The Marco-Polo Bridge Incident.
(Note, All text here is in Japanese. But translated to english for convenience.)
July 7th, 1937.
The general of the Third Japanese Army Regiment, situated at the Marco-Polo Bridge.
Tensions between the Chinese and Japanese were on the rise, especially after the Invasion of Manchuria.
Hirotaka had taken direct place during a handful of battles during the invasion, as well. So he definitely knew the flames of rage between the two countries.
Today was the day that rage flamed out of all control for both sides.
A soldier had gone missing, and Hirotaka noticed it as he took a quick headcount.
Yesterday, the Japanese moved more forces to the area during nighttime.
And then the Chinese emptied their guns right then and there until they realized it wasnt an invasion.
If Shimura was captured, or killed. The tensions between the two would rise to a war, no doubt.
The Japanese sent an investigator to Wanping, after the Chinese agreed to search themselves, with an attached Japanese soldier.
And then orders came from the Grand Marshall.
"Kill the Chinese bastards."
And kill they would.
Hirotaka's soldiers quickly split as the orders arrived, a quarter, of a small number of tanks, a artillery battery, and mechanized infantry loading into carriers, hoping to land at Tianjin, while the rest rip upwards before surrounding Tianjin and promptly taking it.
His mainland forces quickly met resistance at Wanping, as a division of Type 94's rammed into the side of a Chinese infantry division, causing heavy casualties with machine guns.
Another 94 division, directly commanded by Hirotaka, attacked the other side of the same division, causing even more casualties for it.
The northern Japanese forces met heavy resistance from the Chinese, who blocked up the area entirely, except for the mountains.
The center Japanese army ripped through the Wanping units, mutilating a infantry division and almost taking the area.
The Chinese, in return, almost entirely surrounded a center Japanese infantry division, dealing heavy damage, while their artillery shelled the advancing southern Japanese army (Hirotaka's.), before blockading the area with more infantry.
Hirotaka's landing force reached Tianjin's shore, but werent able to land, Chinese infantry and artillery keeping them at bay.
The two 94 divisions almost wiped out the Chinese infantry divison, as then a division of type 95 tanks wiped it out in one fell swoop, before heading towards the Chinese infantry blockade, and attempting to break it open. Only achieving slight success, as the blockade backed away a bit.
Wanping was quickly surrounded by a mechanized infantry group of Hirotaka's, wiping out the troops stationed there.
Infantry attacking the Chinese blockade pulled back, as a division of Type 89's quickly eliminated it.
The northern Japanese forces wiped out multiple Chinese divisions, while taking few casualties of their own, but the thick Chinese blockade held.
The center Japanese Army captured Wanping, while pushing back the Chinese forces still there.
Hirotaka's landing force was almost ready to land, slowly causing the Chinese forces to back away.
Both 94 divisions wiped out a large mechanized infantry division of the Chinese, while a type 89 medium tank division ripped through a division of BA-6's, which were given to the Chinese by the Soviet Union.
The type 95's pushed towards where the infantry the type 94's were attacking, the area having already been emptied as they promptly crushed the BA-6 division and a artillery division of the Chinese.
With that, Wanping was entirely secured, Taijin to become captured soon, as well.
The northern Chinese blockade was broken through, while the central army, which were now both Hirotaka's force and the leader of the original central army attacked the flank of the blockade, surrounding it with the northern army.
The carrier group finally landed south of Taijin, with 95's and a artillery division landing, all thats left being two infantry divisions.
One of the 94 divisions managed to pass through the Taijin main forces from its flank, before directly attacking Taijin, causing heavy casualties, while a Japanese infantry division wiped out a Chinese one.
The 89's attacked a T-26 division, which like the BA-9's was given from the Soviets.
The Chinese northern blockade was slowly pulling back through the mountains, as the northern army finally made direct contact with the central army.
The entirety of the carrier group landed, wiping out the Chinese shore forces, as the 94 and 95 divisions surrounded and took part of Taijin.
The second 94 division, with aid from the mainland 95 and 89 divisions, wiped out a infantry division, a T-26 division, and a artillery division.
Reinforcements arrived, quickly replacing infantry casualties for the central and northern armies.
The landing forces, with the mainland forces, managed to decimate infantry, artillery, and tank divisions quickly, as the rest of Taijin was taken.
The northern Japanese forces were heavily damaged, along with the central force's support, as they realized why Taijin was so undefended.
They had sent the majority of their forces over to surround the surroundment.
They had sent the majority of the Taijin defenders to attack the armies surrounding the blockade, resulting in heavy casualties for the Japanese and almost none for the Chinese.
A entire Chinese army of infantry had rushed towards Taijin, hoping to retake it, however Hirotaka's forces promptly surrounded it, wiping it out quickly.
With this, the Chinese backed off, as the Japanese began rebuilding defenses, as the first day of the battle ended.
July 8th, 1937.
Grand Marshall Gyokusho Hatayama walked to Hirotaka, who was taking another headcount of his soldiers, this time to simply see who has died and who has not.
"Hm?..Oh! Hello, Grand Marshall!" said Hirotaka, noticing the leader of the entirety of forces here.
"I was told you were responsible for the majority of victories we've had so far. Is this true, General?" Gyokusho stood still, staring at Hirotaka.
"I..." Hirotaka was unsure entirely how to respond, if he said yes, it'd be bragging, which is something he didnt wish to do, while saying no would give the credit to the bastards at the north.
