Battle of Changde

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 04 Jan 2007 03:24

You're welcome.

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asiaticus
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What fighting does the diorama depict?

Post by asiaticus » 04 Jan 2007 05:54

What fighting does the diorama depict? The city changed hands several times from what I read.

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 04 Jan 2007 06:03

That diorama depicts the defense of Changde by the Chinese 57th Division.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 04 Jan 2007 06:15

Kim Sung wrote:I visited Changde (常德) War Memorial a few days ago. It was one of rare Chinese strategic victory during the Sino-Japanese War. Irritated Japanese used poison gas against Chinese civilians and soldiers. As a result of this biological weapons attack, about 7,000 Chinese died.
The 7,000 Chinese dead figure from CW can be verified from other sources?

That figure is only a thousand less than total CW deaths experienced by the British Army on the Western Front 1915-1918.

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 04 Jan 2007 06:51

I've found a fantastic link on the battle of Changde. It would be very helpful for Chinese speakers.

http://www.kangzhan.org/antijapwar/article/chang.htm

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 04 Jan 2007 06:52

Asiaticus, thank you for adding my photos to Wikipedia article. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Changde

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Post by asiaticus » 04 Jan 2007 11:56

Well our discussion here is a good link and pertinant I think.

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asiaticus
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Post by asiaticus » 04 Jan 2007 12:25

Kim Sung wrote:I've found a fantastic link on the battle of Changde. It would be very helpful for Chinese speakers.

http://www.kangzhan.org/antijapwar/article/chang.htm


This is great. I will have to translate it but it will be a good check on Hsu Long-hsuen.

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 05 Jan 2007 14:20

The Japanese military planned to transfer the 11 army to the Marianas or Southeast Asia after the fall of Changde, but their plan was cancelled due to their failure to capture Changde. A road near Taiwan's presidential palace was named after Changde in commemoration of the Chinese victory.

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 05 Jan 2007 14:26

Besides Changde, the Japanese 1644th Unit used biochmical weapons in Ningpo (寧波), Jinhua (金華) and Ludong (魯東). Compared to the Germans' limited use of poison gas (as we see in the case of the Adzhimushkay quarry) during WWII, the Japanese use of biochmical weapons were broader. On October 27, 1940, 106 civilians were killed by Japanese biological weapons in Ningpo.

According to some sources, the Japanese army used biochemical weapons in the battle of Nomonhan, killing some Soviet and Mongolian soldiers.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 05 Jan 2007 21:58

I have seen no mention of the US 14th Air Force contribution to this battle,most likely the reason for the Chinese success.


http://www.mgyj.com/american_studies/1995e/9506.txt
According to Bai Chongxi, from November 10 to December 16,280 sorties of bombers and 1476 sorties of fighters were made..

Air superiority was achieved and dictated the progress of the ground attack?

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asiaticus
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poison gas? at Nomonhan? no dont think so.

Post by asiaticus » 06 Jan 2007 06:21

Kim Sung wrote:Besides Changde, the Japanese 1644th Unit used biochmical weapons in Ningpo (寧波), Jinhua (金華) and Ludong (魯東). Compared to the Germans' limited use of poison gas (as we see in the case of the Adzhimushkay quarry) during WWII, the Japanese use of biochmical weapons were broader. On October 27, 1940, 106 civilians were killed by Japanese biological weapons in Ningpo.

According to some sources, the Japanese army used biochemical weapons in the battle of Nomonhan, killing some Soviet and Mongolian soldiers.
I dont know what sources those were but Coox's Nomonhan, the bible on the subject on the Japanese side of the struggle, doesnt make any mention of such an event or list any unit that might have been able to do such a thing, participating in the campaign. The Japanese, (like the Germans) used those weapons on people who could not reply in kind,(i.e. the Chinese), and the Japanese had no idea what the Soviets had on hand and did not want to do anything to find out the hard way.

Remember they had been roughly handled in Chengkufeng the previous year and had
to know the Soviets were not some hapless third rate military power. They knew the Soviets had weapons equal (if not superior) to their own.

