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Chinese Nationalists (including regional warlords):

1,700,000 (1937)[1] 2,600,000 (1939)[2] 5,700,000 (1945)[3]

Chinese Communists:

166,700 (1938)[4] 488,744 (1940)[5] 1,200,000 (1945)[6]

Japanese:

600,000 (1937)[7] 1,015,000 (1939)[8] 1,124,900 (1945)[9] (excluding Burma campaign
Burma campaign
and Manchuria)

Puppet states and collaborators: 900,000 (1945)[10]

Casualties and losses

Chinese Nationalists:

Official ROC data:

1,320,000 killed 1,797,000 wounded 120,000 missing Total: 3,237,000[11][12]

Other estimates:

1,319,000–4,000,000+ military dead and missing 500,000 captured[13][14]

Total: 3,211,000–10,000,000+ military casualties[14][15] Chinese Communists:

Official PRC data:

160,603 military dead 290,467 wounded 87,208 missing 45,989 POWs Total: 584,267 military casualties[16]

Other estimates:

446,740 total[15]

Total:

3,800,000–10,600,000+ military casualties after July 1937 500,000 captured[13][14] 266,800–1,000,000 POWs dead[13][14]

Japanese:

Japanese medical data:

455,700[17]–700,000 military dead[18][b] 22,293+ captured[c] Total: 1,400,000+ total military casualties (1937 to 1945 excluding Burma campaign
Burma campaign
and Manchuria)

ROC estimate:

1.77 million dead 1.9 million wounded Total: 3,670,000[19]

2007 PRC studies:

1,055,000 dead 1,172,200 wounded Total: 2,227,200[20]

Puppet states and collaborators:

288,140–574,560 dead 742,000 wounded Middle estimate: 960,000 dead and wounded[21][22]

Total: 960,000+ – 1,987,000 military casualties after July 1937 (excluding Manchuria
Manchuria
and Burma campaign)[d]

Chinese civilian deaths: 17,000,000–22,000,000[12]

^ From 1941 onward ^ This number does not include Japanese killed by Chinese forces in the Burma campaign
Burma campaign
and does not include Japanese killed in Manchuria ^ Excluding more than 1 million who were disarmed following the surrender of Japan ^ More likely closer to the lower figure

v t e

Campaigns of World War II

Europe

Poland Phoney War Winter War Denmark & Norway France & Benelux Britain Balkans Eastern Front Finland Western Front (1944–45)

Pacific War

China Pacific Ocean South-East Asia South West Pacific Japan Manchuria
Manchuria
(1945)

Mediterranean and Middle East

North Africa Horn of Africa Mediterranean Sea Adriatic Malta Yugoslavia Iraq Syria–Lebanon Iran Italy Dodecanese Southern France

Other campaigns

Atlantic Arctic Strategic bombing America French West Africa Madagascar

Contemporaneous wars

Chinese Civil War USSR– Japan
Japan
Border Wars French–Thai Ecuadorian–Peruvian War Ili Rebellion

v t e

Second Sino-Japanese War

Major engagements in bold

Begun in 1931–37

Mukden Manchuria

Jiangqiao Nenjiang Bridge Jinzhou Harbin

Shanghai
Shanghai
(1932) Pacification of Manchukuo Rehe Great Wall Inner Mongolia

Suiyuan

Begun in 1937–39

Marco Polo Bridge Beiping–Tianjin Chahar Shanghai
Shanghai
(1937)

Sihang Warehouse

Beiping–Hankou Railway Tianjin–Pukou Railway Taiyuan

Pingxingguan Xinkou

Nanjing Xuzhou

Taierzhuang

N.-E. Henan

Lanfeng

Amoy Chongqing Wuhan

Wanjialing

Canton

Hainan

Nanchang Suixian–Zaoyang

Swatow

1st Changsha S. Guangxi

Kunlun Pass

Winter Offensive

West Suiyuan Wuyuan

Begun in 1940–42

Zaoyang–Yichang Hundred Regiments N. Vietnam C. Hubei S.Henan W. Hebei Shanggao S.Shanxi 2nd Changsha 3rd Changsha Yunnan-Burma Road

Tachiao Oktwin Toungoo Yenangyaung

Zhejiang–Jiangxi Sichuan invasion

Begun in 1943–45

W.Hubei N.Burma-W.Yunnan Changde Ichi-Go

C.Henan 4th Changsha Hengyang Guilin–Liuzhou

Mt. Song W. Henan–N. Hubei W.Hunan 2nd Guangxi

Others

Aerial engagements

v t e

Japanese colonial campaigns

Meiji period

Korea (1894–95) Liaodong Peninsula (1895) China (1899–1901) Manchuria/Korea (1904–05) Korea (1910)

Taishō period

Tsingtao (1914) Siberia
Siberia
(1918–22)

Shōwa period

Manchuria
Manchuria
(1931–32) Soviet Union
Soviet Union
(1932–39) China (1937–45) Vietnam
Vietnam
(1940) Thailand (1941) Asia-Pacific (1941-1945)

v t e

Pacific War

Central Pacific

Hawaii Marshalls-Gilberts raids Doolittle Raid Coral Sea Midway RY Solomons Gilberts & Marshalls Marianas & Palau Volcano & Ryukyu Truk

Southeast Asia

Indochina (1940) Indian Ocean (1940–45) Philippines 1941–42 Franco-Thai War Thailand Dutch East Indies Malaya Hong Kong Singapore Indochina (1945) Malacca Strait Jurist Tiderace Zipper Strategic bombing (1944–45)

Burma

Burma (1941–42) Burma (1942–43) Burma (1944) Burma (1944–45)

Southwest Pacific

Dutch East Indies 1941–42 Portuguese Timor Australia New Guinea Philippines 1944–45 Borneo 1945

North America

Attack on Pearl Harbor Ellwood K Aleutian Islands Estevan Point Lighthouse Fort Stevens Lookout Air Raids Fire balloon Project Hula PX

Japan

Air raids Mariana Islands Volcano & Ryukyu Is Tokyo Starvation Naval bombardments Yokosuka Sagami Bay Kure Downfall Hiroshima
Hiroshima
& Nagasaki Kurils Karafuto Japanese surrender

Manchuria

Kantokuen Manchuria
Manchuria
(1945) Mutanchiang Sakhalin Island Kuril Islands Shumshu

Second Sino-Japanese War

Events leading to World War II

Treaty of Versailles 1919

Treaty of Trianon 1920

Treaty of Rapallo 1920

March on Rome 1922

Corfu incident 1923

Occupation of the Ruhr 1923–1925

Pacification of Libya 1923–1932

Dawes Plan 1924

Locarno Treaties 1925

Chinese Civil War 1927–1936

Young Plan 1929

Great Depression 1929–1941

Japanese invasion of Manchuria 1931

Nazis rise to power in Germany 1933

Franco-Soviet-Czech Pact 1935

Second Italo-Ethiopian War 1935–36

Remilitarization of the Rhineland 1936

Spanish Civil War 1936–39

Anti-Comintern Pact 1936

Second Sino-Japanese War 1937

Anschluss Mar. 1938

Munich crisis Sep. 1938

German occupation of Czechoslovakia Mar. 1939

German ultimatum to Lithuania Mar. 1939

British guarantee to Poland Mar. 1939

Invasion of Albania Apr. 1939

Pact of Steel May 1939

Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact Aug. 1939

Invasion of Poland Sep. 1939

Battle of Britain May. 1940

Invasion of the Soviet Union Jun. 1941

Attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 1941

v t e

The Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China
Republic of China
and the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
from July 7, 1937, to September 9, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle. During the Marco Polo Bridge Incident
Marco Polo Bridge Incident
Japanese military demanded permission to enter the Chinese city of Wanping to search for a missing soldier. The Chinese refused. Later in the night, a unit of Japanese infantry attempted to breach Wanping's walled defences and were repulsed. An ultimatum by the Japanese was issued before they would declare war. The Chinese still refused. Although Private Shimura returned to his unit, by this point both sides were mobilising, with the Japanese deploying reinforcements and surrounding Wanping.[a] The conflict then escalated further into a full-scale war. China fought Japan, with aid from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and the United States. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the war merged with other conflicts of World War II
World War II
as a major sector known as the China Burma India Theater. Some scholars consider the start of the full-scale Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
in 1937 to have been the beginning of World War II.[23][24] The Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
was the largest Asian war in the 20th century.[25] It accounted for the majority of civilian and military casualties in the Pacific War, with between 10 and 25 million Chinese civilians and over 4 million Chinese and Japanese military personnel dying from war-related violence, famine, and other causes. The war was the result of a decades-long Japanese imperialist policy to expand its influence politically and militarily in order to secure access to raw material reserves, food, and labor. The period after World War I
World War I
brought about increasing stress on the Japanese polity. Leftists sought universal suffrage and greater rights for workers. Increasing textile production from Chinese mills was adversely affecting Japanese production. The Great Depression
Great Depression
brought about a large slowdown in exports. All of this contributed to militant nationalism, culminating in the rise to power of a militarist fascist faction. This faction was led at its height by the Hideki Tojo
Hideki Tojo
cabinet of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association
Imperial Rule Assistance Association
under edict from Emperor Hirohito. In 1931, the Mukden Incident
Mukden Incident
helped spark the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. The Chinese were defeated and Japan
Japan
created a new puppet state, Manchukuo; many historians cite 1931 as the beginning of the war.[26][27][28] The view has been adopted by the PRC government. From 1931 to 1937, China and Japan
Japan
continued to skirmish in small, localized engagements, so-called "incidents". Initially the Japanese scored major victories, capturing both Shanghai and the Chinese capital of Nanking
Nanking
in 1937. After failing to stop the Japanese in the Battle of Wuhan, the Chinese central government was relocated to Chongqing
Chongqing
(Chungking) in the Chinese interior. By 1939, after Chinese victories in Changsha
Changsha
and Guangxi, and with Japan's lines of communications stretched deep into the Chinese interior, the war reached a stalemate. The Japanese were also unable to defeat the Chinese communist forces in Shaanxi, which waged a campaign of sabotage and guerrilla warfare against the invaders. While Japan
Japan
ruled the large cities, they lacked sufficient manpower to control China's vast countryside. During this time, Chinese communist forces launched a counter offensive in Central China while Chinese nationalist forces launched a large scale winter offensive. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the following day the United States
United States
declared war on Japan. The United States began to aid China by airlifting material over the Himalayas after the Allied defeat in Burma that closed the Burma Road. In 1944 Japan
Japan
launched the invasion, Operation Ichi-Go, that conquered Henan and Changsha. However, this failed to bring about the surrender of Chinese forces. In 1945, the Chinese Expeditionary Force
Chinese Expeditionary Force
resumed its advance in Burma and completed the Ledo Road
Ledo Road
linking India to China. At the same time, China launched large counteroffensives in South China and retook West Hunan and Guangxi. Despite continuing to occupy part of China's territory, Japan eventually surrendered on September 2, 1945, to Allied forces following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima
Hiroshima
and Nagasaki
Nagasaki
and the Soviet invasion of Japanese-held Manchuria. The remaining Japanese occupation forces (excluding Manchuria) formally surrendered on September 9, 1945, with the following International Military Tribunal for the Far East convened on April 29, 1946. At the outcome of the Cairo Conference of November 22–26, 1943, the Allies of World War II decided to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan
Japan
by restoring all the territories that Japan
Japan
annexed from China, including Manchuria, Taiwan/Formosa, and the Pescadores, to China, and to expel Japan
Japan
from the Korean Peninsula. China was recognized as one of the Big Four of the Allies during the war and became one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.[29][30][31]

Play media

The beginning of the war

Contents

1 Names

1.1 Other names

2 Background on the Sino-Japanese War

2.1 Republic of China 2.2 Twenty-One Demands 2.3 Jinan incident 2.4 Reunification of China (1928) 2.5 1929 Sino-Soviet war 2.6 Communist Party of China

3 Prelude: invasion of Manchuria
Manchuria
and Northern China 4 Course of the war

4.1 1937: Full-scale invasion of China 4.2 Battle of Shanghai 4.3 Battle of Nanking
Battle of Nanking
and Nanking
Nanking
Massacre 4.4 1938 4.5 1939–40: Chinese counterattack and stalemate 4.6 Japanese expansion 4.7 Chinese resistance strategy

4.7.1 First period (July 1937 – October 1938) 4.7.2 Second period (October 1938 – December 1941)

4.8 Forces 4.9 Relationship between the Nationalists and Communists 4.10 Entrance of the Western Allies

5 Foreign support for China

5.1 German support 5.2 Soviet support 5.3 Allied support

6 Involvement of French Indochina 7 Contemporaneous wars being fought by China 8 Use of chemical and bacteriological weapons 9 Use of suicide attacks 10 Ethnic minorities

10.1 Japanese atrocities committed against Hui
Hui
Muslims

11 Conclusion and aftermath

11.1 End of Pacific War
Pacific War
and surrender of Japanese troops in China 11.2 Post-war struggle and resumption of civil war 11.3 Peace treaty and Taiwan 11.4 Aftermath

11.4.1 China- Japan
Japan
relations 11.4.2 Aftermath in Taiwan 11.4.3 Japanese women left behind in China 11.4.4 Korean women left behind in China

12 Casualties assessment

12.1 Chinese casualties 12.2 Japanese casualties

13 Number of troops involved

13.1 Chinese forces

13.1.1 National Revolutionary Army

13.2 Japanese forces

13.2.1 Imperial Japanese Army 13.2.2 Collaborationist Chinese Army

14 Military equipment

14.1 National Revolutionary Army 14.2 Imperial Japanese Army

15 Major figures

15.1 Foreigners supporting China 15.2 Imperial Japanese Army 15.3 Chinese collaborators supporting Japan

16 Military engagements of the Second Sino-Japanese War

16.1 Battles 16.2 Aerial engagements 16.3 Japanese invasions and operations

17 Commemorations 18 See also 19 Notes 20 References

20.1 Bibliography

21 External links

21.1 Videos

Names[edit]

History of the Republic of China
Republic of China
(ROC)

1912–1949 Mainland rule

Xinhai Revolution Provisional Gov't Beiyang Government Northern Expedition Shanghai
Shanghai
massacre Chinese Civil War Nationalist Government Second Sino-Japanese War Nanking
Nanking
Massacre

Constitutional government

1945–present Taiwan

Retrocession of Taiwan February 28 Incident White Terror Korean War First Taiwan
Taiwan
Strait Crisis Vietnam
Vietnam
War Second Taiwan
Taiwan
Strait Crisis Project National Glory Three Noes Lieyu massacre Third Taiwan
Taiwan
Strait Crisis Anti-Secession Law 100th anniversary Sunflower Student Movement 2015 Ma–Xi meeting 2017 Summer Universiade

