Japanese Occupy Swatow Port to Establish Blockade of Guangdong

The Swatow Operation, (June 21–27,1939) was part of a campaign by Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War to blockade China to prevent it from communicating with the outside world and importing needed arms and materials.

Control of Swatow would provide a base to make the blockade of Guangdong province more effective.

Part of Goto Detachment and a part of Sasebo 9th SNLF landed on the east coast on June 21 near the airfield east Swatow. Other Japanese troops in more than ten motor boats proceeded up the Han river and landed at Mei-hsi (near modern Anbu) cutting the road between Swatow north to Chao-chow. A coordinated attack by the Japanese drove the Chinese defenders, Hua Chen-chung's Brigade and local militia units, from the city of Swatow. They fell back to a line Yenfu–Meihsi on June 23.

The Japanese also had landed at Jiao Yu, the island south of Swatow, on June 22. They occupied whole island on June 24. The Chinese fell back to Fuyang on the 24th to block the approaches to Chao-chow as the Japanese landed reinforcements.

Proceading north in pursuit the Japanese also sent forces up the river and landed to the Chinese rear, part of the Chinese force then fell back into the city while the remainder moved into the mountains northwest of the city. The Japanese advancing from the west captured Chao-chow by June 27 after heavy street fighting. Later the Chinese sent reinforcements of the 5th Reserve Division, and 1st Advance Column to block the Japanese from further advances and conduct guerrilla warfare on their positions and lines of communications.

Having been stopped by the “River of Sorrows” in the north, where the great flood forestalled the Hankow drive, the Japanese General Staff immediately decided to push the ‘Yangtse campaign vigorously. Anking was quickly captured; but the Japanese have encountered stiff resistence thereafter. However, they have succeeded in securing Kiu-Kiang, great pottery center, which held them for a month, and gunboats have been sent, through the mouth of Lake Poyang. They continues to press up the Yangtze, but the main drive seems directed along the easier route down Lake Poyang to Nanchang, greatest chinese air base.