This Week in History: The Marco Polo Bridge Incident

By Steve George, July 8, 2018

1 0

One of the most important 
battles of the Second Sino-Japanese War – despite relatively low casualties – the Marco Polo Bridge Incident flared up on July 7, 1937, directly leading to Japan’s occupation of Tianjin and Wanping (today part of Beijing’s Fengtai District). It is generally regarded as the ‘official’ start of China’s resistance against Japanese aggression.

The Japanese army controlled the north, east and south sides of Beijing but the Marco Polo Bridge remained in Chinese hands. 

In order to cut off Beijing entirely, Japan needed control of the bridge. Thus they manufactured a provocation that could be used to justify an escalation of hostilities.

The army held a military exercise without informing Chinese authorities, during which, according to an intelligence officer, a Japanese soldier was reported missing after gunshots were heard during the drill. 

The Japanese used this as a reason to enter Wanping to search for the AWOL soldier – which China refused.

Marco Polo Bridge Incident

At about 5am on July 8, the Japanese launched an artillery attack and both sides joined battle, with the fight soon taken to Tianjin; the city was captured at the end of July.

The incident marked the second instance of cooperation between the Communist Party and Kuomintang (KMT) forces. The anti-Japanese National United Front was formed, with the Red Army rebranded the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army of the KMT.

For more This Day in History stories, click here.

more news

This Week in History: China Ends the Eunuch Era

Finally banned in 1924, the system had endured for over 3,000 years and through 25 dynasties.

How to Watch Your Favorite TV Shows Legally in China Without a VPN

How you can stop worrying about being bored over Chinese holidays and start watching my favorite TV shows without a VPN.

Secret Stories Behind Chinese Stuff Revealed in This Photobook

Why are thermoses so popular in China? And what's the deal with all those red lanterns? This book is here to answer your questions.

8 Awesome China Travel Deals for This Spring

Dragon Adventures have prepared eight of the best places for an escape from the city.

Adriana Hosts Yet Another Fun All-Girls Basketball Tournament

Adriana recently hosted the third 'Just Ball' Tournament and it was another fun and challenging basketball competition.

Useful Mandarin Phrases for Spring Festival and the Year of the Pig

Handy phrases to help you survive Chinese New Year.

WATCH: A Revolutionary Way to Learn Chinese

Everything you need to know about the 'Slow Motion Technique.'

This Week in History: China Ends the Eunuch Era

Finally banned in 1924, the system had endured for over 3,000 years and through 25 dynasties.

0 User Comments