Battle of Huangqiao

4 Oct 1940 - 10 Oct 1940


ww2dbaseDespite of the truce between the Chinese Nationalist government and the Communist guerrilla forces in an effort to put up a united front against the Japanese, both sides tried to undermine each other's efforts as both believed that the resumption of the civil war was inevitable. In Jul 1940, Communist leader Mao Zedong decided to violate the terms of the truce by launching an offensive against Nationalist positions in the coastal province of Jiangsu. As ordered, Communist New 4th Army under Su Yu crossed the Yangtze River later that month, creating a favorable position in which New 4th Army controlled both sides of the river, wiping out a small Nationalist contingent at the town of Huangqiao ("Yellow Bridge"). In Aug 1940, He Yingqin ordered Nationalist 18th Army to counter this Communist advance. On 3 Sep, Nationalist General Han Deqin, the war area commander, launched a pincer attack toward Yingxi. After blunting the initial Nationalist attacks, Communist forces captured Jiangyan (now a district of Taizhou), Jiangsu Province on 16 Sep. In response, Han Deqin gathered a larger force at Hai'an and Taizhou, advancing in three columns. On 30 Sep, the 7,000-strong Communist New 4th Army abandoned Jiangyan and moved to Huangqiao, where it intended on making a defense against the overwhelming enemy force numbering just over 30,000 men. Su Yu personally commanded the Communists from near the front, while Chen Yi oversaw the battle from his headquarters 20 kilometers in the rear. Bad weather delayed the Nationalist attack, which finally took place on 4 Oct, suffering initial defeats but by the end of the day Nationalist 33rd Division was on the verge of taking the town, failing only because the timid commanding officer of Nationalist 89th Corps, Li Shouwei, unexpectedly stopped his advance, which the 33rd Division's commanding officer Sun Qiren was counting on. On the following day, 5 Oct, the Communists counterattacked, surrounding and then wiping out several Nationalist elements, capturing 30 senior officers, 600 junior officers, 3,800 rifles, 189 machine guns, 3 mountain guns, 59 mortars, and great quantities of ammunition. The Communists suffered 900 casualties in this engagement while the Nationalists suffered 11,000 casualties; Nationalist 89th Corps was effectively destroyed at the end of the battle, with Li Shouwei being killed in action. The Communists would soon occupy Hai'an, Dongtai, and Jiangyan after the Nationalists fled the area. A week later, Communist New 4th Army and Communist 8th Route Army linked up (8th Route Army had originally been ordered to join the Huangqiao engagement, but failed to arrive in time), causing the Nationalist leadership to formally cancel the operation. For "political reasons", the Communists ceased giving chase. Both sides suppressed the news of this major engagement, as both were supposed to be fighting side by side against the Japanese.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Feb 2014

Battle of Huangqiao Timeline

8 May 1940 Chinese Communist Brigadier General Chen Yi recommended his superiors to launch an offensive against Nationalist positions in Jiangsu Province, China.
12 Jul 1940 Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong ordered his troops to move against Nationalist positions in Jiangsu Province, China.
3 Sep 1940 He Yingqin ordered Nationalist 18th Army to counter the Communist advance along the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province, China.
6 Sep 1940 A Nationalist Chinese brigade was wiped out by Communist Chinese forces near Yingxi, Jiangsu Province, China.
16 Sep 1940 Communist Chinese New 4th Army captured Jiangyan (now a district of Taizhou), Jiangsu Province, China.
30 Sep 1940 Communist Chinese New 4th Army withdrew from Jiangyan (now a district of Taizhou), Jiangsu Province, China and moved toward nearby town of Huangqiao ("Yellow Bridge"), where it intended on fighting against the detected Nationalist attack.
4 Oct 1940 Nationalist Chinese troops launched an attack on Communist Chinese New 4th Army in Huangqiao ("Yellow Bridge"), Jiangsu Province, China, nearly taking the town.
5 Oct 1940 Communist Chinese New 4th Army counterattacked and defeated Nationalist Chinese troops at Huangqiao ("Yellow Bridge"), Jiangsu Province, China, capturing great quantities of weapons and ammunition.
10 Oct 1940 Communist Chinese New 4th Army linked up with Communist Chinese 8th Route Army at Baiju Village, Dongtai County, Jiangsu Province, China.

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