Hundred Regiments Offensive

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Hundred Regiments Offensive
Part of The Second Sino-Japanese War
Hundred Regiments Offensive 1940.jpg
Victorious Chinese Communist soldiers holding the flag of the Republic of China.
Date20 August–5 December 1940
Location North China
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
Peng Dehuai
Zhu De
Hayao Tada
Units involved
8th Route Army North China Area Army
Collaborationist Chinese Army
400,000 War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg 270,000 Japanese troops [1] [2]
Flag of the Republic of China-Nanjing (War Ensign).svg 150,000 Chinese collaborators [1]
Casualties and losses
22,000 [2]

Several record from different sources: 1. Chinese Communist has two records: the first one is 12,645 killed and wounded, 281 POW. The second record: 20,645 killed and wounded, 281 POW [3] [4]
2. Japanese military record: No figure about total casualties, 276 KIAs from 4th Independent Mixed Brigade. [5] 133 KIA and 31 MIA from 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade. [6]
3. Western sources: 20,900 Japanese casualties and about 20,000 collaborator casualties [2]

4. Peng's estimate: 30,000 Japanese and collaborators



The Hundred Regiments Offensive (Chinese :百團大戰) (20 August – 5 December 1940) [8] was a major campaign of the Communist Party of China's National Revolutionary Army divisions commanded by Peng Dehuai against the Imperial Japanese Army in Central China. The battle had long been the focus of propaganda in the history of Chinese Communist Party but had become Peng Dehuai's "crime" during the Cultural Revolution. Certain issues regarding its launching and consequences are still controversial.

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the ethnic Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

Communist Party of China Political party of the Peoples Republic of China

The Communist Party of China (CPC), also referred to as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China. The Communist Party is the sole governing party within mainland China, permitting only eight other, subordinated parties to co-exist, those making up the United Front. It was founded in 1921, chiefly by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. The party grew quickly, and by 1949 it had driven the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It also controls the world's largest armed forces, the People's Liberation Army.

National Revolutionary Army Nationalist Army of the Republic of China

The National Revolutionary Army (NRA), sometimes shortened to Revolutionary Army (革命軍) before 1928, and as National Army (國軍) after 1928, was the military arm of the Kuomintang from 1925 until 1947 in the Republic of China. It also became the regular army of the ROC during the KMT's period of party rule beginning in 1928. It was renamed the Republic of China Armed Forces after the 1947 Constitution, which instituted civilian control of the military.


In 1939–1940, the Japanese launched more than 109 small campaigns involving around 1,000 combatants each and 10 large campaigns of 10,000 men each to wipe out Communist guerrillas in the Hebei and Shandong plains. In addition, the army of Wang Jingwei's collaborationist Reorganized National Government had its offensive against the CCP guerrillas.

Hebei Province

Hebei is a province of China in the North China region. The modern province was established in 1911 as Zhili Province or Chihli Province. Its one-character abbreviation is "冀" (Jì), named after Ji Province, a Han dynasty province (zhou) that included what is now southern Hebei. The name Hebei literally means "north of the river", referring to its location entirely to the north of the Yellow River.

Shandong Province

Shandong is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the East China region.

Collaborationist Chinese Army

The term Collaborationist Chinese Army refers to the military forces of the puppet governments founded by Imperial Japan in mainland China during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. They most notably include the armies of the Provisional (1937–1940), Reformed (1938–1940) and Reorganized National Governments of the Republic of China (1940–1945), which absorbed the former two regimes. Those forces were also commonly known as puppet troops but went under different names during their history depending on the specific unit and allegiance, such as Nanjing Government Army. In total, it was estimated that all pro-Japanese collaborationist Chinese forces combined had a strength of around 683,000.

There was also a general sentiment among the anti-Japanese resistance forces - particularly in the Kuomintang - that the CCP was not contributing enough to the war effort, and that they were only interested in expanding their power base. It was out of these circumstances that the CCP planned to stage a great offensive to prove that they were helping the war effort and to mend KMT-CCP relations.

