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Chinas War with Japan 1937 1945In Rana Mitter's tense with Japan Kindle #215 moving and hugely important book the war between China and Japan one of the most important struggles of the Second World War at last gets the masterly history it deservesDifferent countries give different opening dates for the period of the Second World War but perhaps the most compelling is when the 'Marco Po. This book is published in two different titles 1 China's War with Japan 1937 1945 The Struggle for Survival and 2 Forgotten Ally China's World War II 1937 1945 This review is made with reference to the latterThe use of the first title conjures an impression of a chronicle recording the events that took place in China between 1937 and 1945 In this the author has exceeded the promise of the title In fact to his credit Dr Mitter even went way back to the Sino Japanese War 1894 5 albeit briefly an era commonly ignored by most scholars This reminder is important for two reasons First of all it was then that the Japanese began to station troops on the Asian mainland in Korea Second it became a base from which Japan fought the Russo Japanese War 1904 5 which really represented when the Japanese infringed upon China's territoryThe focus of the book however starts from 1937 after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident which started off as 'just another skirmish' but took an unexpected turn when Chiang Kai shek decided that he would make a stand and opened another front in Shanghai From there the author took us through all the major events ending eventually with Japan's surrender In between he culled documents and sources including diaries official party documents and reports from journalists to provide vivid details of the Nationalists' feeble attempts to govern 'Free China' their efforts to undermine the Communists to draw any country into the war to help them and to manage the aftermath of the defection of important party members while fighting and initially retreating from city to city Eually vivid are the descriptions of how the civilians caught in the war suffered from poverty starvation rape and official corruptionBut if the first title reads rather blandly the second title 'Forgotten Ally' proposes a thesis which the author made very clear China was the forgotten ally of the allied forces in the Second World War This powerful position can only come into consideration after Pearl Harbor when Japan in a span of two days made itself the enemy of at least four other countries the US Britain Australia and the Netherlands The word Ally therefore was only relevant in the later part of the book The main argument of the author is the Western powers are now at war with Japan and China being also at war with Japan has become an ally to them and had even fought alongside them on at least one occasion Burma But even if that had not been the case China has tied about half a million Japanese soldiers which might have been deployed against the Western powers that would have ualified China as an ally I do not feel ualified to dispute the thesis rather I would like to offer my reflection on the significance of the worth ForgottenDr Mitter was clear about who the forgotten party was and seen from the Nationalists' perspective it would probably aptly describe their sense of indignation They had been fighting the allies' enemy for six years before the Allies themselves entered the war If China was by then a battered nation on its knees waiting for the Americans and British to save it from certain destruction at the hands of the Japanese it could be partly attributed to as the book made clear the fact that they had been fighting the Japanese alone Yet one can hardly blame the West for seeing it this way for Japan while surely on their radar even prior to December 1941 was secondary in relation to Germany then Had Japan not made the blunder of attacking Pearl Harbor their invasion of South East Asia would have at most threatened the European colonies and not the European homeland it would still have been of secondary importanceOther reasons also made 'forgotten' inevitable Firstly the uestion of whether China really did contribute to the fighting when they seem to lose on all fronts not helped by the opinion of Stilwell or whether it was just a corrupt regime always seeking from the Allies Chiang's reuest for a US1 billion loan certainly did not help also left many uestions of China's position and value as an ally in the minds of the US and Britain Secondly the cold war narrative also uickly distorted the history of that time focusing people's attention on China's political ideology rather than their history in the Second World War Finally the outcome of the civil war in China meant that certain events must be emphasised others diminished and some inventedWhich brings me to this uestion I had as I read the book who was forgotten really If the answer is China then who in China The situation in China then reminded me of China during the warring states between 481 BC and 403 BC when at one stage China was divided into three kingdoms 三分天下 only this time among the Nationalists the Communists and the Japanese through Wang Jinwei's Reorganized National Government of China And if the West can be accused of forgetting their Nationalists allies as the author implies then whatever the Nationalists did right among the many wrongs was comprehensively eradicated by the Communists when they came to power see pg 333 334 And to be fair post Second World War and even current Chinese discourse on that part of history hardly give enough credits to the West used loosely here tooI cannot accuse the author of falling short in his effort to support his thesis he might have felt that the two thirds of the book before China became an 'ally' was necessary to provide the context but that leaves only the last third of the book to try and develop his argument I also feel that too lit

