• Storm Clouds over the Pacific, 1931-1941

  • War in the Far East Series, Book 1
  • By: Peter Harmsen
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Storm Clouds over the Pacific, 1931-1941  By  cover art

Storm Clouds over the Pacific, 1931-1941

By: Peter Harmsen
Narrated by: Walter Dixon
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Publisher's Summary

War in the Far East is a trilogy of books offering the most complete narrative yet written about the Pacific Theater of World War II, and the first truly international treatment of the epic conflict. Historian Peter Harmsen weaves together a complex and revealing narrative, including facets of the war that are often overlooked in historic narratives. He explores the war in subarctic conditions on the Aleutians; details the mass starvations in China, Indochina, and India; and offers a range of perspectives on the war experience, from the Oval Office to the blistering sands of Peleliu.

Storm Clouds over the Pacific begins the story long before Pearl Harbor, showing how the war can only be understood if ancient hatreds and long-standing geopolitics are taken into account. Harmsen demonstrates how Japan and China's ancient enmity led to increased tensions in the 1930s, which, in turn, exploded into conflict in 1937.

The battles of Shanghai and Nanjing were followed by the Battle of Taierzhuang in 1938, China's only major victory. A war of attrition continued up to 1941, the year when Japan made the momentous decision to pursue all-out war. The infamous attack on Pearl Harbor catapulted the United States into the war, as the Japanese also overran British and Dutch territories throughout the western Pacific.

©2018 Peter Harmsen (P)2021 Tantor

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Solid history, good level of focus

I had followed European 20th century history much more closely. This Asia-Pacific refocusing is overdue for me, and I am pleased with this book as an entry point, pivoting from my familiarity with World War 2 generally. I can see there are countless more dimensions and threads to follow! This book does a workmanlike, not flashy, but well-detailed job of telling the story, very consistently. The one thing I would change is choice of narrator. Walter Dixon is highly skilled, and his calm, smooth style was perfect for the lengthy Essentials of Risk Management, Second Edition. His performance here is up to his high level of competence, but style-wise, I think a bit more edge, sparkle and punch in the delivery would be better.

1 person found this helpful