Asia Pacific 1938: Fall of Wuhan

Although the defeat at Tai’erzhuang was a setback, the Japanese were soon on the offensive again. By October, they had seized most of the coastline, including Canton, and marched inland to capture the new Nationalist headquarters at Wuhan. Less auspiciously for Japan, tensions with the Soviet Union had led to a border clash at Lake Khasan in July.

Notes

Treaty Ports

Treaty ports were towns opened to foreign trade by unequal treaties in China. Foreigners operating within treaty ports enjoyed extraterritoriality, being subject to their home country’s laws. Unlike concessions such as Hong Kong, these territories were not directly leased by the foreign powers and did not have sizable foreign garrisons.

Treaty ports are not shown in the maps after the 1911 Chinese Revolution in order to give a clearer picture of the chaos in China itself and as by that point their numbers had stabilized. After the revolution, some of the smaller ports were phased out while the others became less important as the situation in China meant that only the concessions could provide foreigners with security. Most, however, still continued on into the 1940s when the Japanese entry into World War II and foreign agreements with China brought them to an end.

See this map for treaty ports in 1907, when the system was at its peak.

Yangtze River

By the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin (1858), foreign vessels including warships had the right to free navigation on the Yangtze River. In practical terms, this right extended only as far as Yichang until 1900, when advances in steam navigation allowed access as far inland as Chongqing.

Main Events

12 May 1938 Japanese occupy Amoy (Xiamen), China

Japanese occupy Amoy (Xiamen), Chinain wikipedia

20 May 1938 Japanese take Xuzhou, China, connecting their northern and central armies

Japanese take Xuzhou, China, connecting their northern and central armiesin wikipedia

5-7 Jun 1938 Nationalist Chinese burst Yellow River dykes at Huayuankou in attempt to halt Japanese advance

Nationalist Chinese burst Yellow River dykes at Huayuankou in attempt to halt Japanese advancein wikipedia

11 Jun-27 Oct 1938 Battle of Wuhan

Japanese capture Wuhan, headquarters of Nationalist Chinese governmentin wikipedia

29 Jul-11 Aug 1938 Battle of Lake Khasan

Border clash between Japanese troops in Manchukuo and Soviet Unionin wikipedia

1-10 Oct 1938 Occupation of the Sudetenland

Occupation of the Sudetenlandin wikipedia

21 Oct 1938 Canton Operation

Japanese occupy Canton, Chinain wikipedia