AUGUST II 1937
The brief spell of fair weather in central China is over. The entire
country is again flooded by monsoon rains, except only the extreme north
and west. A typhoon is passing over southern Formosa (Taiwan). Seas
elsewhere are mostly stormy.
Japanese Player Turn
Tsingtao has fallen after only a token resistance of its small and
disheartened garrison. The city is quiet (pacification roll 5). The cruiser
taskforce that had supported the Orca beachhead returned to Shanghai, ready
to shield the small contingent of naval troops against the mounting Chinese
Advance along the Peiping-Shihkiachuang and Tientsin-Tsinan rail lines has
slowed to a crawl through mud and against stiffening resistance now backed
by a KMT Infantry Corps. Engineers contend with blown bridges and rail
lines. Farther north, the advance out of Peiping along the rail line into
Chahar has reached the foothills and the entrance to the Yungting gorge.
Tokyo has given the go-ahead to General Hideki Tsunoda’s Chahar
Expeditionary Force, a powerful army that includes the elite 1 Infantry
Division, one of the few well-equipped with artillery (most others are just
self-supporting). In a sweeping move favored by fair weather, the stronger
its two columns overran the weakly defended Chahar capital Changkaikow
while the other force-marched into Inner Mongolia and smashed its way into
Kweihwating, one of only two of Inner Mongolia’s settlements that can lay
claim to being called a city. The CCP 129 Division from the 8 Route Army,
delayed by poor weather and terrain, was not in time to save the city from
the invaders. Preparations for formation of local puppet governments in
Chahar and Inner Mongolia are under way. The surviving factional Chinese
northeast of Peiping now find themselves pinched in between the Japanese 2
Army to the south and Tsunoda’s Chahar Force to the north, but they still
cling to the mountains astride the Peiping-Changkaikow rail line that
Tsunoda will need for supply.
Carrier aircraft subjected Leu Force in the port of Lienyunkang to a
fierce attack. Most of the transports were destroyed. For the time being
that removes any threat of a Chinese amphibious raid as the only KMT
Marines are now stranded without transports.
Long-range bombers attacked the marshaling yard of Tungshan and caused
extensive damage. The city is the hub of the Chinese rail net connecting
Nanking, Siking, Tientsin, and the port of Tunghai with one another, and
the destruction of its yard will add to Chinese logistics problems.
Chinese Player Turn
In the north, the 129 CCP Division reached the area south of Tatung and
will pose a threat to the Japanese presence in Inner Mogolia. The other
parts of the 8 Route Army crossed the Wutai range into Hopei. Guerrilla
bases were set up in the mountains and the Hopei plain near Tsangchow. The
III KMT Corps and the 115 CCP Division concentrated in and around
Shihkiachuang in preparation for a delaying action. Farther foward,
factional rearguards retreated to the line Tsingyuan-Tsangchow, backed by
the II KMT Corps.
On the Shantung peninsula, KMT troops prepared for temporary defense at
the Wei river to keep the Tsingtao beachhead contained and gain time for
the Shantung factional forces farther east to retreat to safety. Bridge and
track destruction along the Peiping-Chengchow and Tientsin-Tsinan rail
lines continued apace.
Additional KMT divisions were moved into Shanghai to complete sealing off
the International Concession and protect the crews sent in to start
preparing the city’s factories for transfer to safety. Also, the Hwangpoo
river, the lifeline to the sea for the small Japanese Navy contingent in
the International Concession, was blocked. A half-hearted air raid against
the Japanese warships on the Hwangpoo was unsuccessful. Although no ground
attacks were launched, the Japanese were quick to declare the actions as
“aggression” (more than 7 RE now adjacent to the International Concession)
and threaten decisice retaliation.
Long live double-speak!