The Battle of Nanking
(All text is in Japanese, but translated to English for convenience.)
December 12th, 1937
The attack on Nanking was officially approved, and everyone near the general area was ordered to assault and capture the Chinese capital of Nanking.
Hirotaka's forces were on the wrong side of a river, forced to ford it, delaying the main assault.
The Chinese were defending the river as much as they could, with only one actual army able to get to Nanking from the mainland, if they prevented the rest of the armies from getting there, the attack would no doubt be a failure.
The northern Japanese army was hoping to take the areas around Nanking, and not Nanking itself. Thus, Hirotaka had a few 89 divisions sent to land on the opposite side of the Chinese forces trying to block their advance, surrounding them and allowing them to rush forward much quicker.
Almost half of the forces crossed the river, while the 89 divisions landed properly, lowering Chinese morale.
The troops guarding the rivers shore were pushed back, the Japanese landing constantly.
The Chinese retreated to a small town, hoping they could possibly hold against the huge armies of the Japanese, while the southern army was battered and bloodied, but still pushing the Chinese back, ever slowly.
The town was being surrounded, with the Chinese routing towards Nanking constantly.
Both the central and northern groups of Hirotaka were doing well, the north having decimated several Chinese divisions, allowing the northern army to advance, while the central army had almost captured the town.
The town was successfully taken, but the Chinese had made a large blockade to hold against the central and south armies. Thus, the Japanese had begun shelling the positions, while the rest of the army defends the captured town.
December 13th, 1937
The Japanese finally opened a hole in the barricade, and attempted a outright assault on Nanking, blasting it with artillery and 95s, before capturing a small part of it with 94's.
The Nanking garrisons began retreating from the Chinese capital surprisingly quickly, while also burning down or taking anything the Japanese could use. Weapons, food, houses. Everything.
The Japanese forces had, within just a day, captured the capital of China.
And within just one day, their soldiers were known as the most vicious things alive.
Many soldiers who had captured Nanjing, Hirotaka's and others, had begun looting and killing anyone and anything in the town that wasn't also Japanese.
Hirotaka witnessed the death and destruction his troops were causing, and quickly ordered them to stop.
His response was his own troops cursing at him before continuing the massacre.
Hirotaka had sent a letter to the Grand Marshall, asking him to order the troops here to stop.
The letter he received?
"The damned Chinese deserve this, I can understand your disapproval. But allow them to do what they wish, for this is a message to the Chinese. Surrender or everyone will die. Everyone. Glory to the Japanese Empire."
Hirotaka was utterly horrified. But he decided not to disobey direct orders, and thus decided to stay at Nanjing for the rest of the day, before continuing the assault against the Chinese.
December 14th, 1937
Even after a day of murdering and looting, his troops continued. Any further push against the Chinese would be impossible if all his troops were interested in was death.
A handful of his troops had not directly participated in the massacre, and had agreed to continue the assault.
Thus, he, and a much smaller force, began fording yet another river to push even deeper into China.
The northern 89's continued their assault, hoping to capture a Chinese military base to the far north before meeting up with the main force.
A small army of infantry split from the northern army, taking a military airport, while the battle-cruiser Hokkōda captured a military port.
The 89's has captured the military base, while the forces with Hirotaka had managed to capture a large city, pushing the Chinese back heavily, as the battle had ended.
But the massacre continued.
It always continued.