Either you had to expand, or you would be conquered. And in that sense, there is no great conspiracy of silence. World War II: World War II was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945, currently the deadliest war in human history. Now we haven’t had the kind of fall-of-the-Berlin-Wall, fall-of-Gorbachev-type moment in China. On the other hand, I think that there is a significant amount of evidence, and this is one of the things that Chiang Kai-shek weighed when he was making the decision whether or not to expand the campaign, was that Japan would be trying, slice by slice, to get more and more of China. And this was, of course, very bad news for the Chinese who have been fighting for the better part of a year before that. But the downside was that it led to a much narrower, much grayer vision of Shanghai for the next 40 or 50 years. And this was essentially one of those strange pieces of ideological cross-dressings that you get during that period. At one level, as with all of the Allied and the Axis elements of World War II, we know exactly who to root for. 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. Estimates for the total number of casualties in the war vary because many deaths went unrecorded. … Without the war, the Chinese Communists would never have defeated the Nationalists. 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. Some 14 million Chinese died and up to 100 million became refugees during the eight years of conflict with Japan from 1937 to 1945. A new report concludes that the Graham-Cassidy proposal would reduce federal funding to states by $215 billion by 2026. So I wouldn’t underplay their role. So in terms of intent or method, you’re probably not talking about a kind of intentional all-out invasion in 1937. And I think actually that the British realized this very well. The exact number of Chinese deaths in World War II is somewhat hard to determine exactly, partially due to the fact that it can be hard to separate... Our experts can answer your tough homework and study questions. Posted at 12:48h in Uncategorized by 0 Comments. I tend to think that the whole China war story and Chiang’s part in it is written as a sort of melodrama or a sort of black versus white. Is that a correct reading?I think it’s actually one of the most important elements of the question: Why on Earth does World War II matter for China? But there was never a period when Moscow and Washington weren’t talking to each other. But what was forgotten was the leader, through a whole swath of decisions, many of them very problematic and difficult, had nonetheless kept China in the war against Japan. That’s very obvious. This is a trend that has emerged within China itself. That is a very significant difference than in the European case. 7 of 15. They thought that was a very bad idea; they thought the Japanese should actually stick to Manchuria. Mao and his followers did claim that they wanted this, but we also know a lot more from archives and other sources about Mao’s own motivations. The reason being that at Nomonhan essentially you had this confrontation between the Russians and the Japanese. When looking back at World War II, the victors see their own military contributions the clearest. 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. Although these forces were indeed poorly supplied, they were highly motivated, battle hardened, and led by officers who were veterans, in some cases, of twenty years of nearly constant war. China’s own researchers in the mainland are rediscovering the hidden parts of their own history, including the actually very creditable, very important wartime contribution of the old ideological ally, the Nationalist party, which is one of the reasons even Chiang Kai-shek has been partly rehabilitated in the mainland in a way that was unimaginable 25 or 30 years ago. Is that generally accurate?I mean, the ideas and concept and understanding of human rights we have now have been very much shaped by the experience of that war and that period around the world. The reason is that Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese wartime leader, was essentially seen as a sort of embarrassment—this Cold War relic remaining on Taiwan, looking more and more irrelevant year by year, associated with incompetence and corruption, with a whole variety of qualities that the West didn’t find very attractive. Their west was not considered part of the main area. And they happened over many weeks and months. If I could ask you to speculate: Did Japan have the wherewithal to defeat China? My inclination is to say that I don’t think so—not in the terms of actually having a genuinely friendly and cordial engagement between the two sides. This does not mean American sacrifices were small compared to other countries. 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. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. 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. Had Chiang fallen and had China become pro-Japanese, then Japan would have had a perfect launch pad to attack the Soviet Union in the late 1930s, early 1940s. Winston Churchill is praised for his speech about “never surrender” in terms of Britain—regardless of whatever else might happen, it was important to keep fighting the Nazis the whole time.
Because in a sense what we’re talking about here is the event that doesn’t happen, the fact that the Soviet Union and Japan are not in conflict with each other, are not at war, for most of the period that we think of as World War. During the Cold War period, Taiwan and Chiang kai-Shek was a clear and present danger to the Communist regime. From 1945 to October of 1949, the Chinese Civil War was waged, with the Communists taking over mainland China and the Nationalists retreating to the island of Formosa (better known now as Taiwan). They saw the British empire; they saw the French empire; they saw this sort of American domination in parts of the Pacific as well. Adding in the 400,000 IJN casualties (primarily due to US efforts) and you're looking at something like 1.8 million total military deaths, of which around ~25% were caused by the Chinese. In total, 20 million people died from China, with four million of these deaths military. 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. 