Asian History, Essay Example

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Essay

The Nanking Massacre came about as a result of the Chinese National Government relocating the capital of Beijing to Nanking in 1928.  Nanking had a normal population of around 250,000 and this swelled to over a million people. A lot of these people were refugees that were fleeing from the advancing Japanese army, after the invasion in November 1937.  The Japanese army secured Shanghai and then advanced on Nanking approaching it from three different directions.  This resulted in the Japanese launching a formidable attack on the City.

From the outset the intention became clear that the Japanese army intended to inflict a terrible toll on the Chinese.  This was compounded by the arrival of the Japanese naval fleet and resulted in the Nanking Massacre. Today these would be classified as war crimes.  They executed over 300,000 Chinese, raped over 20,000 women and looted the place.  The executions took on aspects of extreme brutality like that of beheading and acts of torture.

On December 13th 1937 the refugees from Nanking made an attempt to escape from the Japanese by crossing the Yangtze river. During this time the Japanese opened fire on those swimming in the river and it was reported that over 50,000 Chinese were killed in this single incident.  In the City, which was crowded with Chinese refugees, the Japanese army went around shooting everybody in sight. This resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 Chinese. Over 2 days of constant killing the streets ran red with blood.  Foreigners in Nanking tried to establish safe zones for the Chinese but the Japanese soldiers entered these compounds arrested several hundred people at a time and then removed them for execution.

This pattern of barbarism and cruelty was repeated elsewhere throughout the Second World War. The Japanese never expressed remorse or apologized for the Nanking Massacre at the defeat of Japan in 1946.

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