Here’s my standard disclaimer. I am a fan of military history.  I searched around for something different and found this title.  I thought it was interesting, so I purchased this title as an eBook from Amazon on my own accord. The Author did not send me a copy to review, and did not request that I review this book. A rating will follow this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

I review books based on the story itself. I’m not an editor and I’m not reading these books to proof them for Authors. I’ve read classics or best sellers with mistakes in them. The only time I will let mistakes effect my review is if the mistakes made reading the book cumbersome. At that point, I will just give it a lower number rating while reviewing the actual story itself.

I don’t like reading a review that is basically the back cover blurb, or something that gives away too much of the story. Personally, I like suspense. I like to discover the details of the story as I read them. So, please enjoy this spoiler free book review!

I’m happy to announce that the eighteenth book I’m reviewing on my blog is a book called FORGOTTEN ALLY; China’s World War II 1937-1945 by Rana Mitter.

FORGOTTEN ALLY is a military history non fiction, focusing on China during World War II.  The story focuses on what happened before the war and what happened during the war.  For China, the war with Japan was in the making decades before 1937.  The Author details the rocky relationship between the two nations, as well as how life was for the common person in China before the war.  For average Chinese citizens, life was not easy.  An indifferent government, coupled with the Japanese Invasion spelled disaster for the average citizen.

This was one of the main reasons why I enjoyed the book.  It’s so detailed and you get a real look into the world back then.  You don’t hear much about China during World War II, but fighting there was horrendous.  Not only that, history has been somewhat distorted.  The Nationalists carried more of the burden when it came to fighting and dying, but the Communists won the Civil War after World War II ended.  So we learn more of the Communists experiences during the war, if we learn much at all.  For instance, I didn’t know large Chinese formations fought the Japanese on Burma’s northern border.  The only thing I know about Burma is what happened with the OSS and the Chindits.

There was Mao’s Long March, but I don’t know much else about the fighting in China.  I know of the American Volunteer Group called the Flying Tigers and a few atrocities committed by Japan.  I know of Nanking.  Other than that, it’s a blank.  I also didn’t know how much of China was occupied by Japan.  I thought most of the country was occupied, but it was mainly the coast and a good chunk of the interior.  It was then I found about the different battles in the interior, and the different strategies used.  Like flooding one’ own territory and the destruction it wrought on their own people.

Another aspect I liked was learning about the key players.  You got to see the Japanese, Nationalists, Communists, and the Western Allied leaders (and Generals who dealt with China) during the war, and how they interacted.  It gave the reader a certain insight into the people behind the scenes and why the war played out the way it did.

The book concludes with the end of World War II, but it briefly delves into post War China and what happens between the Nationalists and the Communists.  The Author details how the Nationalists did more to hurt themselves  than the Communists could have done, and how the Civil War ended the way that it did.  Some things just couldn’t have been helped, like environmental factors.  Bad judgments on one side, and a brilliant military leader on the other side sealed the fate, and led us to the China that we know today.

I enjoyed this book.  It didn’t feel like it was more for one side over the other.  It came off as very objective and presented the good and bad of all involved. I recommend this book to WWII buffs who want to see how the war was like in China. I rate this book 4 out of 5!

-PRP3 The Author Media. February 01, 2017

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