When looking back at World War II, the victors see their own military contributions the clearest. The reason being that at Nomonhan essentially you had this confrontation between the Russians and the Japanese. Similar Questions You’re suggesting to me that in China itself in World War II, their version of the "great patriotic war" was not as much a cultural touchstone.Exactly. The sheer incompetence and corruption of the Chinese government added millions of victims to the millions raped and murdered by the Japanese. The contribution of the Soviet Union to the Chinese Nationalists. I think one of the important ways to understand is as a wartime leader who was forced to make a series of choices between one bad and another appalling choice over and over again. But on a fuller level, the strongly anti-Communist Chiang Kai-shek finds himself essentially taking aid from the Soviet Union, the reason being that Stalin obviously was supportive of the Chinese Communists, but he was much more terrified about losing Chiang Kai-shek as China’s leader. The person who did notice and this at the time and was one of the things that set him on the path of opposition, was Time magazine’s correspondent, Theodore White. Chiang, for example, fielded four million troops at the Nationalist’s height, while China as a whole lost an estimated 14 million in the war. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. That number becomes all the more eye-popping when compared to the losses incurred by other countries. Or was it a doomed experiment from the beginning, independent of any U.S. or Soviet intervention?I think the Japanese knew from a very early phase that this was a very, very big proposition they were taking on, and their chances of success were a very long way from being guaranteed. This meant that there was a great interest in Chinese official circles in not stressing too much Japanese war crimes, in not making Tokyo feel that there was this great atmosphere of hostility. Due to the Japanese, 80% of Chinese who died during World War II were civilians. It had hugely superior industrialization. The idea that this was one of the few cities in the world where people could come, whether they were artists or refugees, or Nationalists or Communists, people from all sorts of backgrounds, and create this immense melting pot in which literature, culture, food, all these things, were coming together in a way that astounded the Chinese who lived there in the country as much as it did foreigners. In terms of the end goal of domination of China, I think there was very little doubt that that was the intent of Tokyo. US Intelligence has said that 35 Chinese troops died in the clashes, including a senior officer. Michael Todd is the social science communications manager for SAGE Publications. But what is undeniable is that for the last 20 years or so, is that China’s archives have been opened up more and more. It’s often that [same] sort of determination against any logic that kept Chiang going. How many Chinese soldiers died in the war has long been a subject of debate. I would say that one of the single facts, which is worth remembering if you want to annoy an official in the Chinese Communist Party, is to remind them that the reason, the primary reason, that China today has a seat in the permanent five on the United Nations Security Council, the top table of global diplomacy, is not because of anything that Chairman Mao did. Although it was not able to prevent the Nationalists from having to withdraw to the interior of China, Soviet air force support and military assistance and material was important in making sure that the Nationalists at least managed to stand up against the Japanese. There is a significant and very loud-mouthed right wing that essentially denies or downplays the wartime atrocities. Mongolian soldiers, allied with the Soviets, fight against the Japanese during the Nomonhan battles in 1939. The People's Republic of China as of 2005 estimated the number of Chinese casualties in the Second War from 1937 to 1945 are 20 million dead and 15 million wounded. They saw the British empire; they saw the French empire; they saw this sort of American domination in parts of the Pacific as well. And in this case, we’re talking about Chiang Kai-shek making this particular choice for his own two tragic and appalling decisions: either to let the Japanese invade and occupy central China in the summer of 1938, or take what he regarded as the ultimate last move and breach this massive hole in the dikes, which had held back this huge force of nature, the Yellow River, for decades and decades before at that point, and in doing so, stop the Japanese from advancing. Compared to that, China had more people, but was an internally split, very poor agrarian society, with only a very partially trained army. Hence the United Kingdom spotlights the Battle of Britain and El Alamein, the Russians Stalingrad and Kursk, and the Americans D-Day and Midway. So in terms of intent or method, you’re probably not talking about a kind of intentional all-out invasion in 1937. One of the ironies is not only have the up-to-now unsympathetic American portraits of Chiang been revised significantly, the more heinous picture of him that you got in Mao’s China is now being reversed in his own homeland such that, as I have done, if you go to his birthplace, which is in a place called Xikou, in Zhejiang province, it’s like a shrine to the man. It has to finally eliminate one of the big problems of the era, which was the warlordism—the different military