Author: Jakub Polit
Institution: Wyższa Szkoła Handlowa w Krakowie
Year of publication: 2016
Source: Show
Pages: 42-59
DOI Address:
PDF: ap/19/ap1902.pdf

Problems and mysteries of the World War II in Asia, 1937–1945

There are still many mysteries concerning World War II in Asia, especially its most forgotten chapter: the Sino-Japanese War. We still know very little about secret negotiations between Guomindang (Kuomintang, KMT) and Tokyo, end even less about British-Japanese negotiations 1939–1940, when, after the Nazi-Soviet Pact and during the Finnish (“Winter”) War the possibility of improvement in their relations (and even anti-Soviet cooperation), seemed to be open.
New “revisionist studies” by some authors (as Jay Taylor, Rana Mitter, Peter Worthing) rehabilitate President Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek) as combat commander, diplomat and military administrator. One of the most inexplicable campaigns of the entire war remains Japanese Ichigō off ensive (1944), which ruined KMT’s state and leave the field to the unattacked Communist armies in North China. Origins and real causes of this undertaking are still obscure.
We know very little about relations within triangle Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek) – Mao Zedong – Wang Jingwei (head of pro-Japanese puppet Government in Nanking, previously a close collaborator of Sun Yat-sen), but it is certain, that both Chiang and Mao maintained secret contacts with Wang regime. A fresh look, based on new sources, destroy the myth about immense American wartime support for fighting China. One has also bear in mind that the relations between CCP and Moscow, always complex and delicate, changed several times during the war. In theory CCP recognized hierarchical subordination to Moscow, although practice significantly differed and concrete benefits for Mao (in particular after the Yalta conference) constituted the key elements of concern. The last Chinese peace offer during the war, the so-called Miao Bin Mission in Tokyo (spring 1945) also remains mysterious. There are opinions that Japan and Nationalist China could both have been spared much destruction and victims if this operation had had a better fate. These are the most important problems, which the Author indicates as deserving to be solved.

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