In 1931 Japan's undeclared war on China began with it's occupation of Manchuria.
A brief attack on Bejing set in motion the events that would push the world to war.
A month after the war in Bejing the Japanese army opened a second front in Shanghai. The easy victory in Bejing was not repeated in Shanghai, where a better prepared Chinese army put up a strong fight.
The cabinet ordered General Matsui Iwane, commander of Japan's Central China Area Army (CCAA) to proceed to Nanjing and occupy the capital.
Chinese soldiers set several villages on fire to prevent the Japanese from using them. Meanwhile, General Iwane Matsui ordered the siege of Nanjing, China.
Japanese bombers sank the American gunboat USS Panay in Nanjing. The Japanese troops then convinced 1,500 Chinese soldiers to surrender at the southern side of the city wall, promising to spare their lives; they were all executed by the end of the following day.
On this day hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and soldiers were murdered by the Imperial Japanese Army.
Japan opens the first wartime facility for "sexual comfort' in Nanjing.
Even though the genocide only lasted around six weeks, extensive damage was caused. After the wartime facility opened, many Chinese women were taken there and were raped and then killed. There were roughly 320,000 casualties, and many cities were burned to the ground