Talk:Marco Polo Bridge Incident

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Under Phase I, it states: "Some Japanese historians suggest that the incident was staged by the Chinese Communist Party, who hoped that the incident would lead to a war of attrition between the Japanese army and the Kuomintang." It's important to note that the web links which make this suggest also contain significant content that outrightly downplay the Japanese army's atrocities in Nanjing as well. It's important to note that these "historians" belong to such a "camp" of intellectuals in Japan, individuals who "do history" only for the purpose of "revising" Japanese War Crimes. I believe if the above content is to be included, we should also include the political and social stance of these "historians". Children_of_the_dragon

Not to claim that the Japanese were innocents here, but this article seems a little unbalanced. For instance, there's no mention of the fact that before Japan invaded the city, Chinese took the initiative and try to bomb Japanese battleships in a river near Shanghai. They missed, but according to the book I have (Reischauer) that was the catalyst that started the fighting. I don't know how to integrate that though. Any thoughts?

Lepidoptera In answering Lepidoptera: well, if you want to trance the REAL beginnings of this war, you can even go back as far as the First Sino-Japanese War! We have to focus on the direct actions leading-up to the war. Children_of_the_dragon

Shall we moved the page to Marco Polo Bridge Incident since this title yields more pages on Google including one on EB? User:kt2

The Song Zheyuan article mentions the 24th army, and not the 29th army, as this article does. Which one is correct? olivier 08:47 2 Jun 2003 (UTC)

This article needs quite a bit of cleaning up. --Jiang

The "Background" section uses both "Manchukuo" and "Manzhouguo". The latter redirects to the former. Which should be used? 14:31, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Twice the Japanese and Nationalist armies reached agreement and started to withdraw from contact, twice there were shootings happenned to bring the two sides back. Japanese started to attack the Wanpin town after the second shooting from Longwang temple, when the lost soldier was already found.

There was no large scale movement or concentration of either the Japanese or the Nationalist forces before the incident. Both the Tokyo and Nanking governments were caught in surprise. The Chinese Communist responded very quickly when the incident was still on its way to develop into a war.

Troops outside Beijing, the capital of consecutive Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties of China, and "the Tokyo government was caught in surprise." How convincing. You had already been stepping on my threshold with a gun and you say the full invasion all started with an incident over the doorknob. Heavens.-- 7 July 2005 20:07 (UTC)

Why doesn't the marco polo bridge have its own article? it seems to be significant enough for one.. 22:38, 25 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not really... This bridge was only a site of a sparking battle. Oyo321 19:37, 7 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The bridge is really old and that if nothing else should make it notable for one. -- Миборовский 20:37, 7 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lukouchiao Incident should be merged I think particularly as it is the Japanese version and provides the evidence of the "shootings" that are the basis for the third party conspiracy theory.Asiaticus 05:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Definitely merge with this article. -- Миборовский 05:30, 13 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I suggest a merge,for these two titles are regarding the same incident. a more appropriate way is to put Lu-Gou Qiao(Lu Gou Bridge,also known as Marco Polo Bridge) incident.

Start: Felix Nietzsche comments Lots of information in this article but it does not capture the heart of the incident. This was an incident where the Japanese were provoked twice and level-headed Japanese/Chinese Generals tried to smooth this incident over. It was hot-headed politicians on both sides which elevated this incident into a full scale war. There were many Japanese against war with China. General Ishihara, an imperialist whose dream was a Manchurian buffer state consisting of five nationalities living democratic harmony. The main purpose of this state was to be a buffer state against future Russian aggression. Ishihara organizeg a group of men to do everything in their power to avoid war with China because they viewed Russia as the greater enemy. He did not believe Japan could safely wage war with Russia until 1952. -From John Toland's book, "The Rising Sun", p44-45.

Also the relationship between the Chinese and Japanese in the Marco Polo Bridge was quite good. General Sung Chi-yuen (China) and Gneral Gun Hashimoto (Japan) were close personal friends. p54 JT "The Rising Sun"

"The first soldier that marching into China will do so over my dead body" General Kanji Ishihara, p 55

"Chinag Kai-shek ignored the truce and ordered Sung to concentrate more troops in the troubled area. Instead Sung kept his promise and began withdrawing troops." p56

"If war breaks out, both Japan and the Chinese Republic will be defeated and only the Russian and the Chinese Communist will benefit." Chinese General Ho Ying-chin (China) talking to his friend General Seiichi Kita (Japan), p56

Also profession James N. Crowley, asst professor of History at Amherst College wrote in may 1963 in the Journal of Asian Studies that "it was safe to conclude that this incident was NOT caused by any conspiracy of Japanese Army officers and that the Japanese military was not primarily responsible for the steady drift to war" He believed it was the Chinese (Mao/Chinag) that raised this incident into a major international incident. p57, JT, "The Rising Sun"

The present article, though heavy in information" lacks soul and does not give the reader a true picture of what occurred. ```` End Felix Nietzsche —Preceding unsigned comment added by Felixnietzsche (talkcontribs) 16:58, 15 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Casualties given in Information Box[edit]

