"Chinese Attack"

Discussion in 'General' started by gmyles, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    Has anyone heard of a attack style or method known as "Chinese".

    Some battalions in Greece in December 1944 are being ordered to fight this way on arrival.

    As it is written in inverted commas I don't think it is an operational code-word.


  2. Blanket Stacker

    Blanket Stacker Junior Member

    In the first world war a "chinese attack" was a fake attack, done as part of a deception plan. I have never herd the term used in ww2 though.
    gmyles and von Poop like this.
  3. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    Thanks for this.

  4. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    The term 'chinese attack' was commonly used in Italy during the Italian Campaign. One example is the use of two 'chinese attacks' during the breakout from the Anzio Beachhead on 23 May 44.

    Whilst Comd VI (US) Corps Lucien Truscott focussed his five US Divisions on Cisterna and the rush to the Velletri Gap, he instructed his two British Divisions - 1 Inf Div and 5 Inf Div, to conduct 'chinese attacks' in the area that he knew the Germans were expecting the breakout - the area of the Wadis and Campoleone, to come from.

    1 Inf Div tasked 1 DWR with running such an operation and 5 Inf Div tasked 1 GREEN HOWARDS. Both battalions were massively reinforced with US 0.5 Brownings and they received ample artillery support. Both involved creating a lot of noise but also physical but very limited objective assaults into the German positions.

    The effect was to convince both von Mackensen and Kesselring that the axis of VI (US) Corps breakout was through the British sector rather than the American sector. By the time both Germans realised that they had been duped, it was too late. The breakout had momentum and was succeeding.

    Comd Fifth Army Mark W Clark then changed his plan and the breakout came temporarily unstuck - but that is another story.


  5. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    Both battalions mentioned (16 DLI and 1/4 Essex) are ex Italy so it makes sense.

    Thanks Frank.
  6. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I heard some important words!

    Mentioned where and ordered by whom?

    This isn't ringing any bells.
  7. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    It is in the WD of HQ 139 Inf Bde (BLOCKFORCE) for 10 Dec 44.

    Basically OC 16 DLI is asking Brigadier Block if 1/4 Essex has landed yet and if so offered to do a "Chinese" attack, with full weapons.

    Unfortunately I can't find any reference on both 16 DLI or 1/4 Essex WDs to suggest if the offer was actually taken up.

    No biggie, just a phrase I haven't heard before.

  8. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    CO 16 DLI is offering to give the Greek insurgents the impression that he is on the attack but in reality it is a very small operation with lots of noise. Fire all your weapons but commit very few troops in the assault.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
    gmyles likes this.
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    5th Div history by Aris says this on page 177.

    Further help in this direction was to be contributed by 46 Div , farther to the right, in the form of a ''Chinese'' attack.
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    Blanket stacker is right. The term refers to a simulated attack, usually without any troops.
    gmyles likes this.
  11. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    The 'Chinese' probably relates to their use of fireworks for putting the wind up evil spirits.
    I imagine the term fell out of use in the Korean War where Chinese Chinese attacks were a bit different in character...
    Staffsyeoman, gmyles and Owen like this.

Share This Page