Wars have the unsettling ability to make countries lose their equilibrium. And normal trajectory. One of the reasons why I hate wars. They end up wasting resources on a colossal magnitude. If the uk had not got involved in the Iraq and afghan wars, all that material and money and men could have helped the country recover from recession better. Our leaders got distracted. And this will keep on rumbling on for a long time.
Second, history is very west centric at least what's taught here in the uk. But for you son, china will be important. Just like USA was/is for me. So you need to know and learn where they are coming from. The rivalry between Japan and china is important. China has had geopolitical disputes with pretty much every neighbour. It's a strange country. Spend much time learning about it.
Mark R. Peattie, Edward J. Drea, Hans J. van de Ven, eds. The Battle for China: Essays on the Military History of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945.Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010. Illustrations, maps. 664 pp. $65.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8047-6206-9.
Reviewed by Roger H. Brown (Saitama University)
Published on H-War (December, 2012)
Commissioned by Margaret Sankey
The Sino-Japanese War of 1937-45 was immense both in its scale and consequences. Nevertheless, Western military histories of World War II have focused overwhelmingly on the campaigns of the European and Pacific theaters, and those specialized studies of the conflict that do exist deal primarily with such matters as diplomacy; politics; mass mobilization; and, in more recent years, Japanese atrocities and public memory. Indeed, as the editors of the volume under review attest, “a general history of the military operations during the war based on Japanese, Chinese, and Western sources does not exist in English” (p. xix). In 2004, Japanese, Chinese, and Western scholars gathered to remedy this situation and in the belief that such a close study of the operations and strategy of the Sino-Japanese War would “illustrate that, in this period, warfare drove much of what happened in the political, economic, social, and cultural spheres in China and Japan.” They further recognized that because “much of the best scholarship on WWII in East Asia is naturally produced in China and Japan,” there was a need to “bring the fruits of Chinese and Japanese work to the attention of a wider public” (p. xx). Granting that the resulting volume is not exhaustive, the editors seek to bridge the inevitable gaps with “a general overview of the military campaigns, an accompanying chronology, and introductions to the several sections into which the chapters are grouped” (p. xxi). With that caveat behind them, coeditors Mark R. Peattie, Edward J. Drea, and Hans J. van de Ven declare that the contributors have provided “an authoritative introduction to the military course of one of the greatest conflicts of the twentieth century” (p. xx). Their confidence is not misplaced, for The Battle of China beautifully fulfills the objectives they have laid out for it and will be gratefully utilized by readers interested in the history of the Sino-Japanese War, World War II, and modern warfare in general.