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Thread: Two Republics in China

  1. #81
    From August 14–23, Chiang Kai-shektelegrammed Mao three times to invite him to Chongqing to talk aboutthe future of China. On August 25, the Communist Party issued adeclaration that the national government must recognize thegovernment in YanAn (denoting the local red government of theCommunist Party) and its army in the so-called liberated areas aslawful, and that all the parties were legal and would have toorganize a joint government. On August 26, the Communist Partydecided that Mao should go to Chongqing to negotiate. But the talksdid not produce an agreement, especially about who would take overall the areas occupied by the Japanese army. So while the talks weregoing on, the fighting was going at the same time. For the CommunistParty, when they attacked the Japanese army and the puppet army totake over towns in their possession, they had to fight the NationalArmy as well, as both wanted to take the same town.
    By August 26, the Communist Army took59 towns from the hands of the Japanese. Then under orders from thenational government, the Japanese army and the puppet army attackedthe Communist Army and restored more than 20 towns by the end ofSeptember. The Communist Army changed their original plan; they gaveup the eastern part of the Ping-Han railway line and concentrated onthe northern provinces. So many of the Communist Army set out for thenorth and by the end of November, more than 100,000 communistsoldiers reached northeastern China, the farthest place, where theNational Army could not arrive ahead of them.
    On the 10th of September,the Communist Army attacked several towns under control of thenational government in Shanxi province and took most of them withinten days. Then they surrounded Tunliu. The national defensive army inChangzhi sent 6,000 soldiers to Tunliu, but they were blocked on theway by a communist detachment. This strategy was often used by theCommunist Army to surround some place and lay an ambush along thelikely approach route by which reinforcements would come. So theNational Army from Changzhi could not go to Tunliu and had to returnto Changzhi. On September 12, the Communist Army took Tunliu and cameto surround Changzhi. On the 2nd of October, a nationalreinforcements went to Chingzhi, and as usual, encountered acommunist detachment who came out of ambush and surrounded them. Asthe communist detachment met with strong resistance, they adoptedanother stratagem. They surrounded the national reinforcements fromthree sides, leaving one side open for them to escape, and laidanother ambush down that way. The reinforcements did escape, only tofall into the second ambush, and was wiped out on the 5thof October. This ruse was often used in Chinese war history. It wasnot invented by the Communist Party.

  2. #82
    On the 10th of October,after lengthy peace talks, the National Party and the Communist Partyat last signed an agreement, called the 10/10 agreement, whichcontained the articles to form a joint government, to nationalize thearmies of both sides, and to implement democracy andconstitutionalism.
    Although the peace agreement wassigned, the Communist Party still planned to stop the National Armyfrom going to the northern areas to accept the surrender of theJapanese army there. They looked upon the northern areas as belongingto them, and considered the National Army to be trespassing if theywent there.
    On the 20th of October, whenthe National Army arrived at Zhuang River, on the way to Handan, andon October 22crossed the river, the Communist Army waswaiting for them. On October 24, the National Army broke through theblockade and reached Matou Town in a narrow valley where they wereencircled by the Communist Army. On October 28, more Communist Armytroops came and they began the attack. At the same time the CommunistParty sent an envoy to see the commander of the new 8tharmy of the national government and persuaded him to betray thenational government. On October 30, the new 8th armydeclared their insurrection. On October 31, the main national forcesbroke the encirclement of the Communist Army and escaped south. FromOctober of 1945 to January of 1946, the Communist Army occupied Jinpurailway line, Longhai railway line, Jiaoji railway line, and all thetowns along the three lines. These areas had strategic importance andwere threats to the safety of Nanking and Shanghai.

  3. #83
    America’smediation between the National Party and the Communist Party

    After the outbreak of the Pacific War,beginning with the Japanese raid of the Pearl Harbor, America aidedChina a lot, in both military action and supplies of goods. JosephStilwell, chief of staff of the Allies, came to China. His main jobwas to guarantee that the supplies needed in the Anti-Japanese Warreached the hands of the National Army through the highway from Burmato Yunnan province.
    At the request of the Allies, in early1942, the national government sent its army into Burma, where itwould be under the command of Joseph Stilwell to aid the Englisharmy. But when the Chinese army reached Burma, the English army therewas already defeated by Japan. Then the Japanese army surrounded theChinese army, which, nevertheless, succeeded afterwards in breakingthrough the encirclement, and separated into two parts. The firstpart, under orders from Joseph Stilwell, went to India, and thesecond part returned to Yunnan province through the virgin forest.The international supplies were mostly used in the Burmesebattlefields and only a few reached the national government. ChiangKai-shek was dissatisfied with this and also with the failure of theChinese army under the command of Joseph Stilwell in the Burmese war.Therefore, in 1943, Chiang asked twice for Stilwell to be replaced.But Chiang did not succeed because of the opposition of AlfredMarshall in the United States.
    After the spring of 1944, thewithdrawal of the National Army after the Japanese army attack madePresident Roosevelt send his vice president Wallace to China to seewhat was the real situation. Wallace was not impressed with thenational government of China. In August, three times, PresidentRoosevelt asked Chiang Kai-shek to give the command of the Chinesearmy to Stilwell, but Chiang replied that if he had to give up hiscommand of the army to Stilwell, he would rather break off relationswith the Allies and fight Japan with Chinese forces alone. At length,after consideration, President Roosevelt gave order to replaceStilwell and appointed Wedemeyer for the task, on the 18thof October, 1944.
    Meantime, with the quick development ofthe communist forces, an American delegation headed by ColonelBarrett went to YanAn, in July of 1944, followed on the 7thof November, 1944, by Patrick Jay Hurley, American ambassador inChina, who went to YanAn to talk about the legal status of theCommunist Party. They reached an agreement to end the dictatorshipand one-party rule, to include all the parties in the Anti-JapaneseWar in the joint national government, to recognize the legal statusof all the parties, and to distribute all the supplies among them.

