Japanese invasion of Manchuria

Last updated
Japanese invasion of Manchuria
Part of the Interwar period
Japanese troops entering Tsitsihar.jpg
Japanese troops marching into Mukden on 18 September 1931
Date18 September 1931 – 26 February 1932
(5 months, 1 week and 2 days)
Location
Result

Japanese victory

Territorial
changes
Manchuria seized by the Kwantung Army
Establishment of Manchukuo as a Japanese puppet state
Belligerents

Merchant flag of Japan (1870).svg  Japan

Chinese collaborators
Flag of the Republic of China.svg  China
Commanders and leaders
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Shigeru Honjō
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Jirō Tamon
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Hideki Tojo [1]
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Senjuro Hayashi
War Ensign of Manchukuo.svg Zhang Haipeng
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg Zhang Xueliang
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg Ma Zhanshan
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg Feng Zhanhai
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg Ting Chao
Strength
30,000–60,450 men 160,000 men
Events leading to World War II
  1. Treaty of Versailles 1919
  2. Polish-Soviet War 1919
  3. Treaty of Trianon 1920
  4. Treaty of Rapallo 1920
  5. Franco-Polish alliance 1921
  6. March on Rome 1922
  7. Corfu incident 1923
  8. Occupation of the Ruhr 19231925
  9. Mein Kampf 1925
  10. Pacification of Libya 19231932
  11. Dawes Plan 1924
  12. Locarno Treaties 1925
  13. Young Plan 1929
  14. Great Depression 19291941
  15. Japanese invasion of Manchuria 1931
  16. Pacification of Manchukuo 19311942
  17. January 28 Incident 1932
  18. World Disarmament Conference 19321934
  19. Defense of the Great Wall 1933
  20. Battle of Rehe 1933
  21. Nazis' rise to power in Germany 1933
  22. Tanggu Truce 1933
  23. Italo-Soviet Pact 1933
  24. Inner Mongolian Campaign 1933–1936
  25. German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact 1934
  26. Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance 1935
  27. Soviet–Czechoslovakia Treaty of Mutual Assistance 1935
  28. He–Umezu Agreement 1935
  29. Anglo-German Naval Agreement 1935
  30. December 9th Movement
  31. Second Italo-Ethiopian War 19351936
  32. Remilitarization of the Rhineland 1936
  33. Spanish Civil War 19361939
  34. Anti-Comintern Pact 1936
  35. Suiyuan Campaign 1936
  36. Xi'an Incident 1936
  37. Second Sino-Japanese War 19371945
  38. USS Panay incident 1937
  39. Anschluss Mar. 1938
  40. May crisis May 1938
  41. Battle of Lake Khasan JulyAug. 1938
  42. Undeclared German-Czechoslovak War Sep. 1938
  43. Munich Agreement Sep. 1938
  44. First Vienna Award Nov. 1938
  45. German occupation of Czechoslovakia Mar. 1939
  46. German ultimatum to Lithuania Mar. 1939
  47. Slovak–Hungarian War Mar. 1939
  48. Final offensive of the Spanish Civil War Mar.Apr. 1939
  49. Danzig Crisis Mar.Aug. 1939
  50. British guarantee to Poland Mar. 1939
  51. Italian invasion of Albania Apr. 1939
  52. Soviet–British–French Moscow negotiations Apr.Aug. 1939
  53. Pact of Steel May 1939
  54. Battles of Khalkhin Gol MaySep. 1939
  55. Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact Aug. 1939
  56. Invasion of Poland Sep. 1939

The Japanese invasion of Manchuria began on 18 September 1931, when the Kwantung Army of the Empire of Japan invaded Manchuria immediately following the Mukden Incident. After the war, the Japanese established the puppet state of Manchukuo. Their occupation lasted until the Soviet Union and Mongolia launched the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation in 1945.

Kwantung Army military unit

The Kwantung Army was an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1906 to 1945.

Empire of Japan Empire in the Asia-Pacific region between 1868–1947

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.

Manchuria geographic region in Northeast Asia

Manchuria is a name first used in the 17th century by Japanese people to refer to a large geographic region in Northeast Asia. Depending on the context, Manchuria can either refer to a region that falls entirely within the People's Republic of China or a larger region divided between China and Russia. "Manchuria" is widely used outside China to denote the geographical and historical region. This region is the traditional homeland of several ancient groups, including the Buyeo (Koreans), Xianbei, Shiwei, Khitan, and Jurchen peoples, who built several states within the area historically. Several modern ethnic groups such as Mongols, Koreans, and Han Chinese are also regarded as Manchurian indigenous peoples.

