Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Back in 2015 I made an unplanned trip to Taipei, during which I managed to squeeze in the briefest of visits to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. As luck would have it, my presence coincided with the hosting of a modest exhibition commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in WWII.
On display were paintings of the sort favoured by Asian military museums (which is to say their inattention to historical accuracy and general shoddiness would in all likelihood preclude their inclusion in Osprey books) highlighting some of the Sino-Japanese War’s greatest hits:
Major Kao Chih-hang’s Curtis Hawk III of the 4th Pursuit Group was credited with scoring the first Chinese air victory of the war.
Refugees streaming into the Shanghai International Settlement.
The accompanying caption failed to mention that the successful defence of Changsha in 1938 and 1942 were ultimately offset by the city’s loss in 1944 (third time’s a charm, what?!).
A typical day in Chungking, which the Japanese bombed continuously between 1938 and 1943.
The great Mongyu meet-up of 1945, where the Chinese army in Yunnan rendezvoused with its American-equipped expeditionary force in Burma.
The surrender ceremony in Nanking. Note the flags of several countries which hadn’t fought, or weren’t in existence then.
General Ho Ying-chin accepting the Japanese instrument of surrender from Yasuji Okamura, c-in-c of the IJA in China.
Of greater interest to wargamers such as us were the smattering of 1/35 afv kits the organisers had very kindly commissioned:
My favourite, though, were the even smaller batch of action figures on show:
In recent years many Chinese hobbyists on both sides of the strait have advocated for an apple green interpretation of the KMT army uniform.
And to end it all, a bloody big diorama of the China theatre of operations. Funnily enough I didn’t feel all that bothered about capturing the thing in its entirety.
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