China's Bitter Victory: The War with Japan, 1937-1945

China's Bitter Victory: The War with Japan, 1937-1945

China's Bitter Victory: The War with Japan, 1937-1945

China's Bitter Victory: The War with Japan, 1937-1945

Synopsis

"China's Bitter Victory is the first comprehensive scholarly analysis of China's epochal war with Japan. Striving for a holistic understanding of China's wartime experience, the contributors examine developments in the Nationalist, Communist, and Japanese-occupied areas of the country. Much more than just a history of battles and conferences, the book portrays the significant impact of the war on every dimension of Chinese life, including politics, the economy, culture, legal affairs, and science. For within the overriding struggle for national survival, the competition for political power and the striving for individual and group goals continued. China ultimately triumphed, but at a price of between 15 and 20 million lives and vast destruction of property and resources. And China's bitter victory brought new trials for the Chinese people in the form of civil war and revolution. This book tells the story of China during a crucial period pregnant with consequences not only for China but also for Asia and the world as well. Addressed to students, scholars, and general readers, the book fills a large gap in the existing literature on modern Chinese history and on World War II." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

More than forty-five years have passed since the guns fell silent, signaling the end of the bloody Sino-Japanese War of 1937-45. During those eight terrible years, the Chinese people endured what was probably the most brutal war ever fought in the Pacific region, but the story of how they survived has not yet been fully told. Meanwhile, of course, much has been written about the experience of other countries and peoples during World War II. The gap relating to China in the literature of World War II is extremely unfortunate, to say the least.

The attitudes of the principal Chinese parties in this tragic conflict obviously have had a great deal to do with the perpetuation of this lacuna. Due to their long-standing mutual enmity, neither the Kuomintang authorities in Taipei nor the Chinese Communist rulers in Peking can agree on who should get credit for the victory that finally came in 1945. Neither party has yet provided very much detailed and comprehensive information in a form that presents a composite picture of China's eight-year War of Resistance. Instead, there have been piecemeal releases of information about particular military campaigns and the publication of memoirs by a few remaining veteran military leaders.

In contrast, voluminous accounts have appeared in Japan of the glorious exploits of the Imperial Army during the Pacific War. The Japanese, however, have no compelling reasons to tell the whole truth about an event that many among them now much prefer to gloss over or forget. In its controversial textbook revisions of the 1980s, Tokyo sought to play down the aggressive war launched by the Japanese militarists of the 1930s as a mere "forward advance" in China. In early 1988, a member of the Japanese cabinet unabashedly proclaimed that the Japanese invasion of China five decades earlier was not an act of aggression. Although he subsequently resigned under fire from the opposition, he was forced to do so for his undiplomatic behavior rather than for his historical inaccuracy. Indeed, in that episode, a group of forty-one politicians in the ruling Liberal Democratic party rushed to his defense, and a significant number of Japanese were also reported to agree with him. It is an indisputable fact that more innocent Chinese were massacred by Japanese soldiers in the December 1937 Rape of Nanking than Japanese were killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, yet . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.