Marco Polo Bridge Incident

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(7 July 1937)

When Japanese troops held manœuvres on the outskirts of Beijing, they requested from the local Chinese military authority permission to search for a missing soldier in the town of Wanping. The garrison of the National Revolutionary Army refused entry, and a shot was fired. Fighting ensued, and the Japanese entered the city on 8 July. There is little evidence that the incident was an intended provocation, particularly since, under the command of Ishiwara, the Japanese were relatively careful not to engage in a full-scale war. However, Chiang Kai-shek responded to this local provocation by ordering army reinforcements against the Japanese. It thus marked the beginning of the Sino-Japanese War.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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