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the 1937 Japanese invasion of China was reckless in the extreme. For it placed heavy burdens on its empireís military resources. With only nearly one million of the empireís 100 million population serving the army, the military was relatively small in number.

The first strike by the Japanese government towards China turned out to be an upset by China. It came on July 7th, 1937 and was a battle between Japanese troops and Guomindang forces at the Marco Polo Bridge, one-half the way between Tianjin and Beijing.

Following the clash at the Marco Polo Bridge the Japanese struck south into Hebei Province along three main railroads lines. They quickly took over Beijing and Tianjin despite the three to one odds against them. Next the Japanese amphibious assault on Shanghi runs into Jiang Jieshiís best armies, and the city does not fall to the Japanese until November 11.

By the end of 1937 Japan controls eastern China north of the Shanxi province. In 1938 a Japanese army advances south along the Jiínan - Xuzhou railroad trying to link up with the other Japanese forces in the Shanghi - Nanjing area. They are met with 200,000 Chinese troops only to have one-half of their 60,000 Japanese men able to fight their way back. But on May 20, reinforced, the Japanese launched converging attacks once again. This time they are successful, the northern and central forces are linked.

On their way to capture the Zhengzhou railway junction the Japanese captured Kaiteng on July 6. Approaching the Zhengzhou the Japanese encountered the Chinese. Unable to stop the Japanese by military means, the Chinese break the Muang dikes stopping the Japanese by engulfing them in water. That did not stop the Chinese though, they went on to capture Hankou and Nanchung. The Japanese are finally driven northward by the Chinese after failing to take Changsha. This is the end of Japanese expansion in central China until 1944.

But nevertheless, Japan had declared war with China. Japan was worried that they lacked the national resources to become a super power. China, on the other hand, was richer in national resource and that was the main reason Japan needed China.

By Molly "The Donkey" Sparkman