Chiang Kai-shek's “Humanitarian Bombs” and the Mirage Known as the “Manchurian-Mongolian Problem”

On May 20, 1938, two American-made Chinese airplanes—Martin B-10 monoplane bombers—took off from Ningbo, Fujian province, in the direction of southwestern Japan. Instead of dropping bombs, they released propaganda materials produced by the Nationalist Party (Guomindang), pleading with the industrial workers, farmers, and petty bourgeois citizens of Japan to stop fighting China and resist their militarist government. This “humanitarian bombardment,” masterminded by Chiang Kai-shek, is little known today—perhaps deservedly so, for it had its embarrassing features. For one, the planes never reached the strategically important areas and merely flew over sparsely populated regions of Kumamoto and Miyazaki prefectures. Further, the propaganda materials were either voluntarily turned over to or confiscated by the Japanese authorities almost as soon as they hit the ground. As far as we can tell, the operation had little impact on the Japanese attitude toward China or on the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945)...

Chang Kai-shek's “Humanitarian Bombs” and the Mirage Known as the “Manchurian-Mongolian Problem”: New Japanese-Language Perspectives on the Transnational History of Modern East Asia


Iechika Ryōko 家近亮子,Shō Kaiseki no gaikō senryaku to Nitchū sensō 蒋介石の外交戦略と日中戦争[Chiang Kai-shek's diplomatic strategies and the Sino-Japanese War]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2012. ISBN: 978-4-00-025865-4. 


Nakami Tatsuo 中見立夫, 'Manmō mondai' no rekishiteki kōzu 満蒙問題の歴史的構図 [The historical composition of the “Manchurian-Mongolian problem”]. Tokyo: Daigaku Shuppankai, 2013. ISBN: 978-4-86-337131-6. 
 

Download PDF (215.84 KB)