Understanding of some historical facts about the comprehensive war of resistance against Japan

Today is July 7, 2022, the 85th anniversary of the outbreak of the All-Out War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. How to view this war, some historical facts are still divided. The author talks about his own understanding of the following eight aspects.

1. China is one of the main battlefields of the global anti-fascist East

China’s all-out war of resistance is an important part of the world anti-fascist war and the main battlefield in the East. It has made outstanding contributions to the victory of World War II and made great sacrifices. The main battlefields of World War II include the European battlefield, the Asia-Pacific battlefield, and the North African battlefield. Before the outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941, Japan was the only belligerent country, China. It can be said that China was the main battlefield in the East’s war against Japan. After the outbreak of the Pacific War, at the Washington Conference at the end of December 1941, Nazi Germany was identified as the main enemy. The European battlefield is the main battlefield of the world’s anti-fascist battlefield, and the United States has decided to “first Europe and then Asia”. President Roosevelt proposed that the Asia-Pacific theater be divided into four theaters. That is, the China Theater, the Southeast Asia Theater, the Pacific Theater, and the Southwest Pacific Theater. That is to say, after the outbreak of the Pacific War, the Chinese battlefield belongs to the Chinese theater of the Asia-Pacific theater. The command center of the Chinese theater is located in Chongqing. The U.S., Soviet and British troops played a huge role in the above-mentioned battlefields. Take the U.S. military as an example. In the Asia Pacific battlefield, the U.S. military killed 1.1923 million Japanese troops, accounting for 63.0% of all Japanese troops killed in action. The victory of the U.S. military played a decisive role in Japan’s final surrender.

On September 24, 1956, when Mao Zedong talked about China’s role in the War of Resistance with the Yugoslav Communist League delegation to the Eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, he said: “We were a detachment in World War II, not a detachment. The main force.” (“The Collected Works of Mao Zedong” Vol.7, People’s Publishing House, 1999 edition). Comrade Mao Zedong’s statement is more objective and seeks truth from facts. The author believes that although the Chinese battlefield is not the most important battlefield of the anti-fascist battlefield during World War II, it is beyond reproach as the main battlefield, and it is better to call it the main battlefield!

2. China suffered huge sacrifices in the war of resistance against Japan, and the number of civilian casualties was the largest

During World War II, China made huge sacrifices. Exactly what kind of sacrifices have been made, there has been no more authoritative statement. After the war, the Nationalist government organized a relatively large-scale survey, but immediately after the outbreak of the civil war, this work was stopped. But left a richer archives. In 1988, the Academy of Military Sciences of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army organized experts to conduct a key study on the casualties of Chinese soldiers and civilians during the Japanese war of aggression against my country. Beginning in October 2004, the Central Party History Research Office organized relevant personnel from the National Party History Department and other departments and units to conduct a large-scale investigation of the “Chinese casualties and property losses during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression” (referred to as “losses of the War of Resistance”). research. The survey lasted 10 years, and 600,000 people participated.

Published in 2013, “The Great Cihai: Modern History of China” (Shanghai Dictionary Publishing House) clearly recorded the casualties and property losses in China: “More than 31.2 million casualties of the Chinese people, 3.8 million casualties of the Chinese army, total casualties. More than 35 million people, the direct economic loss is 100 billion US dollars, and the indirect economic loss is 500 billion US dollars.” The confirmation of the above conclusions is actually a summary of the research results of various parties for many years.

The number of civilian deaths in China is high, and the number of military deaths is small. It not only reflects the brutality of the Japanese army against civilians, but also shows that in the 22 battles on the frontal battlefield, there was no large-scale encirclement and complete annihilation of the national army by the Japanese army. The most dangerous is the 1938 Xuzhou Breakout War, a military operation in which about 600,000 national troops broke through the encirclement of the Japanese army under the command of the fifth theater commander Li Zongren. The final result of this operation was that the Japanese army successfully captured Xuzhou, but the national army successfully broke through the Japanese army’s encirclement and retreated.