Contents

The South Manchuria railway zone and the Korean Peninsula were already under the control of the Japanese empire since the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. Japan's ongoing industrialization and militarization ensured their growing dependence on oil and metal imports from the US. [2] The US sanctions which prevented trade with the United States (which had occupied the Philippines around the same time) resulted in Japan furthering their expansion in the territory of China and Southeast Asia. [3] The invasion is sometimes sometimes cited as an alternative starting date for World War II, in contrast with the more widely-accepted one of September 1939. [4]

Korean Peninsula Peninsula in East Asia

The Korean Peninsula is located in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 1,100 km (680 mi) from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the east and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the two bodies of water.

Russo-Japanese War 20th-century war between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan

The Russo-Japanese War was fought during 1904–1905 between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan over rival imperial ambitions in Manchuria and Korea. The major theatres of operations were the Liaodong Peninsula and Mukden in Southern Manchuria and the seas around Korea, Japan and the Yellow Sea.

First Philippine Republic Self-proclaimed independent republic from 1899–1901

The Philippine Republic, more commonly known as the First Philippine Republic or the Malolos Republic, was a nascent revolutionary government in the Philippines. It was formally established with the proclamation of the Malolos Constitution on January 21, 1899, in Malolos, Bulacan, and endured until the capture of President Emilio Aguinaldo by the American forces on March 23, 1901, in Palanan, Isabela, which effectively dissolved the First Republic.

Initial annexation

The Chinese–Japanese dispute in July 1931 known as the Wanpaoshan Incident was followed by the Mukden Incident. On 18 September 1931 the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, which had decided upon a policy of localizing the incident, communicated its decision to the Kwantung Army command. However, Kwantung Army commander-in-chief General Shigeru Honjō instead ordered his forces to proceed to expand operations all along the South Manchuria Railway. Under orders from Lieutenant General Jirō Tamon, troops of the 2nd Division moved up the rail line and captured virtually every city along its 730-mile length in a matter of days, occupying Anshan, Haicheng, Kaiyuan, Tiehling, Fushun, Szeping-Chieh, Changchun, Kuanchengtzu, Yingkou, Antung, and Penhsihu.

Wanpaoshan Incident

The Wanpaoshan Incident was a minor dispute between Chinese and Korean farmers which occurred on 1 July 1931, before the Mukden Incident.

Mukden Incident event in which Lt. Suemori Kawamoto of the Japanese Army detonated dynamite on a Japan-owned railway line near Mukden (now Shenyang) in 18 Sept. 1931, blamed by Japan on Chinese dissidents and used as a pretext for the Japanese invasion of Manchuria

The Mukden Incident, or Manchurian Incident, was an event staged by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for the Japanese invasion in 1931 of northeastern China, known as Manchuria.

Imperial General Headquarters Part of the Supreme War Council of Japan

The Imperial General Headquarters was part of the Supreme War Council and was established in 1893 to coordinate efforts between the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy during wartime. In terms of function, it was approximately equivalent to the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff and the British Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Likewise on 19 September, in response to General Honjō's request, the Joseon army in Korea under General Senjūrō Hayashi ordered the 20th Infantry Division to split its force, forming the 39th Mixed Brigade, which departed on that day for Manchuria without authorization from the Emperor.

Senjūrō Hayashi Japanese general

Senjūrō Hayashi was an Imperial Japanese Army commander of the Chōsen Army of Japan in Korea during the Mukden Incident and the invasion of Manchuria, and a Japanese politician and the 33rd Prime Minister of Japan from 2 February 1937 to 4 June 1937.

Hirohito Emperor of Japan from 1926 until 1989

Hirohito was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 25 December 1926, until his death on 7 January 1989. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Akihito. In Japan, reigning emperors are known simply as "the Emperor" and he is now referred to primarily by his posthumous name, Shōwa (昭和), which is the name of the era coinciding with his reign; for this reason, he is also known as the "Shōwa Emperor" or "Emperor Shōwa."

Between 20 September and 25 September, Japanese forces took Hsiungyueh, Changtu, Liaoyang, Tungliao, Tiaonan, Kirin, Chiaoho, Huangkutun and Hsin-min. This effectively secured control of Liaoning and Kirin provinces and the main line of rail communications to Korea.

