Battle of Rehe

Battle of Rehe

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The Battle of Rehe was the second part of Operation Nekka, a campaign by which the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 successfully captured the Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

n province of Rehe from the Chinese
Republic of China (1912–1949)
In 1911, after over two thousand years of imperial rule, a republic was established in China and the monarchy overthrown by a group of revolutionaries. The Qing Dynasty, having just experienced a century of instability, suffered from both internal rebellion and foreign imperialism...

A warlord is a person with power who has both military and civil control over a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. The term can also mean one who espouses the ideal that war is necessary, and has the means and authority to engage in war...

 Zhang Xueliang
Zhang Xueliang
Zhang Xueliang or Chang Hsüeh-liang , occasionally called Peter Hsueh Liang Chang in English, nicknamed the Young Marshal , was the effective ruler of Manchuria and much of North China after the assassination of his father, Zhang Zuolin, by the Japanese on 4 June 1928...

 and annexed it to the new state of Manchukuo
Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...

. The battle was fought from February 21 to March 1, 1933.


Following the establishment of Manchukuo
Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...

, the Kwantung Army launched an operation to secure its southern frontier with China by attacking and capturing Shanhaiguan
Shanhai Pass
Shanhai Pass , or Shanhaiguan, along with Jiayu Pass and Juyong Pass, is one of the major passes of the Great Wall of China It is located in Shanhaiguan District, Qinhuangdao, Hebei. In 1961, Shanhaiguan became a site of China First Class National Cultural Site.It is a popular tourist destination,...

 Pass at the Great Wall on 3 January 1933. The province of Rehe, on the northern side of the Great Wall was the next target. Declaring the province to be historically a portion of Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

, the Japanese Army initially hoped to secure it through the defection of General Tang Yulin
Tang Yulin
Tang Yulin was a Chinese warlord in the Fengtien clique and Chairman of the government of Rehe.-Biography:...

 to the Manchukuo cause. When this failed, the military option was placed into action. Assigned to this operation were the Japanese 6th Division
6th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)
The was an infantry division in the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was the .-History:The 6th Infantry Division was formed in Kumamoto City on 12 May 1888, as one of the new divisions to be created after the reorganization of the Imperial Japanese Army away from six regional commands and...

 and 8th Division
8th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)
was an infantry division in the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call-sign was the .-History:The 8th Infantry Division was formed on 1 October 1898, as one of the six new reserve divisions created after the First Sino-Japanese War. It consisted of troops from the Tōhoku region of Japan, primarily Aomori...

 and 14th and 33rd Mixed Brigades of infantry, 4th Cavalry Brigade
IJA 4th Cavalry Brigade
The Imperial Japanese Army 4th Cavalry Brigade was originally formed April 1, 1909.It was assigned to Kwantung Army in April 1933 as part of the IJA Cavalry Group. It was then assigned with the Cavalry Group to Northern China Area Army, June 1938. On September 5, 1939, 4th Cavalry Brigade was put...

 and the 1st Special Tank Company.

The Japanese army's Chief of Staff requested Emperor Hirohito's sanction for the 'strategic operation' against Chinese forces in Rehe. Hoping that it was the last of the army's operations in the area and that it would bring an end to the Manchurian matter, the Emperor approved, while stating explicitly that the army was not to go beyond China's Great Wall.

The Battle of Rehe

On February 23, 1933, the offensive was launched. On February 25, Chaoyang and Kailu were taken. On March 2, the Japanese 4th Cavalry Brigade encountered resistance from the forces of Sun Dianying
Sun Dianying
Sun Diangying was one of the minor warlords during the Warlord Era.-Biography:...

, and after days of fighting, took over Chifeng
Chifeng , also known as Ulanhad, is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Inner Mongolia, People's Republic of China. It borders Xilin Gol to the north and west, Tongliao to the northeast, Chaoyang prefecture of Liaoning province to the southeast, and Chengde prefecture of Hebei province to the...

. Sun Dianying mounted a counterattack against the Japanese 6th Division on the same day, and at one time penetrated to near the Japanese headquarters. On March 4, Japanese cavalry and the 1st Special Tank Company with Type 89 Tanks took Chengde
Chengde , previously known as Jehol or Re He , is a prefecture-level city in Hebei province, People's Republic of China, situated northeast of Beijing. It is best known as the site of the Mountain Resort, a vast imperial garden and palace formerly used by the Qing emperors as summer residence...

 the capital of Rehe.


Rehe was subsequently annexed to Manchukuo. Zhang Xueliang was forced by the Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 government to relinquish his posts for “medical reasons”. Chinese forces fell back in disarray to the Great Wall, where after a series of battles and skirmishes
Defense of the Great Wall
The Defense of the Great Wall was a campaign between the armies of Republic of China and Empire of Japan, which took place before the Second Sino-Japanese War officially commenced in 1937...

, the Japanese Army seized a number of strategic points, and then agreed to a cease fire and a negotiated settlement (the Tangku Truce) whereby a demilitarized zone
Demilitarized zone
In military terms, a demilitarized zone is an area, usually the frontier or boundary between two or more military powers , where military activity is not permitted, usually by peace treaty, armistice, or other bilateral or multilateral agreement...

 would be established between the Great Wall and Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

. However, this would prove to be only a temporary respite before the full scale combat of the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

erupted in earnest in 1937.

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