;In modern China, Japan’s massive aggression encountered great resistance. Since the Marco Polo Bridge Incident on July 7, Chiang Kai-shek had been ready for a full-scale and protracted war against Japan. But with constant defeat by Japanese army, Chiang’s army was forced to retreat, and the battle lines were moving inland. To keep wealth from the Japanese, Kuomintang officials made the Scorched Earth Policy, ordering the destruction of equipments, roads and buildings during the retreat. Unsatisfied with the result of destruction in Wuhan, Chiang Kai-shek decided to burn the whole city of Changsha, the provincial capital of Hunan, if it could not stop the advancing Japanese army. Besides, local government was demanded to prepare for the burning plan, making sure that everything would go well.
On November 11th, 1938, the city of Yueyang fell to the Empire of Japan, and the situation in Changsha became increasingly tense. On November 12th, the chairman of Hunan Province, Zhang Zhizhong, passed Chiang’s idea to his subordinates in a meeting. Xu Quan, director of the Staff Office of the Garrison Headquarters, was order to take command of the plan made by Feng Ti, commander of the Garrison Headquarters, and Xu Quan, director of the Security Office. However, at the dawn of November 13th, when local officials were arranging for the plan, Shetan Street outside the South Gate began to burn, and the fire soon spread to the whole city. Fleeing in panic, thousands of people lost their lives. The burning lasted for five days, which made Changsha one of the most damaged cities during China′s Resistance War against Japan.
Later in the military tribunal set up by Chiang, those officials supposed to be responsible for the burning were executed. What’s more, troops were sent to Changsha to assist with the aftermath, soothing the masses as well as rebuilding the morale of the country.