|House-to-house fighting during
the battle of Taierzhuang. The war on China, against all expectations
of the Japanese invaders, was not an easy conquest, and in many ways
anticipated events on the fronts of the Second World War.
|A militarily powerful country invades a very much
larger country to
seize territory. The invader has had an almost unbroken string of
impressive victories and the larger country seems unable to fend off
the invader. The most powerful units of the invader are now tasked with
cutting the larger country's most important north-south transport
route which is a waterway. A town on the banks of that waterway is the
target set for the invader's elite combat units to capture. Capturing
the town would enable the invader to menace the enemy capital and force
it to surrender.
The invading units attack separately on a north-south axis converging
on the town. The invading units fail to join but despite that, one
large powerful elite unit lunges forward into the town. It becomes
mired in street fighting in which the invader's superior firepower is
nullified. The invader's artillery, tanks and aircraft are
ineffectual because the defenders are "hugging the enemy" and
resorting to hand-to-hand fighting and night attacks. The invader's
vaunted tanks are not only ineffectual but also vulnerable in the
confined spaces of the town. The invader is very severely mauled in
capturing 80% or 90% of the town. The defenders fight tenaciously to
cling desperately to the last 10% or 20% of the town because therein is
the only means of supply and reinforcement from across the waterway.
Victory for the invader seems certain. Defeat for the defenders seems
Suddenly, the invaders are horrified to realize they have been
surrounded by powerful fresh forces, cut off, and are under attack from
all sides. The besiegers are now besieged.
Supply by air is attempted in vain.
A powerful rescue column fails too.
Against all expectations, the most powerful among the elite of the
invader's forces suffers a resounding and humiliating defeat. The
world is shocked and the invader's invincibility is shattered. After
more years of combat, the invaded country emerges victorious as one the
principal Allied Powers of WW2.
Those familiar with the Battle of Stalingrad, USSR, in 1942/43 - will
recognize those events as the Battle of Stalingrad.
Very few are aware that ALL THOSE EVENTS had happened 4 or 5 years
earlier in the Battle of Taierzhuang, China, in 1938!
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