It marked the start of the Jiangqiao Campaign. This bridge had been dynamited earlier by Mas forces during the fighting against the pro-Japanese collaborationist forces of General Chang Hai-Peng, a repair crew, guarded by 800 Japanese soldiers, went to work on 4 November 1931. Nearby were 2,500 Chinese troops under General Ma Zhanshan, each side charged the other with opening fire without provocation. The Japanese claimed the Chinese opened fire using rifles and machine guns late in the day during a fog when Japanese troops started across the span, the Japanese retaliated and the skirmish continued for over three hours. Only 15 Japanese were reported killed and 120 Chinese, as the Japanese advanced, later General Ma Zhanshan returned to counterattack with a much larger force. Although dislodging the Japanese from their positions, he was unable to recapture the bridge. Ma was eventually forced to withdraw his troops in the face of Japanese tanks, the repaired bridge made possible the further advance of Japanese forces and their armored trains. Despite his failure to hold the bridge, General Ma Zhanshan became a hero in China for his resistance at Nenjiang Bridge. The publicity inspired more volunteers to enlist in the Anti-Japanese Volunteer Armies, although often led by army officers and with numbers of former regular troops among their ranks, most volunteers had no previous military experience. These irregular armies were to become the main anti-Japanese force in northeast China during 1932. Jiangqiao Campaign Japanese invasion of Manchuria Coogan, Anthony, northeast China and the Origins of the Anti-Japanese United Front. The Making of Japanese Manchuria, 1904-1932, two War Lords, TIME Magazine, Nov.16,1931 NONNI RIVER BRIDGE The volunteer armies of northeast China
Image: Jiangqiao Campaign Monument, Jiangqiao
Ruins of the Nenjiang Harge Bridge, where the battle was fought.