If the Japanese had had those weapons it would have been hard to hide from the Japanese soldiers and officers who Coox interveiwed, and there is no mention by them of the use of such weapons or wearing gas masks to protect themselves that would have been necessary. Besides I think most if not all of the units with gas capability were not in Manchukuo but in China where they had been used extensively.


Even if they did want to use them at Nomonhan, the logistics, was really tenuous. The Japanese had a 100km long haul on awful roads from their rail head for everything they used. They would have had to be sent from the Yangtze valley by rail or ship to Manchukuo. That assumes they could extract them from the clutches of the China Expeditionary Army, who were getting ready for their first attack on Changsha, where they were going to be using gas.

Most importantly the Kwangtung Army looked on this as their own "splendid little war", a minor border action that did not call for the use of gas. Things escalated slowly and all the units involved came from Kwangtung Army command. From what I read the Kwangtung Army did not appreciate the scope of what the Soviets had in store for them in late August until it was far too late.

If Tokyo had not stopped Kwangtung Army in September 1939 there would have been a new Kwangtung Army offensive and maybe some gas units could have gotten into it then. However that never happened.

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Post by Edward Chen » 06 Jan 2007 06:55

Hi Kim Sung,

First, many thanks for posting the great photos of the Changde museum.

Second, some questions:

- the sixth photo shown features an American-made M3 (early model) "grease-gun" machine pistol, which is said to have entered production for the US Army in December 1942. Did Nationalist Army units actually use this weapon during the Changde campaign in November/December 1943? The M3 and M3A1 types would have been more prevalent later in the war, and during the Civil War against the Chinese Communists; but it seems doubtful they were present this early into the war.

- same for the photo captioned "Weapons," showing six bolt-action rifles and what appears to be a Soviet-type PPSh machine pistol with the curved box magazine. Again, was that actually used during the battle by Nationalist forces?

Thanks in advance, and Best Regards,
Edward Chen

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 06 Jan 2007 07:32

Coox disputes the use of BW agents at Nomonhan.

However according to Sheldon Harris:

http://www.bordeninstitute.army.mil/eth ... -ch-16.pdf
The Nomonhan Incident during July and August 1939 is the first major event in which BW and CW
were tested extensively against opposing military forces. (Although the recognized authority on the
incident disputes this claim, documentary evidence proves conclusively that BW and CW was
employed on a large scale.) The field test utilized the combined resources of Units 731, and their
satellite units. Two thousand artillery shells laden with bacteria were aimed at Soviet forces. In addi
tion, pathogens were delivered using more primitive methods, such as dumping them directly into
rivers under the cover of darkness, anticipating that the enemy would drink from the infected water.
Personal accounts of the “suicide squads” senton these river missions have since been published.
For instance, in 1982, a Mr. Tsuruta told a reporter for the Tokyo Mainichi Shimbun that he was one of
24 men in a “suicide squad” that engaged in a night foray into Soviet territory to drop kilos of typhoid
germs in water used by Soviet troops. Seven years later, in 1989, three former servicemen recounted
to another reporter their BW role in the Nomonhan struggle. “With our own hands, we threw large
quantities of intestinal typhoid bacteria into the river…” The men hand-carried 22 or 23 18-liter
oil drums over swampy ground to the river bank. “The pathogens were cultured in a vegetable gelatin.
We opened the lids, and poured the jelly-like contents of the cans into the river. We carried the cans back
with us so we wouldn’t leave any evidence.”

None of the Nomonhan tests of different delivery mechanisms were successful. The pathogens
dumped into the river lost their virulence almost immediately upon contact with the water. However,
the Japanese themselves suffered at least 1,300 casualties due to epidemics related to the BW tests. It
also was disclosed some time later that at least 40 men in the BW squads who had been exposed to
the pathogens during the mission had died shortly thereafter. Nevertheless, Ishii and Wakamatsu
were able to convince their superiors that the BW tests were successful. Both their units received commendations
from Emperor Hirohito, a most unusual gesture of recognition for medical units.

No BW was used at Changde in 1943.The only recorded instance there was in December 1939,with some mice released with pathogens.

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Post by Kim Sung » 06 Jan 2007 07:53

Peter H wrote:No BW was used at Changde in 1943.
Do you have any sources that prove this claim? The director of the Changde Museum told me that the Japanese used BW obviously.

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