The Fourth AllyWith the surrender of Japan on August 14 1945 WW II came to an nd leaving the Big Four of the United States Great Britain the USSR and China as the powers that would play a permanent and central role in the formation of the United Nations The war in Europe and in the Pacific has generated an A Free Man enormous literature The war between Japan and China and its place in the global conflict has received far less study China suffered nearly 20000000 deaths during WW II second only to the USSR Rana Mitter s new book Forgotten Ally China s World War II 1937 1945 helped fill many gaps in my understanding of both WW II and its aftermath The book offers an acesssible and balanced account of China s WW II centering on the Japanese invasion Mitter is professor of modern Chinese history at the University of OxfordMitterxplains the purpose of his study in a brief PrologueIn the Betting on Fate early twenty first century China has taken a place on the global stage and seeks to convince the world that it is a responsible great power One way in which it has sought to prove its case is to remind people of a time past but not long past when China stood alongside the other progressive powers against fascism the Second World War If we wish to understand the role of China in today s global society we would do well to remind ourselves of the tragic titanic struggle which that country waged in the 1930s and 1940s not just for its own national dignity and survival but for the victory of all the Allies west andast against some of the darkest forces that history has Masters of Death ever producedThe book recounts a highly complex history which involves China s struggles to become a republic thearly pre WW II war with Japan in the 1930 s the China Japan war during the years before Pearl Harbor the China Japan war in the context of WW II after Pearl Harbor and then the Civil War which resulted in the The Spaniards Untouched Bride (Brides of Innocence establishment of the People s Republic of China Domestic affairs in China during the war years and the conflict between Chiang Kai shek and Mao Zedong receive substantial attention as wellThe first part of the book The Path to War offers an overview of the relationship between China and Japan and of China s attempt tostablish a Republic beginning in 1911 Both Chiang and Mao come into prominence during this The Chestnut Tree (The Bexham Trilogy early period This part of the story culminates in 1931 with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria while the rest of the world took little actionThe second part of the story Disaster covers thearly years of the war which began in 1937 Among other things it focuses on the loss of Shangai the atrocities of Nanjing and Chaing s decision to breach the dikes on the Yellow River to slow Japan s advance into central China This decision resulted in an astounding loss of civilian life The book shows the wary attempts of Chiang and Mao to work together although both leaders markedly distrusted one another The Chinese nationalists under Chiang for all their faults freuently resisted the Japanese heroically and sometimes successfully during this periodThe third section of the book Resisting Alone reminded me of Britain s Stay early resistance as it shows China fighting a war without allies against Japan During this period a third prospective government in addition to the Nationalists and the Communists arose in China which advocated collaboration with Japan in order to reach a peace The collaborationist leaders were long regarded as traitors Mitter offers a nuanced viewThe final part of the book The Poisoned Alliance describes how China s allies tried to marginalize the China Japan war in favor of the European and Pacific theaters It focuses on the poisonous relationship between Chiang and American General Joseph Sitwell who was sent to China as Chiang s Chief of Staff following Pearl Harbor During this time Chiang and the Nationalists freuently were perceived as a reluctant corrupt ally which was unwilling to fight Mitter describes a severe famine in China which took place during the war years in part due to the Nationalist s incompentence and corruption He also describes the brutal police states that arose in the three rival Chinese governments under Chiang Mao and the collaborationists Again Mitter offers a nuanced portrayal of Chiang discussing both his many weaknesses as a civilian and military leader but also his strengths He reminds the reader throughout of the resistance the Chinese offered against the Japanese invasion for many years against long odds Mitter makes a convincing case that the Chinese resistance was integral to the result of the War as it allowed the Allies to concentrate their attention on the remaining theatersThe Epilogue to the book briefly describes the Civil War following WW II which culminated in Chiang s flight to Taiwan in 1949 The book discusses how the Chinese have been portraying their war history their internal history and their relationship with Japan in the years following Mao s ascendancyThis book has a great deal to teach about subjects that most Americans know only vaguely I learned a great deal from it and perhaps see some things differently than I did before reading it Teaching its readers is a worthy accomplishment for any bookRobin Friedman This book was both annlightening and a depressing Laws of Ascension Companion experience to readnlightening because I learned much I did not know before of this phase of the World War II theatre and depressing because Mr Mitter s narrative vividly portrays the continuously unfolding horrors visited upon the Chinese people during these years While I have been aware since my graduate student days of the multiple millions of deaths suffered by the Russian people during World War II I was stunned to learn that upwards of 20 million Chinese died
