GWASL 16: RISING SUN: 1914
German attention was brought to the need
to defend Tsingtao after the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. Preparations
for a coming siege were made, including trench lines along multiple
approaches, Kaiserstuhl to Litsuner Heights. Batteries of outdated
Chinese artillery were used to augment the German defenses. Little
did the General Staff know that the ‘coming’ assault
would not take place until after Japan declared war on Germany;
the declaration occurred on 23 August 1914, and mere months later,
between 31 October and 7 November 1914, British and Japanese forces
combined to lay siege to Tsingtao. British forces from The South
Wales Borderers, plus Indian soldiers of the 36th Sikhs, joined
the Japanese 18th Division, on the march despite violating Chinese
neutrality … to a clash with soldiers of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Austro-Hungarian naval troops, Chinese colonial soldiers, and
German naval marines joined together as a polyglot multi-national
army to defend a place many in the world had never heard of …
but the Kaiser declared, “it would shame me more to surrender
Tsingtao to the Japanese than Berlin to the Russian…”
to make his commanders understand the urgency of the operation.
Japanese cavalry clashed with Germans, air power made an appearance
on both sides … and what would be known to the soldiers and
generals later as ‘trench warfare’ was the order of
the day, from day one. Japanese soldiers proudly took their place
marching by the Arc de Triomphe on 14 July 1919 … a new height
in terms of military power for the Soldiers of the Sun …
since their victory over the soldiers of Tsar Nicholas II in 1905,
setting the stage of Japanese imperialism, ongoing conflict in
China, and the raid on Pearl Harbor.
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