The Full Wiki

Operation Ichi-Go: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Operation Ichi-Go
Part of Second Sino-Japanese War
Ichigo plan.jpg
Japanese plan for Operation Ichi-Go
Date 17 April – 10 December, 1944[1]
Location Henan, Hunan and Guangxi
Result Decisive Japanese victory
Belligerents
 Republic of China
National Revolutionary Army
United States United States Army Air Forces, United States
 Empire of Japan
Commanders
Republic of China Tang Enbo
Republic of China Xue Yue
Republic of China Bai Chongxi
Japan Shunroku Hata
Japan Yasuji Okamura
Japan Isamu Yokoyama
Strength
390,000 men 510,000 men
15,500 vehicles
1,500 artillery pieces
800 tanks
70,000 horses

Operation Ichi-Go (一号作戦 Ichi-gō Sakusen, lit. "Operation Number One") was a campaign of a series of major battles between the Imperial Japanese Army forces and the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China, fought from April to December 1944. It consisted of three separate battles in the Chinese provinces of Henan, Hunan and Guangxi, which were the Japanese Operation Kogo or Battle of Central Henan, Operation Togo 1 or the Battle of Changheng, and Operation Togo 2 and Togo 3 or the Battle of Guilin-Liuzhou respectively. The two primary goals of Ichi-go were to open a land route to French Indochina, and capture air bases in southeast China from which American bombers were attacking the Japanese homeland and shipping.[2]

In Japanese the operation was also called Tairiku Datsū Sakusen (大陸打通作戦), or "Continent Cross-Through Operation", while the Chinese refer to it as the Battle of Henan-Hunan-Guangxi (simplified Chinese: 豫湘桂会战traditional Chinese: 豫湘桂會戰pinyin: Yù Xīang Guì Huìzhàn).

Contents

Course of the campaign

There were two phases to the operation. In the first phase, the Japanese secured the Pinghan Railway between Beijing and Wuhan; in the second, they eliminated the US air forces stationed in Hunan province and reached the city of Liuzhou, near the border with Japanese-held Indochina. 17 divisions, including 510,000 men, 15,500 vehicles, 1,500 artillery pieces, 800 tanks and 70,000 horses participated in this operation. The Japanese included crack Kwantung Army units and equipment from Manchukuo, mechanized units, units from the North China theater and units from mainland Japan to participate in this campaign. It was the largest land campaign organized by the Japanese during the entire Second Sino-Japanese War. Many of the newest American-trained Chinese units and supplies were forcibly locked in the Burmese theater under Joseph Stilwell set by terms of the Lend-Lease Agreement.

In the Operation Kogo, 390,000 Chinese soldiers, led by General Tang Enbo (汤恩伯), were deployed to defend the strategic position of Luoyang. The 3rd Tank Division of the IJA crossed the Yellow River around Zhengzhou in late April and defeated Chinese forces near Xuchang, then swung around clockwise and besieged Luoyang. Luoyang was defended by three Chinese divisions. The 3rd Tank Division began to attack Luoyang on May 13 and took it on May 25.

The second phase of Ichigo began in May, following the success of the first phase. Japanese forces advanced southward and occupied Changsha, Hengyang, Guilin and Liuzhou. In December 1944, Japanese forces reached French Indochina and achieved the purpose of the operation. Nevertheless, there were few practical gains from this offensive. US air forces moved inland from the threatened bases near the coast. The U.S. Fourteenth Air Force often disrupted the continuous railway between Beijing and Liuzhou that had been established in Operation Ichigo. Japan continued to attack airfields where US air forces were stationed up to the spring of 1945.

The XX Bomber Command operating Strategic B-29 bombers of the Twentieth Air Force, which were attacking Japan in Operation Matterhorn, were forced to move as well, but although this affected their efficiency for a short time, in early 1945 the Twentieth Air Force moved to newly established bases in the Marianas under the command of the newly established XXI Bomber Command. This nullified the limited protection that the Japanese home islands had received from Operation Ichigo.