as a conseuence of japanese attempts to subdue a conseuence of Japanese attempts to subdue Accordingly I wish this book could be reuired reading in the United States as it would significantly assist American citizens to understand the remarkable progress made by China in a very short time as well as the ongoing dynamics of the tensions between China and Japan I certainly better appreciate why Chinese leadership and the people of China are so uick to bristle at any The DIY Music Manual. Randy Chertkow Jason Feehan evidence that Japan is moving towards once againmphasizing national patriotism while concurrently seeking to alter the pacifistic Constitution imposed upon Japan by the Americans following the No Mans Daughter end of WW II I am also deeply alarmed at these developments Mr Mitter also does a very good job illustrating the complexity of Chinese domestic politics during the long period following the sad denouement of Sun Yat Sen s revolution including the post World War II armed struggle in China between Mao Zedong s Communist forces and the conservative armies of the Nationalist leader Chiang Kai shek following the defeat of Japan While it is clear that both men played a crucial role in defending China against the Japanese I see how difficult it must be for the Chinese people on the one hand to balance acknowledging that the Nationalist troops valiantly fought against the Japanese invaders while on the other to appropriately honoring the critical importance that Mao s vision and force of personality played in ultimately unifying China and creating the groundwork for the resurgent China of the 21st Century For in my own country over 150 years since the outbreak of our own civil war in the mid 19th Century Americans continue to obsess in assessing interpreting and differing over the causes behind and the meaning of this pivotal period As a conseuence passions still flare up occasionally between Northerners and Southerners and the poison of centuries of discrimination against black people still distorts our civil discourse This book could also provide the West with much needed perspective on the complicated history of Chinese Western inter relationships China s ongoing suspicions of the West s intentions have their roots in an unsavory past in which the West regularly interfered with China treating its ancient culture with insulting disrespect If today s Chinese government occasionally strikes some in the West as being overly assertive this may be in part because we still subconsciouslyxpect China to remember its place and to maintain its former deference to Western powers While as an historian I was aware of the shameful way China had been repeatedly treated throughout the 19th century by Western powers I did not realize before reading this book how poorly China was often treated Melody on Loan even as an ally of the Western powers during World War II The following passage from Forgotten Ally pp 243 44 provides but onexample The problem was that the Chinese and the Westerners looked at China s role through almost The Toll-Gate 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 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 anual power The United States itself waxed warm and cool towards China in the 30s and 40s On the one hand President Roosevelt was personally sympathetic to the Chinese and despite British concerns over implications that a strong China might have for its still xtensive colonial holdings in Southeast Asia he strongly supported a role for China as an ual However the figure sent by America to act as the principal liaison between the US and China General Joseph Stilwell repeatedly clashed with Chiang Kai shek placing his own judgment as to the appropriate use of Chinese troops before those of the Chinese leader He ven came to despise Kai shek referring to him privately as "the Peanut In reading about Stilwell I often winced for he seemed to mbody one of the types "Peanut In reading about Stilwell I often winced for he seemed to Ex On The Beach embody one of the types ugly Americans who have so often annoyed other cultures an arrogant self righteous individual who was unaware that he was in fact not nearly as bright as he thought he was Despite the difficulties Stilwell caused the over all American reaction to Mao initially ranged from neutral to positive Of course the fact that he was a Communist rattled many cages in Washington but his clarity of purpose demonstrated organizational skills and obvious concern for the peasantry near his organizational headuarters in Yan an made a very positive impression upon several American visitors civilian and military alike In contrast while Chiang Kai shek came across as forcefully anti communist his preference for hierarchical structures and seeming relative unconcern for non soldiers left most American visitors with a less positive impression When the warnded uickly than Good Thinking either Mao or Chiang thought likely the United States tried to arbitrate some form of workable compromise between Chiang and Mao in order to avoid the continued disruption that a civil war would bring However their differences in vision for the future of China were so vast that thisffort was doomed from the beginning America s right wing seized upon Mao s subseuent triumph in 1949 as Death in Mumbai evidence of how the liberals in Washington had lost China as if China belonged to anyone other than the Chinese people That charge was part and parcel of a right wing resurgence in America fueled both by the soon tomerge Korean conflict and the irresponsible charges of widespread communist infiltration throughout all levels of American government by Wisconsin s Senator McCarthy whose witch hunts dressed up as congressional hearings were telecast nation wide This ugly period within the United States helped further poison relations with China for decades In fact it was only after the