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  • Writer's pictureJody Ferguson

August 13th - The Day World War II Really Began

A Deeper Dive:

Some historians have argued that World War II really began on August 13, 1937. This is the day Japanese forces attacked Shanghai. For one of the the first times in modern warfare, civilians were bombed in a large scale attack. Deaths from this air raid on Shanghai on August 14, 1937 far outnumbered deaths at Guernica in Spain, which had garnered such international attention in April of 1937.

Long before the world was connected as intimately as the world wide web allows today, news was shared at the "picture show."

Watch this excerpt about The Battle of Shanghai:

This is footage from a c.1937 Why We Fight newsreel by the esteemed director/writer/producer, Frank Capra. During World War II, Capra served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and produced propaganda films. Capra enlisted after the attack on Pearl Harbor.


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