Books | Pre War 1941 | Japan in WWII | Symposium

Storm Clouds Over the Pacific, 1931–1941 by Peter Harmsen


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Storm Clouds Over the Pacific begins the story long before Pearl Harbor, showing how the war can only be understood if ancient hatreds and long-standing geopolitics are taken into account. Peter Harmsen demonstrates how Japan and China’s ancient enmity grew in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries leading to increased tensions in the 1930s which exploded into conflict in 1937. The battles of Shanghai and Nanjing were followed by the battle of Taierzhuang in 1938, China’s only major victory. A war of attrition continued up to 1941, the year when Japan made the momentous decision for all-out war; the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor catapulted the United States into the war, and the Japanese also overran British and Dutch territories throughout the western Pacific.

“An excellent resource for understanding the relationship between China and Japan, past and present.“ — New York Journal of Books

Paperback only.