The Battle of China

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The Battle of China

this is the Battle of China this is the great city of Shanghai on a September day in 1937 this the fearful beginning of a new kind of war this first mass bombing from the air of a helpless civilian population why hire these innocent Chinese men women children to die beneath the hail of Japanese bombs to find the answer to this question we must first understand something about China and Japan and to understand China three facts must never be forgotten China is history China is land China is people Chinese history goes back for more than 4000 years that’s a long time it was only a hundred and sixty-eight years ago that Washington crossed the Delaware only 452 years of passed since Columbus discovered America it’s 1,500 years since the world saw the fall of the ancient Roman Empire 3400 years have gone by since Moses received the Ten Commandments 3,700 years have passed since the pyramids were built but more than four thousand years ago the Chinese Empire was already in existence and more important so was the Chinese civilization a civilization of art and learning and peace yes China is history and China is also land more land than the entire continent of Europe a third larger than the United States and rich in raw materials this vast area consists of China proper and for outer provinces to the north is Manchuria huge and desolate but abounding in raw materials next to Manchuria are mongolia and Sinkiang here lies the gobi desert a vast plateau priced the size of Texas inhabited by nomads tribes who lead their camel caravans back and forth over ancient trade routes to the west is Tibet the icy roof of the world its borders encompassing the eastern end of the Himalayan mountains the mystery land that few have entered and from these vast mountains of the West rise the three great rivers of the northern most of these is the playing hoe the Yellow River far to the south flows sea Kiang the Pearl River which enters the sea past the great ports of Canton and Hong Kong but the greatest river of all is the one that flows between the Yangtze winding for 3,000 miles through the heart of China bringing fertility to the good earth and bearing upon its broad waters half the Commerce of China yes China is land next to Russia the largest country in the world but most important China is people 450 million of

if the whole population of China were to walk past you or a breast there would never be an end to the procession for new Chinese would be born and would grow up before the last man could pass by of every five persons on the face of the earth one is a Chinese and since one-fifth of all the human beings in the world a Chinese we should know what sort of people they are well in all their 4000 years of continuous history they have never waged a war of conquest they’re that sort of people they developed the art of printing for movable type they invented the Mariners compass without which no ocean could be cross they were among the first astronomers and their observations of the stars and planets made possible the accurate measuring and recording of time they are that sort of people and why do we call our dishes China because the Chinese invented the art of making porcelain and as we all know they invented gunpowder not as a weapon of war but to celebrate their holidays and religious festivals and it was one of China’s great philosophers who 500 years before the birth of Christ gave mankind these words what you do not want done to yourself do not do to others they are that sort of people enriching the world in which we live yes China is incredibly old incredibly big incredibly populous yet it was until recently a land with which few of us concerned ourselves but now a great change has taken place China is now our fighting Ally or more accurately we are China’s but China has been fighting our enemy Japan for seven long years why is this why of the Chinese when all their 4000 years of history have never waged an aggressive war then forced to fight the fight who died by the millions because China is land 4 million square miles and because China is people 450 million of them and because Japan had a plan to use them both that plan was finally stated in the Tanaka memorial a blueprint for world conquest formulated in 1927 by Baron de Shi Tanaka the Japanese foreign minister in order to conquer the world we must first conquer China here was their mad dream phase 1 the conquest of Manchuria for raw materials phase 2 the absorption of China for manpower piece by piece so as not to arouse the rest of the world phase 3 a triumphant sweep to the south to seize the riches of the Indies phase 4 the eastward move to crush the United States one fact was obvious China was to be the giant back on which Japan would ride to world conquest just as Russia was to be enslaved for German use but how was it possible for Japan only one twentieth the size of China and with only one-sixth its population to think of conquering China much less the world there were two main reasons for this in the first place modern China in spite of its age-old history was like the broken pieces of a jigsaw puzzle each piece controlled by a different ruler each with his own private army in modern terms China was a country but not yet a nation while Japan was a united well-knit highly regimented military dictatorship second reason second reason lies in the uses each country made of our Western civilization let’s see what China took you will notice that this is a very old piece of film actually it is more than 30 years old and it shows a very great man by the name of Sun yat-sen in 1911 this man fathered a People’s Revolution which brought to an end China’s ancient imperial government and began its new eras a modern Republic winning for himself in Chinese history as secure a place as George Washington has in ours