Liaoyang Prefecture-level city in Liaoning, Peoples Republic of China

Liaoyang is a prefecture-level city of east-central Liaoning province, China, situated on the Taizi River and, together with Anshan, forms a metro area of 2,057,200 inhabitants in 2010. It is approximately one hour south of Shenyang, the provincial capital, by car. Liaoyang is home to Liaoning University's College of Foreign Studies and a number of vocational colleges. The city hosts a limited number of professional basketball and volleyball games in a modern sports facility.

Liaoyuan Prefecture-level city in Jilin, Peoples Republic of China

Liaoyuan is a prefecture-level city in Jilin province, People's Republic of China. It is bounded on the west and south by Tieling of Liaoning province, west and north by Siping, and east by Tonghua and Jilin City. Liaoyuan lies some 100 km (62 mi) south of Changchun, the provincial capital. Covering an area of 5,125 km2 (1,979 sq mi), Liaoyuan is the smallest among the prefecture-level divisions of Jilin. Liaoyuan has a total population of 1,176,645 in the prefecture, while the urban area has a population of 462,233.

Jilin Province of China

Jilin is one of the three provinces of Northeast China. Its capital and largest city is Changchun. Jilin borders North Korea and Russia to the east, Heilongjiang to the north, Liaoning to the south, and Inner Mongolia to the west. The name "Jilin" translates to "Auspicious Forest" in Chinese, and originates from girin ula, a Manchu phrase meaning "along the river".

Tokyo was shocked by the news of the Army acting without orders from the central government. The Japanese civilian government was thrown into disarray by this act of "gekokujō" insubordination, but as reports of one quick victory after another began to arrive, it felt powerless to oppose the Army, and its decision was to immediately send three more infantry divisions from Japan, beginning with the 14th Mixed Brigade of the IJA 7th Division.[ when? ] During this era, the elected government could be held hostage by the Army and Navy, since Army and Navy members were constitutionally necessary for the formation of cabinets. Without their support, the government would collapse.

The Constitution of the Empire of Japan, known informally as the Meiji Constitution, was the constitution of the Empire of Japan which had the proclamation on February 11, 1889, and had enacted since November 29, 1890 until May 2, 1947. Enacted after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, it provided for a form of mixed constitutional and absolute monarchy, based jointly on the Prussian and British models. In theory, the Emperor of Japan was the supreme leader, and the Cabinet, whose Prime Minister would be elected by a Privy Council, were his followers; in practice, the Emperor was head of state but the Prime Minister was the actual head of government. Under the Meiji Constitution, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet were not necessarily chosen from the elected members of the group.

Secession movements

After the Liaoning Provincial government fled Mukden, it was replaced by a "Peoples Preservation Committee" which declared the secession of Liaoning province from the Republic of China. Other secessionist movements were organized in Japanese-occupied Kirin by General Xi Qia head of the "New Kirin" Army, and at Harbin, by General Chang Ching-hui. In early October, at Taonan in northwest Liaoning province, General Zhang Haipeng declared his district independent of China, in return for a shipment of a large number of military supplies by the Japanese Army.

On 13 October, General Chang Hai-peng ordered three regiments of the Hsingan Reclamation Army under General Xu Jinglong north to take the capital of Heilongjiang province at Qiqihar. Some elements in the city offered to peacefully surrender the old walled town, and Chang advanced cautiously to accept. However his advance guard was attacked by General Dou Lianfang's troops, and in a savage fight with an engineering company defending the north bank, were sent fleeing with heavy losses. During this fight, the Nenjiang railroad bridge was dynamited by troops loyal to General Ma Zhanshan to prevent its use.

Resistance to the Japanese invasion

Using the repair of the Nen River Bridge as the pretext, the Japanese sent a repair party in early November under the protection of Japanese troops. Fighting erupted between the Japanese forces and troops loyal to the acting governor of Heilongjiang province Muslim General Ma Zhanshan, who chose to disobey the Kuomintang government's ban on further resistance to the Japanese invasion.

Despite his failure to hold the bridge, General Ma Zhanshan became a national hero in China for his resistance at Nenjiang Bridge, which was widely reported in the Chinese and international press. The publicity inspired more volunteers to enlist in the Anti-Japanese Volunteer Armies.

The repaired bridge made possible the further advance of Japanese forces and their armored trains. Additional troops from Japan, notably the 4th Mixed Brigade from the 8th Division, were sent in November.

On 15 November 1931, despite having lost more than 400 men and 300 left wounded since 5 November, General Ma declined a Japanese ultimatum to surrender Tsitsihar. On 17 November, in subzero weather, 3,500 Japanese troops, under the command of General Jirō Tamon, mounted an attack, forcing General Ma from Tsitsihar by 19 November.

