Author

Harold Stephens

Published

November 2002

Pages

366

ISBN

0-9642521-8-X

Take China

The occupation of China by US Marines both before World War II and after the war are part of our forgotten history. What little that has been written about the China Marines we find only as casual references in memoirs of retired generals and diplomats. Never have we heard the story as seen through the eyes of a young, unlettered Marine private who served in China after the war. “We were not loading ships to go home;” he wrote. His division was stationed on Guam after the battle of Okinawa, waiting to be sent home. “We were loading ships to go to China to repatriate the Japanese forces. That was the reason they gave, but there were other factors at hand which they didn’t tell us. These we would find out for ourselves much later. All we knew now was that we were going to a foreign land we had knew existed, nor did we know exactly why we were going. We made no decisions, and controlled no destinies, not even our own. We were told to pack our gear, and to load the ships. That was all we knew.”

When asked why he wrote a war book some 55 years after he experienced it, the author said, “I felt it was a story that had to be told. History is being re-written and facts are becoming lost. People today cannot understand why we dropped the atomic bomb, and how do you tell them the bomb actually saved lives. The world turmoil we are facing today is nothing new. As young Marines we faced terrorists, dealt with human rights and learned child abuse in its worst form. As young 17 and 18-year old Marines in China we faced a whole communist nation, and we did it alone. Not so long ago, when a US spy plane was forced to land in Red China, no one quite knew what to do. When the same thing happened in Tsingtao, China, 1945, no one asked what we had to do. We knew. Our company, some 250 Marines, boarded a Navy landing craft, sailed into the communist controlled Shantung Peninsula waters and stormed ashore to rescue our pilot and plane.” TAKE CHINA is an autobiographical story about a complicated and confused world which was known to only a few, and almost forgotten today. Take China is a story of intrigue and betrayal, and a unique love story in which the author must choose between a Chinese bar girl and a White Russian woman looking for roots.

Printed Copy
USD 14.95

In Stock. Your book will be shipped from either Asia or US depending on your location.

Digital Download
USD 8.00

Once you order and your payment is confirmed you will be sent a link where you will be able to download a PDF version of the book.

Book Rating

Rated 5.00 out of 5
5.0
  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant narrative o f the time. My husband was a …
    Bynitpickeron February 11, 2015
    Excellant narrative of the time. My husband was a China Marine, from the same division but different companies from the war in the Pacific to home after leaving China. Brought a new prospective on understanding my husband. I have given a book to each of our children.

    5.0 out of 5 starsAn excellent novel about being in China post WW2.
    ByWW2 Marine Veteranon December 4, 2011
    This is the 3rd novel I have read on Marines in China during post WW2. I was there for 3 months in Tientsin & Peking making a total of 35 months in the Pacific while fighting the battles of WW2. It’s a very definitive novel of the Marines and their Navy Corpsmen who served in the Pacific and in China. It tells of the struggles a Marine and his beautiful Chinese wife had with the Chinese & Russian Communists.

    5.0 out of 5 starsAuthentic memoir of a real adventurer
    ByRealiston January 16, 2016
    A great memoir, of his time as a marine. Inspiring and thrilling. Just one of the amazing experiences that Harold Stephens has gone through.

    5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
    ByTedon April 29, 2015
    As good as it gets!

    5.0 out of 5 starsLasting Impressions
    ByRebecca of Amazon
    HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE
    Format: Paperback
    “We were not loading ships to go home; we were going to China to repatriate the Japanese forces. That was the reason they gave, but there were other factors at hand which they didn’t tell us. These we would find out for ourselves later. All we knew now was that we were going to a foreign land we hardly knew existed, nor did we know exactly why we were going. We made no decisions, and controlled no destinies, not even our own. We were told to pack our gear, and to load the ships. That was all we knew.”
    Harold Stephens has dedicated this book to the men of the 29th Marines Sixth Marine Division. He served with them at the Battle of Okinawa and during the occupation in China, as China Marines.
    What happened between October 15, 1945 and May 1949 is the story of the last of the China Marines.
    Harold Stephens is a brilliant writer who captures place, time and situation all in the first few pages. You are instantly drawn into this story. He is famous for his travel writing.
    In this book he gives vivid descriptions of his time on ships and tells of times when they were caught in storms for sixteen endless hours. His descriptions of the bathhouse are amusing. Then there are always the mechanics of eating with chopsticks.
    Harold Stephens also presents brief descriptions of the horrors of war. The sheer brutality of the rapes and treatment of women is shocking, even when you know how evil humans can be.
    He balances the book with stories of love and at times the price of love in foreign countries.
    ~The Rebecca Review

    4.0 out of 5 starsVivid memories mixed with fiction…
    ByA customeron January 17, 2004
    Format: Paperback
    I went to Tsingtao as a 17 year old Marine PFC in June ’47 and lived through many of the events that were brought out in the book. Walking my post at the docks in the freezing cold, handing over my almost empty food tray to Chinese workers so they could scrape off the remains into an old coffee can (and being labled a “gook lover” by some of my fellow Marines for doing so), going through the barren countryside to the Lao Shan mountains, spending time in Peiping just before it fell to the communists. Stayed until we withdrew from the Marine compound to go aboard ships in February 1949. The book was factual in many areas, but I realized it was more of a novel with the addition of the personal relationships with the bar girls. I recall that, even though we became attached to the girls, very few Marines took them seriously, and I don’t recall anybody getting as much liberty as the writer. I came across words that I hadn’t heard in 55 years and it was a worthwhile nostalgic trip back in time.

    3.0 out of 5 starsHistorical Fiction?
    ByA. LOWEon January 5, 2004
    Format: Paperback
    I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast read and seemed historically accurate. Although I was looking for something non-fiction on this subject. There really isn’t anything on this questionable period in the history of our US Marines. The book did confirm some of the facts that I had been looking for. But since the book is considered “fiction,” I would not consider it a primary source for research.
    All in all, a good read.

Write A Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *