Battle of Dongshan Island

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Coordinates: 23°41′58″N 117°25′13″E / 23.699453°N 117.420397°E / 23.699453; 117.420397

Battle of Dongshan Island
Part of the Chinese Civil War
Date May 11, 1950
Location Dongshan Island, Fujian, China
Result Communist victory
Belligerents
Republic of China Army Flag.svg National Revolutionary Army People's Liberation Army Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg People's Liberation Army
Commanders and leaders
? ?
Strength
5,000 14,000
Casualties and losses
2,044 Minor

The Battle of Dongshan Island (Chinese: 东山岛战斗) was a battle fought between the Nationalists and the Communists during the last days of the Chinese Civil War over the control of the Eastern Mountain (Dongshan, 东山) Island at the southern tip of Fujian, China. It resulted in the Communists taking the island from the nationalists.

Order of battle:

After Zhangzhou-Xiamen Campaign, more than 5000 soldiers of the Nationalist 17th Army retreated to Eastern Mountain (Dongshan, 东山) Island off Fujian. Since the Nationalists were using the island as a stepping-stone to launch raids against the mainland, the 91st Division of the 31st Army and the 94th Division of the 32nd Army of the People's Liberation Army launched an assault to take the island on 11 May 1950 with the help of three artillery battalions. After 10 hours of fighting, the Nationalist retreated from the island, having suffered some 2,044 fatalities.

The Communist victory was a result of lessons learned in previous battles with the Nationalist troops for control over coastal islands, including the Battle of Kuningtou, the Battle of Denbu Island, and the Battle of Nan'ao Island, each of which illustrated the necessity for massing absolute numerical and technical superiority. As a result, the attackers outnumbered the defenders nearly three to one.

While a strategic loss for the Nationalists, the abandonment of the Eastern Mountain (Dongshan, 东山) Island did teach valuable lessons. Primarily it resulted in less overstretch and better handling of defence on islands closer to Taiwan proper. The Nationalists also learned from the mistakes used in their defence and battle, as shown three years later during the Dongshan Island Campaign, when they attacked and seized islands they'd previously abandoned.

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