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Rapcw

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The Beginning​

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In early 1936, Japan was a nation of oppurtunity. After her succesful victories over China and Russia, Japan became a nation of power. By joining on the Allies side in WW1, Japan inherited German colonies in the Pacific region, and furthered her colonies. Japan was not satisfied with these expansions, and yearned for more. In 1931 Japan invaded Manchuria and set up a puppet government of Manchukuo. This benefited Japan, but angered China and the Western powers, especially the UK and America. Japan then left the League of Nations in protest. She is surrounded by powerful enemies: the Soviet Union to her North, America to her East, and Britain to her West. But she is also surrounded by weak nations waiting to be conquered: China and its warlords, the Phillipines, Siam. The Japanese empire is just getting started.
 

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Good luck my friend!

Haven't played a Japan game yet, will have to get to it soon.

I just can't get enough of Nationalist China atm.

Anyhow, carry on! :)
 

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The Coup and it's effect on Japanese Expansion

In February 1936 there were tensions in the Imperial army and it's thoughts on how Japan should expand. Some radicals decided that it was the politicians fault for not being agressive enough in Japan's foreign policy, and decided it was up to them to right this wrong and eliminate those politicians they felt weren't doing a good job. On February 26 1400 military officers took up arms in the capital, occupying the Diet, army ministry, and police headquarters. Three cabinet members were killed. A group of officers went to the Prime Ministers residence, and attempted to kill Prime Minister Okada Keisuke, Admiral Suzuki Kantaro, and Prince Saionji Kimmochi. Hirohito decided to listen to their demands, and the 'pro-peace' cabinet members were forced to step down, in place of new, more conservative ones. In addition Japan's policies were changed radically to much more authoritarian country. If any Japanese citizens or people abroad had any hope for a peaceful country, their dreams were crushed that day.
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The new Japanese cabinet and political sliders.

Japan and her industries during 1936 were dedicated mainly to upgrading the many divisions stationed throughout the empire. The JAAF was forced to disband all but 1 division of tactical bombers, but the naval bombers were allowed to be kept. Because of this upgrading only a destroyer division was built during 1936.

The new Japanese leaders were wanting to expand, but did not know where. Her military was not yet strong enough to invade a major country, including Nationalist China. But in Summer 1936, an oppurtunity came. The country of Guanxi Clique had been lately having strained relations with Nationalist China, and after border fights Nationalist China invaded. Japan, seeing this oppurtunity for expansion, seized it.

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On August 14 at 10:00 AM Japan declared war on the warlord nation of Guangxi Clique, because of a supposed attack on Japanese ships in the area, even though Guangxi Clique had no navy. The invasion force would consist of Yamashita's Fourth Army.

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Guangxi Clique invasion Force

Fourth Army's 13 division would land on Hainan island at 2:00 PM on August 14. It faced 1 division, and the battle lasted 3 days before the enemy retreated.

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Battle of Hainan

By August 28 Hainan island was captured and Zhanjiang as well, thanks to Lt. General Okamura and his 13 Hendan's speedy movement.

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On 4th September 5 divisions of Fourth Army fought 3 divisions of Guangxi Clique in Maoming. The fighting was hard but eventually superior Japanese numbers and training won the day.


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Battle of Maoming

Because of negligible resistance the main thing holding Fourth Army up was the difficult terrain needed to maneouver. However, there were some rather large battles. On September 12 6 divisions under Okamura fought 4 Guangxi divisions in Liuzhou. Okamura once again showed his skill by using the terrain to his advantage, and nearly encircling the 4 divisions before they decided to retreat. Because of his intelligence he was promoted to General.

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Battle of Liuzhou

Unfortuanately, Nationalist Chinese troops got there first. A war could have started right there, if not for Okamura's negotiating skills, and the Japanese troops left in peace.

The final battle of the war would take place in Bose, in the far west territories of Guangxi Clique. At 2:00 AM on September 25 5 divisions under Yamashita's control attacked 7 remnant divisions of Guangxi Clique. Because of low morale in Guangxi divisions the battle was over by 3:00 AM.