Whats going on with the information box on the page? It claims that 1,000,000 Japanese troops fought 100,000 KMT in the incident, and that Japan lost 900,000 men. This is obviously nonsense. Can someone with reliable figures edit this? Carl weathers bicep 14:55, 24 October 2007 (UTC) -Yeah, unless we're trying to claim that half the entire Japanese casulties of the campaign happened here. Can someone rectify please —Preceding unsigned comment added by TomHotzendorf (talkcontribs) 13:45, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In John Toland's book, "The Rising Sun" he has an excelent section on the Marco Polo Bridge incident. Some of the Japanese Generals were personal friends with the Chinese Generals accross the bridge. There were many Japanese politicians and Generals that did not want war with China. Japan was attacked TWICE at the bridge. The author of this article adds some good information BUT.....his article lacks CRITICAL DETAILS behind this incident. The author claims that some right-wing Japanese historians blame Mao for this incident.... Well Assistant Professor James B. Crowley of Amherst College wrote an article in May 1963 in the 'Journal of Asian Studies" that it was the Chinese who were primarily responsible for this event spirally into a war. He implied Mao was behind this incident as well. This is my personal view as well. Mao was getting his ass kicked and he needed relief against Chiang-Kai-shek. There was certainly no reason for China to pick a fight with the stronger Japanese. This would be like Mexico picking a fight with the USA.

Japan deservedly gets a bad rap for the "Rape of Nanking" but in the Marco Polo Bridge incident, Japan was the victim. ```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by Felixnietzsche (talkcontribs) 23:32, 16 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Felix Nietzsche, I don't care what kind of agenda you are trying to push here, but ask yourself how much sense it makes that the Japanese would be so pissed off by this "incident" that they would then try to conquer the rest of China in retribution. (talk) 17:13, 1 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The information box still isn't right; it says 100 Chinese troops when the text says 1,000, which is a more plausible number (especially if 96 casualties is correct). I was about to correct it -- but it's referenced directly to a source I don't have access to, so I hate to do it. I hope whoever put that reference note next to the 100 will check it and change it if needed. (talk) 10:33, 7 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Horrendously biased[edit]

This article seems particularly biased towards China, and this is unsuprising given that the sources in the notes are predominantly China based websites. Might I suggest that this article refer predominantly to John Toland's Pulitzer Prize winning 'The Rising Sun', which offers an infinitely more balanced (and thorough) account of the incident than this article. (talk) 00:05, 21 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a watershed event in the history of Japanese aggression in China, this article requires a more detailed treatment and in particular, the differences of opinion expressed by historians as to the causes of the incident. This is unlike the case for Mukden Incident (1931), where the evidence of Japanese subterfuge is clearly documented (and attested to by the perpetrators).

Prior to this incident, Japanese territorial expansion in China was largely motivated by her strategy of containing the potential threat posed by Soviet Union and thus largely confined to Northern China and Manchuria. Indeed this was the original purpose behind the creation of Kwantung Army.

Following the incident at Marco Polo Bridge, the strategy changed to that of neutralizing the forces of Kuomintang. It is this change in strategy that led directly to a full-scale war in China resulting in subsequent events including the Nanking Massacre. It must also be noted in passing that the sequence of events that started at Marco Polo Bridge also led to economic sanctions being imposed on Japan by the US and ultimately led to the Japanese decision to wage war against the US, the Brtitsh Empire and the Dutch East Indies.

For these reasons, it would be a good idea to include opinions from Chinese historians from both Republic of China (Taiwan) as well as those from Peoples Republic of China (I'm afraid I am not qualified to provide sources). As for Japanese historians, Saburo Ienaga and Ikuhiko Hata are two prominent historians, respectively from progressive and revisionist viewpoints, whose comments would illustrate the range of opinions expressed even within the mainstream (as opposed to fringe) historical texts. (talk) 11:55, 3 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Remembered as days of "national humiliation"...perhaps national *violation* would be better?

Also the sentence: "Colonel Ji Xingwen led the Chinese defenses with about 100 men, with orders to hold the bridge at all costs. After inflicting severe casualties, the Japanese forces partially overran the bridge and its vicinity in the afternoon, but the reinforced Chinese soon outnumbered the Japanese."

It is unclear to me whether severe casualties were inflicted *on* or *by* the Japanese troops. Historian932 (talk) 15:37, 9 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In an English Translation of Yoshio Kodama's memoir I was Defeated the author/translator refers to this event as the "Luchiakou Incident." Perhaps adding this to the list of alternate names would better reflect the Japanese perspective at the time? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:58, 8 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So what happened to Pvt. Kikujiro?[edit]

By pure coincidence I find myself reading this article on the anniversary of the events. Good treatment. I would like to see this bridge next time I'm in Beijing. And the museum. One day we may realize that this was the real beginning of World War II.

