Download Scars of War: The Impact of Warfare on Modern China by Stephen MacKinnon, Diana Lary PDF

By Stephen MacKinnon, Diana Lary

All through its sleek background China has suffered from huge destruction and death from conflict. In its worst sessions of war, the 8 years of the Anti-Japanese battle (1937-45), hundreds of thousands of civilians misplaced their lives. yet in China, the tale of recent war-related demise and anguish has remained hidden. The Rape of Nanking is commencing to be recognized, yet 1000s of different massacres are nonetheless unrecognized by means of the skin international or even by way of China itself. the focal point of Scars of War is the social and mental, now not the commercial, charges of struggle at the kingdom. The ebook is illustrated with modern photos and woodblock prints. every one bankruptcy is brought via a conventional chinese language asserting (cheng-yu) on war.

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It is equally clear, however, that much of this publicity was more than a dispassionate reporting of the news of the day. The publication efforts of groups like the Hunan Rehabilitation Association were intended to influence public opinion and to take advantage of the expected public outrage to sway this opinion towards specific ends. When able to publish freely, many newspapers and periodicals also took editorial positions critical of military violence. Even in the absence of an explicit editorial stand on this issue, straightforward reporting on military atrocities could not help but produce a sympathetic impact on public opinion.

One man who tried to escape was recaptured, tied to a tree, and flayed alive. One man's wife was raped by more than forty soldiers until she died. 16 In another location, a man who worked his way through a pile of more than a hundred bodies looking for a missing brother reported finding, "amid the mass of corpses some that had been beheaded, shot, and stabbed. "17 This is only a sampling of the horrors inflicted on the Hunan people in this period. Reports from many different areas conquered by Northern troops were replete with their own examples of brutal atrocities.

The families in homes where Northern soldiers had been quartered were also systematically murdered. Finally, before retreating with their loot, these troops set fire to the city, destroying its commercial heart and the Lu River bridge. Large numbers of civilians who had escaped harm up to this point died in these fires. The Northern soldiers continued to plunder, kill, and burn as they retreated through the countryside from Liling to Zhuzhou. 9 The second stage of the rape of Liling followed quickly on the first when the Southern army found its advance north from Zhuzhou blocked by Northern reinforcements, including troops from Zhang Jingyao's Seventh Division and newly arriving Fengtian units.

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