Segments in this Video

When Did World War I Begin (03:06)


The Battle of Shanghai in 1937 was the first battle of World War II and a warning to the world that was ignored. It began a four-year struggle against Japanese militarism that would end with the defeat of Japan.

The French Concession (06:18)

The French concession was a residential section of Shanghai, and it was much like a French small city. The stores were actually Russian-owned stores. People spoke Russian in the streets or spoke English and the Chinese spoke in Pidgin English. The language in Shanghai was British English.

China's National Resistance (04:56)

The Japanese military effort in 1937 was focused on North China, while the Chinese forces were concentrated in Shanghai.

General Zhang Zhizhong (02:21)

In the early days of the Battle of Shanghai, the Chinese troops were cut down by Japanese machine gun and artillery fire. The Japanese Naval vessels were bombarding the Chinese neighborhoods, especially an area called Zhabei, with little regard for civilian casualties.

Air Attack on Shanghai (05:06)

In 1937, the U.S. civilians Frank Rawlinson, his wife, and two other Americans were killed in a friendly-fire incident in Shanghai. This was the first U.S. civilian death in World War II.

New Troops: Reservists (02:18)

The Japanese were invading Shanghai and encountered significant Chinese resistance.

"German War" in Shanghai (02:58)

The Battle of Shanghai was a major battle fought from August 13 to November 26, 1937. It was the first major battle of the war and the largest battle of the entire conflict.

Chinese Disadvantage (06:31)

The Japanese forces in Shanghai were initially successful in their campaign against the Chinese, but they soon found themselves in a difficult and costly battle. The Chinese forces were at a disadvantage due to their lack of modern weapons and equipment, but they continued to fight bravely.

Chinese Withdrawl (06:14)

In 1937, the Battle of Shanghai was fought between the Chinese and Japanese armies. The Chinese troops, led by General Zhang Zhizhong, were outnumbered and outgunned, but they put up a brave fight. In the end, they were forced to withdraw, and Shanghai fell to the Japanese.

Japanese Military: Look the Other Way (03:34)

The Japanese military was imposing a strategy that would later be termed "kill all, burn all, loot all." Officers looked the other way or in some cases encouraged that kind of conduct because they felt it would release pressure and provide an outlet for them.

Capital of Nanjing Falls (04:21)

The United States did not want to get involved in the war in China, but after the attack on Pearl Harbor, they started supplying China with military aid. The Japanese occupation of Shanghai was brutal, with rape and murder rampant. The Chinese fared far worse than the foreigners.

China's Victory Parade (02:02)

The Chinese helped the Americans and British defeat the Japanese in World War II, preventing many more American and British deaths.

Shanghai: Pivotal Moment in Chinese History (02:40)

The Battle of Shanghai was a pivotal moment in modern Chinese history. It was the first time that the Chinese military had fought against a foreign invader and was successful in driving them out. The battle also saw the rise of Chinese nationalism and the beginning of the end of foreign influence in China.

The Flying Tigers (03:35)

The Flying Tigers were a group of American pilots who fought in the Chinese Air Force against the Japanese in World War II. They were a source of hope and inspiration for the United States during a time when the country was gripped by the Holocaust. Shanghai's Jewish Refugee Museum tells the story of the refugees who escaped to Shanghai and the impact that the war had on the city.

Credits (00:36)


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Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began 

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This revealing film gives a new historical perspective that suggests the Battle of Shanghai in 1937 was the first battle of World War II.

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: FPT237860

ISBN: 978-1-63722-318-5

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.