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Japanese Army Offensive April 1942

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  • Japanese Army Offensive April 1942

    From April 1942 the Japanese Army in China is suposed to have conducted a large scale offensive operation in central China, with objectives that included eradicating the Chinese inssurgents that aided the USAAF air crew who raided the japanese home islands and to destroy any Chinese held airfields in reach. ther emay have been other objectives which I am unaware of. This offensive sis suposed to have lasted more than two months, and killed over 250,000 Chinese civilians.

    I'm searching for reliable sources that provide details on Japanese operations at this time in China. The reasoning behind this or these operations, the objectives, size of Japanese & Chinese forces involved civilian casualties, ect.. are some of the details I am looking for.

    Thanks for any refrences on this & for any summaries from any experts.

  • #2
    Here's a starting point from the WWII database
    Home Events The Second Sino-Japanese War/CBI Theater Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign
    Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign
    15 May 1942 - 15 Sep 1942

    Contributor: C. Peter Chen
    The coastal region of Zhejiang and the neighboring province of Jiangxi in China were just beyond Japanese control in early 1942, and the American Doolittle Raiders took advantage of this, crash landing their bombers and sought civilian help after attacking the Japanese home islands. The Japanese Army's China Expeditionary Force dispatched a force of 180,000 men on a punitive campaign into the region as a response in mid-May 1942, clashing against the 300,000-strong but poorly-equipped Chinese 3rd War Area. As the Japanese pushed back Chinese defenders and took control of towns and villages, anyone suspected of aiding US airmen were summarily executed, and some of the villages were burned to the ground as a form of collective punishment. During the campaign, the Chinese suffered 70,000 casualties and the Japanese suffered 36,000 casualties. The Chinese estimated that 250,000 civilians were killed by the Japanese during this punitive campaign; the Japanese were also suspected of spreading cholera, typhoid, plague, and dysentery pathogens around this time in the Zhejiang-Jiangxi region for experimentation purposes. Shunroku Hata, the commanding officer of the Japanese Army China Expeditionary Force, was later sentenced to a life imprisonment term by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East for his failure to prevent his troops from committing atrocities in China.

    Source: Wikipedia


    • #3
      Thanks. Several reasons for the question, but one was if this campaign would have been executed had the US bombers mostly reached their destination, vs emergency landings across Japanese controled territory. I am guessing not, but lack any information on Japanese 'anti bandit' or other offensive plans before the Tokyo raid occured.

      I've not studied any modern Chinese history for thirty plus years and appreciate the help.


      • #4
        Have you looked into The Battle for China: Essays on the Military History of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945, edited by Mark Peattie, Edward Drea, Hans van de Ven?

        Its on my list to read, so I can't recommend it to you yet. But the reviews are pretty good, and I'm sure you are familiar with Drea's work.


        • #5
          No, I;m unfamilar with that one. Anything published after circa 1980 I'd not have seen. My Asian studies effective stopped shortly after that year.

          Are you familar with that book? Any observations from it?



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