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Battle of Bose

On October 2nd, the diplomats of Guangxi Clique offered Japan a peace deal.

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Despite having to return Nanning, Japan would recieve 2 provinces it hadn't even fought over: Bao'an, and Shantou. Japan decided that this was a good offer, and accepted. At 7:00 PM on October 2, 1936 all Japanese armed forces respected a ceasefire between the two countries.

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New Japanese territories, and Guangxi Clique remnant

The Japanese public was thrilled by this new expansion, but the leaders and generals were dissapointed. The leaders of Japan had hoped that by invading, they would recieve more industries, but by handing over Nanning, they were left with just territory. The military leaders were upset by how long the invasion took. What should have been finished in 2 weeks took much longer than expected. When the Japanese soldiers fought they usually won with the odds greatly in their favor, but the military believed that there were many unnecessary casulties. The armies mobility was also lacking. And the upgrading was not finished on all the units yet, as some divisions had obsolete 1918 equipment and artillery still. But it did expand the empire, and the leaders believed that what was not completed in this war would be completed in the future war with all of China. The question was, when that war came, would Japan be ready?
 
Last edited:

unmerged(37408)

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looking good for china, btw for the Japanese air force, its not JAAF, but i believe it would be something like IJAF(imperial japanese air force)
 

Rapcw

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Thanks for the support Adaptation. I believe you are correct, but the air force was also split into two factions: the Japanese Army Air Force for the army, and Japanese Naval Air Force for the navy. I referred to JAAF because of the disbanding of army air units.

Btw i'll try to get another update in as soon as possible today.
 

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The War in China Part I : High Hopes, Dashed Dreams

In early 1937 the upgrading of IJA units was completed, and construction began on new units. The first plan for expanding the army was 6 x 6 infantry divisions. This was expected to be finished in February 1938. This was bad news for the High Command who expected the war to began at the earliest in August 1937. So it was a great suprise to everyone when on June 4, 1937 the Marco Polo Bridge incident happened to Japan. Japanese leaders knew, or thought atleast, that if they were to step down on this, Japan would look weak to the rest of the world and have great shame, and that the Japanese civillians would question the militarys ability to defend the Empire. However, by going to war now, the army would have recieved only half of the promised divisions for the invasion of China, meaning that the war would take much longer and at greater cost in lives. However all agreed that stepping down on this would cause great shame to the country, and decided to follow through with the war.

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Because of this new development, Japanese war planners had to hastily change their invasion plan to better suit the lowered division count. Their solution was to have Japanese troops advance a few provinces and then encircle the enemy, and then advance and encircle again until the enemy had considerably less divisions so the army units could begin to advance outright. This was much different from the earlier plan, in which Japanese troops would simply advance far into China, encircling only when it was necessary. The question was, could this plan work.

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Japanese invasion plan in the north of China

This plan would be carried out by all mobile Japanese divisions in the region. They consisted of:

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Northern Japanese invasion force

The troops based in Tangshan especially needed reinforcements. This is because the troops based here were used in the invasion of Guangxi Clique, and so stayed in Guangxi Clique to defend the region.

On June 4th, at 2:00 AM Japanese troops began to advance across the Chinese border. At 3:00 AM Japanese troops established contact with enemy divisions in all sectors.

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Battle of Beijing

In the battle of Beijing, IGHQ decided that since fighting in the city of Beijing would be very tough, 12 divisions would be needed. The fighting was very fierce, but in the end Japanese troops overwhelmed the stunned Chinese defenders.

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Battle of Tianjin

The battle of Tianjin's outcome was less obvious. 6 Japanese divisions faced 6 Chinese divisions. The fighting was very fierce on the plains with organized resistance lasting until 10:00 AM.

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Battle of Jining

The battle of Jining was also an important victory of the early war. 9 divisions of Japanese soldiers, included 6 divions of calvalry, engaged 6 divisions of Shanxi troops. The battle lasted a few hours before the Chinese divisions decided to retreat.

