Tuesday, June 26, 2018
As excerpted from a "The Reader's Companion to Military History" article by Arthur Waldron the topic of which is the Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek.
"Long compared unfavorably to Mao Tse-tung, Chiang has yet to find biographer, and until recently most assessments of him have been closer to that of Joseph Stilwell who ridiculed him . . . than to that of Owen Lattimore, who considered him a 'great man.' But a recent confirmation of the staggering human cost of Chinese Communism has vindicated Chiang's judgment of its threat, while the corruption and disorder of post-Mao China serve as reminders of how intractable were the problems he faced."
Chiang Kai-Shek great as in the Biblical sense! Best understood as a man wielding a lot of power. Not necessarily for good or bad. Merely wielding.
The war record of the Chinese Nationalists both BEFORE and AFTER Pearl Harbor and indeed in the aftermath of Japanese surrender controversial and a matter for discussion.
Chinese Nationalist troops fighting the Japanese their effort described often as half-hearted, lackadaisical and poor. Chiang in particular always portrayed by the media of the time as more interested in fighting the communists and Mao rather than the Japanese invader.
A full, complete and unbiased understanding of the Chinese war effort during the Second World War the scholarly effort fraught with difficulty? See a previous blog entry dealing with this topic.
Influential elements of the foreign press too their portrayal of Chiang less than flattering and in perhaps even an intentional and malicious manner?