The Sino-Japanese War of 1937
The Second Sino-Japanese War took place between 1937, and 1945. The conflict started when the Chinese people came up together against the move by Japan to expand its territory, and this plan had started in 1931. This war was not declared immediately, and it had to wait until 1931. It is divided into three primary phases, the first one taking place until 1938. This first phase was the period when Japan advanced rapidly in its mission to expand its territory. The second phase of the war lasted until 1944. This period was referred to as the period of stalemate, which had dominated over the war, even though it was a virtual stalemate. In the last phase of this war, there was the existence of counterattacks, particularly in the Pacific, as well as on the islands of Japan, which caused Japan to surrender. Understanding the Sino-Japanese War of 1937 deeply entails considering the Macro Polo event, the anti-fascist efforts made by Nanjing Massacre China, and the anti-fascist efforts made by other countries.
The Macro Polo Event
Japan had a great urge to acquire high power and be most of the powerful countries in the world. To succeed in this mission, the country knew that it had to dominate China, which was one of the primary threats. The Sino-Japanese war happened at a time when many countries struggled for power, as they wanted to prove to the world that they were among the most critical nations globally. In the 1890s, Japan had engaged in a war with China, and the former defeated the latter. As the benefit from the victory, Japan took Korea, and together, they infiltrated Manchuria because it had a rich reserve of both coal and other essential minerals. With this in mind, they build up many industries around that area, and by 1931, they had taken over the whole of Manchuria, as they expanded southwards.
For a more significant part of the 20th century, Japan managed to exercise its control over Manchuria, though the 1915 terms that concerned the Twenty-one Demands. Later, the Chinese warlord, Zhang Zuolin, came through and helped Japan to exercise the control that it needed over Manchuria. However, there was a severe conflict that ensued as the Chinese who lived in Manchuria were restive concerning the privileges that the Japanese people held over them. The Chinese citizens had a majority of the Manchuria, and most of them acquired legal titles that China held. Despite the high population that China had in Manchuria, the Japanese people used their railways and the leasehold that they had on Liadodong Peninsula to exercise their control. This aspect compromised the sovereignty that China would have enjoyed as they expected because of their population in the area.
China was determined to assert its independence, and it started building many railroads, which would encircle the lines that the Japanese had set, and at the same time do away with the port that China was developing at Huludao. Zhang Zuolin’s son, Zhang Xueliang, became the ruler of Manchuria immediately following the murder of his father in 1928 by the Japanese officers. Xueliang increasingly disposed himself to join forces with the Nationalist Party, Kuomintang, and the desire that it had to get rid of China from the foreign control. In 1931, this friction came up significantly because of many minor incidents that took place. The people who controlled the main body of the Japanese forces that were in Manchuria had the idea that they took too much time compromising and temporizing. In September 1931, Mukden (Shenyang) was seized by the Japanese as they alleged that the Chinese people blew up a portion of the South Manchuria railway track that was near the city. However, the Japanese faced little resistance from the Nationalist forces. Therefore, in 1932, they decided to come up with Manchukuo, which was a puppet state and made the Qing emperor Puyi the head. Japan then showed that it was not satisfied with the control that it exercised on China to the regions that were on the northern side of the Great Wall. In 1934, there was a pronouncement that came from Tokyo, Japan, which declared that the whole of China would be a Japanese reserve whereby there would be no power that would take any action without its approval.
In 1935, the Japanese people forced the withdrawal of Chahar, which is now a portion of the Inner Mongolia, and Hebei. People from these regions were withdrawn from becoming officials or armed forces, which might have the intentions of being unfriendly to the Japanese people. These territories also passed into the Japanese control, and the people who were threatened included Shantung and Shansi. Chiang Kai-shek, who was the Nationalist leader, failed to offer an open opposition as he preferred to go after his campaign against the communist forces in China. In 1936, there was a Xi’an incident in which the troops under Chiang’s command as well as his generals seized him, and compelled him to join forces with the communists, who were in the United Front and had to act against the Japanese people.