Republican President Nixon s remarkable decision to visit China in the 70s and his gracious reception by the Chinese leadership on that occasion that matters slowly began to turn back toward a hopeful direction In these opening decades of the 21st Century where China is clearly destined to be the Baccarat : La lgende du cristal eual of the United States inconomic and military power we must wonder Are we doomed to continually replay the missteps of the past Or are both sides capable of freeing themselves from the ideological shackles that distort what is possible while also masking new opportunities Right wing forces in the United States continue to argue that China cannot be trusted for they believe that is the nature of communistic and single party states to be a danger to free societies In their opinion the US posture toward China should be similar to that adopted by this country towards Soviet Russia in the years following the Cold War in which we sought to O Colégio de Todos os Segredos encircle the Soviet Union with commercial and military alliances which would stay its possible aggression against its neighbors Therrors behind such arguments are many American leadership failed from the beginning to recognize that one of the primary reasons Stalin was trying to rect his own network of friendly states was in order to reduce the likelihood of yet another invasion of Russia from the West He remembered although it seems that many in the West did not that it was Russia who had been invaded by the French in 1812 and by the Germans in 1941 Further Stalin recalled the intervention by several Western powers in the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 when the West sought to assist the Whites in their struggle against the Red armies as that revolution played out In many ways China s current position is similar to the situation facing my own young country in the arly 19th century growing in both self confidence and power yet aware of the historically unfriendly Zoete tranen even hostile posture ofxisting powers Western and Asian and seeking to demonstrate its Water Music earned right to be treated as anual among nations If only the United States would recognize this opportunity to create a true partnership with China one obviously based first and foremost upon Revived eual respect and working towards a relationship of mutual trust and inter reliance there isvery likelihood that these two countries could work together to create and maintain the conditions for peace and stability in Asia and Student Research Projects in Calculus elsewhere The challenge is probablyually great for both countries As the stablished superpower I think it only proper that the United States be the first to offer a genuine hand of friendship Suspicion and distrust will likely linger for some time but the Chinese American communication and cooperation spreads at all levels between governments and military of course but also betw. 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 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 1937 when the 'Marc. O of mayhem as Japan fought to the nd despite its prospect of certain defeatBetween 8 million and 20 million variously Love for Imperfect Things estimated died in thoseight 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 A Heart of Stone 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 noblenough but Taking Instruction (Taboo, eually as often hypocriticalIt is a story played out almost continuouslyven today Africa being the current playground for big men and psychopaths of all moral persuasions We should be pleased the rising thuggery of new Language and Linguistics empires was suppressed but it was not a simple tale of good andvilThe 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 Divertimento earlierra 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 Love Is a Fairy Tale exclusively seen through Americanyes 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 Promise at Dawn essence China held down some 600000 Japanese troops and that was important for the Allied warffort 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 vil We get little sense of this Right or wrong what was actually happening in the huge area of East China under Japanese rule needs to be xplained in terms of Japanese conduct on the ground after the Rape of Nanking and of the motivations for Chinese collaborationism and resistanceBy the second half of the war just as the National Socialists could put national SS divisions into the field against the Soviets so there were substantial collaborationist Chinese troops fighting against the nationalists alongside the Japanese in the final offensive This has to be Bangkok Wakes to Rain explained It cannot bexplained by giving The Right Sort of Man (Sparks Bainbridge Mystery excessive coverage to the superior warlord s dealings with Washington and almost completely neglecting the dynamic between Tokyo and Nankingxcept in terms of the factional struggles of a few failed politiciansThe net Darkmere effect is that we have a book that does not take the detached and cold view of the struggle that we need to have in order to assist with the analysis of the twin issues noted at the beginning of this review Sino Japanese relations and the rise of new powersInstead what we have is anotherasy read for liberal internationalists that seems intended to guide them through the group think politics of their own side rather than assist in understanding complexity and think about the unthinkableIt is a morale booster that seems to say that the real China was only accidentally corrupt and incompetent and that if we the West had behaved in diferent ways and taken a flawed great man at face value
