Battle of Tashihchiao
|Battle of Tashihchiao|
|Part of the Russo-Japanese War|
|Empire of Japan||Imperial Russia|
|Commanders and leaders|
|General Yasukata Oku||Lieutenant General Georgii Stakelberg
Lieutenant General Nikolai Zarubaev
|Casualties and losses|
|1,000 (estimated)||1,000 (estimated)|
The Battle of Tashihchiao (Jpn. 大石橋の戦い Taisekihashi no Tatakai) was a small-scale land engagement fought on 24 July - 25 July 1904, during the Japanese advance toward Liaoyang in first stage of the Russo-Japanese War. Tashihchiao (modern Dashiqiao) is located about 25 kilometers [16 miles] southwest of the city of Haicheng, in present-day Liaoning Province, China. The town of Tashihchiao was of strategic importance in the Russo-Japanese War, as it was a railroad junction between the main line on the South Manchurian Railway and a spur which led to the old treaty port of Yingkou (Newchwang). Control of both was essential for further advances by Japanese forces towards Liaoyang and Mukden.
On the Japanese side were the 3rd, 5th and 6th Divisions of the Japanese Second Army under General Yasukata Oku. After the victory at the Battle of Telissu, General Oku rested for 4 days for re-supply, and to bring his 6th Division up to full strength. By 6 July 1904, he was ready to move north again, and his four divisions reached the outskirts of Kaiping on 7 July 1904, and through night movements, were into the hills behind Kaiping by the morning of 9 July 1904. General Oku waited there for re-supply and was prepared for either combat or twenty additional days of marching on 23 July 1904.
On the Russian side was the First Siberian Army Corps under Lieutenant General Georgii Stakelberg (consisting of surviving forces from the disaster at Telissu, which had retreated north towards Liaoyang, but which had received new orders diverting them to Kaiping, which they occupied on 20 June 1904), and the Fourth Siberian Army Corps under Lieutenant General Nikolai Zarubaev, entrenched behind Kaiping to the north at the town of Tashihchiao. The total strength of the Russian forces was roughly 20,000 men.
General Alexei Kuropatkin had personally overseen the defenses at Tashihchiao. Stakelberg's forces were on the right, with clear field of fire and isolated hills which provided strategically placed observation posts. Zarubaiev's forces were on the more vulnerable left, which was hilly and full of ravines.
General Oku moved with uncharacteristic caution, as the geography did not favor his usual tactic of flanking maneuvers. Instead, he issued orders for the 3rd, 5th, and 6th Divisions to make a full frontal assault, with the 4th Division left out on far left as both a diversion and a reserve. The combat began at 0530 on 24 July 1904, with a long artillery duel. As temperatures soared past 34 °C, the Russians began to suffer from the effects of the heat. A nervous Stakelberg repeatedly asked Zarubaiev about withdrawing. Japanese forces began probing attacks by noon. However, by 1730, although the Japanese had suffered heavy casualties due to strong Russian artillery fire, they had not been successful in dislodging the Russians from any of their entrenched positions.
The battle was determined at 2200 with a night attack by the 5th Division; by the afternoon of 25 July 1904, the town of Tashihchiao was in Japanese hands. Stakelberg had again conducted a brilliant retreat under fire.
There are wildly varying accounts on the number of casualties at the Battle of Tashihchaio, but historical consensus indicates about a thousand on each side.
Predictably, Viceroy Yevgeni Alekseyev was infuriated by Stakelberg’s withdrawal, and Kuropatkin supported his subordinate. General Oku remained at Tashihchaio until 1 August 1904, when he again marched northward with 3 divisions, while the 5th Division was transferred to the new Japanese 4th Army under General Nozu Michitsura.
- Kowner, Rotem (2006). "Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War". Scarecrow. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5
- Connaughton, Richard (2003). "Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear". Cassell. ISBN 0-304-36657-9