World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Operation Ichi-Go

 

Operation Ichi-Go

Operation Ichi-Go
Part of Second Sino-Japanese War, World War II

Japanese plan for Operation Ichi-Go
Date 19 April–31 December 1944[1]
Location Henan, Hunan and Guangxi
Result Japanese victory
Belligerents
Republic of China
United States Army Air Forces
 Empire of Japan
Commanders and leaders
Tang Enbo
Xue Yue
Bai Chongxi
Shunroku Hata
Yasuji Okamura
Isamu Yokoyama
Strength
390,000 men 400,000 men
12,000 vehicles
1,500 artillery pieces
800 tanks
70,000 horses
Casualties and losses
200,000+ casualties, including 90,000 dead[2] 100,000 casualties[3]
500,000+ Chinese civilians[4]

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.

These battles 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.[5]

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 1
  • Aftermath 2
  • In popular culture 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5

Course of the campaign

1944 Operation Ichigo

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 displaced the US air forces stationed in Hunan province and reached the city of Liuzhou, near the border with Japanese-held Indochina. 17 divisions, including 400,000 men, 12,000 vehicles, 1,500 artillery pieces, 800 tanks and 70,000 horses participated in this operation.

The Japanese included crack 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.

Operation Ichigo, IJA invading Henan, 1944

In Operation Kogo, 390,000 Chinese soldiers, led by General Tang Enbo (湯恩伯), 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 operation also forced British Commandos working with the Chinese as part of Mission 204 to leave China and return to Burma. The U.S. Fourteenth Air Force often disrupted the Hunan–Guangxi Railway between Hengyang 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 Chinese front after Japanese launched Operation Ichi-Go in 1944, General Franklin D. Roosevelt send an ultimatum to Chiang threatening to end all American aid unless Chiang "at once" placed Stilwell "in unrestricted command of all your forces."[6]

An exultant Stilwell immediately delivered this letter to Chiang despite pleas 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.[7] 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.[8][9] As a result, Stilwell 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."[10]

The Japanese successes in Operation Ichi-Go had limited effect on the war. The U.S. could still bomb the Japanese homeland from Saipan and other Pacific bases, due to the operation was still happening, the American had achieved victories in the Pacific Front. The Japanese forces could only control the cities but not their surrounding countryside. The increased size of the occupied territory also thinned 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 meant that Japan never got the time and resources needed to achieve final victory over China.The Japanese suffered 11742 KIAs and number of soldiers died of illness had exceeded more than twice of the number 11742 by mid-November.[11][12][13]

Operation Ichi-go created a great sense of social confusion in the areas of China that it affected. Chinese Communist guerrillas were able to exploit this confusion to gain influence and control of greater areas of the countryside in the aftermath of Ichi-go.[14]

In popular culture

The 1958 novel The Mountain Road, by Theodore White, a Time magazine correspondent in China at the time of the offensive. It was based on an interview with Major Frank Gleason, who led a demolition group of American soldiers during the offensive that were charged with blowing up anything left behind in the retreat that might be of use to Japan; his group ultimately destroyed over 150 bridges and 50,000 tons of munitions, helping slow the Japanese advance. In 1960 it was adapted into a film starring James Stewart and Lisa Lu, noteworthy for being one of Stewart's only war films and the only one where he plays a soldier, as he was opposed to war films due to their inaccuracy. It is generally believed he made an exception for this film because it was anti-war.

References

  1. ^ Davison, John The Pacific War: Day By Day, pg. 37, 106
  2. ^ Pike, Francis. Hirohito's War: The Pacific War, 1941-1945
  3. ^ It includes illness. ca記者が語りつぐ戦争 16 中国慰霊 読売新聞社 (1983/2) P187
  4. ^ Pike, Francis. Hirohito's War: The Pacific War, 1941-1945
  5. ^ The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II: China Defensive, pg. 21
  6. ^ Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell's Command Problem, p.446-447
  7. ^ Lohbeck, Hurley, p.292
  8. ^ Lohbeck, Hurley, p.298
  9. ^ Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell's Command Problem, p.452
  10. ^ "Crisis".  
  11. ^ http://d.hatena.ne.jp/Apeman/20070710/p1
  12. ^ Until mid-november,IJA had a illness toll of 66000,and a field hospital had taken in 6164 soldiers, 2281 of which died basically due to malnutrition 餓死した英霊たち P116
  13. ^ In 1944, twice as many Japanese soldiers died of illness as KIA
  14. ^ China at War: An Encyclopedia. Ed. Li Xiaobing. United States of America: ABC-CLIO. 2012. ISBN 978-1-59884-415-3. Retrieved May 21, 2012. p.163.

Further reading

  • Sherry, Mark D. China Defensive. The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II.  

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.