Chinese 200th Motorized Division 1938-45

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asiaticus
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Chinese 200th Motorized Division 1938-45

Post by asiaticus » 02 Sep 2005 08:42

The 200th Motorized Division, formed in 1938 with Soviet equipment including T-26 tanks. This Division suffered heavy losses in a counteroffensive at Lanfang and in a battle at Kunlun pass in 1939-40, losing most of its equipment. It later foutght in Burma in 1942-44 and later in China to the end of the war.

Does anyone know how this unit was organized, particularly in the early period?

Henry
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Post by Henry » 03 Sep 2005 03:00

Hi,

From the magazine The Frontline vol. 1 issue 3

Chinese Armour in WWII
Chinese 200th Mechanized Division
By Bob Keen

The 200th Mech. division was formed to absorb the hotch potch of vehicles accumulated from western sources (that had been acting as independent units) in order to provide a more effective response to face the Japanese armies.

Here are the 1st and 2nd (all three battalions were under the command of Xu Ting-yao):

1st Armoured Battalion (headquarters in Shanghai)

32 x Vickers-Carden-Lloyd Amphibious Tank Model 1931 and Vickers 6 ton E tanks
2nd Armoured Battalion (headquarters in Shanghai)

17 Vickers 6 ton E tanks, 8 VCL machine gun carriers and 4 VCL Light Tanks, 4 Renault ZB light tanks (which I suspect is the export designation of the MG-armed Renault UE carriersold to China) totalling 32 tanks
2nd Battalion formed in 1935, destroyed in the battle for Shanghai 13th August to 9th November 1937.

3rd Tank Battalion

15 x PzKpfw I/A light tanks (from Germany)
20 x Fiat CV33 tankettes (from Italy)
18 x Sdkfz 221 and 222 armd cars (from Germany)
Formed in 1935; destroyed in the Battle of Nanking (4th to 13th Dec 1937).

The above battalions were resupplied with new supplies from the Soviets which arrived in 1938:

87 x T-26 Model 1933 light tanks
FAI and BA-6 armoured cars

The 200th Mech Div was almost destroyed in the Battle of Kun-lun-guan (Kunlun Pass) in 1939 and was reformed as a motorised infantry division.

The 200th Div (Mot) then went on to fight in the 1st Burma Campaign (7th March to 11th May 1942) under the Chinese Expeditionary Force.

Henry

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Re Henry's post about 200th Mechanized.

Post by asiaticus » 03 Sep 2005 22:30

The numbers in the tank battalions seem likely from other things I have read. However I wonder about them being orgainized in the 200th Mechanized Division at that time.

I have some Chinese oobs from the Battle of Shanghai and Nanking and that unit is not listed, but only one battalion of light Tanks is listed from Aug.20th 12937 with the 9th Army Group army and again in that same Army Group after late Sept. 1937. The oob for the battle of Nanking shows no tanks. However the oobs as I have read in that book mention units at times that do not always appear in the oobs. It only mentions the 200th Division in the operation in Kunlun Pass and later in Changsha, Burma and in 1945 south China for the last offensive against the Japanese. This source is:

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.

In a website I ran across it mentions the unit in the Wuhan campaign in May 1938, in the Battle of Lanfeng.

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/Stor ... 945_ed.htm

Is there any mention of there being any other units in the orgainzation of this unit besides the 3 tank battalions at that time? If it was only those 3 tank battalions I would expect it to be organized as a Regiment or Brigade not a division, particularly if it was organized by the Germans, who were the Chinese military advisors at that time.

I have an organization for the unit from a game oob but I have no source for its accuracy:

5/38-11/42
200th Infantry Division (Mechanized)
1st Motorized Infantry Regiment
2nd Motorized Infantry Regiment
3rd Motorized Infantry Regiment
Field Artillery Battalion
Engineer Battalion
Aslt Inf Company


1st Motorized Infantry Regiment (200 Mech Div)
1st Motorized Infantry Regiment HQ
1st Tank Battalion
1st Infantry Battalion
2nd Infantry Battalion
3rd Infantry Battalion
Mot. AT Gun Company
Mot. Mortar Company

2nd Motorized Infantry Regiment (200 Mech Div)
2nd Tank Battalion
1st Infantry Battalion
2nd Infantry Battalion
3rd Infantry Battalion
Mot AT Gun Company
Mot Mortar Company

3rd Motorized Infantry Regiment (200 Mech Div)
3rd Tank Battalion
1st Infantry Battalion
2nd Infantry Battalion
3rd Infantry Battalion
Mot AT Gun Company
Mot Mortar Company

I dont know if the tank battalions belong in the Infantry Regimental oob. Given this Division was equipped by the Russians with tanks and other arms, and the advise of Russian advisors, I would think the unit would have been organized somewhat on Russian lines but perhaps used one tank battalion to a Motorized infantry regiment in combat (which was the role of T-26 tanks). A Russian Tank Brigade circa 1938 had 3 tank battlaions and one motorized infantry battalion, so with 3 regiments of motorized infantry instead it would seem to qualify for division status I would think. It would be similar to the later Russian Motorized Division of 1941 that had a Tank Regiment and 2 Motorized Infantry Regiments. The Russians of course had a Regiment of Artiillery that the Chinese did not

.

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Post by Henry » 04 Sep 2005 14:43

Hi,

This is the only other info I have on the 200th. This data may not help you, but I thought I should post it anyway.

Front line magazine vol.2 issue 3

TO&E
By Rolf Hedges

Chinese armour
200th mechanised division ;

1st tank regt - 87/88 T26 tanks ( 1938/39 )
recce company ; small number of FAI a/cars and BA6 a/cars.

( China had been sold other tanks, 36 FT17's in 1932, 12 Vickers carden lloyd MG carriers, 10 PZ1a, 30 Sdkfz 221 and 222, 20 CV33 tankettes, 20 Vickers 6 ton E tanks, 33 Vickers VCL light tanks, a few Renault ZB light tanks.
However 50 of these tanks were lost in the battles around Shanghai in 1937. By 1939 only a few were in operation, however spares were short and their value was limited. )
October 1941 - first US shipment of 36 M3 scout cars, followed by 35 M4a4 shermans and 44 M5/M3A3 light tanks from mid 1943.

Henry

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Other thoughts from China Defense forum

Post by asiaticus » 04 Sep 2005 20:19

Replies to my question on China Defense forum:


http://www.china-defense.com/forum/inde ... ntry202934

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thanks

Post by asiaticus » 06 Sep 2005 06:54

Henry thanks for the additional info.

Also, I did not know about that Recon Company.

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about the recon company

Post by asiaticus » 06 Sep 2005 17:08

BTW do you know if the Recon company was part of the Infantry Regiment or Armoured regiment or directly under Division command?

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Post by Henry » 06 Sep 2005 20:01

sorry, I don't know. But if I come across anything, I will post it here

Henry

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