History of

China the PRC (1949–present) Taiwan
Taiwan
(geographical) Taipei Kaohsiung Beiping

Culture Economy Education Geography Politics

Taiwan
Taiwan
portal

v t e

Generalissimo
Generalissimo
Chiang Kai-shek, Allied Commander-in-Chief in the China theatre from 1942 to 1945

In China, the war is most commonly known as the "War of Resistance against Japan" (simplified Chinese: 抗日战争; traditional Chinese: 抗日戰爭) or simply the "War of Resistance" (simplified Chinese: 抗战; traditional Chinese: 抗戰). It was also called the "Eight Years' War of Resistance" (simplified Chinese: 八年抗战; traditional Chinese: 八年抗戰), but in 2017 the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a directive stating that textbooks were to refer to the war as the "Fourteen Years' War of Resistance" (simplified Chinese: 十四年抗战; traditional Chinese: 十四年抗戰), reflecting a focus on the broader conflict with Japan
Japan
going back to 1931.[32] It is also referred to as part of the "Global Anti-Fascist War", which is how World War II
World War II
is perceived by the Communist Party of China and the PRC government.[33] In Japan, nowadays, the name "Japan–China War" (Japanese: 日中戦爭, Hepburn: Nitchū Sensō) is most commonly used because of its perceived objectivity. When the invasion of China proper
China proper
began in earnest in July 1937 near Beijing, the government of Japan
Japan
used "The North China
North China
Incident" (Japanese: 北支事變/華北事變, Hepburn: Hokushi Jihen/Kahoku Jihen), and with the outbreak of the Battle of Shanghai
Battle of Shanghai
the following month, it was changed to "The China Incident" (Japanese: 支那事變, Hepburn: Shina Jihen). The word "incident" (Japanese: 事變, Hepburn: jihen) was used by Japan, as neither country had made a formal declaration of war. From the Japanese perspective, localizing these conflicts was beneficial in preventing intervention from other nations, particularly the United Kingdom and the United States, which were its primary source of petroleum and steel respectively. A formal expression of these conflicts would potentially lead to American embargo in accordance with the Neutrality Acts of the 1930s.[34] In addition, due to China's fractured political status, Japan
Japan
often claimed that China was no longer a recognizable political entity on which war could be declared.[35] Other names[edit] In Japanese propaganda, the invasion of China became a "holy war" (Japanese: 聖戦, Hepburn: seisen), the first step of the Hakkō ichiu (八紘一宇, "eight corners of the world under one roof" slogan). In 1940, Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe
Fumimaro Konoe
launched the Taisei Yokusankai. When both sides formally declared war in December 1941, the name was replaced by "Greater East Asia War" (Japanese: 大東亞戰爭, Hepburn: Daitōa Sensō). Although the Japanese government still uses the term "China Incident" in formal documents,[citation needed] the word Shina is considered derogatory by China and therefore the media in Japan
Japan
often paraphrase with other expressions like "The Japan–China Incident" (Japanese: 日華事變, Hepburn: Nikka Jiken, 日支事變 Nisshi Jiken), which were used by media as early as the 1930s. The name "Second Sino-Japanese War" is not commonly used in Japan
Japan
as the war it fought with the Qing dynasty
Qing dynasty
in 1894 is called the Qing-Japanese War (Japanese: 日清戦争, Hepburn: Nisshin–Sensō) rather than the First Sino-Japanese War. Background on the Sino-Japanese War[edit] The origin of the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
can be traced to the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895, in which China, then under the Qing dynasty, was defeated by Japan
Japan
and was forced to cede Formosa, and to recognize the full and complete independence of Korea in the Treaty of Shimonoseki; Japan
Japan
had also allegedly annexed the Diaoyudao/Senkaku islands in early 1895 as a result being the victors of this war (Japan claims the islands to have been uninhabited in 1895).[36][37][38] The Qing dynasty
Qing dynasty
was on the brink of collapse from internal revolts and foreign imperialism, while Japan
Japan
had emerged as a great power through its effective measures of modernization.[39] Republic of China[edit] The Republic of China
Republic of China
was founded in 1912, following the Xinhai Revolution which overthrew the last imperial dynasty of China, the Qing dynasty
Qing dynasty
(1644–1911). However, central authority disintegrated and the Republic's authority succumbed to that of regional warlords, mostly from the former Beiyang Army. Unifying the nation and repelling imperialism seemed a very remote possibility.[40] Some warlords even aligned themselves with various foreign powers in their battles with each other. For example, the warlord Zhang Zuolin
Zhang Zuolin
of Manchuria
Manchuria
from the Zhili clique
Zhili clique
openly cooperated with the Japanese for military and economic assistance.[41] Twenty-One Demands[edit] In 1915, Japan
Japan
issued the Twenty-One Demands
Twenty-One Demands
to extort further political and commercial privilege from China, which was accepted by Yuan Shikai.[42] Following World War I, Japan
Japan
acquired the German Empire's sphere of influence in Shandong
Shandong
province,[43] leading to nationwide anti-Japanese protests and mass demonstrations in China. Under the Beiyang government, China remained fragmented and was unable to resist foreign incursions.[44] For the purpose of unifying China and defeating the regional warlords, the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
(KMT, alternatively known as the Chinese Nationalist Party) in Guangzhou launched the Northern Expedition
Northern Expedition
from 1926 to 1928 with limited assistance from the Soviet Union.[45] Jinan incident[edit] Main article: Jinan incident The National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
(NRA) formed by the KMT swept through southern and central China until it was checked in Shandong, where confrontations with the Japanese garrison escalated into armed conflict. The conflicts were collectively known as the Jinan incident of 1928, during which time the Japanese military violently killed several Chinese officials and fired artillery shells into Jinan. Between 2,000 and 11,000 Chinese and Japanese civilians were believed to have been killed during these conflicts. The Jinan incident severely deteriorated the relations between the Chinese Nationalist government and Japan.[46][47] Reunification of China (1928)[edit] Main article: Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification
(1928) As the National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
approached Beijing, Zhang Zuolin decided to retreat back to Manchuria, before he was assassinated by the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
in 1928.[48] His son, Zhang Xueliang, took over as the leader of the Fengtian clique
Fengtian clique
in Manchuria. Later in the same year, Zhang decided to declare his allegiance to the Nationalist government in Nanking
Nanking
under Chiang Kai-shek, and consequently, China was nominally reunified under one government.[49] 1929 Sino-Soviet war[edit] Main article: Sino-Soviet conflict (1929) The July–November 1929 conflict over the Chinese Eastern Railroad (CER) further increased the tensions in the Northeast that would lead to the Mukden Incident
Mukden Incident
and eventually the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Soviet Red Army
Red Army
victory over Zhang Xueiliang's forces not only reasserted Soviet control over the CER in Manchuria
Manchuria
but revealed Chinese military weaknesses that Japanese Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
officers were quick to note.[50] The Soviet Red Army
Red Army
performance also stunned the Japanese. Manchuria was central to Japan's East Asia policy. Both the 1921 and 1927 Imperial Eastern Region Conferences reconfirmed Japan’s commitment to be the dominant power in the Northeast. The 1929 Red Army
Red Army
victory shook that policy to the core and reopened the Manchurian problem. By 1930, the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
realized they faced a Red Army
Red Army
that was only growing stronger. The time to act was drawing near and Japanese plans to conquer the Northeast were accelerated.[51] Communist Party of China[edit] In 1930, the Central Plains War
Central Plains War
broke out across China, involving regional commanders who had fought in alliance with the Kuomintang during the Northern Expedition, and the Nanking
Nanking
government under Chiang. The Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
(CPC) previously fought openly against the Nanking
Nanking
government after the Shanghai massacre
Shanghai massacre
of 1927, and they continued to expand during this civil war. The Kuomintang government in Nanking
Nanking
decided to focus their efforts on suppressing the Chinese Communists through the Encirclement
Encirclement
Campaigns, following the policy of "first internal pacification, then external resistance" (Chinese: 攘外必先安內). Prelude: invasion of Manchuria
Manchuria
and Northern China[edit]

Japanese troops entering Shenyang
Shenyang
during the Mukden Incident

The internecine warfare in China provided excellent opportunities for Japan, which saw Manchuria
Manchuria
as a limitless supply of raw materials, a market for its manufactured goods (now excluded from the influence of many Western countries in Depression-era tariffs), and as a protective buffer state against the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in Siberia. Japan
Japan
invaded Manchuria
Manchuria
outright after the Mukden Incident
Mukden Incident
in September 1931. Japan charged that their rights in Manchuria, established by the Russo-Japanese War, had been systematically violated and that there were "more than 120 cases of infringement of rights and interests, interference with business, boycott of Japanese goods, unreasonable taxation, detention of individuals, confiscation of properties, eviction, demand for cessation of business, assault and battery, and the oppression of Korean residents".[52] After five months of fighting, Japan
Japan
established the puppet state of Manchukuo
Manchukuo
in 1932, and installed the last emperor of China, Puyi, as its puppet ruler. Militarily too weak to challenge Japan
Japan
directly, China appealed to the League of Nations
League of Nations
for help. The League's investigation led to the publication of the Lytton Report, condemning Japan
Japan
for its incursion into Manchuria, causing Japan
Japan
to withdraw from the League of Nations. No country took action against Japan
Japan
beyond tepid censure. Incessant fighting followed the Mukden Incident. In 1932, Chinese and Japanese troops fought the January 28 Incident
January 28 Incident
battle. This resulted in the demilitarisation of Shanghai, which forbade the Chinese from deploying troops in their own city. In Manchukuo
Manchukuo
there was an ongoing campaign to defeat the Anti-Japanese Volunteer Armies that arose from widespread outrage over the policy of non-resistance to Japan. In 1933, the Japanese attacked the Great Wall region. The Tanggu Truce established in its aftermath, gave Japan
Japan
control of Jehol province as well as a demilitarized zone between the Great Wall and Beiping-Tianjin region. Japan
Japan
aimed to create another buffer zone between Manchukuo
Manchukuo
and the Chinese Nationalist government in Nanking. Japan
Japan
increasingly exploited China's internal conflicts to reduce the strength of its fractious opponents. Even years after the Northern Expedition, the political power of the Nationalist government was limited to just the area of the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Delta. Other sections of China were essentially in the hands of local Chinese warlords. Japan sought various Chinese collaborators and helped them establish governments friendly to Japan. This policy was called the Specialization of North China
North China
(Chinese: 華北特殊化; pinyin: huáběitèshūhùa), more commonly known as the North China Autonomous Movement. The northern provinces affected by this policy were Chahar, Suiyuan, Hebei, Shanxi, and Shandong. This Japanese policy was most effective in the area of what is now Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
and Hebei. In 1935, under Japanese pressure, China signed the He–Umezu Agreement, which forbade the KMT from conducting party operations in Hebei. In the same year, the Chin–Doihara Agreement was signed expelling the KMT from Chahar. Thus, by the end of 1935 the Chinese government had essentially abandoned northern China. In its place, the Japanese-backed East Hebei
Hebei
Autonomous Council and the Hebei–Chahar Political Council were established. There in the empty space of Chahar the Mongol Military Government was formed on May 12, 1936. Japan
Japan
provided all the necessary military and economic aid. Afterwards Chinese volunteer forces continued to resist Japanese aggression in Manchuria, and Chahar and Suiyuan. Course of the war[edit] 1937: Full-scale invasion of China[edit]

Generalissimo
Generalissimo
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
announced the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
policy of resistance against Japan
Japan
at Lushan on July 10, 1937, three days after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident.

On the night of July 7, 1937, Chinese and Japanese troops exchanged fire in the vicinity of the Lugou (or Marco Polo) bridge, a crucial access-route to Beijing. What began as confused, sporadic skirmishing soon escalated into a full-scale battle in which Beijing
Beijing
and its port city of Tianjin fell to Japanese forces (July–August 1937). On July 29, some 5,000 troops of the 1st and 2nd Corps of the East Hopei Army mutinied, turning against the Japanese garrison. In addition to Japanese military personnel, some 260 civilians living in Tongzhou in accordance with the Boxer Protocol
Boxer Protocol
of 1901, were killed in the uprising (predominantly Japanese including the police force and also some ethnic Koreans). The Chinese then set fire to and destroyed much of the city. Only around 60 Japanese civilians survived, who provided both journalists and later historians with firsthand witness accounts. As a result of the violence of the mutiny against Japanese civilians, the Tungchow mutiny, as it came to be called, strongly shook public opinion within Japan. Battle of Shanghai[edit] Main article: Battle of Shanghai

A Chinese machine gun nest in Shanghai. Note the German M35 used by the NRA soldiers.

