This book is the first to examine the modern Chinese General Staff, demonstrating that, institutionally, the late Qing Dynasty placed great emphasis on the high-level staff organization as a means of centralizing and controlling military power. During the period of the Nationalist government, the General Staff was reestablished, bringing together a group of 'military staff' to formulate national defense plans for the impending Sino-Japanese conflict. In terms of thought, the General Staff, affiliated with the War Academy, led in strategic and tactical thinking. Its military studies were deeply influenced by the global flow of military thought, and the national defense plans reflected a background of offensive defense, decisive battle, and protracted war on the battlefield—inspired by Japanese and German military thought. This background significantly influenced the outbreak and course of the Sino-Japanese War and profoundly shaped the long-term evolution of the war situation. Through a comprehensive examination of the institutions and various aspects, this book not only depicts the history of the General Staff but also serves as a comprehensive account of China's military development from tradition to modern. At the same time, the book also explains how Western military thought crossed borders, spread, and was transplanted to China, adapting to the local context and thus providing a global historical perspective.
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