would have been better It is like a polemic for pastHowever there is lot to learn from this book about Mao s genius for making inaction look like action about the cynicism of the Allies about the delusions of the Japanese Et si la maladie n'tait pas un hasard ? elite about the resilience and humanity of the Chinese people and about the chaos of warOne lesson is fascinating and well taught Under conditions of war and threat all three regimes in China turned to terror to try and hold power Mao s reined in his intellectuals and mobilised the peasantry with the help of the Yezhov trained Kang Sheng but he was not aloneChiang used the dedicated monster Dai Li with the close co operation of the Americans toliminate opposition to a regime that was really not much different from those targeted in Libya and Syria recently Chiang was not a democrat but an authoritarian militaristWang Jingwei hired politicised gangsters to do much the same in Nanking from a class which in Shanghai had helped Chiang himself on his road to power Even today it is clear that after seventy years of Communist totalitarianism South China s gangster culture thrivesAlthough the victor Mao adopted techniues later that taught Pol Pot and the Den of Shadows (Gamblers Den extremists in North Korea their techniues of terror and power thuggery arose on all sides out of warfare and whatever state might havemerged none would have had much truck with human rights This makes any attempt to make the less worse seem good rather futile Chiang murdered 800000 Chinese in a somewhat poorly thought out tactical attempt to slow down the Japanese by breaching the dams on the Yellow River No wonder the Henanese peasants were obstructiveAt the Scraps Of The Untainted Sky end of the day the whole debacle came down to an incident where a rising power thought that it had rights demonstrated by its imperialnemies in the Opium Wars and subseuently to use force to xtract concessions on spurious grounds against a weak targetThat the target was weak was definitely not the fault of Chiang Kai Shek He was dealt an appalling set of cards but given the realities of the situation his decisions tended to make things worse starting with his initial Night of the Long Knives against the RedsStill the book remains a valuable narrative introduction to one of the nastiest wars in an ra of nasty wars It left this reader with an abiding sense of solidarity with the Chinese people if not their leadershipsAbove all I have come to admire the achievement of China in not merely holding itself together but appearing to cohere into a Great Power that has managed through the construction of its own creation myth to bind together the East the Party and the nationalist impulse into oneThe nervousness of the West and the margin states of Japan South Korea and Taiwan and perhaps Vietnam and the Philippines as well is understandable but it may be that the US in particular is still not learning the lessons of the 1940sThe book reminds us of the fragility of the Communist achievement The European Union is now seeing old interwar attitudes re Huguenot Prophecy and Clandestine Worship in the Eighteenth Century emerge in troubledconomies notably Spain and Eastern Europe and there is no reason why something similar might not happen in ChinaIn its hour of greatest need Free China needed unconditional love like the battered child it was but instead it got used as a tool and was patronised by its Fashion Design Course euals no wonder its successors are disinclined to trust anyone but their own instinct for tough love 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 thevents that took place in China between 1937 and 1945 In this the author has Aeralis (The Frost Chronicles, exceeded the promise of the title In fact to his credit Dr Mitterven went way back to the Sino Japanese War 1894 5 albeit briefly an Alternatives Chapter 2 (The Chronos Files; The Shattered Saga 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 majorvents Cincinnati and Other Plays endingventually 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 Speak Out! 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 thenemy 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 "powers are now war with Japan and China being also at war with Japan has become an ally to them and had I Like You the Best even fought alongside them on at least one occasion Burma Butven 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 thesis rather I would like 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 The collectors encyclopedia of antique marbles enemy for six years before the Allies themselvesntered 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 The Philosophy of Giambattista Vico 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 certainvents must be Lone Star Standoff emphasised others diminished and some inventedWhich brings me to this uestion I had as I A solid overview of the War of Resistance Ritter argues convincingly on why the Chinese Japanese deserves to be better known in the West but hisxclusive attention to politics with no room to discuss battles or armies fails to hold my attentionif it s any comfort to Ritter s Punishment Of The Cheating Wife effort I already fully acknowledged the significance of 1931 1945 for the modern People s Republic of China In recent years the sheer scale of the war in China has become apparent What began on July 7 1937 as an unplanned local conflict between Chinese and Japanese troops near Beijing known as the Marco Polo Bridge Incidentscalated into an all out war between the two great nations of East Asia it would not More Punishment For His Cheating Wife end until August 1945 In theight intervening years China s Nationalist government was forced into internal xile along with millions of refugees Huge tracts of the country were occupied by the Japanese who sponsored collaborators to create new forms of government aimed at destroying the authority of the Nationalists. Recreate 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 dynamic for what happened in As.
