Scars of War: The Impact of Warfare on Modern China by Stephen MacKinnon, Diana Lary

By Stephen MacKinnon, Diana Lary

All through its glossy heritage China has suffered from gigantic destruction and death from struggle. In its worst sessions of battle, the 8 years of the Anti-Japanese warfare (1937-45), hundreds of thousands of civilians misplaced their lives. yet in China, the tale of recent war-related dying and affliction has remained hidden. The Rape of Nanking is starting to be identified, yet thousands of different massacres are nonetheless unrecognized by way of the skin international or even via China itself. the point of interest of Scars of War is the social and mental, no longer the commercial, charges of warfare at the nation. The publication is illustrated with modern images and woodblock prints. each one bankruptcy is brought via a conventional chinese language asserting (cheng-yu) on conflict.

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39 Not unexpectedly, such incidents against apparently innocent people only served to heighten the antagonism of the Hunan people towards the Northern invaders. 40 28 Edward A. McCord The nature of the conflict in Hunan, and of the armed forces involved, thus helps to explain why Northern troops were more likely than Southern soldiers to turn with violence on the civilian population. There are other patterns in this violence, though, that demand other explanations. Whereas Northern forces were generally responsible for the worst atrocities, not all Northern forces committed atrocities.

One single article written in September 1919 noted examples of this type of extortion by officers or soldiers in Changsha, Xiangtan, Lukou, Lingling, Liuyang, 25 26 Edward A. 26 Obviously some actual violence was needed to make the threats accompanying such extortion credible. Giving free rein to soldiers to loot was also a cost-effective means to pay and provision an army on campaign. 27 Commanders choosing this route of troop "payment" could hardly object to the violence committed by their troops in the process.

47 Given Zhang's indifference to troop discipline, his officers could hardly be expected to behave any better. "48 Obviously, then, the character and disposition of individual commanders played an important role in determining the extent to which any particular military force maintained discipline in its relation to the civilian population. Burn, Kill, Rape, and Rob Recognizing differences in commanders as a factor in military discipline does not, however, simply reduce the problem of military atrocities to an issue of good versus bad commanders.

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