The 1929 Sino-Soviet War: The War Nobody Knew - by Michael Walker
Of course, persons on this forum knew about it, because there is a discussion topic on this war. This just published book is currently the one and only treatise on this subject in English, and as such is groundbreaking and is important. It is written mainly from the Chinese point of view. The 18 page bibliography includes sources in English, Russian and Chinese. Oddly, the Chinese names are in Wade-Giles but there a Pinyin conversion chart. The author has a military background and authoritatively discusses the military developments, failures and successes of both sides. The main shortcoming noted is the dearth of maps. There are a few, but none where military engagements are discussed. It is difficult to mentally keep keep track which side is which when XX Regiment is engaged with YY Brigade at some area near an obscure little village. Maps showing the dispositions of the military units on both sides would have made the text much easier to follow. There are no photographs, which would have been nice but not really necessary to follow the book. There is a list of internet sites for some photographs. Controversy concerning the Chinese Eastern Railway sparked the war, and there is a lengthy background of the railway and the disagreements it fostered. There is a discussion of the Chinese warlord era armies. Finally, the military disaster suffered by China in this war may help explain why the Japanese Kwantung Army was tempted to invade the Three Eastern Provinces (Manchuria), and Chiang Kai-shek was unwilling to take on another major foreign power when Japan did just that a couple years later. He knew China was not yet ready for such a task.