Battle of Wuyuan
Part of Second Sino-Japanese War

Chinese 35th Army
Date (1940-03-16) (1940-04-03)March 16 – April 3, 1940
(2 weeks and 4 days)
Vicinity of Wuyuan in Western Suiyuan
Result Chinese victory
Republic of China (1912–1949) Republic of China Empire of Japan Empire of Japan
Commanders and leaders
Republic of China (1912–1949) Fu Zuoyi
Republic of China (1912–1949) Ma Hongbin
Republic of China (1912–1949) Ma Hongkui
Republic of China (1912–1949) Ma Buqing
Empire of Japan Naozaburo Okabe
Empire of Japan Shigenori Kuroda
28,000 including Chinese Muslim Cavalry 5,000 - 10,000

The Battle of Wuyuan (March 16 – April 3, 1940; Chinese: 五原戰役) was a Chinese counterattack that defeated the Japanese invasion of the Wuyuan area. This happened in reaction to the Chinese 1939-40 Winter Offensive in Suiyuan during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese call it 第2次後套作戦 ("The Second Battle of Wuyuan").

By 28 January 1940 the Japanese had built up forces from the 26th Division at Baotou sufficient to launch the 第1次後套作戦 or "First battle of Wuyuan in Inner Mongolia" to recover lost territory and move west to take Wuyuan which fell on February 3 and Linhe further west on 4 February.


Japanese Forces:

Mongolia Garrison Army 駐蒙軍 - Naosaburo Okabe

Chinese Forces:

8th War Area - Deputy Commander Fu Zuoyi

Course of the battle

On March 16, 1940, as the Japanese were attacking the New 4th Division west of Linhe, the rest of the Chinese 35th Corps with the New 31st Division and a regiment of the Garrison Brigade, secretly moved east along the Wu-chia River. On the night of the 20th they entered Wuyuan by surprise and after a seesaw fight over the strongpoint captured the city at 1600 hours on the 21st. The Japanese garrison retreated northward. Chinese forces then moved on to capture a strongpoint around Hsin-an-chen on the 22nd. This cut the road along the Yellow River to Wuyuan.

In an attempt to recover the situation the Japanese sent 600 troops from Dashetai via Siyitang in 80 trucks to make a forced crossing of the Wu-chia River at Ta-tsai-chu 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Wuyuan. For three days they fought the 101st Division without success. By the 25th they had been reinforced to 3,000 men and made the crossing with artillery and air support. Wuyuan again fell to the Japanese on the 26th and the Chinese fell back to the banks of Fang-chi-chu and continued their attacks at Xin'an, Xishanzui, Xixiaozhao, and Man-ko-su.

The Middlesboro Daily News which reported on Japan's planned offensive into the Muslim region, predicted that the Japanese would suffer a massive crushing defeat at the hands of the Muslims.[1]

Muslim Generals Ma Hongkui and Ma Hongbin defended west Suiyuan, especially Wuyuan in 1940 against the Japanese. Ma Hongbin commanded the Muslim 81st corps and incurred heavy casualties, but after fierce fighting eventually repulsed the Japanese and defeated them.[2][3]

Unable to withstand the pressure of Chinese attacks, the Japanese at Wuyuan retreated on March 30 and 31. On April 1 a guerrilla force and cavalry column recaptured Wuyuan, and the 11th Provisional Division recaptured Wu-pu-lang-kou. On April 3, cavalry recovered Xishanzui as the Japanese retreated to the east.

Japan used poison gas against the Chinese armies at the Battle of Wuyuan and Battle of West Suiyuan.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Middlesboro Daily News - Google News Archive Search".
  2. ^ George Barry O'Toole, Jên-yü Tsʻai, ed. (1941). The China monthly, Volumes 3-5. The China monthly incorporated. Retrieved 2010-06-28.(Original from the University of Michigan)
  3. ^ Aleksandr I͡Akovlevich Kali͡agin (1983). Along alien roads (illustrated ed.). East Asian Institute, Columbia University. p. 261 of 294. ISBN 0-913418-03-X. Retrieved 2010-06-28.(Original from the University of Michigan)
  4. ^ 民国宁夏风云实录 第五卷杨少青 胡迅雷 著目录上篇下篇 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2018-06-04.
  5. ^ 国民革命军马鸿宾部队81军的绥西抗战!一段不该湮没的宁夏抗战史!. 7 December 1984. Archived from the original on 2015-09-07.

31°05′24″N 108°15′58″E / 31.09000°N 108.26611°E / 31.09000; 108.26611