Aftermath

With the rapid deterioration of the China front after Japanese launched Operation Ichi-Go in 1944, General Joseph Stilwell saw this as an opportunity to win his political struggle against Chiang Kai-shek and gain full command of all Chinese armed forces. He was able to convince General George Marshall to have President Roosevelt send an utimatum to Chiang threatening to end all American aid unless Chiang "at once" place Stilwell "in unrestricted command of all your forces."[3] An exultant Stilwell immediately delivered this letter to Chiang despite pleads from Patrick Hurley, Roosevelt's special envoy in China, to delay delivering the message and work on a deal that would achieve Stilwell's aim in a manner more acceptable to Chiang. [4] Seeing this act as a move toward the complete subjugation of China, a defiant Chiang gave a formal reply in which he said that Stilwell must be replaced immediately and he would welcome any other qualified U.S. general to fill Stilwell's position. [5][6] As a result he was replaced as Chief of Staff to Chiang Kai-Shek and commander of the U.S. Forces, China Theater (USFCT) by Major General Albert Wedemeyer. His other command responsibilities in the China Burma India Theater were divided up and allocated to other officers.

Although Chiang was successful in removing Stilwell, the public relations damage suffered by his Kuomintang regime was irreparable. Right before Stilwell's departure, New York Times drama critic-turned-war correspondent Brooks Atkinson interviewed him in Chungking and wrote: "The decision to relieve General Stilwell represents the political triumph of a moribund, anti-democratic regime that is more concerned with maintaining its political supremacy than in driving the Japanese out of China. The Chinese Communists... have good armies that they are claiming to be fighting guerrilla warfare against the Japanese in North China—actually they are covertly or even overtly building themselves up to fight Generalissimo's government forces... The Generalissimo naturally regards these armies as the chief threat to the country and his supremacy... has seen no need to make sincere attempt to arrange at least a truce with them for the duration of the war... No diplomatic genius could have overcome the Generalissimo's basic unwillingness to risk his armies in battle with the Japanese."[7]

This devastating loss coupled with the negative public opinion in the U.S. that followed caused the U.S. to lose confidence in the Chinese troops' ability to fight the Japanese, and subsequently the China-Burma-India Theatre lost its priority. Instead the U.S. focused all its resources on the Island-hopping offensive in the Pacific.

The Japanese successes in Operation ichi-Go had limited effect on the war. U.S. could still bomb the Japanese homeland from Saipan and other pacific bases. The Japanese forces could only control the cities but not their surrounding country side. The increased territory size also thins out the Japanese lines. A great majority of the Chinese forces were able to retreat out of the area, and later come back to attack Japanese positions. As a result future Japanese attempts to fight into Sichuan, such as in the Battle of West Hunan, ended in failure. All in all Japan was not any closer in defeating China after this operation. And the constant defeats the Japanese suffered in the Pacific means that Japan never got the time and resources needed to achieve total victory over China.

Mountain Road, by Theodore White, Time Magazine correspondent in China at the time, deals with a group of American soldiers retreating before this Japanese offensive.

References

  1. ^ Davison, John The Pacific War: Day By Day, pg. 37, 106
  2. ^ The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II: China Defensive, pg. 21
  3. ^ Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell's Command Problem, p.446-447
  4. ^ Lohbeck, Hurley, p.292
  5. ^ Lohbeck, Hurley, p.298
  6. ^ Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell's Command Problem, p.452
  7. ^ "Crisis". Time magazine quoting the New York Times. 1944-11-13. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,801570-4,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 

External links

Advertisements

Simple English

Operation Ichi-Go
Part of Second Sino-Japanese War
Date 17 April – 11 December 1944[1]
Location Henan, Hunan and Guangxi
Result Decisive Japanese tactical victory
Combatants
 Republic of China
National Revolutionary Army
United States Army Air Forces, United States
File:Merchant flag of Japan (1870).svg Empire of Japan
Commanders
Tang Enbo
Xue Yue
Bai Chongxi
Shunroku Hata
Yasuji Okamura
Isamu Yokoyama
Strength
390,000 men 510,000 men
15,500 vehicles
1,500 artillery pieces
800 tanks
70,000 horses

Operation Ichi-Go or "Operation Number One") was a series of battles between the armies of Japan and China. The battles happened between April and December 1944. There were three battles in the Chinese provinces of Henan, Hunan and Guangxi. The goals of Operation Ichi-go were to make a route to French Indochina and to capture bases that American bombers were using to attack Japan and her shipping.[2]

Course of the campaign

There were two parts to the operation. In the first part, the Japanese secured the Railway between Beijing and Wuhan. In the second part they destroyed the US air forces in Hunan province and reached the city of Liuzhou. Liuzhou was near the border with Japanese-occupied Indochina.