Everything proved to be a struggle between life and death, which broke out between the two countries, Japan and China. In 1937, there was a significant crucial moment. Under the agreements that went back to the legislations in China enjoyed the benefits of keeping their troops in modest numbers for the sake of protection. There were small numbers of the Chinese and Japanese soldiers that were put near the Marco Polo Bridge because the explorer saw and described the predecessor near Beijing.The first engagement related to the minor clash that was between the troops from these two countries, at the Marco Polo Bridge, which was not far from, Peiping, now Beijing China in 1937. It is not clear what happened on the July of 1937 that night. However, the Japanese people carried out their training exercises without giving out customary notice. Besides, there were also few shots that were exchanged between the Japanese troops, and the Chinese troops that were shocked. When the Japanese people found out that there was a missing soldier, they thought that the Chinese forces captured the soldier, and they demanded that they should be allowed to go through Wanping, and search for him. The Chinese troops insisted that they would search by themselves, and did not need any help from Japan, as long as one of the Japanese officers would accompany them. The Japanese infantry forced their way in Wanping, but unfortunately, they were riven back. Thus, both sides had to send in more troops to that area, and on the next day, the armoured vehicles and the Japanese infantry attacked the bridge, and they managed to take it, but they were driven off again.
There were a lot of attempts to settle things. However, the Japanese people used the incident as an excuse to invade China on a full-scale basis. Many other troops were sent. Shanghai and Beijing fell, the same way Nanjing also did, where Chiang Kai-Shek established his capital, Kuomintang. The Chinese Communists were able to stage-manage this whole thing because they wanted to embroil Chiang Kai-Shek’s capital Kuomintang, in a raging war with Japan. In the fight, there were a lot of vicious atrocities. Over 100,000 Chinese people were slaughtered in the Rape of Nanjing. Thousands of Chinese women were also raped and eventually murdered. Many victims were burned alive or buried, drowned and dismembered alive. By 1938, a more significant part of the eastern and northern China was overrun, including the seaboard to the east. This conflict continued for a long time until it was blended into World War II.
The conflict between these two countries grew more prominent, and it failed from being localized. Japan felt that since the Nationalist government and Chiang was unable to adhere to their rules, it was essential to eliminate them. The increasing tide of nationalism that China presented became intolerable to the Japanese people, and they decided to act as fast as they could.
Initial Japanese Conquests
By 1937, all the political groups in China and the Chinese regional military rallied in support of Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist government as they all purposed to oppose the Japanese. The communists had called for a united front against the Japanese people since 1935, and they also agreed to bring in their support. Therefore, they decided to bring their armies under the command of the government. From a military point of view, Japan was prepared for the war adequately than China. For this reason, the Japanese army got rapid initial success against the Chinese military. Within two years, Japan manages to get an obsession of many ports, many cities, and a more significant part of the railways. Tientsin and Peiping at that time were occupied. After the fierce fighting that broke out, the Japanese army managed to drive out the Chinese military from the Shanghai area. In 1937, Nanjing, which was the Nationalist capital, became weak. The city was liquified, and this process, as well as the inhabitants who lived in the town, went through the Nanjing Massacre.
The anti-fascist efforts made by Nanjing Massacre China
The Nanjing Massacre is also referred to as the Rape of Nanjing of the Nanking Massacre, and it took place between December 1937 and January 1938.This one month was full of ravaging and mass killings of the Chinese citizens. The soldiers of the Japanese army have capitulated after it seized Nanjing, China in 1937 during the war, which went into the Second World War. Many Chinese people were killed in the massacre, and the number has been estimated to range from 100,000 to approximately 300,000. Matsui Iwane was at that time the commanding general in the Japanese army. He ordered the destruction of the city, Nanjing, which had been the capital of Nationalists in China. I the next weeks, the Japanese soldiers had to carry out the orders from Matsui, who was concerned with perpetrating many mass executions as well as many rape cases. The Japanese army burned and looted the surrounding cities and towns, and they destroyed many buildings.
Along the way, most of modern history in China could not be mentioned. The Nanjing massacre was a subject that people did notreadily talk about for three consecutive decades. Many children who attended schools between 195s and 1970s in China did notknow anything about the massacre until they had permission to learn them when they were adults. Commemorations thatsurrounded the killings in the 17th anniversary were introduced with slogans like “we can forgive but we cannot forget”, “remember history”, and “don’t forget national humiliation”. This massacre was honestly forgotten in China. For three consecutive decades in China, the country suppressed the knowledge of the Nanjing massacre for reasons of partisan, because of the legitimacy, which was on the communist government. Sympathetic references to Nanjing were not welcome in China, even though the massacre occurred in Nanjing. The communists got their legitimacy from a claim in history to overthrow the Nationalist government, which sold out the country to the enemy, Japan as well as the United States.
