The overconfident Japanese Army was stunned by the Chinese entrapment of their forces in the town of Taierzhuang. Following the dictates of Sun Tzu, the Chinese left an avenue of retreat for the now-beaten Japanese invaders. As most units left in haste – abandoning equipment and vehicles that ran out of fuel – one small force remained by the train station. As the Chinese attack neared the station these defenders seemed willing to fight to the last man and die in place. Unknown to the Chinese, the station had been turned into a makeshift crematorium for the ashes of the Japanese dead destined for return to Japan. Perplexed as to why this group seemed willing to die fighting instead of retreating, the Chinese launched a well prepared attack with the rare luxury of artillery support and, even more rare, air support. Flushed with surprising success, the Chinese closed in for this last battle amongst the now rubble-strewn town. With the help of captured Japanese tanks and an armored car, the Chinese pressed closer and closer to the train station.
Attacker: Chinese (Elements of 31st Division)
Defender: Japanese (Reinforced elements of 5th Division)