Published: 15/11/2017
ISBN: 9781788035217
Format: Hardback

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The Royal Navy, China Station: 1864 - 1941
As seen through the lives of the Commanders in Chief
by Jonathan Parkinson

The Navy List for April 1864 is the first to show China as a separate Station. The East Indies, previously including China, now was combined with The Cape Station (1).
The outbreak of the Pacific War in December 1941 was to signal the end of that era.

In addition to a precis of the lives and naval careers of each of the Commanders in Chief, China Station, relevant information is given outlining something of the concurrent internal affairs of China and of Japan. Both are very different but sad tales, the former in decline towards the end of the Manchu Ch’ing dynasty then into the chaotic 1920s and 1930s, and the latter increasingly adopting a militaristic attitude which was to result in their disaster of the Pacific War of 1941-1945.

As a reminder of days long gone are interwoven brief references to the British Consular Service, especially relevant in China, and for a shorter period in Japan, during that era of extraterritoriality, and the British Colonial Service with whom necessarily the Navy worked very closely. In addition, being one important reason for it all, frequent references are made to a few British shipping and trading interests together with those of some other nations. In respect of the career of each Admiral the appropriate references are given at the conclusion of each entry.

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