11 June: Russia: Marshal Tukhachevsky, head of the Russian Army is arrested, tried and executed on Stalin’s orders which are followed up by the purge of 38,000 Red Army officers.

7 July: China: Marco Polo Bridge Incident between Japanese and Chinese soldiers outside Peking is the trigger for the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War and arguably the start of World War II.

9 September: Japan: Diet authorizes an exceptional Y2.2bn supplementary budget. During the course of 1937 Japan is forced to sell 55% of its US$250m gold reserves.

Japan: Emergency Shipping Management Act gave the Japanese government the power to requisition private vessels.

5 October: America: Roosevelt makes speech in which he calls for ‘quarantine of aggressor nations’ with explaining what he meant.

November 1937: China: Battle of Taiyuan secures control of northern China for Japan.

150,000 Chinese soldiers killed in Battle of Shangai.

November-December: The Rape of Nanking: An estimated 250,000 civilians butchered during the two month campaign to take Nanking and its environs. The massacre causes outrage around the world.

12 December: China: USS Panay sunk on the Yangtze River outside Nanking. Japan apologises and agrees compensation but film of the event causes furor in US.

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