3/09/2010

Chinese Air Raid on Taiwan, Early WWII

My friend eyedoc put up an interesting post at http://danshuihistory.blogspot.com/2010/01/air-raid-feb-23-1938.html on the early days of World War II in response to my comments. I had written the following:

Jarmon, Robert. Taiwan: Political and Economic Reports - 1861-1960, Volume 7: 1924-1941, page 512: In January, 1938 "monster celebrations were organized to [celebrate] the fall of Nanking, in which all classes loyally participated" [British consul at Danshui describing the Taiwanese response to WWII - the celebrations took place in Taiwan]. On p. 510, I think, the consul described how either 500 or 1,000 (the book is not in my hand) Taiwanese volunteers were in Nanking as farming recruits.

Important dates:
1. September 12, 1937 (five days after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident) the first steamer of Japanese recruits from Taiwan leaves for China via Keelung.
2. September 28, 1937, British consul Archer makes the following admission: "Formosans are not yet liable to military service, but a number have been called up to serve in labor corps, and have been sent away to the front (Jarmon, 533). Archer stresses the impetus for volunteering was financial. In addition to rations, recruits received 1.20 yen a day.
3. Late December, 1937, a Tainan-based regiment of Taiwanese recruits returns from China through Kaohsiung (Jarmon, p. 563)
4. Consul Archer reckons by the end of September 1937, 1,000 Taiwanese are in China, though their service has caused "some disquiet among the Formosans" (Jarmon, 533).
5. April 26th, 1938, 1000 Taiwanese farmers comprising the Patriotic Agricultural Corps" sent to Shanghai. Number of volunteers greatly outnumbers the final total taken (Jarmon, 599).

Around the same time as the "monster celebrations", 200 prominent Taiwanese businessmen gathered to pass a resolution supporting the provisional Japanese government in northern China. Interestingly, on February 23, 1938, Chinese bombers appeared in Taiwan's skies, nailing both the Taipei Airport and Shinchiku Oil Fields without fielding as much as a scratch. Damage to the country's infrastructure was minimal. Damage to Japan's prestige among the local population was great.

Today I received an email from a friend in the US about this: 

"A little late but I do have comment on the article, “Air Raid Feb. 23, 1938” listed by EyeDoc on “The Battle of Fisherman’s Wharf.” First of all, I have discovered that the correct date is Feb. 22 instead of 23; see the two articles below. Both articles pointed out that Tai-Hoku, Taipei airport 台北市松山軍用機場 was attacked but Chin-Chiku airport 新竹飛行場 was not; instead the raid was on the oil field near Shin-Chiku, 竹東員崠子油井. The first article written in Japanese is by my Pen pal, Dr. Hwang who keeps diary for life that I have full trust on his record; see file attached. The second article looks and feels real McCoy; you may verify by yourself."


I'll put up a translation later, when I have time. I'm off to see eyedoc, who returns to the States tomorrow, now. More to come.

2 comments:

Patrick Cowsill said...

Chosan has further clarified the issue of the bombing raid here: http://danshuihistory.blogspot.com/2010/03/chu-tong-oil-fields-feb-22-1938.html

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