  4. #84
    Patrick Jay Hurley came back toChongqing and had a conversation with Chiang Kai-shek, who had threeconditions: 1) the national government recognized the lawful statusof the Communist Party and would reorganize its army; 2) theCommunist Party must give the command of its army to the militarycommittee of the national government and the national governmentwould appoint some generals of the Communist Party as members of themilitary committee; 3) the aim of the national government was torealize Three Principles of the People. Of course, two conditionswere denied by the Communist Party. They could never yield thecommand of their army to anyone else, and their aim was to installcommunism. But in face, no one in the Communist Party knew whatcommunism really was. They mainly used it as a slogan to misleadpeople.
    After Japan’s surrender, theCommunist Party and the National Party fought each other over theareas occupied by Japan. To appease both sides, Hurley suggestedChiang Kai-shek invite Mao to Chongqing for a talk. Though Mao came,the fight continued. The Communist Party, supported by the SovietUnion, took the initiative to attack the National Army. On November26th, 1945, Hurley handed in his resignation to PresidentTruman. Fearful of a civil war in China, President Truman sent AlfredMarshall there, who arrived in Shanghai on the 20th ofDecember, 1945.
    Alfred Marshall talked to both sidesand then formed a trio group. Besides Alfred Marshall, Zhang Junrepresented the National Party and Zhou Enlai the Communist Party. Onthe 10th of January, 1946, they reached an agreement fortruce, effective at zero hour on the 13th of January. Bothsides issued orders for a ceasefire.
    On the 5th of January,Chiang Kai-shek made a suggestion to Alfred Marshall about how toreorganize the army of both sides. On January 23, a trio groupdiscussed it. Alfred Marshall suggested that after thereorganization, there would be only 60 divisions, 20 of them underthe communist command. As to the navy and air forces, the CommunistParty would have 30% of each. Chiang did not consent to that, butmade some concessions. However, on 25th, the trio signedan agreement. Then they flew to Peking and YanAn to oversee thepreparations.

  5. #85
    On the 11th of March,Marshall went back to the States. The two parties went back to war.When Marshall came to China again on April 18, the situation wasserious. Chiang Kai-shek told Marshall that the Communist Party wouldnot abide by the agreement and was continuing its attack on ChangchunCity. Chiang added that the National Army might withdraw from thenortheastern provinces and leave the problem up to the internationalparties to decide. Marshall promised to transport the 60thnational army and the 93rd national army to thoseprovinces, but he refused to have two more armies transported there.(If two more armies had been transported there, China might have hada different future. Was this a typical case of a gentleman fighting arogue?)
    In late May of 1946, the National Armycounterattacked the Communist Army and took Changchun and pursued theCommunist Army to the Songhua River, approaching Harbin. Then, underpressure from Marshall, on June 6 Chiang Kai-shek had to give orderto the National Army to stop further attacks for 15 days. (Anotherwrong decision.) During the truce, the military trio had talksconcerning the restoration of traffic and a truce throughout thenortheastern areas. In July, Marshall found that the militaryconflicts had become worse. In mid-July, seven American mariners werekidnapped by the Communist Army in the eastern Hebei province and atthe end of July, some American transport trucks were ambushed by theCommunist Army on the way from Tianjin to Peking. Three mariners werekilled and 12 wounded.
    At Marshall’s suggestion, on the 11thof July, John Leighton Stuart was appointed ambassador in China tohelp Marshall with the mediations. As Chiang Kai-shek said that thefinal goal of the Communist Party was to attain power over all thecountry, not just a truce with the national government, all thesenegotiations ended in nothing. On the 15th of November,1946, the People’s Conference for drawing up the constitutionopened and the Communist Party refused to attend. On the contrary,they declared on November 16that they considered theconference unlawful. On January 8, 1947, Marshall went back toAmerica. The national government was about to send a delegation toYanAn for peace talks, but the Communist Party said that there was noneed unless the People’s Conference and the Constitution weredeclared unlawful.
    So the door to peace talks was closed.

