OK you should be able to see some familiar things once you whack through the weeds of this chapter. Lend-lease? Nazi Soviet Pact? FDR? Winston Churchill? These should be familiar to you at least from an America perspective from US history or probably a more Euro-centric perspective from World. We will look again at WWII from Kissiger’s perspective in our next unit.
There is lots of great stuff in this chapter. If you feel lost try to focus only on the terms. Your terms are, in this chapter;
Guomindang CCP Marco Polo bridge Chiang Kai Shek
Long March Burma Road united front
“New Fourth Army Incident” Gen Joseph Stillwell “Hongkew”
Mao Zedong fabi
So, place each of them in context in the chapter, the fabi is the Chinese currency, part of their nationalism, that the Japanese seek to undermine. The “united front” is the alliance of the nationalists and the communists against the Japanese which is effectively ended with the “New Fourth Army Incident.”
There are other things that you should catch just because of context or humor. What was Stillwell’s nickname for Chiang? Hysterical.
In Big Broad strokes the Japanese invade mostly eastern China all the way down and through the French colony of Indochina (today’s Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos). The nationalists under Chiang suffer a humiliating defeat at Shanghai and retreat inland. The “Rape of Nanking” occurs and is the subject of numerous books and videos and much debate between Japanese and Chinese historical societies.
China is broken up into many territories again including Taiwan and Manchuko, controlled by the Japanese, Yan’an controlled by the communists, and Chongquing controlled by the Nationalists. Don’t worry about the others.
The Burma road is eventually opened which allows the Allies, the British and Americans to supply the Nationalists. But then Churchill has to close it briefly which leads to lasting Chinese (Nationalist) resentment.
The Flying Tigers show up!
A later test question will ask, to what extent was the US involved in the war before Dec 7th 1941. This is good evidence that we were. Then after December 7th the US is in for real much to the relief of the Chinese. Now it is only a question of when and how the Japanese will be defeated, at least in hindsight it appears that way.