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Japanese Army advances in China

Japanese infantrycross river in China
Soldiers of Imperial Japanese Army 6th Infantry Regiment crossing the Bái hé River during the Battle of Zaoyang-Yichang. The regiment, as the main force of the IJA 3rd Division, was approaching Yíchāng from the north: 8 May 1940

While Europe was preoccupied watching anxiously to see what Hitler’s next move was, the Japanese continued their aggression in China. The war had started in July 1937 and the relative weakness of the Chinese forces had led them to adopt a long term strategy where they traded ‘space for time’. The Chinese National Revolutionary Army allowed the Japanese to advance to locations where their lines of communication where extended and they could be ambushed and encircled. Frustrated by these tactics the Japanese ‘Three Alls’ policy – ‘Kill All, Loot All, Burn All’ led to some appalling atrocities against the civilian Chinese population during this period.