|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||World War 2|
The attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan in 1941 marked the start of World War Two in the Pacific and Asia region. Before the end of the war, Japan occupied the Coastal and Eastern regions of China. The fierce determination of modestly-equipped Chinese peasants kept the heavily armed Japanese army from invading the interior. China significantly contributed to World War 2 in the efforts the country made to resist Japan. The contribution of China was significant for the defeat of the Axis powers. By the end of the war, Chinese had regained the sovereignty it had lost in 1842 in the Nanjing Treaty. The role of Chinese in World War 2 was conveniently ignored by the other players, possibly because of the cold war that came soon after necessitating the need to mention their contribution as "small" (Stoler & Gustafon, 2003). The case is far from this as it is estimated that about half of the 20 million people who died during the Second World War, particularly in the combat between Japan and China were Chinese. The Chinese significantly contributed to World War 2 by offering military, political, and economic resistance to Japan.
Of the four big players of the Axis, China was the first to fight in the Pacific theater. The four included China, Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. The Communists and Kuomintang established an alliance to fight Japan. Although China had far lesser military resources as compared to the other three, it contributed significantly to the war by supplying soldiers. The Chinese soldiers were determined and fought valiantly despite their lack of military training. In the Burma war, about 40,000 Chinese soldiers Fought alongside those from Britain and the U.S. (Fuller, 1990). It helped to secure the road linking China to India. In the war fought in Burma, Chinese forces alone held down about 800,000 Japanese soldiers (Fuller, 1990). The Japanese were planning to advance and attack the U.S. airbase in Chihchiang. By June the same year, that is, 1945, the Chinese forces had managed to the Japanese troops back to their starting line. The attack made by Japan on Chihchiang was the last offensive in China. They moved back to defend their homeland. The impact of this is that China moved to the offensive. Another battle in which the Chinese did contribute in the fight against Japan by the Allied forces was in the battle of Suixian-Zaoyang. In this battle, the Japanese troops were successful in the capture of Wuhan. After capturing Wuhan, the Japanese troops deployed approximately 113, 000 soldiers to capture two other towns Zaoyang and Suizhou (Cook & Cook, 1992). Chinese troops held fast against the fierce attacks on the two cities by the Japanese troops. Although the Japanese forces were able to capture other regions, the Chinese forces made additional gains in the battle. They were able to intercept communication between Japanese forces. It was a significant gain. It enabled the Chinese forces to attack Japanese troops head-on inflicting several casualties on them, thereby making them retreat. The Chinese troops were able to regain control over all the territories they had previously lost to Japan by 20th May the same year (Dreyer, 1995). In another battle, the battle of West Hunan, the Chinese forces combatted Japanese soldiers. The goal of Japanese forces in the battle was to gain control of the Chinese airfields which they had lost to and get a decisive victory to motivate their forces. The Japan forces were initially successful and were able to make headways. However, the Chinese troops changed the tide and drove the Japanese troops from Hubei and Henan. They also gained the upper hand in the battle, giving them the capacity to launch a full attack on Japan in Guangxi and a full-scale counterattack in the Southern region of China. The contribution of China in this battle helped the Allied forces win. Another battle in which the contribution of Chinese forces was invaluable was the battle of Wuhan. The war was arguably the most significant in the Sino-Japanese War and also the longest. In this battle, Chinese forces were aided by Soviet Air Forces, a group known as Soviet Volunteer Group. Despite the capture of Wuhan by Japanese troops, a great number of casualties were on both sides. The battle also gave the Chinese forces a strategic advantage. A few months after the capture of Wuhan, the Chinese forces recovered the territory. Other battles in which the contribution of the Chinese forces was vital to include the battle of Taiyuan, West Henan-North Hubei, West Hunan, Shanghai, Nanking, etc.
In the Second World War, the military resistance offered to Japan by China was critical to the win secured by Allied forces at the end of the war. The war ended with the bombing of two Japanese cities Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The collaboration between the other Allied forces and the Chinese drove the Japanese troops to the point of surrender. It was achieved by pushing Japan to exhaust their military resources. The Chinese forces were relatively smaller than that of the rest of the Allied forces and even Japan (Dreyer, 1995). Despite this, the determination of the Chinese soldiers made up for this. There were even instances where the Chinese launched deadly attacks on Japanese troops. The incident depicts the determination of Chinese soldiers. It should be noted that China was ill-prepared for a full-scale war as opposed to Japan as they had hoped that international players would intervene and curb the growing aggression of Japan. Therefore, the Chinese forces lacked sufficient armor, and also their strategies were initially not well calculated. For this reason, Japan seemed to be winning the war in its initial stages. The help accorded to China by the Allied forces played a prominent role in winning war in Pacific Asia. The supplies that Chinese forces received from the U.S. and the Soviet Union together with the involvement of other members of the Allied forces in the making of strategies helped them defeat the Axis powers, of which Japan was a key member (Schrijvers, 2002). Therefore, the contribution of China in the Second World War regarding military affairs was vital to the defeat of the Axis powers and the eventual victory of Allied forces.