"Either way, I am satisfied with your accomplishments, the Emperor wishes for us to take Shanghai soon, keep up the good work and you'll earn your place for the operation." With that, Gyokusho walked away, going back to Wanping while guarded by a small army of soldiers.
With that, Hirotaka finished up the headcount. 1300 soldiers. 845 soldiers being missing or dead.
Hours passed, before another order directly from the Grand Marshall came,
"Capture Peking, and the southern military base by the end of the day."
Hirotaka quickly prepped the majority of his soldiers, however, the 89 division, along with his mechanized infantry, had run out of fuel, and would take a while to refuel. Despite this, determined to quickly push through before Chinese reinforcements could arrive, his forces pressed on.
Only one of the 94 divisions would be heading to the southern military base, as once the 89 division was refueled, it could push through to there.
The central Japanese army surrounded the few Chinese divisions on the "border" between the two, quickly ripping them to shreds, while the northern Japanese army was slowly being pushed back by the Chinese.
Hirotaka decided to send the 95's to the north, to assist the northern Japanese, while one of the 94 divisions and the other 95 division could take Peking.
The northern 95's were in bad shape, as they had been the main spearhead for the Taijin Siege, but managed to get by without much trouble, startling a small group of artillery, and ripping through their forces.
The 94 and 95 division at Peking attacked the outer wall of troops, hoping to push back the Chinese just far enough to quickly capture Peking, then they could hold it easily.
The Peking Siege was going well, having had wiped out the first line of troops, and the original central army on their way, while the southern siege was almost finished, most of the defenders having left to Peking once they noticed the Japanese nearing them.
The northern 95 division was almost wiped out, heavy Chinese artillery exploding most of the tanks before they could arrive, as an upside, however. The northern army had managed to reclaim the military base they were situated at, and began setting up an offense against the Chinese. The 95 division eventually pulled back, waiting for reinforcements to come.
The Siege of Peking finally reached Peking itself, as the Chinese forces stationed there slowly began routing.
The Japanese forces to the south had taken the military base, but due to forces around it still being there, had stayed in the area instead of assisting the Peking siege.
Reinforcements from the central army arrived, as the 95 division got much needed extra tanks, as they promptly began the assault again on the northern Chinese.
Central Peking was taken, as the Chinese morale trickled down and down as the Japanese continuously pushed them back.
The northern Chinese were routed, many of them retreating through the mountains, leaving behind the injured and captured men behind them.
Almost all of Peking was taken, with only a few areas still being held by the Chinese.
Eventually, Peking was entirely secured, as the entirety of the southern Chinese forces were either wiped out or retreated to the north. The Chinese held only a few mountain passes and a military base to the north, now.
Both sides had decided to stay at their positions, and wait for further orders.
July 9th, 1937.
Hirotaka was once again taking a headcount of his units.
946 men total, 356 having gone missing or dead today.
Hirotaka sighed, he knew this was what war entailed, but experiencing it yourself, instead of in a chair, sending letters telling your soldiers what to do?..
It was tough.
His men patrolled around Peking, ensuring no Chinese forces would get in undetected, as yet again, a letter from the Grand Marshall came.
"I am pleased with your excellent service. If you wish to cement yourself as a key part of the Shanghai siege, take the northern military base, after this, we'll have entire control of this area."
With that, Hirotaka ordered his men to march forward, following a large infantry division, as the last day of this battle would be ended.
Many of his forces had run out of fuel, resulting in yet another wait for fuel supplies to come. And yet again, the forces who did have fuel pushed on despite it.
The forces to the north were sparse, many being crippled divisions from Peking or the northern blockade.
The Chinese continuously pulled back at every area, slowly losing more and more ground as the Japanese pushed ever forward.
His southern units were refueled, promptly pushing forward against the Chinese mountain divisions, mostly to prevent a surrounding of the main troops.
They could now clearly see the military base, and noticed the tanks defending it.
Those were German, weren't they? Why would the Germans send the Chinese tanks?..
Despite the initial surprise, his forces had stopped just short of the base's troops.
They were all heavily battered, and about to fight against a entire division of Panzer ||s.
Both of his 95 divisions were almost entirely wiped out after attacking the area, the 89's, as during last fuel shortage, were left behind during the initial push, and were the only thing the Japanese had that could stand against the Panzers.
Despite the heavy losses, the Japanese broke several holes in the Chinese lines, as they had managed to surround the Panzers, with artillery raining down, tank shots ripping through the heavy armor, and grenades blowing up the treads. The Chinese finally routed entirely, abandoning the military base entirely to the Japanese.
They had done it, in just 3 days. They had captured several Chinese areas and dealt them huge losses.
China would be theirs by 1939 if all battles went this well.
Hirotaka had kept his troops at the new border between Japan and China. He had sent his forces to defend the mountains and the military bases, while the central and northern Japanese armies were the bulk of the forces behind the main wall of men.
The Grand Marshall had sent yet another letter to Hirotaka, delivered by one of Hirotaka's own soldiers.
"Congratulations on your constant success during the battle. You have definitely cemented your place as a key point of the Shanghai siege. I will notify you when the battle shall begin, until then. Simply defend the borders."
And thus, the first battle of the second Sino-Japanese War had ended.
And the greatest war that history had ever known was soon to begin.