These early victories were to be expected, but the real victory would be pocketing many chinese divisions, leaving their frontlines open for offense. After the victory at Tianjin, IGHQ(Imperial General Headquaters) ordered 5 Gundan under General Ando to attack and occupy Shijiazhuang, thus closing off a Chinese retreat to the south. The battle for the city was won and General Ando's divisions at first occupied the province. But the unexpected attack by Chinese divisions both inside the pocket and outside caught 5 Gundan by suprise. Overwhelmingly outnumbered, General Ando with great shame on June 18 ordered the retreat of his corps. The plan for encirclement was setback quite a bit because of this.

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Situation on June 18, 1937

But there was still hope. In Jining General Nishio's Mongol Army of 6 calvalry divisions was engaging Chinese troops in Datong. The Japanese won the first battle, but Chinese reinforcements arrived, forcing Nishio to halt his attack for the time being. The plan for encirclement would have to wait.
 
Last edited:

jose1357

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Word, defeats the purpose if all your forces arrive at diff. times & are forced 2 retreat...also are you developing tanks for a Japanese Blitzkrieg?
 

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@elbasto: My next update will be devoted to the Southern front, and it doesn't get any easier down there.

@hurricanehunter: I know it is really difficult to pull off complex manoveures in China. It seems that if you just have a agressive attacks you are more sucessful. If I play as Japan again next time I will use that strategy. Thanks for the luck.

@jose1357: Yes I am developing tanks for the Pacific war operations. I wont start building them until 1940, but i will have tank and motorized divisions in the future.


I'll try to get my next update up this evening.
 

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The War in China Part II : Shame in the South

As the war in the North bogged down, Japanese leaders were concerned about how long the war would last. They had already claimed to the public that the war would be over by the end of the year, and that now seemed to be far from the truth. But if the situation in the South turned out to be good, then perhaps their words could be correct.

The military planners of the China war always believed that the Southern front would be a secondary theater to the fighting in the North. The troop deployments in the region asserted this. The units in the south were largely the same as the forces used in the Guangxi Clique invasion. The planners didn't feel the need to have reinforcements deployed to the area though, because they felt that Chinese resistance there would be light.

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Southern region invasion plans

The divisions to be used in this campaign were as follows:

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Japanese troop deployments in the region

Aside from a new garrison division in Bao'an, the divisions were the same as the Guangxi Clique invasion, with the same leaders. The plan was a relatively simple one: majority of divisions would advance into the interior, with one gundan advancing along the coast northwards. Japanese leaders were sure that this plan would succeed, because of their previous experience of fighting in the region.

On June 4th, 1937 at 3:00 AM, Japanese units in the south engaged their Chinese foes.

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Battle of Bose

In the battle of Bose, Yamashita once again defeated token Guangxi Clique resistance. The battle was fought largely over the same ground as a year before and so Yamashita had the advantage of previous experience in the region. Organized resistance ended at 8:00 AM.

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Battle of Wuzhou

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Japanese soldiers in the battle of Wuzhou

In the battle of Wuzhou, 2 Japanese divisions engaged 1 Chinese division. Despite having to cross a river and fighting in forests, the Japanese forces promptly defeated the Chinese defenders. The battle was over at 8:00 AM on June 4th.

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Battle of Guangzhou

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Japanese soldiers attacking Chinese defenses at Guangzhou
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The battle of Guangzhou was less sucessful. 3 divisions under Field Marshal Hata engaged 3 dug in Chinese divisions. Japanese soldiers had to fight over difficult terrain and cross rivers under fire, taking heavy losses. Hata, realizing that there were not enough soldiers to break through, ordered a halt to operations in the area. Japanese troops fell back at 10:00 PM June 4th.

