By Christopher Miskimon
The years between the end of World War II and the start of the Korean War were relatively quiet years for the United States, but across the Pacific Ocean one of the most significant conflicts in modern history took place, setting the stage for events right up to the present day. With the Japanese enemy gone, the Nationalists and Communists in China finally culminated their long conflict in an intense and hard-fought civil war. Millions of soldiers, equipped with a mix of leftover wartime and indigenously produced weapons struggled for control of a struggling nation with immense latent power. Neither side could claim the moral upper hand; brutality and hardship marked the war years for both soldier and civilian. In the end the Communists succeeded in pushing the nationalists off the Chinese mainland and onto the small island of Taiwan, where their descendants remain to this day. The war cost five million lives and enabled Communist China to evolve into the powerhouse it is today.
Newly revised and updated, this beautifully illustrated edition of Osprey’s classic work on the Chinese Civil War is a must for those seeking to understand modern China, its attitudes and many of its current actions.
The Chinese Civil War 1945-49 (Michael Lynch, Osprey Publishing, Oxford UK, 2022, 144 pp., maps, photographs, bibliography, index, $20, softcover)