and he and his followers chose for the cornerstone of their new republic Chinese words that echoed those of another believer in democracy government of the people by the people for the people and to make these principles become reality they built more schools and colleges they establish scholarships so that their young men and women could go forth to the universities of America and Europe and bring back to their own country other Western ideas and this new generation returned to China with new techniques of industry architecture science medicine they built more hospitals to free their people from the blight of disease they introduced compulsory education they laid down as essential two of the four freedoms for which we fight today freedom of expression and freedom of religion in 1925 Sun yat-sen died but his disciples led by Chiang kai-shek carried on his monumental work their aim the unification and modernization of China Chinese industry was old fashioned in an efficient transportation was slow and inadequate but now railroads began to link the great seaports and river harbors with the inland cities a network of Highways began to stretch beyond the railroad lines into the deep interior after leaving them untouched for centuries China was beginning to use her vast store of raw materials and soon the tools and machines of the new factories were delivering the goods and products for China’s new economy for the Chinese believed in using the best of Western civilization to the progress of their country and while they were building this new nation just a day and a half by steamer across the Yellow Sea lay Japan here the god Emperor and his fanatic warlords were using this same Western civilization for one purpose and only one to create one of the world’s most powerful war machines their aim the absorption of China and the fulfillment of the Tanaka memorial for years Japan had deliberately copied military weapons and industrial techniques discovered in other countries for years Japan under the pretext of lacking raw materials for industry had been buying in every corner of the world materials not only to build this war machine but materials which could be stored to feed it in the war of conquest they were planning for years while other nations were trying to outlaw war by reducing armaments Japan was feverishly and secretly building a modern army a modern Navy a modern Air Force to strike its infamous blow at the civilized world and we all now know about the islands in the Pacific that Japan fortified in violation of all international treaties these were the reasons why it was possible for Japan only one twentieth the size of China and only one-sixth the population of China to think of conquering China as the first step to world conquest and as you have seen in 1931 they embarked on phase one the occupation of Manchuria small bonfire that the Japanese lit in Manchuria was to grow and spread with uncontrollable fury until the entire world was aflame Faye’s wonder if the Tanaka plan was completed and exactly as planned the Japs have been confident that this first and sudden land grab could be accomplished without their becoming involved in a major war and they were right the unification of China was still too remote for the Chinese of the south to care what happened to their kinsmen in the north using the step-by-step technique a few months later the Japs took a crack at Shanghai Chinese resistance was so great they hastily called that deal off waited another year and then struck in the

north again carving the province of gay whole’ out of China proper this too they got away with the world criticized the Chinese protested but still the Japs got what they wanted another piece of China and without the war on their hands and to rule over Manchuria and yaho the Japs then set up a puppet government under their stooge Henry Puig the Chinese Quisling Prince but the leaders of new China remembered that in other centuries other barbarians had invaded their country the evidence still stood in the great wall built by their ancestors more than two thousand years earlier and stretching for 1,400 miles across mountain and desert to protect themselves from the barbarians of the north of the Great Wall it has been said that it is the only work of man which would be visible from the moon but the Chinese knew that modern barbarians can’t be stopped by a war however strong are high they can’t even be stopped by people unless the people are united and by 1937 the unification of China was making such progress the Japs got worried the one weapon they could not permit China was unity they would strike again before China to become a nation this time it would be a big bite five more northern provinces out of a heart of China at the at the United States Embassy in China’s military attache for a number of years was Colonel William mayor let him tell you what happened the first thing the Japs did was to prepare their usual fake alibi this time it wasn’t a damaged railway track as it had been in Manchuria in 1931 a Jap soldier disappeared obviously he’d been kidnapped by the insolent Chinese once more Japan’s honored been insulted once more the insult must be avenged so on the night of July 7th 1937 at the Marco Polo Bridge near Peking the Jap war machine Strucker within the space of a few weeks the invaders were in control of Timson and Bay pain it looked as if the Japs are going to have another walkover now the Japs sat back to digest and organized this new conquest the peace-loving Japanese didn’t want a war if they could get their land grabs without one but this time they were in for a rude surprise this time instead of protesting and negotiating but Chinese struck back and not in the north but at Shanghai where the Japs least expected to understand the fighting that followed we must know something about the city of Shanghai itself situated near the mouth of the Yangtze River it is the biggest city in China as the largest seaport in the Far East it dominated the commerce and foreign trade of China and through its great ducts and channels past most of the wealth of the Orient in Shanghai truly the East met the West and within this city of three-and-a-half million Chinese was another city a foreign settlement made up of the French Concession and the well known international settlement there the various powers including Great Britain the United States and Japan at station 2 catchments of troops Japanese British Frank on our own United States Marines to assist the police of the Shanghai Municipal Council in the preservation of peace and order and to protect the boundaries of the International Settlement these detachments were limited in size but the Japs secretly and in violation of all treaty agreements that increased their garrison so that when fighting started on the border of their concession in August of 1937 they thought they were fully prepared for any eventuality