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Battle of Xiamen

Operations in the South-East didn't fare any better. In the battle of Xiamen, General Okamura's 13. Hendan engaged 4 divisions of Chinese. Fighting against superior numbers of dug in troops in difficult terrain proved too much even for General Okamura. Deciding the fighting was hopeless, he ordered a withdrawal to resupply and heal. Fighting ended at 9:00 AM on June 4th.

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Battle of Chao'an

However there was a victory in the South-East, atleast for a while. General Yokoyama's 1 Gundan engaged 3 divisions of Chinese regulars at 3:00 AM June 4th in Chao'an. Despite terrain victory was achieved by 12:00 June 5th. At 7:00 PM on June 10th, 1 Gundan secured the province. But the province was not long in Japanese hands when a Chinese counterattack occured at 8:00 AM June 11th. Japanese units were not prepared to defend their position, and at 11:00 PM, after a hard fight, Yokoyama ordered an evactuation back to Shantou. He arrived there on June 20th, and would remain there with 1 Gundan until reinforcements arrived in 1938.

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Situation in the South on June 12th, 1937

On 25th June at 12:00 PM Japanese troops were attacked by Nationalist Chinese forces in the province of Wuzhou. 14. Hendan under Lt. General Yamada put up a strong defense, but by 3:00 AM on June 26th there position was hopeless, and they were forced to retreat to Maoming. 14. Hendan arrived in Maoming July 1st.

At 1:00 PM on July 17th Japanese infantry were attacked in the province of Bose. Yamashita put up a spirited defense, with Chinese troops suffering heavy casulties in their assault. But in the end, superior Chinese numbers were to much, and at 5:00 AM on July 18th, Yamashita ordered 4 Gundam to fall back to Qinzhou. At 2:00 PM on July 29th, Yamashita's divisions were attacked by Chinese units in Qinzhou. By 4:00 AM on July 30th, Yamashita once again was forced to retreat, this time to Zhanjiang.

In early August, IGHQ decided that the situation in the South was a disaster. They decided that the divisions should fall back and consolidate their power. In the South-west, 4 Hendan and 14. Gundan would fall back to Zhanjiang and defend that peninsula, and Manchuria Exp Army HQ would fall back from Jiangmen to Maoming to set up defenses there. By August 14th the retreat was completed, and there the divisions stayed until spring of next year. On August 20th, Japan lost the undefended province of Jiangmen to Nationalist soldiers.

In the South-east, IGHQ issued similar orders, with all units being ordered to defend Bao'an and Shantou. However, disaster struck when Bao'an was attacked by Nationalist forces on August 13 at 12:00 PM. Defended only by a garrison division, IGHQ quickly ordered 13. Hendan under Okamura to help in the defense. But Okamura was too late. Despite a ferocious defense by the garrison, by midnight of August 14th organized resistance was over and many men were killed or captured. There were many small groups of men attempting to reach Shantou, but only a handful made it to Japanese lines. The High Command couldn't believe that they could have lost a division, especially to the inferior Chinese. This knowledge was kept from the Japanese public, for fear of the response. On August 15th Chinese troops conquered the whole of Bao'an province, and only Shantou was left to defend.

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Japanese soldiers defend Bao'an

Japanese leaders now wrote off the southern region until sufficient reinforcements could arrive to renew offensives. That would not be for a long time however, and for the rest of 1937 and early '38, the soldiers there just built defenses and waited. The war in China, once thought of as a quick campaign, was now turning into a quagmire.
 
Last edited:
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Yep, this is exactly what happened in my game. I managed to make it to that first big river, but I could't cross it, and had lost 14 divisions on a failed attack on Nanjing. However, on a second try, I was able to defeat china by focusing completley on infantry at the start, and simply bulldozing everything in my way, instead of going for ecirclements.
 

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China looks like such a nice place to encircle the enemy to crush them, but that's far from the truth, due to painfully slow speeds caused by crappy Infra and the terrain.

Encirclements have to be done using overwhelming force, you can't rely on being able to race around in a circle like German Panzers to swallow up entire armies. You have to force an unbreakable cordon of infantry around the Chinese divisions, and THEN crush them inside.

