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  • WW1 Battles: Tsingtao

    One of the lesser known battles of WW1 Tsingtao was the largest action to take place in the Pacific Theatre during WW1. Involving more than 28,000 soldiers, 4,000 German, 1,500 British, and 23,000 Japanese, Tsingtao marked the end of German colonialism in the Pacific.

    Tsingtao is a large port city located in China. It was leased by the German goverment from China for use as a naval base. Germany secured the 99 year old lease following the murder of two German missionaries in 1898. After occupying Tsingtao the Germans proceeded to build strong defenses and numerous coastal guns. Stationed at Tsingtao were several small German vessels and approximately 4,000 German soldiers, and 60 Chinese policeman.

    On August 16, 1914, Japanese General Mitsuomi Kamio received instructions from his goverment informing him to prepare for the invasion of Tsingtao. One week later Japan declared war on Germany and proceeded to seize its colonies in the Pacific, which, fell quickly with little resistance. On August 24, 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Japan in support of their German allies and sent a small fleet of ships to the port of Tsingtao.

    On September 2, 1914, Kamio and the 18th division combined with forces from the Japanese navy and airforce began to bombard the port. The small German fleet, made mostly up of tiny yachts and torpedo boats, did their best to provide resistance to the Japanese fleet and sank a few large Japanese vessels. However, they were quickly overwhelmed and soon were rendered incapable of launching any attacks. The squadron that the Austrian-Hungarians sent served admirably but it to was quickly overwhelmed by Japanese forces and on November 2, 1914 the flagship of the Austrian fleet, the SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth, was scuttled and her guns removed to form a new battery.

    The Germans continued to resist the massive force opposing them and the seige continued. Japanese artillery, and naval forces continued to pummel the German defenses. The airforce launched bombing raids that caused little damge but lowered German morale. Kamio was careful not to launch any frontal attacks on the fort knowing that German machine guns and mortars would cut his troops to pieces. Instead he favoured night raids and flanking movements. Despite this casulties were high among the Japanese.

    By the beginning of November the German situation was desperate due to the dwindling amount of ammunition and supplies. On November 7, 1914, the German garrison surrendered to the Japanese. Before surrendering the Chinese Dragon, German airman Gunther Plushchow, flew out of the city with important documents. Amazingly, he reached Germany in 1915 and continued to fight. He survived the war but was killed in a plane crash in Argentina in 1931. The surrender of Tsingtao marked the end of the Germans in China and was a great morale booster to the Japanese. Mitsuomi Kamio was praised for his excellent seige tactics and became a Japanese hero.
    There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. -Henry Kissinger

  • #2
    Map of Tsingtao

    I tried to attach a map of Tsingtao but it was to big so please visit this website:http://www.reverso.net/url/result.as...t_kolonien.htm

    And scroll down to Kiautschou and then click on map. Sorry, but I couldn't get a direct link.
    There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. -Henry Kissinger

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    • #3
      So, what are people's thoughts on the battle?
      There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. -Henry Kissinger

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Napoleon
        So, what are people's thoughts on the battle?
        To tell the truth I never even knew there was a Pacific theater of operations in WW1. The Germans accounted for themselves pretty well considering they were outnumbered 6 to 1. Did Germany have many colonies in the Pacific? I suppose the only way the Germans had to supply the garrison was by the very port that was under attack? How did China feel about a two month long battle on their territory? A very interesting story Napoleon, thanks for bringing it to my attention. I'm learning much from this forum. By the way Happy Birthday.

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        • #5
          Re: WW1 Battles: Tsingtao

          Originally posted by Napoleon
          One of the lesser known battles of WW1 Tsingtao was the largest action to take place in the Pacific Theatre during WW1. Involving more than 28,000 soldiers, 4,000 German, 1,500 British, and 23,000 Japanese, Tsingtao marked the end of German colonialism in the Pacific.

          Tsingtao is a large port city located in China. It was leased by the German goverment from China for use as a naval base. Germany secured the 99 year old lease following the murder of two German missionaries in 1898. After occupying Tsingtao the Germans proceeded to build strong defenses and numerous coastal guns. Stationed at Tsingtao were several small German vessels and approximately 4,000 German soldiers, and 60 Chinese policeman.

          On August 16, 1914, Japanese General Mitsuomi Kamio received instructions from his goverment informing him to prepare for the invasion of Tsingtao. One week later Japan declared war on Germany and proceeded to seize its colonies in the Pacific, which, fell quickly with little resistance. On August 24, 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Japan in support of their German allies and sent a small fleet of ships to the port of Tsingtao.

          On September 2, 1914, Kamio and the 18th division combined with forces from the Japanese navy and airforce began to bombard the port. The small German fleet, made mostly up of tiny yachts and torpedo boats, did their best to provide resistance to the Japanese fleet and sank a few large Japanese vessels. However, they were quickly overwhelmed and soon were rendered incapable of launching any attacks. The squadron that the Austrian-Hungarians sent served admirably but it to was quickly overwhelmed by Japanese forces and on November 2, 1914 the flagship of the Austrian fleet, the SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth, was scuttled and her guns removed to form a new battery.

          The Germans continued to resist the massive force opposing them and the seige continued. Japanese artillery, and naval forces continued to pummel the German defenses. The airforce launched bombing raids that caused little damge but lowered German morale. Kamio was careful not to launch any frontal attacks on the fort knowing that German machine guns and mortars would cut his troops to pieces. Instead he favoured night raids and flanking movements. Despite this casulties were high among the Japanese.

