Skip to comments.CHINESE ESCAPING FROM ENEMY TRAP (Real Time + 70 Years)
Posted on 05/17/2008 6:43:00 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
The question now engrossing the Japanese high command is how far General Juichi Terauchis enveloping strategy will result in the destruction or capture of Chinese armies and how far large bodies of Chinese troops may again escape, disorganized but numerically important and capable of reorganization.
General Terauchi, the Japanese commander in chief, has unexpectedly arrived at the front. As soon as he arrived he leaped from his plane and began studying a map with air officers who had been reconnoitering Chinese movement.
Traces of disappointment may be read between the lines of the messages dispatched by correspondents attached to the Japanese headquarters at Peiping. These dispatches perceptibly modified the earlier confidence that the Chinese armies would be trapped like rats in a bag.
The great battle that had been expected was being converted into a pursuit of retreating Chinese, who, according to a Peiping correspondent, have been escaping to the west and southwest since Saturday.
The Asabi correspondent at the front interviewed General Terauchi yesterday as he landed. Steps were not available, and officers looked around for a box to assist the commander to alight, but General Terauchi jumped out and said to the correspondent:
Hello, you here? Have you got a good story?
I am waiting for the biggest story of all, the capture of Suchow, said the correspondent.
Suchow is not a difficult problem, said General Terauchi. Whenever Japanese troops are ready it will be taken. It is our tactics to smash at one blow any force that must be smashed.
General Terauchi immediately turned to air officers and began questioning them about Chinese movements.
A number of foreigners yesterday boarded trains here for Suchow, as communications officials said service was continuing with no more than the usual danger of aerial bombings.
The Chinese spokesman also denied last night that the Lung-Hai had been cut east of Suchow, as formerly reported. He said that the town of Sinanchen taken by the Japanese was not the Sinanchen on the railway but another town thirty miles southward of the rail line. The spokesman announced that the Chinese were making steady advances in their general counter-offensive on the South Shantung front, where Japanese had weakened their forces somewhat.
Capture of Hofei, about eighty miles westward of Nanking, was denied by the Chinese spokesman, though he admitted a battle was going on around that city.
The spokesman at a press conference yesterday gave a detailed review of the Shansi situation. He said that in the last month the Chinese had regained control of thirty-four counties in Shansi and had nullified virtually all the gains of the big Japanese offensive in March. He said the Japanese had lost in men killed between March 7 and May 10 more than 27,000. No figures on the number of wounded were given. The Japanese strength in Shansi was now said to be three divisions, which will all soon be wiped out.
The spokesman expressed the opinion that a Japanese drive on Hankow was now impossible because the forces were insufficient, with the Chinese position still strong in the Suchow area. Chinese military officials generally were not pessimistic over the recent reverses, although Hankow civilians were visibly depressed.
An expert foreign military observer, who returned yesterday from Suchow, which he had left five days previously, said the Chinese morale was still high and that considerable optimism was still justified.
Japanese troops fighting from the southwest reported they were within ten miles of Suchow, which is 330 miles northwest of Shanghai, and that it was only a matter of hours before they would unlimber their guns on the city itself. The commander of this force said the Chinese defenses about the strategic city were clearly visible from this newly won position on a low mountain range near the Suchow-Siaohsien highway.
Inside the Japanese movement were an estimated 240,000 Chinese defenders seeking to stave off the fall of the nerve center of the Central China war front. Spread out over a forty-mile radius were the Japanese, whose spokesman declared the Chinese must now surrender or perish.
Sharply challenging them, Chinese Army spokesmen in Hankow said the Japanese were still remote both in strength and distance from the east-west Lung-Hai Railway, which crosses the north-south Tientsin-Pukow rail line at Suchow. The Chinese denied flatly Japanese reports that the Lung-Hai had been cut, although the spokesman said the defenders were fighting with their backs to the railway.
Japanese advices said the Lung-Hai was severed at Tangshan, west of Suchow, and at Sinanchen to the East.