Kuomintang political party in the Republic of China

The Kuomintang of China is a major political party in the Republic of China on Taiwan, based in Taipei, that was founded in 1911, and is currently an opposition political party in the Legislative Yuan.


The Japanese North China Area Army estimated the strength of communist regulars to be about 88,000 in December 1939. Two years later, they revised the estimate to 140,000. On the eve of the battle, the Communist forces grew to 400,000 men strong, in 105 regiments. The extraordinary success and expansion of the 8th Route Army against the Japanese had Zhu De and the rest of the military leadership hoping that they could engage the Japanese army and win.

Eighth Route Army

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.

Zhu De Marshal of the Peoples Republic of China

Zhu De ( was a Chinese general, warlord, politician, revolutionary and one of the pioneers of the Communist Party of China. Born poor in 1886 in Sichuan, he was adopted by a wealthy uncle at age nine; this prosperity provided him a superior early education that led to his admission into a military academy. After his time at the academy, he joined a rebel army and soon became a warlord. It was after this period that he adopted communism. He ascended through the ranks of the Chinese Red Army as it closed in on securing the nation. By the time China was under Mao's control, Zhu was a high-ranking official within the Communist Party of China. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Eighth Route Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. In 1955 he became one of the Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army, of which he is regarded as the principal founder. Zhu remained a prominent political figure until his death in 1976. As the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress from 1975 to 1976, Zhu was the head of state of the People's Republic of China.

By 1940, growth was so impressive that Zhu De ordered a coordinated offensive by most of the communist regulars (46 regiments from the 115th Division, 47 from the 129th, and 22 from the 120th) against the Japanese-held cities and the railway lines linking them. According to CCP's official statement the battle started on 20 August. From 20 August to 10 September, communist forces attacked the railway line that separated the communist base areas, chiefly those from Dezhou to Shijiazhuang in Hebei, Shijiazhuang to Taiyuan in central Shanxi, and Taiyuan to Datong in northern Shanxi. Originally Peng's order of battle consisted of 20 regiments and on 22 August he found more that 80 regiments took part in, mostly without telling him. [9]

Dezhou Prefecture-level city in Shandong, Peoples Republic of China

Dezhou is a prefecture-level city in northwestern Shandong province, People's Republic of China. It borders the provincial capital of Jinan to the southeast, Liaocheng to the southwest, Binzhou to the northeast, and the province of Hebei to the north.

Shijiazhuang Prefecture-level city in Hebei, Peoples Republic of China

Shijiazhuang is the capital and largest city of North China's Hebei Province. Administratively a prefecture-level city, it is about 266 kilometres (165 mi) southwest of Beijing, and it administers eight districts, two county-level cities, and 12 counties.

Taiyuan Prefecture-level city in Shanxi, Peoples Republic of China

Taiyuan is the capital and largest city of Shanxi province in China. It is one of the main manufacturing bases of China. Throughout its long history, Taiyuan was the capital or provisional capital of many dynasties in China, hence the name Lóngchéng.

They succeeded in blowing up bridges and tunnels and ripping up track, and went on for the rest of September to attack Japanese garrisons frontally. About 600 mi (970 km) of railways were destroyed, and the Jingxing coal mine—which was important to the Japanese war industry—was rendered inoperative for six months. It was the greatest victory the CCP fought and won during the war.

Jingxing Mining District District in Hebei, Peoples Republic of China

Jingxing Mining District is a mining district of Hebei province in China, under the administration of provincial capital Shijiazhuang.