Operations in Southern Northeast China

In late November 1931, General Honjō dispatched 10,000 soldiers in 13 armored trains, escorted by a squadron of bombers, in an advance on Chinchow from Mukden. This force had advanced to within 30 kilometres (19 mi) of Chinchow when it received an order to withdraw. The operation was cancelled by Japanese War Minister General Jirō Minami, due to the acceptance of modified form of a League of Nations proposal for a "neutral zone" to be established as a buffer zone between China proper and Manchuria pending a future Chinese-Japanese peace conference by the civilian government of Prime Minister Baron Wakatsuki in Tokyo.

However, the two sides failed to reach a lasting agreement. The Wakatsuki government soon fell and was replaced by a new cabinet led by Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi. Further negotiations with the Kuomintang government failed, the Japanese government authorized the reinforcement of troops in Manchuria. In December, the rest of 20th Infantry Division, along with the 38th Mixed Brigade from the 19th Infantry Division were sent into Manchuria from Korea while the 8th Mixed Brigade from the 10th Infantry Division was sent from Japan. The total strength of the Kwantung Army was thus increased to around 60,450 men.

With this stronger force, the Japanese Army announced on 21 December the beginning of large-scale anti-bandit operations in Manchuria to quell a growing resistance movement by the local Chinese population in Liaoning and Kirin provinces.

On 28 December, a new government was formed in China after all members of the old Nanjing government resigned. This threw the military command into turmoil, and the Chinese army retreated to the south of the Great Wall into Hebei province, a humiliating move which lowered China's international image. [5] Japanese forces occupied Chinchow on 3 January 1932, after the Chinese defenders retreated without giving combat. The following day the Japanese occupied Shanhaiguan completing their military takeover of southern Manchuria.

Occupation of northeast China

With southern Manchuria secure, the Japanese turned north to complete the occupation of Manchuria. As negotiations with Generals Ma Zanshan and Ting Chao to defect to the pro-Japanese side had failed, in early January Colonel Kenji Doihara requested collaborationist General Qia Xi to advance his forces and take Harbin.

The last major Chinese regular force in northern Manchuria was led by General Ting Chao who organized the defense of Harbin successfully against General Xi until the arrival of the IJA 2nd Division under General Jirō Tamon. Japanese forces took Harbin on 4 February 1932.

By the end of February Ma had sought terms and joined the newly formed Manchukuo government as governor of Heilongjiang province and Minister of War.

On 27 February 1932, Ting offered to cease hostilities, ending official Chinese resistance in Manchuria, although combat by guerrilla and irregular forces continued as Japan spent many years in their campaign to pacify Manchukuo.

Map of the Manchukuo state in 1939 Manchukuo map 1939.svg
Map of the Manchukuo state in 1939

Homefront, Japan

The conquest of Manchuria, a land rich in natural resources, was widely seen as an economic "lifeline" to save Japan from the effects of the Great Depression, generating much public support. [6] The American historian Louise Young described Japan from September 1931 to the spring of 1933 as gripped by "war fever" as the conquest of Manchuria proved to be an extremely popular war. [7] The metaphor of a "lifeline" suggested that Manchuria was crucial to the functioning of the Japanese economy, which explains why the conquest of Manchuria was so popular and why afterwards Japanese public opinion was so hostile towards any suggestion of letting Manchuria go. [8] At the time, censorship in Japan was nowhere near as stringent as it later became, and Young noted: "Had they wished, it would have been possible in 1931 and 1932 for journalists and editors to express anti-war sentiments". [9] The liberal journal Kaizō criticized the war with the journalist Gotō Shinobu in the November 1931 edition accusing the Kwangtung Army of a "two-fold coup d'état" against both the government in Tokyo and against the government of China. [9] Voices like Kaizō were a minority as mainstream newspapers like the Asahi soon discovered that an anti-war editorial position hurt sales, and so switched over to an aggressively militaristic editorial position as the best way to increase sales. [9] Japan's most famous pacifist, the poet Akiko Yosano had caused a sensation in 1904 with her anti-war poem "Brother Do Not Give Your Life", addressed to her younger brother serving in the Imperial Army that called the war with Russia stupid and senseless. [10] Such was the extent of "war fever" in Japan in 1931 that even Akiko succumbed, writing a poem in 1932 praising bushidō , urging the Kwantung Army to "smash the sissified dreams of compromise" and declared that to die for the Emperor in battle was the "purest" act a Japanese man could perform. [10]

