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The Sino-Japanese War(Campaigns in detail)

Discussions on all aspects of China, from the beginning of the First Sino-Japanese War till the end of the Chinese Civil War.
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Central Hopei Operation November 25-30, 1940

Postby asiaticus on 03 Mar 2007 11:07

Next Campaign and the last in 1940 was the Central Hopei Operation, (November 25-30, 1940)

I have accumulated this as the oob for the two sides. The is some conficting info on who was in command.

Japan

11th Army - Lt. General Katsuichiro Enbu [1] or Lt. General Waichiro Sonobe [5]
- Kayashima Force - Lt. Gen Taka Kayashima 1939- 1941[4,5] at [[Dangyang| Tang-yang]]
-- 18th Independent Mixed Brigade - Lt. Gen Taka Kayashima 1939- 1941[4,5]
--- 92nd Independent infantry battalion
--- 93rd Independent infantry battalion
--- 94th Independent infantry battalion
--- 95th Independent infantry battalion
--- 96th independent infantry battalion
--- artillery troops
--- labor troops
--- signal communication unit.
-- 40th Division, a portion - [1]
-- 40th Division - Lt-General Naojikiro Amaya, [4,5]
--- 40th Infantry Brigade group:
---- 234th Infantry regiment
---- 235th Infantry regiment
---- 236th Infantry regiment
--- 40th Cavalry regiment
--- 40th mountain artillery regiment
--- 40th military engineer regiment
--- 40th Transport regiment

- Muragami Force - Lt. Gen Keisaku Muragami[4,5] at [[Jingmen| Chingmen] ]
-- 39th Division - Keisaku Muragami[1]
-- 39th Division - Lt. Gen Keisaku Muragami [4,5]
--- 39th Infantry Brigade Group
---- 231st Infantry Rregiments
---- 232nd Infantry Regiments
---- 233rd Infantry Regiments
--- 39th Recon Regiment
--- 39th Feild Artillery Regiment
--- 39th Military Engineer Regiment
--- 39th Transport Regiment


- Hirabayashi Force - Morito Hirabayashi [at [[Zhongxiang|Chung-hsiang]]
-- 15th Division (a portion) [1]
-- 15th Division (partial) - Lt-General Keiichi Kumagai 1940- 1941[4,5]
--- Kurahashi Detachment - Col. Kurahashi ?
---- 60th Infantry Regiment / 15th Division in the Nanchang area
-- 17th Division (a portion) - Morito Hirabayashi [1]
-- 17th Division - Lt-General Morito Hirabayashi[4,5]
---17th Infantry Brigade Group
----53rd Infantry Regiment
----54th Infantry Regiment
----81st Infantry Regiment
---23rd Feild Artillery Regiment
---7th Military Engineer Regiment
---17th Transport Regiment

- Kitano Force - Lt. Gen Kenzo Kitano [north of Ching-shan] [4,5]
-- 4th Division (a portion) - Kenzo Kitana[1]
-- 4th Division - Lt. Gen Kenzo Kitano [4,5]
--- 4th Infantry Brigade group:
---- 8th Infantry Regiment
---- 37th Infantry Regiment
---- 61st Infantry Regiment
--- 4th Recon Regiment
--- 4th Feild Artillery Regiment
--- 4th Military Engineer Regiment
--- 4th Transport Regiment
-- Kususe Armored force[1] - ?
--- 7th Tank Regiment
--- 13th Tank Regiment
--- ? Tank Regiment


-Hanjima Force - Lt. General Fusataro Hanjima [at Sui Hsien/Suizhou]
-- 3rd Division - Fusataro Hanjima[1]?
--- 5th Infantry Brigade
---- 6th Infantry Regiment
---- 68th Infantry Regiment
--- 29th Infantry Brigade
---- 18th Infantry Regiment
---- 34th Infantry Regiment
--- 3rd Field Artillery Regiment
--- 3rd Cavalry Regiment
--- 3rd Engineer Regiment
--- 3rd Transport Regiment


China

5th War Area - Li Tsung-jen
- River West Group / 33rd Army Group - Feng Chih-an
-- 77th Corps - Feng Chih-an (concurrent)
--- 37th Division - Li Chiu-sze
--- 179th Division - Liu Chen-shan
-- 30th Corps - Wang Chung-lien or Chih Feng-cheng
--- 27th Division - Hsu Wen-yao
--- 30th Division - Liu Chen-shan
--- 31st Division - ?

