37.847N) is the capital of China's
province. It was also the location of a major arsenal in 1937.
The city fell to the Japanese on 8 November 1937 following a bitter struggle. 5 Division first approached the city from the north in September, as thousands of panicked civilians thronged the roads to the south and the defenders (7 and 14 Army Groups) established a line about 40 miles (70 km) long north of the city. Chinese reinforcements were rushed in but were not given opportunity to be properly integrated into the defense. On 13 October the main Japanese assault, supported by artillery and aircraft, hit the Chinese lines. The Chinese line broke ten days later, but the Chinese executed an orderly withdrawal to a second line further south, at Blue Dragon Ridge.
At the same time, 20 and 109 Divisions drove on the city
from the east, driving back 2 Army
Group. Under pressure from the north, east, and southeast, most of
the defenders finally broke and ran in early November, after taking
over 30,000 casualties. The
Japanese demanded the surrender
of the city on 7 November; when this was refused, the Japanese blasted
their way through the city walls and engaged in a night-long
house-to-house struggle. By dawn the remaining defenders and a
considerable number of civilians were fleeing in panic, leaving behind
tens of thousands more casualties. The city remained in Japanese hands
for the remainder of the war.
By 7 December 1941, the airfield based 83 Squadron
with 10 C5M "Babs". The city was the headquarters of 1 Army.
Hsiung and Levine (1992)
Van Royen and Bowles (1952)
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