Building a "Total Mobilization State": Thinking About War and Society in 1920s Manchuria

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After the First World War, Chinese officers in the Fengtian Army were eager to learn the lessons of the war so that China and the Chinese regime in Manchuria could survive the next war. The officers did not stop at the technical and tactical aspects of the war but urged changes in the state and in society. Specifically, they argued that the creation of a "total mobilization state," namely, the militarization of society and expansion of the state's responsibility in controlling the economy and the lives of the people, was the means to prepare for the inevitable conflict against the potential aggressors, Japan and the Soviet Union. However, before many steps were taken to build such a state, the Fengtian leadership made a series of strategic mistakes that left Manchuria almost defenseless against the Japanese invasion of September 1931.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

User-Defined Keywords

  • Manchuria
  • China
  • Japan
  • mobilization
  • war


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