The Fight for the Pacific

The Fight for the Pacific

The Fight for the Pacific

The Fight for the Pacific

Excerpt

WITH EDEN'S RESIGNATION in 1938, the last brake on appeasement had been removed. Italy and Germany had been allowed to establish themselves firmly in Spain. Chamberlain flew to Munich to secure "peace for our time." Czechoslovakia, that most tragic of the appeasers' victims, had been dismembered.

These dramatic events formed an ominous background for power politics in the Pacific. Through 1938-'39 the Far East remained in flux. Political winds shifted with startling suddenness. Blocs were formed and re-formed, and vows of amity were sandwiched between sanguinary battles. The opening months of 1938 witnessed the tightening of the Japanese military stranglehold on foreign interests in China. Occidentals were driven out of the interior to a few coastal cities. Foreign shipping was barred from main waterways, subjected to capricious restrictions, often attacked by armed force. Cut off from its markets and hammered on by the Japanese Army and trusts, Western business was facing annihilation. The Japanese jingoist press and spokesmen continued to clamor for the elimination of the democracies from the Far East.

In this general anti-foreign offensive, Britain was the chief loser. Her strength was rooted in the industries of China's . . .

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