Often, you'll want to pull back enough so that more Chinese can come in, and spring the same trap over and over again to crush more divisions. Making new encirclements is FAR harder in China than re-using old ones.

Spring those encirclements as often as you can, though, even for insignificant targets like single divisions or tiny groups. You can't catch many at one time unless you're lucky on the North front, but taking their divisions one and two at a time means you can perform more encirclements without the enemy inflitrating into the flanks of the pincers to break your encirclement.

Basically, China really sucks as a place to fight in.
 

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The War in China Part III : The Campaign in the North and Landings 1937

Battles by 7 and 8 Gundan
In June 1937 it became apparent to the IGHQ that no further offensive could be launched in the North until reinforcements arrived. It was decided that there should be a landing on the northern coast of China by new divisions recently mobilized. This landing would take place in either Qingdao or Yantai, depending on which beach had defenses. Both had atleast a division defending it, until on July 1st the beaches of Yantai were left undefended. IGHQ siezed this opportunity and landed 6 divisions under 8 and 7 Gundan. At 7:00 AM on July 3rd the divisions landed to minimal resistance and secured the province.

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Japanese landing on Yantai July 3rd, 1937

With the province secure, the 2 corps were ordered to attack Jinan and Qingdao in order to expand there perimeter. The attacks began on July 7th, with the attack on Jinan being successful. On July 22 8 Gundan arrived in Jinan, but was forced to pull back to Yantai shortly after. At 11:00 AM July 23rd 7 Gundan engaged Chinese divisions in Qingdao. Fighting lasted until 6:00 PM. But at 7:00 PM Chinese reinforcements arrived, fighting Japanese units until 4:00 AM July 28th. Fighting was very fierce, with some territory changing hands several times during the battle.

p12.jpg
Japanese machine gun in action, Qingdao

On July 30th, 7 Gundan secured the province.

Closing the pocket
During July IJA units made more territorial gains in the North, capturing Yucheng, Baoding, and Shijiazhuang. On July 17th at 6:00 PM, General Nishio led 12 divisions-9 from Jining, with 3 supporting from Baoding- in another attack on Datong. They were fighting 5 Chinese divisions defending the region. Fighting was very fierce, with Chinese units dug in in trenches cut into the mountains, but by 7:00 AM July 18th the first battle was over. Chinese forces continued to attack in sporadic offensives, but their resistance was negligible.

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Battle of Datong at 9:00 PM July 17th, and 6:00 AM on July 18th

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Japanese front line, Northern Theater, July 18th, 1937

Japanese forces occupy Datong on July 27th. With Datong secured, Japanese units set about eliminating the pocket. 15. Hendan assaulted the encircled Chinese divisions at 4:00 AM August 4th. Soldiers in the pocket fought for their lives, but by 6:00 AM the last of the defenders gave up. The number of soldiers destroyed in the pocket is hard to say, as different sources give different numbers, but it is estimated atleast 1 division of Chinese troops was eliminated. On August 9th, 15. Hendan captured the province of Kalgan. With the pocket secure, more Japanese divisions were freed to go to the frontline, and the offensives could begin.

Summer Offensives
On July 27th at 1:00 AM units of Kwantung Theater Army HQ and 6. Hendan assaulted the province of Taiyuan. Japanese soldiers were victorious by 7:00 AM. On July 28th at 8:00 AM Chinese counterattacked, and fighting lasted until 3:00 PM before the Chinese retired. By August 19th, Taiyuan was declared secure.

On August 18th 6 Japanese divisions of the Mongol Army engaged Chinese divisions in Changzhi, fighting lasting until early the next day. On August 26th Mongol Army arrived in Changzhi.

At 6:00 PM August 19th units of 7 and 8 Gundan engaged 3 Chinese divisions in the province of Jinan. Heavy losses occured on both sides, but the Chinese general decided to retreat at 5:00 AM August 20th.