leaders who control different parts of China at that stage. On the night of 7 July 1937, Chinese and Japanese troops exchanged fire in the vicinity of the Marco Polo (or Lugou) Bridge, a crucial access-route to Beijing. The results: drowning or allowing to starve to death, and/or die of disease, some hundreds of thousands of Chinese farmers, who were given absolutely no warning of what was going to happen. So it was a very practical, non-altruistic reason for Stalin to essentially give assistance to the Chinese nationalists during that period. If I could ask you to speculate: Did Japan have the wherewithal to defeat China? And the breaching of the dams, if you read back into some of his sort of disillusionment with China was in retrospect I think the first moment where he began to think that Chiang Kai-shek was not a leader who he or his reports could support. This was, of course, a period when empires were competing against each other. One of the things I’ve always said about that research topic—and this often surprises people—is that it is not a case of brave Western researchers knocking on the door and demanding access to the hidden files. But the Chinese contribution up to now has generally been mostly dismissed or regarded as very minor, secondary, and not really worth bothering with. But it is nonetheless important to understand him not as either a monster or a failure, but as a flawed human being like many of the other flawed human beings of the time. Posted at 12:48h in Uncategorized by 0 Comments. Create your account. Their west was not considered part of the main area. What I would say, and should have happened and didn’t though, was something rather different, which was a way for China and the United States to at least engage with each other diplomatically, rather unlike the way the Americans and the Soviets did. And the narrative of World War II didn’t disappear exactly in China. For civilian casualties he gives 8,000,000, for a total of about 9,400,000 deaths, out of a population that he gives as roughly 450,000,000. Source: The Road to World War II: How Appeasement Failed to Stop Hitler, Der Spiegel At 0.30%, the U.S. had the lowest death toll percentage as a percentage of total population at that time. [Laughing] Yes, if you mean a special relationship of mistrust and lack of understanding. Many civilians died because of deliberate genocide, massacres, mass-bombings, disease, and starvation. Mitter says the experience of World War II shapes Chinese attitudes today, especially between China and the United States and China and Japan, “two of the legs of a very important set of relationships in the Asiatic region. But the downside was that it led to a much narrower, much grayer vision of Shanghai for the next 40 or 50 years. China was one of the Big Four at the end of the conflict, and the China lobby was very strong in the U.S. And then 14 million people who died make another fairly compelling argument. In total, 20 million people died from China, with four million of these deaths military. But what we’ve often had to cover over is that the Allies in some cases, whether through force or choice, made some choices that were absolutely devastating and meant death for their own people. Additionally, General Yasuji Okamura implemented his Three Alls Policy (Kill All, Burn All, Loot All) was responsible for around 3 million deaths in of itself. Why was that? It was because of the wartime efforts of Chiang Kai-shek, and essentially as a direct result of China’s involvement on the Allied side in World War II. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal National Revolutionary Army soldiers march to the front in 1939. These troops, known as ‘Chindits’, were commanded by the deeply eccentric Brigadier Orde Wingate. Who was the prime minister of Japan during WW2? And these proved to be fundamentally incompatible goals. It helped create even more confusion and, I think, lack of trust between the various sides, leading to things like the tragedy in Burma, which is an example of all sides essentially doing very badly. What began as confused, sporadic skirmishing soon escalated into a full-scale battlein which Beijing and its port city of Tianjin fell to Japanese forces (July–August 1937). But we can’t put any of the responsibility by any means on the Chinese communists on the mainland. The scale of China’s involvement in the war was massive. But there was never a period when Moscow and Washington weren’t talking to each other. Some 14 million Chinese died and up to 100 million became refugees during the eight years of conflict with Japan from 1937 to 1945. Many of the soldiers were confident veterans of the successful civil war against the Nationalist Chinese forces. In all, at least 8.7 million Soviet soldiers died in World War II (Halloran notes that some estimates place the tally as high as 14 million). The Japanese think that the Russians are weak because, of course, the purges of the Red Army are things that are going to completely eviscerate this particular army, only to find, in fact, that they are pushed back pretty steadily by the Soviets and hastily have to reach a compromise. But the expectation in the summer of 1937 in July was not on Tokyo’s part that they were going to invade there and now. What the British wanted was the restoration of the empire. And this was the death knell of that imperial system, clearly.Very much so. The Sino-Japanese War killed between 14 and 20 million Chinese people. In the Second Sino-Japanese War Chinese casualties were 3.22 million