Nanjing 1937

Battle for a Doomed City

Peter Harmsen

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.
Publication date:
October 2015
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Illustration :
16pp photos
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ISBN : 9781612002842
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Overview
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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.

REVIEWS

Outstanding... Balanced, analytical and level-headed account emphasizing the military aspect... 'Nanjing 1937' is a formidably researched book, and Harmsen's dramatic narrative style makes the reader feel part of the events."



6*/6*

Jyllands-Posten

Nanjing 1937 offers a detailed account of the campaign illustrated with numerous useful maps. It presents a point of view which most readers will not have encountered before. It's well worth a read.
Asian Review of Books

a valuable account of a little known event... a grim reminder of the darker side of war.
Military History Monthly

'Welcome, readable, multi-faceted look at the origins of World War II in Asia which other reports usually gloss over in their haste to reach the events after Pearl Harbor.'
The NYMAS Review

Students of modern East Asia as well as those of the military history of World War II will stand to benefit from his latest fine contribution.
Journal of Chinese Military History