Although China suffered a large number of casualties, it was not the country with the largest number of casualties in World War II. The country with the largest number of casualties in World War II was the former Soviet Union. According to statistics, from the dispatch of troops to Poland in 1939 to the end of Japan’s surrender in 1945, the death population of the former Soviet Union was as high as 27.8 million, and the total number of casualties exceeded 46 million. Among them, more than 26 million Soviet troops died and 20 million Soviet troops and civilians were injured. In the early stage of the Soviet-German war, due to the insufficient preparation of the Soviet Union, more than 7 million troops were annihilated. For example, in the Battle of Kyiv, 650,000 Soviet troops were surrounded and annihilated. It is precisely because of the large number of deaths of soldiers that for a long period of time after the war, the gender structure of men and women in the Soviet Union was seriously imbalanced. The Soviet Union was the country with the highest number of deaths, i.e. human sacrifices, in World War II.

3. The victory of China’s Anti-Japanese War is the result of the joint action of the world’s anti-fascist forces

China’s victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in 1945 was achieved against the backdrop of the International Anti-Fascist War. The victory of the US military on the Pacific battlefield, the continuous bombing of the Japanese mainland, the throwing of two atomic bombs, etc., the Soviet army’s dispatch of troops in northeastern China, and the heroic resistance of the Chinese military and civilians for eight or even 14 years are the reasons for the final victory of the Anti-Japanese War. Among them, the victory of the U.S. military in the Pacific theater is crucial.

From the Pearl Harbor incident on December 7, 1941, to the announcement of Japan’s unconditional surrender on August 15, 1945, in more than three years, the United States and Japan have conducted dozens of large-scale naval battles, or landing battles. The more famous ones are: the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of the Philippines, the Battle of Midway, the Battle of Guadalcan, the Battle of the Marshall Islands, the Battle of the Mariana Islands, the Battle of Iwo Jima, the Battle of Okinawa and so on. In these battles, the US military is the main force, as well as the British army, the Indian army, the Australian army, the New Zealand army, the French army, the Philippine army, and the Dutch army. About 120,000 Americans were killed in the Pacific theater, and more than 300,000 were wounded. Japan’s casualties in the Pacific War were about 1.1 million, of which the Navy was about 400,000, and the casualties were even higher. Throughout the Pacific War, Japan’s losses were almost five times more than those of the United States. The Japanese army claimed to be super strong in combat, but it was beaten tofu in front of the US military. The reason why the United States and Japan have such a huge war loss ratio is the huge gap in the comprehensive national strength of the two sides.

4. Two Magic Weapons for the Victory of China’s Anti-Japanese War

World War II, if the longest fighting time, naturally belongs to China. As early as ten years before the start of the Pacific War, that is, after the “September 18th Incident” in 1931, the Chinese army began a local war of resistance in the Northeast. In 1937, China’s all-out war of resistance broke out, and it lasted for another eight years. For China to persist in the protracted war and finally win the war of resistance, the following two magic weapons are very important:

The first is the improvement of the national consciousness of the whole nation. Before the full-scale Anti-Japanese War, although China was unified in form, it was not unified in essence. Ordinary Chinese people lack national consciousness, and the phenomenon of warlords’ separatism in various places is very serious. After the outbreak of the full-scale war of resistance, the Nationalist government dispatched the main force of the national army to participate in the full-scale war of resistance. Especially in the three-month battle of Songhu, the main force of the national army all attacked, and the armed forces from all over the country also actively participated in the battle. For example, the 20th Army of the Sichuan Army, the 60th Army of the Yunnan Army, and the Seventh Army of the Guangxi Army have greatly enhanced the morale of the people across the country, and the national awareness of the Chinese people has been unprecedentedly improved. This is also an important reason why the Chinese people, in the face of the massive invasion of the industrial power Japan, were able to persist in the all-out war of resistance for eight years, and finally defeated Japan together with the International Anti-Fascist Alliance.

