Hundred Regiments Offensive
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseBy summer of 1940, the Chinese Communist numbers in central China has grown tremendously. With the new-found strength, Communist General Peng Dehuai launched an organized offensive utilizing 400,000 men in 115 regiments against established Japanese positions. This was a departure from the typical Communist strategy up until this point, which focused more so on guerilla warfare than engaging in open battles. The offensive began on 20 Aug where Chinese Communist forces attacked Japanese-held railways and bridges between Dezhou and Datong in Hebei and Shanxi Provinces. After the successful disruption of Japanese transportation, the Chinese Communist forces assaulted Japanese positions directly in Sep 1940, which enjoyed much less success as they suffered heavy casualties. Nevertheless, the Chinese Communists considered the offensive a major success for that 600 miles worth of railways were destroyed.
ww2dbaseThe Japanese responded in Oct 1940, sending in garrison troops in great quantities to re-establish control over the railways. The newly-asserted Japanese pressure quickly drove out Chinese Communist regulars from the area, and local resistance in northern China reverted back to that of guerilla warfare. The Hundred Regiments Offensive was one of the last open battles where the Chinese Communists engaged their regulars; it was partially due to direct Japanese pressure while also influenced by Mao Zedong's reluctance to reveal to Chiang Kaishek his true strength. In fact, for revealing the Communist strength in northern China during the offensive, Peng's political career was to suffer later during the Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976.
Last Major Update: Oct 2006
Hundred Regiments Offensive Timeline
|20 Aug 1940Â||Chinese communist forces launched the Hundred Regiments Offensive in Hebei and Shanxi Provinces in China.|
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