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 at its most basic, there’s a sort of irony that China’s moment of greatest crisis in the 20th century in terms of foreign invasion, the Japanese invasion, actually forces the government, particularly the Nationalist government at the time, to centralize the authority. Create your account. (PHOTO: PUBLIC DOMAIN). Japanese troops prepare to behead a Chinese POW during the orgy of violence that followed taking the city of Nanking. The International Astronomical Union has established a committee to finalize a list of official star names. On the Chinese side, after 1949 when the civil war was over, the Nationalists had been exiled to Taiwan, and Mao was victorious on the mainland, you had essentially a virgin history in the mainland of China—that the only people who had made a contribution to fighting and defeating the Japanese were the Chinese communists. The face-off has escalated the already volatile border standoff between the two sides. And it had huge amounts of territory, a quagmire that’s very hard for the Japanese to conquer and hard for the Chinese government to control. Had China folded, Japan’s capacity to fight the U.S. or even the Soviets would have been vastly amplified. Similar Questions In February 1943 3,000 British and Nepalese Gurkha troops mounted a long distance raid behind Japanese lines. Well, there are a variety reasons, but the Cold War is really the major one. Deaths directly caused by the war (including military and civilians fatalities) are estimated at 50–56 million, with an additional estimated 19–28 million deaths from war-related disease and famine. Werner Gruhl, author of “Imperial Japan’s World War Two,” estimates the Japanese killed 250,000 Chinese by biological experimentation and biological warfare. *Worldwide casualty estimates vary widely in several sources. And so their answer sort of became Japan. What the Americans wanted was a re-worked world order in which imperialism in the British and French sense would be ended and some of the non-European powers would be raised to a rather higher level. A total of 20 Indian soldiers have died in Ladakh's Galwan Valley, the Indian Army said in a statement. 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. But it’s one of those things that sort of meant that while he had a huge number of problems with the Americans, ultimately his orientation was toward the United States as being a dominant power in the region, rather than allowing the British any chance to come back. Japanese casualties estimated 1.1-1.9 million military casualties, killed, wounded & missing. These troops, known as ‘Chindits’, were commanded by the deeply eccentric Brigadier Orde Wingate. On 29 July, some 5,000 troops of the 1st and 2nd Corps of the East Hopei Army mutinied, turning against the Japanese garrison. 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. If you ask the same question, of course, and compare it to that of the British Empire, I think it’s fair to say that Winston Churchill and the British could not have defeated Hitler without American assistance, either. And this is essentially done to detach the Japanese from the wartime Cold War embrace of the United States in the Asia Pacific by backpedaling a bit on reminding them of what happened in the wartime years itself. How many Chinese died in ww2? You’ve got occasional signs of it—for example, the Japanese who turn up as sort of stage villains in some of the model operas in the cultural revolution period in the 1960s. The contributions in terms of flying over the skies of Chongqing were not that many, but I mean in terms of psychology and in terms of morale boosting, they were important. Who was involved in the Battle of the Coral... Who was involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf? There are plenty of people, not the least of which are professional historians, who spend a great deal of time working in great detail on Japan’s wartime atrocities and their significance in history. Compared to that, China had more people, but was an internally split, very poor agrarian society, with only a very partially trained army. How many people died in World War 2 in terms of the highest number of fatalities in a Far Eastern nation? What the British wanted was the restoration of the empire. total Chinese American population of nearly eighty thousand in the entire United States (according to the 1940 US Census,) a far higher percentage (25%) than any other American ethnic community. They had to keep the population whipped up in a fever of fear against the possibility that the invaders might come back from Taiwan and essentially start World War III. Historian Rana Mitter believes a better understanding of China's future actions can follow a truer understanding of its World War II past. But the Chinese contribution up to now has generally been mostly dismissed or regarded as very minor, secondary, and not really worth bothering with. Japanese school teaching unions are often pretty left wing and certainly they have agitated pretty strongly in terms of not using textbooks that deny or downplay the wartime period. In other words, a small set of events in the Chinese case, the shootings outside in the little village of Wanping in Beijing at the Marco Polo bridge [on July 7, 1937], would trigger off in the next few days and weeks, the sequence of events that eventually bring the two countries to war with each other. Many of the soldiers were confident veterans of the successful civil war against the Nationalist Chinese forces. It happens for a variety of reasons. For years many scholars said 20 million died. So these things do have a great deal of significance today. The scale of China’s involvement in the war was massive. So I think it’s important to remember that Japan is a pluralist democracy. 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. But we can’t put any of the responsibility by any means on the Chinese communists on the mainland. Speaking of alliances, it seems like China/Burma/India was where the "special relationship" between the U.S. and Great Britain showed its seams most clearly. When Chiang blew up the Yellow River dikes to slow down the advancing Japanese army—that ranks among the great atrocities of the war, yet I have never heard of it.No, that’s absolutely fair enough. They realized that for a very poor, agrarian society like post-1947 China, it was important to try and gain technological know-how. From Germany estimates suggest 8.8 million people died, with more than 5.5 million of these deaths military. 