Monday, July 10, 2006

The Battle of Lugou Bridge

The Marco Polo Bridge Incident

Beginning late June 1937, the Japanese army (several hundred) deployed at the west end of the bridge was practicing while Kuomintang forces, garrisoned in Wanping Town, watched closely. At dawn on 7 July, the Japanese army telegraphed the KMT forces saying that a soldier was missing and believed to be hiding inside the town. The Japanese demanded that its army should enter the town to search for the missing soldier, who was later found unharmed. There are some disputes among historians over the incident with some historians believing that this was an unintentional accident while others believing that the entire incident was fabricated by the Kantogun in order to provide a pretext for the invasion of central China. Right-wing Japanese historians suggest that the incident was staged by the Chinese Communist Party, who hoped that the incident would lead to a war of attrition between the Japanese army and the Kuomintang, weakening both of the CCP's foes.

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