The Battle for China: Essays on the Military History of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945


Published By

Stanford University Press

December 2010



The Sino-Japanese War has inspired numerous specialized studies—some analyzing diplomatic relations, some addressing specific incidents, and still others documenting the rise of Communism in China. The war itself, however, has usually been presented from the perspective of the West.

Departing from this tradition, the Battle for China brings together Chinese, Japanese, and Western scholars of the first rank to provide a comprehensive and multifaceted overview of the military operations that shaped much of what happened in political, economic, and cultural realms. Given the volatility of the events covered and their disputed histories, the volume's diverse contributors have taken pains to sustain a scholarly, dispassionate tone throughout their analyses of the course and the nature of military operations, ranging from the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937 to the final campaigns of 1945. They present Western involvement in the war, but in Sino-Japanese contexts, and establish the war's place in World War II and world history in general.


"[The Battle for China] is by far the best academic treatment of the military history of the [Sino-Japanese] war in English . . . A chronology, fourteen maps, and a select bibliography in three languages make this an indispensable work for historians of modern China . . . In scope, it is the most comprehensive work on the military history of the war in English. It makes available a diverse body of scholarship, much of which has not been translated. It should stimulate additional research into one of the most significant events in the history of modern China."

-Parks M. Cole, Chinese Historical Review

"The Battle for China, an excellent collection of more than a dozen essays by nearly a score of American, British, Chinese, and Japanese scholars, is the first full English-language account of the Sino-Japanese War. Its unique description and analysis of military operations should please both the general reader and the specialist."

-Colonel Stanley L. Falk, ARMY Magazine

"A model of scholarship and tone, the Battle for China is a uniquely comprehensive overview of the military operations that shaped events in both China and Japan from 1937–1945. Each of the chapters has something to teach general readers and specialists about the semi-modern war that defined modern Asia."

—Dennis Showalter, Colorado College

"The Battle for China is a rare treasure that will likely renew interest in this underdeveloped field. For those interested in the Pacific war or greater insight into modern Chinese history, I highly recommend it."

-Major Robert S. Burrell, United States Marine Corps, Naval History Magazine

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