The second is the establishment of a united front. This includes the establishment of an international anti-fascist united front and a national anti-Japanese united front. During the Anti-Japanese War, the Nationalist government actively sought foreign aid through diplomacy, established relatively equal relations with allied countries, and created a favorable international environment for China’s victory in the Anti-Japanese War. At the same time, the Comintern issued the Declaration to the International Proletariat, calling on all means to aid the Chinese people in their war of resistance. For example, Soviet support of Chinese aircraft and aviation personnel played an important role in the Battle of Wuhan.

China’s ability to persist in the protracted war of resistance is also closely related to the establishment of the anti-Japanese national united front. In this decisive battle that is related to the survival of the nation, the Chinese nation is unprecedentedly united under the great banner of the Anti-Japanese National United Front, united with the outside world, and went to the national disaster together. cornerstone.

5. The Chinese battlefield is composed of three aspects: the frontal battlefield, the battlefield behind the enemy and the international battlefield

The frontal battlefield is dominated by the national army. There have been 22 battles before and after the frontal battlefield, of which the two battles that have the greatest impact and have a major impact on the overall situation are the Battle of Songhu and the Battle of Wuhan. Both China and Japan have more than one million troops participating in the war. In the early days of the war, the Eighth Route Army of the 18th Group Army led by the Communist Party participated in frontal battlefield operations and achieved relatively brilliant results. For example, the Eighth Route Army participated in the 21-day battle against the Japanese in Xinkou, Shanxi, and the Xinkou Campaign to defend Taiyuan.

The battlefield behind enemy lines was dominated by the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army led by the Communist Party. After the full-scale outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, with the frontal battlefields being repeatedly defeated and large tracts of territory occupied, the armed forces led by the Communist Party advanced behind the enemy, and successively opened up more than 30 anti-Japanese bases in the enemy-occupied areas of North China, Central China, East China, and South China. Provided support for the final victory of the Anti-Japanese War. While the Kuomintang army was responsible for frontal battlefield operations, it also sent a considerable number of troops to carry out guerrilla warfare in the occupied areas. For example, after the July 7th Incident, the Nationalist government ordered the regular troops of Wan Fulin and Sun Dianying to stay in Hebei for guerrilla warfare, and at the same time reorganized the Hebei security forces into the 181st Division to carry out guerrilla warfare. After the fall of Taiyuan, all the national soldiers in the World War II area were turned into guerrilla battlefields behind enemy lines. The Nationalist government successively established the Yicha and Lusu war zones, the Shanxi guerrilla zone, the Henan-Hubei-Anhui guerrilla zone, the western Zhejiang guerrilla zone, and the Hainan guerrilla zone, etc., which persisted until the victory of the Anti-Japanese War.

In the different development stages of the Anti-Japanese War, the frontal battlefield and the battlefield behind the enemy played different roles. In the stage of the Japanese army’s strategic offensive, the battlefield behind the enemy strategically restrained the Japanese army’s attack on the frontal battlefield, and cooperated with the main frontal force to fight against Japan. In the stalemate stage, the frontal battlefield still insisted on fighting, but its strategic role was reduced. Although the Kuomintang and the Communist Party have frictions from time to time, the two battlefields still maintain a strategic cooperation relationship that requires each other. During the counter-offensive stage, the battlefield behind the enemy was launched in an all-round way, liberating a large area of ​​the country, the battlefield behind the enemy led by the Communist Party played a significant role, and the anti-Japanese base area expanded rapidly.

