It was a war that allowed Hitler to support both sides for a while, and Dorn says Chiang Kaishek exultantly helped the Japanese provoke the U.S. into the Pacific conflict. A U.S. military attache in China and friend of General Stillwell, Dorn gives a battalion-by-battalion account which includes his own tactical guidance of the Kuomintang warriors. Dorn, however, refuses to nudge inside the skins of either the Chinese Nationalists or the Japanese, and thus reduces the impact of this epic of looting and extermination to a sterilized assemblage of his reports back to Washington. Specialists will be particularly disappointed by the author's tendency to accept at face value Chiang's paranoia about the Communist Party of China. The book's own evidence shows how Chou En-lai and other Communist leaders again and again actually bailed out the Nationalists, who even in this early period were less than dedicated warriors. Despite its conceptual limitations, this will be a major reference for students and experts.