The Making of the Modern Chinese Navy' includes 14 historical case studies that help to illuminate a number of special characteristics of the modern-day Chinese navy. The Chinese Navy embodies a number of special features that modern-day Chinese naval officers perhaps take for granted, including a belief in the Mandate of Heaven, tributary system, and the fear of 'losing face' either in a diplomatic setting or by risking valuable equipment in battle. Ethnic and language differences, regional loyalties, and political mistrust potentially exacerbate these problems. Special peculiarities include the Mongol dual-officer diarchy that led to the political commissar system utilized by the People's Liberation Army. Outside influences, such as blockade, sanctions, and embargoes, can exert a profound impact on China, just as foreign intervention or, equally important, a decision not to intervene, can often determine the outcome of major maritime events.
The 14 case studies discuss many of these characteristics, while the Conclusion examines all case studies together and places them in a historical perspective. Do Chinese still worry about 'face', and in particular about 'losing face'? What impact does the Mandate of Heaven have on modern Chinese? Will Han Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait go to war to determine which dynasty should rule all of China? Does the PLAN worry as much about mutiny as earlier dynasties? What is the impact of foreign intervention, foreign decisions not to intervene and secret diplomacy? 'The Making of the Modern Chinese Navy'assesses which of these historical characteristics and peculiarities are still present in full force in China and which ones may no longer have as great an impact on the contemporary Chinese navy.
This book examines the Avar siege of Constantinople in 626, one of the most significant events of the seventh century, and the impact and repercussions this had on the political, military, economic and religious structures of the Byzantine Empire. The siege put an end to the power politics and hegemony of the Avars in South East Europe and was the first attempt to destroy Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. Besides the far-reaching military factors, the siege had deeper ideological effects on the mentality of the inhabitants of the Empire, and it helped establish Constantinople as the spiritual centre of eastern Christianity protected by God and his Mother. Martin Hurbanic discusses, from a chronological and thematic perspective, the process through which the historical siege was transformed into a timeless myth, and examines the various aspects which make the event a unique historical moment in the history of mankind - a moment in which the modern story overlaps with the legend with far-reaching effects, not only in the Byzantine Empire but also in other European countries.
This is the first monograph dedicated to the history of Greek military service for the Achaemenid Persian Empire and the Kingdom of Egypt from the rebellion of Cyrus the Younger to the conquests of Alexander the Great. Through careful analysis of the political contexts of their recruitment and detailed reconstructions of their performances as soldiers and generals on the battlefield, Jeffrey Rop overturns the traditional view that the Greeks who fought in the Near East were mercenaries hired for their superior military skills as heavily armored hoplites. The presence of unprecedented numbers of Greek infantry in the armies of Persia and Egypt is not evidence that the levies of these states were militarily inferior or deficient, but a clear sign of unprecedented foreign political influence among the most powerful leaders and cities of Greece for much of the fourth century.
This book is a study of the Russo Japanese War of 1904-1905, as seen through the eyes of the British Naval Attache, Captain William Pakenham. The complicated set of international relations at the turn of the century is reviewed, as well as the balance of sea power in the Far East, which was a matter of considerable importance to the British government. The role of the naval attache was thus of considerable importance, particularly once war had broken out.
Pakenham quickly became a trusted colleague of Admiral Togo, the Japanese commander-in-chief, and went to sea with the Japanese fleet during the great battles of the naval campaign.
The war had already begun before Pakenham arrived in the Far East, commencing with a lightning strike by the Japanese at the Russian base of Port Arthur. Once there Pakenham sent a stream of comprehensive reports not only describing the naval actions but also dealing with crucial matters relating for instance to the design of warships, developments in gunnery and the use of torpedoes. These were closely studied at the British Admiralty, at a time when the revolutionary design of the new battleship Dreadnought was under consideration.
Pakenham, who came from a well-known naval family, was one of those personalities around whom legends grew, and he was certainly well established as an eccentric. He was greatly admired by his Japanese hosts for the courage he displayed under fire.
Famous for Calvados apple brandy and Camembert cheese, Normandy is a green and pleasant land now dotted with thousands of British-owned second homes. Its coastline is also dotted with thousands of indestructible reinforced-concrete bunkers and gun emplacements that formed part of the Atlantic Wall of Hitler's Fortress Europe.
Tourists passing through the ferry ports like Boulogne, Cherbourg and Dunkirk may wonder why there are so few old buildings. Few know that the demolition which preceded the extensive urban renewal of the ancient town centres was effected by British bombs during four years of hell for the people living there. Before its belated liberation three ghastly months after D-Day, the sirens in Le Havre wailed 1,060 times to warn of approaching British and American bombers. After one single Allied raid, over 3,000 dead civilians were recovered from the city's ruins, without counting the thousands of injured, maimed and traumatised survivors.
So, whom did the Normans regard as the enemy: the German occupiers who shot a few hundred civilians or the Allied airmen who killed as many neutral citizens of northern France as died in Britain from German bombs during the whole war?
Told largely in the words of French, German and Allied eyewitnesses - including the moving last letters of executed hostages - this is the story of Normandy's nightmare war.