The Imperial General Headquarters
Imperial General Headquarters
(GHQ) in Tokyo, content with the gains acquired in northern China following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, initially showed reluctance to escalate the conflict into full-scale war. The KMT, however, determined that the "breaking point" of Japanese aggression had been reached. Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
quickly mobilized the central government's army and air force, placed them under his direct command, and laid siege to the Japanese area of Shanghai
Shanghai
International Settlement, where 30,000 Japanese civilians lived with 30,000 troops on August 12, 1937. On August 13, 1937, Kuomintang
Kuomintang
soldiers and warplanes attacked Japanese Marine positions in Shanghai, leading to the Battle of Shanghai. On August 14, Kuomintang
Kuomintang
planes accidentally bombed the Shanghai
Shanghai
International Settlement, which led to more than 3,000 civilian deaths.[53] In the three days from August 14 through 16, 1937, the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
(IJN) sent many sorties of the then-advanced long-ranged G3M medium-heavy land-based bombers and assorted carrier-based aircraft with the expectation of destroying the Chinese Air Force. However, the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
encountered unexpected resistance from the defending Chinese Hawk III and P-26/281 Peashooter fighter squadrons; suffering heavy (50%) losses from the defending Chinese pilots (August 14 was subsequently commemorated by the KMT as China's Air Force Day).[54][55][56] The skies of China had become a testing zone for advanced biplane and new-generation monoplane combat-aircraft designs. The introduction of the advanced A5M "Claude" fighters into the Shanghai- Nanking
Nanking
theater of operations, beginning on September 18, 1937, helped the Japanese achieve a certain level of air superiority.[57][58] However the few experienced Chinese veteran pilots, even in their older and slower biplanes, proved more than able to hold their own against the sleek A5Ms in dogfights, and it also proved to be a battle of attrition against the Chinese Air Force.[59][60] At the start of the battle, the local strength of the NRA was around five divisions, or about 70,000 troops, while local Japanese forces comprised about 6,300 marines.[61] On August 23, Japanese Army reinforcements succeeded in landing in northern Shanghai. The Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
(IJA) ultimately committed over 200,000 troops, along with numerous naval vessels and aircraft, to capture the city. After more than three months of intense fighting, their casualties far exceeded initial expectations.[62] On October 26, the Japanese Army captured Dachang, an important strong-point within Shanghai, and on November 5, additional reinforcements of Japan
Japan
landed from Hangzhou Bay. Finally, on November 9, the NRA began a general retreat. Battle of Nanking
Battle of Nanking
and Nanking
Nanking
Massacre[edit] Main articles: Battle of Nanking
Battle of Nanking
and Nanking
Nanking
Massacre

A Chinese POW about to be beheaded by a Japanese officer with a shin gunto

Building on the hard-won victory in Shanghai, the IJA captured the KMT capital city of Nanking
Nanking
(Nanjing) (December 1937) and Northern Shanxi (September–November 1937). These campaigns involved approximately 350,000 Japanese soldiers, and considerably more Chinese. Historians estimate that between December 13, 1937, and late January 1938, Japanese forces tortured and murdered up to 300,000 Chinese (mostly civilians and surrendered soldiers) and raped tens of thousands of women during the Nanking Massacre
Nanking Massacre
(also known as the "Rape of Nanking"), after its fall. In 2005, a history textbook prepared by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform which had been approved by the government in 2001, sparked huge outcry and protests in China and Korea. It referred to the Nanking Massacre
Nanking Massacre
as an "incident", glossed over the issue of comfort women, and made only brief references to the death of Chinese soldiers and civilians in Nanking.[63] A copy of the 2005 version of a junior high school textbook titled New History Textbook found that that there is no mention of the " Nanjing
Nanjing
Massacre" or the "Nanjing Incident". Indeed, the only one sentence that referred to this event was: "they [the Japanese troops] occupied that city in December".[64] As of 2015[update], some right-wing Japanese negationists deny that the massacre occurred, and have successfully lobbied for revision and exclusion of information in Japanese schoolbooks.[65] 1938[edit] At the start of 1938, the leadership in Tokyo still hoped to limit the scope of the conflict to occupy areas around Shanghai, Nanking
Nanking
and most of northern China. They thought this would preserve strength for an anticipated showdown with the Soviet Union, but by now the Japanese government and GHQ had effectively lost control of the Japanese army in China. With many victories achieved, Japanese field generals escalated the war in Jiangsu in an attempt to wipe out Chinese resistance, but were defeated at the Battle of Taierzhuang (March–April 1938). Afterwards the IJA changed its strategy and deployed almost all of its existing armies in China to attack the city of Wuhan, which had become the political, economic and military center of rump China, in hopes of destroying the fighting strength of the NRA and of forcing the KMT government to negotiate for peace.[66] The Japanese captured Wuhan
Wuhan
on October 27, 1938, forcing the KMT to retreat to Chongqing
Chongqing
(Chungking), but Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
still refused to negotiate, saying he would only consider talks if Japan
Japan
agreed to withdraw to the pre-1937 borders. With Japanese casualties and costs mounting, the Imperial General Headquarters attempted to break Chinese resistance by ordering the air branches of their navy and army to launch the war's first massive air raids on civilian targets. Japanese raiders hit the Kuomintang's newly established provisional capital of Chongqing
Chongqing
and most other major cities in unoccupied China, leaving millions dead, injured, and homeless. 1939–40: Chinese counterattack and stalemate[edit] From the beginning of 1939, the war entered a new phase with the unprecedented defeat of the Japanese at Battle of Suixian–Zaoyang, 1st Battle of Changsha, Battle of South Guangxi and Battle of Zaoyi. These outcomes encouraged the Chinese to launch their first large-scale counter-offensive against the IJA in early 1940; however, due to its low military-industrial capacity and limited experience in modern warfare, this offensive was defeated. Afterwards Chiang could not risk any more all-out offensive campaigns given the poorly trained, under-equipped, and disorganized state of his armies and opposition to his leadership both within the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
and in China in general. He had lost a substantial portion of his best trained and equipped troops in the Battle of Shanghai
Battle of Shanghai
and was at times at the mercy of his generals, who maintained a high degree of autonomy from the central KMT government. During the offensive, Hui
Hui
forces in Suiyuan
Suiyuan
under generals Ma Hongbin and Ma Buqing
Ma Buqing
routed the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
and their puppet Inner Mongol forces and prevented the planned Japanese advance into northwest China. Ma Hongbin's father Ma Fulu had fought against Japanese in the Boxer Rebellion. General Ma Biao led Hui, Salar and Dongxiang cavalry to defeat the Japanese at the Battle of Huaiyang.[67][68][69][70][71][72][73][74][75] Ma Biao fought against the Japanese in the Boxer Rebellion.

Map showing the extent of Japanese occupation in 1940 (in red)

After 1940, the Japanese encountered tremendous difficulties in administering and garrisoning the seized territories, and tried to solve its occupation problems by implementing a strategy of creating friendly puppet governments favourable to Japanese interests in the territories conquered, most prominently the Nanking
Nanking
Nationalist Government headed by former KMT premier Wang Jingwei. However, atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army, as well as Japanese refusal to delegate any real power, left the puppets very unpopular and largely ineffective. The only success the Japanese had was to recruit a large Collaborationist Chinese Army
Collaborationist Chinese Army
to maintain public security in the occupied areas. Japanese expansion[edit]

Japanese occupation (red) of eastern China near the end of the war, and Communist guerrilla bases (striped)

By 1941, Japan
Japan
held most of the eastern coastal areas of China and Vietnam, but guerilla fighting continued in these occupied areas. Japan
Japan
had suffered high casualties from unexpectedly stubborn Chinese resistance, and neither side could make any swift progress in the manner of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
in Western Europe. Chinese resistance strategy[edit] The basis of Chinese strategy before the entrance of the Western Allies can be divided into two periods as follows:

First Period: July 7, 1937 (Battle of Lugou Bridge) – October 25, 1938 (end of the Battle of Wuhan
Battle of Wuhan
with the fall of the city). Second Period: October 25, 1938 (following the Fall of Wuhan) – December 1941 (before the Allies' declaration of war on Japan).

First period (July 1937 – October 1938)[edit]

Chinese soldiers in house-to-house fighting in the Battle of Taierzhuang, March–April 1938

Unlike Japan, China was unprepared for total war and had little military-industrial strength, no mechanized divisions, and few armoured forces.[76] Up until the mid-1930s, China had hoped that the League of Nations
League of Nations
would provide countermeasures to Japan's aggression. In addition, the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
(KMT) government was mired in a civil war against the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
(CPC), as Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
was quoted: "the Japanese are a disease of the skin, the Communists are a disease of the heart". The Second United Front
Second United Front
between the KMT and CPC was never truly unified, as each side was preparing for a showdown with the other once the Japanese were driven out. Even under these extremely unfavorable circumstances, Chiang realized that to win support from the United States
United States
and other foreign nations, China had to prove it was capable of fighting. Knowing a hasty retreat would discourage foreign aid, Chiang resolved to make a stand at Shanghai, using the best of his German-trained divisions to defend China's largest and most industrialized city from the Japanese. The battle lasted over three months, saw heavy casualties on both sides, and ended with a Chinese retreat towards Nanking, but proved that China would not be easily defeated and showed its determination to the world. The battle became an enormous morale booster for the Chinese people, as it decisively refuted the Japanese boast that Japan
Japan
could conquer Shanghai
Shanghai
in three days and China in three months. Afterwards, China began to adopt the Fabian strategy of "trading space for time" (simplified Chinese: 以空间换取时间; traditional Chinese: 以空間換取時間). The Chinese army would put up fights to delay the Japanese advance to northern and eastern cities, allowing the home front, with its professionals and key industries, to retreat west into Chongqing. As a result of Chinese troops' scorched earth strategies, in which dams and levees were intentionally sabotaged to create massive flooding, Japanese advances began to stall in late 1938. Second period (October 1938 – December 1941)[edit]

National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
soldiers march to the front in 1939.

During this period, the main Chinese objective was to drag out the war for as long as possible in a war of attrition, thereby exhausting Japanese resources while building up Chinese military capacity. American general Joseph Stilwell
Joseph Stilwell
called this strategy "winning by outlasting". The NRA adopted the concept of "magnetic warfare" to attract advancing Japanese troops to definite points where they were subjected to ambush, flanking attacks, and encirclements in major engagements. The most prominent example of this tactic was the successful defense of Changsha
Changsha
in 1939 (and again in 1941), in which heavy casualties were inflicted on the IJA. Local Chinese resistance forces, organized separately by both the communists and KMT, continued their resistance in occupied areas to pester the enemy and make their administration over the vast land area of China difficult. In 1940, the Chinese Red Army
Red Army
launched a major offensive in north China, destroying railways and a major coal mine. These constant harassment and sabotage operations deeply frustrated the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
and led them to employ the "Three Alls Policy" (kill all, loot all, burn all) (三光政策, Hanyu Pinyin: Sānguāng Zhèngcè, Japanese On: Sankō Seisaku). It was during this period that the bulk of Japanese war crimes
Japanese war crimes
were committed. By 1941, Japan
Japan
had occupied much of north and coastal China, but the KMT central government and military had retreated to the western interior to continue their resistance, while the Chinese communists remained in control of base areas in Shaanxi. In the occupied areas, Japanese control was mainly limited to railroads and major cities ("points and lines"). They did not have a major military or administrative presence in the vast Chinese countryside, where Chinese guerrillas roamed freely. Forces[edit]

Growth of the Chinese Army[2][77]

June 1939 December 1943

Rifles 775,520 1,000,000

Machine guns 59,663 83,000

Mortars 4,403 7,800

Field artillery 910 1,330

Personnel 2,600,000 3,000,000

Opposing forces, October 1, 1939[8]

Chinese Japanese

Northern Front Central Front Southern Front Total Northern Front Central Front Southern Front Total

Infantry divisions 75 99 31 205 15 11 2 28

Infantry brigades 34 2 2 38 9 4 2 15

Cavalry
Cavalry
divisions 11 1 0 12 0 0 0 0

Cavalry
Cavalry
brigades 10 0 0 10 1 1 0 2

Artillery
Artillery
brigades 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 4

Ind. arty. regiments unknown unknown unknown 38 1 1 1 3

AAA regiments unknown unknown unknown 5 1 1 0 2

Other AAA units 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1

Mortar regiments 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

Tank regiments unknown unknown unknown 1 3 3 0 6

Ind. tank battalions unknown unknown unknown 1 1 2 1 4

Rail regiments unknown unknown unknown 1 3 2 0 5

Ind. engineer regiments unknown unknown unknown 7 5 5 1 11

Mechanized brigades 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1

Ind. MG battalions 0 0 0 0 3 3 2 8

Independent battalions 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 6

Lt. ind. arty. regiments unknown unknown unknown 6 0 0 0 0

Separate armored groups 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Ind. mtn. arty. regiments 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 4

Field artillery (excluding mortars) unknown unknown unknown 2,036 1,565 1,353 344 3,262

Tanks and AFVs unknown unknown unknown 207 342 505 95 942

Aircraft unknown unknown unknown 220 390 500 190 1,080

Personnel 788,000 856,000 154,000 2,257,000 485,000 420,000 110,000 1,015,000

Opposing forces, March 1, 1941[78]

Chinese Japanese

Northern Front Central Front Southern Front Total Northern Front Central Front Southern Front Total

Infantry divisions 95 147 38 280 9 12 6 27

Infantry brigades 37 12 3 52 13 7 0 20

Cavalry
Cavalry
divisions 13 0 0 13 0 0 0 0

Cavalry
Cavalry
brigades 9 0 0 9 2 1 0 3

Artillery
Artillery
brigades unknown unknown unknown 2 2 2 2 6

Ind. arty. regiments unknown unknown unknown 7 1 1 0 2

Ind. mtn. arty. regts. unknown unknown unknown 11 2 2 2 6

Ind. AT arty. regts. unknown unknown unknown 6 0 0 0 0

AAA regiments unknown unknown unknown 6 2 2 1 5

Other AAA units 0 0 0 0 15 16 9 40

Mortar regiments unknown unknown unknown 6 1 0 0 1

Tank regiments unknown unknown unknown 2 2 2 1 5

Ind. tank battalions unknown unknown unknown 1 5 2 2 9

Rail regiments unknown unknown unknown 1 3 1 0 4

Ind. engineer regiments unknown unknown unknown 6 5 5 1 11

Ind. MG battalions 0 0 0 0 4 4 2 10

Separate armored groups unknown unknown unknown 9 0 0 0 0

Field artillery (excluding mortars, AAA, and AT guns) 620 600 180 1,400 1,020 1,044 484 2,548

Tanks and tankettes 39 122 0 161 259 293 190 742

Aircraft unknown unknown unknown 164 140 340 420 900

Personnel 1,200,000 1,460,000 500,000 3,160,000 390,000 400,000 210,000 1,000,000

Relationship between the Nationalists and Communists[edit]

Eighth Route Army
Eighth Route Army
Commander Zhu De
Zhu De
with KMT Blue Sky White Sun Emblem cap

After the Mukden Incident
Mukden Incident
in 1931, Chinese public opinion was strongly critical of Manchuria's leader, the "young marshal" Zhang Xueliang, for his nonresistance to the Japanese invasion, even though the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
central government was also responsible for this policy, giving Zhang an order to "improvise" while not offering support. After losing Manchuria
Manchuria
to the Japanese, Zhang and his Northeast Army were given the duty of suppressing the Red Army
Red Army
of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) in Shaanxi
Shaanxi
after their Long March. This resulted in great casualties for his Northeast Army, which received no support in manpower or weaponry from Chiang Kai-shek. On December 12, 1936, a deeply disgruntled Zhang Xueliang
Zhang Xueliang
kidnapped Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
in Xi'an, hoping to force an end to the conflict between KMT and CPC. To secure the release of Chiang, the KMT agreed to a temporary end to the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
and, on December 24, the creation of a United Front between the CPC and KMT against Japan. The alliance having salutary effects for the beleaguered CPC, they agreed to form the New Fourth Army
New Fourth Army
and the 8th Route Army
8th Route Army
and place them under the nominal control of the NRA. The CPC's Red Army
Red Army
fought alongside KMT forces during the Battle of Taiyuan, and the high point of their cooperation came in 1938 during the Battle of Wuhan. Despite Japan's steady territorial gains in northern China, the coastal regions, and the rich Yangtze River
Yangtze River
Valley in central China, the distrust between the two antagonists was scarcely veiled. The uneasy alliance began to break down by late 1938, partially due to the Communists' aggressive efforts to expand their military strength by absorbing Chinese guerrilla forces behind Japanese lines. Chinese militia who refused to switch their allegiance were often labelled "collaborators" and attacked by CPC forces. For example, the Red Army led by He Long
He Long
attacked and wiped out a brigade of Chinese militia led by Zhang Yin-wu in Hebei
Hebei
in June 1939.[79] Starting in 1940, open conflict between Nationalists and Communists became more frequent in the occupied areas outside of Japanese control, culminating in the New Fourth Army Incident in January 1941. Afterwards, the Second United Front
Second United Front
completely broke down and Chinese Communists leader Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
outlined the preliminary plan for the CPC's eventual seizure of power from Chiang Kai-shek. Mao began his final push for consolidation of CPC power under his authority, and his teachings became the central tenets of the CPC doctrine that came to be formalized as " Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Thought". The communists also began to focus most of their energy on building up their sphere of influence wherever opportunities were presented, mainly through rural mass organizations, administrative, land and tax reform measures favoring poor peasants; while the Nationalists attempted to neutralize the spread of Communist influence by military blockade of areas controlled by CPC and fighting the Japanese at the same time.[80] Entrance of the Western Allies[edit]

Play media

On February 18, 1943, Madame Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
addressed both houses of the US Congress.