the force of the Chinese counter-attack almost drove the Japs into the Wankel River backed up by the heavy guns of their warships however the Japs managed to hold out until reinforcements arrived Jap landings were then made in the vicinity of the Woosung forts and in lieu ho and lo Tian on the Yangtze River north of Shanghai the Chinese drew back to positions five or ten miles inland where they could secure some protection from the heavy Jap naval gunfire at the same time the invaders succeeded in making a surprise landing some 20 miles to the south of Shanghai put two divisions of Shore and pushed rapidly north to outflank the city the Chinese position was thus made untenable under withdrawal was ordered to the west and to the south toward Nanking and Hangzhou but only about half of the Chinese army that had fought at Shanghai was left to withdraw meanwhile enraged at the very idea of anyone resisting the Imperial Japanese might the Japs took their vengeance upon the civilian population of a city a city without guns or planes to defend itself deliberately slaughtered thousands from the air the some there was refuge inside the International Settlement where Japan was afraid to bomb the property and people of the foreign powers just yet there was not room for all for each who found safety inside there were thousands huddled beyond the gates standing helpless and undefended against the jaffa tax there was no escape for these surging and panic-stricken people they could only scurry through the narrow streets pushing and packing themselves into the center of the city to be exactly buried alive in the collapse of bombed and burning buildings thus for Japanese introduced the world to a new kind of war a war of deliberate terrorization of deliberate mass murder of deliberate frightfulness when the campaign was over the Japs occupied the entire peninsula east of

Shanghai reorganizing rapidly they then launched a coordinated drive on Nanking one column pushed along the railroad while another swung further to the south this column then split and continued its drive hoping to cut off any possible to retreat of the Chinese armies defending Nanking it was here in the Yangtze that the blood-crazed Japs attacked an American gunboat the USS Panay despite its distinctive markings the ship was bombed and sunk with the loss of American lives the first American warship to go to the bottom in this war but officially at least this was a mistake and the Japanese government apologized meantime at Nanking Chinese armies valiantly defended their city which was the capital of the Chinese Republic but again Japanese power was too great and after a battle lasting but a few days the city fell to the invaders their occupation of Nanking the chaps again outdid themselves in barbarism the helpless populace was trapped by the city walls he did not flee Japanese soldiers went for certain they raped and tortured they killed and butchered in one of the bloodiest massacres of recorded history they murdered 40,000 men women children but those who live might better of died for the horror of their twisted and porn bodies was worse than death these scenes were photographed by an American missionary and smuggled out of China after the rape of Nanking this nightmare of cruelty was all the more horrible because it was deliberately planned by the Japanese High Command to tear the heart out of the Chinese people once and forever and then it happened that which soon yat-sen had dreamed of that which Chiang kai-shek toiled for that which is stronger than stone walls had at last been born in China the will to resist bloody blow the Japanese that accomplished 4,000 years had failed to

