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Battle of West Hubei
Part of the Second Sino-Japanese War, World War II
Date12 May – 3 June 1943
Location
West Hubei
29°9′20″N 112°14′43″E / 29.15556°N 112.24528°E / 29.15556; 112.24528Coordinates: 29°9′20″N 112°14′43″E / 29.15556°N 112.24528°E / 29.15556; 112.24528
Result Tactic draw. Chinese strategic victory: Japanese advance halted.
Belligerents
 China  Japan
Commanders and leaders
Republic of China (1912–1949) Chen Cheng Empire of Japan Isamu Yokoyama
Strength
280,000 120,000
Casualties and losses
23,550 killed
18,295 wounded
7,270 missing[1]: 137 
25,000 killed and wounded
40 aircraft destroyed
122 naval vessels damaged or sunk[2]
Battle of West Hubei is located in Hubei
Battle of West Hubei
Location within Hubei
Battle of West Hubei is located in China
Battle of West Hubei
Battle of West Hubei (China)

The Battle of West Hubei (simplified Chinese: 鄂西会战; traditional Chinese: 鄂西會戰; pinyin: È Xī Huìzhàn), was one of 22 major engagements between the National Revolutionary Army and Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was also one of four major battles that took place in Hubei.

It resulted in a Chinese strategic victory, although they lost more troops than the Japanese Army. Historian Barbara W. Tuchman, however, writes that the "Japanese withdrew without pursuit from what appeared to have been a training and foraging offensive to collect rice and river shipping."[3] However, that states that it ended in a tactical draw.

The Chinese government and Western media reported that the Chinese had scored a major victory.[4]

Combat

The Japanese first attacked with 40,000 troops in the 2 armies of the 26th Group Army with about 50,000 troops in 3 divisions, then attacked the 2 armies of the 10th Army with about 60,000 men, and finally attacked the upper reaches of the Yangtze River with 70,000 troops. The two armies of the Jiang Fang Army transported the ships they had already captured along the river to Hankou .

The 13th Division of the Japanese Army had more than 20,000 troops . On the night of May 12, it smuggled across the Yangtze River from Shashi and other places in the gap between the Jiangnan defenders and attacked the 87th Army garrisoned from the northwest in the morning of the next morning. At the same time, it had already occupied Anhui. The Japanese 3rd Division and other divisions in the rural area also marched westward to the southeast to attack the 87th Army. The two Japanese troops formed a pincer offensive. As of the 28th, the Japanese troops who had crossed the Qingjiang River had approached the No. 1 national army guarding Shipai Fortress. Road defense line-Nanlinpo position. Chen Cheng of the National Army decided to fight the enemy on the Qingjiang River and on the front line of Shipai Fortress. The decisive battle date is scheduled to be between 31st and June 1. On the other hand, after the main force of the 13th Division of the Japanese Army crossed the Qingjiang River, it was blocked by the 121st Division of the National Army and had to venture over Tianzhu Mountain in the middle of Changyang. The horses lost a lot of weight on the way. The 5th Division of the National Army set up an ambush on the Tianzhushan main road and retreated after killing hundreds of Japanese troops. On May 30, after suffering heavy casualties, the 13th Division broke through the strategically important Muqiao Creek near Shipai and attacked Taishi Bridge. The main force of the 5th Division of the National Army used the dangerous terrain of Taishi Bridge to set up an ambush. When the Japanese army entered the ambush circle, the National Army fired violently at the Japanese army with intensive firepower, and then engaged in hand-to-hand combat. The national army repelled more than 10 consecutive Japanese attacks by virtue of its difficult terrain. The main force of the 13th Division of the Japanese Army was blocked in the area of Taishiqiao and Muqiaoxi, laying the foundation for the subsequent siege of Shipai.

Results

The Chinese government and Western media reported that the Chinese had scored a major victory.[5] Historian Barbara W. Tuchman had another opinion, however. She wrote that the "Japanese withdrew without pursuit from what appeared to have been a training and foraging offensive to collect rice and river shipping."[6]

Changjiao massacre

Main article: Changjiao massacre

During the period of the Battle of West Hubei, Japanese troops reportedly slaughtered more than 30,000 civilians at a factory in the tiny hamlet of Changjiao, northern Hunan, over a three-day period from 9–12 May 1943.[7]

References

  1. ^ 陳敬堂 (15 July 2014). 《寫給香港人的中國現代史》. 香港: 中華書局(香港). ISBN 978-988-8290-82-6.
  2. ^ "鄂西大捷 徹底擊潰日軍13師團 滇西展開反攻". 鐵血映丹心. 青年日報. 31 May 2015.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Barbara Tuchman, Stilwell and the American Experience in China, pp. 373
  4. ^ "China Handbook". 1937.
  5. ^ "China Handbook". 1937.
  6. ^ Barbara Tuchman, "Stilwell and the American Experience in China", pp. 373
  7. ^ "1943 Timeline". WW2DB. Retrieved 7 January 2013.