Culture & Literature
War in the Pacific

War in the Pacific

War in the Pacific

Through expert features, stunning photography and in-depth battle maps, the book of the War in the Pacific explores some of the Pacific Theatre’s key battles and campaigns, from the decisive naval battle of Midway to the bloody Allied invasion of Okinawa

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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$14.92(Incl. tax)

in this issue

7 min.
the pacific war

SINO-JAPANESE WAR BEGINS 7 JULY 1937 – CHINA Imperial Japan mounts an invasion of China, its giant neighbour, in July 1937. Though much of coastal China is captured, the Japanese Army becomes bogged down fighting inland. In 1941, the US, Britain and the Netherlands impose crippling embargoes on Japan that cut 90 per cent of its oil imports. The Japanese are thereby presented with the difficult choice of either giving up their plans for expansion in Asia or going to war. They choose war and begin planning for attacks on the United States and other Western powers. As for China, it will prove to be far more difficult to conquer than the Japanese anticipated and they will still be fighting in the country when the war ends in 1945. BERLIN-ROME-TOKYO AXIS FORMS Germany, Italy…

3 min.
state of play: 1941

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the island nation of Japan undergoes a swift transformation from a feudal society to an industrialised military and economic power. Its burgeoning ambitions to achieve hegemony in Asia and the Pacific, fuelled in part by the need to obtain natural resources for its military machine and arable land to feed a growing population, place the country on a collision course with American and European interests in the Far East. Sporadically at war with China since 1931, the Japanese Army controls the province of Manchuria and other Chinese lands. By 1941, France capitulates to Nazi Germany, and Japanese troops occupy French Indochina, placing them perilously close to the oil fields and other natural resources of the Dutch East Indies. President Franklin Roosevelt orders an…

18 min.
japan 1937 a state of war

Only a peculiar madness could inspire the aspiration to carve up East Asia. For Japan’s generals and statesmen, however, this was imperative to create a world empire, even when it was unfeasible. How far within a hostile country could an army of occupation travel before it became bogged down? How many soldiers, bullets, tanks, ships and planes would it take? What about the untold millions to be checked by a permanent garrison? And what of the risk of sanctions, of Western interference? None of these quibbles seems to have shaken the Imperial Japanese Army’s resolve as it set about fulfilling an ancient dream, but where this dream originated is hard to discern. What historians now refer to as the Second Sino-Japanese War is commonly overshadowed by the events after 1941. Not…

1 min.
the battle of shanghai

Eager to secure their control over Manchuria, Japan’s militarist clique planned to invade the mainland and force Chiang Kai-shek from power. The first domino to fall would be Shanghai. The problem was the only Japanese forces stationed in Shanghai were a detachment of naval infantry, and sending more would arouse suspicion. There needed to be a reason for the arrival of Japanese troops. Taking their cue from the Mukden Incident and the outbreak of the Philippine-American War in 1899, it was decided that a single ambiguous crisis would launch the war. After Chinese sentries allegedly gunned down a lone Japanese officer in Shanghai, one clash led to another and by 13 August, thousands of Chinese and Japanese troops were already fighting within the city. Lasting for three months, from 13 August to 19…

1 min.
support for china

UNITED CHINA RELIEF Massive US aid to China did not begin until mid-1941, replacing the earlier generosity of the French, Germans and Soviets. NAVY, ARMY, AIR FORCE In this scene, Chiang Kai-shek looks on as his air force and navy arrive to thwart a Japanese armada. EIGHTH ROUTE ARMY IN SHANXI By 1937, the Republic of China already had a vast and modern army for defending itself thanks to foreign aid. NRA ANTI-JAPANESE WAR POSTER In this undated poster, a hulking NRA infantryman clutching a gleaming bayonet overwhelms his child-like Japanese rival cowering beneath him. “MASSIVE US AID TO CHINA DID NOT BEGIN UNTIL MID-1941, REPLACING THE EARLIER GENEROSITY OF THE FRENCH, GERMANS AND SOVIETS”…

1 min.
the rise of hideki tojo

When Hideki Tojo became prime minister of Japan in 1941, Asia was at the mercy of an unremarkable man. Born in Iwate Prefecture to an army sergeant and the daughter of a Buddhist priest, Hideki was the eldest of three sons and groomed for a military career from an early age. As a result, his world view was framed by his martial upbringing. At 1.6 metres tall, with poor eyesight and a career that was mostly spent in staff positions, Tojo was a hard worker with simple tastes. Serving as military attaché to Germany during and after World War I left a deep impression on him and he was smitten by the idea of national industry subordinate to national will. These experiences led to his involvement with the One Evening…