Peter H wrote:I think we are talking about an eventual 50,000 man Japanese force against 300,000 Chinese/Manchurians.
At 9 o'clock in the evening of 18 September 1931, Officer Liu, at the barracks of the 7th Chinese Brigade, reported that a train composed of three or four caches, but without the usual type of locomotive, had stopped on the South Manchurian Railway opposite the barracks. At 10 p.m., the sound of a loud explosion was heard, immediately followed by rifle fire. The Japanese account is that Lt. Kawamoto, of the Kwantung Army, with six men under his command, was on patrol duty, practising defence exercises along the track near the place where the explosion occurred, that he heard the explosion; that his patrol turned and ran back about 200 yards and found that a portion of one of the rails had been blown out; that while on the site of the explosion, the patrol was fired upon from the fields on the east side of the tracks; that at that moment, the regular southbound train, due in Mukden at 10:30 p.m., was heard approaching; and that the train passed over the damaged rail without mishap to arrive in Mukden on time. Captain Kawashima and his company arrived at 10:50 p.m. and the Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Shimamoto commanding the Second Battalion of the Independent Infantry Garrison ordered two more companies to proceed to the spot. They arrived about midnight. Another company at Fushun, which was an hour-and-a-half away, was ordered to proceed to the spot also. This is the Company of Kawakami, who had long ago announced that he and his Company would have to leave Fushun on the night of the 18th. The barracks of the 7th Chinese Brigade were glittering with electric lights, but the Japanese attacked the barracks without hesitation at 11:30 p.m., employing artillery as well as rifles and machine-guns. Most of the Chinese soldiers escaped from the barracks and retreated to Erhtaitze, to the northeast; however, the Japanese claim they buried 320 Chinese soldiers and captured 20 wounded. The loss to the Japanese was two privates killed and 22 wounded. Colonel Hirata commanding the 29th Regiment received a telephone message at 10:40 p.m. from Lt. Colonel Shimamoto informing him of the explosion on the railroad and the plan to attack the barracks.
Colonel Hirata immediately decided to attack the walled city of Mukden. His attack commenced at 11:30 p.m. No resistance was offered, the only fighting that occurred was with the police, of whom approximately 75 were killed. The 2nd Division and part of the 16th Regiment left Liaoyang at 3:30 a.m. of the 19th and arrived at Mukden at 5 a.m. The arsenal and aerodrome were captured at 7:30 a.m. Colonel ITAGAKI later admitted that heavy guns, which had been secretly installed in the Japanese Infantry Compound on the 10th, had proven useful in the bombardment of the airfield after the fighting got under way.
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