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Chinese veteran recalls July 7th battle

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Wang Dexiu joined the 29th Army Corps in the spring of 1937. His unit was guarding the Lugou Bridge on July 7th when the Japanese attacked. It was the first battle in Wang's life.

"The Japanese said they had lost a soldier and wanted to search Wan Ping County. But the Chinese soldiers guarding Lugou Bridge refused to let them pass. Then the battle began," Wang said.

The old man can hardly talk or move. But his son has heard the tale many times.

"Their equipment was very simple. My father said every soldier had a big knife and a gun. When they were close to the enemy, they fought with knives. My father said he would rather die than lose his country. On the 9th, they fought hand to hand with the Japanese. My father's finger was broken, and he was stabbed in the chest, leaving a 4-centimeter-long scar," Son of war veteran Wang Zhenggang said.

In his few spoken words, Wang Dexiu never fails to mention his battalion commander, Jin Zhenzhong. The commander passed away some 30 years ago, but we were able to speak to his son.

"The Japanese took over the eastern part of the bridge on July 10th. That night my father headed a special group of soldiers wearing white kerchiefs around their necks. They attacked the sleeping Japanese soldiers and took back the bridge. But then a Japanese soldier threw a grenade. His left leg was shattered. A bullet then hit him in his left ear, and came out from the right," Son of battalion commander Jin Tianyu said.

After the Lugou Bridge Incident, Wang Dexiu went on to fight throughout the eight-year-long War of Resistance against Japanese aggression. Wang has told his son that when he passes away, he wishes to be buried near the Lugou bridge, like his battalion commander.


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