The international battlefield is the Chinese Expeditionary Force led by the National Army. During the Anti-Japanese War, it was dispatched to Burma twice to assist the British in fighting to support the British against the Japanese invasion. This is the first time that the Chinese army has gone abroad to fight since the Sino-Japanese War. In December 1941, according to the “Sino-British Joint Defense of the Burma Road Agreement”, in March 1942, the expeditionary force composed of the Fifth Army of the National Army entered Burma and launched the Burma Road operation. After the defeat, most of them returned to Yunnan. The expeditionary force’s first overseas operation once created the “Victory of Ren’an Qiang”, but it was still unable to prevent the overall defeat of the British army in the local area. In April 1943, the Commander’s Department of the Expeditionary Force was rebuilt, which was later called the Western Yunnan Expeditionary Force, and a part was withdrawn to India, called the Chinese Army in India. From October 1943 to May 1944, the Chinese Army in India and the Western Yunnan Expeditionary Force successively launched operations in northern Myanmar and western Yunnan, annihilating more than 30,000 Japanese troops. More than 50 large and small towns in northern Myanmar were recovered, and 83,000 square kilometers of lost land in western Yunnan was recovered. On January 27, 1945, the two armies joined forces in Wanding. In March, after completing the task of opening up the Yunnan-Burma Highway, it was withdrawn to China.

From the time the Chinese army entered Myanmar, it took three years and three months for China to invest a total of 500,000 troops, with nearly 200,000 casualties. The Chinese expeditionary army used blood and life to write a very tragic stroke in the history of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

6. The Chinese battlefield wiped out more than 500,000 Japanese troops

Throughout World War II, the main force of the Japanese army was firmly contained in mainland China, and the Chinese army fought heroically and strongly supported the world anti-fascist war. But how many Japanese troops were annihilated by the Chinese army has always been a huge controversy.

The data provided by He Yingqin, chief of the General Staff of the National Army, in his article “Eight Years of Resistance Against Japan” is that 480,000 Japanese soldiers died in China. The Chinese Revolutionary History Museum recorded that 550,000 Japanese soldiers died in China.

The Japanese data is that in 1951, the Japanese Demobilization Bureau counted 180,987 Japanese soldiers killed in China. In the same year, the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan announced the enshrinement of the 191,220 dead in China. In 1964, the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare released re-statistical data on the deaths of Japanese soldiers in World War II. The Japanese army killed a total of 2.12 million in World War II, and the number of Japanese soldiers killed in the war of aggression against China was about 440,000 (excluding the Chinese expedition on the India-Myanmar battlefield. About 160,000 Japanese troops and the Japanese troops destroyed by the Soviet Army in the northeast were annihilated by the army and the troops stationed in India and the United States and Britain. Since then, the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare has once again re-stated that the number of Japanese soldiers killed in World War II reached a total of 2.32 million, and 455,000 Japanese soldiers died in the Chinese customs. In addition to the previous deaths in Northeast China, more than 500,000 Japanese soldiers died in China. This is close to the data from the China Revolutionary History Museum.

7. The Soviet Union is the biggest beneficiary of the Anti-Japanese War

In May 1945, the war in Europe ended, and the Soviet Union made a huge sacrifice. In the Asian battlefield, when to enter the war, the Soviet army has been watching, wandering, and evaluating, looking for the best time. That is, at the time of sacrificing the least profit and the greatest opportunity. The moment finally came, and on July 16, 1945, the United States successfully detonated the world’s first atomic bomb. On July 26, 1945, the United States, Britain and the Republic of China issued the Potsdam Proclamation urging Japan to surrender. On August 6, 1945, the United States bombed Hiroshima with the B-29 bomber carrying the “Little Boy” atomic bomb. Under the circumstance that Japan’s defeat was already evident, on the evening of August 8, 1945, the Soviet government declared to the Japanese ambassador in Moscow that the Soviet Union, in accordance with the spirit of the Yalta Conference, was loyal to the obligations of the Allies and declared that it would enter a state of war with Japan from the next day.

