The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Nanchang (115.889E 28.671N) is the capital of Kiangsi Province of China and a regional communications center. It dates back to at least the 12th century. The city is a river port on the Kan River where it drains into Poyang Lake (which in turn drains into the Yangtze River.) Tea, rice, tobacco, and hemp are raised in the surrounding region.
The city came under attack by the Japanese
on 17 March 1939 and fell on 27 March. The campaign had the purpose of keeping the Chinese off balance, cutting the Chenken Railway, and giving 101 and 106 Divisions
an opportunity to regain their honor after a poor showing in the
fighting around Lushan. The campaign was marked by the heaviest use of artillery of the Sino-Japanese War. A Chinese counterattack beginning on 21 April reached
the city (seizing the airport on 26 April) but could not take it. The counterattack collapsed with the loss of two divisional commanders (one killed and one seriously wounded) and the Chinese withdrew. Casualties
were about 500 Japanese killed and another 1700 wounded, while the
Japanese estimated Chinese casualties at 24,000 killed and 8600
The city remained near the front line between Chinese and Japanese forces at the time of Pearl Harbor, with Japanese forces in control of the city itself. It was garrisoned by 34 Division and 20 Independent Mixed Brigade and the airfield based 8 Air Regiment with 12 Ki-51 Sonia. It remained in Japanese hands throughout the remainder of the war.
Hsiung and Levine (1992)
Peattie et al. (2011)
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