However, from October to December, the Japanese responded in force, reasserting control of railway lines and conducting aggressive "mopping up operations" in the rural areas around them. On 22 December, Mao Zedong told Peng Dehuai "Don't declare the end of the offensive yet. Chiang Kai-shek is launching anti-communist climax and we need the influence of Hundred Regiment Battle to win propaganda." [10]


The Eighth Army had left two reports that are both based on statistics before December 5, one claiming killing/injuring 12,645 Japanese and 5,153 puppet troops; capturing 281 Japanese and 1,407 puppet troops; 7 Japanese and 1,845 puppet troops defected; 293 strong-points taken. The other one claimed killing/injuring 20,645 Japanese and 5,155 puppet troops; capturing 281 Japanese and 18,407 puppet troops; 47 Japanese and 1,845 puppet troops defected; 2,993 strongpoints taken. [11] These two records were both based on the same figure but separated to two different records for unknown reason. [11] This amounted to 21,338 and 46,000 combat successes respectively. In 2010, a Chinese article by Pan Zeqin emerged to say the combat success result should be more than 50,000. [12] [13] No figure about total casualties in Japanese military record but it was recorded 276 KIAs from 4th Independent Mixed Brigade and [5] 133 KIA and 31 MIA from 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade. [14] A western source recorded 20,900 Japanese casualties and about 20,000 collaborator casualties [2]
Chinese also recorded 474 km of railway and 1502 km of road sabotaged, 213 bridges and 11 tunnels blown up, and 37 stations destroyed. But Japanese record gives 73 bridges, 3 tunnels, and 5 water towers blown up; 20 stations burned, and 117 railway sabotages (amounting to 44 km). The damage regarding communication systems are 1,333 cut down and 1,107 capsized cable posts, up to 146 km long cable cut. One mining site of Jingxing Coal Mine also stopped operating for half a year. [15]


When General Yasuji Okamura took command of the North China Area Army in the summer 1941, the new strategy was "Three All", meaning "kill all, burn all, and destroy all" in those areas containing Anti-Japanese forces.


Peng and Mao had disagreed over how directly to confront the Japanese since at least the Luochuan Conference in August 1937, with Mao concerned about Communist losses to the well equipped Japanese. After the establishment of the People's Republic Mao is alleged to have said to Lin Biao that "allowing Japan to occupy more territory is the only way to love your country. Otherwise, it would have become a country that loved Chiang Kai-shek." [16] Thus, the Hundred Regiments Offensive became the last of the two major Communist frontal engagements against the Japanese during the war. There had been controversy that Peng had no authorization, even no knowledge of the Central Military Committee and Mao Zedong. As early as 1945 the accusation of launching battle without telling Mao had appeared in the North China Conference. [17] During the Great Leap Forward, Peng's opposition to Mao's policies led to his downfall and then the launching of the battle became yet again a criminal action in the Cultural Revolution. In 1967, the Red Guard group of Tsinghua University, with the support of the Central Cultural Revolution Committee, issued a leaflet saying "The mug Peng, along with Zhu De, launched the offensive to defend Chongqin  ... He rejected Chairman Mao's instruction and mobilized 105 regiments in an adventuristic pulse ... Chairman Mao said 'How can Peng Dehuai make such a big move without consulting me? Our forces are completely revealed. The result shall be terrible.'" [18]

Peng admitted in his memoir 彭德怀自述,he ordered the launch in late July, without awaiting a green light of the Central Military Committee and he regretted it. But Pan Zeqin said that it was Peng's incorrect memory, the correct start date should have officially been on August 20, so Peng actually had the green light. [19] Nie Rongzhen defended Peng, stating "there is a legend that the Central Military Committee was not informed about the offensive in advance. After investigation, we found out that Eight Army HQ sent to the top a report. The report mentioned we would strike at and sabotage Zhentai Railway. Sabotaging one railway or another is very common in guerilla warfare so it's our routine work. This is not some strategic issue and the Committee won't say no". He mentioned no exact date of launch. [20] The consensus in China after the Cultural Revolution is generally in support of the battle. But modern Chinese article described that "Liu Bocheng had some opinion on the arbitrary launching of the battle of Peng." [21]

While a successful campaign, Mao later attributed it as the main provocation for the devastating Japanese Three Alls Policy later, and used it to criticize Peng at the Lushan Conference.


