Zhejiang-Jiangxi campaign

Last updated
Zhejiang-Jiangxi campaign
Part of the Second Sino-Japanese War, World War II
Soldiers Zhejiang Campaign 1942.jpg
A Japanese soldier with 50mm heavy grenade discharger during the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign, 30 May 1942
Date15 May – 4 September 1942
Location
Vicinity of Zhejiang, Jiangxi
Result Japanese victory
Belligerents
Flag of the Republic of China.svg  China
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States
Merchant flag of Japan (1870).svg  Japan
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg Gu Zhutong
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg Huang Baitao
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg Shunroku Hata
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg Naotsugu Sakai 
Units involved
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg  National Revolutionary Army War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg  Imperial Japanese Army
Strength
300,000 180,000
Casualties and losses
70,000 36,000 [1]
250,000 civilians [1]

The Zhejiang-Jiangxi campaign (Japanese: 浙贛作戦, simplified Chinese :浙赣战役; traditional Chinese :浙赣戰役; pinyin :Zhè-Gàn Zhànyì), also known as Operation Sei-go, refers to a campaign by the China Expeditionary Army of the Imperial Japanese Army under Shunroku Hata and Chinese 3rd War Area forces under Gu Zhutong in the Chinese provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangxi from mid May to early September 1942.

Simplified Chinese characters standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Contents

Background

On April 18, 1942, the United States launched the Doolittle Raid, an attack by B-25 Mitchell bombers from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on Tokyo, Nagoya, and Yokohama. The original plan was for the aircraft to bomb Japan and land at airfields in the unoccupied portion of China. Because the raid had to be launched earlier than planned, two of the aircraft ran out of fuel and crash-landed in the Chinese provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangxi.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Doolittle Raid American aerial bombing mission against Japan in WWII

The Doolittle Raid, also known as the Tokyo Raid, on Saturday, April 18, 1942, was an air raid by the United States on the Japanese capital Tokyo and other places on the island of Honshu during World War II, the first air operation to strike the Japanese Home Islands. It demonstrated that the Japanese mainland was vulnerable to American air attack, served as retaliation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and provided an important boost to American morale. The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle of the United States Army Air Forces.

North American B-25 Mitchell family of medium bomber aircraft

The North American B-25 Mitchell is an American twin-engine, medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation (NAA).

Sixty-four American airmen parachuted into the area around Zhejiang. Most were given shelter by Chinese civilians but eight of the Americans were picked up by Japanese patrols; three were shot after a show trial for "crimes against humanity". [2]

Show trial public trial in which the guilt of the defendant is predetermined, whose only goal is to present both the accusation and the verdict to the public to serve as both an impressive example and a warning to would-be dissidents/transgressors

A show trial is a public trial in which the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt of the defendant. The actual trial has as its only goal the presentation of both the accusation and the verdict to the public so they will serve as both an impressive example and a warning to other would-be dissidents or transgressors. Show trials tend to be retributive rather than corrective and they are also conducted for propagandistic purposes. The term was first recorded in the 1930s.

The campaign

Imperial General Headquarters was aware of possible air attacks from Chinese territory on Japan. Two days before the Doolittle Raid, Headquarters set up an operational plan with the goal of defeating Chinese forces and destroying air bases. The operation started on May 15, 1942, with 40 infantry battalions and 15-16 artillery battalions of the Imperial Japanese Army. [3]

Imperial General Headquarters

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.

The Japanese army conducted a massive search for American airmen and in the process whole towns and villages that were suspected of harboring the Americans were burned to the ground and many civilians executed. [2] The Japanese also wanted to occupy the area to prevent American air forces from establishing bases in China from which they could reach the Japanese mainland.

Air force military branch of service primarily concerned with aerial warfare

An air force, also known in some countries as an aerospace force or air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military branch that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army or navy. Typically, air forces are responsible for gaining control of the air, carrying out strategic and tactical bombing missions, and providing support to land and naval forces often in the form of aerial reconnaissance and close air support.

Mainland is a contiguous landmass that is larger and often politically, economically and/or demographically more significant than politically associated remote territories, such as exclaves or oceanic islands situated outside the continental shelf.

Aftermath

When Japanese troops moved out of the Zhejiang and Jiangxi areas in mid-August, they left behind a trail of devastation. Chinese estimates put the civilian death toll at 250,000. [2] The Imperial Japanese Army had also spread cholera, typhoid, plague and dysentery pathogens. [4] Around 1,700 Japanese troops died out of a total 10,000 Japanese soldiers who fell ill with disease when their biological weapons attack rebounded on their own forces. [5] [6]

Cholera Bacterial infection of the small intestine

Cholera is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe. The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days. Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur. Diarrhea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. This may result in sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkling of the hands and feet. Dehydration can cause the skin to turn bluish. Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure.

Plague (disease) contagious and frequently fatal human disease

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Symptoms include fever, weakness and headache. Usually this begins one to seven days after exposure. In the bubonic form there is also swelling of lymph nodes, while in the septicemic form tissues may turn black and die, and in the pneumonic form shortness of breath, cough and chest pain may occur.

Dysentery inflammation of the intestine causing diarrhea with blood

Dysentery is an inflammatory disease of the intestine, especially of the colon, which always results in severe diarrhea and abdominal pains. Other symptoms may include fever and a feeling of incomplete defecation. The disease is caused by several types of infectious pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Shunroku Hata, the commander of Japanese forces involved in the massacre of the 250,000 Chinese civilians, was sentenced in 1948 in part due to his "failure to prevent atrocities". He was given a life sentence but was paroled in 1954. [7]

See also

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References

Notes

  1. 1 2 http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=287
  2. 1 2 3 PBS Perilous Flight
  3. Schoppa, R. Keith (2011). In a Sea of Bitterness, Refugees during the Sino-Japanese War. Harvard University Press. p. 368. ISBN   9780674059887., p.28
  4. Yuki Tanaka, Hidden Horrors, Westviewpres, 1996, p.138
  5. Chevrier & Chomiczewski & Garrigue 2004, p. 19.
  6. Croddy & Wirtz 2005, p. 171.
  7. "The Tokyo War Crimes Trial:Field Marshal Shunroku Hata". Archived from the original on March 20, 2013.

Bibliography