Second Encirclement Campaign against Hubei–Henan–Shaanxi Soviet

The Second Encirclement Campaign against Hubei-Henan-Shaanxi Soviet was a campaign launched by the Chinese Nationalist Government that was intended to destroy communist Hubei-Henan-Shaanxi Soviet and its Chinese Red Army in the local region. It was responded by the CommunistsSecond Counter-Encirclement Campaign at Hubei-Henan-Shaanxi Soviet also called by the communists as the Second Counter-Encirclement Campaign at Hubei-Henan-Shaanxi Revolutionary Base in which the local Chinese Red Army successfully defended their soviet republic in the border region of Hubei-Henan-Shaanxi provinces against the Nationalist attacks from February 1935 to April 18, 1935.

Order of battle

  • Nationalist
    • 115th Brigade
    • 2nd Garrison Brigade
    • 3rd Garrison Brigade
    • local security forces
  • Communists

After the nationalist defeat in the First Encirclement Campaign against Hubei-Henan-Shaanxi Soviet, the nationalist immediately regrouped and launched their Second Encirclement Campaign against Hubei-Henan-Shaanxi Soviet in the hope of not letting their communist enemy to have enough time to rest, regroup and recover from the previous encirclement campaign. The nationalists deployed the veteran unit of the First Encirclement Campaign against Hubei-Henan-Shaanxi Soviet, the 2nd Garrison Brigade as the force to chase the enemy main force, while the nationalist 115th Brigade and Garrison Regiment stationed at Blue Field (Lantian, 蓝田), Shanyang (山阳), and Merchant County (Shangxian, 商县) regions were also mobilized to attack the town of Gepai (葛牌).

The campaign begun in mid February, 1935 when nationalist attack on town of Gepai (葛牌). The 25th Army of Chinese Red Army was no match for their nationalist adversary which enjoyed both the numerical and technical superiorities, and decided to withdraw to the region of Yunxi (郧西) in the south. While on their retreat, the communists took the towns of Ningshan (宁陕) and Foping (佛平), completely annihilating the security forces defending the towns in the process. On March 8, 1935, communist forces took Huayang (华阳) Town. The nationalist 2nd Garrison Brigade followed closely behind, reaching the region to the east of Huayang (华阳) Town in the same time, but two day later on March 10, 1935, it was ambushed in the region of Stone Pagoda Temple (Shitasi, 石塔寺) by the communists to the southeast of Huayang (华阳) Town, with five battalions completely annihilated by the enemy. The communists managed to kill over six hundred nationalist troops and captured over five hundred guns, while the nationalist 2nd Garrison Brigade was forced out of action after suffering the disastrous defeat.

In late March, 1935, communist 25th Army returned to the region between Blue Field (Lantian, 蓝田) and the town of Gepai (葛牌) in the east, and although the nationalist 3rd Garrison Brigade at Zuoshui (柞水) and Zheng’an (镇安) could not stop their communist adversary, it did manage to follow closely in an attempt to catch up. However, on April 9, 1935, the nationalist 3rd Garrison Brigade was ambushed by the communists in the region of Nine Houses (Jiujianfang, 九间房) to the south of the town of Gepai (葛牌), with two regiments completely annihilated by the enemy. The communists captured more than a thousand nationalist troops, including the brigade commander of the nationalist 3rd Garrison Brigade, and riding on their victory, the communists took the town of Luonan (雒南) on April 18, 1935.

With more than three fifth of their force deployed in Second Encirclement Campaign against Hubei-Henan-Shaanxi Soviet out of action after continuous defeat, the nationalists were forced to call off the encirclement campaign, which resulted in communist victory. Taking advantage of their victory, the communist further solidified their position in the Five Star (Wuxing, 五星), Shanyang (山阳), Zhenzuo (镇柞), Yunxi (郧西), and Luonan (雒南) counties, boosting their regular force to 3,700 and also established a 2,000 member strong guerrilla forces by the beginning of May, 1935. This second nationalist defeat in the encirclement campaigns resulted in no more further large scale nationalist operations against communist base of Hubei-Henan-Shaanxi Soviet centered around the region of Can Family’s Plot (Caojianping, 曹家坪) and the town of Gepai (葛牌) and the communists victory ensured that the nationalist would not launch anymore major offensives thus providing the valuable times for communists to rest, recover and regroup from Long March.

See also

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