The Battle of Shanghai.
(All text is spoken in Japanese, but translated to english for convenience)
Despite the Grand Marshall's constant stressing of how he'd try to get Hirotaka a key role in the Battle of Shanghai, many other high ranking soldiers had disagreed, arguing that anyone could make the first battle of the war a success. As a result, Gyokusho had decided to not include Hirotaka until later on during the battle.
October 8, 1937.
The battle for Shanghai had been going well, but need for further support to entirely take Shanghai and the surrounding areas was needed.
Hirotaka and his army had been situated at the Korean peninsula, to load off his troops into carriers if Shanghai wasn't taken by the 20th, the strength of the Shanghai group quickly showed that it wouldn't be taken by today, nor the day after, or the day after that.
Thus, he and his troops loaded off into carrier ships, hoping to capture Shanghai by today, doing so would greatly lower the Chinese morale, and would show them the strength of the Japanese Empire.
Thus, they, along with several other landing troops from other generals, were slowly advancing towards the area.
Hirotaka was also given command of the aircraft carrier Kuraihō. Along with the light cruisers Tokoro and Kushiro, in hopes of eliminating the Chinese ships before they could sink the troop carriers, and to take the port of Shanghai.
The carriers moved forward, while planes from the Kuraihō began strafing troops situated at Shanghai.
Some of the carrier troops split, a quarter going to the north while the rest go to Shanghai. This was mainly due to the two large military bases in the north, along with the huge size of their troops. Allowing them to possibly surround the carriers once they land.
Plus, if they could capture the area, they could use it as a base to launch attacks on Nanking. The northern Japanese landing group, commanded by another general, was also landing there, allowing them to only give minimal troops to take the area.
The Tokoro was slowly advancing along the coast of Shanghai, firing at the troops stationed there as it moved towards the port.
The aircraft of the Kuraihō attempted to outright attack Shanghai, but were heavily damaged by constant anti-air shots.
95's managed to land, dealing heavy damage to the coastal defense troops while the rest of the carriers drew ever closer to Shanghai's shores.
The majority of troops had managed to land, while the Port of Shanghai was almost taken, as well. The Shanghai garrisons were pulling back ever quickly as they realized the sheer size of the Japanese navy, both the carriers and ships, which were decimating the Chinese fleet.
The central Chinese army was slowly pulling back, the landing forces beginning to fully get onto the area, thus able to fire quicker and more accurately, unaffected by the tides and waves.
The 95's were pushing deep into Shanghai, risking encirclement, but still slowly forcing the Chinese to pull out of the city.
The Port of Shanghai was taken, as the Chinese continued slowly retreating.
The northern Chinese army morale increased heavily as they saw the small divisions of 89's loading onto their shores, by the time Hirotaka's troops could land, the northern carriers were wiped out.
The Japanese finally took the side of Shanghai, the Chinese morale now lowering.
However, the Chinese managed to blow up the 95's with their heavy artillery concentrations, promptly retaking the area as they began setting up more defenses.
With this, the Japanese had minimal gains and heavy casualties, as the last day before the capture of Shanghai ended.
October 9, 1937.
Hirotaka attempted yet another assault on Shanghai, hoping to take it today before Chinese morale rose any higher.
With constant artillery flak and shots from the Tokoro and Kushiro, the edge of Shanghai was once again taken, before being retaken as the Chinese artillery blew up the battle-weary troops, while BA-9's retook the area.
The chance of successfully taking all of Shanghai was ridiculous, if taking even a small part of it didn't succeed after two times of trying.
The Japanese decided for a much longer artillery and cruiser barrage before trying to take any area of Shanghai.
The first of the two northern military bases were taken, but no attack on Nanking would happen, a attack on any city would be suicidal if they couldn't even take Shanghai.
The northern 89's advanced towards the second of the military bases rather quickly, taking both and then assaulting the flank of Shanghai was the new plan.
Yet another assault on Shanghai began, this time the south of it, too close for the Chinese heavy artillery's arc to shoot at, managing to hold the area.
The second military base was taken, the 89's quickly loading onto carriers meant for the Chinese.
The Chinese were slowly pulling back as their artillery was being destroyed by cruisers and their troops blown to bits by Japanese artillery and tanks.
Central Shanghai was finally taken, the garrisons pulling back further and further, if the Japanese could take the southern areas of the front Chinese coast, their morale would be decimated, and thus, that became their new plan.
The 89's promptly changed course, hoping to take a military base and port that was used to push ships through a large river and into the main sea of China.
With Shanghai almost taken, reinforcements were sent by the Grand Marshall to ensure success.
A small army composed entirely of infantry was sent to the military bases, hoping to push just a little deeper through Chinese territory.
The mainland military base was almost taken, as Shanghai was entirely captured. The Chinese constantly retreating.
The infantry managed to capture a third military base, along with a armament production factory. Thus, they were ordered to ford across the river the port used, meeting up with the main forces.
The Japanese were advancing deep through the Chinese lines, constantly cutting holes into them every second, before sending thousands of machines and men through that hole and disemboweling the entire formation.
The Japanese managed to rip apart the entire front sea-line of China, forcing the men stationed there to retreat, as the Battle for Shanghai ended.
October 10, 1937.
Hirotaka was overviewing the Chinese prisoners, seeing if any were worth exchanging or high ranking. The answer was none.
The Grand Marshall had sent yet again another letter to Hirotaka, delivered by a lowly private.
"Congratulations on your outstanding performance, many of the generals who denied your chance to be a key part of the operation have no doubt realized your prowess. I promise to make you a key point of taking Nanking, if the lower ranking men still deny this, I doubt many will. Glory to the Japanese Empire."