When the Japanese Empire went to war with the Allies in December 1941, it had already been fighting in China for 10 years. During that time it had conquered huge areas of China, and subjugated millions of people. The Japanese needed to control the Chinese population in these occupied territories, and for this reason they set up governments from amongst the leaders of the Chinese who were willing to cooperate with them. These so-called 'puppet' governments were designed to rule on behalf of the Japanese while firmly under their overall control. In turn, the puppet governments needed their own armed forces to help them maintain control over the populace and so they raised their own 'independent' armed forces. These puppet armies were large in number, reaching a total of well over 1 million before 1945. Although poorly armed and equipped, these forces had an influence on the Japanese war effort through sheer numbers.The Chinese puppet soldiers ranged from the well-drilled and trained regular Army of the Last Emperor of China, Pu Yi, who ruled the newly-formed state of Manchukuo, 1932-45, to the irregular Mongol cavalry who served alongside Japanese troops in the 'secret war' waged in the Mongolian hinterlands. The troops were dismissed as traitors by the Chinese fighting the Japanese, and they were equally despised by the Japanese themselves. The troops were motivated by a range of reasons, from simple survival to a loyalty to their commander. The fact that so many Chinese were willing to fight for the Japanese was embarrassing to all sides, and for this reason has been largely ignored in previous histories of the war in the East. In the first of a three-volume series, Philip Jowett tell the story of the Chinese who fought for the Japanese over a 14 year period. He describes in detail the organization, training, actions, uniforms and equipment of these forces, including detailed orders-of-battle. Volume 1 contains many rare and previously unpublished photos, as well as color plates illustrating the uniforms and insignia of the armies. The air forces and navies of these states are also described in detail, incl. color aircraft profiles. In a series of appendices, the author provides selected orders of battle as well as biographies of notable military commanders. This is a fascinating insight into a hitherto-neglected aspect of Second World War and Asian military history. This is a limited edition reprint of just 500 copies, each copy numbered and signed by the author.
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Philip Jowett was born in Leeds in 1961 and now lives in north Lincolnshire with his wife and two children. He is a military historian and writer with an interest in all aspects of the 20th Century. His special area of interest is Asian military history 1900-45, and he has been researching pro-Japanese forces for many years. His previous books include a series of three Osprey Men-At-Arms on the Italian Army 1940-45 and two on the Japanese Army 1932-45. Philip's first book, Chinese Civil War Armies 1911-49 touched briefly on the 'puppet' armies covered by this volume.
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