The Soviet Army officially fought against Japan for only eight days, and the Kwantung Army was ordered to stop resisting when the main force remained, and then the Soviet Army turned to “submission” rather than “annihilation” operations. The Soviet Union did not do much to fight against Japan, but sent troops at the best time, with small sacrifices, but huge profits. According to the statistics of the Soviet Union after the war, the Soviet Union captured more than 600,000 Japanese troops in this dispatch to the Northeast. The Soviet army killed 9,780 people in the battle. The total number of non-combat deaths, casualties and illnesses totaled about 20,000 people. Calculated, the number of casualties on the Soviet side was about 30,000.

The Soviet Union’s profits included not only planning the independence of Outer Mongolia, but also occupying the islands of northeastern China, northern Korea, and northern Japan (in Soviet terms, these islands originally belonged to Russia). In the northeastern region, the Soviet Union acquired land, resources and wealth, and local labor, industrial equipment, money and materials provided conditions for the post-war development of the Soviet Union. In particular, the puppet Manchukuo, whose economic aggregate has already surpassed that of Japan, brought almost all the materials that could be taken away, including all important factory equipment, raw materials, etc., back to the Soviet Union, and its greedy and selfish national image appeared on paper. catastrophic impact on the economy of Northeast China.

Eighth, the rights and interests of China’s victorious countries have not been fully realized

Although China won the Anti-Japanese War, it also recovered lost lands such as Taiwan and Northeast China, which enhanced the pride of the Chinese people, and China’s rights as a victorious country were partially realized. However, China did not win an overall victory in the Anti-Japanese War, and the rights and interests of some victorious countries were not realized.

– Outer Mongolia, which China lost, did not return, resulting in the territorial loss of the victorious country being larger than that of the defeated country;

——China could have sent troops to Japan, and had already made arrangements to show the mighty power of the victorious country, but unfortunately it did not happen in the end;

——China could have taken back the Ryukyu (Okinawa) and Diaoyu Islands;

——Japan’s aggression caused a large number of civilian deaths and property losses in China, but China did not receive Japanese war reparations;

Many rights and interests of the above-mentioned victorious countries have not been realized, not only because of China’s own internal reasons, but more importantly, it is related to the weakening of China’s national strength. As a victorious country, China did not have much say in the disposal of Japan, so it would be difficult to recover some lost territorial rights. For example, the Diaoyu Islands, which originally belonged to Taiwan, fell into the hands of Japan after the Shimonoseki Treaty in 1895. After the victory of the Anti-Japanese War, they were controlled by the US military and not returned to China. On the eve of the victory of the Anti-Japanese War, when the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union discussed the distribution of benefits after the victory over Japan, they actually traded China’s territorial rights and interests (including the Outer Mongolia issue). Although the National Government was extremely dissatisfied, it had to accept it in humiliation.

In the post-war arrangement of interests, it is ultimately determined by strength. However, the following historical facts show that China’s strength is not good: the Chinese military can only fight against the Japanese army piecemeal. In the naval battle, the Chinese navy sacrificed heroically, but the entire army was wiped out without a single naval battle; in the air battle, the Chinese Air Force stubbornly blocked and shot down a lot of Japanese aircraft, but the Chinese Air Force, which had only more than 200 aircraft at the beginning of the war, did not have it. It was a shame for the Chinese army to add 600,000 government troops to turn the enemy into a puppet army. On the eve of the end of the Anti-Japanese War, when the general situation of the Pacific battlefield was over, Japan launched an offensive of “opening up the mainland line of communication” from the spring of 1944 to the beginning of 1945. The Kuomintang army was still defeated. This is the reason why a considerable number of Japanese after the war believed that they “only lost to the United States”.

Due to the lack of impressive achievements and strong support, for example, before the start of the full-scale Anti-Japanese War, the annual output of steel in the areas under the Chinese government was only 40,000 tons, while Japan’s annual output reached 5.8 million tons. It is difficult to have more say in the distribution of interests after the war. . Coupled with the fact that the contradiction between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party was exploited by outsiders, this is the main reason why the rights and interests of China as a victorious country have not been fully realized.

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