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Battle of Jinan

An offensive was also launched at Hohhot, with 6 division assaulting the province at 10:00 AM August 26th. Fighting was fierce, lasting until 4:00 AM on the 27th, when Chinese divisions retreated. By September 3rd Japan controlled the Province. With the Northern front secured, this would be the last offensive in the Far North of China until 1938.

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Frontline as of August 20th, 1937

New Landings
With the construction of 7 new divisions in late August, IGHQ had a new oppurtunity to open another front. The province of Fuzhou was chosen as the landing site. 10, 11, and 14 Gundan would be used in the assault. on September 5th the divisions landed against light resistance by 1 Chinese division. By September 8th the province was secure, at minimal casulties. 1 division was left to guard Fuzhou, and 6 divisions captured Wenzhou on September 16th. 11 Gundan then assaulted Ningbo, which it captured on the 22nd. On the 21st 14 Gundan attacked Quzhou, arriving in the province on the 25th. However, on the 15th of October, Japanese units were attacked in Fuzhou and lost, losing the province on the 17th. On the 21st of October, Japan lost a battle in Quzhou, losing that province on the 26th. On November 7th, Wenzhou was also lost, leaving only Ningbo in Japanese hands. Luckily, a new beachhead was established on that day, in Nantong.

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Nantong invasion force

The Nantong province was secured on the 10th. On the 11th at 3:00 PM, 3 Japanese divisions of 16 Gundan engaged 1 Chinese division in Suzhou. Fighting was very intense, with small groups of Chinese soldiers defending nearly every building. Eventually though they were destroyed or gave up, with the battle being declared over at 8:00 AM on the 12th.

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Japanese soldiers in Suzhou

With 16 Gundan arriving in Suzhou on the 16th, the Fuzhou landing force was presented with a great opportunity. If They could capture Hangzhou, they could surround Shanghai. At 2:00 AM November 17th 7 divisions under Kanin attacked the 4 defending Chinese divisions.

hangzhou0bh.jpg
Battle of Hangzhou, as of 10:00 PM

By 11:00 PM on the 17th, the battle was over. On November 19th 11 and 14 Gundan arrived in Hangzhou, with 10 Gundan left to defend Ningbo. But that very day Chinese forces assaulted Ningbo, forcing 10 gundan to retreat, and Chinese divisions captured Ningbo on the 26th. But the trap was already sprung, and at 2:00 PM on the 26th 16 Gundan under General Tojo faced 1 cavalry division in the rubble of Shanghai.

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Japanese forces fighting in the rubble of a train station, Shanghai

Fighting continued until 3:00 AM on the 27th. Tojo, angered by this, ordered the execution of Chinese prisoners. When Japanese leaders heard about this, they immediately sent him a wire telling him to change the order. Tojo reluctantly agreed.

Gains in the North
While the landings were taking place, IJA soldiers in the north were also gaining ground. on September 28th Japanese units assaulted the surrounded Chinese division in Handan. While a small victory, it did help in the morale of IJA personnel in the field. Gains were also made in Anyang and Luoyang. Lianyungang was captured on December 18th.

frontline21hd.jpg
Japanese Frontline 30th December, 1937

As Japan entered into 1938, it seemed that the situation in China was changing. With reinforcements constantly pouring in, and new offensives being created constantly, it looked like the war would be over soon. When was soon though?
 
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elbasto

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mmm... call this a stupid idea if you think but I'm experienceless in HoI2

There is a big number of Chinese divisions with the 1918 standards... and upgrading those costs IC and time, specially if you have a drafted army like the Chinese...

So maybe if you seize their industrial centers fast enough you will be fighting them in the mountains... but with considerable technological superior...

any thoughts?
 

Rapcw

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Hmm that is something that I will consider in my next game as Japan, for in this one I'm already into mid-40 and China is long gone. In this game I was usually going after victory points, which are also usually industrial centers. I think that this war should have already been over however, as in my Japan game before this I had already beaten Nationalist China by early 38. I think the problem was I focused too much on encircling, and not enough on just taking as much territory as possible in the beginning. Good observations though.