There’s a legend that once upon a time, around 1912, John Moses Browning of the Browning Automatic Rifle fame designed a weapon for the Chinese army. It was a semiautomatic rifle during a time when most militaries were using bolt-action. However, during the the shipment of the schematics and blueprints of the weapon to China, the ship was sunk.
The historical significance of this is great, knowing Chinese history. This weapon would have come into the hands of the Democratic Chinese government of the time that was modeled after the US. It would possibly have given enough firepower into the hands of the nationalists that they would have been able to fend off the Manchuko invasions, and ultimately the Japanese invasions during the Sino-Japanese war. 3 million chinese servicemen armed with a semiautomatic rifle vs 2 million Japanese using the bolt action Arisaka.
I have no doubt that such a scenario would have changed the entire course of history, leading to a future without a Communist China. A future where China and the United States could have been allies.
This was a gun that could have changed the world. And its details are lost at the bottom of the pacific.
The Chinese warlord Zhang Zongchang (1881 – 1932) was nicknamed “Three Don’t Knows,” because he did not know how much money he had, how many concubines he possessed, or how many soldiers were in his army. He also kept his aged mother with him at all times, except while he went into battle when she would be left at his palace. There were other colorful things about Zhongchang – seriously, read the Wikipedia article on him.
Unit 731 was a World War II Japanese facility responsible for the death of thousands of men, women, and children in unethical human experimentation (including vivisection). Unit 731 was set up in 1938 with the aim of developing biological weapons. It was located in Harbin, a city in Japanese-occupied China, and the experiments were done on local Chinese who the Japanese considered inferior people. Unit 731 also operated a secret research and experimental school in Shinjuku, central Tokyo, which had doctors and scientists supplied by local universities who were complicit and enthusiastic about the research being done.
Before Japan’s surrender, the site of the experiments was completely destroyed, so that no evidence was left of what happened there. The mice kept in the laboratory were then released, which could have cost the lives of 30,000 people, since the mice were infected with the bubonic plague. Then, the remaining 400 prisoners were shot and employees of the unit sworn to secrecy. After the war the United States gave immunity to researchers of Unit 731 in exchange for their data.