasant’ army of lightly armed soldiers managed to defeat the most modern force on earth in a matter of days. Yet it did happen. How?
Chinese soldiers were briefed by their superiors about each operation in great detail. Even the overall strategic plan was reviewed by EVERY soldier.
The Chinese honestly felt they were not just fighting for brother Communists but but to save the revolution and nation of China making the sacrifice an act of Chinese patriotism not just a show of faith in Communism.
Chinese reconnaissance was excellent throughout their initial operations. Posing as Korean peasants trying to flee, ROK Soldiers or even Korean porters carrying supplies of the US Army and Marines gave the CCF an amazing amount of information about defender dispositions and terrain. The CCF was able to hit weak areas because they knew these areas WERE weak before they attacked.
The CCF had made night attacks a specialty when fighting the Chaing Ke-Shek’s nationalists army. This experience was put to very good use against the USA. In fact the obsession with night fighting for the US Army stems directly from American soldiers experience in 1950.
American soldiers in particular but practically all UN troops were road bound for the most part, their vehicles neatly lined up on narrow mountain roads guarded by foot soldiers who were too tired and frightened to move into the surrounding hill country and block the Chinese attack columns. This made getting behind the traffic jammed US army a piece of cake for the CCF.
A persistent myth is that the Chinese only hit ROK units and the Americans were forced to fall back after the Koreans broke. This is not true, CCF divisions hit American formations just as often as they hit the Koreans throughout the 1950 offensive. Using the same tactics they used against the Koreans they achieved excellent results, albeit with higher loss rates.