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 (1868-1945).svg Shunroku Hata
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Naotsugu Sakai 
Units involved
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg  National Revolutionary Army War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg  Imperial Japanese Army
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Unit 731
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, was 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.

Contents

The campaign is infamous for the Japanese use of biological weapons against Chinese soldiers and civilians alike. Japanese soldiers also committed massacres throughout the battle, resulting in over 300,000 Chinese deaths.

Background

On April 18, 1942, the United States launched the Doolittle Raid, an attack by 16 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, all but one of the aircraft (which against orders diverted to the Soviet Union) ran out of fuel and crashed in the Chinese provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangxi or the offshore islands.

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]

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]

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 force from ever using airfields in China that could put the Japanese mainland within reach.

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 infected fleas and dysentery pathogens. [4] The Japanese biological warfare Unit 731 brought almost 300 pounds of paratyphoid and anthrax to be left in contaminated food and contaminated wells with the withdrawal of the army from areas around Yushan, Kinhwa and Futsin. [5] 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. [6] [7]

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. [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

Second Sino-Japanese War military conflict between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from 1937 to 1945

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. Some sources in the modern People's Republic of China date the beginning of the war to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. It is known as the War of Resistance in China.

Doolittle Raid American aerial bombing mission against Japan in WWII

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

Pacific War Theater of World War II fought in the Pacific and Asia

The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia–Pacific War, was the theater of World War II that was fought in the Pacific and Asia. It was fought over a vast area that included the Pacific Ocean theater, the South West Pacific theater, the South-East Asian theater, the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the Soviet–Japanese War.

John Birch (missionary) American military intelligence officer

John Morrison Birch was a United States American Baptist minister and missionary, and United States Army Air Forces captain who was a U.S. military intelligence officer in China during World War II. Birch was killed in a confrontation with Chinese Communist soldiers a few days after the war ended. He was posthumously awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal.

Battle of Changsha (1944) battle

The Battle of Changsha (1944) was an invasion of the Chinese province of Hunan by Japanese troops near the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War. As such, it encompasses three separate conflicts: an invasion of the city of Changsha and two invasions of Hengyang.

Shunroku Hata Japanese general

Shunroku Hata was a Field Marshal (Gensui) in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. He was the last surviving Japanese military officer with a marshal's rank. Hata was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to life imprisonment following the war.

Battle of Wuhan large-scale battle of the Second Sino-Japanese War over 4 months in 1938

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.

Pacific Ocean theater of World War II the naval and island campaigns in the Central Pacific, North Pacific and South Central Pacific, and

The Pacific Ocean theater, during World War II, was a major theater of the war between the Allies and the Empire of Japan. It was defined by the Allied powers' Pacific Ocean Area command, which included most of the Pacific Ocean and its islands, while mainland Asia was excluded, as were the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Borneo, Australia, most of the Territory of New Guinea and the western part of the Solomon Islands.

Battle of Wanjialing 1938 battle in China

The Battle of Wanjialing, known in Chinese text as the Victory of Wanjialing, refers to the Chinese Army's successful engagement during the Wuhan theatre of the Second Sino-Japanese War against the Japanese 101st, 106th, 9th and 27th divisions around the Wanjialing region in 1938. The two and a half month battle resulted in heavy losses of the Japanese 101st and 106th Divisions.

3rd Division (Imperial Japanese Army) 1871-1945 Imperial Japanese Army infantry division

The 3rd Division was an infantry division in the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was the Lucky Division.

The Changjiao massacre was a massacre of Chinese civilians by the Japanese China Expeditionary Army in Changjiao, Hunan. Gen. Shunroku Hata was the commander of the Japanese forces. For four days, from March 9-12, 1943, more than 30,000 civilians were killed.

The 40th Division was an infantry division in the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was the Whale Division.

Encirclement campaign against the Hunan-Hubei-Jiangxi Soviet

The encirclement campaign against the Hunan-Hubei-Jiangxi Soviet was a campaign launched by the Right-Guomindang Nationalist Government that was intended to destroy the communist Soviet in the Hunan-Hubei-Jiangxi border region and its army. It was responded to with the Communists' Counter-encirclement campaign at the Hunan-Hubei-Jiangxi Soviet, also called their Counter-encirclement campaign at the Hunan-Hubei-Jiangxi Revolutionary Base. The local red army successfully defended this soviet republic against the government attacks from December 1930 through to May 1931.

Timeline of chemical warfare

Chemical warfare is "the use of toxic chemicals in battle." The precise date of the first instances of chemical warfare is unknown, but scholars speculate that smoke have been used as an irritant in both battles and for hunting in prehistoric times. The first records of chemical warfare come from accounts of India in the fourth century BC, when Indian archers dipped their arrows in snake venom. In the same period, the use of smoke against enemies digging tunnels was first recorded in Greece and China. The next several centuries witnessed more and more sophisticated applications of toxic smoke and poisons in warfare.

Yunhe County County in Zhejiang, Peoples Republic of China

Yunhe County is a county in the southwest of Zhejiang province, China. It is under the administration of the Lishui city.

Kwantung Army military unit

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

The Enemy Airmen's Act was a law passed by Imperial Japan on 13 August 1942 which stated that Allied airmen participating in bombing raids against Japanese-held territory would be treated as "violators of the law of war" and subject to trial and punishment if captured by Japanese forces. This law contributed to the deaths of hundreds of Allied airmen throughout the Pacific and Asian theaters of World War II. Shortly after World War II, Japanese officers who carried out mock trials and illegal executions under the Enemy Airmen's Act were found guilty of war crimes.

116th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)

The 116th Division was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was Storm Division. It was formed on 15 May 1938 in Kyoto as a B-class square division, simultaneously with the 106th Division. The nucleus for the formation was the 16th Division headquarters. The division was originally subordinated to the Central China Expeditionary Army.

The Empire of Japan entered World War II by launching a surprise offensive which opened with the attack on Pearl Harbor at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time on December 7, 1941. Over the course of seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines, Guam and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Borneo, Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The strategic goals of the offensive were to cripple the U.S. Pacific fleet, capture oil fields in the Dutch East Indies, and maintain their sphere of influence of China, East Asia, and also Korea. It was also to expand the outer reaches of the Japanese Empire to create a formidable defensive perimeter around newly acquired territory.

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. Scott, James M., Target Tokyo, W. W. Norton & Co., 2015, p.387
  6. Chevrier & Chomiczewski & Garrigue 2004, p. 19.
  7. Croddy & Wirtz 2005, p. 171.
  8. "The Tokyo War Crimes Trial:Field Marshal Shunroku Hata". Archived from the original on March 20, 2013.

Bibliography