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Subject: World War II in China - Book Recommendations? rss

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Roger Hobden
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This book is on WW II, but the coverage of the period between WWI and WWII in Asia, and the China-Japanese conflict is very detailed. Indeed, a surprisingly big chunk of the whole book is exclusively devoted to this.

A very good book for what you are looking for, IMHO.



The authors are Calvocoressi, Wint and Pritchard.
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Zhe Leng
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Seems not a emphasized topic in English literature. The best I can recommand is the "The Cambridge History of China", there are generally 2 volumes dedicated to the WWII period.

Besides, there are several old books you may feel interested. On of them is the "Thunder out of China" whose author is a well-known journalist who graduated from history major. But it is not emphasized on military.

Generally, the WWII history in China is like a mess. Due to the later civil war, many of the later books of chinese authors and many foreign authors may not present a unbiased description of this topic.
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Mike Windsor
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The Battle for China: Essays on the Military History of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945.



Edit: Added photo
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Roger Hobden
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Just saw this one:

When Tigers Fight: The Story of the Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945

No idea how good it is.
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Alfred Wallace
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The trick, for us English-speakers, is that we need to find someone who is fluent in Japanese, Chinese and English, and is willing to work for $ in military history when he or she could easily make $$$ in the real world.

I haven't read much of anything myself, but one book I have dealing with the Japanese army of (and around) the period, Edward Drea's Japan's Imperial Army, cites almost exclusively Japanese sources for his chapter on the Japanese army 1937-1941, except for John Hunter Boyle's China and Japan at War, 1937-1945: The Politics of Collaboration. I'm not sure whether that means it's a good book, or just useful for his particular project. (I cite all kinds of books in my dissertation I don't like very much, but are useful.)
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Alonso Alvarez
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To be honest I haven't read to much about the WWII in China, the only one that I recall is:

The Rape of Nanking

Good book but it has to do with the specific things that happened on Nanking, instead of speaking more about the whole campaign.
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Bill the Pill
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Pete, this is a good one and recent, although a book of essays instead of a monograph.

mwindsor wrote:
The Battle for China: Essays on the Military History of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945.



Edit: Added photo
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Bill the Pill
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This one is a good read, but old and thus outdated. Don't remember very many foreign language sources for it, but I read it over 20 years ago, so don't quote me.

Mallet wrote:
Just saw this one:

When Tigers Fight: The Story of the Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945

No idea how good it is.
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Jason Sadler
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You and me both. I have War of Resistance, have preorder War of the Suns, and am fixing to order The Everlasting Glory: Chinese War of Resistance 1937-1945 and can't find any good books to read. I know that one of those designers speaks Chinese, but someone did research for War of Resistance. Maybe there is a bibliography in there. I will check it out when I get home.

Peso Pete wrote:
I'm looking for a good book on the Japanese invasion against China in the 1930's and 40's. I've looked through Amazon's selections and I see many books on the US involvement in the conflict, but very little on the conflict prior to that between the Japanese and Chinese armies - especially anything concerning military strategy and tactics during this time. Can anyone help? Kindle books would be a plus but are not necessary.
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Frank Cunliffe
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lengzhe wrote:
Seems not a emphasized topic in English literature. The best I can recommand is the "The Cambridge History of China", there are generally 2 volumes dedicated to the WWII period.

Besides, there are several old books you may feel interested. On of them is the "Thunder out of China" whose author is a well-known journalist who graduated from history major. But it is not emphasized on military.

Generally, the WWII history in China is like a mess. Due to the later civil war, many of the later books of chinese authors and many foreign authors may not present a unbiased description of this topic.


Thunder out of China (1946) is by Theodore H. White and his future first wife Annalee Jacoby. They also edited The Stillwell Papers (1948) about the U.S. general who was ostensibly in command of the China-Burma-India theater of operations. White wrote more about his experiences as a journalist in wartime China in his autobiography In Search of History: A Personal Adventure (1978).

