This dispute between China and Japan (who had not that long ago clashed in the Chinese-Japanese War of 1894–95) began in 1937 and was absorbed by World War II (1939–45). The trouble between the Asian powers began when Japan, having already taken Manchuria and the Jehol Province from China, attacked China again. Though China was in the midst of internal conflict—with the nationalist forces of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (1887–1975) fighting the Communists under Mao Tse-tung (1893–1976)—China turned its attention to fighting the foreign aggressor. The fighting between the two countries continued into 1941 before war was officially declared by China. In so doing, China was at war not only with the Japanese but with Japan’s Axis allies—Germany and Italy—as well. The conflict then became part of World War II, which ended with the surrender of Japan to the Allies in September 1945.
Adolf Hitler salutes his troops in Warsaw on October 5,1939, after Germany’s invasion of Poland.