The Satsuma vanguard crossed into Kumamoto Prefecture

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The Satsuma vanguard crossed into Kumamoto Prefecture

Post by jancancook on Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:48 am

The Satsuma vanguard crossed into Kumamoto Prefecture on February 14. The Commandant of Kumamoto castle, Major General Tani Tateki had 3,800 soldiers and 600 policemen at his disposal. However, most of the garrison was from Kyūshū, and as many officers were natives of Kagoshima, their loyalties were open to question. Rather than risk desertions or defections, Tani decided to stand on the defensive.
On February 19, the first shots of the war were fired as the defenders of Kumamoto castle opened fire on Satsuma units attempting to force their way into the castle. Kumamoto castle, built in 1598, was among the strongest in Japan, but Saigō was confident that his forces would be more than a match for Tani's peasant conscripts, who were still demoralized by the recent Shimpuren Rebellion.



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