The World at War

KIAUCHAU 1897 - 1949


1897November 14 A German cruiser squadron under the command of Vice Admiral von Diederichs lands troops in the Kiauchau district of China’s Shantung Province following the murder of two German missionaries. 1898
January 26 A German Post Office opens in Tsingtao.
March 6 A Sino-German Treaty grants Germany a 99 year lease and cedes all sovereignty over Kiauchau (including the city of Tsingtao). China is forbidden to implement reforms in territories within 50 km of the concession without German approval.
April 27 An imperial decree proclaims Kiauchau (Kiautschou) a German protectorate. Administration of Kiauchau becomes the responsibility of the Admiralty rather than the Ministry of Colonies.
1902October 1 The Schantung-Bergbau-Gesellschaft (Shantung Mining Company) begins working the Wei-hsien coal deposit.
October 30 The first coal train arrives in Tsingtao.
1903China’s oldest and largest brewery, Tsingtao, is established as the Germania Brauerei.
1904June 1 The Schantung Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft (Shantung Railway Company) completes construction of its lines linking Tsingtao with the coal pits in outlying Kiauchau.
August 11 Russian warships fleeing the Japanese attack on Port Arthur put in at Tsingtao. The heavily damaged battleship Casarewitsch and a number of torpedo boats are disarmed and interned. A Russian cruiser puts to sea again.
September 1 Mecklenburghaus, a sanitarium financed by the German Colonial Society, opens in the Lau schan Mountains.
November 1 The daily Tsingtauer Neueste Nachrichten (Latest News of Tsingtao) joins the weekly Deutsch- asiatische Warte (German-Asiatic Observer) in the ranks of the Kiauchau’s German language press.
1906January 1 A Sino-German agreement limits the free port which previously included the entire protectorate to the port of Tsingtao and an adjacent stretch of land. The remaining territory is returned to Chinese customs territory.
1912The Shantung Railway Company takes over operation of the unprofitable Shantung Mining Company.
1913July Census reports the Chinese population of Tsingtao at 55,312. The 56% increase during the preceding two years is ascribed to the revolutionary upheavals in China. Tsingtao’s civilian European population numbers 2,069. 1914
August 2 Captain Alfred Meyer-Waldeck, Governor of Kiauchau, orders mobilization of German forces in the protectorate.
August German cruisers depart Kiauchau leaving a few small patrol boats and the Austro-Hungarian cruiser Kaiserin Elisabeth to defend the protectorate.
August 9 The Japanese Ambassador to Berlin delivers an ultimatum demanding the hand over of Kiauchau by September 15th without compensation.
August 15 Great Britain formally requests Japanese military assistance against German territories in the Asia-Pacific region.
August 20 Governor Meyer-Waldeck orders all Japanese nationals to leave Kiauchau within 48 hours.
August 22 German destroyer S90 scores two hits on the British destroyer HMS Kennet before escaping under cover of Tsingtao’s shore batteries. August 23
Germany refuses the Japanese ultimatum and recalls its ambassador from Tokyo.
August 27 A Japanese naval squadron under Vice-Admiral Sadakichi Kato weighs anchor off Tsingtao. The Japanese seize 3 small islands and begin minesweeping operations.
August 30 Storms cause the Japanese destroyer Shirotaye to run aground on a coastal island. The German ship Jaguar comes out of Tsingtao harbor and destroys the Shirotaye.
September 2 Japanese troops begin landing at Lungkou on the north coast of the Shantung peninsula. A sudden fierce storm interrupts the landing. China protests the violation of its neutrality but offers no resistance.
September 7 The Japanese resume landing operations at Lungkou.
September 13 Japanese cavalry reaches the German border post at Tsimo. The Germans flee after a short skirmish.
September 14 Japanese forces take the town of Kiautschou and cut the Shantung railway.
September 28 Japanese troops capture the German post on Prinz Heinrich Hill after a fierce night battle.
October 17 A torpedo launched by the German destroy S90 scores a direct hit on the magazine of the Japanese cruiser Takotschiha. Only 3 of the Japanese ship’s crew survive. The S90 escapes to internment in a neutral Chinese port. November 5
Japanese naval gunners destroy the last German shore battery at Hui tschuen huk.
November 7 Governor Meyer-Waldeck surrenders German forces in Kiauchau. Japanese and British troops enter Tsingtao. German casualties during the 10 week siege total 199 killed and 294 wounded. Japanese losses total 715 dead, 1600 wounded, a light cruiser, a destroyer, a torpedo boat and 2 minesweepers. British losses total 16 dead and 67 wounded.
1919May 4 Mass demonstrations in China protest the Versailles Conference decision to transfer Germany’s Chinese concessions to Japan.
June 28 The Treaty of Versailles requires Germany to renounce all rights, title and privileges in Kiauchau in favor of Japan. All German State property in Kiauchau including the Tsingtao – Tsinanfu Railway and the Tsingtao – Shanghai and Tsingtao – Chefoo submarine cables become property of Japan without charge. China refuses to sign the Treaty.
1922February 4 The Shantung Treaty signed at the Washington Naval Conference requires Japan to restore Kiauchau to China.
December Japan returns Kiauchau to Chinese sovereignty but retains control of the Shantung Railway.
1938January 10 Japanese troops seize Tsingtao without resistance.
1945August Chinese Nationalist politicians take control of Tsingtao following the Japanese surrender.
October 11 US 6th Marine division lands at Tsingtao and takes control of Tsangkuo airfield about 16 km away.
October 13 General Shepherd, the American commander in Tsingtao, rejects an offer from the leader of Communist forces in Shantung to assist in mopping up remaining Japanese forces and maintaining order in the region.
October 16 US Marines complete landings at Tsingtao. The United States maintains airfields in Shantung and a naval base at Tsingtao for the next four years.
October 25 Tsingtao’s Japanese garrison formally surrenders to General Shepherd and Lieutenant General Chen Pao-tsang, the representative of the Nationalist Government. The Americans assume responsibility for disarming and repatriating the 10,000 man garrison.
1949June 1 US Marines withdraw from Tsingtao.

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