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The Siege of Tsingtau (Hardback)

The German-Japanese War 1914

WWI 1914

By Charles Stephenson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 244
ISBN: 9781526702920
Published: 19th June 2017

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The German-Japanese War was a key, yet often neglected, episode in the opening phase of the First World War. It had profound implications for the future, particularly in respect of Japans acquisition of Germany's Micronesian islands. Japan's naval perimeter was extended and threatened the United States naval strategy of projecting force westward. The campaign to relieve Germany of Tsingtau, the port and naval base in China, and its hinterland posed a grave threat to Chinese independence. The course of the Second World War in China and the Pacific cannot be explained without reference to these events.

Charles Stephenson's account makes fascinating reading. The siege of Tsingtau by the Japanese, with token British participation, forms the core of his story. He draws on Japanese and German primary sources to describe the defences, the landings, the course of the siege, and eventual German surrender. His study will be absorbing reading for anyone interested in the campaigns of the First World War outside of Europe, in German colonial expansion and the rise to power of Japan.

Overall the volume delivers a much needed, interesting and often highly detailed overview of operations in the Pacific and the siege of Tsingtau. The volume excels especially in its detailed narrative of naval and land operations in the Pacific and in China. The geopolitical background provides a most useful introduction to the history of the region.

International Journal of Maritime History, August 2018 - reviewed by Sandra Barkhof, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK

The expert or the reader unfamiliar with this topic will learn much from this work. It is recommended.

The Northern Mariner, Winter 2018 – reviewed by Robert L. Shoop Colorado Springs, Colorado

Absorbing reading for anyone interested in the campaigns of the First World War outside of Europe, in German colonial expansion and the rise to power of Japan. Although primarily a military book there is significant naval content including a most interesting collection of photographs.
A good read and recommended.

Marine News

The book was enlightening not least because this is an area of the war seldom if ever covered and for that the author is to be congratulated in focusing our attention on this theatre of war.

An absolute must-read. 10/10

The Great War magazine, November 2017 – reviewed by Mark Marsay

This is one of those WWI campaigns that has received very little coverage by historians. The horror of the Western Front has seized the attention of historians and although it was a very important element of WWI, there were many other very important elements, such as that covered by this excellent book – Highly Recommended.

Read the complete review here.

Firetrench

‘The Siege of Tsingtau’ is a good read which makes one think about the wider implications of a nation adopting a maritime strategy. The events of 1914 in the Asia-Pacific deserve to be better known then they are at present. It would make a good case-study for any naval or military professional wishing to develop their own strategic thinking. A little surprise that is well worth the effort!

Read the complete review here.

Australian Naval Institute, Dr Gregory P. Gilbert

provides the general reader with a worthwhile account of Germany’s dalliance in the region, followed by a little known naval and military campaign in the opening months of the Great War that was to have far reaching consequences well into the 20th Century.

Australian Army Journal, The Canberra Times and Great War Forum

The story of the several infantry attacks is told in considerable detail, culled direct from four volumes that were published by the General Staff of the Japanese Army in 1915 and 1916. A large, absorbing and engaging part of the book concerns itself with the complex and changing political alliances, manoeuvres, deceptions and agreements, all explained with great clarity and, remarkably, providing a very good read. A fair bit of this is concerned with Naval affairs in the area, which played a significant part; also playing a part were the fledgling air corps of both main combatants and we see early - very early - attempts at improvised bomb dropping, reconnaissance and even the dropping of propaganda leaflets.

The book has been very extensively researched and ends with a large section of Notes and a substantial bibliography. The cover of the book gives a clear indication of its contents. A very enjoyable read and highly recommended.

Casemate, 110, September 2017 - reviewed by Charles Blackwood

This book has been extensively researched and ends with a large section of notes and a substantial bibliography. A very enjoyable read and highly recommended.

Guild of Battlefield Guides

Overall this book opened my eyes to scale and scope of WWI and I am grateful to have read it.

Read the complete review here.

A Wargamers Needful things

This excellent book will appeal to anyone who would like to learn more about this largely forgotten theatre of operations – whether
they are interested in the wider context or simply want to read a blow-by-flow account of a set piece siege which was characterised by the use of weapons and tactics which would become all to familiar in the much larger conflict beginning to play out in Flanders and beyond.

Read the complete review here.

Walking the Battlefields, Phil Curme

As featured in.

The Daily Mail 5/5/17

About Charles Stephenson

Charles Stephenson is an established author on naval and siege warfare and the history of fortifications, with the following books in print: The Fortifications of Malta 1530-1945, Zeppelins: German Airships 1900-40, The Channel Islands 1941-45: Hitler's Impregnable Fortress, The Admirals Secret Weapon: Lord Dundonald and the Origins of Chemical Warfare and Germanys Asia-Pacific Empire: Colonialism and Naval Policy, 1885-1914. He was Consultant Editor and a contributor to Castles: A History of Fortified Structures: Ancient, Medieval & Modern. He is also the creator of the three books that (thus far) constitute the Samson Plews Collection.

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The Great War helped China emerge from humiliation and obscurity and take its first tentative steps as a full member of the global community. In 1912 the Qing Dynasty had ended. President Yuan Shikai, who seized power in 1914, offered the British 50,000 troops to recover the German colony in Shandong but this was refused. In 1916 China sent a vast army of labourers to Europe. In 1917 she declared war on Germany despite this effectively making the real enemy Japan an ally. The betrayal came when Japan was awarded the former German colony. This inspired the rise of Chinese nationalism and communism,…

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