Generalissimo
Generalissimo
Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill met at the Cairo Conference
Cairo Conference
in 1943 during World War II.

Generalissimo
Generalissimo
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
and his wife Madame Chiang with Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Joseph Stilwell
Joseph Stilwell
in 1942, Burma

A US poster advocating helping China fight on

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States
United States
declared war against Japan, and within days China joined the Allies in formal declaration of war against Japan, Germany and Italy.[81] As the Western Allies entered the war against Japan, the Sino-Japanese War would become part of a greater conflict, the Pacific theatre of World War II. Almost immediately, Chinese troops achieved another decisive victory in the Battle of Changsha, which earned the Chinese government much prestige from the Western Allies. President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and China as the world's "Four Policemen", elevating the international status of China to an unprecedented height after the century of humiliation at the hands of various imperialist powers. Knowledge of Japanese naval movements in the Pacific was provided to the American Navy by the Sino-American Cooperative Organization
Sino-American Cooperative Organization
(SACO) which was run by the Chinese intelligence head Dai Li.[82] Philippine and Japanese ocean weather was affected by weather originating near northern China.[83] The base of SACO located in Yangjiashan.[84] Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
continued to receive supplies from the United States. However, in contrast to the Arctic supply route to the Soviet Union which stayed open through most of the war, sea routes to China and the Yunnan– Vietnam
Vietnam
Railway had been closed since 1940. Therefore, between the closing of the Burma Road
Burma Road
in 1942 and its re-opening as the Ledo Road
Ledo Road
in 1945, foreign aid was largely limited to what could be flown in over "The Hump". In Burma, on April 16, 1942, 7,000 British soldiers were encircled by the Japanese 33rd Division during the Battle of Yenangyaung
Battle of Yenangyaung
and rescued by the Chinese 38th Division.[85] After the Doolittle Raid, the Imperial Japanese Army conducted a massive sweep through Zhejiang
Zhejiang
and Jiangxi
Jiangxi
of China, now known as the Zhejiang- Jiangxi
Jiangxi
Campaign, with the goal of finding the surviving American airmen, applying retribution on the Chinese who aided them and destroying air bases. The operation started May 15, 1942, with 40 infantry battalions and 15–16 artillery battalions but was repelled by Chinese forces in September.[86] During this campaign, the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
left behind a trail of devastation and had also spread cholera, typhoid, plague and dysentery pathogens. Chinese estimates put the death toll at 250,000 civilians.[87][88][89] Most of China's industry had already been captured or destroyed by Japan, and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
refused to allow the United States
United States
to supply China through Kazakhstan into Xinjiang
Xinjiang
as the Xinjiang
Xinjiang
warlord Sheng Shicai
Sheng Shicai
had turned anti-Soviet in 1942 with Chiang's approval. For these reasons, the Chinese government never had the supplies and equipment needed to mount major counter-offensives. Despite the severe shortage of matériel, in 1943, the Chinese were successful in repelling major Japanese offensives in Hubei and Changde. Chiang was named Allied commander-in-chief in the China theater in 1942. American general Joseph Stilwell
Joseph Stilwell
served for a time as Chiang's chief of staff, while simultaneously commanding American forces in the China-Burma-India Theater. For many reasons, relations between Stilwell and Chiang soon broke down. Many historians (such as Barbara W. Tuchman) have suggested it was largely due to the corruption and inefficiency of the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
(KMT) government, while others (such as Ray Huang and Hans van de Ven) have depicted it as a more complicated situation. Stilwell had a strong desire to assume total control of Chinese troops and pursue an aggressive strategy, while Chiang preferred a patient and less expensive strategy of outwaiting the Japanese. Chiang continued to maintain a defensive posture despite Allied pleas to actively break the Japanese blockade, because China had already suffered tens of millions of war casualties and believed that Japan
Japan
would eventually capitulate in the face of America's overwhelming industrial output. For these reasons the other Allies gradually began to lose confidence in the Chinese ability to conduct offensive operations from the Asian mainland, and instead concentrated their efforts against the Japanese in the Pacific Ocean Areas and South West Pacific Area, employing an island hopping strategy.[90] Longstanding differences in national interest and political stance among China, the United States, and the United Kingdom remained in place. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
was reluctant to devote British troops, many of whom had been routed by the Japanese in earlier campaigns, to the reopening of the Burma Road; Stilwell, on the other hand, believed that reopening the road was vital, as all China's mainland ports were under Japanese control. The Allies' "Europe First" policy did not sit well with Chiang, while the later British insistence that China send more and more troops to Indochina for use in the Burma Campaign
Burma Campaign
was seen by Chiang as an attempt to use Chinese manpower to defend British colonial holdings. Chiang also believed that China should divert its crack army divisions from Burma to eastern China to defend the airbases of the American bombers that he hoped would defeat Japan
Japan
through bombing, a strategy that American general Claire Lee Chennault
Claire Lee Chennault
supported but which Stilwell strongly opposed. In addition, Chiang voiced his support of Indian independence in a 1942 meeting with Mahatma Gandhi, which further soured the relationship between China and the United Kingdom.[91] American and Canadian-born Chinese were recruited to act as covert operatives in Japanese-occupied China (Canadian-born Chinese who had not been granted citizenship were trained by the British army). Employing their racial background as a disguise, their mandate was to blend in with local citizens and wage a campaign of sabotage. Activities focused on destruction of Japanese transportation of supplies (signaling bomber destruction of railroads, bridges).[92] Chinese forces invaded northern Burma in late 1943 besieged Japanese troops in Myitkyina
Myitkyina
and captured Mount Song.[93] The British and Commonwealth forces had their operation in Mission 204
Mission 204
which attempted to provide assistance to the Chinese Nationalist Army.[94] The first phase in 1942 under command of SOE achieved very little, but lessons were learned and a second more successful phase, commenced in February 1943 under British Military command, was conducted before the Japanese Operation Ichi-Go
Operation Ichi-Go
offensive in 1944 compelled evacuation.[95] The United States
United States
saw the Chinese theater as a means to tie up a large number of Japanese troops, as well as being a location for American airbases from which to strike the Japanese home islands. In 1944, with the Japanese position in the Pacific deteriorating rapidly, the IJA mobilized over 500,000 men and launched Operation Ichi-Go, their largest offensive of World War II, to attack the American airbases in China and link up the railway between Manchuria
Manchuria
and Vietnam. This brought major cities in Hunan, Henan
Henan
and Guangxi
Guangxi
under Japanese occupation. The failure of Chinese forces to defend these areas encouraged Stilwell to attempt to gain overall command of the Chinese army, and his subsequent showdown with Chiang led to his replacement by Major General Albert Coady Wedemeyer. By the end of 1944 Chinese troops under the command of Sun Li-jen attacking from India, and those under Wei Lihuang
Wei Lihuang
attacking from Yunnan, joined forces in Mong-Yu, successfully driving the Japanese out of North Burma and securing the Ledo Road, China's vital supply artery.[96] In Spring 1945 the Chinese launched offensives that retook Hunan and Guangxi. With the Chinese army progressing well in training and equipment, Wedemeyer planned to launch Operation Carbonado in summer 1945 to retake Guangdong, thus obtaining a coastal port, and from there drive northwards toward Shanghai. However, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima
Hiroshima
and Nagasaki
Nagasaki
and Soviet invasion of Manchuria hastened Japanese surrender and these plans were not put into action.[97] Foreign support for China[edit] See also: Motives of the Second Sino-Japanese War Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
provided aid to China at the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War. By 1940 the United States
United States
had become China's main diplomatic, financial and military supporter.[98] German support[edit] Main article: Sino-German cooperation 1926–1941 Prior to the war, Germany and China were in close economic and military cooperation, with Germany helping China modernize its industry and military in exchange for raw materials. More than half of German arms exports during its rearmament period were to China. Germany sent military advisers such as Alexander von Falkenhausen
Alexander von Falkenhausen
to China to help the KMT government reform its armed forces. Some divisions began training to German standards and were to form the core of modernized forces in the NRA. While 30 German-trained divisions were proposed originally, the plan failed to materialize as Germany withdrew its support in 1938 in favor of an alliance with Japan against the Soviet Union.[citation needed] Soviet support[edit]

I-16 with Chinese insignia. I-16 was the main fighter plane used by the Chinese Air Force and Soviet volunteers.

The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
defeated Japan
Japan
in the Battles of Khalkhin Gol
Battles of Khalkhin Gol
in May – September 1939, leaving the Japanese reluctant to fight the Soviets again.[99] After Germany and Japan
Japan
signed the anti-communist Anti-Comintern Pact, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
hoped to keep China fighting, in order to deter a Japanese invasion of Siberia
Siberia
and save itself from a two-front war. In September 1937, they signed the Sino-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
Sino-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
and approved Operation Zet, the formation of a secret Soviet volunteer air force, in which Soviet technicians upgraded and ran some of China's transportation systems. Bombers, fighters, supplies and advisors arrived, including Soviet general Vasily Chuikov, future victor in the Battle of Stalingrad. Prior to the Western Allies, the Soviets provided the most foreign aid to China: some $250 million in credits for munitions and other supplies. In April 1941, Soviet aid ended with the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact and the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. This pact enabled the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
to avoid fighting against Germany and Japan
Japan
at the same time. In August 1945, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
annulled the neutrality pact with Japan
Japan
and invaded Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, the Kuril Islands, and northern Korea. The Soviets also continued to support the Chinese Communist Party. In total, 3,665 Soviet advisors and pilots served in China,[100] and 227 of them died fighting there.[101] Allied support[edit]

Flying Tigers
Flying Tigers
Commander Claire Lee Chennault

From December 1937, events such as the Japanese attack on the USS Panay and the Nanking Massacre
Nanking Massacre
swung public opinion in the West sharply against Japan
Japan
and increased their fear of Japanese expansion, which prompted the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to provide loan assistance for war supply contracts to China. Australia also prevented a Japanese government-owned company from taking over an iron mine in Australia, and banned iron ore exports in 1938.[102] However, in July 1939, negotiations between Japanese Foreign Minister Arita Khatira and the British Ambassador in Tokyo, Robert Craigie, led to an agreement by which Great Britain recognized Japanese conquests in China. At the same time, the US government extended a trade agreement with Japan
Japan
for six months, then fully restored it. Under the agreement, Japan
Japan
purchased trucks for the Kwantung Army,[103] machine tools for aircraft factories, strategic materials (steel and scrap iron up to October 16, 1940, petrol and petroleum products up to June 26, 1941),[104] and various other much-needed supplies.

A "blood chit" issued to American Volunteer Group
American Volunteer Group
pilots requesting all Chinese to offer rescue and protection

Japan
Japan
invaded and occupied the northern part of French Indochina (present-day Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) in September 1940 to prevent China from receiving the 10,000 tons of materials delivered monthly by the Allies via the Haiphong– Yunnan
Yunnan
Fou Railway line. On June 22, 1941, Germany attacked the Soviet Union. In spite of non-aggression pacts or trade connections, Hitler's assault threw the world into a frenzy of re-aligning political outlooks and strategic prospects. On July 21, Japan
Japan
occupied the southern part of French Indochina (southern Vietnam
Vietnam
and Cambodia), contravening a 1940 "gentlemen's agreement" not to move into southern French Indochina. From bases in Cambodia
Cambodia
and southern Vietnam, Japanese planes could attack Malaya, Singapore, and the Dutch East Indies. As the Japanese occupation of northern French Indochina
French Indochina
in 1940 had already cut off supplies from the West to China, the move into southern French Indochina
French Indochina
was viewed as a direct threat to British and Dutch colonies. Many principal figures in the Japanese government and military (particularly the navy) were against the move, as they foresaw that it would invite retaliation from the West.

