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Under the Dragon Flag My Experiences in the Chino-Japanese War

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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

32 review for Under the Dragon Flag My Experiences in the Chino-Japanese War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    What do you do when you are young and stupid and inherit a fortune? Gamble it all away, of course. And what do you do after that? Well, if you are anything like our author James Allan, you meet a drunken sailor and he convinces you that the best thing to do is go to sea. No experience? No problem! No Able-Bodied Seaman certificate? Don't worry about a thing, happens all the time, you'll learn on the job! So off you go on your new adventure, and you certainly get more than you bargained for. This What do you do when you are young and stupid and inherit a fortune? Gamble it all away, of course. And what do you do after that? Well, if you are anything like our author James Allan, you meet a drunken sailor and he convinces you that the best thing to do is go to sea. No experience? No problem! No Able-Bodied Seaman certificate? Don't worry about a thing, happens all the time, you'll learn on the job! So off you go on your new adventure, and you certainly get more than you bargained for. This little memoir was published in 1898 and tells of Allan's experiences during what at the time was the recent war between China and Japan over Korea. At first I thought it would be an 'innocent ship gets caught up by accident in a naval battle' type of book. But Allan's ship Columbia (not the actual name, we are told at the very end) is not all that innocent: the American owner had a contract to deliver guns and ammunition to the Chinese, and after unloading that cargo, they carried some Chinese troops down the coast. Now if you are like me, you will have had no idea about this short war,but it was quite an issue in the Orient at the time. From Wiki: The First Sino-Japanese War (1 August 1894 – 17 April 1895) was fought between Qing dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea. After more than six months of unbroken successes by the Japanese land and naval forces and the loss of the Chinese port of Weihai, the Qing leadership sued for peace in February 1895. The war demonstrated the failure of the Qing dynasty's attempts to modernize its military and fend off threats to its sovereignty, especially compared with Japan's successful post-Meiji Restoration. For the first time, regional dominance in East Asia shifted from China to Japan; the prestige of the Qing Dynasty, along with the classical tradition in China, suffered a major blow. The humiliating loss of Korea as a vassal state sparked an unprecedented public outcry. Within China, the defeat was a catalyst for a series of political upheavals led by Sun Yat-Sen and Kang Youwei, culminating in the 1911 Revolution. Other than being gun-runners and carrying troops, what did our heroes do? After their duties were over, they had to take their Chinese agent down to Port Arthur and somehow Allan's ship left without him. So he was trapped in the town of Port Arthur when the Japanese troops arrived, and he witnessed the massacre of civilians by the Japanese troops, barely escaping alive himself. He says the Chinese soldiers treated any captured Japanese soldiers horribly, and admits that although this is not an excuse he can understand the fury of the Japanese when they see the mutilated bodies of their comrades displayed throughout the town. Apparently even to this day the actual number of people killed is debated. Some claim 'only' 1000. Others insist as many as 20,000. Allan does not keep count, but he does see some horrific sights as he makes his way through the city to freedom. I would not have cared for Allan at all if he had ever once sounded whiny about his experiences. But he told his story matter-of-factly, and hoped at the end that his tale would help whatever young man might find himself about to head down the same type of road. I wonder if it ever did. And I wonder when Man will learn that even just ONE person killed should be considered a massacre.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bill Lively

    This is a recounting of James Allen's experiences in the Chino-Japanese War, 1894-1895. The merchant ship that Allen worked on accidentally left him behind when it set sail from Port Author. Allen's first hand report of the atrocities, by both the Chinese and the Japanese, during and just after the battle are graphic and not for those with a weak stomach. Absolutely no mercy was shown by either side. After the fall of Port Author to the Japanese no one was spared, men, women and children were sl This is a recounting of James Allen's experiences in the Chino-Japanese War, 1894-1895. The merchant ship that Allen worked on accidentally left him behind when it set sail from Port Author. Allen's first hand report of the atrocities, by both the Chinese and the Japanese, during and just after the battle are graphic and not for those with a weak stomach. Absolutely no mercy was shown by either side. After the fall of Port Author to the Japanese no one was spared, men, women and children were slaughtered indiscriminately. Allen experienced a number of very close calls and was fortunate to have survived to tell his tale. This book was published in 1898 and can be downloaded free-of-charge from the Internet.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    Fantastic little story of an Englishman who gets sucked into the First Sino-Japanese War. Detailed enough that I'm *pretty* sure it's non-fiction. Seems embellished in parts. And some accounts of atrocities are quite depressing. But a great read if you like books from this period, or if you've never read about the war in question (Wikipedia is always there to help).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Noah

  5. 4 out of 5

    Linda Childs

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn

  7. 4 out of 5

    Josh W.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jacinto Bowks

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Parfitt

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bodacius

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kris

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shon

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shay

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gabriela Melo

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shery George

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  17. 4 out of 5

    Malak

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jacqui

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wai Chung Tse

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ian

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maria Martino

  22. 4 out of 5

    Josiah

  23. 4 out of 5

    Fritz

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jodilyn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Collins

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary McVaugh

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shery George

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eric Henderson

  31. 5 out of 5

    Leon

  32. 4 out of 5

    Fritz

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