1st Edition

Stalin, Japan, and the Struggle for Supremacy over China, 1894–1945

By Hiroaki Kuromiya Copyright 2023
    542 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    542 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Stalin was a master of deception, disinformation, and camouflage, by means of which he gained supremacy over China and defeated imperialism on Chinese soil. This book examines Stalin’s covert operations in his hunt for supremacy.

    By the late 1920s Britain had ceded place to Japan as Stalin’s main enemy in Asia. By seducing Japan deeply into China, Stalin successfully turned Japan’s aggression into a weapon of its own destruction. The book examines Stalin’s covert operations from the murder of the Manchurian warlord Zhang Zuolin in 1928 and the publication of the forged “Tanaka Memorial” in 1929, to Stalin’s hidden role in Japan’s invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the outbreak of all-out war between China and Japan in 1937, and Japan’s defeat in 1945. In the shadow of these and other events we find Stalin and his secret operatives, including many Chinese and Japanese collaborators, most notably Zhang Xueliang and Kōmoto Daisaku, the self-professed assassin of Zhang Zuolin. The book challenges accounts of the turbulent history of inter-war East Asia that have ignored or minimized Stalin’s presence and instead exposes and analyzes Stalin’s secret modus operandi, modernized as “hybrid war” in today’s Russia.

    The book is essential for students and specialists of Stalin, China, the Soviet Union, Japan, and East Asia.

    1. War and Romance (1894–1922) 2. Stalin, Zhang, and Tanaka (1922–1929) 3. Japan’s Manchurian Saga (1929–1934) 4. China’s Firetrap (1935–1938) 5. Dénouement (1938–1945)


    Hiroaki Kuromiya is a professor of history emeritus, Indiana University, USA. He has authored, among others, Freedom and Terror in the Donbas: A Ukrainian-Russian Borderland, 1870s–1990s (1998), Stalin (Profiles in Power) (2005), The Voices of the Dead: Stalin’s Great Terror in the 1930s (2007), Conscience on Trial: The Fate of Fourteen Pacifists in Stalin’s Ukraine, 1952–1953 (2012), and Zrozumity Donbas (2015), and coauthored Między Warszawą a Tokio: Polsko-japońska współpraca wywiadowcza 1904–1944 (2009, with Andrzej Pepłoński) and The Eurasian Triangle: Russia, The Caucasus, and Japan, 1904–1945 (2016, with Georges Mamoulia).