Free Thai, American and Chinese military officers in China during the war

On July 24, 1941, Roosevelt requested Japan
Japan
withdraw all its forces from Indochina. Two days later the USA and the UK began an oil embargo; two days after that the Netherlands joined them. This was a decisive moment in the Second Sino-Japanese War. The loss of oil imports made it impossible for Japan
Japan
to continue operations in China on a long term basis. It set the stage for Japan
Japan
to launch a series of military attacks against the Allies, including the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Play media

US Air Forces video: Flying Tigers
Flying Tigers
Bite Back

In mid-1941, the United States
United States
government financed the creation of the American Volunteer Group
American Volunteer Group
(AVG), or Flying Tigers, to replace the withdrawn Soviet volunteers and aircraft. Contrary to popular perception, the Flying Tigers
Flying Tigers
did not enter actual combat until after the United States
United States
had declared war on Japan. Led by Claire Lee Chennault, their early combat success of 300 kills against a loss of 12 of their newly introduced shark painted P-40 fighters heavily armed with 6X50 caliber machine guns and very fast diving speeds earned them wide recognition at a time when the Chinese Air Force and Allies in the Pacific and SE Asia were suffering heavy losses, and soon afterwards their "boom and zoom" high-speed hit-and-run dissimilar air combat tactics would be adopted by the United States
United States
Army Air Forces.[105] The Sino-American Cooperative Organization[106][107][108] was an organization created by the SACO Treaty signed by the Republic of China and the United States
United States
of America in 1942 that established a mutual intelligence gathering entity in China between the respective nations against Japan. It operated in China jointly along with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), America's first intelligence agency and forerunner of the CIA while also serving as joint training program between the two nations. Among all the wartime missions that Americans set up in China, SACO was the only one that adopted a policy of "total immersion" with the Chinese. The "Rice Paddy Navy" or "What-the-Hell Gang" operated in the China-Burma-India theater, advising and training, forecasting weather and scouting landing areas for USN fleet and Gen Claire Chennault's 14th AF, rescuing downed American flyers, and intercepting Japanese radio traffic. An underlying mission objective during the last year of war was the development and preparation of the China coast for Allied penetration and occupation. The Foochow (Fujian Province) was scouted as a potential staging area and springboard for the future military landing of Allies of World War II
World War II
to Japan. A British-Australian commando operation, Mission 204, was initialized in February 1942 to provide training to Chinese guerrilla troops. Commandos working with the Free Thai Movement
Free Thai Movement
also operated in China, mostly while on their way into Thailand.[109] Involvement of French Indochina[edit] See also: Japanese invasion of French Indochina
French Indochina
and Japanese coup d'état in French Indochina The Chinese Kuomintang
Kuomintang
also supported the Vietnamese Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng (VNQDD) in its battle against French and Japanese imperialism. In Guangxi, Chinese military leaders were organizing Vietnamese nationalists against the Japanese. The VNQDD had been active in Guangxi
Guangxi
and some of their members had joined the KMT army.[110] Under the umbrella of KMT activities, a broad alliance of nationalists emerged. With Ho at the forefront, the Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi (Vietnamese Independence League, usually known as the Viet Minh) was formed and based in the town of Jingxi.[110] The pro-VNQDD nationalist Ho Ngoc Lam, a KMT army officer and former disciple of Phan Bội Châu,[111] was named as the deputy of Phạm Văn Đồng, later to be Ho's Prime Minister. The front was later broadened and renamed the Viet Nam Giai Phong Dong Minh ( Vietnam
Vietnam
Liberation League).[110] The Viet Nam Revolutionary League was a union of various Vietnamese nationalist groups, run by the pro Chinese VNQDD. Chinese KMT General Zhang Fakui
Zhang Fakui
created the league to further Chinese influence in Indochina, against the French and Japanese. Its stated goal was for unity with China under the Three Principles of the People, created by KMT founder Dr. Sun and opposition to Japanese and French Imperialists.[112][113] The Revolutionary League was controlled by Nguyen Hai Than, who was born in China and could not speak Vietnamese. General Zhang shrewdly blocked the Communists of Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh from entering the league, as Zhang's main goal was Chinese influence in Indochina.[114] The KMT utilized these Vietnamese nationalists during World War II
World War II
against Japanese forces.[110] Franklin D. Roosevelt, through General Stilwell, privately made it clear that they preferred that the French not reacquire French Indochina (modern day Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) after the war was over. Roosevelt offered Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
control of all of Indochina. It was said that Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
replied: "Under no circumstances!"[115] After the war, 200,000 Chinese troops under General Lu Han were sent by Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
to northern Indochina (north of the 16th parallel) to accept the surrender of Japanese occupying forces there, and remained in Indochina until 1946, when the French returned.[116] The Chinese used the VNQDD, the Vietnamese branch of the Chinese Kuomintang, to increase their influence in French Indochina
French Indochina
and to put pressure on their opponents.[117] Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
threatened the French with war in response to manoeuvering by the French and Ho Chi Minh's forces against each other, forcing them to come to a peace agreement. In February 1946, he also forced the French to surrender all of their concessions in China and to renounce their extraterritorial privileges in exchange for the Chinese withdrawing from northern Indochina and allowing French troops to reoccupy the region. Following France's agreement to these demands, the withdrawal of Chinese troops began in March 1946.[118][119][120][121] Contemporaneous wars being fought by China[edit] The Chinese were not entirely devoting all their resources to the Japanese, because they were fighting several other wars at the same time.[citation needed] Rebellion occurred in the Xinjiang
Xinjiang
province in 1937 when a pro-Soviet Hui
Hui
general Ma Zhanshan
Ma Zhanshan
invaded the province accompanied by Soviet troops. The invasion was resisted by another Hui
Hui
general Ma Hushan
Ma Hushan
of the KMT 36th Division. General Ma Hushan
Ma Hushan
was expecting help from Nanking, as he exchanged messages with Chiang regarding the Soviet attack. But, both the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Xinjiang
Xinjiang
War erupted simultaneously leaving Chiang and Ma Hushan
Ma Hushan
each on their own to confront the Japanese and Soviet forces. The Republic of China
Republic of China
government was fully aware of the Soviet invasion of Xinjiang
Xinjiang
province, and Soviet troops moving around Xinjiang
Xinjiang
and Gansu, but it was forced to mask these maneuvers to the public as "Japanese propaganda" to avoid an international incident and for continued military supplies from the Soviets.[122] Because the pro-Soviet governor Sheng Shicai
Sheng Shicai
controlled Xinjiang, which was garrisoned with Soviet troops in Turfan, the Chinese government had to keep troops stationed there as well. General Ma Buqing
Ma Buqing
was in virtual control of the Gansu
Gansu
corridor at that time.[123] Ma Buqing
Ma Buqing
had earlier fought against the Japanese, but because the Soviet threat was great, Chiang changed Ma's position, in July 1942, by instructing Ma to move 30,000 of his troops to the Tsaidam marsh in the Qaidam Basin
Qaidam Basin
of Qinghai.[124][125] Chiang named Ma as Reclamation Commissioner, to threaten Sheng Shicai's southern flank in Xinjiang, which bordered Tsaidam. After Ma evacuated his positions in Gansu, Kuomintang
Kuomintang
troops from central China flooded the area, and infiltrated Soviet occupied Xinjiang, gradually reclaiming it and forcing Sheng Shicai
Sheng Shicai
to break with the Soviets. The Kuomintang
Kuomintang
ordered Ma Bufang
Ma Bufang
several times to march his troops into Xinjiang
Xinjiang
to intimidate the pro-Soviet Governor Sheng Shicai. This helped provide protection for Chinese settling in Xinjiang.[126] The Ili Rebellion broke out in Xinjiang
Xinjiang
when the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
Hui Officer Liu Bin-Di was killed while fighting Turkic Uyghur rebels in November 1944. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
supported the Turkic rebels against the Kuomintang, and Kuomintang
Kuomintang
forces were fighting back.[127] Use of chemical and bacteriological weapons[edit]

Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces
Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces
with gas masks and rubber gloves during a chemical attack near Chapei in the Battle of Shanghai

Despite Article 23 of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, article V of the Treaty in Relation to the Use of Submarines and Noxious Gases in Warfare,[128] article 171 of the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
and a resolution adopted by the League of Nations
League of Nations
on May 14, 1938, condemning the use of poison gas by the Empire of Japan, the Imperial Japanese Army frequently used chemical weapons during the war. According to historians Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Seiya Matsuno, the chemical weapons were authorized by specific orders given by Japanese Emperor Hirohito
Hirohito
himself, transmitted by the Imperial General Headquarters. For example, the Emperor authorized the use of toxic gas on 375 separate occasions during the Battle of Wuhan
Battle of Wuhan
from August to October 1938.[129] They were also used during the invasion of Changde. Those orders were transmitted either by Prince Kan'in Kotohito
Prince Kan'in Kotohito
or General Hajime Sugiyama.[130] Bacteriological weapons provided by Shirō Ishii's units were also profusely used. For example, in 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
Air Force bombed Ningbo
Ningbo
with fleas carrying the bubonic plague.[131] During the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials the accused, such as Major General Kiyashi Kawashima, testified that, in 1941, some 40 members of Unit 731
Unit 731
air-dropped plague-contaminated fleas on Changde. These attacks caused epidemic plague outbreaks.[132] In the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign, of the 10,000 Japanese soldiers who fell ill with the disease, about 1,700 Japanese troops died when the biological weapons rebounded on their own forces.[133][134] Use of suicide attacks[edit] Chinese armies deployed "dare to die corps" (traditional Chinese: 敢死隊; simplified Chinese: 敢死队; pinyin: gǎnsǐduì) or "suicide squads"[135][136][137][138][139][140][141][142][143][144] against the Japanese. A "dare to die corps" was effectively used against Japanese units at the Battle of Taierzhuang.[145][146][147][148][149][150]

Chinese suicide bomber putting on an explosive vest made out of Model 24 hand grenades to use in an attack on Japanese tanks at the Battle of Taierzhuang

Suicide bombing
Suicide bombing
was also used against the Japanese. A Chinese soldier detonated a grenade vest and killed 20 Japanese at Sihang Warehouse. Chinese troops strapped explosives like grenade packs or dynamite to their bodies and threw themselves under Japanese tanks to blow them up.[151] This tactic was used during the Battle of Shanghai, where a Chinese suicide bomber stopped a Japanese tank column by exploding himself beneath the lead tank,[152] and at the Battle of Taierzhuang where dynamite and grenades were strapped on by Chinese troops who rushed at Japanese tanks and blew themselves up.[153][154][155][156][157][158] During one incident at Taierzhuang, Chinese suicide bombers destroyed four Japanese tanks with grenade bundles.[159][160] Ethnic minorities[edit] Main article: Chinese ethnic minorities in the Second Sino-Japanese War Japan
Japan
attempted to reach out to Chinese ethnic minorities in order to rally them to their side against the Han Chinese, but only succeeded with certain Manchu, Mongol, Uyghur and Tibetan elements. The Japanese attempt to get the Muslim Hui people
Hui people
on their side failed, as many Chinese generals such as Bai Chongxi, Ma Hongbin, Ma Hongkui, and Ma Bufang
Ma Bufang
were Hui. The Japanese attempted to approach Ma Bufang but were unsuccessful in making any agreement with him.[161] Ma Bufang ended up supporting the anti-Japanese Imam Hu Songshan, who prayed for the destruction of the Japanese.[162] Ma became chairman (governor) of Qinghai
Qinghai
in 1938 and commanded a group army. He was appointed because of his anti-Japanese inclinations,[163] and was such an obstruction to Japanese agents trying to contact the Tibetans that he was called an "adversary" by a Japanese agent.[164] Japanese atrocities committed against Hui
Hui
Muslims[edit] During the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
the Japanese followed what has been referred to as a "killing policy" and destroyed many mosques. According to Wan Lei, "Statistics showed that the Japanese destroyed 220 mosques and killed countless Hui people
Hui people
by April 1941." After the Nanking Massacre
Nanking Massacre
mosques in Nanking
Nanking
were found to be filled with dead bodies. They also followed a policy of economic oppression which involved the destruction of mosques and Hui
Hui
communities and made many Hui
Hui
jobless and homeless. Another policy was one of deliberate humiliation. This included soldiers smearing mosques with pork fat, forcing Hui
Hui
to butcher pigs to feed the soldiers, and forcing girls to supposedly train as geishas and singers but in fact made them serve as sex slaves. Hui
Hui
cemeteries were destroyed for military reasons.[165] Many Hui
Hui
fought in the war against the Japanese such as Bai Chongxi, Ma Hongbin, Ma Hongkui, Ma Bufang, Ma Zhanshan, Ma Biao, Ma Zhongying, Ma Buqing
Ma Buqing
and Ma Hushan. Qinghai
Qinghai
Tibetans served in the Qinghai
Qinghai
army against the Japanese.[166][167][168] The Qinghai
Qinghai
Tibetans view the Tibetans of Central Tibet (Tibet proper, ruled by the Dalai Lamas from Lhasa) as distinct and different from themselves, and even take pride in the fact that they were not ruled by Lhasa ever since the collapse of the Tibetan Empire.[169] Xining was subjected to aerial bombardment by Japanese warplanes in 1941, causing all ethnicities in Qinghai
Qinghai
to unite against the Japanese.[170][171] General Han Youwen directed the defense of the city of Xining during air raids by Japanese planes. Han survived an aerial bombardment by Japanese planes in Xining while he was being directed via telephone by Ma Bufang, who hid in an air raid shelter in a military barrack. The bombing resulted Han being buried in rubble, though he was later rescued.

Chinese Muslim Cavalry

Chinese Muslim soldiers

Conclusion and aftermath[edit] End of Pacific War
Pacific War
and surrender of Japanese troops in China[edit] Main articles: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima
Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, Soviet invasion of Manchuria, and Japanese Instrument of Surrender The United States
United States
and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
put an end to the Second World War by attacking the Japanese with a new weapon (on the United States' part) and an incursion into Manchuria
Manchuria
(on the Soviet Union's part). On August 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, dropped the first atomic bomb used in combat on Hiroshima, killing tens of thousands and leveling the city. On August 9, 1945, the Soviet Union renounced its non-aggression pact with Japan
Japan
and attacked the Japanese in Manchuria, fulfilling its Yalta Conference
Yalta Conference
pledge to attack the Japanese within three months after the end of the war in Europe. The attack was made by three Soviet army groups. On that same day, a second equally destructive atomic bomb was dropped by the United States on Nagasaki. In less than two weeks the Kwantung Army, which was the primary Japanese fighting force,[172][173] consisting of over a million men but lacking in adequate armor, artillery, or air support, had been destroyed by the Soviets. Japanese Emperor Hirohito
Hirohito
officially capitulated to the Allies on August 15, 1945. The official surrender was signed aboard the battleship USS Missouri on September 2, 1945 in a ceremony where several Allied commanders including Chinese general Hsu Yung-chang
Hsu Yung-chang
were present.

Japanese troops surrendering to the Chinese

After the Allied victory in the Pacific, General Douglas MacArthur ordered all Japanese forces within China (excluding Manchuria), Formosa
Formosa
and French Indochina
French Indochina
north of 16° north latitude to surrender to Chiang Kai-shek, and the Japanese troops in China formally surrendered on September 9, 1945, at 9:00.[174] The ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month was chosen in echo of the Armistice of 11 November 1918 (on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month) and because "nine" is homophone of the word for "long lasting" in Chinese (to suggest that the peace won would last forever).[175] Post-war struggle and resumption of civil war[edit] Main article: Chinese Civil War

The Chinese return to Liuzhou in July 1945.

Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
and Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
in 1946

In 1945, China emerged from the war nominally a great military power but economically weak and on the verge of all-out civil war. The economy was sapped by the military demands of a long costly war and internal strife, by spiraling inflation, and by corruption in the Nationalist government that included profiteering, speculation and hoarding. Furthermore, as part of the Yalta Conference, which allowed a Soviet sphere of influence in Manchuria, the Soviets dismantled and removed more than half of the industrial equipment left there by the Japanese before handing over Manchuria
Manchuria
to China. Large swathes of the prime farming areas had been ravaged by the fighting and there was starvation in the wake of the war. Many towns and cities were destroyed, and millions were rendered homeless by floods. The problems of rehabilitation and reconstruction after the ravages of a protracted war were staggering, and the war left the Nationalists severely weakened, and their policies left them unpopular. Meanwhile, the war strengthened the Communists both in popularity and as a viable fighting force. At Yan'an and elsewhere in the communist controlled areas, Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
was able to adapt Marxism–Leninism
Marxism–Leninism
to Chinese conditions. He taught party cadres to lead the masses by living and working with them, eating their food, and thinking their thoughts. The Chinese Red Army
Red Army
fostered an image of conducting guerrilla warfare in defense of the people. Communist troops adapted to changing wartime conditions and became a seasoned fighting force. With skillful organization and propaganda, the Communists increased party membership from 100,000 in 1937 to 1.2 million by 1945. Mao also began to execute his plan to establish a new China by rapidly moving his forces from Yan'an and elsewhere to Manchuria. This opportunity was available to the Communists because although Nationalist representatives were not invited to Yalta, they had been consulted and had agreed to the Soviet invasion of Manchuria
Manchuria
in the belief that the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
would cooperate only with the Nationalist government after the war. However, the Soviet occupation of Manchuria
Manchuria
was long enough to allow the Communist forces to move in en masse and arm themselves with the military hardware surrendered by the Imperial Japanese Army, quickly establish control in the countryside and move into position to encircle the Nationalist government army in major cities of northeast China. Following that, the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
broke out between the Nationalists and Communists, which concluded with the Communist victory in mainland China and the retreat of the Nationalists to Taiwan
Taiwan
in 1949. Peace treaty and Taiwan[edit] Main article: Legal status of Taiwan

The Taiwan
Taiwan
Strait and the island of Formosa

Formosa
Formosa
and the Penghu
Penghu
islands were put under the administrative control of the Republic of China
Republic of China
(ROC) government in 1945 by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.[176] The ROC proclaimed Taiwan
Taiwan
Retrocession Day
Retrocession Day
on October 25, 1945. However, due to the unresolved Chinese Civil War, neither the newly established People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
(PRC) in mainland China nor the Nationalist ROC that retreated to Taiwan
Taiwan
was invited to sign the Treaty of San Francisco, as neither had shown full and complete legal capacity to enter into an international legally binding agreement.[177] Since China was not present, the Japanese only formally renounced the territorial sovereignty of Taiwan
Taiwan
and Penghu
Penghu
islands without specifying to which country Japan
Japan
relinquished the sovereignty, and the treaty was signed in 1951 and came into force in 1952. In 1952, the Treaty of Taipei was signed separately between the ROC and Japan
Japan
that basically followed the same guideline of the Treaty of San Francisco, not specifying which country has sovereignty over Taiwan. However, Article 10 of the treaty states that the Taiwanese people and the juridical person should be the people and the juridical person of the ROC.[176] Both the PRC and ROC governments base their claims to Taiwan
Taiwan
on the Japanese Instrument of Surrender
Japanese Instrument of Surrender
which specifically accepted the Potsdam Declaration
Potsdam Declaration
which refers to the Cairo Declaration. Disputes over the precise de jure sovereign of Taiwan
Taiwan
persist to the present. On a de facto basis, sovereignty over Taiwan
Taiwan
has been and continues to be exercised by the ROC. Japan's position has been to avoid commenting on Taiwan's status, maintaining that Japan
Japan
renounced all claims to sovereignty over its former colonial possessions after World War II, including Taiwan.[178] Aftermath[edit]

China War of Resistance Against Japan
Japan
Memorial Museum on the site where the Marco Polo Bridge Incident
Marco Polo Bridge Incident
took place

The question as to which political group directed the Chinese war effort and exerted most of the effort to resist the Japanese remains a controversial issue. In the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japan
Japan
Memorial near the Marco Polo Bridge and in mainland Chinese textbooks, the People's Republic of China
Republic of China
(PRC) claims that the Nationalists mostly avoided fighting the Japanese to preserve their strength for a final showdown with the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
(CPC or CCP), while the Communists were the main military force in the Chinese resistance efforts.[179][not in citation given] Recently, however, with a change in the political climate, the CPC has admitted that certain Nationalist generals made important contributions in resisting the Japanese. The official history in mainland China now states that the KMT fought a bloody, yet indecisive, frontal war against Japan, while the CPC engaged the Japanese forces in far greater numbers behind enemy lines. For the sake of Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification
and appeasing the Republic of China
Republic of China
(ROC) on Taiwan, the PRC has begun to "acknowledge" the Nationalists and the Communists as "equal" contributors, because the victory over Japan
Japan
belonged to the Chinese people, rather than to any political party.[180] The Nationalists suffered higher casualties because they were the main combatants opposing the Japanese in each of the 22 major battles (involving more than 100,000 troops on both sides) between China and Japan. The Communist forces, by contrast, usually avoided pitched battles with the Japanese and generally limited their combat to guerilla actions (the Hundred Regiments Offensive
Hundred Regiments Offensive
and the Battle of Pingxingguan are notable exceptions). The Nationalists committed their strongest divisions in early battle against the Japanese (including the 36th, 87th, 88th divisions, the crack divisions of Chiang's Central Army) to defend Shanghai
Shanghai
and continued to deploy most of their forces to fight the Japanese even as the Communists changed their strategy to engage mainly in a political offensive against the Japanese while declaring that the CPC should "save and preserve our strength and wait for favorable timing" by the end of 1941.[181] China- Japan
Japan
relations[edit] Today, the war is a major point of contention and resentment between China and Japan. The war remains a major roadblock for Sino-Japanese relations, and many people, particularly in China, still harbor grudges over the war and related issues. Issues regarding the current historical outlook on the war exist. For example, the Japanese government has been accused of historical revisionism by allowing the approval of a few school textbooks omitting or glossing over Japan's militant past, although the most recent controversial book, the New History Textbook was used by only 0.039% of junior high schools in Japan[182] and despite the efforts of the Japanese nationalist textbook reformers, by the late 1990s the most common Japanese schoolbooks contained references to, for instance, the Nanking
Nanking
Massacre, Unit 731, and the comfort women of World War II, all historical issues which have faced challenges from ultranationalists in the past.[183] In response to criticism of Japanese textbook revisionism, the PRC government has been accused of using the war to stir up already growing anti-Japanese sentiments in order to spur nationalistic feelings. Aftermath in Taiwan[edit] Traditionally, the Republic of China
Republic of China
government has held celebrations marking the Victory Day on September 9 (now known as Armed Forces Day) and Taiwan's Retrocession Day
Retrocession Day
on October 25. However, after the Democratic Progressive Party
Democratic Progressive Party
(DPP) won the presidential election in 2000, these national holidays commemorating the war have been cancelled as the pro-independent DPP does not see the relevancy of celebrating events that happened in mainland China. Meanwhile, many KMT supporters, particularly veterans who retreated with the government in 1949, still have an emotional interest in the war. For example, in celebrating the 60th anniversary of the end of war in 2005, the cultural bureau of KMT stronghold Taipei
Taipei
held a series of talks in the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
regarding the war and post-war developments, while the KMT held its own exhibit in the KMT headquarters. Whereas the KMT won the presidential election in 2008, the ROC government resumed commemorating the war. Japanese women left behind in China[edit] Main article: Japanese people in China Several thousand Japanese who were sent as colonizers to Manchukuo
Manchukuo
and Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
were left behind in China. The majority of Japanese left behind in China were women, and these Japanese women mostly married Chinese men and became known as "stranded war wives" (zanryu fujin).[184][185] Because they had children fathered by Chinese men, the Japanese women were not allowed to bring their Chinese families back with them to Japan
Japan
so most of them stayed. Japanese law only allowed children fathered by Japanese fathers to become Japanese citizens. Korean women left behind in China[edit] Main article: Koreans in China In China some Korean comfort women stayed behind instead of going back to their native land.[186][187] Most Korean comfort women left behind in China married Chinese men.[188] Casualties assessment[edit] See also: Japanese war crimes, 1938 Yellow River flood, and 1938 Changsha
Changsha
Fire The conflict lasted for eight years, two months and two days (measured from July 7, 1937, to September 9, 1945).[189] The casualties from this war in 1937–1945 were more that half of total casualties of the Pacific War.[190] Chinese casualties[edit]

Casualties of a mass panic during a June 1941 Japanese bombing of Chongqing. More than 5,000 civilians died during the first two days of air raids in 1939.[191]

Chinese sources list the total number of military and non-military casualties, both dead and wounded, at 35 million.[192] Dr Duncan Anderson, Head of the Department of War Studies at the Royal Military Academy, UK, writing for BBC states that the total number of casualties was around 20 million.[193] The official PRC statistics for China's civilian and military casualties in the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
from 1937 to 1945 are 20 million dead and 15 million wounded. The figures for total military casualties, killed and wounded are: NRA 3.2 million; Communist 500,000.[citation needed] The official account of the war published in Taiwan
Taiwan
reported that the Nationalist Chinese Army lost 3,238,000 men (1,797,000 wounded, 1,320,000 killed, and 120,000 missing) and 5,787,352 civilians casualties putting the total number of casualties at 9,025,352. The Nationalists fought in 22 major engagements, most of which involved more than 100,000 troops on both sides, 1,171 minor engagements most of which involved more than 50,000 troops on both sides, and 38,931 skirmishes.[11] An academic study published in the United States
United States
estimates military casualties: 1.5 million killed in battle, 750,000 missing in action, 1.5 million deaths due to disease and 3 million wounded; civilian casualties: due to military activity, killed 1,073,496 and 237,319 wounded; 335,934 killed and 426,249 wounded in Japanese air attacks.[194] According to historian Mitsuyoshi Himeta, at least 2.7 million civilians died during the "kill all, loot all, burn all" operation (Three Alls Policy, or sanko sakusen) implemented in May 1942 in north China by general Yasuji Okamura
Yasuji Okamura
and authorized on December 3, 1941, by Imperial Headquarter Order number 575.[195] The property loss suffered by the Chinese was valued at 383 billion US dollars according to the currency exchange rate in July 1937, roughly 50 times the gross domestic product of Japan
Japan
at that time (US$7.7 billion).[196][197] In addition, the war created 95 million refugees.[citation needed]

Japanese casualties[edit] The Japanese recorded around 1.1 to 1.9 million military casualties during all of World War II
World War II
(which include killed, wounded and missing). The official death toll of Japanese men killed in China, according to the Japan
Japan
Defense Ministry, is 480,000. Based on the investigation of Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun, the military death toll of Japan
Japan
in China is about 700,000 since 1937 (excluding the death in Manchuria).[18] Another source from Hilary Conroy claim that a total of 447,000 Japanese soldiers died in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Of the 1,130,000 Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
soldiers who died during World War II, 39 percent died in China.[198] Then in War Without Mercy, John W. Dower claim that a total of 396,000 Japanese soldiers died in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Of this number, the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
lost 388,605 soldiers and the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
lost 8,000 soldiers. Another 54,000 soldiers also died after the war had ended, mostly from illness and starvation.[198] Of the 1,740,955 Japanese soldiers who died during World War II, 22 percent died in China.[199] Japanese statistics, however, lack complete estimates for the wounded. From 1937 to 1941, 185,647 Japanese soldiers were killed in China and 520,000 were wounded. Disease also incurred critical losses on Japanese forces. From 1937 to 1941, 430,000 Japanese soldiers were recorded as being sick. In North China
North China
alone, 18,000 soldiers were evacuated back to Japan
Japan
for illnesses in 1938, 23,000 in 1939, and 15,000 in 1940.[199][b] From 1941 to 1945: 202,958 dead; another 54,000 dead after war's end. Chinese forces also report that by May 1945, 22,293 Japanese soldiers were captured as prisoners. Many more Japanese soldiers surrendered when the war ended.[198][199] Contemporary studies from the Beijing
Beijing
Central Compilation and Translation Press have revealed that the Japanese suffered a total of 2,227,200 casualties, including 1,055,000 dead and 1,172,341 injured. This Chinese publication analyses statistics provided by Japanese publications and claimed these numbers were largely based on Japanese publications.[20] Both Nationalist and Communist Chinese sources report that their respective forces were responsible for the deaths of over 1.7 million Japanese soldiers.[19] Nationalist War Minister He Yingqin
He Yingqin
himself contested the Communist's claim, finding it impossible for a force of "untrained, undisciplined, poorly equipped" guerrillas of Communist forces to have killed so many enemy soldiers.[200] The National Chinese authorities ridiculed Japanese estimates of Chinese casualties. In 1940, the National Herald stated that the Japanese exaggerated Chinese casualties, while deliberately concealing the true amount of Japanese casualties, releasing false figures that made them appear lower. The article reports on the casualty situation of the war up to 1940.[201][202][203] Number of troops involved[edit] Chinese forces[edit] Further information: Chinese armies in the Second Sino-Japanese War National Revolutionary Army[edit] Main article: National Revolutionary Army

Flag of the National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
(later as the Republic of China Army)

With Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
as the highest commander, the NRA is recognized as the unified armed force of China during the war. Throughout its lifespan, it employed approximately 4,300,000 regulars, in 370 Standard Divisions (simplified Chinese: 正式师; traditional Chinese: 正式師), 46 New Divisions (simplified Chinese: 新编师; traditional Chinese: 新編師), 12 Cavalry
Cavalry
Divisions (simplified Chinese: 骑兵师; traditional Chinese: 騎兵師), eight New Cavalry Divisions (simplified Chinese: 新编骑兵师; traditional Chinese: 新編騎兵師), 66 Temporary Divisions (simplified Chinese: 暂编师; traditional Chinese: 暫編師), and 13 Reserve Divisions (simplified Chinese: 预备师; traditional Chinese: 預備師), for a grand total of 515 divisions. However, many divisions were formed from two or more other divisions, and many were not active at the same time. The number of active divisions, at the start of the war in 1937, was about 170 NRA divisions. The average NRA division had 4,000–5,000 troops. A Chinese army was roughly the equivalent to a Japanese division in terms of manpower but the Chinese forces largely lacked artillery, heavy weapons, and motorized transport. The shortage of military hardware meant that three to four Chinese armies had the firepower of only one Japanese division. Because of these material constraints, available artillery and heavy weapons were usually assigned to specialist brigades rather than to the general division, which caused more problems as the Chinese command structure lacked precise coordination. The relative fighting strength of a Chinese division was even weaker when relative capacity in aspects of warfare, such as intelligence, logistics, communications, and medical services, are taken into account. Although Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
is recognized as the highest commander in name, his power on NRA was in the effect limited. This was due to the fact that the NRA was an alliance of powers such as warlords, regional militarists and communists. Before the alliance was formed under the pressure of Japanese invasion, these powers had their own land, struggled or allied with each other under their own interests and mutual conflicts were common. Because of this, NRA could be unofficially divided into 3 groups, Central Army, Regional Army and Communist forces. Loyal to Chiang Kai-shek, the Central Army(simplified Chinese: 中央军; traditional Chinese: 中央軍) was best equipped. Most of the officers in the Central Army were trained by the Whampoa Military Academy, where Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
served as the first president. Before the war, the Central Army mainly controlled east China. The Regional Army (simplified Chinese: 省军; traditional Chinese: 省軍) consisted of various types of strengths from all the parts of China. Before the war, these strengths governed certain places and most of them admitted Chiang Kai-shek's leader position. However, they didn't really follow Chiang's command, nor received Chiang's assistance. They generally ran independently. The notable strengths under this category included Guangxi, Shanxi, Yunnan
Yunnan
and Ma clique. After the Xi'an
Xi'an
Incident, Chiang stopped his offensive against the Chinese Red Army. Communists were then incorporated into the NRA to form the Eighth Route Army
Eighth Route Army
and the New Fourth Army, although their de facto commander was still Mao Zedong. Communists also led a large number of militias during the war.[3] The NRA expanded from about 1.2 million in 1937 to 5.7 million in August 1945, organized in 300 divisions.[3] Japanese forces[edit] Imperial Japanese Army[edit] Main article: Imperial Japanese Army

Flag of the Imperial Japanese Army

The Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
(IJA) had approximately 3,200,000 regulars. More Japanese troops were quartered in China than deployed elsewhere in the Pacific Theater during the war. Japanese divisions ranged from 20,000 men in its divisions numbered less than 100, to 10,000 men in divisions numbered greater than 100. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the IJA had 51 divisions, of which 35 were in China, and 39 independent brigades, of which all but one were in China. This represented roughly 80% of the IJA's manpower. By October 1944 the IJA in China was divided into three strategic groupings.

