The Battle for Xuzhou and the Defense of Wuhan


in Wuhan, 1938

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780520254459
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934603 | DOI:
The Battle for Xuzhou and the Defense of Wuhan

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This chapter offers a narrative history of the long and bloody battle for Xuzhou and the siege of Wuhan. It notes how military events produced shared governance of Wuhan, with key commanders in the field sharing power with Generalissimo Chiang Kaishek. The battle for control of the central Yangzi region lasted ten months, from January to October 1938. In terms of geography and order of battle, the initiative lay with the Japanese because of their superior firepower and maneuverability on land and in the air. On the Chinese side, the human cost of the battle for Xuzhou was great, deeply shaking the confidence of the man most in charge, Li Zongren. Apparently haunted by the ghosts of those lost in the defense of Xuzhou, Li was hospitalized for mysterious reasons—for depression as much as for physical ailments. Bai Chongxi took over the Fifth War Zone duties.

Keywords: Generalissimo Chiang Kaishek; Xuzhou; Wuhan; Japanese; Yangzi region; Li Zongren; Bai Chongxi

Chapter.  5465 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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