Immediately after capturing the Chinese capital, Nanjing, on December 13, 1937, Japanese soldiers committed atrocities such as mass executions, rampant rapes, arson, and looting in and around the city. The carnage went on for weeks. On January 6, 1938, after the worst of the massacre atrocities was over, three American diplomats arrived in Nanjing. Upon their arrival, Third Secretary John Moore Allison, Vice Consul James Espy, and Code Clerk Archibald Alexander McFardyen, Jr. cabled dispatches about the atrocities and other conditions in the city to the Department of State and other U.S. diplomatic posts in China. Often, they dispatched several reports within a day. These atrocity reports, which were largely based on interviews with American missionaries and their own investigations, gave detailed descriptions of Japanese atrocities, property damage, social conditions, relief efforts, diplomatic wrestling, and many other aspects of life in the city during and after the massacre period. The value of these diplomatic dispatches and reports, which were retrieved from the national archives, rests on that they extensively document the American diplomats' role, their observations and attitude toward the situation there, their efforts to help the Chinese and protect the Americans, and their struggles with the Japanese.
Publisher: University Press of America
Number of pages: 394
Weight: 744 g
Dimensions: 240 x 161 x 29 mm
The Nanjing Massacre, the looting, buming, and rape of the Chinese capital by Japanese troops in December 1937, is a subject of interest and debate among historians and non-historians alike. It has been the subject of numerous academic and popular histories, documentaries, films, and articles....Lu has painstakingly researched and tracked down all the relevant material, placing it in chronological order and annotating all the biographical and geographical details....it is an excellent supplement to a general history....providing extensive biographical information for all the nationalities...For a student looking for a primary source, an historian looking to track down locations of the massacre, or a reader looking to expand their knowledge of the Nanjing Massacre, A Mission under Duress is a valuable addition. * Canadian Journal of History *
[The author] deserves our praise and thanks for scouring the globe to collect primary sources - the kind of grunt work that too many of us avoid or even disdain. * Chinese Review International *