|Battle of Changsha (1941)|
|Part of the Second Sino-Japanese War|
A Japanese soldier firing a Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun across the Miluo river in September 1941
|Commanders and leaders|
|110,000 troops|| 120,000 troops|
326 artillery pieces
|Casualties and losses|
|Unknown|| 13,000 dead and wounded|
Chinese claim: 48,000 killed and wounded
The Battle of Changsha (6 September – 8 October 1941) was Japan's second attempt at taking the city of Changsha, China, the capital of Hunan Province, as part of the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Changsha is the capital and most populous city of Hunan province in the south central part of the People's Republic of China. It covers 11,819 km2 (4,563 sq mi) and is bordered by Yueyang and Yiyang to the north, Loudi to the west, Xiangtan and Zhuzhou to the south, Yichun and Pingxiang of Jiangxi province to the east. According to 2010 Census, Changsha has 7,044,118 residents, constituting 10.72% of the province's population. It is part of the Chang-Zhu-Tan city cluster or megalopolis.
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937, to September 2, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle.
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The offensive was carried out by more than 120,000 Japanese troops who had much better equipment all around, including supporting naval and air forces. The Chinese forces under the command of General Xue Yue—the 9th Army Group—gathered more than 110,000 with help from the 5th, 6th, and 7th Army Groups, but due to poor intelligence on the Japanese invading forces plus its telegraphic messages having been code-broken by the Japanese army, the defense was on the passive end of the battles.
Xue Yue was a Chinese Nationalist military general, nicknamed by Claire Lee Chennault of the Flying Tigers as the "Patton of Asia" and called the "God of War" (戰神) by the Chinese.
The invading forces entered Changsha on September 27, 1941. After a major fire which burned down much of the Changsha city, with help from the 6th and the 7th Army Groups, the defensive forces conducted a response that included heavy street fighting in Changsha city. The Chinese armies successfully defended Changsha, retaking the city. Then the 5th and the 6th Army Groups attacked the Japanese forces west of Hankou city in Hubei province which caused the Japanese Army to withdraw from Changsha. The Japanese Army was running low on ammunition and food. Having suffered heavy casualties, they retreated.
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The battle started when a small Chinese guerrilla force clashed with the Japanese 6th Division in the mountains southeast of Yueyang on 6 September. On the 17th, the Japanese crossed the Xinqiang River (新墙河) at four points and made rapid advances, crossing the Miluo River on 19 September. The main Chinese force avoided confronting the enemy but marched in a parallel fashion, out-flanking the Japanese trail southward. The Japanese also attempted to out-flank and encircle the Chinese. This caused both the Chinese and the Japanese armies to reach the Laodao River (捞刀河) regions for an inevitable battle.
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars, use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military. Guerrilla groups are a type of violent non-state actor.
Yueyang, formerly known as Yuezhou or Yochow, is a prefecture-level city on the southern shores of Dongting Lake in the northeastern corner of Hunan Province in the People's Republic of China.
The Miluo River is located on the eastern bank of Dongting Lake, the largest tributary of the Xiang River in the northern Hunan Province. It is an important river in the Dongting Lake watershed, known as the location of the ritual suicide in 278 BC of Qu Yuan, a poet of Chu state during the Warring States period, in protest against the corruption of the era.
On 27 September, several hundred Japanese troops in plain clothes reached the north gate of Changsha but were unable to sabotage the city defenses, leading to heavy fighting on the 28th. Unable to overcome the defenders, the Japanese began a general retreat back to the Yueyang region on 30 September.
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