But ... a nagging question remains. After Pvt. Kikujiro fails to report back to his post the first night, he seems to disappear from the article and, by extension, history. Given that his absence without leave seems to have started the war, it would be nice if the article followed through and told us what, if anything, ever became of him (Or did he even exist to begin with ... the article suggests in some passages that there is suspicion he never did and the Japanese made him up as a pretext to start the war). Daniel Case (talk) 19:23, 9 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reason for his absence[edit]

I looked up this article after finding mentioned in a Daily Star feature. titled W is for...Weird Wars , this particular incident being introduced as "T is for...Toilet Break", that when Pvt Kikujito returned to lines, in the paper's words "it turned out he had just gone for a leak" ie to urinate away from other soldiers. Do serious historians support this theory?Cloptonson (talk) 05:20, 25 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I agree that the whole article seems to be subtly working to make it seem as if Japan was the "bad guy" here, but that's letting things be flavored by subsequent events. Main point, the infobox says the Chinese had "100 men", and the Japanese had "5,600", but it clearly says later in the article that a whole DIVISION of Chinese reinforcements, among others were sent before the fighting is over. The infobox should cover all of the engaged combatants, not just the initial skirmishers. Again, it seems designed just to make China look good...their "100" guys beat 56 times their number single-handedly! They didn't. Next, under "Casualties and Losses", for China it says "all but 4 soldiers killed in action". Am I supposed to take it to mean that the Japanese managed to kill 96 of the hundred men, leaving only 4 of them to finally see the Japanese off (and that's ignoring the division sent in for reinforcement)? Or is this really trying to say that they were all okay except for four of them that were killed? This seems far more likely to me, considering the facts, but the wording certainly suggests the opposite. I think I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that it what it means, and change it to "4 killed in action". AnnaGoFast (talk) 03:57, 23 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No assumption necessary. Either the "all but 4 soldiers killed in action" is tied to a verifiable source or it isn't. If it is, check the source for what is really meant. If it isn't, delete it as unsourced. --Yaush (talk) 13:52, 23 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I own a physical copy of the source. It reads, 'The 100-strong Chinese unit stationed in the Lugouqiao area fought back... but only four soldiers survived the battle'. OldCUO (talk) 11:32, 25 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Yes, it's going to be less common going forward but we still need to mention the old romanizations like Lukouchiao since they feature so strongly in the contemporary records and are still carried on by some writers. It'd be better to source the foreign naming conventions, but that would require a native speaker. It's odd but "Battle of Marco Polo Bridge" is well attested and people usually don't bother to writer "Battle of the Marco Polo Bridge". Another attested alt name is "Marco Polo Bridge Battle" but it sounds awful and is only attested in a handful Chinese authors and western journalists; it seems like it's Chinglish/clipped and minor enough to pass over. — LlywelynII 05:40, 14 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(1) Romanizations. Despite a gradual move within academia over several decades (and now also in public discourse more widely) to the newer Pinyin standard, there are still major works being published which use the older Wade-Giles system. The most glaring example is probably the multi-volume Cambridge History of China, originating as a project in the 1960s but still ongoing. For many personal and place- names the older version is more familiar to many English speakers (Peking, Mao Tse-tung, Chiang Kai-shek, etc). The easiest solution would seem to be to add the alternative in brackets, e.g. to talk about "Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek)", especially at first mention. Is there a general wikipedia policy about this?
(2) Naming the battle -- it seems to me (as a native British English speaker) that even if the bridge is habitually referred to with the definite article, i.e. "The Marco Polo Bridge", it would still seem correct to talk about "The battle of Marco Polo Bridge". I don't have a convincing theory as to why this should be, it just seems right! FrankP (talk) 19:19, 16 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

photos and maps[edit]

Please add photos of the Marco Polo Bridge from that era, and a map of relevant locations in the Beijing area (particularly back then, but perhaps also now).- (talk) 15:46, 27 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd agree with this, if anyone has historic photos of the bridge that would be good. I hope to come with something for the map at some point. FrankP (talk) 19:25, 7 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm planning a cleanup of this article. I've read what's been added above here on the talk page, but not sure what is still relevant because I think some of the comments relate to an earlier version when this page was still merged with another article. I thought I would revise it to focus more specifically on the Marco Polo Bridge incident itself, and why it has attained such significance, and then provide links to the further events which followed. In addition to other sources I intend to use the recent history by Rana Mitter, China's War With Japan. FrankP (talk) 21:38, 7 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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The 'Consequences' header has an entire bit about a muslim general which has nothing to do with consequences. I removed it, but RandomCanadian put it back in 'Consequences', without giving any arguments why it belongs in 'Consequences'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:14, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Which bridge?[edit]

The "aerial photo of the Marco Polo Bridge" shows two bridges. Which one is it? (talk) 18:44, 25 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I added the info to the picture caption. MP Bridge is on the right of the photo. The bridge on the left (actually north of MP Bridge) is a railway bridge of what was then called the Pinghan railway line. Retinalsummer (talk) 13:59, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]