During the Second World War, China also rebelled against Japan via economic means. During the late 19th century, Japan had become a heavily industrialized country. The country had risen to become an essential player in the world economy. For the raw materials used in the industries, the industries relied on imported raw materials. The raw materials included iron ore, tin, bauxite, copper, petroleum, and rubber. For the supply of these raw materials, Japan relied heavily on importation from the US and European colonies in South East Asia. The implication of this crippled Japan financially, the supply of their raw materials had to be disrupted. The lack of raw materials would cause low industrial production, which was the backbone of Japan then. China played a significant role in ensuring raw materials did not reach Japan. Notably, there was a restriction of aviation fuel that was allowed into Japan. Also, China stopped all business relations with Japan. Within the Pacific region, China was a famous destination for imports from Japan. Stopping trade between the two countries was a big blow to Japan. The economic airfare within the Pacific took a large-scale manner. By around July 1945, there was close to no international business activities in the Pacific region (Shin, n.d). As predicted, this pushed Japan to the offensive. The country had nothing to lose as all the advantages it would gain from the good international relations were no longer available. To a great extent, the economic sanctions imposed on Japan that were executed by China played a significant role in the development of World War in the Pacific, particularly between China and Japan to full-fledged war.
Japan heavily relied on imports from the U.S. for the running of their industries. The particularly critical raw materials were petroleum and high-quality steel scrap. These were essential to continue their war efforts with China. Initially, the U.S. did not make the embargo on exports to Japan an outright sanction made due to their ongoing war with China. They instead blamed it their increasing domestic need for the products. Without the steel and gold, it would have been impossible for Japan to realize their plans pertaining the war. The other alternative to which Japan could turn to for the supply of the needed raw materials was Indochina and South East China. These countries were mostly European colonies. They could supply essential commodities, especially petroleum. The U.S. had mainly cut short the supply of aviation fuel to Japan. The resistance of Japan by China prevented Japan from obtaining the needed materials from Indochina and South East Asia. Because Japan heavily depended on China and Manchuria for the supply of their natural resources which was desperately needed by their ship and railway industries, the resistance by China impeded their goals. They were unable to match the available resources with their plans. Besides, this made the country more dependent on the west and prone to attack from the Soviets. China also played a crucial role in the economic warfare that was waged against Japan by their contribution to the embargo of shipments meant for Japan. In addition to this, China contributed to the financial war against Japan by interfering with the supply of cheap labor to industries in Japan. The labor was mostly from China and other countries in South East Asia. Insufficient labor had an impact on the productivity of Japanese industries, hence affecting their plans in the war. This contribution significantly impacted on the availability of resources for the Japanese army.
In the Second World War, China offered political resistance to Japan. At the beginning of the war, the two countries were fighting due to their historical differences, with Japan fighting for control over all the states in the Pacific region ("Background to war," n.d). However, as the fights intensified and Japan attacked U.S. fleets at Pearl Harbor, the war assumed an international scale. Given the nature of the fights between the two countries, China sided with Allied forces. The size of the Chinese forces was great but lacked the kind of sophisticated amour that the Japanese had. Their tactics, strategies and their choice of allies are what was critical to the winning of the war as by themselves although determined it was close to impossible to defeat the well-equipped and strategic Japanese troops. The collaboration with the U.S. was a strategic move by China in their resistance of Japan. The U.S. supplied China with war jets and other supplies via the Himalayas, which helped the Chinese forces a great deal. Also, the supplementation of the Chinese troops with soldiers from the other members of the Allied forces was a significant help to winning the war. The Nationalist Kuomintang party was responsible for the resistance against Japan. They faced other problems apart from the war with Japan. They had to face opposition and even engage in battle with the Chinese Communist Party. The leader of the resistance against Japan at the time, Chiang Kai-Shek had a hard time uniting the Chinese in resisting Japan (Shin, n.d). As the war continued, China became more and more politically divided, and the Japanese encroachments increased and included the occupation of Puyi in Manchuria and other regions. The only advantage China had in the region was that the Soviet Union had dominant control over Mongolia. Also, Chang faced problems with the rival warlords in the South East region of the country. They had a sour...
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