The China Incident

Igniting the Second Sino-Japanese War


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About the Book

In 1937, Japan blundered into a debilitating war with China, beginning with a minor incident near Peking (now Beijing) that quickly escalated. The Japanese won significant battles and captured the capital, Nanking, after a horrific massacre of its citizens. Chiang Kai-shek, China’s acknowledged leader, would not surrender—each side believed it could win a war of attrition. The U.S. sided with China, primarily because of President Roosevelt’s personal bias in their favor.  Drawing on a wealth of sources including interviews with key players, from soldiers to diplomats, this history traces America’s unexpected and unpopular involvement in an Asian conflict, and the growing recognition of Japan’s threat to world peace and the inevitability of war.

About the Author(s)

G. William Whitehurst served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. During his navy experience, he witnessed several of the events described in this book. From 1968–1987, he was the Representative for the Second District of Virginia. Upon retiring from Congress, he resumed an academic career at Old Dominion University teaching history and political science.

Bibliographic Details

G. William Whitehurst
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 362
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8233-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4135-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction 1
I. An Empire and an Army Are Born 5
II. The Army in Retreat 37
III. The Struggle for Control 72
IV. Triumph and Uncertainty 98
V. The Marco Polo Bridge Incident 123
VI. The China Incident 148
VII. The Home Front 182
VIII. North China and the Failure of Mediation 199
IX. Quarantine the Aggressor 221
X. Charade at Brussels 250
XI. The Rape of Nanking 282
XII. Aftermath 312
Chapter Notes 323
Bibliography 337
Index 343