The capital of China was also transferred from Nanjing to Beijing. Besides, Nanjing city did not have much to recommend as a site for the communist commemorations. This also applied to the histories of the events that took place during the Nanjing massacre as well as the past of the Nanjing as a city. In the 1950s, there was a group of historians in Nanjing city, who researched the massacre without permission from the central party. These historians were denied permission to publish the findings that they had gotten from their research. The book-length of the manuscripts from these historians drew upon the first evidence ever from the interviews with the survivors as well as the residents.
Further chances of collecting and recording the tales and ordeals that the survivors went through were lost because the memories of the massacre were buried. There was no scholarly article, which appeared concerning the massacre for three consecutive decades, between 1949, and 1979. When Deng Xiaoping was in power, the subject stopped being a taboo. This happened many years before scholarly work concerning the issue could be printed. Research publications that related to the massacre grew in pace from 1990. Contrary to the silence that had prevailed concerning the massacre for three consecutive years from 1949 to 1979, things took a different turn and twist in the three decades that ended in 2014. References to the massacre in China expanded significantly, and it has also been cited among the many historical events that took place in China.
The anti-fascist efforts made by other countries.
For many Chinese across the world, Nanjing is perceived as a tragedy of different proportions that equates to the Auschwitz and Hiroshima. Most Japanese have tried to deny the crimes and atrocities that their armies committed and deny them as they try to find the excuses for their actions. Yet, there is a certain degree of precision that points outto the evidence, process, responsibilities, and dimensions of the events that took place. There is no any other massacre in the history of Asia that has had as many testifying witnesses as the ones experienced by the Nanjing massacre. Foreign academics, reporters, business people, diplomats, and missionaries from all over the world have always provided many reliable narratives, with sufficient information to testify on the events that transpired during the Nanjing massacre.
In assessing the Sino-Japanese War, the centrality of the Nanjing massacre has led to many ideologies that emanate from both sides. Even as much time has passed, the strangest thing is that the many analysis of victims has never narrowed down, but it has always widened. Some Japanese politicians, veterans, and historians consider it as a matter of respect and honour to the fallen soldiers and deny the figures and facts of both. Most of the Chinese perceive it as a matter of their national pride as they add the new layers of the victims who went through the massacre. Any attempts that discuss the facts and the figures of the Nanjing massacre initially caused a diplomatic row. The historical research has always been the loser as there has never been any severe attempt that seeks to clarify the wartime massacre of other events in China. The comparison between Nanjing and Singapore or Manila in 1942 and 1945 respectively proves to be rewarding. However, looking back at the history of an issue means trivializing it, which is a risky affair that turns against damnation and heroization. It could be proven that Nanjing was the biggest massacre that Japan has ever carried out on China. Thus, it is not clear to what degree Nanjing has the rule or the exception in how the Japanese troops behaved in China during the one month massacre period.
The case of Auschwitz could point out the same magnifying effect, as it is perceived to be a crime of the Jewish genocide. The number of Jewish people who were killed was higher because every Jewish who arrived at Treblinka was acted upon. Thus, it is ideal to consider the probability of the same effect in Nanjing. In the present time, there is a big difference. The number of these deaths has always been reassessed, and the reassessment has been made by different historians from different parts of the world, without any political implication, accusations of revisionism, and significant controversies.
The Sino-Japanese war between the Chinese and the Japanese took place at a time when many countries wanted to expand their territories. Japan was one of these countries, as it tried to expand its area towards China. The war took place between these two countries, both of them sending their troops to participate, and seek the victory that they wanted to have. Japan saw China as a threat in its mission and was prepared enough to start the war; that is why it managed to succeed. The war also led to the Nanjing massacre, which saw the death of many Chinese citizens, and their women were also raped and killed. The Nanjing massacre could probably be the biggest that has ever happened in the history of Asia, and there have been many attempts to suppress the events that took place by not talking about it. However, things changed, and people are free to talk about these events without any restriction, as has been evidenced by the many references that have been made towards the massacre.
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