Hello to all, the third part.
During 1 february the truce was more or less observed; but the Chinese positions were daily being strengthened on all sides. At North Station an armored train with field pieces was now stationed.
From the beginning the Chinese had put several hundred of their best shots in civilian coolie dress. These men crept around or through the Japanese lines at night. They would lieconcealed, Iire on any Japanese in sight and run immediately.
They caused considerable nervousness in the Japanese rear and kept many men, who otherwise could have been resting, busy patrolling. They delivered a very telling blow at Japanese morale, especially when they got close to the Japanese headquarters and forced it to move. The Japanese burned many houses in an effort to dislodge these men.
The Japanese themselves, who seem to have had insufficient regular force for the defense of their area, had mobilized and
armed all their so-called reservists, who wore civilian clothes distinguished by a brassard.
The Japanese naval authorities now took complete control of the Hongkew district inside the Settlement, barricading streets, disarming police and paralyzing all municipal activities.
It is alleged that actuated by a spirit of revenge against the Chinese for earlier anti-Japanese activitities, numerous excesses, including summary executions, were committed by marines, reservists, and ronins.
On 2 February the Chinese accepted the peace proposals submitted by the Powers, The Japanese Comniander was quite well aware that his country would not accept the proposals, so about noon he declared that the Chinese were massing troops with a view to surrounding the Japanese and that he would have to send Up planes for reconnaissance. The Chinese
promptly op&ed fire on the planes, whereupon the planes started bombing Chapei and the fighting started again.
During the lull in the fighting the Japanese had been considering the isolated position of the Woosung Forts at the mouth of the Wangpoo River.
On 3 February the Japanese; Consul-General informed the Consular authorities that three Japanese destroyers had been fired upon from the Woosung Forts and that the Japanese therefore intended to occupy them.
Through lack of reconnaissance, the Japanese again failed.
The effectiveness of their naval guns was materially reduced by the fact that they were firing at point blank range with resultant flat trajectory and as they used armor-piercing shells, most of them failed to burst in the soft earthworks. The Chinese replied with inaccurate gunfire, but frequently harassed vessels with machine-gun tire as they passed into the Whangpoo channel a few hundred yards from the forts. The Japanese attempted to land bluejackets and occupy the forts, but were repulsed with considerable loss.
On 4 February the expected Japanese reply to the peace proposals arrived, i.e., “. . . it is a settled policy of the Japanese Government not to accept assistance of neutral observers or participants in the settlement of questions . . . For these reasons the conditions embodied in paragraph five of the Powers’ note is not acceptable to the Japanese Government.” To emphasize their refusal to submit to arbitration, the Japanese Navy made their last attack through 4 and 5 February. With a force brought up to a strength of about 5,000 and assisted by artillery and bombing planes, they went in frontally against Chapei, while the ships again bombarded the Woosung Forts. One Japanese destroyer ran aground on the shoals and the 19th Route Army held its ground in Chapei in spite of heavy casualties. Japanese bombs fell on a refugee camp full of men, women, and children, situated well behind the Chinese lines.
The Municipal Council, in an effort to prevent the continuance of summary executions and other excesses, forced the Japanese, through the Consular Body, to agree to turn over all suspected persons arrested in the Japanese area to the Municipal police.
On the 6th the Japanese G&ernment decided to dispatch military forces to Shanghai on board men-of-war.
The following day the Japanese 24th Mixed Brigade, about 3,000 strong, landed at Chang Wah Pang, south of Woosung Creek (Woosung Creek has a strong tidal cuyrent and is about 300 feet wide), under cover of naval gunfire on Woosung, ‘Navy detachments from Shanghai with armored cars also participated in covering the landing. The Chinese had defensively organized the north bank of the creek, also the village and factories between the creek and the forts.
On the night of the 7th and during the 8th, the Japanese attempted to cross Woosung Creek on pontoon bridges, under supporting fire from naval guns, land artillery, and aerial bombing.
The attack broke down in the face of strong Chinese resistance.
On 8 February, Foreign Minister Yoshizawa at Tokyo informed a group of foreign ambassadors that it would be useless to negotiate with the Nanking Government regarding Shanghai because the troops there were controlled by Cantonese insurgents who wished to embarrass Chiang Kai-shek, head of the Nanking Government.
On the 11th, Japanese aeroplanes dropped two bombs and destroyed the Wing on cotton mill situated within the International Settlement itself, killing six and wounding ten. The bombing was explained as “accidental,” but the British thought it a gentle hint from the Japanese for foreigners to quit meddling.
On 14 February, a company of Japanese infantry from the 24th Brigade, crossed to the north bank of Woosung Creek some distance up stream, by means of a floating cork bridge. A Chinese counterattack forced the Japanese back with severe losses. This same day Lieutenant General Uyeda, with the advance contingent of the Japanese 9th Division, with mountain artillery, air service, tanks and auxiliary troops, began disembarkation at Shanghai. By the 15th they had landed their full strength, 14,300, and were in billets in Yangtzepoo (that part of the International Settlement occupied by the Japanese).
The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs emphatically protested against the landing of Japanese army troops in the Settlement and requested the American and British officials to take steps to end the Japanese violations of the Settlement neutrality. The Shanghai Municipal Council stated that Japan was one of the several powers having political and other inter- ests in the Settlement; that the Settlement’s neutrality could only be maintained and guaranteed by these same powers; :
and that the Japanese Government and not the Council was solely responsible for the acts of the Japanese armed forces in the Settlement.
The Chinese now began reinforcing both their Woosung and Kiangwan (just north of Chapei) lines, bringing in the 87th and 88th Divisions of the 5th Route Army.
The Japanese completed concentration of its 9th Division.
By 18 February the Japanese had assembled a force of about 16,000 troops, with howitzers, guns, tanks, and aviation, With the bulk of the force southeast of Kiangwan Race Course (about half-way between Shanghai and the Woosung Forts).
More follows. Regards. Tigre
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