400,000 men, 12,000 vehicles and 70,000 horses took part in operation Ichi-Go. The Japanese army included the very well trained Kwantung Army units and equipment from Manchukuo, North China and Japan. It was the largest land operation by the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Many of the new American-trained Chinese units were fighting in Burma under General Joseph Stilwell using weapons leased from the United States. Chiang Kai-Shek had agreed that Stilwell could manage the distribution of American arms.[3]

In Operation Kogo, 390,000 Chinese soldiers, led by General Tang Enbo, defended Luoyang. The Japanese 3rd Tank Division crossed the Yellow River around Zhengzhou in late April and defeated the Chinese near Xuchang. They then moved around clockwise and put Luoyang under siege. Luoyang was defended by three Chinese divisions. The 3rd Tank Division began to attack on May 13 and won Luoyang on May 25.

The second part of Ichigo began in May. Japanese forces moved south and occupied Changsha, Hengyang, Guilin and Liuzhou. In December 1944, Japanese forces reached French Indochina and completed the the operation. Despite this success, US air forces moved inland from the threatened bases near the coast. The U.S. Air Force often stopped the railway between Beijing and Liuzhou that had been started in Operation Ichigo. Japan continued to attack airfields where US air forces were stationed up to the spring of 1945.

USA's XX Bomber Command using B-29 bombers of the which were attacking Japan were forced to move as well. But this affected their efficiency for only a short time. In early 1945 the Twentieth Air Force moved to newly established bases in the Marianas under the command of the newly established XXI Bomber Command.

Aftermath

The failure to hold the coastal airfields led to a loss of confidence in General Joseph Stilwell by Chiang Kai-shek. Stilwell was replaced in October 1944 by President Roosevelt. The new Chief of Staff to Chiang Kai-Shek and commander of the U.S. Forces in China was Major General Albert Wedemeyer. Stillwell's other responsibilities in China, Burma and India were given to other officers.

A very different version of events was that General Joseph Stilwell was asking for a fuller use of Chinese forces and had made diplomatic connections with the Chinese Red Army commanded by Mao Zedong. They had agreed to follow an American commander.

Because Chiang Kai-shek was ignored by the American general, he had Stilwell called back to the United States. New York Times reporter Brooks Atkinson wrote at the time:
The decision to relieve General Stilwell represents the political triumph of a moribund, anti-democratic regime that is more concerned with maintaining its political supremacy than in driving the Japanese out of China. America is now committed... to support a regime that has become increasingly unpopular and mistrusted in China, that maintains three secret police services and concentration camps for political prisoners, that stifles free speech and resists democratic forces... The Chinese Communists... have good armies that are now fighting guerrilla warfare against the Japanese in North China... The Generalissimo regards these armies as the chief threat to his supremacy... has made no sincere attempt to arrange at least a truce with them for the duration of the war... No diplomatic genius could have overcome the Generalissimo's basic unwillingness to risk his armies in battle with the Japanese....
But the Time Magazine article in which Atkinson was quoted went on to talk about the true failure of Stilwell's goals by saying that:
The Chinese, exhausted by seven years of almost singlehanded war against Japan, were reluctant to give General Stilwell the troops he wanted for the Burma offensive; the Japs might suddenly crack down on them in earnest. When the Japs began the drive that last week seemed on the verge of cutting China in two, Chiang Kai-shek's Government might well have felt that its go-slow policy was justified..." [3]

This loss and the poor opinion in the U.S.A. caused the Americans to lose confidence in the Chinese troops. Instead the U.S. focused all its resources on the island-to-island war in the Pacific.

References

  1. Davison, John The Pacific War: Day By Day, pg. 37, 106
  2. The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II: China Defensive, pg. 21
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Crisis". Time magazine quoting the New York Times. 1944-11-13. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,801570-4,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message