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[ FREE ] Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City pd

Peter Harmsen: Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City

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The infamous Rape of Nanjing looms like a dark shadow over the history of Asia in the 20th century, and is among the most widely recognized chapters of World War II in China. By contrast, the story of the month-long campaign before this notorious massacre has never been told in its entirety. Nanjing 1937 by Peter Harmsen fills this gap. This is the follow-up to Harmsen's best-selling Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze, and begins where that book left off. In stirring prose, it describes how the Japanese Army, having invaded the mainland and emerging victorious from the Battle of Shanghai, pushed on toward the capital Nanjing in a crushing advance that confirmed its reputation for bravery and savagery in equal measure. While much of the struggle over Shanghai had carried echoes of the grueling war in the trenches two decades earlier, the Nanjing campaign was a fast-paced mobile operation in which armor and air power played mayor roles. It was blitzkrieg two years before Hitler's invasion of Poland. Facing the full might of modern, mechanized warfare, China's resistance was heroic, but ultimately futile. As in Shanghai, the battle for Nanjing was more than a clash between Chinese and Japanese. Soldiers and citizens of a variety of nations witnessed or took part in the hostilities. German advisors, American journalists and British diplomats all played important parts in this vast drama. And a new power appeared on the scene: Soviet pilots dispatched by Stalin to challenge Japan's control of the skies. This epic tale is told with verve and attention to detail by Harmsen, a veteran East Asia correspondent who consolidates his status as the foremost chronicler of World War II in China with this path-breaking work of narrative history.


“Peter Harmsen has once again ingeniously woven a vast range of Chinese, Japanese and Western source materials into a vivid tapestry of intense personal experience and world-shaking international conflict. Our historical memories shorten with distance from our own shores. As we contemplate a newly-risen China, Harmsen brings to life for us cataclysms that lie closer to the surface of Chinese consciousness. Where the great Allen Furst’s taut novels of wartime Europe stay just inside the fiction side of the boundary with history, Harmsen’s dramatic style adds a gripping and novelistic quality to the powerful writing of 20th-century history.” Robert A. Kapp, author of "Szechwan and the Chinese Republic: Provincial Militarism and Central Power, 1911-1937," and past president, The US-China Business Council. Peter Harmsen has written a very important book about the Japanese defeat of Chinese Nationalist forces in defending their national capital, Nanjing. Using a wide variety of materials written in several languages, including diaries of individual combatants, Harsen describes and analyses the Japanese military victory as well as their infamous, subsequent slaughter and rape of the city’s civilians. He intersperses analyses of the broader battles with vignettes of individual, deadly skirmishes drawn from the perspectives of individual soldiers. Harmsen clarifies a less well understood aspect of the war by demonstrating the importance of Soviet air force participation and aid to the Chinese Nationalist forces. His final chapter on the Rape of Nanjing is one of the most powerful descriptions of those events as well as perhaps the very best analysis of why this most horrendous event occurred. Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City stands by itself as an important book about a significant historical event, but it also serves as an excellent sequel to Harmsen’s Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze. Professor J. Bruce Jacobs,Emeritus Professor of Asian Languages and Studies,Monash University ,Melbourne, Australia "This terrific piece of work fills a conspicuous void in English language literature on the Second Sino-Japanese War by providing the first comprehensive treatment of the 1937 Battle for Nanjing. The spritely narrative weaves research in Chinese, Japanese and Western sources into insight views of the top and bottom of the military, diplomatic and civilian levels. Harmsen achieves a remarkably even yet clear eyed account that perhaps only a foreigner could achieve in approaching this searing collision of China and Japan." --Richard B. 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  • Language: English
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1612002846

File size: 5,5 MB

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