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The Battle of Pingxingguan, commonly called the Great Victory of Pingxingguan in Mainland China, was an engagement fought on September 25, 1937, at the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War, between the Eighth Route Army of the Communist Party of China and the Imperial Japanese Army.
Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, is the geopolitical as well as geographical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It includes Hainan island and strictly speaking, politically, does not include the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, even though both are partially on the geographic mainland.
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.
The Eighth Route Army, officially known as the 18th Army Group of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China, was a group army under the command of the Chinese Communist Party, nominally within the structure of the Chinese military headed by the Chinese Nationalist Party during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
The battle resulted in the loss of 400 to 600 soldiers on both sides, but the Chinese captured 100 trucks full of supplies. The victory gave the Communists a tremendous propaganda boost. It was the only division-size battle fought by the Chinese Communists during the entire war.
After the capture of Beiping (present Beijing) at the end of July 1937, Japanese forces advanced along the Beijing–Baotou Railway to Inner Mongolia. Having anticipated the move, Chiang Kai-shek had appointed the Shanxi warlord Yan Xishan as Pacification Director of Taiyuan. Theoretically Yan had authority over all the Chinese military forces in his theatre of operations, including Lin Biao's 115th Division of the Communist 8th Route Army, Liu Ruming's ex-Kuomintang troops and various Central Army contingents responsible to Chiang Kai-shek. In reality these forces operated independently from Yan's provincial army.
Beiping or Peiping, is a former name of Beijing, which means "Northern Capital". The city was called Beiping from 1368 to 1403 and from 1928 to 1949, when the Chinese capital was at Nanjing. In 1403 and again in 1949, the city's name was changed from Beiping to Beijing. From 1937 to 1945, the city under Japanese occupation served as the capital of a puppet regime and was renamed Beijing but most Chinese histories use the name Beiping for the city during that time period.
Inner Mongolia or Nei Mongol, officially the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region or Nei Mongol Autonomous Region (NMAR), is one of the autonomous regions of the People's Republic of China, located in the north of the country. Its border includes most of the length of China's border with Mongolia. The rest of the Sino–Mongolian border coincides with part of the international border of the Xinjiang autonomous region and the entirety of the international border of Gansu province and a small section of China's border with Russia. Its capital is Hohhot; other major cities include Baotou, Chifeng, and Ordos.
Chiang Kai-shek, also known as Generalissimo Chiang or Chiang Chungcheng and romanized as Chiang Chieh-shih or Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese politician and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975, first in mainland China until 1949 and then in Taiwan until his death. He was recognized by much of the world as the head of the legitimate government of China until 1971, during which the United Nations passed Resolution 2758.
Japanese forces, mainly the 5th Division and 11th Independent Mixed Brigade, moved out from Beiping and advanced on Huailai County in Chahar. A Japanese column advanced quickly into Shanxi, making use of the railway which the Chinese did not attempt to destroy. The Chinese abandoned Datong on September 13, falling back to a line from Yanmen Pass on the Great Wall east to the mountain pass of Pingxingguan. Yan Xishan's troops became more demoralised as the Japanese exerted their air supremacy.
Huailai is a county in northwestern Hebei province, People's Republic of China, under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Zhangjiakou.
Datong is a prefecture-level city in northern Shanxi Province in the People's Republic of China. It is located in the Datong Basin at an elevation of 1,040 metres (3,410 ft) and borders Inner Mongolia to the north and west and Hebei to the east. It had a population of 3,318,057 during the 2010 census, of whom 1,629,035 lived in the built-up area made of the three urban districts of Chengqu, Kuangqu and Nanjiao.
Yanmen Pass, also known by its Chinese name Yanmenguan and as Xixingguan, is a mountain pass which includes three fortified gatehouses along the Great Wall of China. The area was a strategic choke point in ancient and medieval China, controlling access between the valleys of central Shanxi and the Eurasian Steppe. This made it the scene of various important battles, extending into World War II, and the area around the gatehouses and this stretch of the Great Wall is now a AAAAA-rated tourist attraction. The scenic area is located just outside Yanmenguan Village in Yanmenguan Township in Dai County, Xinzhou City, Shanxi Province, China.
The main body of the Japanese 5th Division, under the command of Itagaki Seishiro,advanced from Huaili to invade northeastern Shanxi. Although it had a motorised transport column, its rate of advance was limited by the poor roads. By the time they reached the Shanxi border, Lin Biao's 115th Division, after a forced march from Shaanxi, was in place at Pingxingguan on September 24 to ambush the Japanese army.
Shanxi is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋", after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn period.