things would have been better It is like a polemic for
free read Ê Book, PDF or Kindle PUB ò Rana MitterEen citizens the likely that genuine friendship based upon mutual respect will result The alternative returning to the old days of power politics has already shown in the past century how futile is that course Do we have the courage to try a new way For all the dead Chinese Russian Asian European and American who have paid the price beyond measure we had better try 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 stimated 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 When Fox Is a Thousand explains at length recognition of China s contribution to the warffort is overdue on a far broader basis than thatDueling myths and torrents of propagandaChina s World War II 100 Innovations of the Industrial Revolution 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 considerablextent 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 Taken The Anthology 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 thearly Cold War from which it has only recently reappeared And Mitter s book is an Schematic Design 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 wartimexperience 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 The Second Sister 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 anual 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 Perfect Match (Girl Talk, 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 premisesach of which he takes great pains to justifyChina might have surrendered Chiang and Mao didn tAlmost throughout the course of China s ight 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 uipped 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 AHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers emphasize the bitternmity between Chiang s Nationalists and Mao s Communist Party In fact in one of the most notorious Let’s Call It a Doomsday episodes in his life Chiang hadven attempted to xterminate the Communists when he turned on them in 1928 in Shanghai The English language bibliography of the Second World War is faced with an odd contradiction while there is no shortage of books about the conflict there are still not nough of them This is because for all of the thousan This book provides an overview of China s pivotal role in WWII and to the xtent that readers are unfamiliar with that history it is a useful corrective But its true aims lie deeper it is unapologetically a revisionist history designed to rehabilitate the image of Chiang Kai shek and mphasize the role of the Nationalists in resisting the Japanese invasion In doing so the author also makes clear the relatively small contributions of the Communist forces and goes to great lengths to critiue the actions of Joseph Stilwell the Allies representative in China and a constant irritant to Chiang In the latter respect the book feels like a response to Barbara Tuchman s Stillwell
the American Experience in China a generally well regarded pro Stilwell that did much to lock in the unflattering image of Chiang for Western observers While I Garfield Swallows His Pride (Garfield, enjoyed the book as a condensed review of China s role in the Second World War I felt that the author overreached in his goals I will say I gained a greater appreciation of the sacrifices by the Nationalist forces From this book it would seem that the Communists spent most of theirnergies regrouping during the war and positioning themselves for "the inevitable power struggle to come a charge often aimed at the Nationalists The book also offers insights "inevitable power struggle to come a charge often aimed at the Nationalists The book also offers insights some of the thinking of the Chinese participants in the collaboration government with the Japanese However I still harbor doubts about the uality of Chiang s leadership While he may have been the only person able to hold together China s fragile coalition of warlords merging business class and factional armed forces his political instincts appear to be his primary strength Forgotten Ally is still left to wrestle with his disastrous tactical decisions most glaringly breaching a dike to slow the Japanese army which resulted in the death of up to a half million people and likely only slightly delayed the army s march and the intentional burning of the city Changsha by retreating Nationalists although the Japanese wouldn t reach the city for years The book also acknowledges the ndemic corruption that plagued the government and the failure of the Nationalists to adeuately address a devastating famine in one province that ultimately killed millions In passing the book acknowledges that during the civil war with the Communists Chiang was unable to achieve any notable military victories and severely misjudged the strength of his opposition a concession that seems to me to cast doubt on his abilities as a military leader Indeed the only Nationalist military victories against the Japanese proved fleeting Chiang s greatest asset may simply have been his stubborn resolve Moreover the Serafina and the Seven Stars extensive portions of the book focused on J Stilwell struck me as unjustifiably harsh The author