East River Column
Hong Kong Guerrillas in the Second World War and After
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU
The many and varied aspects of the Second World War still hold for us a fatal fascination even though the conflict came to and end over two generations ago. Men and women were called upon to perform extraordinary tasks that in other circumstances they would have thought totally beyond them. ...
This book has had a long gestation. As a child who has witnessed the Japanese invasion and their atrocities inflicted upon the people in Hong Kong in 1941 - 42, it was a defining experience not only for me but also for members of my family. Despite the burden of having a family of eight children ...
Notes on Terms and Romanization
1 - Introduction
For most people in the Western world, the Pacific War began with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941. The first steps towards the conflict, however, had already been taken as early as the late nineteenth century, when Japan embarked on its gradual expansion into Chinese territory. ...
2 - Birth of the East River Column
For quite a few years after the Japanese imposed the infamous "21 Demands" on China in 1915, students and workers all over China and Hong Kong waged a campaign to boycott the use and purchase of Japanese goods and Japanese shops. Overseas Chinese communities, particularly those in Southeast Asia, ...
3 - Hong Kong and the War Years
Hong Kong Island was the product of the first Opium War, and the British took full possession in 1842. Eighteen years later, they acquired the tip of the Kowloon Peninsula, opposite Hong Kong Island across from Victoria Harbour. The island covers an area of thirty-two square miles, with a chain of steep hilly ...
4 - Guerrilla Organization and Activity
By mid-1943, the Hong Kong and Kowloon Independent Brigade had nearly 5,000 full-time soldiers who were divided into six duis, or detachments, with from 100-odd to over 600 full-time soldiers. They were the Lantau zhong dui, Shataukok zhong dui, Sai Kung zhong dui, Marine zhong dui, Urban zhong dui and the ...
5 - The Hour of Victory
With assistance from the US, KMT forces were airlifted to important cities in the north such as Shenyang and Qingdao. At the same time, there were intermittent local skirmishes between the KMT and the Communist forces, mainly in the northeast and Shandong, but also in Guangdong and Hainan Island. ...
6 - Civil War and Repatriation
After the surrender by the Japanese, both the KMT and the Chinese Communist armed forces raced to move into areas in north China, particularly Manchuria, which had been occupied by the Japanese during most of the war years.With assistance from the US, KMT forces were airlifted to important cities in the north ...
7 - After the Revolution: The Fate of the East River Column
On 1 October 1949, when the People's Republic of China was established after three years of civil war, Guangzhou had to wait for two more weeks before it was liberated. Shortly after the province's liberation, some unusual difficulties not found in other provinces were encountered. People in Guangdong and ...