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The Great Second World War Vietnam and Java Famines

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This article provides quantitative assessments of the great famines that occurred in Vietnam and Java in 1944-1945, which together claimed the lives of some 3.4 million people. It shows that in both Vietnam and Java, harvest shortfalls, in which weather figured prominently, were so large that insufficient food was available to feed everyone. Nevertheless, in both instances, even with the pressures of war and weather, governments could have acted differently and largely, perhaps even wholly, prevented famine. Although Java's famine had few political repercussions, Vietnam's was instrumental in the August 1945 Viet Minh and communist revolution.




Huff, G. (2020, March 1). The Great Second World War Vietnam and Java Famines. Modern Asian Studies. Cambridge University Press.

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