bring into China but the Chinese knew that the will to resist was not by itself enough they knew the China must develop the power to resist also and this cannot be created in an instant so they too made a plan and it was this they would slowly yield territory piece by piece while they developed the power and built the weapons to rid the land of its invaders the industrial strength of China must be moved to the west beyond the mountains beyond the railroad lines beyond the lines of communication they are safe from enemy attacks they might produce the rifles and guns that China so tragically needed thus China would trade space for time space for time blow up the roads space for time scorch the earth space for time blow up the factory building leave nothing for the invaders and then the people rose and moved riding walking crawling thirty million of them spontaneously driven by an epic impulse rose and made their way west the earth teeming with moving westward on a trek that stretched through two thousand miles of road less wilderness thus the world witnessed one of the most amazing spectacles in human history the greatest mass migration ever recorded whatever could be abuse and could be moved the Chinese took with them on a Homeric journey their libraries their school’s their hospitals all dismantled and carted away the machinery from over a thousand factories weighing over 300 million pounds was moved away in trucks and ox carts and on their backs 2,000 miles away 2,000 miles western wherever they could they gathered along the few remaining railroads waiting hoping for some chance to ride part of the way toward their westward goal and when they attacked the last train with the last ounce of humanity and machinery but sacks themselves were taken up rail by rail tie by tide to be transported Western leave nothing for the enemy every river pointing westward was heavy-laden every sampan every bar was pressed into service weighted down to the water’s edge with the precious tools for new China nothing could stop not even the rivers that narrowed in the mountain gorges westward with their loads of machinery more precious than gold

progress was measured by the mile by feet by inches the trail they broke was moistened every step of the way by their sweat where there were no trains no boats no ox carts there were still willing hands and willing feet straining backs 30 million people moving west westward from the invader westward from slavery and death westward to freedom now in the free mountain lands of the West ancient cities sprang in fresh and modern life chief of them all was the new capital of free China Chongqing here on the cliffs high above the Yangtze River the Chinese had reestablished their government they knew however that the people of the city would not be safe from Jap air raids the memories of Shanghai were fresh in their minds and in the sandstone cliff on which the city is built thousands of workmen rushed the construction of enormous caves as shelters for the people and for the pitifully few machines more important than life to the Japs Chongqing became the heart of the Chinese nation they were determined to conquer destroyed Chongqing and they would break the spirit of new China as they couldn’t reach the city by land they would send their bombers to blast it from the face of the earth against these Japanese are modest slow and obsolete Chinese planes made a suicidal attempt to defend Chongqing

but neither Japanese planes nor Japanese marks to destroy the life of the city but not only the people but the factories have gone underground where the vital machines could operate by day and by night safe from bombs and threat this time the Chinese had anticipated their enemy in spite of bombs and fire and destruction this time the Chinese stood fast flaming chongqing became the symbol of their indestructible spirit now the call to arms sounded throughout New China and from the past interior China’s millions answered the call they came from the south from the north from the east from the West the form of people’s army with a new faith in their hearts men and women left their homes and farms to fight for something bigger now than each man’s home and each man’s farm in each man’s life they were fighting for new China new soldiers awkward and unskilled like all new soldiers the type toughened and trained they learned the discipline and order of drill they knew they must strike and strike hard they learned to kill the youth of China also came forward training to care for the sick and the wounded girls joined their husbands brothers and sweethearts in uniform and to the aid of China came volunteers for motherland men who pledged themselves to fight against tyranny and oppression no matter where Americans like the legendary Colonel Charlotte in this Flying Tigers who were there few American planes were knocking down enemy planes of the fantastic ratio of 20 nips to one of their own the Japs have hope to ride the world conquest on the back of a giant Chinese workhorse Phase two of the Tanaka plan called for breaking the horse to their will but the great patient horse refused to be broken the enraged Jap saw their whole plan of conquest bogging down so they set out to drain the Giants strength by cutting the arteries through which flowed China’s lifeblood of supplies they penetrated along the rivers railroads destroyed by the Chinese were rebuilt with slave labor as the Japanese moved inland secured control of key rail lines and important communications and China’s supply lines from the outside world were cut off by Jap warships blockading the coast the Japanese strategy was the isolation of China port after port was occupied this meant China was being cut off from supplies she couldn’t manufacture for herself supplies she was getting from her Western friends without oil gas guns and planes China was doomed with the whole of the Chinese coast in the hands of the chaps there would only be two roofs over which to bring the vitally necessary materials from Indochina a

