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Clash of Empires in South China: The Allied Nations' Proxy War with Japan, 1935-1941 (Modern War Studies (Hardcover)) Hardcover – November 14, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Sophisticated, pioneering, and a significant contribution to the field of World War II studies. Macri’s research is meticulous, exhaustive, and well balanced; his writing is cogent and smooth. An admirable work.”—Miles Maochun Yu, author of The Dragon’s War: Allied Operations and the Fate of China

“Massively researched and splendidly narrated, this is the best available international history of Hong Kong during the China-Japan war.”—Akira Iriye, author of China and Japan in the Global Setting

“Outstanding. Sweeping in scope and illuminating.”—Edward J. Drea, author of Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall

“An impressive addition to the literature of the Pacific War.” --Xiaobing Li, author of A History of the Chinese Army





About the Author

Franco David Macri is an historian at St. John's College in Hong Kong.
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies (Hardcover)
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; 1St Edition edition (November 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700618775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700618774
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book finally examinates the war between China and Japan , that officially began on 1937 with the incident at the Marco Polo Bridge, but that in reality was in a crescendo since the creation of the Manchukuo puppet regime in Manchuria on 1931-33.
The book tells the history of this war since its preparatory phases (1935-1937) till the beginning of WWII in the Pacific theater, so it doesn't include the ICHI-GO japanese operation (1944-45) against the american airbases.
The aim of this book is to demonstrate how this war was in reality a proxy war for the Allies that hoped, in this way, to keep the Japanese bogged down in a war of attrition that would prevent them from breaching British and Soviet territories. Indeed these two nations were the most active partners of the Chinese gouvernement about military supplies, the British Empire, even gave Hong-Kong as main base for this scope, indispensable because of his rail connection to the city of Changsha.
Because of the drawing on US and British official documents this book constitutes a pioneering work that gives new insight into the origins of the war in the Pacific theater.
Very, very interesting !
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has helped fill my knowledge gap regarding Chinese defensive posture against the Japanese invasion which began in 1933. The focus of the book is South China where the author explains how Chiang Kai Shek managed to control an array of quasi-independent unruly warlords and keep them focused on repelling the Japanese invasion. One province, in particular, Hunan, was rich in wheat and was key to the defense of South China. In this endeavor, despite repeated battles for the provincial capital, Changsha, Chiang was successful. The "neutral" British used the port of Hong Kong to funnel guns, munitions and military supplies into the Nationalist Chinese, which is a new revelation for me. This caused a conundrum for the Japanese who had their hands full in China and were, at that time, more focused on expanding their empire into Mongolia and Siberia and did not want to alienate the British by taking military action against Hong Kong. Further, when Germany invaded Russia, it became the intention of the British and Americans to provide sufficient aid to China to keep them fighting the Japanese, and inhibiting them from attacking Russia through Siberia. Furthermore, in doing so, the Allies were providing proxy assistance to Stalin who was fighting the Germans at the gates of Moscow. The book contains many insights in the political machinations of China, Britain, America, Russia and Japan and the military campaigns of the Sino-Japanese War in South China. It take concentration to read through the book, but the reward is well worth the investment in time. My only criticism of the book was its lack of regional maps which would have been a useful adjunct to the narrative. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
Clash of Empires in South China changed my opinion about why war came to the Pacific in 1941. I am writing an MA thesis on the mistakes in the sphere of the execution of sea power that led to the War in the Pacific and am very glad I chose to read the book. I am reading a lot of material and want to be thorough but you cant read everything so this book was not a given. Until reading this book I believed that Japan had went to war against the US and Britain because of a need for natural resources. This book takes that view one step further. In 1940 the US embargoed scrap iron because Japan had occupied northern Indo-China and signed the Tripartite Pact. In 1941 the US froze Japanese assets and embargoed oil which was followed by Britain and the Netherlands because Japan occupied southern Indo-China. Japan then attacked in the Pacific.

So why did Japan occupy relatively insignificant Indo-China which played a key role in instigating Western economic warfare? Franco Macri makes it clear that Japan occupied northern Indo-China to isolate China from contraband of war being shipped to China via Indo-China. Previously I believed that Japan’s war in China although a distraction and indirectly a cause for the Pacific War had no direct link in the Japanese drive for natural resources made necessary by Western economic warfare. I realize that in 1941 China did become a cause for the US when it gave the Japanese the impossible ultimatum to withdraw from China but by then the die for war was cast. Until 1941 the US had tacitly accepted Japan’s position in China. At the very least it was not something the US was going to go to war with Japan over.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think this was a well written history. I have looked for books on China, but there jsut isn't much history for a closed society. Pre-WWII events in Asia are an interest to me and the author illustrates out some key points in this book. How the west wanted to deal with China and how Japan viewed them.
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One of the best book I have read about the Sino - Japanese war - many new and little known information Franco managed to find is really a gem and what makes this book stands out.

Very detailed backed up with maps - slightly long winded - as most scholar are, is a minor distraction to what is a very excellent book
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