The Second Sino-Japanese war from 1937-1945 was the largest Asian conflict of the 20th century. It was a bloody and bleak battle between China and Japan. For years the Japanese had tried to dominate China in terms of politics and resources, there was no love lost between these mighty Asian powerhouses.
In 1937 the Japanese Imperial army marched to Nanking (the capital of China at the time) and murdered 300,000 out of the 600,000 civilians and soldiers that lived within the city walls. They managed this horrific feat in just six weeks. Men, women and children, all murdered. Rape, torture, infanticide. No one was safe. The rape of Nanking is considered by some to be the worst atrocity of the WWII era.
So what was the build up to such a hideous turn of events? The Japanese military had been fighting the Chinese at Shanghai and the battle had not gone to plan. Japan had hoped to crush China’s forces swiftly and some had boasted that they would take the entirety of China within three months. China had different ideas, they fought long and hard and the battle was not the walkover that the Japanese had hoped for. Despite China’s stalwart efforts, Shanghai was taken amidst throngs of casualties on either side.