The Chinese said there had been no defections from their ranks in Suchow and that their forces there would continue the fight to a finish.
A second Japanese converging column reported it was eight miles southeast of Taierhchwang, thirty-five miles northeast Suchow. The Japanese made no mention, however, of recapture of that famous village, which the Chinese won back April 6 in handing the Japanese war machine its first major defeat in modern times.
Farther to the east Japanese were reported driving south to fill in gaps between Suchow and Sinanchang on the Lung-Hai Railway.
The force that slashed its way within ten miles of Suchow on the southwest earlier had captured the town of Tangshan, fifty miles west of the strategic rail junction.
Japanese spokesmen said their commanders used an extremely difficult enveloping offensive movement requiring precise coordinated action on widely separated fronts to gain the advantage which they said they now have. These movements, they said, were against Chinese defenses that had the advantage of every natural military feature in positions and terrain, but the defenders failed to use them.
Yesterday Japanese dispatches said troops fighting toward the Lung-Hai Railway from the north and south converged near Tangshan and then fought their way eastward along the railway to Hwangkow, only thirty miles from Suchow. They also said that Pihsien, long besieged city north-west of Suchow, had been captured and the Chinese defenders driven across the Grand Canal.
South of Suchow, along the Tientsin-Pukow Railway, the Japanese said yesterday they had surrounded and were besieging Kuchen while the main body continued up the railroad to assist in the assault on Suchow. About 20,000 Chinese troops under command of General Liu Ju-Min were fighting to prevent the Japanese from closing the avenue of possible retreat near Tangshan, it was said.
Meanwhile foreign sources in Shanghai heard that Paoting, important city in Central Hopeh Province, had been surrounded and besieged by 20,000 Chinese troops and that fighting was going on in the suburbs. Ten Americans were said to be in Paoting.
The Japanese officials, two of whom were sent to Shanghai from Tokyo, included a judge, a procurator and a representative of the Shanghai consulate. They listened intently to trials in various courtrooms and asked many questions relevant to civil and criminal procedure.
Their visit climaxed persistent rumors that the Japanese-sponsored reformed government in Nanking was completing preparations to seize control of the court. It is understood in the most reliable foreign circles that the Shanghai Municipal Council is prepared to resist strenuously any Japanese attempt to control the court. The Council will even move the court personnel south of Soochow Creek and operate directly with the authority of the consular body under entirely reorganized procedure, the same foreign circles declare. This would mean virtual discarding of the Chinese Criminal and Civil Codes, substituting Municipal Council regulations.
MOSCOW, May 16 (AP). Soviet Russian authorities today announced the rejection of a Japanese protest against a May Day speech by Navy Commissar Peter Alexandrovich Smirnoff.
Japanese Ambassador Mamoru Shigemitsu delivered the note last Wednesday, protesting what it called slanders against Japan in an address by the Commissar in connection with a May Day parade at Vladivostok.
Tokyo charged that Smirnoff had said that Japanese imperialists were attacking China like blood-thirsty mad dogs.
The Soviet Foreign Office replied with an expression of amazement at the protest, since Japan, as the Foreign Office asserted, had been guilty of a systematic campaign of slander and war propaganda against Russia in recent years a campaign in which the Foreign Office said Japanese official frequently had taken part.
Boris Stomoniakoff, Vice Commissar of Foreign Affairs, said the government could not consider the Japanese protest until the Japanese Government changes its attitude toward war propaganda against the Soviet Union and especially puts a stop to participation of officials in it.
TOKYO, Tuesday, May 127 (AP). Joseph C. Grew, the United States Ambassador, protested to Foreign Minister Koki Hirota today against the continued refusal to allow Americans to return to their homes and businesses in Nanking, China.
The Americans evacuated during the Japanese push into Nanking last December. The Japanese control transportation from Shanghai and elsewhere to Nanking and thus far have refused permission to foreigners to go there.
