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 recognised 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. 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 gruelling war in the trenches two decades earlier, the Nanjing campaign was a fast-paced mobile operation in which armour and air power played mayor roles. It was blitzkrieg two years before Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Facing the full might of modern, mechanised 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
NANJING 1937 Battle for a Doomed City
Nanjing 1937 offers a detailed account of the most vicious campaign that was primarily waged between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan that preceded the infamous Nanjing Massacre during the Second Sino-Japanese War.