Battle of Changsha (1942)

Last updated
Battle of Changsha (1942)
Part of the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II
Battle of Changsha.jpg
A Chinese soldier mounts his ZB vz. 26 light machine gun at Changsha, January 1942.
Date24 December 1941–15 January 1942
Result Chinese victory
Flag of the Republic of China.svg Republic of China Merchant flag of Japan (1870).svg  Empire of Japan
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Republic of China.svg Xue Yue Flag of Japan.svg Korechika Anami
Units involved
Flag of the Republic of China.svg National Revolutionary Army
9 Armies - 20+ Divisions

Flag of Japan.svg Eleventh Army

Naval Ensign of Japan.svg Imperial Japanese Navy
300,000 soldiers 120,000 soldiers [1]
600 pieces of artillery [1]
200 aircraft [1]
Casualties and losses
Japanese claim:
28,612 killed
1,065 captured [2]

Japanese claim:
1,591 killed
4,412 wounded [3]
American and Chinese claim:
52,000 Killed [4]

Chinese Claim:


33,941 killed
23,003 wounded [5]

The third Battle of Changsha (24 December 1941 – 15 January 1942) was the first major offensive in China by Imperial Japanese forces following the Japanese attack on the Western Allies.

The offensive was originally intended to prevent Chinese forces from reinforcing the British Commonwealth forces engaged in Hong Kong. Gen. Anami was furious about Chinese claims of his defeat in his September-October 1941 Changsha Offensive. The original intent was to mount a thrust with his army to support the Twenty Third Army's attack on Hong Kong. He was supposed to maneuver his army from the south of Hankou, east of the Hankou-Canton Railway about 19 miles and reach the Miluo River. General Anami disobeyed orders from Imperial Headquarters and maneuvered his army 22 miles for Changsha. [6]

Anami's main forces consisted of 27 infantry battalions, 10 artillery battalions, and one battery. [6]


The Japanese commenced combat operations on 24 December, with the 6th and 40th Divisions leading the way. Japanese forces initially cut through Chinese defenders. By 29 December, believed that the city was "inadequately defended", Anami elected to capture the city. He committed his 3rd and 6th Divisions and his forces were surprised to met fierce opposition. His 3rd Division penetrated the southeastern side of the city but made no further movements. On 4 January, the Eleventh Army occupied "all the important points of the city", but they were in danger of being encircled by counterattacking Chinese. [6]


With the prospects of becoming encircled, the Eleventh Army ordered a withdrawal on 4 January. Units were also low on munitions and rations. Withdrawing forces fended off attack by nine armies and over 20 Chinese divisions. Further complicating matters, this was done while protecting rear service units and wounded. Some Japanese units, like the 200 man detachment from the 9th Independent Mixed Brigade were almost completely destroy (only one survivor). [6]

The offensive resulted in failure for the Japanese, as Chinese forces were able to lure them into a trap and encircle them. After suffering heavy casualties, Japanese forces were forced to carry out a general retreat. [1]

Related Research Articles

Battle of Changsha (1939) first of four attempts by Japan to take the city of Changsha during the second Sino-Japanese War

The First Battle of Changsha was the first of four attempts by Japan to take the city of Changsha (長沙市), Hunan (湖南省), during the second Sino-Japanese War. It was the first major battle of the war to fall within the time frame of what is widely considered World War II.

Battle of Changsha (1941)

The Battle of Changsha 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.

Battle of Changsha (1944) battle

The Battle of Changsha (1944) was an invasion of the Chinese province of Hunan by Japanese troops near the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War. As such, it encompasses three separate conflicts: an invasion of the city of Changsha and two invasions of Hengyang.

China Burma India Theater Area where important World War Ii military events occured

China Burma India Theater (CBI) was the United States military designation during World War II for the China and Southeast Asian or India–Burma (IBT) theaters. Operational command of Allied forces in the CBI was officially the responsibility of the Supreme Commanders for South East Asia or China. However, US forces in practice were usually overseen by General Joseph Stilwell, the Deputy Allied Commander in China; the term "CBI" was significant in logistical, material and personnel matters; it was and is commonly used within the US for these theaters.

Xue Yue Chinese general

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.

Battle of Hong Kong One of the first battles of the Pacific campaign of World War II

The Battle of Hong Kong, also known as the Defence of Hong Kong and the Fall of Hong Kong, was one of the first battles of the Pacific War in World War II. On the same morning as the attack on Pearl Harbor, forces of the Empire of Japan attacked the British Crown colony of Hong Kong. The attack was in violation of international law as Japan had not declared war against the British Empire. The Hong Kong garrison consisted of British, Indian and Canadian units besides Chinese soldiers and conscripts from both within and outside Hong Kong.

New Fourth Army

The New Fourth Army was a unit of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China established in 1937. In contrast to most of the National Revolutionary Army, it was controlled by the Communist Party of China and not by the ruling Kuomintang. The New Fourth Army and the Eighth Route Army were the two main communist forces from 1938. The New Fourth Army was active south of the Yangtze River, while the Eighth Route Army was based in Yan'an in the northwest.

