on 2 October 2015
Above all else, the Japanese invasion of China was a major tragedy for China. Millions of lives were affected, civilians and soldiers alike. The war deeply scarred China and effects East Asian geopolitics to this day.
Mitter, an Oxford historian tells the tale fairly and squarely through Chinese eyes. Mitter pulls no punches: Japan was the aggressor and China was the victim. He has no kind words either for the Western powers (UK and USA) who stood by while Japan ravaged the country.
Chang Kai Shek is portrayed as a leader who simply refused to surrender against insurmountable odds in a war he did not want to fight. Chiang made numerous tactical and humanitarian mistakes, but based on this account, Chiang should be lauded as a hero in China for saving the nation.
on 26 December 2013
Finally a book tells you the complete history of the Second Chinese-Japanese War, analyzing all the strategies , tactics and politics of all the powers involved in this war.
Believable or not the power that made so long this war, it was not USA but the Soviet Union.
Indeed USA had never loved so much the Chinese Nationalist, because of their corruption and of a civil war that had been lasting for at least 25 years ( it had begun on 1911, immediately after the abdication of the last Chinese emperor ) and that involved not just Comunists against Nationalists but even Chinese warlords against each other.
Instead, in spite of the natural alliance with the Chinese Comunist Party, Soviet Union understood immediately that just the Chinese Nationalists had a regular Army able to oppose , in some way, to the Japanese expansionism that , soon or later, could be menacing the soviet territory. They were right because , just because of the US oil embargo on 1941, Japan decided to follow the "Southern Strategy" (the offensive against the Dutch Indies and so the USA) ,instead of the "Northern Strategy" (the attack against Soviet Union, long favoured by the Japanese Army). So the Soviet Union decided to send, planes, weapons, instructors , in huge quantities and they did it until the beginning of the operation "Barbarossa".
The book begins with the famous Marco Polo's Bridge incident on 1937 and gives you not just a mere description of the military operations of this war, but even a complete description of the Chinese political life , with all the betrayals that happened .
The book describes you with many particulars even that awful relationship between Chiang Kai Shek and the disastrous american general Joseph Stilwell.
The book is a must because it tells you a story that you will not find so easily and because it covers all the aspects of a war that has brought Death to as much people as WWII