Thesis: The defeat of China in the Second Sino- japanese War and the subsequent Nanking Massacre was inevitable, because of the strategic errors made by China in the battle of Shanghai



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Thesis:  The defeat of China in the Second Sino- Japanese War and the subsequent Nanking Massacre was inevitable, because of the strategic errors made by China in the battle of Shanghai, the weakness of China’s military and incompetence of China’s government. 

Argument 1:  The strategic errors made by China in the Battle of Shanghai caused China’s inevitable defeat and the subsequent Nanking Massacre.

The ineffective strategy of Nanking relying on Shanghai as a defence without any other alternative defence method led to China’s inevitable defeat.



  • “The Chinese (appeared) to regard Shanghai as the main theatre of war because Shanghai protects Nanking.”1

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek made a strategic error by positioning the majority and the best divisions of China’s army to resist in Shanghai. This concentrated defence collapsed when Japan attacked on land and water.

  • Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek] ordered his best German trained troops- the 87th and 88th Divisions- to resist the Japanese in Shanghai at all costs, which they did heroically for three months. But the defense disintegrated when the Japanese made an Amphibious landing at Hangzhou Bay, to the south of Shanghai.2

The Chinese soldiers lacked the tactics associated with using the new machines in the battle of Shanghai, since Shanghai was the first major city to be attacked by armored columns and bomber armadas in the mechanized warfare of WWII.3

China’s retreat route by going through the safety zone of Nanking gave the Japanese soldiers a motive to enter Nanking, as they were ordered to kill all Chinese military.



  • “The retreating straggling troops were going right through the zone.”4




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