Battle of Xuzhou battle

The Battle of Xuzhou was a military conflict between the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China forces in May 1938 during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Operation Ichi-Go military campaign

Operation Ichi-Go was a campaign of a series of major battles between the Imperial Japanese Army forces and the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China, fought from April to December 1944. It consisted of three separate battles in the Chinese provinces of Henan, Hunan and Guangxi.

Battle of Wuhan Battle in the Second Sino-Japanese War

The Battle of Wuhan(武汉之战), popularly known to the Chinese as the Defense of Wuhan, and to the Japanese as the Capture of Wuhan, was a large-scale battle of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Engagements took place across vast areas of Anhui, Henan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Hubei provinces over a period of four and a half months. This battle was the longest, largest and arguably the most significant battle in the early stages of the Second Sino-Japanese War. More than one million National Revolutionary Army troops from the Fifth and Ninth War Zone were put under the direct command of Chiang Kai-shek, defending Wuhan from the Central China Area Army of the Imperial Japanese Army led by Shunroku Hata. Chinese forces were also supported by Soviet Volunteer Group, a group of volunteer pilots from Soviet Air Forces.

Battle of Zaoyang–Yichang battle

The Battle of Zaoyang–Yichang, also known as the Battle of Zaoyi, was one of the 22 major engagements between the National Revolutionary Army and Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Canton Operation

The Canton Operation was part of a campaign by Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War to blockade China to prevent it from communicating with the outside world and importing needed arms and materials. Control of Guangzhou (Canton) and the Pearl River Delta would provide a base to make the blockade of Guangdong province more effective by seizing southern China's major port and isolate the British port of Hong Kong.

5th Division (Imperial Japanese Army) 1871-1945 Imperial Japanese Army formation

The '5th Division' was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was the Carp Division. The 5th Division was formed in Hiroshima in January 1871 as the Hiroshima Garrison, one of six regional commands created in the fledgling Imperial Japanese Army. Its personnel were drafted from Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Shimane.

The 40th Division was an infantry division in the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was the Whale Division.

Tadayoshi Sano, was a lieutenant general and commander in the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) during World War II.

The 36th Rifle Division was a division of the Red Army and then the Soviet Army. The division was formed in 1919 as the 36th Rifle Division and fought in the Russian Civil War and the Sino-Soviet conflict of 1929. In 1937 it became the 36th Motorized Division. The division fought in the Battles of Khalkhin Gol. It was converted into a motor rifle division in 1940 and fought in the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in World War II. Postwar, it became a rifle division again before its disbandment in 1956. The division spent almost its entire service in the Soviet Far East.

The 58th Division was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was the Wide Division. It was formed on 2 February 1942 at Hankou as a security division, simultaneously with 59th and 60th divisions. The nucleus for the formation was the 18th Independent Mixed Brigade. Also, many of the soldiers of the 136th Infantry Brigade of the 106th Division, demobilized in 1940, were re-employed in the 58th Division. As a security division, the 58th Division's backbone consisted of independent infantry battalions, and it did not include an artillery regiment.

The 108th Division was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was the Help Division. It was formed on 24 August 1937 in Hirosaki as a square division. The nucleus for the formation was the 8th Division headquarters. It was subordinated from the beginning to the 1st Army in North China. Part of the personnel served a second tour in 1942 with the 69th Division.

377th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

The 377th Rifle Division was raised in 1941 as an infantry division of the Red Army, and served for the duration of the Great Patriotic War in that role. It began forming in August, 1941 in the Urals Military District. It followed a very similar combat path to that of the 374th and 376th Rifle Divisions. It joined the fighting front in December with the 4th Army, and then briefly came under command of 2nd Shock Army, but soon moved to the 59th Army along the Volkhov River, and continued to serve in this Army's battles near Leningrad until early 1944. The division took very heavy casualties during the Lyuban Offensive in several attempts to relieve the beleaguered 2nd Shock Army. After rebuilding the division held the Army's bridgehead over the Volkhov during 1943, and finally advanced during the Leningrad–Novgorod Offensive in January, 1944, taking part in the assault that liberated Novgorod. During the spring the division saw heavy fighting in the battles for Narva before moving south for the summer offensive into the Baltic states. In September it won a battle honor in the liberation of Valga, and in October also received the Order of the Red Banner for its part in the liberation of Riga. The division ended the war in Latvia, helping to contain and reduce the German forces trapped in the Courland Pocket, and was disbanded later in 1945.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Hsiung, James Chieh; Levine, Steven I. China's Bitter Victory: The War with Japan, 1937–1945, p. 158
  2. Senshi Shoso, "Hong Kong and Changsha" pp. 665
  3. Japanese Monograph No. 71, Army Operations in China pp. 76.
  5. Frank, Richard B., "Tower of Skulls: A History of the Asia-Pacific War, Vol 1: July 1937-May 1942 pp. 665
  6. 1 2 3 4 Frank, Richard B. (2020). Tower of skulls : a history of the Asia-Pacific war, July 1937-May 1942 (First ed.). New York. p. 315. ISBN   978-1-324-00210-9. OCLC   1141201603.

Coordinates: 28°12′00″N112°58′01″E / 28.2000°N 112.9670°E / 28.2000; 112.9670