To what extent did US intervention change the nature of the conflict in the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-45?

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  • Created by: emily.m
  • Created on: 12-01-14 09:50

Military Aid


  • Without American military weapons (gave 50 military aircraft to China in 1940) and troops and help China wouldn't have been able to defeat Japan because Japan was militarily much stronger than China
  • Motivated US troops because of Pearl Harbour in 1941 unlike those in the GMD who were diciplined cruelly.
  • Had better structured plans than particularly the GMD because Chiang thought that if he let America  do the work he would end up becomming victor over China and Japan as he thought America would destroy the Japanese and the CCP


  • Only 60,369 US troops in China in August 1945 and there were frequent complaints about the cost of maintaining them- November 1944 to May 1945 the price went from 1 billion to 20 billion yuan a month
  • Little motivation to send troops to China  so they just maintained China's 4 million troops
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Financial aid and Advisors


  • Funding had been supplied to China before Pearl Harbour and had always been useful, In December 1938 the US Treasury gave a loan of $25 million to China and a further $100 million in 1940. In February 1942 this increased to $500 million.
  • Money helped supply Chinese troops and allowed them to continue fighting against Japan
  • America sent people to provide advice and guidance, e.g the volunteers Joseph Stilwell and Claire Lee Chennault


  • Even though the funding seemed like a lot the total proportion of US Lend-Lease aid ito China in 1941-2 was only 1.5% of the total, dropping to it's lowest in 1943 at 0.5%. This shows that compared to the rest of the war effort little was assigned to China
  • Chiang was a nightmare to work with and clashed with his advisers particulary Stilwell and undermined his orders. Also Stilwell clashed with Chennault which meant that it was often complicated to enfore many decisions. Stilwell was sent back to America on Chiang's command and America follwed becuase they didn't want to weaken the war effort.
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Support for GMD and CCP


  • US used China as a means to defeat Japan and so was turned into a base of operations. As Chiang was seen as the leader (even by CCP under Xian Incident 1936) he was trusted by the US which meant that the GMD got the most support- weapons, money & advisors
  • Stilwell and later on other advisers started to see the GMD as it really was and reported back, it was corrupt, it's japanese resistance was ineffective and half-hearted
  • The US realised the importance of the CCP too late, in their desperation to defeat Japan they had instantly turned to Chiang even though it was the US and CCP who shared the main interest in defeating Japan. The CCP had played down it's political aims and asked to be seen by the US as 'agrarian reformers' not 'violent revolutionaries'
  • The GMD although decreasing in populatrity benfited from US support the most which helped defeat the Japanese quicker if the CCP had of had their help their help the war would have been over sooner because the CCP were desperate to defeat the Japanese


  • The support for the CCP and unpopularity for GMD would have of developed anyway over time
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Military Tactics


  • Advisors like General Claire Chennault and his team of 'flying tigers' helped create tactics and fight for the Chinese
  • Brought end of war in August 1945 with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Hirshima and Nagasaki, otherwise it was said that the war would have continued for another 2 years 
  • Bad tactics: Stilwell had launched another operation in Burma where Chiang had to use his forces otherwise he would be denied aid. Chiang knew that as his best troops were in Burma this made China vulnerable so at the Ichigo Offensive in April 1944 Chiange was left with only a few troops to defend China


  • Although the atomic bombs were obviously successfull the rest of the military tactics and plans from the US cancelled each other our as some like help from Chennault were successful but others like the lack of troops and Stilwell refusing to send troops to China at the Ichigo Offensive weakened China even more,
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