External effect

The Western media reported on the events with accounts of atrocities such as bombing civilians or firing upon shell-shocked survivors. [11] It aroused considerable antipathy to Japan, which lasted until the end of World War II. [11]

When the Lytton Commission issued a report on the invasion, despite its statements that China had to a certain extent provoked Japan, and China's sovereignty over Manchuria was not absolute, Japan took it as an unacceptable rebuke and withdrew from the already declining League of Nations, which also helped create international isolation. [12]

The Manchurian Crisis had a significant negative effect on the moral strength and influence of the League of Nations. As critics had predicted, the League was powerless if a strong nation decided to pursue an aggressive policy against other countries, allowing a country such as Japan to commit blatant aggression without serious consequences. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were also aware of this, and within three years would both follow Japan's example in aggression against their neighbors: in the case of Italy, against Abyssinia; and Germany, against Czechoslovakia and Poland. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Liu Guitang, Liu Kuei-tang, 刘桂堂,(1892–1943). Chinese bandit and soldier, involved in the Japanese attempt to control Chahar province in 1933. Noted for switching sides several times and returning to banditry. Later, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, he commanded some Nanjing Government puppet troops.

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Xi Qia Chinese general

Aisin-Gioro Xiqia (Aisin-Gioro Hsi-hsia; Chinese: 愛新覺羅·熙洽; pinyin: Àixīnjuéluó Xīqià; Wade–Giles: Ai4-hsin1-chüeh2-lo2 Hsi1-ch'ia4; 1883–1950), commonly known monomymously as Xi Qia or Xi Xia (Hsi Hsia; Chinese: 熙洽; pinyin: Xīqià; Wade–Giles: Hsi1-hsia4; Hepburn: Ki Kō), was a general in command of the Kirin Provincial Army of the Republic of China, who defected to the Japanese during the Invasion of Manchuria in 1931, and who subsequently served as a cabinet minister in Manchukuo.

Zang Shiyi Chinese collaborator with Japan

Zang Shiyi was a Chinese general and Governor of Liaoning Province at the time of the invasion of Manchuria in 1932.

Men Bingyue was a general in the Chinese National Revolutionary Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. As commander of the 7th Cavalry Division he participated in the Suiyuan Campaign in 1936, defeating the Japanese backed Inner Mongolian Army. After the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 he was made Commander of the 6th Cavalry Army, fighting in the Battle of Taiyuan defending Suiyuan. In 1940 he was made Deputy Commander in Chief of the 17th Army Group. In 1941, he was made Commander of the 7th Cavalry Army. He died in August 1944 in Chongqing.

Hongort is a town (镇) of the Chahar Right Back Banner, which in turn is part of Ulanqab prefecture-level city in Inner Mongolia, China. It is located about 30 km northwest of Shangdu county. In 2000, when it was still classified as township (乡), it had 11860 inhabitants.

References

Citations

  1. "Tōjō Hideki - prime minister of Japan". britannica.com. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  2. Walker, Michael. The 1929 Sino-Soviet War: The War Nobody Knew (Modern War Studies). ISBN   978-0700623754.
  3. Meyer, Michael. In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China. ISBN   978-1620402887.
  4. Seagrave, Sterling (February 5, 2007). "post Feb 5 2007, 03:15 PM". The Education Forum. Retrieved June 13, 2008. Americans think of WW2 in Asia as having begun with Pearl Harbor, the British with the fall of Singapore, and so forth. The Chinese would correct this by identifying the Marco Polo Bridge incident as the start, or the Japanese seizure of Manchuria earlier.
  5. Thorne, Christopher (1973). The Limits of Foreign Policy. New York: Capricorn. p. 329. ISBN   978-0399111242.
  6. Young, Luise (1998). Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism. Los Angeles: University of California Press. pp. 83–93. ASIN   B00719LN54.
  7. Young, Luise (1998). Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism. Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 90. ASIN   B00719LN54.
  8. Young, Luise (1998). Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism. Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 95. ASIN   B00719LN54.
  9. 1 2 3 Young, Luise (1998). Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism. Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 85. ASIN   B00719LN54.
  10. 1 2 Young, Luise (1998). Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism. Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 84. ASIN   B00719LN54.
  11. 1 2 Meirion and Susie Harries, Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army p 161 ISBN   0-394-56935-0
  12. Meirion and Susie Harries, Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army p 163 ISBN   0-394-56935-0
  13. Ben Walsh, GCSE Modern World History - second edition 2001, p 247 ISBN   978-0719577130

Sources