Bombing, Civilians, and War: Comparisons between Europe, Japan, and China in World War II

Convener: University of Oxford China Centre

Speaker: Richard Overy (University of Exeter), Sheldon Garon (Princeton University), and Rana Mitter (University of Oxford)

Three historians will discuss the importance of bombing during the Second World War, looking at similarities and contrasts between the experience of Europe, Japan, and China in terms of tactics and the effects on civilian morale.


Richard Overy is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. Among his many books are The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 (2013); The Morbid Age: Britain between the Wars(2009); and Dictators: Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia ( 2004). In 2001 he was awarded the Samuel Elliot Morison Prize of the Society for Military History for his contribution to the history of warfare.

Sheldon Garon is Nissan Professor of Japanese Studies at Princeton University. He is currently working on the effects of bombing on wartime Japan. His transnational history, Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves (2012), examines the connected histories of saving He also coedited The Ambivalent Consumer: Questioning Consumption in East Asia and the West (2006).

Rana Mitter is director of the University of Oxford China Centre and author of China’s War with Japan, 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival (2013).