The war in China and Southeast Asia
The Sino- Japanese war started officially in July 1937 with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident but the first stage was the Japanese staged Mukden incident in Manchuria in 1931.Although China was one of the Big Four Powers in ww2 and China was a major war zone it did not enjoy major military preference with the Allies. This arose from the lack of united forces within its boundaries and from geographical difficulties. The internal strife and struggles between the Communist and the Nationalists facilitated the Japanese path to Singapore.
It must be borne in mind that much of the military activity took place in the difficult monsoon season which made movement in the battle zones difficult. The first allied operations in the zone (in Burma) were undertaken under the command of British General Orde Wingate by glider-borne troops flying from India to Burma landing behind the Japanese forces and disrupting the Japanese supply lines in the south, and at the same time Chinese forces under the command of American General Joseph Stillwell operated in northern Burma in order to try to halt the Japanese approach to India. The Chinese forces continued to advance in Burma and to link up with the other forces until they penetrated the approach and supply lines.
The last major Japanese offensive in China took place at the beginning of 1944 and they captured the harbours along the coast. In view of this Japanese offensive two Chinese divisions were transferred from Burma and together with the support of the 14th US Air Force, they halted the Japanese advance.
Finally, following many difficult battles, the Japanese retreated from, or surrendered many of the territories conquered by them in South-East Asia up to the final surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945.