Books about China

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China

Books - China
Imperial Chinese Armies, 1840-1911, Philip S. Jowett. Looks at a period of somewhat chaotic and ultimately unsuccessful reform in the Chinese armies, which still saw a dramatic transformation from armies that would have been familiar to the original Manchu emperors to a recognisably modern, if somewhat chaotic army. As a result the book covers an unusually wide range of troop types, from bowmen to machine gunners! You'll probably struggle to find an Osprey that covers as much change and variety in such a short period [read full review]
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Defending Heaven - China's Mongol Wars 1209-1370, James Waterson. Focuses on the Song Dynasty's long battles with northern nomads, their final destruction by the Mongols after a fierce struggle, the short-lived Mongol Yuan dynasty and its overthrow by the rebels who eventually formed the Ming Dynasty. This is a splendid account of a complex but critical period of Chinese history. [read full review]
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Shanghai 1937 - Stalingrad on the Yangtze, Peter Harmsen. Looks at one of the first major urban battles of the Twentieth Century, a Chinese attempt to expel the Japanese from Shanghai and distract them from the fighting in northern China that expanding into a major battle and led to some of the first major atrocities of the conflict between Japan and China. [read full review]
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China's Wars - Rousing the Dragon 1894-1949, Philip Jowett. Covers the period from the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 to the Communist victory in the Civil War of 1946-49, a period dominated first by the warlords who ripped China apart and then by the Japanese who attempted to take advantage of the chaos to establish their own brutal Empire in China. [read full review]
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The Art of War, Sun Tzu. A beautifully presented edition of one of the classics of military thought. Printed on high quality paper (it shows), and bound using a traditional Chinese method which involves sewing the pages together using holes punched close to the inner edge. Has the Chinese text on one page with the English translation facing it. [read full review]
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An Airline at War, Robert L. Willet. A history of the China National Aviation Corporation, a joint venture between Pan Am and the Chinese Government. The airline struggled against Japanese aggression, poor facilities, the Communists and the terrain, but managed to survive for 20 years, playing a massive part in the development of the 'Hump' - the air route across the Himalayas that was the only way to get supplies into China for much of the Second World War. [read full review]

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Chinese Walled Cities, 221 BC-AD 1644, Stephen Turnbull. A fascinating look at this little-known topic, covering a very long time span, with detailed case studies of key fortified cities and accounts of a number of sieges. Includes some excellent pictures of a number of very impressive surviving city walls. [see more]
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Pirate of the Far East: 941-1644, Stephen Turnbull, Osprey Warrior 125. This book covers a long period of time and a fascinating and often neglected subject. It shatters some of the myths about the pirates of this area and period and highlights the interaction and impact of the Wako on Japanese historical events.  It described several of the sea lords of the Japanese and works well as a companion book with other Ospreys covering the ships of the period and the Japanese invasion of Korea. [see more]
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Turnbull Eastern Siege 1Siege Weapons of the Far East: AD 612-1300 v. 1, Stephen Turnbull, Osprey, 2001, 48 pages. This is a lovely illustrated book which covers a mostly neglected area of Far Eastern warfare. Its colour plates and diagrams are dramatic and impressive [see more]
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Turnbull Siege 2Siege Weapons of the Far East: AD 960-1644 v. 2 , Stephen Turnbull, Osprey, 2002, 48 pages. The companion piece to volume 1, this work concentrated on gunpowder weapons and defensive items. [see more]
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