Armageddon Rehearsed: The Battle of Shanghai, August–November 1937
This battle for Shanghai formed part of a conflict largely neglected in the West—the 1937–1945 Sino-Japanese War—which presaged urban combat as it was to be waged not just during the Second World War, but throughout the remainder of the twentieth century. Most importantly, the battle signalled the totality of modern urban warfare, carried out with the entire array of modern weaponry, including tanks and aircraft, combined with a consistent disregard of the city’s Chinese population, taken to extremes where civilians became all but invisible to the uniformed combatants. Tactically and strategically, the outcome was a decisive Japanese victory, although China could be said to have achieved a moral triumph, demonstrating that it could creditably stand up to Japan.
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