- Right Army Group/ 29th Army Group - Wang Tsan-hsu
-- 44th Corps - Liao Chen
--- 149th Division
--- 150th Division
-- 67th Corps - Hsu Shao-tsung
--- 161st Division
--- 162nd Division

- Central Army Group/ 22nd Army Group - Sun Chen
-- 41st Corps - Chen Ting-hsun
--- 125th Division
--- 127th Division
-- 45th Corps - Sun Chen
--- 122nd Division
--- 124th Division

- 59th Corps - Huang Wei-kang [move to Hsiang-Fan area as mobile reserve] 1/41
--- 38th Division - Li Chiu-sze
--- 180th Division - Liu Chen-shan


Sources:
[1] Hsu Long-hsuen and Chang Ming-kai, History of The Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) 2nd Ed. ,1971. Translated by Wen Ha-hsiung , Chung Wu Publishing; 33, 140th Lane, Tung-hwa Street, Taipei, Taiwan Republic of China.
Pg. 339-342.
Map 22.

[4] Generals from Japan
http://www.generals.dk/nation/Japan.html

[5] The Japanese Mutumi troop encyclopedia
http://homepage1.nifty.com/kitabatake/r ... untop.html
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Re: Central Hopei Operation November 25-30, 1940

Postby Akira Takizawa on 03 Mar 2007 16:56

Correct names

11th Army - Lt. General Waichiro Sonobe [5]
- Kayashima Force - Lt. Gen Takashi Kayashima 1939- 1941[4,5] at [[Dangyang| Tang-yang]]
-- 18th Independent Mixed Brigade - Lt. Gen Takashi Kayashima 1939- 1941[4,5]
-- 40th Division - Lt-General Naojiro Amaya, [4,5]
- Murakami Force - Lt. Gen Keisaku Murakami[4,5] at [[Jingmen| Chingmen] ]
-- 39th Division - Lt. Gen Keisaku Murakami [4,5]
-Teshima Force - Lt. General Fusataro Teshima [at Sui Hsien/Suizhou]
-- 3rd Division - Fusataro Teshima[1]?


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Postby asiaticus on 04 Mar 2007 13:32

Thanks for clearing up the names.
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Central Hopei Operation, narrative

Postby asiaticus on 05 Mar 2007 10:32

Narrative derived from Hsu Long-hsuen,s history. Names in [ ] are modern place names I have been able to ID.

Central Hopei Operation, East and West of Hsiang River (November 25-30, 1940)


After the battle of Zaoyang-Yichang in the summer of 1940, the Japanese controled [Yichang ] I-chang and [Shashi] Sha-shih. The Chinese controled the area east and west of the [Xiang River] Hsiang River. Their lines extended from the southwest of Yuan-an via [Jingmen] Ching-men, north of [Jingzhou] Chung-hsiang, and the foothills of Ta-hung Shan, to the area northwest of [Suizhow] Sui Hsien astride both banks of the Hsiang River. The Wu-tang Mountains were on the right and the Tung-po Mountains on the left. In coordination with the guerilla forces in the southeast, the Chinese repeatedly struck at the the Japanese forces that had penetrated to I-chang. As a result the Japanese forces at [Yichang] I-chang and [Shashi] Sha-shih found their flanks exposed and in a difficult position. To releive themselves of this threat they launched an offensive against the Chinese forces in late November.

