- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 1223 Hour
- Reading permission
This post was edited by abramicus at 2013-11-24 04:31|
huaqiao Post time: 2013-11-23 17:11
Abramicus, I am happy to see that there are contributors like you here. Your contribution has depth, ...
NOVEMBER 22, 1894 - CHINA'S DAY OF INFAMY - THE FALL OF LUSHUNKOU (119th ANNIVERSARY REMINDER)
The following is excerpted from the Wikipedia article on "The Battle of Weihaiwei", which was the first land battle of the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894, after China had lost the Battle of the Yellow Sea, and in effect, lost control of the Korean Peninsula where the Japanese Imperial Army massed its forces to take on the "impregnable" Chinese naval base of Lushunkou.
"Following the Battle of Jiuliancheng at the Yalu River, and subsequent minor engagements in the Liaodong Peninsula, the strategic aim of Japan was to seize the heavily-defended and strategically important naval base of Lüshunkou, known in the West as “Port Arthur”. This naval station had taken the Qing government sixteen years to build, and was considered superior to Hong Kong in its facilities. Defended by its hilly terrain and strengthened with fortifications and powerful artillery, it was widely considered to be an impregnable stronghold. Lüshunkou was also the only facility with dry docks and modern equipment capable of repairing the warships of the Beiyang Fleet, and its loss would mean that China would no longer have the capability to repair any ship damaged in combat. The location of Lüshunkou, at the entrance to the Gulf of Bohai also meant that it controlled the sea approaches to Beijing.
The Imperial Japanese Army’s Japanese First Army under the overall command of Oyama Iwao divided into two groups, with one group marching north as a diversion to threaten the Qing ancestral capital of Mukden, and the other marching south down the Liaodong Peninsula towards Lüshunkou. The Imperial Japanese Army’s Japanese Second Army, with Lieutenant General Baron Yamaji Motoharu and General Nogi Maresuke landed at Pi-tse-wo (present day Pikou, Liaoning Province, China) on 24 October 1894. On 6 November 1894 Nogi’s forces took the walled town of Jinzhou with very little resistance. The Liaodong Peninsula narrowed to only a 2.5 mile width just past Jinzhou, so with the town in Japan’s hands, Lüshunkou became isolated from its landward approaches.
The following day, on 7 November 1894 Nogi marched into the port town of Dalian with no resistance, as its defenders had fled to Lüshunkou the previous night. The intact capture of the dock facilities greatly facilitated Japanese supply lines, as in their haste to depart, the defenders had even left behind plans to the minefields and details to the defenses of Lüshunkou. To make matters worse for the defenders of Lüshunkou, the Beiyang Fleet had received orders from Viceroy Li Hongzhang (based in Tianjin) to withdraw to Weihaiwei rather than risk engagement with the Imperial Japanese Navy, and was thus not able to play any role in the defense of their base. Worse still, when withdrawing from Lüshunkou, the flagship of the Beiyang Fleet, the battleship Zhenyuan, struck rocks at the entrance of Weihaiwei harbor and had to be beached. As the only docks capable of making repairs were at Lüshunkou, this effectively put it out of commission for the remainder of the war.
Skirmishing on the outskirts of Lüshunkou began on 20 November 1894, creating a panic among the defenders resulting in looting and destruction of property. Most of the Qing officers fled on two small boats which remained in port, leaving their men to their fate.
The assault on Lüshunkou began after midnight on 21 November 1894. Under heavy fire, the Japanese forces had stormed all of the important landward defenses by noon the following day. The shore fortifications held out a bit longer, but the final one fell to the Japanese by 1700 hours. During the night of 22 November 1894, the surviving Chinese defenders deserted their remaining positions, abandoning 57 large-caliber and 163 small-caliber artillery pieces. The fortifications, dockyards and a large supply of coal were captured largely intact by the Japanese."
The massacre was so complete that no soul was left alive to tell the tale of treachery of Prime Minister and Defense Minister Lihongzhang, and even the hogs raised by the farmers were slaughtered. The Japanese then repeated the same strategy of a land-based attack on Weihaiwei that was equally if not better fortified, again with a collapse of the landward defense lines, abandoned with artillery and munitions all intact, allowing the Japanese to use Chinese land artillery to bombard Chinese ships and docks with impunity . . .
And thus, was HOW CHINA LOST ITS ENTIRE NAVY, leading to the Treaty of Shimonseki of 1895, negotiated by Lihongzhang, on insistence of Japan that no other envoy would be acceptable to it, when China ceded Taiwan, Pescadores, part of the Liaoning peninsula, and paid 200 million taels of silver as reparation that dwarfed Japan's then GDP by several fold, feeding it to become the monster that returned to invade Manchuria in 1931, and Nanking in 1937.
This is how the Third Sino-Japanese War is likely to begin. A lost naval battle. A landing. A land attack on Hainan. But, with Vietnam on the side of Japan, a preliminary naval victory by Japan before a landing is effected may not be necessary. Instead, Japan could strike from Vietnam toward Guangxi and isolate Hainandao effectively, and using modern planes and helicopters, frog jump into Hainan with equal effect.
THOSE WHO DO NOT REMEMBER THE LESSONS OF HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT.