Past Events

14 Apr’16 – Operation Ichigo: China’s Turning Point

operation ichigo

Penang Institute together with The Oxford and Cambridge Alumni in Penang, is proud to jointly organize the upcoming talk by Professor Hans van de Ven entitled “Operation Ichigo: China’s Turning Point” under the Penang in Asia Lecture series.

Date : 14th April 2015, Thursday
Time : 8.30pm – 10.30pm (Registration starts at 8.00pm)
Venue : Royale Ballroom – Royale Bintang Hotel, Penang

1944 saw three important operations in World War II: Overlord, or the Allied invasion of France; Operation Bagration, the USSR’s attack on German positions in Belarus and the Ukraine; and Operation Ichigo, Japan’s offensive in China, its largest on land during WWII. While the first two were Allied victories and sealed the fate of Nazi Germany, the third was an Allied defeat and hence is largely ignored in WWII history. Although Operation Ichigo did nothing to improve Japan’s strategic position, it nonetheless would have enormous consequences. Ichigo’s destruction of Chiang Kaishek’s military forces paved the way for the rise of the Chinese Communists and ultimately their victory in China. Operation Ichigo’s long-term consequences therefore are comparable to those of Overlord and Bagration. This presentation will not only examine the military aspects of the Ichigo Campaign. It will also analyse the Communist response to the opportunities Japan’s offensive created as well as its impact on China’s international relations, especially on Nationalist relations with the USA.

About The Speaker

Hans van de Ven is Professor of Modern Chinese History at Cambridge University. He was educated at Leiden University, where he earned his BA, and at Harvard, where he completed his PH.D. His main interests are the early history of the Chinese Communist Party, the history of China’s Maritime Customs Service between the Taiping and Communist Revolution, and China’s modern military history. His main publications are From Friend to Comrade: The Founding of the Chinese Communist Party (1992), which won the Philip Lillienthal Prize; War and Nationalism in China (2003); and Breaking from the Past: The Maritime Customs Service and the Global Origins of Modernity in China (2014). He has been an organizer of a series of conferences aimed at bringing Chinese and Japanese scholars of WWII together. The Battle for China, a collection of articles on WWII in China he edited, was awarded the 2014 annual book prize of the Society for Military History. Hans is a Fellow of the British Academy.

As seats are limited, please register your interest below.

For further enquiries, please contact the secretariat at 04- 228 3306 or email to

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