Everybody believes that World War II began on September 1, 1939 with the German attack on Poland. But the Chinese are convinced that the war began much earlier! Some say in 1931 - Japanese invasion of Manchuria; others put it on July 7, 1937 - when, using the armed incident in the area Lugoutsyao (incident at the Marco Polo Bridge), the Japanese army launched a war to capture all of China. China suffered huge losses in World War II, and the atrocities that the Japanese committed in the country surpassed all limits.
First some background. When the Japanese invaded China in 1931, the country itself was in turmoil. The Nationalist Chinese KMT Chiang Kai-shek's regime was fighting the Chinese communists led by Mao. So till 1945 these two Chinese forces and the Japanese were all fighting each other. In short, China was in a mess.
WHAT WAS THE "MARCO POLO BRIDGE INCIDENT" OR THE "LUGOUQIAO INCIDENT"?
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident (or the Lugouqiao Incident) was a battle between the Republic of China's National Revolutionary Army and the Imperial Japanese Army, often used as the marker for the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). The eleven-arch granite bridge, Lugouqiao, is an architecturally significant structure, restored by the Kangxi Emperor (1662–1722). Often signifying the opening of Japan's comprehensive invasion of mainland China, both this 7 July and 18 September (Mukden Incident) are still remembered as days of national humiliation by most Chinese.
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“In a deep gorge on the upper Salween, foot-weary, battle-battered Chinese troops were finally backed up against the bridge, retreated across it while the Japs from the other side rained down fire on them. The Chinese left their dead behind them, blew up the bridge, and crawled up the winding road to the heights on the China side.
Across from them the Jap's guns bayed at the scent of tired game. The Chinese had been beaten and battered beyond human endurance. One of them broke. Before his troops a general killed himself. The men wavered, looked toward the rear.
To the front dashed Lung Yun (the Cloud Dragon), Governor of Yunnan Province. With the dead general at his feet, he called on the little soldiers for another last stand. The Jap would soon cross the Salween. His rolling stock was already massing on the bluff. He would have to be stopped. It would be hard. Every beaten soldier there knew that the Japs across the Salween were from the crack Red Dragon armored division.
As he spoke his soldiers suddenly turned away, looked at the sky. The Governor stopped talking, for he heard the noise, too —the steady, humming throb of aircraft engines. It grew into thunder. Six American P-405 whipped across the bluff. The A.V.G.s were on the job.
They bellowed across the gorge, swung into column and dived on the Jap. Their 50-caliber slugs tore into the gasoline drums on the trucks, sent them blazing. Their bombs uprooted lorries and tanks, and rolled them down the precipice. The Jap broke, dashed for the bushes, ran into patrols of cheering Chinese who had been left behind at the river crossing.
On the China side the dead general lay where he had fallen. His men, shouting their war cries, hurried down to the river and sniped at the Jap as he ran. Down the road into Burma fled the Red Dragon, broken, bereft of his trucks and equipment. Six American youngsters and the Cloud Dragon had saved a bitter day.
|Chinese soldiers in 1945. The Japanese were almost close to defeat but the real threat was from the Chinese communists led by Mao|