Preparations

During early November the Japanese made preparations for their attack, repairing and constucting roads, bridges, defense works and airfeilds. Rations, ammunition, metal and rubber boats, were stored in the vicinity of Chung-hsiang. They also brought in additional troops into the area west of the Xiang River, estimated at five regiments bringing their strength to the equivalent of three Divisions. To the east at the Japanese increased their strength to a full division (3rd Division) at [Suizhow] Sui Hsien along the Hsiang - Hua highway. They further brought in supporting units of tanks and artillery in these areas.

On November 23rd Japanese preparations were complete and their unit deployed in their attack postions in five major forces:

* Kayashima Force at [Dangyang] Tang-yang composed of the 18th Independent Mixed Brigade and a portion of the 4th Division under Lt. Gen Taka Kayashima commander of the 18th Independent Mixed Brigade.

* Murakami Force, at [Jingmen] Chingmen , the 39th Division under its comander Lt. Gen Keisaku Muragami.

* Hirabayashi Force, at [Zhongxiang] Chung-hsiang , composed of a portion of the 17th Division and Kurahashi Detachment (the detached 60th Infantry Regiment from 15th Division) under the commander of 17th Division , Lt-General Morito Hirabayashi.

* Kitano Force north of Ching-shan southeast of the vicinity of modern [Shuanghe] , composed of a portion of the 4th Division and the Kususe Armored force (7th and 13th Tank Regiments) under Lt. Gen Kenzo Kitano commander of the 4th Division.

* Teshima Force at [Suizhou] Sui Hsien composed of the 3rd Division under its commander Lt. General Fusataro Hanjima.

Li Zongren recognizing the Japanese build up foretold an attack, had his 5th War Area alerted. He ordered the River West Army Army Group (30th and 77th Corps), Right Army Group (44th and 67th Corps ) and Central Army Group (41st and 45th Corps) to check the coming Japanese advance by counterattacks on the flanks of their advancing columns when the opportunity presented itself.

The Offensive

On the morning of November 25, the Japanese began their attack in several columns.

On the Western Front between the Hsiang River and Tang-yang, over 1,000 Japanese from the Kayashima Force, advanced northward from Tang-yang toward Hengtien, and broke through the gap between the positions of the 179th and 37th Divisions of the Chinese 77th Corps at Yang-chi-ai.

Over 3,000 Japanese from Murakami Force from [Jingmen] Ching-men broke through the positions of the 27th Division of the Chinese 30th Corps toward Yen-chih-miao.

Meanwhile the Japanese Kitano Force moving northwest from Chu-chia-fu to Tung-lin-ling]] and divided into several columns to drive north deep into the Chinese postion at Liang-shui-ching, Hsia-chia-tzu, and northeast toward Kuai-huo-pu. At night, the River West Army Group swung reseves into blocking positions from Heng-tien to Yen-chih-miao and Kuai-huo-pu.

On November 26, the Murakami Force reached Hsien-chu. On November 27th the Murakami Force attacked Liu-hou-chi and the two columns of Kitano Force attacked Li-chia-tang, both fighting bitterly for a day against the Chinese 30th Corps reserve, the 30th Division under Liu Chen-shan, who halted their advance. At dusk the Chinese 30th Corps launched a counterattack in force with elements of the 31st and 27th Divisions striking the Japanese rear areas. Unable to withstand this attack the Japanese retreated toward Ching-men and Chung-hsiang, with the Chinese in pursuit.

Meanwhile east of the Hsiang River on the Ching-Chung Highway Front the Japanese Hirabayashi Force massed more than 3,000 men in an attack on Changshoudien and Wang-chia-tien attempting to encircle the [Zhangjiaji] Chang-chia-chi - Wu-lung-kuan line. On November 26th, the Japanese reinforced to 5,000 men, advanced a force east to [Sanligang] San-li-kang, while the main force attacked Pien-chai, Wang-chia-ho and Yu-nan-men. Heavy fighting lasted until darkness ended the clash in a stalemate. On November 27th the Chinese 44th Corps counterattacked from Wang-chia-ho. Its converging attack with the main force of the 67th Corps towards the northwest, caused heavy casualties to the Japanese.

