The Volunteer Armies of Northeast China

When the Japanese invaded Manchuria in 1931, resistance came not from the Chinese government, but from plucky local groups who waged guerrilla war, Anthony Coogan uncovers their little-known story and explains why it remained so.

On September 18th, 1931, officers of the Japanese Army manufactured an 'incident' which was used as a pretext for a full-scale invasion of Northeast China (Manchuria). It began with an explosion on the Japanese-controlled South Manchurian Railway, just outside the city of Shenyang. Little damage was caused, but within hours Japanese troops mounted a pre-planned attack on Chinese military installations. Using the efficient railway system, Japanese troops were able to seize many important cities within a few days. By the beginning of February 1932, their hold extended from Jinzhou in the south, to Harbin in the north.

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