The Manchurian Incident was a Japanese false-flag operation used as a pretext for its invasion of Manchuria. On September 18, 1931, a bomb ripped through a portion of the South Manchurian Railway near Shenyang being guarded by the Japanese Kwantung army. The work of Japanese junior officers, the bombing was blamed on Chinese dissidents.
After Japan decided it needed to invade Manchuria, they needed a pretext to justify the invasion. They chose to create a false flag attack on a railway close to Liutiao Lake … a big flat area that had no military value to either the Japanese or the Chinese.
The main reason the spot was chosen was for it’s proximity (about 800 meters distant) to Chinese troops stationed at Beidaying. The Japanese press labeled the no-name site of the blast Liutiaogou, which was Japanese for “Liutiao Bridge.” There was no bridge there, but the name helped convince some that the sabatoge was a strategic Chinese attack.
Colonel Itagaki Seishiro and Lieutenant Colonel Kanji Ishiwara ordered officers of the Shimamoto Regiment to place a bomb beneath the tracks. The original bomb failed to detonate, and a replacement had to be found. Then, at 10:20 PM, September 18, 1931, the tracks were blown.
Surprisingly, the explosion was minor. Only one side of the rail was damaged, and the damage was so light that a train headed for Shenyang passed by only a few minutes later. But it was a good enough excuse to invade …