Amoy (Xiamen; 118.075E 24.449N) was opened as a treaty port to the British in 1842, as part of the settlement of the Opium War against China. An International Settlement similar to the one at Shanghai was established on the nearby island of Kulangsu in 1902. As a result, Amoy had fairly extensive port facilities for coastal traffic. In peacetime, the port handled extensive tungsten traffic.

Amoy was repeatedly bombarded by the Japanese from September 1937 on. The port was invaded on 10 May 1938 by elements of 2 Combined SNLF. The defending 75 Division was quickly forced back and the port  fell three days later, driving thousands of refugees into the International Settlement and leaving Foochow dangerously exposed.

On 11 May 1939, the Japanese landed 150 troops on Kulangsu and blockaded the island in response to the murder two days earlier of a Chinese merchant. There followed a tense period of negotations between Japan and the British and Americans, all of whom stationed warships off the island. It was six months before the Japanese lifted their blockade, by which time the Europeans were involved in a war back home.

Japan finally seized control of the Settlement on 7 December 1941.


Axis History Forum (accessed 2010-11-11)

Hsiung and Levine (1992)

Kehn (2008)

Official website (accessed 2009-10-22)

Wikipedia: Xiamen

Wen (1971)

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