On November 25th the Japanese Teshima Force on the Sui Hsien Front launched a violent attack with a column of 2,000men from Liang-chui-kou on the Chinese 123rd Division at [Lishan]. Two additional columns of more than 1000 men each advanced west toward Ho-yuan-tien and Ching-ming-pu. By darkness, the Japanese reinforced. On November 26th the Japanese fought a bitter battle with the Chinese 124th and 127th Divisions at Chin-chi Shan and Ching-ming-pu. Another Japanese force of 700-800 men moved from Hsi-ho via Lang-ho-tien to Tang-chia-fan. Having been attacked by our 41st Corps, the Japanese in the vicinity of Ching-ming-pu linked up with their force at Chin-chi Shan and moved to the vicinity of Ho-yuantien on November 27th. At night, the Japanese force near Tang-chia-fan reached the vicinity of Huan-tan Chen to confront the Chinese 125th Division.

Since its objective was to break the Japanese force, 5th War Area command directed its forces to keep secure key localities and take advantage of mountainous terrain to to conduct ambushes to stop the invaders. Heavy fighting lasted until the 28th of November when the Japanese retreated. Chinese forces west of the Hsiang River continued their pursuit. The Japanese force in front of the Chinese Right Army Group was routed on the same day, retreating by several routes. Subjected to a converging attack by Chinese forces of the Central Army Group, the Japanese forces facing them in the area of Ho-yuan-tien, and Huan-tan Chen, fell back to high ground in the vicinity of Ho-yuan-tien and Tang-chia-fan and were encircled by the Chinese. The Japanese pulled a further 1,500-1600 infantry and cavalry from Sui Hsien and Ying-shan via Shang-shih-tien and Sha-tien for a turning movement against the Chinese to retreive the situation. Once again, the Japanese were ambushed. Under cover of airplanes and armour, the Japanese retreated toward Sui Hsien and Hsi-ho, as Chinese forces attacked along the line from Chun-chuan to Anchu, Lishan, and Kao-cheng. On November 30th,. the Chinese Army Groups recovered their original positions.

Results
The Japanese operation resulted in the death of over 5,000 and the wounding of 7.000 - 8,000 Japanese, over 1,000 bodies being left in the feild according to the Chinese source. The Japanese had hoped to have a victory at the time of the establishment of the Wang Ching-wei regime so as to dampen Chinese morale. The effect was the opposite of what was hoped.

Sources:
[1] Hsu Long-hsuen and Chang Ming-kai, History of The Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) 2nd Ed. ,1971. Translated by Wen Ha-hsiung , Chung Wu Publishing; 33, 140th Lane, Tung-hwa Street, Taipei, Taiwan Republic of China.
Pg. 339-342.
Map 22.
Last edited by asiaticus on 06 Mar 2007 21:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jerry Asher on 05 Mar 2007 15:09

Well done Asiaticus;

a much improved narrative from Hsu.
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Postby Akira Takizawa on 05 Mar 2007 16:11

This battle is called 漢水作戦 (Han River Operation) in Japan. The Japanese aimed to destroy the main forces of General Tang Enbo. However, the Chinese troops quickly retreated and the Japanese could not make a large success in the operation. As the results of the battle, 6,439 Chinese were killed and 132 Japanese were killed.

Asiaticus, still exist name errors in the text. I recommend to search and replace.

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Postby asiaticus on 06 Mar 2007 22:19

Belated thanks for your help Taki, lost my password. I fixed the Muragami ommision in the text.

Seems like once again we have a big discrepancy in reported results between the two sides. Where did most of those reported Chinese and Japanese casualties occur?

If Tang Enbo was the target he doesnt seem to have been there, he was commanding 31st Army Group. It does look like the main effort was against the 33rd Corps of the Right Army Group. The other attacks in the south seem to have been attempts to pin down/divert the Chinese on the flanks of the main Japanese force. Was the Teshima Force at Suizhou doing something similar, diverting the Chinese?

