Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Discussions on all aspects of China, from the beginning of the First Sino-Japanese War till the end of the Chinese Civil War. Hosted by YC Chen.
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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Postby Stephen_Rynerson » 18 Apr 2017 05:58

Orwell1984 wrote:
Stephen_Rynerson wrote:Any thoughts on whether this is worth picking up if one already owns Jowett's Soldiers of the White Sun and China at War?

I have both those other titles as well and after looking through this new book, I think it's a worthwhile purchase as well as it looks indepth at some earlier conflict.
Some sample chapter headings "Crush them all in a single blow"; The central plains war of 1929; "The forbidden province"; Jehol 1933; War in the Western provinces 1928-37; Iron determination: The Suiyan Campaign 1936-7

All in all looks like it was a good purchase.

Thanks for the prompt response! I'll definitely take a closer look at it.

keith A
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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Postby keith A » 04 May 2017 12:19

Ok Firebird67. I just saw your title and after a brief look through Amazons "look inside" it looks "the bizness" :) The reviews on Amazon and here on this forum are very favourable so I have parted with my hard-earned cash it's on it's way to me. I am looking forward to it. The Chinese army in WW2 needs a lot more coverage in English. My last purchase was "Famine, sword and fire", which I enjoyed but was disappointed that many of the photographs were distorted film images.



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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Postby Hendryk » 29 May 2017 18:12

Firebird67 wrote:At the risk of being incredibly gauche, I would like to mention my recently-published book on Chinese ground forces 1937-45. It is a sort of companion to my work on Japanese ground forces.

You can look at it at

I've purchased your book and found it extremely informative. The visual documentation is particularly thorough. Impressive job! :thumbsup:

If I may offer a tiny bit of constructive criticism: should there be a second edition, make sure to give the Pinyin words an extra layer of proofreading. But really, that's just me splitting hairs.

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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Postby north2014 » 19 Jun 2017 04:55

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.

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