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|Showroom #2 : The 8-Year War of Resistance-- Time of Tribulation |
The 8-Year War of Resistance is a holy war that People of R.O.C. fought for survival and dependency. This is also an unprecedented war in Chinese history that the weak defeated the powerful one.
We can forgive, but we shall never forget those pains in wartime. We hope to soothe the pain and learn from the lessons in history, to be aware of the preciousness of peace.
The showroom exhibits 5 topics in chronological orders:
- Japanese Ambition
- China Under Siege in Balefire
- All-out Defense
- Combat with Alliances
- Victory of War against Japan
2. Plan of Showroom #2
The 8-Years War of Resistance against Japan is a sacred war for the survival of the Chinese nation and for national independence. Normally, the “8-Years War of Resistance” refers to the full-scale war against Japan after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. Broadly speaking, the war against Japan can also be traced back to the Mukden Incident when the Japanese armed forces intruded into China’s northeastern territories in 1931. Some scholars divided the war into two phases with the outbreak of the “Pacific War” on 8 December 1941 as the line of division. The previous four years of the First Phase War was often termed the “4-Years War of National Independence” while the Second Phase War was in alliance with the British and American armed forces, and the “China Theater” became an important element in the world war against aggression.
In the protracted 8 years of war against Japan, Nationalist Army suffered the most but also made the most contributions. Statistically the war comprised 22 large-scale battles, 175 guerillas over 1,100 large-scale fightings and over 38,900 skirmishes, causing more than 3.2 million dead and injuries. Total casualties including soldiers and civilians topped 21 million nationwide (including missing in actions). But the Chinese nation revenged years of humiliation since the late Qing Dynasty, abolished the unequal treaties signed over the past hundred years and ranked among the top Five world powers.
《Japanese Ambition 》
In the aftermath of 918 battle, 1931, the Japanese forces occupied China’s northeastern provinces, launched the Battle of Shanghai in 1932 and set up Manchukuo in the same year. Moreover, the Japanese forces occupied the Jehol Province in 1933 and encroached upon the Great Wall and coerced China to sign the Tangku Truce. Japan stepped up aggression against China in 1935 and 1936 by launching the so-called “Autonomous Movement” for Inner Mongolia and five northern provinces. Sino-Japanese relations rapidly deteriorated. With peaceful resolution of the “Xi’an Incident”, Japan was determined for further encroachment against China, making the Sino-Japanese War imminent and inevitable.
《China Under Siege in Balefire 》
Marco Polo Bridge Incident
On 7 July, 1937, the Japanese forces stationed in Fengtai again staged night-time military exercise targeting at Marco Polo Bridge outside Wanping county. Located 7 kilometers west of Fengtai and 15 kilometers away from Beijing’s East Gate, the bridge was an important hub of Pinghan railway line. About 11 o’clock that night, the Japanese forces demanded search for a missing soldier in Wanping county town. A while later, the missing Japanese soldier returned to his troop but the Japanese side still insisted on investigation of the missing incident and called for cooperation of the Chinese side. China agreed to a joint investigation, but the Japanese forces launched a surprise attack.
Early War Period
The initial period of the war lasted more than a year from the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in July 1937 to October 1938 when the Chinese forces retreated from Guangzhou and Wuhan. The main strategy of our forces during this period was to fight a lasting battle by exchanging space for time. Our forces garrisoned critical depots and launched attacks to stall the Japanese advance, hoping to attract international attention and assistance. The Japanese strategy was for speedy and decisive battles, searching for the Chinese main forces and launched brutal attacks and massive massacre in a move to compel China to surrender.
This period was also called the period of “strategic retreat,” whereby the Chinese forces avoided major battles but aimed for attrition of the enemy forces. This strategy foiled the Japanese strategy for a speedy ending to the war.
Middle War Period
The middle war period lasted from October 1938 when Guangzhou was lost and the Nationalist Army retreated from Wuhan to December 1941 when the Pacific War broke out. During this period, both sides were in a stalemate but the Nationalist and Communist Parties opened many battlefields behind the enemy. The Japanese strategy was to fight a lasting war. Internationally, American and British animosity against Japan was growing. The Nationalist army fought over 350 battles and won two-third of them. The most important battles were the three Changsha battles and the Kuinan battle.
During this period, human and material resources had been relocated to southwestern China and continued the strategy of fighting a lasting war. On the other hand, the Chinese communists adopted the strategy of “70% for development, 20% for pretentious and 10% for fighting against the Japanese.” The Chinese communist forces grew in strength day by day under cover. The Japanese enforced coastal and diplomatic embargo and helped set up puppet regimes with the objective of “using war to perpetrate war.”
Late War Period
The outbreak of the Pacific War in December 1941 ushered in the third stage of the war. In 1944, the Japanese launched the “No. 1 Warfare”, captured Pinghan and Yuehan railway lines and posed threat to Sichuan. However, U.S. victory in counter-offensives in the Pacific threatened the Japanese homeland, thereby held up Japanese advance inland. In the summer of 1945, the Nationalist army counter-attacked Guangxi and recaptured Guilin in July, and the Sino-Japanese War was drawing to a close.
During this period, our forces fought shoulder to shoulder with the allies. The international situation reversed in our favor after the outbreak of the Pearl Harbor Incident. W