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.
The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.
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.
In 1937 the North China Area Army had chased Song Zheyuan's 29th Army to the south along the Jinpu Railway (see Tianjin–Pukou Railway Operation) after his defeat in the Battle of Lugou Bridge. After Japan won the Battle of Nanjing, the North China Area Army advanced southward to establish a Japanese connection between Beijing and Nanjing, ignoring the non-expansionist policy of the Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo. Most mechanized and air forces in eastern China were wiped out in the Battle of Shanghai in 1937. Although new equipment was purchased, it had yet to be shipped. Han Fuqu, the chairman of the Shandong province, rejected orders from Chiang Kai-shek and kept retreating to preserve his force. After Qingdao was occupied in January 1938, his policy was denounced and he was executed on 24 January. In March 1938 Japanese forces occupied the north of Shandong, including the capital city Jinan. The defense line along the Yellow River was torn apart. Due to pressure from Japanese forces, 64 Chinese divisions gathered around Xuzhou in Jiangsu, the headquarters of 5th Military Region of the National Revolutionary Army. Without surrounding it, Gen. Itagaki Seishiro moved south first to attack Tai'erzhuang, where he was defeated by Li Zongren in a regional asymmetric battle.
Sòng Zhéyuán (宋哲元) was a Chinese general during the Chinese Civil War and Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945).
The Japanese 津浦線作戦 or Tientsin–Pukow Railway Operation was a follow up operation to the Battle of Beiping-Tianjin of the Japanese army in North China at the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War, thought concurrently with the Beiping–Hankou Railway Operation. The Tientsin–Pukow Railway Operation was not authorized by Imperial General Headquarters. The Japanese advanced following the line of the Tianjin-Pukou Railway aiming to the Yangtze River without meeting much resistance. The Japanese advance stopped at Jinanon Yellow River after majority of the participating Japanese forces were redirected for the Battle of Taiyuan and replaced by parts of the newly formed 109th division.
Beijing, formerly romanized as Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the world's third most populous city proper, and most populous capital city. The city, located in northern China, is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of central government with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts. Beijing Municipality is surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin Municipality to the southeast; together the three divisions form the Jingjinji metropolitan region and the national capital region of China.
Following this defeat Japan intended an encirclement against Xuzhou and deployed the North China Area Army to the north and the Central China Expeditionary Army to the south. The North China Area Army had four divisions and two infantry brigades drawn from the Kwantung Army. Central China Expeditionary Army had three divisions and the 1st and 2nd Tank Battalions with motorized support units formed into the Iwanaka and Imada Detachments, which were ordered to advance to the west of Xuzhou to cut off and prevent Chinese forces from withdrawing towards the west. The 5th Tank Battalion was used to support the 3rd Infantry Division advancing north along the railway to Xuzhou. Additional troops were deployed in the Battle of Northern and Eastern Henan by the North China Area Army to stop Chinese reinforcements from the west. A Chinese counterattack here resulted in the Battle of Lanfeng. However, with the approach of the Central China Expeditionary Army from the south, the overall situation was grim, and Chiang Kai-shek ordered the withdrawal of the armies. The demolition of the dykes holding back the Yellow River allowed him more time for the preparation of the defense of Wuhan, but the resulting 1938 Yellow River flood also destroyed much of the area around the new course of the river.
Encirclement is a military term for the situation when a force or target is isolated and surrounded by enemy forces.
Central China Expeditionary Army was a field army of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
A division is a large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. Infantry divisions during the World Wars ranged between 8,000 and 30,000 in nominal strength.
The Japanese army won the fierce battle and ultimately captured Xuzhou, but Japanese forces were too small to contain the large number of encircled Chinese troops. Most of the Chinese soldiers broke through the encirclement through gaps in the Japanese lines to the west or dispersed into the countryside as guerrillas. The Chinese troops who broke through the encirclement would play a major role in later battles.
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.
Huaihai Campaign or Battle of Hsupeng was one of the military conflicts in the late stage of the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China. The campaign started when the People's Liberation Army (PLA) launched a major offensive against the Kuomintang headquarter in Xuzhou on 6 November 1948, and ended on 10 January 1949 when the PLA reached the north of the Yangtze.
A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.