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. [Laughing] Yes, if you mean a special relationship of mistrust and lack of understanding. World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history.An estimated total of 70–85 million people perished, or about 3% of the 1940 world population (est. 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. According to Rummel, in China alone, during 1937–45, approximately 3.9 million Chinese were killed, mostly civilians, as a direct result of the Japanese … World War II was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945, currently the deadliest war in human history. In contrast, Japan was not a near defeated enemy, but one with which the Chinese Communists actually wanted to try and get closer. But the voices of certain communities are often left behind. Due to the Japanese, 80% of Chinese who died during World War II were civilians. But although this voice is loud, it is by no means the only one or the most important one in Japan. 27 Sep. how many chinese died in ww2. And by the end of the war, he was one of the strongest critics and opponents of Chiang Kai-shek. Which was an argument for Japanese imperial... What happened in the Battle of Coral Sea? 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. 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. So we have to look at what the competition was as well. The Japanese were brutal; they carried out all sorts of horrific acts, you know the Rape of Nanking, the bombing of Chongqing, and others, but to some extent, you can see similarities with other brutal campaigns, which took place elsewhere. And the big difference is that for the first time, people are allowed to look at the Nationalist, the Guomindang [or Kuomintang] side of the experience. Is that widespread?Some of them possibly written by me, in fact. Shanghai is such an interesting story with its international community and the international communities that were in the other coastal Chinese cities. The Chinese government over the years has given varying estimates of deaths and at one time blamed them on the weather. So first Manchuria, then the sort of part just below the Great Wall, then much of North China; then within five, 10, 15 years after that point, it would have seemed very plausible scenario by which they were lapping at the gates of central China, and then finally the south. And I mean this is one of the astounding things because, of course, it is also a sign of the moral ambiguities that went on in this war. Something that isn’t unknown, but was relatively new to me was the Soviet contribution to the Nationalists, particularly the air power. This is one of the lesser known elements of the wider World War II experience, and I think the fact that we’re paying attention to it [as in Anthony Beevor’s new history of World War II] does suggest that we’re beginning to realize that the whole Asian front is a lot more important than we’ve realized. The Japanese seem to have been particularly egregious violators of human rights. 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. 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. But again one of the things that must be considered is ideological conviction. You have to remember that in the West, we very quickly forgot about that wartime contribution as well. It’s the feat of resistance that really needs to be looked at. In an image suddenly salient with the civil war in Syria, Japanese artillerymen fire chemical weapons into Chinese positions in 1941. So an all-out defeat of the Japanese by the Chinese would have been near impossible to manage. 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. 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. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal China now finds itself—more than 65, 70 years nearly after the end of World War II—as the only non-European, non-white power to sit at that top table. 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. For an American audience whose knowledge of China in the war might start with the 1937 Rape of Nanking and end with the volunteer American fighter pilots known as the Flying Tigers, the book offers a number of eye-openers: Why does any of this matter now? 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. All that was lost for a very long time. as in Anthony Beevor’s new history of World War II. And these proved to be fundamentally incompatible goals. It was a relatively minor part of the way in which patriotism was constructed. Winston Churchill was probably one of the people who felt most strongly during that period that the war in Asia showed that the British and the Americans essentially had rather different aims in terms of what they wanted from World War II. US Intelligence has said that 35 Chinese troops died in the clashes, including a senior officer. The Japanese army—bizarrely, delusionally—were rational in their own minds. But the fact is that it was very helpful during the early campaign from battles including central China, in the Yangtze delta around Shanghai, and so forth. This has been edited for length and clarity. 2.3 billion). 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. (PHOTO: PUBLIC DOMAIN). In the U.S. it’s Forgotten Ally. And that’s a big difference from the Soviet Union; you’re exactly right there. Become a Study.com member to unlock this That is 3.75 percent of the Chinese population. This began to change in the 1980s, but during the Cold War there was a vested interest in Beijing in not stressing Japanese war crimes too much. He did not have a genuine affinity toward the United States. But I think the fact that for the better part of a quarter century or more, down until Nixon and Kissinger come along, the Chinese and the Americans do not have a regular, proper, and open channel of discussion, was one of the great diplomatic missed opportunities of that period—one of many messy pieces of inheritance from that whole wartime alliance. March 5, 1945 – Some 14 million Chinese died and up to 100 million became refugees during the eight years of conflict with Japan from 1937 to 1945. 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