          By the beginning of November the German situation was desperate due to the dwindling amount of ammunition and supplies. On November 7, 1914, the German garrison surrendered to the Japanese. Before surrendering the Chinese Dragon, German airman Gunther Plushchow, flew out of the city with important documents. Amazingly, he reached Germany in 1915 and continued to fight. He survived the war but was killed in a plane crash in Argentina in 1931. The surrender of Tsingtao marked the end of the Germans in China and was a great morale booster to the Japanese. Mitsuomi Kamio was praised for his excellent seige tactics and became a Japanese hero.
          Good description Napy. One thing, what happened to the German POWs? Were they treated the same way as the US and British forces in WW2?
          http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

          Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

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          • #6
            Re: Re: WW1 Battles: Tsingtao

            Originally posted by dannybou
            Good description Napy. One thing, what happened to the German POWs? Were they treated the same way as the US and British forces in WW2?
            Doubtful, Japan didnít begin to treat prisoners that way until between the wars. Their treatment of Russian prisoners in the 1904-1905 war was exemplary.
            Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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            • #7
              Ok, here is what I didn't find much on the prisoners but I agree with tsar's observation. What I found states that the prisoners were taken to Japan and put in POW camps for five years before being released. Some of the high ranking officers were kept for six years. Below is a photo of some of the prisoners in a Japanese camp.
              Attached Files
              There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. -Henry Kissinger

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Napoleon
                Ok, here is what I didn't find much on the prisoners but I agree with tsar's observation. What I found states that the prisoners were taken to Japan and put in POW camps for five years before being released. Some of the high ranking officers were kept for six years. Below is a photo of some of the prisoners in a Japanese camp.
                Thanks Napoleon.
                http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

                Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tiger1
                  To tell the truth I never even knew there was a Pacific theater of operations in WW1. The Germans accounted for themselves pretty well considering they were outnumbered 6 to 1. Did Germany have many colonies in the Pacific? I suppose the only way the Germans had to supply the garrison was by the very port that was under attack? How did China feel about a two month long battle on their territory? A very interesting story Napoleon, thanks for bringing it to my attention. I'm learning much from this forum. By the way Happy Birthday.
                  Yes, there definitely was a Pacific Theater of War. Ever since I became moderator of the WW1 forum its become a bit of an obsession. Did Germany have many colonies in the pacific? Not including Tsingtao the Germans controlled Samoa, New Guinea, the Caroline Island, the Marshall Islands, and many small isolated islands throughtout the Pacific. I do not know how they supplied their colonies but I would imagine through Tsingtao and through trading with other countries in peactime. How did China feel? No idea, you have to remember that there isn't a lot of info on the Pacific Theatre in WW1. But try to remember that China was really disjointed and in turmoil at that point in its history. So there was no real, sound, goverment.


                  I have found a most excellent site on German colonies in WW1. Please, please, check it out it will answer many of your questions. I have linked you to the interesting facts section of the page. Some amazing facts about Germany's colonies. http://www.sacktrick.com/igu/germanc...orms/facts.htm
                  There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. -Henry Kissinger

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Napoleon
                    Yes, there definitely was a Pacific Theater of War. Ever since I became moderator of the WW1 forum its become a bit of an obsession. Did Germany have many colonies in the pacific? Not including Tsingtao the Germans controlled Samoa, New Guinea, the Caroline Island, the Marshall Islands, and many small isolated islands throughtout the Pacific. I do not know how they supplied their colonies but I would imagine through Tsingtao and through trading with other countries in peactime. How did China feel? No idea, you have to remember that there isn't a lot of info on the Pacific Theatre in WW1. But try to remember that China was really disjointed and in turmoil at that point in its history. So there was no real, sound, goverment.


                    I have found a most excellent site on German colonies in WW1. Please, please, check it out it will answer many of your questions. I have linked you to the interesting facts section of the page. Some amazing facts about Germany's colonies. http://www.sacktrick.com/igu/germanc...orms/facts.htm
                    Excellent info Napoleon, many thanks.:thumb:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Napoleon
                      Yes, there definitely was a Pacific Theater of War. Ever since I became moderator of the WW1 forum its become a bit of an obsession. Did Germany have many colonies in the pacific? Not including Tsingtao the Germans controlled Samoa, New Guinea, the Caroline Island, the Marshall Islands, and many small isolated islands throughtout the Pacific. I do not know how they supplied their colonies but I would imagine through Tsingtao and through trading with other countries in peactime. How did China feel? No idea, you have to remember that there isn't a lot of info on the Pacific Theatre in WW1. But try to remember that China was really disjointed and in turmoil at that point in its history. So there was no real, sound, goverment.


                      I have found a most excellent site on German colonies in WW1. Please, please, check it out it will answer many of your questions. I have linked you to the interesting facts section of the page. Some amazing facts about Germany's colonies. http://www.sacktrick.com/igu/germanc...orms/facts.htm
                      Germany kept these colonies mainly for use as coaling stations. One of the main reasons Japan entered WW I was because it wanted to gain these bases for its own use. A point that is often overlooked is that many islands that were fought over in WW II had been German territories prior to WW I.
                      Lance W.

                      Peace through superior firepower.

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                      • #12
                        I found a very detailed map of Tsingtao. Unfortunatly it is in German. Maybe one of our German speaking members could help translate?

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Q...hern-china.jpg
                        There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. -Henry Kissinger

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                        • #13
                          Interesting fact:To rid Germany of her colonies in the Pacific and Africa the Allies suffered 18,000 casulties. The Germans lost nowhere near that.
                          There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. -Henry Kissinger

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                          • #14
                            i'm learning more from this web site than i can believe! thanks everybody!
                            i yam what i yam and thats what i yam!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dannybou View Post
                              Good description Napy. One thing, what happened to the German POWs? Were they treated the same way as the US and British forces in WW2?
                              Actually, I read on an alternate site that they were treated rather well and repatriated back to Germany after the war ended.
                              "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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