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review Chinas War with Japan 1937 1945 Ñ eBook or Kindle ePUB º [Epub] ➚ Chinas War with Japan 1937 1945 Author Rana Mitter – In Rana Mitter's tense moving and hugely important book the war between China and Japan one of the most important struggles of the Second World War at last Ate this terrible conflict He writes both about the major leaders Chiang Kaishek Mao Zedong and Wang Jingwei and about the ordinary people swept up by terrible times Mitter puts at the heart of our understanding of the Second World War that it was Japan's failure to defeat China which was the key War with Japan eBook #10003 dynamic for what happened in As. Read just about any popular history of World War II and you’ll find any number of references to the Allies as the Big Three of Britain the US and the Soviet Union What’s missing is recognition that China bore nearly as high a price as the USSR with an estimated fourteen to twenty million dead compared to fewer than half a million for the UK and the US The Soviet Union lost as many as twenty four million dead On that basis alone Oxford University historian Rana Mitter is justified in titling his revisionist history of China in World War II Forgotten Ally But as he explains at length recognition of China’s contribution to the war effort is overdue on a far broader basis than thatDueling myths and torrents of propagandaChina’s World War II experience has generated dueling myths and torrents of propaganda In China itself Mao Zedong’s government long suppressed any favorable comment about the performance of Chiang Kai shek‘s Nationalists or indeed that of any of his or Mao’s competitors for power Mao didn’t attain the undisputed leadership of the Communist Part until the war was nearly over and Chiang was never fully secure at the top of the Nationalists until he fled to Taiwan in 1949 So called warlords always controlled large swaths of territory In Forgotten Ally Mitter attempts to set the record straight To a considerable extent he succeedsToday’s China was forged in the war with Japan“Contemporary China is thought of as the inheritor of Mao’s Cultural Revolution” Mitter writes “or even of the humiliation incurred by the Opium Wars of the nineteenth century but rarely as the product of the war against Japan That history disappeared down a hole created by the early Cold War from which it has only recently reappeared” And Mitter’s book is an effort to rebalance the history books asserting that World War II merits a preeminent position in modern Chinese history He also attempts in Forgotten Ally to dispel the simplistic notion that the war involved a two way struggle between Nationalists and Communists “A new history of China’s wartime experience must take account of the three way struggle for a modern China Nationalist Communist and collaborationist”A fundamental disconnect between China and the WestThere was a fundamental disconnect between the Chinese and Western views of China’s role in the war “The problem” Mitter writes “was that they looked at China’s role through almost entirely different lenses To the Western allies China was a supplicant a battered nation on its knees waiting for the Americans and British to save it from certain destruction at the hands of the Japanese In Chiang’s view and that of many Chinese their country was the first and most consistent foe of Axis aggression” By most reckoning World War II did in fact start in 1937 in China and only in 1939 in Europe“Despite numerous opportunities to withdraw from the conflict China had fought on when the prospects of outside assistance seemed hopeless and it now deserved to be treated as an eual power” The result of this disconnect was that “the British and Americans wished to give the impression that China was a serious ally without actually putting much effort into the relationship while Chiang overestimated what he was worth to the Western Allies” As Mitter reports “In 1941 and 1942 the total proportion of US Lend Lease aid to China was around 15 percent of the total dropping to 05 percent in 1943 and 1944 and would rise to 4 percent only in 1945”Why China should be considered the fourth AllyMitter’s argument that China deserves recognition for its role in World War II rests on four premises each of which he takes great pains to justifyChina might have surrendered Chiang and Mao didn’tAlmost throughout the course of China’s eight year war with Japan 1937 45 prospects for Chinese victory were slim at best Less resolute Chinese leadership might well have sought peace with the Japanese In fact Wang Jingwei a now little recognized Chinese official who had been Sun Yat sen‘s designated successor did collaborate with the Japanese He served as head of a puppet regime in Nanjing from 1940 until his death in 1944 Yet Chiang’s troops managed to hold down than half a million Japanese troops who might otherwise have been posted to the war in the Pacific and South AsiaChiang kept the country united against JapanChiang Kai shek was a far better leader than most accounts give him credit for In fact he was the only person who could command a true national presence Chiang’s competitors recognized this fact and so did Mao Although Chiang’s regime was at least as corrupt as his critics complain and his in laws were among the most notorious thieves in the country Chiang himself was not on the take Despite the corruption and the lack of cooperation from many of his generals he did manage to maintain the resistance to Japan throughout the warChiang was better than his critics contendAlthough Chiang was a poor tactician and hindered by jealous and venal “warlords” as well he was far adept at war strategy Complaints by General Joseph Stilwell and other Americans on the scene were overblown in Mitter’s view And Stilwell himself was not just ill euipped to command soldiers in the field he should Mitter believes have been court martialed for deserting his troops in Burma and fleeing to IndiaNationalists and Communists cooperated to resist JapanMany accounts of the war in China emphasize the bitter enmity betwee

