Scenes from the Battlefield

There is no question that the CCTV of the shells landing in the village on Yoeonpyeongdo is dramatic.  I find it also surprising that there are few pictures of the battle in progress.   This picture, released by the ROK Ministry of National Defense (MND) was supposedly taken during the battle:

According to reports, this gun was finishing up its training when it came under fire.   Later pictures show the damage to the gun shelters themselves.

A concrete structure in the K-9 Marine artillery base on Yeonpyeong Island bears marks from North Korea’s attack on Tuesday. (Chosun Ilbo)

It looks like the gun is alright but note the scorch marks on the concrete…lots of shrapnel and splinters flying around out there!

No matter how you look at it, it doesn’t look like it was a fair fight anyway.  Years of budget cuts have hurt the ROK Marines defending the islands.  The Chosun Ilbo points out;

The North has deployed around 1,000 artillery pieces capable of firing 130 mm and 170 mm shells on major islands and coastal positions on the West Sea. In contrast, the only South Korean weapons in the West Sea capable of directly hitting North Korea are K-9 self-propelled howitzers with a range of 40 km, and 155 mm towed howitzers with a range of less than 20 km. There are six K-9 self-propelled howitzers each on Yeonpyeong and Baeknyeong islands, and 10 155 mm towed howitzers are stationed only on Baeknyeong Island.

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