This series of nine Japanese postcard images, titled “Shanghai Front 1937,” illustrates the early stages of Japanese operations in and around Shanghai during the Second Sino-Japanese War which began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident on July 7, 1937. The Japanese maintained a peacetime garrison in the major international port of Shanghai of 5,000 marines, which the Chinese army fought into a confined perimeter during the first weeks of hostilities. The fighting rapidly escalated as both sides ordered tens of thousands of reinforcements into the city because of its strategic and psychological importance. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek eventually committed over 500,000 soldiers (including several of his elite German-trained divisions) while Japanese forces would swell to about 200,000 soldiers. The following analyses provide explanations of the photographs and regard them as part of the larger military campaign, assuming they were produced as Japanese wartime propaganda.
[ip0167] (8/13/1937) Caption: “Battle line of Shanghai 1937 Japanese troops dared to land in the face of Chinese fire” (昭和十二年支那事変 上海戦線 敵前上陸敢行丸〇〇部隊の勇姿) Continue reading