The Northern Expedition was a military campaign launched by the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Kuomintang (KMT), also known as the "Chinese Nationalist Party", against the Beiyang government and other regional warlords in 1926. The purpose of the campaign was to reunify China, which had become fragmented in the aftermath of the Revolution of 1911. The expedition was led by Chiang Kai-shek, and was divided into two phases. The first phase ended in a 1927 political split between two factions of the KMT: the right-leaning Nanjing faction, led by Chiang, and the left-leaning faction in Wuhan, led by Wang Jingwei. The split was partially motivated by Chiang's purging of communists within the KMT, which marked the end of the First United Front. In an effort to mend this schism, Chiang Kai-shek stepped down as the commander of the NRA in August 1927, and went into exile in Japan.
Liu Zhi was a prominent Kuomintang military and political leader in the Republic of China.
The Battle of Shanghai was the first of the twenty-two major engagements fought between the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Republic of China (ROC) and the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) of the Empire of Japan at the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the entire war, described as "Stalingrad on the Yangtze".
Gu Zhutong, courtesy name Moshan (墨山), was a military general and administrator of the Republic of China.
Tang Shengzhi was a Chinese warlord during the Warlord Era, a military commander during the Second Sino-Japanese War and a politician after World War II.
The Battle of Wuhan, 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 the Soviet Volunteer Group, a group of volunteer pilots from the Soviet Air Forces.
Sun Yuanliang was a Chinese military general of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China. Sun was the last surviving member of the first graduating class of the Whampoa Military Academy, as well as the last surviving army-level commander of the Second Sino-Japanese War. His career spanned the January 28 Incident, Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War.
The Central Plains War was a series of military campaigns in 1929 and 1930 that constituted a Chinese civil war between the Nationalist Kuomintang government in Nanjing led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and several regional military commanders and warlords that were former allies of Chiang.
Pang Bingxun was a high-ranking nationalist military commander who fought against the Imperial Japanese Army and Chinese Communist Army. He stopped the IJA 5th Division led by General Seishirō Itagaki, one of the principal architects of the 1931 Manchurian incident, from capturing Linyi and converging with General Rensuke Isogai's IJA 10th Division at Tai'erzhuang District, foiling their plan to assault Xuzhou.
Sun Lianzhong was a Chinese general during the Warlord Era, Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War. Best known for his commanded of the 2nd Group Army in the Battle of Taierzhuang, he had a long career in the army.
The Second United Front was the alliance between the Chinese Nationalist Party and Communist Party of China (CPC) to resist the Japanese invasion during the Second Sino-Japanese War, which suspended the Chinese Civil War from 1937 to 1941.
The 13th Division was an infantry division in the Imperial Japanese Army. Its tsūshōgō code name was the Mirror Division , and its military symbol was 13D. The 13th Division was one of four new infantry divisions raised by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) in the closing stages of the Russo-Japanese War 1 April 1905, after it turned out what the entire IJA was committed to combat in Manchuria, leaving not a single division to guard the Japanese home islands from attack.
Han Fuju or Han Fu-chü was a Kuomintang general in the early 20th century. He rose up the ranks of the Guominjun clique in the Warlord era but then went over to the Kuomintang, and held the position of military governor of Shandong from 1930 to 1938. Han had one wife, two concubines, and four sons.
Wang Yaowu was a high-ranking KMT general and the Governor of Shandong Province who successfully fought against both the Imperial Japanese Army and the Chinese Communists. In September 1948 Communist forces launched the Battle of Jinan and Wang was captured and held as a prisoner of war until his pardon in 1959. During the Cultural Revolution he came under attack by the Red Guards for being a former nationalist commander and died of a heart attack in 1968.
Huang Baitao was a Chinese Nationalist general active in the Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War, for which he was twice awarded the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun, the second highest military award in the Nationalist and then Republic of China military honors system.
Qiu Qinquan was a ROC Army general who excelled himself in Northern Expedition, anti-communist Encirclement Campaigns, Second Sino-Japanese War, and Chinese Civil War. In the Huaihai Campaign, which was determining battle of the Chinese Civil War, he failed to save General Huang Baitao's 7th corps and later committed suicide on the battlefield.
The Battle of Tai'erzhuang was a battle of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1938, between the armies of the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. The battle was the first major Chinese victory of the war. It humiliated the Japanese military and its reputation as an invincible force, while for the Chinese it represented a tremendous morale boost.
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.