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Uncountable

“China’s wartime sufferings, which remain unknown to most Westerners, were second in scale only to those of the Soviet Union. It is uncertain how many Chinese died in the years of conflict with Japan. Traditionally, a figure of fifteen million has been accepted, one-third of these being soldiers. Modern Chinese historians variously assert twenty-five, even fifty million. Ninety-five million people became homeless refugees. Such estimates are neither provable nor disprovable. Rather than being founded upon convincing statistical analysis, they reflect the intensity of Chinese emotions about what the Japanese did to their country. What is indisputable is that a host of people perished. Survivors suffered horrors almost beyond our imaginings. Massacre, destruction, rape and starvation were the common diet of the Chinese people through each year of Japan’s violent engagement in their country.” – Max Hastings, Retribution

Published inMax HastingsThe Second World War

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