Chinese Defense of Sihang Warehouse against Japanese Ends with with Foreign Intervention
The Japanese launched a new wave of attack at 7 a.m. on the 30th.
There were fewer infantry assaults at the warehouse this time; the Japanese attack was mainly concentrated cannon fire. Because of the sturdy construction and the abundance of sandbags and materials with which to fortify and mend the warehouse, the defenders simply repaired the warehouse while the Japanese tried to destroy it. Cannon fire was so rapid, recalled Yang Ruifu, that there was approximately one shell every second. When night approached, the Japanese deployed several floodlights to illuminate the warehouse for their artillery to strike at. The battle on the 30th lasted the whole day, and the defenders destroyed and damaged several armoured cars.
The foreigners in the concessions in Shanghai did not want the site of combat to be so close to them. With that consideration in mind, and faced with pressure from the Japanese, they agreed to try to convince the Chinese to cease resisting. On the 29th the foreigners submitted a petition to the National Government to stop the fighting "for humanitarian concerns". To Chiang, the battle was already won as most of the Chinese forces in Shanghai had successfully been redeployed to defend more favourable positions, and the defense of the warehouse now had the attention of the western world, so he gave the go-ahead for the regiment to retreat on 31 October. A meeting was arranged with the British general Telfer-Smollett through the commandant of Shanghai Auxiliary Police (上海警備), Yang Hu (楊虎), and it was decided the 524th would retreat to the foreign concessions and then rejoin the rest of the 88th Division, which had been fighting in west Shanghai. The Japanese commander Matsui Iwane also agreed and promised to let the defenders retreat, but later reneged on the deal. Xie, on the other hand, wanted to remain in the warehouse and fight to the last man. Zhang Boting finally convinced Xie to retreat.
At midnight, 1 November, Xie led 376 men in small groups toward the British concession across New Lese Bridge. Ten defenders had died, and another 27 were too heavily wounded to be moved. Consequently they agreed to stay behind to man the machine guns to cover the retreat of the remaining forces. About ten soldiers were wounded by Japanese machine gun and cannon fire during the crossing. By 2 a.m. the retreat was complete.
Although the fight did not last until the start of the Brussels conference, Chiang believed that the defense of the Sihang Warehouse had achieved acquiring the level of publicity that he called for. Elated, Chiang promoted every defender by one rank, and Xie was awarded the Order of the Blue Sky and White Sun. After Xie's assassination in Apr 1941, he was posthumously made a lieutenant general.