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The Nanjing Atrocities Reported in the U.S. Newspapers, 1937-3822/5/2019

The German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, is conventionally regarded as the starting point of World War II. However, war broke out much earlier in Asia. On July 7, 1937, after claiming that one of its soldiers was missing, the Japanese launched attacks at the Chinese positions near the Marco Polo Bridge in a Beijing southwestern suburb. During the following weeks, the Japanese continued with their attacks in North China, capturing Beijing, Tianjin, and other cities in the region.To get more nanjing horror, you can visit shine news official website.

While Japanese forces were engaged in conquering warfare in North China, tension built up down south in the Shanghai area. Shots were fired on August 9, 1937, in a clash in which two Japanese marines and one member of the Chinese Peace Preservation Corps were killed near the entrance to the Hongqiao Airfield in a Shanghai suburb. After rounds of unsuccessful negotiation, the clash led to the outbreak of hostilities in Shanghai on August 13. Street fighting soon escalated to ferocious urban battles when both sides rushed in divisions of reinforcements.

With heavy casualties inflicted on both sides, the war continued for three months before Shanghai fell to the Japanese on November 12, 1937. Even though Chinese troops fought persistently for months in and around Shanghai, they failed to put up effective resistance west of Shanghai, due to a chaotic and hasty evacuation. Taking advantage of the situation, the Japanese swiftly chased fleeing Chinese troops westward, reaching the city gates of China’s capital, Nanjing, on December 9.

As the Japanese swept the Yangtze valley, such atrocities as killing, raping, looting, and burning were reported to have taken place in the cities, towns, and villages through which Japanese soldiers had travelled. The magnitude and brutality peaked after the Japanese captured Nanjing on December 13, 1937. An American diplomat reported that:
During the siege and fall of Nanjing, as well as the ensuing massacre, 27 Westerners, including five American and British journalists, chose to stay inside the city walls. The journalists stayed to cover the Nanjing battle and the city’s expected fall. When the Nanjing carnage unfolded in front of them, they immediately took to their pens, though they tried in vain to find a way to send out the reports from the fallen city. On December 15, Archibald Trojan Steele of the Chicago Daily News, Frank Tillman Durdin of the New York Times, Arthur von Briesen Menken of the Paramount Newsreel, and Leslie C. Smith of Reuters managed to leave for Shanghai by USS Oahu and HMS Ladybird, while Charles Yates McDaniel of the Associated Press went to Shanghai by Japanese destroyer Tsuga the following day. It was the five American and British correspondents who first broke the news of the Nanjing carnage while it was still in progress, hoping to expose the atrocities to the outside world.

Once on board Oahu, Steele succeeded in convincing the gunboat’s radio operator to cable to Chicago his dispatch which appeared in the Chicago Daily News on December 15, 1937. He reported that the “story of Nanking’s fall is a story of indescribable panic and confusion among the entrapped Chinese defenders, followed by a reign of terror by the conquering army that cost thousands of lives, many of them innocent ones,” because the Japanese “chose the course of systematic extermination.” “Streets throughout the city were littered with the bodies of civilians and abandoned Chinese equipment and uniforms,” and the “last thing we saw as we left the city was a band of 300 Chinese being methodically executed before the wall near the waterfront, where already corpses were piled knee deep.” [3] On December 18, Steele published another report, in which he told the readers that
The other journalists dispatched cables back to their home agencies immediately after their arrival in Shanghai. McDaniel described his observations in diary form which first appeared in the Seattle Daily Times on December 17:

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