CougarGA7 said on the May 11 thread:
Also starting around this time is what was called the Japanese Spring Offensives in China.
On May 10th 1938 Japan captured the port city of Xiamen. As spring progressed the Japanese move on to capture Xuzhou on the 20th, Kaifeng, on 6 June, and Ankang on 12 June.
These stories reflect how the spring offensive is rolling along.
The times apparently has both Japanese- and Chinese-speaking correspondents sending back news. I'll bet it is still difficult to get accurate information. Both sides are spinning the situation to their own benefit and communications are probably dicey anyway.
This was seventy years ago, of course, not seventy years from now. Title should read “-70”.
You are of course correct that it should by -70 yet until I saw your post I figured it was 70 years prior.
That said, I found the articles to be extremely interesting, especially the part where the Japanese protest to the comments of the Russian who said the Japanese were attacking like “blood-thirsty mad dogs.”
That was of course putting it extremely mildly given what was later learned of Chinese atrocities against the Chinese.
No. I should probably do that on my home page. CougarGA7 said something about keeping monthly lists, but I don't know if he did or not.
Oh come on now! Everyone knows we dropped the bombs on Japan because they were merely defending their culture and way of life! (Extreme sarcasm). Yes, the controversial Smithsonian exhibit was actually going to depict the Japanese as “defending their way of life.” What it wasn’t going to depict was that their “way of life” apparently including subjugating other peoples and massacring them. Like the Chinese at the time.
But times do change, don’t they? I doubt the Chinese have any real fear of this happening today.
I have now bookmarked all my RT+70 posts (I think). So they are listed as links on my profile. The problem is they are in alphabetical order and mixed in with all the other articles I have bookmarked over the years. Maybe there is a way to manipulate the links into related categories.
Amazon has it for $13.40. I will order it tomorrow. Thanks for the tip. If I am going to be posting articles for some time to come it is important that I have good sources for info on what was really going on. That helps make the exercise enlightening.
Who is Peanut Head?
Amazon has it for $13.40. I will order it tomorrow. Thanks for the tip."
Tuchman is one of the best of the best historians. Highly recommended. Check out the reviews on this book! From one:
"Stilwell was generally contemptuous and disrespectful toward those with whom he disagreed (mostly Chiang Kai-Shek). This was a source of irritation to FDR, who felt that Chiang Kai-Shek was a head of state, and ought to be accorded the level of respect due one in that position. Stilwell did not see it that way. He constantly referred to Chiang in his diary as "Peanut," or "Hickory Head." Several times he referred to FDR himself as "Rubber Legs." The Japanese he called "buck-toothed bastards." "
You gotta love that Stilwell. ;-)
Based on my unscientific review of posts on this topic, I would say you and Petronski are in the minority on the matter of +/- 70 years. Adding weight to the argument is the fact that the Plus posters also have something insightful or otherwise substantive to say about the events under discussion, whereas Petronski never betrays the slightest understanding or interest in the history of the mid-twentieth century. To put it another way, the smart money is on Real Time Plus 70 Years.
Based on her titles she has a lot of depth and breadth. I didn't remember her as author of Guns of August. I do recall being captivated by that book when I read it many years ago. At any rate, Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-1945 will now be coming my way.
This is getting old bud.
I’ve been bookmarking them. I think at the end of the year I might post a thread that has all of Homer’s 1938 links all together like a year in review.
I can send you the links if you want.
Yeah, the same mistake over and over.
No. I mean you. You think that’s a mistake. We get it. And no one cares. Let it go.
It is a mistake.
So what. Let it go.
Accuracy is important.
Fine. Now let it go. You made your point and you dont add anything to these threads.
Since this thread is focused on the Pacific theater it’s a good place to mention this (I don’t have an exact date, just month)
It was in May of 1938 that Hideki Tojo left his post as Chief of Police Affairs for the Kwantung Army (the Kempeitai) to become Vice-Minister of War. This post took him out of China and back to Japan. By October 1941 he was Prime Minister of Japan.