Outpost Harry Project
In memory of the soldiers of the Greek Expeditionary Force who served in the Korean War


Parallels

There are a number of uncanny parallels connecting Outpost Harry (in Korea) with Thermopylae (in Greece):

The 38th Parallel was the arbitrary division used to separate northern and southern Korea during the Korean War.
That same parallel lies close to the Corinth Canal between northern and southern Greece.

In Ancient Greece, King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans marched north-east, through the 38th Parallel,
to Thermopylae (480 BC) to defend all democratic civilization from an aggressive dictatorial regime.
During the Korean War, Sparta Battalion of the Greek Expeditionary Force journeyed north-east, through the 38th Parallel,
to Outpost Harry (1953 AD) to defend all democratic civilization from an aggressive dictatorial regime.

Both King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, in Ancient Greece, and Peter Company of Sparta Battalion, in the Korean War,
defended against a numerically superior force. Most of the men from Peter Company, unlike the 300 Spartans, survived
but the soldiers of the 3rd Division (15th U.S. Infantry Regiment) endured heavy losses before the arrival of the Greek Expeditionary Force.

When King Leonidas was asked to surrender his arms (weapons) he responded with 'Molon Lave' ('come and take them').
On Outpost Harry the CCF got into the trenches to take those weapons in hand-to-hand combat and were repelled.

The 300 Spartans fought in the shade cast by thousands of Xerxes arrows. They blocked the arrows with their shields.
The men on Outpost Harry fought in the shade cast by night, flares, and thousands of CCF mortar shells.
They blocked the mortars with the wooden beams and sand-bags that covered fox-holes in their trenches.

Outpost Harry may not have been as strategically or geographically as important as Thermopylae but the men on Outpost Harry
were ordered 'to hold at all costs' and the CCF wanted to gain as much land as they could during the Panmunjom peace talks.
If the United Nations had failed to hold the Outpost it would have provided an opportunity for the CCF to advance on Seoul.

The 300 Spartans defended a small pass. The men on Outpost Harry defended a small hill.

Both the 300 Spartans and the men on Outpost Harry could be surrounded by the enemy at any time.

Both the 300 Spartans and the men on Outpost Harry had friendly fire to support them.

The 300 Spartans were full-time professional soldiers and their training started when they were children. The Spartans were the best trained soldiers in the world. They also used long spears that gave them an advantage over all their enemies. The American and Greek troops sent to Korea were also well trained. American infantrymen had superior weapons to their Chinese counterparts and better cover from their superior air force. Many of the Greeks had previous military experience from the Greek civil war and from the Second World War. It was also common for Greeks to carry weapons at home during peace-time to defend their herds, crops, and properties from thieves and they were well used to carrying and using weapons.

Both Greece and Korea were subject to 20th Century Civil Wars almost concurrently.
External powers involved themselves in both Civil Wars (less conspicuously in Greece).

In ancient Greece during the funeral services of the fallen they used to place a single coin in the mouth of each dead man. The coin was for the ferryman (or boatman) Charon (pronounced 'Haron' in the Greek language and known as 'Haros' in modern Greece) to pay for the journey to Hades (the underworld). On Outpost Harry one of two 'dog tags' was placed in the mouth of each dead man. Amongst the Greeks the name 'Harry' became known as 'Haros' because that is where they assumed they would leave this earth.

Movies have been made about the 300 Spartans and movies will be made about Outpost Harry.

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