soldiers, 9.13 million civilians killed in crossfire, 8.4 million non-military casualties. The number of civilian deaths … … Without the war, the Chinese Communists would never have defeated the Nationalists. The Chinese choppers were also seen along the LAC to airlift the dead soldiers. But the fact is, as you said, that rather oddly in ideological terms, the major contribution at the beginning of the war in terms of unofficial, but real, military assistance came from the Soviet Union. But I don’t think it’s necessarily true that there is something immensely distinctive about the Japanese. During the Cold War period, Taiwan and Chiang kai-Shek was a clear and present danger to the Communist regime. (PHOTO: PUBLIC DOMAIN). But Chiang has never really been given any credit for that all, whereas Churchill of course lives on in legend in terms of his resistance. While attending the gathering, Qari confessed that “many people had died” at the same concentration camp where he helped oversee the mass internment program that began in mid-2017. Now we haven’t had the kind of fall-of-the-Berlin-Wall, fall-of-Gorbachev-type moment in China. By the time you get to 1944, although ultimately the Japanese are defeated, in some ways the fighting was even more vicious and brutal than it might have been because all of the major Allies—the Chinese, the British, and the Americans—still didn’t really trust each other. There was a certain amount of non-official contact between China and Japan. Some of them have been done away with in a pretty brutal manner. California desert town takes back the night, wins rare "Dark Sky" award. China is second in total number of deaths with between 10,000,000 and 20,000,000 (although some say that the civilian toll might have been much higher) and then Germany with between 7,000,000 to 9,000,000 deaths. The British title of the book is China’s War With Japan. And the Japanese themselves often said in terms of their tactics as imperialists and invaders that they had learned a very great deal of what they knew from Western mentors. Although the war involved most nations on Earth, it was primarily fought between the Axis Powers (Nazi Germany, Italy, and Japan), and the Allies (the Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom). The Chinese government over the years has given varying estimates of deaths and at one time blamed them on the weather. In February 1943 3,000 British and Nepalese Gurkha troops mounted a long distance raid behind Japanese lines. In contrast, Japan was not a near defeated enemy, but one with which the Chinese Communists actually wanted to try and get closer. Speculation: I think the answer is, had the Japanese managed to essentially conquer and tame China very early in the war, let’s say within the first year or year and a half, and bring it to surrender, then they would’ve had a chance of getting some sort of settlement that would’ve lasted for a while. Not only do you get a Nazi-Soviet pact, which is the most astounding ideological reverse of the century. But the second reason actually has to do something with historical justice. It was a relatively minor part of the way in which patriotism was constructed. Basically, although it was distortive propaganda reasons in many ways, Stalin, Khrushchev, and his successors did use the patriotic war where the Soviets fight back against the Nazis as a key patriotic narrative. Shanghai is such an interesting story with its international community and the international communities that were in the other coastal Chinese cities. Of the estimated 20 million people that died as a result of the Japanese hostilities during World War II, about half of them were in China. But it’s also a reminder to the American public that there was this very important historical moment that has been forgotten and which is important for two reasons, one of which has to do with the very contemporary significance of understanding why Sino-American relations and Sino-Japanese relations, which are crucial to the shaping of the world, let alone the region, remain very volatile. Something that isn’t unknown, but was relatively new to me was the Soviet contribution to the Nationalists, particularly the air power. And so their answer sort of became Japan. The Cold War became very, very cold during much of that period. It’s the feat of resistance that really needs to be looked at. Shanghai then was one of the most cosmopolitan cities anywhere in the world. But it would appear to me that the Russian air power was significantly greater until the 14th U.S. Air Force arrived.I would say actually that the Flying Tigers, the American Volunteer Group, weren’t irrelevant at all. I think as we move decades and decades away from the events themselves, it’s no longer tenable to retain that position. But it’s clear that during most of Mao’s period, the real enemies were these Goumindang nationalists and not really the Japanese. And his conversations with Nehru and to some extent with Mahatma Gandhi were an important element of that sort of anti-imperialism. (PHOTO: PUBLIC DOMAIN). What happened?It’s a good reason to remember that on its own. 7 of 15. For years, China would only say that 360,000 soldiers were killed or injured, without providing a breakdown. So if I flipped the question: Could China at any point have defeated imperial Japan?I think that would have been tough because Japan was the most technologically able society in Asia. World War II wrought massive social changes for Chinese Americans. 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