  1. 1 2 中国抗日战争史(中) (in Chinese). 中国人民解放军军事科学院军事历史研究部. 1993.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Chinese-Soviet Relations, 1937–1945; Garver, John W.; p. 120.
  3. These two records were both based on the same figure but separate to two different records for unknown reason
  4. 王人广《关于百团大战战绩统计的依据问题》(Wang Renguang <Issue of the basis of result statistics of Hundred Regiments Offensive >),《抗日战争研究 (The Journal of Studies of China's Resistance War Against Japan ISSN 1002-9575)》1993 issue 3, p. 243
  5. 1 2 Senshi Sosho 支那事変陸軍作戦Shina Jihen Rikugun Sakusen<3>(Volume 88) Asagumo Shinbun-sha, July 1975 ASIN: B000J9D6AS, p. 256
  6. 『北支の治安戦(1)』ASIN: B000J9E2P6, p. 316
  7. 彭德怀自述 (The Autobiography of Peng Dehuai) People's Press 1981 ASIN: B00B1TF388 p. 240
  8. Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power: The Emergence of Revolutionary China 1937–1945; Johnson, Chalmers A.; p. 57.
  9. "百团大战内幕:80多个团参战"没打招呼"_历史_凤凰网".
  10. "百团大战内幕:80多个团参战"没打招呼"_历史_凤凰网".
  11. 1 2 王人广《关于百团大战战绩统计的依据问题》(Wang Renguang<Issue of the basis of result statistics of Hundred Regiments Offensive >),《抗日战争研究》1993年第3期, p. 243
  12. 《说不尽的百团大战》 (2) 中国共产党新闻>>资料查询>>档案·记忆>>史海回眸2007年06月04日08:43
  13. 《中国人民解放军全史》军事历史研究部 编,军事科学出版社,2000年,ISBN   7-80137-315-4,卷“中国人民解放军战役战斗总览”
  14. 『北支の治安戦(1)』ASIN: B000J9E2P6, p. 316
  15. 森松(1982)、136頁。
  16. Andrew Bingham Kennedy, Can the Weak Defeat the Strong? Mao’s Evolving Approach to Asymmetric Warfare in Yan’an The China Quarterly Volume 196 (December 2008), pp. 892-893.
  17. "毛泽东评彭德怀反省百团大战等问题:认错勉强_历史频道_凤凰网".
  18. Original words::1940 年 8 月——12 月,彭贼伙同朱德等发动了‘百团大战’,公然提出要‘保卫大后方’‘保卫重庆’‘保卫西安’……拒不执行毛主席提出的我军‘基本的是游击战,但不放弃有利条件下的运动战’的方针,大搞冒险主义、拼命主义,先后调动了一百零五个团,共四十万兵力……全线出击,打攻坚战、消耗战。百团大战,过早暴露了我军力量……毛主席早在百团大战进行时就严厉地批评了彭德怀等的错误做法,毛主席说:‘彭德怀干这么大事情也不跟我商量,我们的力量大暴露了,后果将是很坏。’---浙江省革命造反联合总指挥部:《毛主席革命路线胜利万岁--党内两条路线斗争大事记(1921-1968)》(Zhejiang Province Revolutionary Uprising Combined Headquarters:Long live the victory of Chairman Mao's revolution route-Chronicles of the conflict of two routes within Party 1921–1968) 1969 May, p. 79
  19. The original texts are 实际上,百团大战发起日期是8月20日,比原定日期8月10日左右(《战役预备命令》中规定的)推迟了10天,而并非是提前了10天,这当是彭德怀记忆之误。此点说明百团大战不是彭德怀背着中共中央军委擅自发动的。
  20. Original words:有种传说,说这个战役事先没有向中央军委报告。经过查对,在进行这次战役之前,八路军总部向中央报告过一个作战计划,那个报告上讲,要两面破袭正太路。破袭正太路,或者破袭平汉路,这是游击战争中经常搞的事情,可以说,这是我们的一种日常工作,不涉及什么战略问题。这样的作战计划,军委是不会反对的
  21. 2907. "老帅中为何刘伯承最先被打倒:与彭德怀早有很深误会(2)--文史--人民网".

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Coordinates: 37°27′00″N116°18′00″E / 37.4500°N 116.3000°E / 37.4500; 116.3000