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Chinese Civil War
Transcript of Chinese Civil War
Type of War
Between two opposing parties in China: The CCP (or CPC) and the KMT (or GMD)
A war between Nationalists and Communists
Led by Jiang Jeshi (or Chiang Kai-Shek) and Mao Zedong
To establish government and gain power
Guerrilla warfare was used by the communists
It was started and led by Mao specific rules of guerrilla warfare
A big role in why and how communists encountered success
It was a civil war, and so not all of the countries resources were used up to win the war
Chiang believed the war with the communists was much greater a concern than the war with Japan
By Katherine Lee and Sarah Jivani
Origins and Causes of the Chinese Civil War
• In the 1900s, China was ruled by the imperial Manchu dynasty
• Vast majority of the population were peasants (80%)
• The peasants lived a hard life – they had to work the land, were extremely poor, and faced starvation often.
• China was a very imbalanced nation
Political corruption and strong influence of foreign powers
European imperialist powers destabilized China's Manchu government by exploiting them.
Britain defeated China in the mid 1900s during the Opium Wars
Was influenced by the Europeans, Britain and Japan.
China was forced to sign unfair treaties that gave the imperialist powers enormous power and control over their trade and territory.
The Manchus were faced with inflation and corruption
Long term causes
Short term causes
Nature of the 20th Century War
Fall of the Manchu Dynasty
Resistance and Revolutionary movements
Within China, there was a growing belief that the Manchu Dynasty should be overthrown so that democracy could be introduced
Political weakness of the Manchus grew with the death of the Emperor and succession of a two-year old boy.
In October 1911, the dynasty was overthrown in the Double Tenth revolution, a republic was created and military soldiers in Wuchang revolted, rebellion spread. Many provinces declared themselves independent of Beijing.
One month later, the creation of the Chinese Republic was declared
Dr Sun Yatsen was invited to be the first President
Strategies & Tactics
After the abdication of Yuan, China went into a state of disarray, and broke up into small states and provinces, each controlled by a warlord and his army.
The warlords ruled their territories independently, had their own laws and even currencies.
A sense of nationalism was increasing - China felt humiliated that if the warlords continued their rule, it would stay divided.
Effects and Results of the War
This Civil war had not yet come to an end, it had just come to a halt due to the second Sino-Japanese war (July 7 1937- Sept. 9 1945)
The Second United Front was formed on 24 December 1936 to fight growing Japanese aggression which became a full scale invasion of China in 1937.
The KMT was forced (kidnapped, arrested) to agree to this temporary end to the war as wanted to continue fighting and be victorious.
While in the brief alliance, the KMT and CCP still wanted territorial advantage in the now "Free China" (not occupied by Japanese or puppet governments)
While they fought the Japanese, they also attacked each other from time to time and tried to build their military strength
The May Fourth movement
Movement in response to the warlords and foreign influence in China, began in 1919
Students led a huge demonstration against the warlords, traditional Chinese culture and the Japanese
This movement was dedicated to change as well as rebirth to China as a strong, independent nation
Constant political unrest as both parties were fighting and did not hold ultimate power over the country. No government could be established
There were still many ruling warlords (due to alliances the nationalists held with them)
Chiang attempted to take over as many politically important locations (provincial capitals) to suppress the peasant population
There was corruption within the nationalist government
The country grew further away from being unified (KMT's goal) which it had worked towards in the northern expedition. The country grew more apart due to support for different parties: ideologies, actions, etc.
The peasant received more attentions, as Mao gained support from focusing on the peasant population which made up around 88% of China's population. Their discontent helped to for local militia.
Nationalists relied on conscripted soldiers.
From approximately the 100'000 people that went on the long march, only 35 were women, all spouses of leaders and men of high positions.
The first part did not have many impacts on the role of women as the second part of the Chinese civil war or the Sino Japanese war did.
What went on at the homefront, between the different troops also played a role in deciding the end of the war
Ruled as a dictator from 1912-15.
Under his rule, there was regionalism, and this blocked China in becoming united
Sun's party reformed as the Kuomintang (KMT) and declared itself a parliamentary party.
Yuan proclaimed himself Emperor in 1916. He lost the support of the military and died three months later.
Communists and Nationalists
When Sun died in 1925, the KMT made no significant progress towards their goals.
General Jiang Kai-shek became leader of the KMT
The Soviets, believing they could foster good relationships with a nationalist China and started to provide them with aid and assistance.
Along with the KMT, another party emerged, called the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
Attempt of a unified China
The KMT and CCP both wanted a united China. In order to achieve this, the warlords had to be abolished and the freedom from foreign imperialist powers attained.
The two parties united and was called the First United Front. In 1926 they set out on the "Northern Expedition" and defeated the warlords
In 1928, they took Beijing, and destroyed the warlord's powers
The KMT announced that it was the legitimate government of China and the new capital and seat of government would be Nanjing.
KMT attacks CCP
Despite the results of the Northern Expedition, China was not unified.
Having defeated the warlords, the two parties were divided because of different ideologies.
Jiang decided he could no longer tolerate the KMT because of the popular communist support.
He expelled all communists from the KMT and his attacks reached a peak in Shanghai during the "White Terror" in April 1927
The KMT carried out attacks known to be the "purification movement"- was the massacre of thousands of communists, and peasant leaders.
By the end of 1927, the CCP was nearly annihilated, and they decided to flee to the Jiangsi mountains. The KMT chased them.
During the war there was an economic blockade placed on the Jianxi soviet region by the nationalists.
inflation in the country during these years due to poverty and the over printing of their money.
Corruption in the government; the tax was not reaching the central government but instead only stayed at the provincial levels
The existence of warlords continued to allow extremely bad conditions for the peasants.)
