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Prelude to War. Second Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945. The Mukden Incident: 1931. Marco Polo Bridge Incident. Koumintang Response. The Rape of Nanjing: Eyewitness Account.

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Prelude to War

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Prelude to war

Prelude to War

Second Sino-Japanese War


The mukden incident 1931

The Mukden Incident: 1931

Marco polo bridge incident

Marco Polo Bridge Incident

Koumintang response

Koumintang Response

The rape of nanjing eyewitness account

The Rape of Nanjing: Eyewitness Account

  • Through wholesale atrocities and vandalism at Nanking the Japanese Army has thrown away a rare opportunity to gain the respect and confidence of the Chinese inhabitants and of foreign opinion there....

  • The killing of civilians was widespread. Foreigners who traveled widely through the city Wednesday found civilian dead on every street. Some of the victims were aged men, women and children.

  • Policemen and firemen were special objects of attack. Many victims were bayoneted and some of the wounds were barbarously cruel.

Prelude to war

  • The mass executions of war prisoners added to the horrors the Japanese brought to Nanking. After killing the Chinese soldiers who threw down their arms and surrendered, the Japanese combed the city for men in civilian garb who were suspected of being former soldiers.

  • In one building in the refugee zone 400 men were seized. They were marched off, tied in batches of fifty, between lines of riflemen and machine gunners, to the execution ground.

Prelude to war

  • Thousands of prisoners were executed by the Japanese. Most of the Chinese soldiers who had been interned in the safety zone were shot in masses. The city was combed in a systematic house­to­house search for men having knapsack marks on their shoulders or other signs of having been soldiers. They were herded together and executed.

  • Many were killed where they were found, including men innocent of any army connection and many wounded soldiers and civilians. I witnessed three mass executions of prisoners within a few hours Wednesday. In one slaughter a tank gun was turned on a group of more than 100 soldiers at a bomb shelter near the Ministry of Communications.

  • A favorite method of execution was to herd groups of a dozen men at entrances of dugout and to shoot them so the bodies toppled inside. Dirt then was shoveled in and the men buried.

Prelude to war

  • The capture of Hsiakwan Gate by the Japanese was accompanied by the mass killing of the defenders, who were piled up among the sandbags, forming a mound six feet high. Late Wednesday the Japanese had not removed the dead, and two days of heavy military traffic had been passing through, grinding over the remains of men, dogs and horses.

  • The Japanese appear to want the horrors to remain as long as possible, to impress on the Chinese the terrible results of resisting Japan.

Entering the city

Entering the city

Buried alive

Buried Alive

Mass burials

Mass Burials

On to shanghai

On to Shanghai

Chinese kmt fortifications

Chinese (KMT) Fortifications



Early japanese victories

Early Japanese Victories

War of attrition

War of Attrition

Any means necessary

Any means necessary

Results of the war

Results of the War

  • Japanese conquest

  • Surge in Chinese Nationalism

  • Model for other imperial states—global response

  • Breakdown of Chinese Koumintang state

  • Beginnings of Chinese Communism

Italian conquest

Italian Conquest

Halie selassie ethiopian emperor

Halie Selassie: Ethiopian Emperor

German aggression

German Aggression

  • Germany during the Weimar Republic (1919-1933)

  • Hitler arose to power in 1933 amidt discontent

  • Nationalism centered immediately on the Treaty of Versailles, and Economic woes.

Germany post wwi simple

Germany post WWI: Simple

Hitler s course of action

Hitler’s Course of Action

  • Withdrawal from League of Nations: 1933

  • Reinstated Military Service: 1935

  • Militarization: 1933-1945

  • Anschluss: 1938

  • Czecholsolvakia: 9/1938

  • Munich Conference: 91/1938 (motives)

Hitler and poland

Alliance with Soviets

Secret Protocol divides Eastern Europe

Hitler and Poland

Bombing of warsaw

Bombing of Warsaw

Warsaw 1939

Warsaw: 1939

End result

End Result

On to france following norwegian campaign

On to France: following Norwegian Campaign

Battle of dunkirk

Battle of Dunkirk

Partition of france

Partition of France

End result1

End Result



Pearl harbor

Pearl Harbor

  • Why?

  • Consequences?

Atomic bomb

Atomic Bomb

  • Science of

  • Use of

  • Consequences of

Prelude to war

  • “When the bombs dropped and news began to circulate that the invasion of Japan would not take place, that we would not be obliged to run up the beaches near Tokyo, assault-firing while being mortared and shelled, for all the fake manliness of our facades, we cried with relief and joy. We were going to live. We were going to grow up to adulthood after all.”

  • 21 year old platoon rifleman

Prelude to war

  • Dear Father:  As death approaches, my only regret is that I have never been able to do anything good for you in my life.     I was selected quite unexpectedly to be a special attack pilot and will be leaving for Okinawa today. Once the order was given for my one-way mission it became my most sincere wish to achieve success in fulfilling this sacred duty.

  • Kamikaze pilot writing before departure for Okinawa 1944

Prelude to war


  • J. Robert Oppenheimer head scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, taken from the Bhagvad Gita of Hindu (Vedic) traditions

Prelude to war

  • “Such an invasion (one of Japan) could cost upwards of a million American Lives”

  • Secretary of State James Byrnes

Prelude to war

  • “The enemy (Japan) was in a military sense a hopeless strategic position by the time the Postdam demand for unconditional surrender was made on 7/26”

  • New York Times Military Analyst Harold Baldwin, August 1945

Prelude to war

  • Invasion of Okinawa (350 miles from Japan) statistics: 48,000 dead

  • Invasion of Iwo Jima (500 miles from Japan) statistics: 6 weeks and 29,000 dead

Prelude to war

  • Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31, December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the Atomic Bombs had not been dropped, even in Russia had not entered the war and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

  • United States Bombing Survey findings, 1946

Prelude to war

  • “An invasion of Japan would be Okinawa up and down the island”

  • Harry S. Truman 1944 (referring to devastating battle of Okinawa)

Prelude to war

  • “The Japanese Empire surrender immediately or face "prompt and utter destruction.“

    • On July 26, 1945, the three largest Allied powers at war in the Pacific, the United States, Britain, and China, issued the Potsdam Declaration“

  • Unconditional Surrender is the only obstacle to peace”

    • Shigenori Tojo: July, 1945

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