Rana Mitter Ë 3 summary

Lo Bridge Incident' plunged China and Japan into a conflict of extraordinary duration and ferocity a war which would result in many millions of deaths and Chinas War Kindle completely reshape East Asia in ways which we continue to confront today With great vividness and narrative drive Rana Mitter's new book draws on a huge range of new sources to recre. This is a useful but flawed account of an important theatre of war in the struggle of liberal internationalism Western imperialism and socialism against the attempted imperialisms of rising powersThe story has two contemporary sets of resonance the obvious one is the tricky current state of Sino Japanese relations that has Westerners rushing to books like this The less obvious is the attempt by the West to answer the uestion 'what to do with rising powers'On the surface it is traditional narrative history It starts at the beginning what led up to the Marco Polo Bridge incident the 'Sarajevo' of eight years of slaughter through to the surprise ending the 'deus ex machina' of the Atom Bombs on Hiroshima and NagasakiWith the usual unconscious racism of the Western armchair liberal the debates on the use of the Bomb usually wonder about the dreadful morality of wiping out 100000 persons in a few days in terms of saved men and materiel for the WestA open view would throw into the pot the hundreds of thousands maybe millions of Chinese and Japanese lives saved from not going down the Nazi route of a year or two of mayhem as Japan fought to the end despite its prospect of certain defeatBetween 8 million and 20 million variously estimated died in those eight years with perhaps three to four million the victims of first the deliberate flooding of Henan and then its appalling famine Mitter also notes the estimated 3m who died in a similar Indian wartime famineThe whole business is another story of 'things getting out of control' with millions being disrupted starved conscripted terrorised and murdered as a few 'big men' suabble for advantage and for 'values' that are often noble enough but eually as often hypocriticalIt is a story played out almost continuously even today Africa being the current playground for 'big men' and psychopaths of all 'moral' persuasions We should be pleased the rising thuggery of new empires was suppressed but it was not a simple tale of good and evilThe flaws in the book however detract from its usefulness as analytical tool although the 'further reading' at the back is useful for anyone wanting to delve deeperAbove all the book often reads like an unjustifiable apologia for Chiang Kai Shek warlord leader of the Nationalist Chinese with most claim to legitimacy as ruler of China It certainly spends time on the suabble with General Stilwell than a straight narrative deservesWhat is going on here The reality is that legitimate though he was Chiang Kai Shek was soon run out of town the core of China in the East and was not much than a superior warlord from an earlier era He could speak for China and for millions of men but he had proved an unimaginative and narcissistic leader before the Marco Polo Bridge incident and was not much better after it Mitter justifiably contextualises his decisions but they were often than not poorMost of the non Communist warlords in the south marked time under his leadership but his control was limited while the Communists under Mao cannily created a state within a state in North West China that treated the peasantry as if they mattered instead of as fodderBy the time the Americans arrived and the Communists are almost exclusively seen through American eyes by 19423 as Mittar swerves off into analyses of thinking in Washington Chiang's China was virtually being re colonised by the US by stealth without benefit to the peopleThe blunders of Stilwell and the Americans can be charitably put down to them 'learning on the job' as they slowly displaced the British Empire as global arbiter US foreign policy does not really settle down into full competence until after the McCarthy blood letting Mitter's attempt to recover Chiang's reputation by pointing out the new status given to China in the 'UN' holds little water Yes this was a fact on the ground and it portended great things a benefit that India failed to achieve but China was always a tool under ChiangIn essence China held down some 600000 Japanese troops and that was important for the Allied war effort but it presupposes that this was always in the interests of the Chinese who died in huge numbers holding together a ramshackle strategy of mere survivalIt is noticeable that in the struggle against the last Japanese offensive like the last push of the Germans in 1918 Nationalist troops were attacked by Henan peasants who had suffered deliberate flooding and then famine fertile ground for communism laterThe second flaw is associated with the first Mittel devotes about the right amount of space to the Communists in Yan'an but his coverage is still cursory and lacking in analysis His great lack is any serious investigation of Japanese thinking and Japanese motivesThis is highly problematic The book is about the Japanese war on China That means it is about both main participants and the whole war zone yet we hear virtually nothing of East China other than Nanking and little of Japanese collaborationist dealingsHe devotes a great deal of attention to the Petain of China Wang JIngwei and his circle but always in the light of them being implicitly honourable Nationalists who got it wrong This misses the point they were naive and 'useful idiots' but there were important ideological and practical Japanese reasons for creating 'Vichy' regimes across Asia and for nationalists to choose what they thought might be the lesser evil We get little sense of this Right or wrong what was actually happening in the huge area of East China under Japanese rul