By 1937 most basic industries were in place such as the ability to design construct and operate railways. There was also an improvements in agriculture.
Umm, I found some websites that might help you clarify this:
Jiang carried out the "Five Encirclement Campaigns" in an attempt to destroy the CCP at the Jiangsi mountains.
Strategy: encircle the Reds (communists) and cut off their supplies
The CCP focused their strategy on survival in the mountains where they built their military force.
Despite facing the large army of the KMT, their brilliant tactics helped them defeat the Nationalists.
Mao's strategy: allow KMT to enter their territory and attack the scattered units.
KMT was forced to back in March 1933
Quote from Zhu De "They [KMT] failed because such guerrilla warfare requires not only a thorough knowledge of the terrain of the battle area but also the support of the common people." from C.Brown and T.Edwards, Revolution in China 1911-1949, 1983
Reasons why the CCP were successful:
1) The KMT did not have the support of the peasants
2) Poor strategy. The KMT held onto the cities, which were easily enclosed by villages controlled by the Communists
3)Deng Xiao Ping, Zhu De and the other Communist generals were excellent strategists.
Resistance from Peasants:
As this was a civil war, there was not much resistance from groups of people against different countries, or events which occurred (aside from pre civil war which was resistance to gain for reform and change)
The peasants were opposed to the nationalists during the war as Chiang Kai Shek supported the landlords and still taxed the peasants while Mao promised them rights and land during the Northern expedition, and when he was fighting the KMT.
This resistance from 88% of the population was a huge reason the KMT could not succeed.
The resistance also showed the support Mao had over the lack of support Chiang had from his soldiers who were conscripted and did not get paid what they had been promised due to internal corruption.
The Shanghai Massacre
First half of the civil war did not include naval warfare
Chiang Kai-Shek Rifle used by the Nationalists
Machine Guns were highly prized
Artillery is mostly field guns of short caliber
Mortars in high calibers (up to 8 in.) made up for the lack of field artillery
Warlord armies among the nationalists carried lance and swords with their Mauser rifles.
rifle used: Hanyang 88, a copy of the German Mauser 88
Warlord armies also used armoured tanks, trains and cars
Tanks include: Renault FT-17 light tanks
Post war economic problems
Five Encirclement Campaigns
The Long March
Leader of the CCP
Had strong support for the peasants which helped Communism to flourish
Played a major role in the establishment of the Red Army and the development of a defensible base area in Jiangxi province during the late 1920s and early 1930s
Mao was responsible for many of the political initiatives that transformed the face of China. These included land reform, the collectivization of agriculture, and the spread of medical services
and Territorial changes
After the war, many railways, dams, canals and other forms of transportation were destroyed
Inflation caused by the war - a lot of money was needed to battle in this war.
Inflation led to food shortages and people starving
Economy became worse - high unemployment
Pay attention to:
the pictures (living conditions at that time)
stop video at Nanking comes to an End
1. What details do you see in the photograph and what do you think it represents?
2. What valuable information could you gather from the photograph
3. What valuable information could you gather from the description of the photograph and what does this say about the nationalists? (strategy?)
In a war of revolutionary character, guerilla operations are a necessary part. This is particularly true in a waged war for the emancipation of a people who inhibit a vast nation. China is such a nation, a nation whose techniques are undeveloped and whose communications are poor. She finds herself confronted with a strong and victorious Japanese imperialism. Under these circumstances, the development of the type of guerilla warfare characterized by the quality of the masses is both necessary and natural.
These guerrilla operations must not be considered as an independent form of warfare.
They are but one step in the total war, one aspect of the revolutionary struggle
What is the relationship of guerrilla warfare to the people? Without a political goal, guerrilla warfare must fail as it must if its political objectives do not coincide with the aspirations of the people and their sympathy, cooperation, and assistance cannot be gained.
There are those who say, "I am a farmer," or, "I am a student"; "I can discuss literature but not military arts." This is incorrect. There is no profound difference between the farmer and the soldier. You must have courage. you simply leave your farms and become soldiers. That you are farmers is of no difference and if you have education, that is so much the better.
We can prolong this struggle and make it a protracted war only by gaining positive and lightning-like tactical decisions; by employing our manpower in proper concentrations and dispersions; and by operating on exterior lines in order to surround and destroy our enemy.
Philip, S Jowett, Stephen Andrew. Chinese Civil War Armies 1911-49. London: Osprey, 1997. Print.
(One of Peter Newark's military photos)
Selections from On Guerrilla Warfare (1937) By Mao Zedong
The battle between the CCP and KMT still remained yet to be fought after the second Sino-Japanese War
In order to deal with the Japanese, the two groups merged and formed the Second United Front - the fight between them merely halted and continues after the defeat of the Japanese invasion in the second Chinese civil war.
No territorial changes
Powerful warlords could have large air forces such as Chang Tso Lin who had 100 aircraft (latest models) including Breguet-14 light bombers.
It is mentioned that planes were used during the encirclement campaigns
Not much information is provided on air weapons used.
Peace Settlements & Alliances formed
The purge carried out by KMT of CCP, an immediate cause that acted as a catalyst to the start of this war.
April 12 1927
resistance of KMT members (nationalists), specifically Chiang, to the communists as they wanted to establish power with their ideologies
Considered by some as a counter revolutionary coup against the communists
5-6000 people captured were executed
The Nanchang Uprising
Autumn Harvest uprising
August 1, 1937, armed resistance led by the CCP
in teh Nanchang Jianxi province to counter the anti-communist purges made by the KMT
uprising of the peasants September 7, 1927 led by Mao and the communist party at that time
Defeated by KMT forces and forced to retreat between Hunan and Jianxi provinces where it was safe
First uprising by communists/resistance
marked significant change in strategy