lambastes Stilwell for abandoning Chinese troops as part of a failed campaign in Burma despite according to Tuchman s book that he did so under direct orders And the book ignores the fact that Stilwell remained in the area tonsure that retreating armies were supplied with rice and refused air transport in order to stay with 100 military and civilian refugees on a perilous march to safety Tuchman s book also provides needed context for Stilwell s defeat in which he was frustrated by fickle British support and reluctant Chinese participation Tuchman unuestionably had an anti Chiang bias As one point she notes that he had a dictator s instinct for balconies Forgotten Ally returns the favor for Stilwell after the defeat in Burma Stilwell told the press that they had taken a hell of a beating Yet the book leads in to that uote with the statement that Stilwell was never one to miss the opportunity for good press a peculiar jab given his unflattering candor While I have not gone back to Tuchman s book to review all of the points raised against Stilwell the description of the initial Burma defeat did much in my mind to cast doubt on Forgotten Ally s objectivity Ultimately I was not fully convinced by Forgotten Ally While Tuchman s book needs balance to fully credit the Nationalist s contributions I don t think that Forgotten Ally should be read in isolation Still the Japanese aggression in Asia the Allies shabby treatment of China during the war and the Nationalist s resistance are all critical for understanding China today and it is good that this book provides additional information on Nighthawk (Conard County, each This book gives a history of China covering mainlyvents from 1937 when Japan invaded China The Japanese were in Manchukuo Manchuria prior but this was seen as being peripheral to China proper We are given the Chinese viewpoint on how western powers mainly England and the US and then the Japanese constantly treated China as a territory to be What She Saw (Conard County exploited Chinese sovereignty was hardly recognized by any outside power There are three main characters focused on Chiang Kai shek the leader of nationalist China Mao Zedong the leader of China s Communist Party and the rathernigmatic Wang Jingwei who was initially a Chinese nationalist revolutionary and follower of Sun Yat sen the father of modern Chinese nationalism but then in 1938 collaborated with the Japanese to try to Rivals Break (Sharpe Donovan establish peace in China and I also feel to assume the reins of powerChiang was recognized by the outside world and the Japanese as being the ruler of unoccupied China The author is overly lenient in his treatment of Chiang His leadership of the military and the Chinese people was inept Corruption was rampant Chiang must be held responsible for this but the author hardly dwells on the implications of Chiang s nefarious years of power He defends Chiang by arguing that China was already a backward andxploited country which is true However in all his years at the helm the situation never got better in fact there was constant deterioration Chinese troops were paid little if at all and they were poorly fed some of their officers became rich and Namen-Und Sach-Register Zum Jahresbericht �ber Die Fortschritte in Der Lehre Von Den Pathogenen Mikroorganismen Umfassend Bacterien, Pilze Und Protozo�n exploited the millions of poor peasants in the countryside Fighting the Japanese occupiers was sometimes just not a priority in Chiang s armies The communists by contrast were far better organized and at least had programs in place to alleviate the peasantsThe author does well to point out thatach group Chiang Mao and Wang Jingwei all had their own vicious police states None were interested in Soft Focus establishing a liberal democracy Wang Jingwei had littleffective say in this as he was a puppet of the Japanese Also Chiang faced much of the Japanese army than Mao did Mao in later years tended to over Alien Chastity Belt emphasize the impact the communists had in combating the JapaneseThe book provides us with the various stages of China s years of cruel occupation by Japan Western aid mostly from the US was insufficient and from other books like The Last Empress Madame Chiang Kai shek and the Birth of Modern Chinaa lot of money went into the coffers of corrupt Chinese officialsThe author points out how Chiang Kai shek was the only non European leaderif somewhat overlooked in the Allied coalition that was to become the UN We are also shown how the Japanese tried and partially succeeded in convincing the Chinese tonter and collaborate into their vision of the Greater East Asia Co prosperity Sphere But to this day this is hardly discussed in China 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 Faker eight years of slaughter through to the surprisending the deus Lawbreakers Suspense Stories 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 tw. O Polo Bridge Incident' plunged China and Japan into a conflict ofxtraordinary duration and ferocity a war which would result in many millions of deaths and 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.and the American Experience in China a generally well regarded pro Stilwell