narrow gauge railway ran inland from the sea to kun Ming connecting with a truck road that went to Chongqing but its capacity was limited and then there was the old trail of the camel caravans from Russia across the Gobi Desert which could bring in even less not only did these routes provide too little for China’s needs but they were too near Jap territory to be safe there was only one other possibility in Burma was a railroad that rammed from the port of Rangoon to Lazio separating it from the truck road at Kunming were hundreds of miles of high mountains and deep river gorges if this stretchable if this stretch of tortuous mountain trails could be replaced by a modern highway where now only pack trains could pick their plodding way China would have a practical supply route to Burma and the sea several internationally known firms of Engineers were called in to do the job they said the work might be completed in six or seven years if China could supply them with the most modern machinery but China didn’t have the modern machinery nor did she have the six or seven years so she began building the road with her bare hands my thousands by tens of thousands by hundreds of thousands they toiled at the back-breaking pass of carving this desperately needed supply line out for the reluctant mountainous and out of their toil and their sweat they created the Burma Road not in six or seven years but in less than twelve months a monument for the new spirit to the new China as soon as it was completed the road went into immediate service by thousands the trucks shuttled back and forth between its terminals climbing to nearly 10,000 feet around hairpin curves along the edges of sheer precipices we’re passing trucks had barely one foot of clearance the blood plasma new supplies flowed steadily over China’s lifeline to the sea protected by Colonel Chennault incredible Flying Tigers but Chinese sacrifice cannot be measured only in miracles of construction that must be counted too in the tragedy of destruction for while still the Burma Road was being built the invading Japanese had fanned out and straddled fully two-thirds of the railroad lines of the country in the summer of 1938 they set out to capture the remaining one-third starting with the vital railroad junction at Chang Chau Chang Chau is situated on the banks of the Yellow River China’s sorrowful originally the river flowed from Chang Chau southeast street to the Yellow Sea but nearly a century ago a great flood abruptly changed its course swinging it far to the north for generation upon generation as the spring floods rushed down to the sea thousands of Chinese worked on the dikes to hold the river in its new course protecting their homes and their crops now as the Japs advanced on Cheng Chao the Chinese blew up the southern dike of the Yellow River thus loosing a flood between themselves in the jacks once more the river flowed in it’s old course forming a barrier which to this day was prevented the Jap from entrenching himself in this area thus once more with no thought of the human sacrifice to the material cost the

Chinese traded space for time and the Chinese had still other tricks to pull from they’re patched and faded sleeves you will notice that this map of Jap conquests doesn’t look like the military maps you have seen in the previous films by all military standards it should have looked like this which is the way the Japs wanted it to look but the Japanese were learning that the occupation of Chinese cities and control of Chinese rivers and railroads still was far from meaning the subjugation of China but Chinese have formed themselves into guerrilla bands trained to Harris the Jap forces these guerrillas were mostly farmers who had stayed behind on the land when the great migration to the west took place peaceful farmers one day deadly fighters the next they made an unpredictable and uncontrollable enemy the Japs sell the lines of communications but in the pockets thus formed these unconquered guerrillas constantly sniped at the Jap invaders when the Japs tried to annihilate them they disappeared only to reappear in another pocket Oh attacking with speed and surprise they ambushed enemy patrols the Japanese were fighting more than the Chinese people they were fighting the Chinese land the great distances the rivers the floods the swamps and marshes these two were enemies that defied the Jap war machine the giant fact Japan intended to ride to world conquest was proving to be a fucking Bronco phase two of the Tanaka plan had bogged down in what the Japs still referred to as the China incident this left them in a fateful quandary phase two of the Tanaka plan was still incomplete but phase 3 and phase 4 could no longer be delayed in Russia the overwhelming German offensive was taxing Russia’s military capacity to the limit removing any Japanese fear of Russian interference Britain after the sledgehammer blows of Dunkirk in the Battle of Britain was left groggy and militarily almost exhausted her navy scattered across the seas guarding her lifeline of supplies but here in America we were finally awakening to our danger and taking steps to protect ourselves we had appropriated funds for the construction of a two ocean Navy and our army was rapidly expanding if the ultimate objectives of the Tanaka plan were to be achieved now was the moment to strike now when Russia was otherwise occupied now before Britain could recuperate now before we could gather too much strength so the Japs made a fateful decision they would embark on phase 3 and phase 4 the conquest of the Indies in the United States without waiting to complete phase 2 the conquest of China thus the paralyzed American power in the Pacific without warning as they have always struck they struck again according to all the rules China’s position should now be greatly improved for inner war with Japan China now had fighting allies ourselves the British the Dutch but it didn’t work that way for China for in those tragic early months of 1942 when we sustained defeat after defeat at the hands of our common enemy China endured the worst setback of all out of our defeats China lost the Burma Road

