Why We Fight: The Battle Of China

1962. WHY WE FIGHT #6: THE BATTLE OF CHINA (1944-USA). Produced and directed by FRANK CAPRA and ANATOLE LITVAK. During the early months of World War II, the War Department quickly came to understand the necessity for military personnel to grasp the whats and whys of the war: what was their government’s official policy regarding the conflict, and why they would soon be fighting and, perhaps, dying. What better way to accomplish this than by cinema! Thus, the U.S. Army Signal Corps came into being. The temper of the era comes alive in this extraordinary entry in legendary filmmaker Frank Capra’s aptly titled “Why We Fight” series, one of the Signal Corps’ most outstanding achievements. Actually, the film could be retitled “Japan’s Bloodthirsty Invasion of China.” It chronicles in graphic detail, the manner in which Japan’s sadistic warlords committed themselves to an all-out effort to become masters of the Chinese. Japan covetcd China for three reasons. First, China is history; the Chinese civilization dates back over 4,000 years. Next, China is land; there are more square miles in the country than on the entire European continent, and much of it is rich in raw materials. Finally, China is people; when the film was made, there were over 450-million Chinese and, as the narrator intones, The Japs had hoped to ride to world conquest on the backs of the Chinese workhorse.” As a result, the Chinese citizenry was forced into a battle to the death, in order to maintain their “good earth.” Unlike most other “Why We Fight” films, this one was not released to the public. The authorities concluded it might be a political time bomb because the Communist Chinese armies doing battle against the Japanese were completely omitted, and there only was a brief reference to Chiang Kai-shek. 65 minutes. Documentary