A Clash of Empires


A Clash of Empires, the South Wales Borderers at Tsingtao, 1914
by John Dixon
ISBN 978-1-84494-052-3

A Clash of Empires is the story of the Tsingtao campaign of 1914, an almost forgotten piece of British military history which was, by comparison with the later events of the Great War, a very small-scale affair. Its importance should not be underestimated in either the story of the Great War or the history of the Far East.
For the British, the story of Tsingtao is essentially the story of the involvement of the South Wales Borderers (now part of the Royal Welsh), which was the only regiment to serve alongside the Japanese during the Great War. The broader story concerns the reasons behind the involvement of the Japanese as Britain’s allies and examines the part played by the British in China in the years leading up to the war, including a short account of the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion. The reasons behind the 1914 campaign against the Germans in Tsingtao is examined in some detail as are the events that brought about acceptance of the Japanese as an ally.
The siege of Tsingtao is examined using both first-hand accounts and the official records of the belligerents. It is a story which encompasses the naval actions and the politics of the situation in the Far East in 1914.

326pp, 175 x 245mm, case bound, dust jacket, fully illustrated, index.

The Author
John Dixon graduated with a doctorate in geology from Cardiff University in 1983 since when he has worked in the construction industry with a number of the country’s top consultancies and has been involved in some major construction projects during the last twenty-five years.
His interest in the Great War stems from the stories he heard from his family when growing up in the Ebbw Valley. He has researched many aspects of the conflict over the years but has taken a particular interest in the Monmouthshire Regiment and the fighting around Ypres in 1915. A frequent visitor to the battlefields of France and Flanders, he has acted as guide on a number of occasions. He is an active member of the south Wales branch of the Western Front Association and was part of the committee responsible for raising the Mametz Wood Memorial to the 38th (Welsh) Division.  He is the author of the definitive history of the Monmouthshire Regiment in the Great War (three volumes) and Magnificent But Not War, a study of the second battle of Ypres. He lives with his wife in Caerphilly.

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