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4. Japanese Invasion, Army Medicine, and the Chinese Red Cross Medical Relief Corps (CRCMRC), 1937–1942

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Chapter Summary

The Japanese invasion in 1937 precipitated the most serious military crisis in China since the outbreak of the Taiping Rebellion in 1851. China's armies had only marginal health services incapable of dealing with the Japanese onslaught. Modern army medical service in China began with the founding of the Beiyang Medical College in Tianjin in 1893 and the Beiyang Military Medical Academy in the same city in 1902. By 1936 the Army Medical School had graduated 1,045 physicians and 300 pharmacists, most of whom were serving in the three armed services (army, navy, and air force). The Chinese Red Cross, through its Medical Relief Corps (MRC), played a unique role in the early years of the War of Resistance. It provided a way to overcome the resistance of educated youth to war work and bring their patriotism and skills to the aid of front-line soldiers.

Keywords: army medical service; Chinese Red Cross; Japanese invasion; medical relief corps (MRC)



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