Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze
Casemate, 3. mai 2013 - 320 pages
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 ChinaÕs 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 IIÑor perhaps more correctly it was the inaugural act in the warÑthe 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 ÒFlying TigerÓ 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.
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aircraft American Geographical Society arrived artillery Asahi Shimbun attack August Author’s collection Baoshan battalion battle of Shanghai Beijing bombs bridge Chen Cheng Chiang Kai-shek Chinese Chinese Army Chinese commanders Chinese defenders Chinese soldiers civilians Courtesy Asahi Shimbun Dachang defense dier Division’s DSBS enemy Falkenhausen Feng Yuxiang fighting fire force foreign French Concession front frontline Geographical Society Library German advisors Gu Zhutong Guangxi Guo Rugui Hongkou Huangpu River injured International Settlement Japan Japanese soldiers killed landing large number Luodian machine gun marines Matsui military moved Nanjing NCDN nese night North China November October officers ofthe planes positions Press Pudong rd Division regiment road Ruifu September Shanghai area shells Songhu Kangzhan Sun Yuanliang Suzhou Creek tactical Taipei tanks th Division th Infantry Division Third War Zone Tokyo unit wrote Wusong Creek Yang Ruifu Yangtze Zhabei Zhang Boting Zhang Fakui Zhang Zhizhong Zhongguo