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Click here to view this topic in its original format Forum > WW2 in General > The Battle of Changde

Posted by: Florin December 18, 2012 06:37 am
I am sincerely pleased that the topic I started "November 2012 - 70 years since Operation Uranus" aroused interest and many replies.

The Battle of Changde started a year later in China, and resembled in many ways with the Battle of Stalingrad - of course on smaller scale.
Even the Marshall Chiang Kai-shek, when in a personal message he asked to the commander of the city to defend it "at any cost", reminded him of Stalingrad.
And it was like at Stalingrad: while the garrison sacrificed itself in street fight, with reinforcements not able to reach them due to Japanese encirclement (and they lacked ammunition, food and water), that gave time to various Chinese units in the surroundings to regroup and drive the Japanese out after they hold the city few weeks. The city's Chinese garrison, at the end of engagement, had less than 4 percent of initial strength. Unlike Stalingrad, the city was surrounded by strong defense walls built in the Middle Ages, and for a short time they mattered, even against the weapons of WWII.
3 Chinese generals were killed while commanding their divisions - outside the city.
300,000 civilians of the city died.
The Japanese spread bubonic plague and also used mustard gas.

You can see this movie - for me it was good:
Do not forget to click on "CC" to get the English subtitles.

This ended with Japanese defeat, at the very beginning of 1944, but guess what...
Over 1944 the Japanese launched in China a land offensive which was by far the biggest offensive of Axis in 1944 - and it ended with tactical succes! (For short time, also a strategical succes, but due to the disasters they had in Pacific, eventually did not matter.)
This was Operation Ichi-Go:

They advanced (and hold it) from Central China until they reached French Indochina (theirs since 1940). They advanced over 1200 kilometers in straight line! The Germans were not able to do that since 1942.

Posted by: MMM December 18, 2012 08:38 pm
Very interesting! I've only read about Chang-De in the context of the biological warfare attempted by the Japanese Army. Must read more into it... Thanks, Florin!

Posted by: Florin December 19, 2012 04:36 am
QUOTE (MMM @ December 18, 2012 03:38 pm)
Very interesting! I've only read about Chang-De in the context of the biological warfare attempted by the Japanese Army. Must read more into it... Thanks, Florin!

You are welcome!
On my behalf, I learned with surprise about the Operation Ichi-Go - considering its magnitude, and the fact that the Japanese advanced 1200 km on land in 1944, it is almost unnoticed today.
P.S: How did I get the 1200 km: I looked on the operational maps, then in Google-Earth I used "Ruler - Path".

Posted by: MMM December 19, 2012 10:01 pm
Huge advance! More than the Wehrmacht did in a similar timeframe after 1941... however, even for the "secondary theater" which was China, it's quite forgotten!

Posted by: ANDREAS December 22, 2012 04:16 pm
In the spring of 1944, Japan took the greatest offensive in China during the Japanese-Chinese War. This offensive was called as the Operation "Ichi-Go" or "Tairiku Dastu Sakusen"(Operaton to break through the Continent), which means that this operation aimed to secure the route across the China continent and connect Manchuria to East-South Asia by railway.
This operation was consisted of two phases; The first phase to secure the railway between Peking and Wuhan and the second phase to exterminate US air forces stationed in Hunan and to reach at Liuzhou. 17 divisons, ie. 400,000 men, 12,000 cars and 70,000 horses paticipated in this operation.
In Henan, 390,000 Chinese troops led by General Tang Enbo were deployed and its strategic position was Luoyang. The 3rd Tank Division (255 tanks from which 65 were medium Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks, 130 improved medium Type 97 ShinHoTo Chi-Ha tanks and 60 light Type 95 Ha-Go tanks) crossed Huang River around Zhengzhou in the late of April and defeated Chinese forces near Xuchang. Then the 3rd Tank Division swang around clockwise and dashed to Luoyang. Luoyang was defensed by three Chinese divisions. The 3rd Tank Division began to attack Luoyang on May 13 and took it on May 25.
In the sequence of these fights, the 3rd Tank Division had shown its full mobility and won a quick victory. Chinese forces withdrew and Henan was secured by Japanese.
The second phase of Ichi-Go began in May, following the success of the first phase. Japanese forces went down south and occupied Changsha, Hengyang, Guilin and Liuzhou. In Dec. 1944, Japanese forces reached at French Indochina and achieved the purpose of the operation.
Though the purpose was achieved, Japan could not profit from this success. US air forces moved to the inland of the China Continent and often interrupted the railway between Peking and Liuzhou by air raid. Japan continued the attack to the airfields where US air forces stationed up to the spring of 1945.

This quoted text is taken from the book "Krieg der Panzer 1939 - 1945" by Janusz Piekalkiewicz, Bechtermünz Verlag, Augsburg, 1999.

Posted by: MMM January 29, 2013 05:05 pm
ANDREAS, the book from above is in English? I've googled it, but I don't seem to find the language. The author is Polish, the title is in German, but the book is in English?! ohmy.gif

Posted by: ANDREAS January 30, 2013 10:32 pm
No, of course not MMM! The book is in german but I translated the quoted text as good as I could! There are described battles fought by tank troops of the powers involved especially Germany, UK, USA, USSR, Japon...

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