Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze

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9781612001678: Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze
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This deeply researched book describes one of the great forgotten battles of the 20th century. At its height it involved nearly a million Chinese and Japanese soldiers, while sucking in three million civilians as unwilling spectators and, often, victims. It turned what had been a Japanese adventure in China into a general war between the two oldest and proudest civilizations of the Far East. Ultimately, it led to Pearl Harbor and to seven decades of tumultuous history in Asia. The Battle of Shanghai was a pivotal event that helped define and shape the modern world.

In its sheer scale, the struggle for China’s largest city was a sinister forewarning of what was in store for the rest of mankind only a few years hence, in theaters around the world. It demonstrated how technology had given rise to new forms of warfare, or had made old forms even more lethal. Amphibious landings, tank assaults, aerial dogfights and most importantly, urban combat, all happened in Shanghai in 1937. It was a dress rehearsal for World War II—or perhaps more correctly it was the inaugural act in the war—the first major battle in the global conflict.

Actors from a variety of nations were present in Shanghai during the three fateful autumn months when the battle raged. The rich cast included China's ascetic Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his Japanese adversary, General Matsui Iwane, who wanted Asia to rise from disunity, but ultimately pushed the continent toward its deadliest conflict ever. Claire Chennault, later of “Flying Tiger” fame, was among the figures emerging in the course of the campaign, as was First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. In an ironic twist, Alexander von Falkenhausen, a stern German veteran of the Great War, abandoned his role as a mere advisor to the Chinese army and led it into battle against the Japanese invaders.

Written by Peter Harmsen, a foreign correspondent in East Asia for two decades, and former bureau chief in Taiwan for the French news agency AFP, Shanghai 1937 fills a gaping chasm in our understanding of the Second World War.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue

1. Three Corpses
2. Black Saturday”
3. Flesh Against Steel
4. “Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!”
5. Rivers of Blood
6. Verdun of the East
7. The “Lost Battalion”
8. Collapse
9. Aftermath

Order of battle
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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About the Author:

Peter Harmsen has been a foreign correspondent in East Asia for two decades for international media organizations such as the Economist Intelligence Unit, Bloomberg and AFP.

Review:

"Harmsen crisply narrates the battle, weaving together large unit movements and personal vignettes from mid-ranking officers and enlisted men. Clear maps illustrate each phase of the fighting, as do many fine photographs." --Journal of Military History, July 2015

"More original than many works in Chinese, while also being much more readable... A moving and fluent narrative which describes a desperate and bitter battle in vivid prose." --Journal of Research of China's Resistance War Against Japan, June 2014

"Peter Harmsen has produced an engaging and detailed work that will appeal to both general readers and specialists alike."--Journal of Chinese Military History

"Mr Harmsen is an excellent writer. The book rattles along like a modern techno-thriller." --The Wargamer

"'Shanghai 1937' has all the elements of a fabulous historical novel... Comparisons by online reviewers to Antony Beevor, author of 'Stalingrad' and 'Berlin,' are justly deserved." --Taiwan Today

"What's special about this book is its comprehensiveness, shifting between Chinese, Japanese and foreign points of view.... Also uses the memoirs of numerous foreigners. In this respect it is richer than many works in the Chinese language." --Shenzhen Special Zone Daily

"Engaging account of a little-known battle... practically nothing else in English tackles this topic at this level." --Stone and Stone

"Dramatic documentary thriller... extremely high information and entertainment value." --Jyllands-Posten

"I recommend it heartily. Even if you thought you knew all there was to know about the Second World War, if you haven't read up on the Sino-Japanese conflict, you've missed one of its principal roots." --PJ Media

"The photographs included are fantastic, other editors would do well to look at how the selection has been made here... If you are looking to expand your world knowledge to the Middle Kingdom, have a look at this book." -- War History Online

"Takes the casual reader as well as the avid military history enthusiast on a horrific journey down the blood-soaked alleys and warravaged suburbs of one of China's greatest cities... a must-read." --Sampan

"Fills a huge historiographical void" -- Weekendavisen             

"Genuinely shines by interlacing the chronology with plenty of personal anecdotes and quotidian details... Exposes the banal cruelty of war, in the same vein as All Quiet on the Western Front." --City Weekend Shanghai

"An engrossing study that goes far to fill the gap in the historiography of a neglected theater of operations and the first large-scale urban battle of the war." --Michigan War Studies Review

"This book is meticulously researched, and vignettes are included from generals and privates alike... gives a sense of the battle's breadth and horror." --Military Heritage

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Book Description Casemate Publishers, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This deeply researched book describes one of the great forgotten battles of the 20th century. At its height it involved nearly a million Chinese and Japanese soldiers, while sucking in three million civilians as unwilling spectators and, often, victims. It turned what had been a Japanese adventure in China into a general war between the two oldest and proudest civilizations of the Far East. Ultimately, it led to Pearl Harbor and to seven decades of tumultuous history in Asia. The Battle of Shanghai was a pivotal event that helped define and shape the modern world.In its sheer scale, the struggle for China's largest city was a sinister forewarning of what was in store for the rest of mankind only a few years hence, in theaters around the world. It demonstrated how technology had given rise to new forms of warfare, or had made old forms even more lethal. Amphibious landings, tank assaults, aerial dogfights and most importantly, urban combat, all happened in Shanghai in 1937. It was a dress rehearsal for World War II-or perhaps more correctly it was the inaugural act in the war-the first major battle in the global conflict.Actors from a variety of nations were present in Shanghai during the three fateful autumn months when the battle raged. The rich cast included China's ascetic Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his Japanese adversary, General Matsui Iwane, who wanted Asia to rise from disunity, but ultimately pushed the continent toward its deadliest conflict ever. Claire Chennault, later of"Flying Tiger" fame, was among the figures emerging in the course of the campaign, as was First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. In an ironic twist, Alexander von Falkenhausen, a stern German veteran of the Great War, abandoned his role as a mere advisor to the Chinese army and led it into battle against the Japanese invaders.Written by Peter Harmsen, a foreign correspondent in East Asia for two decades, and currently bureau chief in Taiwan for the French news agency AFP, Shanghai 1937 fills a gaping chasm in our understanding of the Second World War. Seller Inventory # AAC9781612001678

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