Modern Japan Embarked on the path to empire starting with a war against China in 1884–85. Their navy defeated a Chinese fleet, clearing the way for their army to land in Korea, which was then a Chinese dependency.
While China potentially had vast manpower resources, the Japanese were better trained and better equipped. Chinese forces were poorly led, lacked modern equipment and also had to deal with rebellions in the interior of the country.
The Japanese won further victories in Korea and at sea, then pushed into Manchuria. Th e war ended with them controlling Korea, Formosa, the Pescadores and the Liaodong peninsula, the site of Port Arthur. Th e war vindicated the Japanese national strategy of transforming into a major power along Western lines with modern armed forces. They based their army on that of Prussia, and their navy on that of Britain.
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Clearing the Flanks: The Balkans, August–November 1944: By late July 1944, the Germans had suffered a crushing defeat in Belarus and were about to suffer another disaster in Normandy. Those catastrophes led them to withdraw divisions from Romania for deployment to other endangered sectors. On 20 August, 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts opened an offensive between the Black Sea and Jablanica Pass into the Balkans.
The Imperial Japanese Navy: War Plans & War 1922–1941: By the early 1920s, naval planners took it for granted competing interests in the Far East would lead to war. The Japanese saw the US as their main enemy in that war. The US Navy was stronger than Japan’s and America had a larger industrial base. Here is how the Japanese planned to win that coming war despite those disadvantages.
Mexican & Brazilian Air Forces: Though their stories are little known outside their own home countries today, both Mexico and Brazil, as members of the United Nations Grand Alliance, sent combat fighter squadrons to the Pacific and Europe, respectively. Here is that story.
United States Army Mechanized Cavalry Groups in World War II: The mechanization of US horse cavalry took place during the 1930s, and doctrine evolved with that change. While pre-war doctrine focused on reconnaissance, the reality of combat dictated cavalry possess the combat power to effectively engage main force enemy units.