Chinese were able to avoid envelopment or is that wrong? The Chinese 31st Division seems to have been in danger of being sandwiched between Murakami and Kitano's armoured force, that could have been nasty if they couldnt get away in time. 5-6000 men is about the strength of a Chinese division. That might account for the large casualties and why the 30th Division had to be thrown in.
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Postby Akira Takizawa on 07 Mar 2007 08:18

> Seems like once again we have a big discrepancy in reported results between the two sides. Where did most of those reported Chinese and Japanese casualties occur?

I don't know. There was no serious fight in the battle. They would occur in several skirmishes.

Chinese casualities of 6,439 men are questionable. Actual casualities must be less than them.

> If Tang Enbo was the target he doesnt seem to have been there, he was commanding 31st Army Group.

Yes, he was not there. The Japanese were seeking him in vain.

> It does look like the main effort was against the 33rd Corps of the Right Army Group. The other attacks in the south seem to have been attempts to pin down/divert the Chinese on the flanks of the main Japanese force. Was the Teshima Force at Suizhou doing something similar, diverting the Chinese?

I don't know the details of the battle. Japanese books regard it as unimportant battle and end it with a few sentences.

> Chinese were able to avoid envelopment or is that wrong?

Chinese quickly retreated and escapted from Japanese siege.

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Thoughts about the reason for the operation

Postby asiaticus on 10 Mar 2007 09:57

Pity the Japanese account is so brief.

Seeing how short this all was, it seems it was more of a probe that as you say did not draw out the game they were looking for.

Also considering the next few months saw an attack north into Henan (Battle of South Henan Jan.- Feb. 1941) and west across the Yangtze near Ichang (Western Hopei Operation Mar. 1941 ). It may have been a diversion to draw Chinese reserves there before the big attacks in early 1941.
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Postby sjchan on 15 Mar 2007 07:37

I am new to the forum, but I have access to plenty of Chinese resources.

BTW, the battle should be titled Central Hupei (not Hopei, which is another province in Northern China), it is titled as such in Hsu and Chang.

It is not surprising that there is considerable difference between Hsu and Chang and the Japanese account, as Hsu and Chang represents the official viewpoint of the Nationalists, several decades ago. It is now quite outdated and tend to toe the party line and exaggerate Japenese (and its own) losses. The old stuff from the Communist regime is no better, but in the last 15 years better works that try to consolidate sources from the Nationalist, Communist and Japanese have started to appear e.g. Wang Fu's "The Aggression War of the Japanese Army against China". Certainly not perfect, but a better starting point in my mind than either Hsu and Chang, or a pure Japanese point of view (which tends to be accurate regarding Japanese intentions and casualities, but less so regarding the Chinese side).
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Postby sjchan on 15 Mar 2007 07:42

Forgot to add that according to Wang Fu (vol. 2 pp. 1406-8) the Central Hupei operation is one of a series of short raids conducted by the Japanese 11th Army to disrupt any Chinese plans for a winter offensive. It is a minor operation with few losses on either side (and hence not mentioned in many accounts of the Sino-Japense War). I suspect the Japanese description is closer to the truth here.
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Postby asiaticus on 15 Mar 2007 20:51

Thanks sjchan for the info and the correction on Hupei.

Is Wang Fu's "The Aggression War of the Japanese Army against China" in English or just Chinese?
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Postby sjchan on 16 Mar 2007 04:04

It is in Chinese only. I can translate key passages but the whole thing (4 vol. some 2000 pages) is too much to handle.
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Postby Jerry Asher on 16 Mar 2007 07:56

Asiaticus--all four volumes are available in the East Asia Library of the UCLA Library
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Postby asiaticus on 16 Mar 2007 07:57

I'll bet. :^) Wish someone would though.

Well I am going to continue to plug away at these campaigns so If you have some comments on the previous ones or one yet to be discussed feel free to make a new thread on that battle. I will refer it to the page were previous discussion was to link it together with the sticky thread on the campaigns.
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