The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

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Caesar95
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The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by Caesar95 » 27 Nov 2009 13:39

According to Wikipedia article on the Battle of Nanking, the Nationalist government "spend millions" constructing these fortification behind Shanghai to protect Nanking from Japanese attack. The article mentioned that there were these "Wufu" and "Xicheng" line fortications which was penetrated by the Japanese and causing the general collapse of Nanking's defenses. Anyone here extensive information and photos on these defenses line?

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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by sjchan » 28 Nov 2009 03:56

There is no comparison between the Hindenburg Line and the Chinese version, the later was pretty primitive. When the retreating Chinese troops reached the line in many cases they found the works to be in poor condition and the personnel with the keys and plans for the fortifications gone.

A map of the two defensive lines can be found here:
(the Wufu line - the red line - is the rightmost line and the next line to the left - the orange line - is the Xichang line)

http://a1.att.hudong.com/65/91/01300000 ... 154111.jpg

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Peter H
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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by Peter H » 28 Nov 2009 05:38

Time Magazine,November 29 1937:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 53,00.html
Chinese leaders have been talking for weeks about how their troops would be able to hold "for six months" against Japanese onslaughts "the Chinese Hindenburg Line," Fushan-Soochow-Kashing. Its thousands of cement pillbox forts built upon hummocks in swampy terrain appeared most formidable, and bulwark of this Hindenburg Line was Soochow...

..One day last week Japanese dropped some 700 bombs upon Soochow and not long afterward the official Japanese military spokesman at Shanghai gave out the following details, which Chinese officials did not deny:

"About midnight, from our front lines two scouting parties totaling seven or eight men each began a careful reconnoiter toward Soochow. They stealthily followed two large bodies of Chinese troops retreating toward the city. The Soochow gates stood wide open and the Chinese forces marched in and stacked their bayoneted rifles, whereupon fifteen Japanese followed.

"The Japanese proceeded to the city administration building and, when dawn broke, hoisted the Japanese flag, creating an extraordinary panic among the Chinese forces within the walls, all of whom fled by every available gate, some with and some without arms, and all without firing a shot. Those fifteen scouts, without a single man killed or wounded, remained in undisputed possession of Soochow for the next three hours, until other Japanese forces overtook them."

Concluded the Japanese spokesman: "We consider the capture of the great city of Soochow in these circumstances to be the most unusual, tragi-comic exploit in the history of modern warfare."...

"See you in Sinkiang!" With his Hindenburg Line cracked, and with Japanese launching 200 armed flat boats on Lake Tai to shoot up and disorganize lakeside villages, Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek faced at his capital Nanking last week the virtual certainty that Japanese armies would soon sweep around south of Lake Tai, descend on him even if he could keep them from also sweeping around north of the lake and up the Yangtze River. Some 70 Japanese river gunboats were already pounding away at the Chinese boom of sunken junks which was flung across the Yangtze to block it weeks ago and defended by the Kianyin forts. The second line of Chinese defense ran last week from these forts to Wusih. Much of the Hindenburg Line had not yet given way when Generalissimo Chiang abruptly decided that his Government must evacuate Nanking, disperse itself all over the map of China...
Japanese aerial photo of Chinese defensive lines
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Peter H
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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by Peter H » 28 Nov 2009 05:56

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YC Chen
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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by YC Chen » 11 Dec 2009 10:31

Have posted this on this forum:
http://hi.baidu.com/%BF%F1%B1%BC%C3%E6%B0%FC/album
Very good photos of the surviving fortifications in Nanking. Some of the bunkers were built in 1930s, and some were built during Chinese Civil War.
http://hi.baidu.com/%BF%F1%B1%BC%C3%E6% ... b4aa5.html
Walkaround photos of two bunkers from 1930s.
http://hi.baidu.com/%BF%F1%B1%BC%C3%E6% ... e0b6f.html
Another one.
http://hi.baidu.com/%BF%F1%B1%BC%C3%E6% ... 86a28.html
Some description(in Chinese).

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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by sjchan » 11 Dec 2009 15:33

From the text associated with some of the pictures, it seems that some of the bunkers are located in the vicinity of Nanjing and not part of the two defensive belts.

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alexWong
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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by alexWong » 19 Dec 2010 10:18

What are left today
80 years have passed us by......
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YC Chen
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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by YC Chen » 19 Dec 2010 13:31

I have post this on the forum: some really nice photos of the surviving pillboxes.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 1&t=170551

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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by forttravel » 26 Mar 2016 19:00

Japanese drawings concerning to captured in 1938 Chinese hmg shelters (I think so).
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Last edited by forttravel on 26 Mar 2016 21:08, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by forttravel » 26 Mar 2016 20:14

And bunker versions for a canon.
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YC Chen
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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by YC Chen » 01 Apr 2016 10:32

Hmm... I'm not sure. The diagrams show that they were in use with Japanese LMG and HMG, so perhaps experimental Japanese pillboxes?

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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by forttravel » 02 Apr 2016 09:21

Hi YC Chen, I am not sure too, just supposed because documents were placed in jacar archive section: South China special fortification record September 1, 1939: "Study of size of each part for Heavy and Light machine gun pillbox".

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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by forttravel » 22 Jun 2017 21:14

At least German report from 1938 too (via Japanese army cooperation source) with description of fortifield line arround Shanghai. There were build about 500 hmg pillboxes mostly camouflaged as tratch house/roof. Generally noted in document poor quality of concrete work and excellent masking skills of Chinese troops.
More details: http://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/de/n ... rid/zoom/1
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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by forttravel » 22 Jun 2017 22:36

Few pictures from kongfz bid/sell portal.
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YC Chen
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Re: The "Chinese Hindenburg" fortified Line

Post by YC Chen » 03 Feb 2018 15:28

This time real Japanese wartime diagram of those Chinese pillboxes...

Pictures from http://www.kongfz.cn/30181978
I tried to bid for this, but gave up when it became too expensive for me...
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