Bảo Đại

https://youtu.be/rfzHg9wEXV0 Bảo Đại, the last of the Nguyễn dynasty, was the Emperor of Annam (a protectorate within French Indochina) from 1926 to 1945. After the Japanese ousted the Vichy-French administration in March 1945 Bảo Đại was named ruler. He soon renamed...

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Republic of India 

In 1947 India became an independent nation within the British Commonwealth. The eastern and northwest parts of colonial British India were partitioned into the Dominion of Pakistan with the transfer of ~10 million people and the tragic deaths of ~one million people....

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Indonesian Independence

https://youtu.be/-XhCI0tnsT8 Following the defeat of the Japanese in WWII, Indonesia proclaimed its independence in August 1945. What followed was a harsh attempt by the Dutch Empire (with some initial assistance by WWII allies) to recolonize Indonesia. From 1945-49,...

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Yangtze Incident

In April 1949, the HMS Amethyst was en route on the Yangtze River from Shanghai to Nanking China to replace another ship guarding the British Embassy during the Civil War between the Nationalist and Communist Chinese. Early in he morning, the Amethyst received a...

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First North Korean Movie

https://youtu.be/Y-UPCSf6WkQ In 1949, with Soviet financial and technical assistance, Kang Hong-sik directed My Home Village, the first film made in the new Democratic People’s People’s Republic of Korea. Gwan Pil, a poor farmer is deprived of his land by an...

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Mahatma Gandhi Assassinated

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi  (1869 –1948) led Indians in a nonviolent independence movement from British colonization. Known worldwide by his honorific Sanskrit title Mahātmā (high-souled, venerable) he was also called Bapu (Gujarati: endearment for father)...

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Partition of India

  The 1947  partition of India into Hindu and Muslim majorities divided three provinces: Assam, Bengal and the Punjab.     The division of >14 million people according to religious beliefs resulted in large-scale violence, with varying estimates...

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Haiphong Incident

On November 23, 1946 the French navy bombarded the Vietnamese coastal city of Haiphong, killing 6,000 Vietnamese people overnight. The Haiphong shelling was the first in a series of armed clashes leading to the December Battle of Hanoi and the outbreak of the First...

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Philippine Independence

The Philippines was colonized by Spain in the 16th century. In 1898 Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo and U.S. troops ousted the Spanish in the Spanish-American War. However, Philippine independence was thwarted when the U.S. formally annexed the country as part...

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North & South Korea

This rapid-fire video is an excellent summary of Korean history since the 19th century. The division of Korea between North and South occurred after WWII, ending the Empire of Japan's 35-year rule over Korea in 1945. The United States and the Soviet Union occupied two...

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Understanding Korea

Ancient Korea Gojoseon, Korea's legendary first kingdom, was founded in 2333 B.C.E. After its collapse, several small kingdoms coalesced into the Three Kingdoms Period (Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla) around the year zero C.E. Gradually assuming power, Silla consolidated...

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Vietnam After WWII

French Indochina was formed in the late 19th century by combining three Vietnamese regions (Tonkin, Annam and Cochinchina) with Cambodia, Laos and Guangzhouwan. With the fall of France in 1940, the control of the colony shifted to the Vichy French who allowed military...

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Momotaro the Sea God Soldier

This scene from Momotaro the Sea God Soldier (桃太郎 海の神兵), the first Japanese feature-length animated film, was directed by Mitsuyo Seo. Commissioned by the Japanese Naval Ministry, the film, released in 1945 by the Shochiku Moving Picture Laboratory, was a sequel to...

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The German War

  Using German archival records and letters and diaries of both civilians and soldiers during WWII, The German War - A Nation Under Arms, 1939–1945  by Nicholas Stargardt is a fascinating book that illustrates the strong civilian support for Germany's armed...

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Eternity

Eternity (万世流芳), a controversial collaborative film effort between Japanese and Chinese filmmakers, was made in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in 1943. Relating the story of Lin Zexu and the Anglo-Chinese First Opium War, the film was a Japanese attempt to produce...

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INFERNO

I am currently reading this excellent book by Max Hastings. Not only is it detailed, balanced and well-referenced; it is superb writing. Before dawn next morning, "a warm, damp, rather hazy day," American and Japanese pilots breakfasted. The Yorktown's men favoured...

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Third Reich Falters

Until the winter of 1942-1943, the German army was victorious in an almost unbroken chain of battlefield successes. All of Europe lay under German domination. However, after a successful advance into Russia in the summer of 1942, Soviet forces halted the Wehrmacht in...

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Japanese Juggernaut

  In early 1942, an Imperial Japanese military juggernaut rolled across the southern Pacific, sweeping Western imperialist powers away.   Here are three major reasons for Japanese success in early 1942: Western powers were simultaneously weakened by civil...

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WWII China

It is reasonable to say that WWII began, not with the 1939 Nazi invasion of Poland, but with a battle on the outskirts of Beijing in July 1937. After occupying Manchuria in 1931, Japan began a wider invasion of China in 1937. By the end of WWII in 1945, ~13-20 million...

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Greater East Asian Co-operation

The Declaration for Greater East Asian Co-operation was an elementary school pamphlet published in Japanese colonies and occupied territories in 1942. With reference to Confucian benevolence, colorful illustrations of the Japanese Empire's multi-cultural aspects were...

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The Light of Asia

At war, Japan required large amounts of petroleum, scrap iron, and other raw materials. While 55 percent of its oil came from the USA, Indonesia supplied 25%. After the German occupation of Holland, Japan demanded vital natural resources, especially oil from the...

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Japanese Premier Visits Yasukuni Shrine

Today's headline elicits emotions reminiscent of an earlier time. 12/25/13  TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan visited a contentious Tokyo war shrine early on Thursday, provoking swift condemnation from China and South Korea, both victims of Japan’s wartime...

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Hong Kong Falls

    On Christmas Day 1941 ("Black Christmas") the Governor General of Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese. In the 18-day battle, the British suffered 11,848 casualties and Japan suffered 2,754. Following the surrender, Imperial Japanese troops committed...

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Allies Out of East Asia

On October 18th, 1941 His Majesty the Emperor visited a provisional festival at Yasukuni Shrine and offered prayers for those who died in the war. At 10:15 a.m., when the prayers were offered, all the people offered a silent prayer throughout the country. At 10:20...

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