The Battle of Xuzhou was fought between Japanese and Chinese forces in May 1938 during Second Sino-Japanese War. In contemporary accounts in English, the event was usually referred to as the "Battle of Hsuchow", using the Chinese Postal Map Romanization.
In 1937, the North China Area Army had chased Song Zheyuan's 29th Army to the south along the Jinpu Railway (see Tianjin–Pukou Railway Operation) after his defeat in the Battle of Lugou Bridge. After Japan won the Battle of Nanjing, the North China Area Army advanced southward to establish a Japanese connection between Beijing and Nanjing, ignoring the non-expansionist policy of the Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo. Most mechanized and air forces in Eastern China were wiped out in the Battle of Shanghai in 1937. Although new equipment was purchased, it had yet to be shipped.