Shaanxi is a province of the People's Republic of China. Officially part of the Northwest China region, it lies in central China, bordering the provinces of Shanxi, Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichuan (SW), Gansu (W), Ningxia (NW), and Inner Mongolia (N). It covers an area of over 205,000 km2 (79,151 sq mi) with about 37 million people. Xi'an – which includes the sites of the former Chinese capitals Fenghao and Chang'an – is the provincial capital. Xianyang, which served as the Qin dynasty capital, is located nearby. The other prefecture-level cities into which the province is divided are Ankang, Baoji, Hanzhong, Shangluo, Tongchuan, Weinan, Yan'an and Yulin.
The pass of Pingxingguan was a narrow defile worn through the loess, with no exit for several kilometres except the road itself. Lin's division were able to ambush two columns of mainly transportation and supply units and virtually annihilate the trapped Japanese forces.
In geography, a defile is a narrow pass or gorge between mountains or hills. It has its origins as a military description of a pass through which troops can march only in a narrow column or with a narrow front. On emerging from a defile into open country, soldiers are said to "debouch".
On September 25, the 21st brigade of the Japanese 5th Division stationed at Lingqiu received a request from the 21st Regiment that they urgently needed supplies due to falling temperature. The supply troops of the 21st Regiment set out with 70 horse-drawn vehicles with 50 horses, filled with clothes, food, ammunition and proceeded westwards towards Pingxingguan. Around 10:00, the supply column passed into a defile with the two sides rising up more than 10 meters; they were heading towards Caijiayu about 3 km away.
At the same time, a motorized column of Japanese supply troops in about 80 trucks left Guangou and headed east. Both of these non-combat formations entered into the ambush set by the 115th division after 10 a.m. on the 25th and were largely wiped out. A relief force consisting of the 3rd Battalion of the 21st Regiment was rebuffed by Chinese troops and suffered almost 100 casualties. Lin Biao's troops eventually withdrew from the battlefield, allowing the Japanese to finally reach the site of the ambush on September 28.
The total, the Japanese casualties in the battle have been estimated at 400 to 500 and the Chinese at about 400.The Chinese forces destroyed about 70 trucks and an equal number of horse-drawn carts and captured 100 rifles, 10 light machine guns, 1 gun, 2000 shells as well as some clothing and food.
The Kuomintang official history of the Second Sino-Japanese War deals with it in a sentence, without any credit to the communists. Communist accounts, on the other hand, describe Pingxingguan as a typical example of Red guerrilla tactics, inspired by Mao Zedong's conceptualization of People's war . Japanese losses were greatly exaggerated for propaganda purposes. However, like the victory at the Battle of Taierzhuang, Pingxingguan was explained by Japan as Japanese officers succumbing to what they came to call "victory disease". [ dubious ]
After a series of easy victories against their opponents, they failed to take elementary precautions. Japanese commanders seldom repeated the operational blunders that had led to Pingxingguan. Nonetheless, the battle gave the Chinese a major boost in morale and credence to the Communists in the eyes of the people. The battle was constantly cited by CPC leaders as an example of their commitment to battling the Japanese occupation. [ dubious ]
Yan XishanIPA: [jɛ̌n ɕǐʂán]; 8 October 1883 – 22 July 1960) was a Chinese warlord who served in the government of the Republic of China. He effectively controlled the province of Shanxi from the 1911 Xinhai Revolution to the 1949 Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War. As the leader of a relatively small, poor, remote province, he survived the machinations of Yuan Shikai, the Warlord Era, the Nationalist Era, the Japanese invasion of China and the subsequent civil war, being forced from office only when the Nationalist armies with which he was aligned had completely lost control of the Chinese mainland, isolating Shanxi from any source of economic or military supply. He has been viewed by Western biographers as a transitional figure who advocated using Western technology to protect Chinese traditions, while at the same time reforming older political, social and economic conditions in a way that paved the way for the radical changes that would occur after his rule.
Fu Zuoyi was a Chinese military leader. He began his military career in the service of Yan Xishan, and he was widely praised for his defense of Suiyuan from the Japanese. During the final stages of the Chinese Civil War, Fu surrendered the large and strategic garrison around Beiping to Communist forces. He later served in the government of the People's Republic of China.
Pingxing Pass is a mountain pass in the Shanxi Province of China.
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The Order of Battle Chahar People's Anti-Japanese Allied Army in the Inner Mongolia campaign of 1933.
This is the Battle of Pingxingguan order of battle during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
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Liao Yiaoxiang, was a high-ranking Kuomintang commander who successful fought against both the Imperial Japanese Army and Chinese Communist forces. Apart from General Sun Liren, he was one of the few Nationalist commanders who graduated from a military academy in the West. After the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War, he served as a field commander in Manchuria until his capture by Marshal Lin Biao's Manchurian Field Army in the Liaoshen Campaign. General Liao was held for 12 years as a prisoner of war until 1961 and died seven years later during the Cultural Revolution.
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