The Battle of Wuyuan (March 16 – April 3, 1940) was a Chinese counterattack that defeated the Japanese invasion of the Wuyuan area. This happened in reaction to the Chinese 1939-40 Winter Offensive in Suiyuan during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese call it 第２次後套作戦 ("The Second Battle of Wuyuan").
By the 28th of January 1940 the Japanese had built up forces from the 26th Division at Baotou sufficient to launch the 第１次後套作戦 or "First battle of Wuyuan in Inner Mongolia" to recover lost territory and move west to take Wuyuan which fell on February 3 and Linhe further west on the 4th of February.
8th War Area - Deputy Commander Fu Zuoyi
- 35th Corps - Fu Zuoyi
- New 4th Division
- New 31st Division
- 11th Provisional Division
- Garrison Brigade
- 81st Corps - Ma Hung-pin
- 101st Division
- 6th Cavalry Corps - Ma Pu-ching
- 3rd Cavalry Division
- Guerrilla Force
Course of the Battle
On March 16, 1940 as the Japanese were attacking the New 4th Division west of Linhe, the rest of the Chinese 35th Corps with the New 31st Division and a regiment of the Garrison Brigade, secretly moved east along the Wu-chia River. On the night of the 20th they entered Wuyuan by surprise and after a seesaw fight over the strongpoint captured the city at 1600 hours on the 21st. The Japanese garrison retreated northward. Chinese forces then moved on to capture a strongpoint around Hsin-an-chen on the 22nd. This cut the road along the Yellow River to Wuyuan.
In an attempt to recover the situation the Japanese sent 600 troops from Dashetai via Siyitang in 80 trucks to make a forced crossing of the Wu-chia River at Ta-tsai-chu 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Wuyuan. For three days they fought the 101st Division without success. By the 25th they had been reinforced to 3,000 men and made the crossing with artillery and air support. Wuyuan again fell to the Japanese on the 26th and the Chinese fell back to the banks of Fang-chi-chu and continued their attacks at Xin'an, Xishanzui, Xixiaozhao, and Man-ko-su.
The Middlesboro Daily News which reported on Japan's planned offensive into the Muslim region, predicted that the Japanese would suffer a massive crushing defeat at the hands of the Muslims.
Muslim Generals Ma Hongkui and Ma Hongbin defended west Suiyuan, especially Wuyuan in 1940 against the Japanese. Ma Hongbin commanded the Muslim 81st corps and incurred heavy casualties, but after fierce fighting eventually repulsed the Japanese and defeated them.
Unable to withstand the pressure of Chinese attacks, the Japanese at Wuyuan retreated on March 30 and 31. On April 1 a guerrilla force and cavalry column recaptured Wuyuan, and the 11th Provisional Division recaptured Wu-pu-lang-kou. On April 3, cavalry recovered Xishanzui as the Japanese retreated to the east.
- George Barry O'Toole, Jên-yü Tsʻai, ed. (1941). The China monthly, Volumes 3-5. The China monthly incorporated. Retrieved 2010-06-28.(Original from the University of Michigan)
- Aleksandr I͡Akovlevich Kali͡agin (1983). Along alien roads (illustrated ed.). East Asian Institute, Columbia University. p. 261 of 294. ISBN 0-913418-03-X. Retrieved 2010-06-28.(Original from the University of Michigan)
- Hsu Long-hsuen and Chang Ming-kai, History of The Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) 2nd ed., 1971. Translated by Wen Ha-hsiung, Chung Wu Publishing; 33, 140th Lane, Tung-hwa Street, Taipei, Taiwan Republic of China. p. 319-334, "Chinese Winter Offensive" (Late Nov 1939 - Late March 1940) Map 19.
- "Topographic Maps of China during the Second World War". Series L500. Perry–Castañeda Library Map Collection: U.S. Army Map Service. 1954. Archived from the original on 11 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.