White later wrote a series of books about presidential elections, the first of which inspired the popular game 1960: The Making of the President.

A good biography of Stilwell is Barbara Tuchman's Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-1945 (1971).

Sorry none of these are the history of the Japanese invasion of China the original poster desired, but they are likely of interest to some who read this thread.
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Bill the Pill
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Although it is a bit older, mostly from the Japanese perspective, and just through 1941, try:
The China quagmire : Japan’s expansion on the Asian continent, 1933-1941 : selected translations from Taiheiyō sensō e no michi, kaisen gaikō shi / edited by James William Morley.
If I remember correctly, there are three long essays in the book by three different Japanese scholars that don't necessarily overlap.

Another older book that I never finished reading is
David Lu's _From the Marco Polo Bridge to Pearl Harbor; : Japan’s entry into World War II_
I seem to remember it as more of a large overview, but think there is stuff on the actual fighting and of course only goes up through Dec. 1941.
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Seth DeCato

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Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

while not a war book. It might help give some background information on life inside China before, during, and after the war with Japan.
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Jason Sadler
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Options are slim, but here is a short precis (not sure that is the right word) by a Harvard professor that has several books noted.

Edit: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~asiactr/sino-japanese/ChinaWarEs...

Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore F. Cook, Japan at War: An Oral History. New York: The New Press,1992. 11

The Oxford Companion to World War II

Marius B. Jansen, Japan and China from War to Peace 1894 - 1972 Chicago: Rand McNally, 1975.

The Greater East Asia and Pacific Conflict (Calvocoressi, Wint, and
Pritchard’s second edition of Total War,the second half)

The last four volumes in the Detwiler and Burdick’s reprint editions of War in Asia and the Pacific. Japanese Monograph Series

The Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945 by Frank Dorn

Hsu Long-hsien and Chang Ming-kai, History of the Sino-Japanese War
(1937-1945)


Hu Pu-yu, A Brief History of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) A Brief History of the Chinese National Revolutionary Forces.

Marvin Williamsen’s "The Military Dimension, 1937-1941" chapter in James C.Hsiung and Steven I. Levine, eds., China’s Bitter Victory

Roy M Stanley, II Prelude to Pearl Harbor. War in China, 1937-41: Japan's Rehearsal for World War II

F. F. Liu A Military History of Modern China, 1924-1949

Edward L. Dreyer China at War 1901-1949
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Bill the Pill
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BeatPosse wrote:
Options are slim, but here is a short precis (not sure that is the right word) by a Harvard professor that has several books noted.

Edit: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~asiactr/sino-japanese/ChinaWarEs...

Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore F. Cook, Japan at War: An Oral History. New York: The New Press,1992. 11

The Oxford Companion to World War II

Marius B. Jansen, Japan and China from War to Peace 1894 - 1972 Chicago: Rand McNally, 1975.

The Greater East Asia and Pacific Conflict (Calvocoressi, Wint, and
Pritchard’s second edition of Total War,the second half)

The last four volumes in the Detwiler and Burdick’s reprint editions of War in Asia and the Pacific. Japanese Monograph Series

The Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945 by Frank Dorn

Hsu Long-hsien and Chang Ming-kai, History of the Sino-Japanese War
(1937-1945)


Hu Pu-yu, A Brief History of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) A Brief History of the Chinese National Revolutionary Forces.

Marvin Williamsen’s "The Military Dimension, 1937-1941" chapter in James C.Hsiung and Steven I. Levine, eds., China’s Bitter Victory

Roy M Stanley, II Prelude to Pearl Harbor. War in China, 1937-41: Japan's Rehearsal for World War II

F. F. Liu A Military History of Modern China, 1924-1949

Edward L. Dreyer China at War 1901-1949

BeatPosse has two especially good ones on his list:
China's Bitter Victory
Frank Dorn's Sino-Japanese War--advantage of this is that Dorn was Stilwell's aide.
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