but still china’s courage never faltered her determination never weakened and in the history of those long and tragic months of black defeat in 1942 one bright page stands forth the page written by our Chinese Eliza here is the city of Changsha the Japs wanted it for two reasons it was in the center of the Chinese rice bowl and it was also an important railway Junction place before they have tried to take it and twice before they had been thrown back massing a large striking force near y ocho on Christmas Eve 1941 the Japs started southward toward Shanghai and three columns of three points during the drive south the Chinese forces put up token resistance but instead of withdrawing toward Changsha they withdrew east into the mountainous flank by New Year’s Eve the Japs had surrounded the city they quickly pierced the outer defences and attacked the inner defenses from four directions in spite of fierce resistance the Japs were certain that the fall of Changsha was only a matter of hours what they didn’t know was that they had walked into a well baited trap for the Chinese forces which had withdrawn into the hills now swept down on the jap supply lines and cut them to ribbons the Jap forces attacking the city soon ran out of food and ammunition and began a withdrawal whereupon the Chinese launched a counter-offensive and pushed the Japanese back where they had come from the jap column was forced to run the gauntlet continuous attack by the pursuing Chinese forces the Battle of Changsha was a magnificent victory for the people of China the people who wouldn’t surrender the people determined to fight for their freedom their good earth people who can’t be beaten and US 1944 Dawn’s there is another and greater story being written from the Aleutians to the South Pacific we’re on the offensive in the jungles of New Guinea in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands on the shores of New Britain on the broad Pacific waters Japan faces the daily expanding power the nation’s she attacked and in India American British and Chinese forces are gathering strength under Lord Mountbatten for the liberation of China for China’s war is our war and now her millions belong not only to United China but also to the United Nations leader of our American forces is General Stillwell who has the unique honour of being the chief of staff of all the Chinese expeditionary armies division after division of Chinese troops are being flown in our planes from China to India where they arrived and equipped with the most modern American weapons trained and hardened to spearhead the coming drive against Japan through enemy-held territory in northern Burma the new leader road is being pushed over mountains through jungle and swamp from India to China to connect with the old Burma Road in the jungle on either side American and Chinese patrols protect the road and strike at the Japs we’re supplies and ammunition brought in by playing and perishing from fields in India an Air Transport Command plane takes off every six minutes loaded with artillery jeeps ammunition men and supplies for the armies of China over this Burma sky way

over this hump of mountains 16,000 feet high more tonnage is being flown into China than was ever trucked in over the old Burma Road and in the skies over China Japan faces new opposition young Chinese many of them trained in the fields of Arizona New Mexico California fly and fight beside their American comrades the fighters and bombers of the Chinese air force and those of general Chennault 14th Air Force today fly far and wide over China getting enemy concentrations smashing their sea lanes along the China coast the same people that moved a nation 2,000 miles to built the Burma Road building airfields out of stones mud and patient tireless hands today they’ll still cut off by land and sea from the rest of the world Chinese armies and Chinese guerrillas still stand firm against the Jap the oldest and the youngest of the world’s great nations together with the British Commonwealth like side-by-side in the struggle that is as old as China herself the struggle of freedom against slavery civilization against barbarism good against evil upon their victory depends the future of mankind we in China like you what a better world not for ourselves alone but for all mankind and we must have it