Manitoba

Battle of Kapyong remembered 65 years on in Winnipeg

A lesser-known battle that is considered one of Canada’s most significant military achievements was remembered in Winnipeg Sunday.

700 Canadian troops held their ground against about 5,000 Chinese soldiers in 1951 battle

Michael Czuboka fought in the Battle of Kapyong in 1951. (CBC)

A lesser-known battle that is considered one of Canada's most significant military achievements was remembered in Winnipeg Sunday.

The Battle of Kapyong saw 700 Canadian troops hold their own against a comparatively huge group of Chinese soldiers in 1951.

"We knew we were surrounded," Michael Czuboka said. "We ran out of ammunition, food and water."

Czuboka fought in the battle and is one of only a few members of the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment still alive today.

The Canadians were outnumbered, but managed to fight back roughly 5,000 Chinese soldiers.

Czuboka said he and his fellow Canadian soldiers considered themselves lucky to get out alive.

"When we left Kapyong we felt very grateful that we had survived, because the British to the west of us ... the whole battalion was wiped out by the Chinese. There was 50 or 60 survivors out of 700," he said.

Historians consider the battle to be an important contribution to the fall of the communist offensive in South Korea.

Czuboka said the experience caused him to mature quickly, and that the gratitude of the Korean people still means a lot to him.

"We saved the people of South Korea," he said. "[Today] it's a modern democracy … so for that reason alone I have absolutely no regrets and I'm sure my comrades have no regrets either."

Czuboka authored the fictional book, Manifest Destiny, based on his experiences in the Korean war.

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