World War II (02:04)
When Adolf Hitler invaded Poland and began World War II in September 1939, the Second Sino-Japanese War was in its second year. It would take until 1941 for the conflict in Europe to join with the fighting in China.
Japanese Aggression (05:55)
Initially the Japanese had rapidly moved through China, pushing Chinese troops into centralized areas. From the isolated Communist base in Yan'an, Mao Zedong organized a strategy for the war.
War in Europe (05:05)
Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek was hoping to receive assistance from European powers. By 1940, Allied troops were already mobilizing against Hitler. Germany went back on its promise to lend officers and weapons to Chinese forces, but the Soviets provided support out of fear from Japan controlling the Sino-Soviet border.
Japanese Strategy (05:03)
Numerous important battles between China and Japan happened shortly after the war began in Europe. Japan planned to cut off supply and communication routes and isolate China. Japan's advance into Vietnam, Malaya, and Singapore drew the attention of the United States, which established embargoes in August 1941.
Chinese Offensive (02:59)
Chinese forces used a widespread guerrilla offensive that led to more than 1,000 fights in a single day. In response, Japan changed its tactics and began looting and burning rural areas. The war in Europe had stalemated after Hitler cancelled his plan to invade Great Britain.
Japan's Numbers (05:39)
Despite continuing to expand its offensives, Japan's numbers were dwindling and most of its army was still in China. In 1941, the Nationalist Army attacked members of Communist Army. The Allied Powers urged Chiang to stop the infighting and focus on Japan, who was turning to more brutal tactics.
Chinese Allies (04:43)
After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in the United States and British, French, and Dutch colonies in Southeast Asia, China gained numerous powerful allies. However, most support and weapons were still being given to the fight in Europe. American efforts in China were grossly mismanaged.
Chinese Maoism (04:34)
By 1944, the Chinese Communist Party had been operating in Yan'an for years. Mao had officially established his school of thought, which would later be called Maoism.
Japanese Downturn (05:50)
Japanese forces suffered severe loses at the Battle of Midway. Japanese bombing continued against the Nationalist Party capital at Chongqing. As in Europe, the bombing tactic failed to yield results.
End of the War (04:57)
Chiang was forced to send troops to support Allied campaigns outside of China. The war in Europe ended in April 1945 and the Allies believed Japan would be defeated shortly after. In August, the United States dropped an atomic bomb and Chinese and Soviet forces led an offensive that forced a Japanese surrender.
Credits: The War That Changed The World: Part 2 (00:48)
Credits: The War That Changed The World: Part 2
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