The China Expeditionary Army was dislocated along the coast. Its primary component was the 13th Army with four divisions and two brigades. The North China
North China
Area Army occupied the north-eastern China. It included the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
with two divisions and six brigades, the Mongolian Garrison Army with one division and one brigade, and the 1st Army with two divisions and six brigades. The Sixth Area Army occupying the inland zone south of the Yellow River included: the 12th Army with four divisions, including one armoured, and one infantry brigade; 34th Army with one division and four brigades along the Yangtze valley; 11th Army with ten divisions; 23rd Army with two divisions and five brigades.

Collaborationist Chinese Army[edit] Main article: Collaborationist Chinese Army

War Ensign of the Manchukuo
Manchukuo
Imperial Army

The Chinese armies allied to Japan
Japan
had only 78,000 people in 1938, but had grown to around 649,640 men by 1943,[204] and reached a maximum strength of 900,000 troops before the end of the war. Almost all of them belonged to Manchukuo, Provisional Government of the Republic of China (Beijing), Reformed Government of the Republic of China (Nanking) and the later Nanking
Nanking
Nationalist Government
Nationalist Government
(Wang Jingwei regime). These collaborator troops were mainly assigned to garrison and logistics duties in their own territories, and were not fielded in combat very often because of low morale and Japanese distrust. In general, they fared very poorly in skirmishes against both Chinese NRA and Communist forces, although there were some individual collaborationist units that had some success against them. Military equipment[edit] National Revolutionary Army[edit] See also: Development of Chinese armoured forces (1927–1945), List of aircraft used in China before 1937, Development of Chinese Nationalist air force (1937–1945), and List of World War II
World War II
firearms of China The Central Army possessed 80 Army infantry divisions of 8,000 men each, nine independent brigades, nine cavalry divisions, two artillery brigades, 16 artillery regiments and three armored battalions. The Chinese Navy displaced only 59,000 tonnes and the Chinese Air Force comprised only about 700 obsolete aircraft. For regular provincial Chinese divisions their standard rifles were the Hanyang 88
Hanyang 88
(copy of Gewehr 88). Central army divisions were typically equipped with the Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
rifle (copy of Mauser Standard Model) and Czechoslovakian vz. 24. However, for most of the German-trained divisions, the standard firearms were German-made 7.92 mm Gewehr 98
Gewehr 98
and Karabiner 98k. The standard light machine gun was a local copy of the Czech 7.92 mm Brno ZB26. There were also Belgian and French light machine guns. Provincial units generally did not possess any machine guns. Central Army units had one LMG per platoon on average. German-trained divisions ideally had 1 LMG per squad. Surprisingly, the NRA did not purchase any Maschinengewehr 34s from Germany, but did produce their own copies of them. Heavy machine guns were mainly locally-made Type 24 water-cooled Maxim guns, which were the Chinese copies of the German MG08, and M1917 Browning machine guns chambered for the standard 8mm Mauser round. On average, every Central Army battalion would get one heavy machine gun (about a third to half of what actual German divisions got during World War II). The standard weapon for NCOs and officers was the 7.63 mm Mauser C96 semi-automatic pistol, or full-automatic Mauser M1932/M712 machine pistol. These full-automatic versions were used as substitutes for submachine guns (such as the MP 18) and rifles that were in short supply within the Chinese army prior to the end of World War II. Among officers, the German Parabellum (Luger) 9×19mm
9×19mm
semi-automatic pistol was often the weapon of choice.[205] Throughout the Second Sino-Japanese War, particularly in the early years, the NRA also extensively used captured Japanese weapons and equipment as their own were in short supply. Some élite units also used Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease
US equipment as the war progressed. Generally speaking, the regular provincial army divisions did not possess any artillery. However, some Central Army divisions were equipped with 37 mm PaK 35/36
PaK 35/36
anti-tank guns, and/or mortars from Oerlikon, Madsen, and Solothurn. Each infantry division had 6 French Brandt 81 mm mortars and 6 Solothurn 20 mm autocannons. Some independent brigades and artillery regiments were equipped with Bofors 72 mm L/14, or Krupp
Krupp
72 mm L/29 mountain guns and there were 24 Rheinmetall
Rheinmetall
150 mm L/32 sFH 18 howitzers (bought in 1934) and 24 Krupp
Krupp
150 mm L/30 sFH 18 howitzers (bought in 1936). At the start of the war, the NRA and the Tax Police Regiment
Regiment
had three tank battalions armed with German Panzer I
Panzer I
light tanks and CV-33 tankettes. After defeat in the Battle of Shanghai
Battle of Shanghai
the remaining tanks, together with several hundred T-26
T-26
and BT-5
BT-5
tanks acquired from the Soviet Union were reorganised into the 200th Division. Infantry uniforms were basically redesigned Zhongshan suits. Puttees were standard for soldiers and officers alike since the primary mode of movement for NRA troops was by foot. Troops were also issued sewn field caps. The helmets were the most distinguishing characteristic of these divisions. From the moment German M35 helmets (standard issue for the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
until late in the European theatre) rolled off the production lines in 1935, and until 1936, the NRA imported 315,000 of these helmets, each with the Blue Sky with a White Sun
Blue Sky with a White Sun
emblem of the ROC on the sides. These helmets were worn by both elite German-trained divisions and regular Central Army divisions. Other helmets include the Adrian helmet, Brodie helmet
Brodie helmet
and later M1 helmet. Other equipment included straw shoes for soldiers (cloth shoes for Central Army), leather shoes for officers and leather boots for high-ranking officers. Every soldier was issued ammunition, ammunition pouches or harness, a water flask, combat knives, food bag, and a gas mask. On the other hand, warlord forces varied greatly in terms of equipment and training. Some warlord troops were notoriously under-equipped, such as Shanxi's Dadao (Chinese: 大刀, a one-edged sword type close combat weapon) Team and the Yunnan
Yunnan
clique. Some, however, were highly professional forces with their own air force and navies. The quality of the New Guangxi
Guangxi
clique was almost on par with the Central Army, as the Guangzhou
Guangzhou
region was wealthy and the local army could afford foreign instructors and arms. The Muslim Ma clique
Ma clique
to the northwest was famed for its well-trained cavalry divisions. Imperial Japanese Army[edit] See also: List of Japanese infantry weapons used in the Second-Sino Japanese War, List of armour used by the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
in the Second Sino-Japanese War, and List of Japanese aircraft in use during the Second Sino-Japanese War Although Japan
Japan
possessed significant mobile operational capacity, it did not possess capability for maintaining a long sustained war. At the beginning of the war, the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
comprised 17 divisions, each composed of approximately 22,000 men, 5,800 horses, 9,500 rifles and submachine guns, 600 heavy machine guns of assorted types, 108 artillery pieces, and 600 plus of light armor two-men tanks. Special forces
Special forces
were also available. The Imperial Japanese Navy displaced a total of 1,900,000 tonnes, ranking third in the world, and possessed 2,700 aircraft at the time. Each Japanese division was the equivalent in fighting strength of four Chinese regular divisions (at the beginning of the Battle of Shanghai). Major figures[edit]

Chinese Nationalist Party

Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
(蔣中正, 蒋中正) Bai Chongxi
Bai Chongxi
(白崇禧) Chen Cheng (陳誠, 陈诚) Cheng Qian
Cheng Qian
(程潛, 程潜) Du Yuming (杜聿明) Fang Xianjue (方先覺, 方先觉) Feng Yuxiang
Feng Yuxiang
(馮玉祥, 冯玉祥) Fu Zuoyi
Fu Zuoyi
(傅作義, 傅作义) Gu Zhutong
Gu Zhutong
(顧祝同, 顾祝同) He Yingqin
He Yingqin
(何應欽, 何应钦) H. H. Kung
H. H. Kung
(孔祥熙) Hu Kexian
Hu Kexian
(胡克先) Hu Zongnan
Hu Zongnan
(胡宗南) Li Zongren
Li Zongren
(李宗仁) Long Yun
Long Yun
(龍雲, 龙云) Ma Bufang
Ma Bufang
(馬步芳) Ma Buqing
Ma Buqing
(馬步青) Ma Hongbin
Ma Hongbin
(馬鴻賓) Ma Hongkui
Ma Hongkui
(馬鴻逵) Ma Zhanshan
Ma Zhanshan
(馬占山, 马占山) Song Zheyuan
Song Zheyuan
(宋哲元) Soong Mei-ling
Soong Mei-ling
(宋美齡, 宋美龄) T. V. Soong
T. V. Soong
(宋子文) Sun Lianzhong
Sun Lianzhong
(孫連仲, 孙连仲) Sun Liren
Sun Liren
(孫立人, 孙立人) Tang Enbai
Tang Enbai
(湯恩伯, 汤恩伯) Tang Shengzhi
Tang Shengzhi
(唐生智) Wei Lihuang
Wei Lihuang
(衛立煌, 卫立煌) Xue Yue
Xue Yue
(薛岳) Yan Xishan
Yan Xishan
(閻錫山, 阎锡山) Xie Jinyuan (謝晉元, 谢晋元) Zhang Fakui
Zhang Fakui
(張發奎, 张发奎) Zhang Lingfu
Zhang Lingfu
(張靈甫, 张灵甫) Zhang Xueliang
Zhang Xueliang
(張學良, 张学良) Zhang Zhizhong
Zhang Zhizhong
(張治中, 张治中) Zhang Zizhong
Zhang Zizhong
(張自忠, 张自忠) Zhu Shaoliang
Zhu Shaoliang
(朱紹良, 朱绍良)

Chinese Communist Party

Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
(毛泽东 / 毛澤東) Chen Yi (陳毅, 陈毅) Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
(邓小平 / 鄧小平) He Long
He Long
(贺龙 / 賀龍) Lin Biao
Lin Biao
(林彪) Liu Bocheng
Liu Bocheng
(刘伯承 / 劉伯承) Liu Shaoqi
Liu Shaoqi
(刘少奇 / 劉少奇) Luo Ronghuan
Luo Ronghuan
(罗荣桓 / 羅榮桓) Nie Rongzhen (聂荣臻 / 聶榮臻) Peng Dehuai
Peng Dehuai
(彭德怀 / 彭德懷) Su Yu
Su Yu
(粟裕) Xu Xiangqian
Xu Xiangqian
(徐向前) Ye Jianying
Ye Jianying
(叶剑英 / 葉劍英) Ye Ting
Ye Ting
(叶挺 / 葉挺) Zhang Aiping
Zhang Aiping
(张爱萍 / 張愛萍) Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai
(周恩来 / 周恩來) Zhu De
Zhu De
(朱德)

Foreigners supporting China[edit]

Alexander von Falkenhausen John Rabe Jakob Rosenfeld Witold Urbanowicz Vasily Chuikov Joseph Stilwell Claire Chennault Albert Coady Wedemeyer Agnes Smedley Edgar Snow George Hogg Morris Abraham "Two-Gun" Cohen Rewi Alley Norman Bethune James Gareth Endicott Dwarkanath Kotnis Kim Koo Kaji Wataru Sanzo Nosaka

Imperial Japanese Army[edit]

Shōwa Emperor (昭和天皇) Hirohito
Hirohito
(裕仁) Nobuyuki Abe
Nobuyuki Abe
(阿部 信行) Korechika Anami
Korechika Anami
(阿南 惟幾) Prince Asaka
Prince Asaka
Yasuhiko (朝香宮) Prince Chichibu
Prince Chichibu
Yasuhito (秩父宮) Kenji Doihara
Kenji Doihara
(土肥原 賢二) Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu
Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu
(伏見宮博恭王) Kingoro Hashimoto
Kingoro Hashimoto
(橋本 欣五郎) Shunroku Hata
Shunroku Hata
(畑 俊六) Prince Higashikuni
Prince Higashikuni
Naruhiko (東久邇宮 稔彦王) Masaharu Honma (本間 雅晴) Shiro Ishii
Shiro Ishii
(石井 四郎) Rensuke Isogai
Rensuke Isogai
(磯谷 廉介) Seishirō Itagaki
Seishirō Itagaki
(板垣 征四郎) Prince Kan'in Kotohito
Prince Kan'in Kotohito
(閑院宮 載仁親王) Konoe Fumimaro (Kyūjitai: 近衞 文麿, Shinjitai: 近衛 文麿) Kanji Ishiwara
Kanji Ishiwara
(石原 莞爾) Kuniaki Koiso
Kuniaki Koiso
(小磯 國昭,小磯 国昭) Iwane Matsui
Iwane Matsui
(松井 石根) Renya Mutaguchi
Renya Mutaguchi
(牟田口 廉也) Kesago Nakajima
Kesago Nakajima
(中島 今朝吾) Toshizō Nishio
Toshizō Nishio
(西尾 壽造, 西尾 寿造) Yasuji Okamura
Yasuji Okamura
(岡村 寧次) Takashi Sakai
Takashi Sakai
(酒井 隆) Hajime Sugiyama
Hajime Sugiyama
(杉山 元) Prince Takeda Tsuneyoshi (竹田宮 恒徳王) Hisaichi Terauchi
Hisaichi Terauchi
(寺内 壽一, 寺内 寿一) Hideki Tojo
Hideki Tojo
(Kyūjitai: 東條 英機, Shinjitai: 東条 英機) Yoshijirō Umezu
Yoshijirō Umezu
(梅津 美治郎) Tamon Yamaguchi
Tamon Yamaguchi
(山口 多聞) Tomoyuki Yamashita
Tomoyuki Yamashita
(山下 奉文)

Chinese collaborators supporting Japan[edit]

 Manchukuo

Puyi

 Mengjiang

Demchugdongrub

East Hebei
Hebei
Autonomous Council

Yin Ju-keng
Yin Ju-keng
(殷汝耕)

Provisional Government of the Republic of China

Wang Kemin
Wang Kemin
(王克敏)

Reformed Government of the Republic of China

Liang Hongzhi
Liang Hongzhi
(梁鴻志 / 梁鸿志)

Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China

Chen Gongbo
Chen Gongbo
(陳公博 / 陈公博) Wang Jingwei
Wang Jingwei
(汪精衛 / 汪精卫) Zhou Fohai
Zhou Fohai
(周佛海)

Military engagements of the Second Sino-Japanese War[edit] Battles[edit] The battles listed here are ones that have corresponding articles. A flag icon to the left of a battle's name shows the victorious side in the engagement. The date to the right of a battle's name shows when it began, except in the case of 1942's Battle of Changsha, which began in December 1941.

