THE AMERICAN LEGATION GUARD ANNUAL. Peking, China, 1933. Volume II, No. VII.

Original publisher's patterned red cloth with gilt decoration and titles to the upper cover. Illustrated throughout with black and white photographs and drawings. A very good copy, the binding square and firm with rubbing to the gilt and a little bumping to the extremities. The contents with a previous owner's inscription blacked-out on the front free endpaper are otherwise in excellent order and clean throughout.

The annual of the American Legation Guard, based at the US legation (embassy) in Peking, documenting the events of the year, providing a historical and contemporary discussion of the Legation Guard, the city of Peking, and Sino-Japanese hostilities, as well as recording the daily lives of Guards, focussing in particular on social and sporting events, and providing photographs of each soldier. The Boxer Protocol, agreed following the Chinese defeat in the Boxer Rebellion of 1899-1901, gave the victorious nations the right to station soldiers in Peking's Legation Quarter, with the US generally having the largest number. The role of the Legation Guard was to defend the Quarter from a repetition of the Boxer Rebellion, and also to secure the roads and railways from Beijing to Tianjin, thus providing a line of escape from China for foreigners, should it be needed. The editor-in-chief Evans Carlson (1896-1947) spent three tours of duty in Shanghai during the 1930s, where he served as adjutant, studied the Chinese language, and spent time as a military observer with the Chinese forces, offering him the opportunity to learn the tactics of both Chinese and Japanese soldiers. An encounter with Edgar Snow (author of "Red Star Over China"), led him to visit the Chinese communist troop headquarters in northern China, where he met Chinese Communist leaders such as Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. He later travelled thousands of miles through the interior of China with the communist guerrillas, whose tactics impressed him deeply. During the Second World War, Carlson became renowned as the legendary leader of the Second Marine Raider Battalion - or "Carlson's Raiders" - which he modelled on the communist forces he had observed. The battalion's most famous engagement - the raid on Makin Island (1942) - gained Carlson his second Navy Cross (he gained his third later that year for extraordinary heroism and distinguished leadership on Guadalcanal). A scarce book documenting the history of the US presence in China during the early twentieth century.

Stock code: 18358

£425

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