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
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.”  On December 18, Steele
published another report, in which he told the readers that
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