Mukden September 1931 Invasion of Manchuria
Manchuria
September 1931

Jiangqiao Campaign
Jiangqiao Campaign
October 1931 Resistance at Nenjiang Bridge
Resistance at Nenjiang Bridge
November 1931 Jinzhou December 1931 Defense of Harbin January 1932

Shanghai
Shanghai
January 1932 Pacification of Manchukuo
Manchukuo
March 1932 Great Wall January 1933

Battle of Rehe
Battle of Rehe
February 1933

Actions in Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
(1933–1936)

Suiyuan Campaign
Suiyuan Campaign
October 1936

Battle of Lugou Bridge
Lugou Bridge
(Marco Polo Bridge Incident) July 1937 Beiping–Tianjin July 1937 Chahar August 1937 Battle of Shanghai
Battle of Shanghai
August 1937

Defense of Sihang Warehouse
Defense of Sihang Warehouse
October 26, 1937

Beiping–Hankou August 1937 Tianjin–Pukou August 1937 Taiyuan September 1937

Battle of Pingxingguan
Battle of Pingxingguan
September 1937 Battle of Xinkou
Battle of Xinkou
September 1937

Battle of Nanking
Battle of Nanking
December 1937 Battle of Xuzhou
Battle of Xuzhou
December 1937

Battle of Taierzhuang
Battle of Taierzhuang
March 1938

Northern and Eastern Honan 1938 January 1938 Battle of Lanfeng May 1938 Xiamen May 1938

Battle of Wuhan
Battle of Wuhan
June 1938 Battle of Wanjialing

Guangdong October 1938 Hainan Island February 1939 Battle of Nanchang
Battle of Nanchang
March 1939

Battle of Xiushui River
Battle of Xiushui River
March 1939

Battle of Suixian-Zaoyang
Battle of Suixian-Zaoyang
May 1939 Shantou June 1939 Battle of Changsha (1939)
Battle of Changsha (1939)
September 1939 Battle of South Guangxi November 1939

Battle of Kunlun Pass December 1939

1939–1940 Winter Offensive November 1939

Battle of West Suiyuan
Battle of West Suiyuan
January – February 1940 Battle of Wuyuan
Battle of Wuyuan
March 1940

Battle of Zaoyang-Yichang
Battle of Zaoyang-Yichang
May 1940 Hundred Regiments Offensive
Hundred Regiments Offensive
August 1940 Central Hupei November 1940 Battle of South Henan January 1941 Western Hopei March 1941 Battle of Shanggao
Battle of Shanggao
March 1941 Battle of South Shanxi
Battle of South Shanxi
May 1941 Battle of Changsha (1941)
Battle of Changsha (1941)
September 1941 Battle of Changsha (1942)
Battle of Changsha (1942)
January 1942 Battle of Yunnan-Burma Road March 1942

Battle of Toungoo Battle of Yenangyaung

Battle of Zhejiang- Jiangxi
Jiangxi
April 1942 Battle of West Hubei
Battle of West Hubei
May 1943 Battle of Northern Burma and Western Yunnan
Battle of Northern Burma and Western Yunnan
October 1943 Battle of Changde
Battle of Changde
November 1943 Operation Ichi-Go

Operation Kogo Battle of Central Henan
Battle of Central Henan
April 1944 Operation Togo 1 Battle of Changsha
Changsha
(1944) Operation Togo 2 and Operation Togo 3 Battle of Guilin–Liuzhou August 1944

Battle of West Henan–North Hubei March — May, 1945 Battle of West Hunan April – June 1945 Second Guangxi Campaign April — July 1945

Aerial engagements[edit]

Aerial Engagements of the Second Sino-Japanese War

Japanese invasions and operations[edit]

Japanese Campaigns in Chinese War Chinchow Operation Manchukuoan Anti Bandit Operations Operation Nekka Peiking–Hankou Railway Operation Tientsin–Pukow Railway Operation Operation Quhar Kuolichi-Taierhchuang Operation Canton Operation Amoy Operation Hainan Island Operation Han River Operation Invasion of French Indochina Swatow Operation Sczechwan Invasion CHE-KIANG Operation Kwangchow Wan occupation Operation Ichi-Go

Commemorations[edit] Numerous monuments and memorials throughout China, including the Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in Beijing's Wanping Fortress. See also[edit]

World War II
World War II
portal Japan
Japan
portal China portal

Timeline of events leading to World War II
World War II
in Asia Chinese famine of 1942–43 List of wars by death toll

General

History of China History of Japan History of the Republic of China Military history of China Military history of Japan

Notes[edit]

^ In January 2017, the Chinese government changed the official definition of the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
to September 18, 1931, as opposed to the traditional 1937 date. ^ This number does not include the casualties of the large numbers of Chinese collaborator government troops fighting on the Japanese side.

References[edit]

^ The Chinese Nationalist Army, ww2-weapons.com Retrieved 11 March 2016 ^ a b Hsiung, China's Bitter Victory, p. 171 ^ a b c David Murray Horner (July 24, 2003). The Second World War: The Pacific. Taylor & Francis. pp. 14–15. ISBN 978-0-415-96845-4. Retrieved March 6, 2011.  ^ 中国人民解放军历史资料丛书编审委员会 (1994). 八路军·表册 (in Chinese). 解放军出版社. pp. 第3页. ISBN 978-7-5065-2290-8.  ^ 丁星,《新四军初期的四个支队——新四军组织沿革简介(2)》【J】,铁军,2007年第2期,38–40页 ^ Hsiung, James C. (1992). China's Bitter Victory: The War With Japan, 1937–1945. New York: M.E. Sharpe publishing. ISBN 1-56324-246-X.  ^ Black, Jeremy (2012). Avoiding Armageddon: From the Great Wall to the Fall of France, 1918–40. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-4411-2387-9.  ^ a b RKKA General Staff, 1939. Retrieved 17 April 2016 ^ Ministry of Health and Welfare, 1964 Retrieved 11 March 2016 ^ Jowett, p. 72. ^ a b Hsu Long-hsuen "History of the Sino-Japanese war (1937–1945)" Taipei
Taipei
1972 ^ a b Clodfelter, Michael "Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Reference", Vol. 2, pp. 956. Includes civilians who died due to famine and other environmental disasters caused by the war. Only includes the 'regular' Chinese army; does NOT include guerrillas. ^ a b c Rummel, Table 6A. ^ a b c d R. J. Rummel. China's Bloody Century. Transaction 1991 ISBN 0-88738-417-X. ^ a b Rummel, Table 5A. Retrieved 5 October 2015. ^ Meng Guoxiang & Zhang Qinyuan, 1995. "关于抗日战争中我国军民伤亡数字问题". ^ Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery Retrieved 10 March 2016 ^ a b 戦争: 中国侵略(War: Invasion of China) (in Japanese). 読売新聞社. p. 186. Retrieved 15 January 2017.  ^ a b Hsu, p. 565. ^ a b Liu Feng, (2007). "血祭太阳旗: 百万侵华日军亡命实录". Central Compilation and Translation Press. ISBN 978-7-80109-030-0. Note: This Chinese publication analyses statistics provided by Japanese publications. ^ R. J. Rummel. China's Bloody Century. Transaction 1991 ISBN 0-88738-417-X. Table 5A ^ [1] Retrieved 28 September 2015. ^ Ferris, John; Mawdsley, Evan (2015). The Cambridge
Cambridge
History of the Second World War, Volume I: Fighting the War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  ^ Förster & Gessler 2005, p. 64. ^ Bix, Herbert P. (1992), "The Showa Emperor's 'Monologue' and the Problem of War Responsibility", Journal of Japanese Studies, 18 (2): 295–363, doi:10.2307/132824  ^ Hotta, E. (25 December 2007). Pan-Asianism and Japan's War 1931-1945. Palgrave Macmillan US. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-230-60992-1.  ^ Paine, S. C. M. (20 August 2012). The Wars for Asia, 1911–1949. Cambridge
Cambridge
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University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83432-2.  Hsiung, James Chieh, and Steven I. Levine, eds., China's Bitter Victory: The War with Japan, 1937–1945. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1992. xxv, 333p. ISBN 0-87332-708-X. Chapters on military, economic, diplomatic aspects of the war. Huang, Ray (January 31, 1994). 從大歷史的角度讀蔣介石日記 (Reading Chiang Kai-shek's Diary from a Macro History Perspective). China Times Publishing Company. ISBN 957-13-0962-1.  Annalee Jacoby and Theodore H. White, Thunder out of China, New York: William Sloane Associates, 1946. Critical account of Chiang's government by Time magazine reporters. Jowett, Phillip (2005). Rays of the Rising Sun: Japan's Asian Allies 1931–45 Volume 1: China and Manchukuo. Helion and Company Ltd. ISBN 1-874622-21-3.  – Book about the Chinese and Mongolians who fought for the Japanese during the war. Hsu, Long-hsuen; Chang Ming-kai (1972). History of the Sino-Japanese war (1937–1945). Chung Wu Publishers. ASIN B00005W210.  Lary Diana, and Stephen R. Mackinnon, eds. The Scars of War: The Impact of Warfare on Modern China. Vancouver: UBC Press, Contemporary Chinese Studies, 2001. xii, 210p. ISBN 0-7748-0840-3. MacKinnon, Stephen R., Diana Lary and Ezra F. Vogel, eds. China at War: Regions of China, 1937–1945. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007. xviii, 380p. ISBN 978-0-8047-5509-2. Macri, Franco David. Clash of Empires in South China: The Allied Nations' Proxy War with Japan, 1935-1941 (2015) online Peattie, Mark. Edward Drea, and Hans van de Ven, eds. The Battle for China: Essays on the Military History of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937–1945 (Stanford University Press, 2011); 614 pages Quigley, Harold S. Far Eastern War 1937 1941 (1942) online free Stevens, Keith (2005). "A Token Operation: 204 Military Mission to China, 1941–1945". Asian Affairs. Risk Management Reference Center, EBSCOhost. 36 (1): 66, 74. doi:10.1080/03068370500039151.  Taylor, Jay (2009). The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
and the struggle for modern China. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-03338-2.  de Ven, Hans van, Diana Lary, Stephen MacKinnon, eds. Negotiating China's Destiny in World War II
World War II
(Stanford University Press, 2014) 336 pp. online review Wilson, Dick (1982). When Tigers Fight: The story of the Sino-Japanese War, 1937–1945. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 0-670-76003-X.  Zarrow, Peter (2005). "The War of Resistance, 1937–45". China in war and revolution 1895–1949. London: Routledge.  China at war, Volume 1, Issue 3. China Information Committee. 1938. p. 66. Retrieved March 21, 2012.  Issue 40 of [China, a collection of pamphlets Original from Pennsylvania State University Digitized September 15, 2009

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Second Sino-Japanese War.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to 中國工農紅軍.

"CBI Theater of Operations" – IBIBLIO World War II: China Burma India Links to selected documents, photos, maps, and books. Addresses to the House of Representatives and to the Senate by Soong Mai Ling " World War II
World War II
Newspaper Archives – War in China, 1937–1945". Archived from the original on November 29, 2003. Retrieved 2004-08-19. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Annals of the Flying Tigers KangZhan.org – Gallery and history of the Sino-Japanese war (in Chinese)/(in English) Japanese soldiers in the Sino-Japanese war, 1937–1938 (in Japanese) History and Commercial Atlas of China, Harvard University Press 1935, by Albert Herrmann, Ph.D. See bottom of the list for 1930s maps. Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, China 1:250,000, Series L500, U.S. Army Map Service, 1954– . Topographic Maps of China during the Second World War. Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection Manchuria
Manchuria
1:250,000, Series L542, U.S. Army Map Service, 1950– . Topographic Maps of Manchuria during the Second World War. "Joint Study of the Sino-Japanese War, Harvard University". Archived from the original on July 13, 2001. Retrieved 2007-07-07. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Multi-year project seeks to expand research by promoting cooperation among scholars and institutions in China, Japan, the United States, and other nations. Includes extensive bibliographies. ”China’s Wartime Diplomacy, 1937-1945” by John W. Garver Photographs of the war from a Presbyterian mission near Canton "The Route South"

Videos[edit]

1937 video-cast of Soong Mai-ling address to the world in English on YouTube 1943 Soong Mai-ling address to the American Congress on YouTube The Battle of China OWI on YouTube The Battle of China OWI Pt 2 on YouTube The Battle of China OWI Pt 3 on YouTube The Battle of China OWI Pt 4 on YouTube The Battle of China OWI Pt 5 on YouTube The Battle of China OWI Pt 6 on YouTube The Battle of China OWI Pt 7 on YouTube

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GND: 4073002-5 NDL: 0056

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