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  Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City by Peter Harmsen  This is a different book than you usually read about the fall of Nanjing/Nanking....

Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City by Peter Harmsen Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City by Peter Harmsen

Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City by Peter Harmsen

Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City by Peter Harmsen





 Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City


by


Peter Harmsen





 This is a different book than you usually read about the fall of Nanjing/Nanking. This is really a military history of the fall of the city. I will amend that, it is actually a military history from the loss of Shanghai to the fall of Nanjing. Most books about the campaign really just gloss over the military aspects and are just about the horrific Japanese treatment of the citizens and soldiers left in Nanjing (The Rape of Nanjing). In actuality, you could probably write a book about the horrible crimes inflicted on the Chinese for every single day of Japanese occupation of parts of China.


 The Nationalist Chinese headed by Chiang Kai-Shek had tried to stop the Japanese invasion of Southern China at Shanghai. In doing so they had stopped the Japanese for a few months, in what is generally called the Stalingrad of the East. Unfortunately, the Nationalists had only a few divisions that were well trained and the equal of the Japanese troops. Oddly enough they had been trained by German officers. Those elite divisions were destroyed in the Battle for Shanghai. The author informs the reader of this background leading to the Battle for Nanjing. 


 The book goes from top echelon discussions of strategy and the war in general to stories about single soldiers on both sides of the war without missing a beat. You are shown how most Japanese strangely felt anger to the Chinese for not letting them take over their country. The book also shows the German (this again is odd considering their subsequent alliance with Japan), attempt at peace negotiations between the two powers. 


 The discussions between the highest Nationalists leaders about trying to fight for Nanjing, or just surrender the city, are shown to the reader. You get to see how the Japanese believed that once they captured Nanjing, the Chinese Capital, that the Nationalists would sue for peace. 


 Kudos to the author in being able to show us the top down view of the battles and still be able to tell the story of the individuals involved. The book does go into the hell of the the Rape of Nanjing, but it is not the book's focus. Inside you will find a good many maps that are very nicely drawn to help you to understand the campaign. There are also two different groups of photos showing the people and events in the book. Thank you Casemate Publishers for allowing me to review another excellent book from their stable. Please also take a look at the author's 'Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze'.


Robert

Book: Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City

Author: Peter Harmsen

Publisher: Casemate Publishers








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