  6. #86
    Thenational Government Was Expelled to Taiwan

    The second civil war actually began

    On the 26th of June, 1946,the day when the effective truce period was over, the National Armystarted their onslaught to the Communist Army, but they had alreadyescaped. This date is considered by historians as the actual outbreakof the second civil war between the Communist Party and the NationalParty.
    To protect the Nanking wing, from Julyto December, the National Army attacked the Communist Army in thenorthern Jiangsu province seven times. The result was that theNational Army occupied all the towns in that area, but the CommunistArmy annihilated the 69th division of the National Army.Who was the winner? The Communist Party. The towns were still there.If they were lost, they could be retaken some time later. But once adivision was wiped out, the National Army had lost a divisionforever. Mao Zedong’s strategy was to make the first aim theannihilation of the national army, not to keep possession of towns.Once the National Army was totally wiped out, who could fight themfor the towns? Therefore, from a strategic point of view, ChiangKai-shek and the National Party were doomed to lose in the long run.
    On the 20th of July, theCommunist Army began their attack of Datong Town in Shanxi province.In August they surrounded the town, but by September they could nottake the town and had to retreat. In October, Marshall was hard atwork trying to broker an agreement, but the national government madetwo last minute demands that again sabotaged his efforts. On October11, the National Army made a surprise attack and took Zhangjiakou inHebei province. When Liang Shuming, a mediator belonging to none ofthe parties, read in the newspapers that Zhangjiakou was taken by theNational Army, he sighed, “By the time we woke up, the peace wasalready over.”
    But he was wrong in that. When Maosecretly made up his mind to rule China by himself with his party,peace was already out of the question. Chiang Kai-shek only wantedfor his rule and that of the National Party to last a bit longer,hoping to defeat the Communist Party by force. However, he alwayschose wrong tactics; so his case was already hopeless. Wisestratagems can enable the weak to conquer the strong. If statesmen orgenerals wish to be wise and victorious, they must learn fromhistory.

  7. #87
    On August 10, the Communist Armyoccupied some hundreds of miles of railway line between Tangshan andLanfeng. When the National Army counterattacked, the Communist Armywithdrew, but they annihilated another division of the National Armyduring the process in early September. In late October, the NationalArmy took 25 towns and it looked like victory was theirs. But theywere wrong. The Communist Party still had their full forces while theNational Army was diminishing, division by division. Once they had atown, they had taken on a burden, just like the Japanese army haddone. If Chiang Kai-shek had been wise enough, he would haveconcentrated his army on wiping out the Communist Army bit by bit.Instead he lost the mainland to the Communists. The tragic fate ofthe common Chinese people was thus sealed.
    From December in 1946 to April in 1947,the Communist Army eliminated more than 40,000 of the National troopsand took 11 towns in the northeastern provinces. On the 10thof March, 1947, the National Army came to assail YanAn. The CommunistArmy withdrew from it and adopted their well-known guerrillastrategies. The National Army could not get at them, let alone toextinguish them.
    In Shandong province, the CommunistParty often boasted of their best strategy used in the campaign inMenglianggu area from late March to early May. The National Armygathered 450,000 men and planned to occupy all the so-calledliberated areas from the Communist Party. The National Army strategywas to advance step by step, pushing forward like a wall and leavingno gap for guerrilla movements, which was temporarily successful. Butthe strategy of the Communist Army was to make a sham retreat to letthe enemy think that they were trying to escape, while they wouldseek for chances to attack a small part of the National Army. Likeeating a big cake, bite by bite.
    The 74th division of theNational Army was thought of as a trump division, but Zhang Lingfu,their commander, was an arrogant and thoughtless man, though brave.He marched ahead, leaving other two divisions far behind. Althoughthis region was controlled by the National Army, there were gapsbetween their troops. So the Communist Army made a bold plan to wedgebetween the groups and surround the 74th division. WhenChiang Kai-shek learned that his 74th division was indanger, he commanded other divisions close to Zhang to rush to hisrescue. The Communist Army knew that reinforcements would be comingfrom the National Army, as usual, and so they ambushed them atHuangya Mountain and blocked the way to Menglianggu.

  8. #88
    This was the decisive battle. Whoeverwon in this battle would win in the entire campaign in the region.The Communist Army reached the top of the mountain a few minutesearlier, seizing the high ground, and got control of the entirebattlefield. Though the national reinforcements did their best tolaunch attack after attack from the foot of the mountain, geographywas not in their favor. Meanwhile, the Communist Army poured fire atthe surrounded 74th division. The Communist Army sent asuicide squad to steal in and make a surprise attack on the commandcenter of the 74th division, which was in a cave. Whenthey got to the entrance, only three of them were still alive. Theyshouted, “The first battalion go east; the second battalion west;the third battalion, block the front exit.” Then they yelledinside, “Hands up!” When Commander Zhang Lingfu came out and sawonly three of them, he fired and killed one. But a Communist soldiershot him dead before he could do more. The whole 74thdivision and a regiment from the 83rd division with themwere all eradicated, over 30,000 in all.
    On the 31st of July, 1947,the Communist Party officially named their army the Chinese People’sLiberation Army (PLA, as it is known today), and it was divided intofour so-called field armies. They recruited mostly young people inthe countryside, who were generally illiterate and easily trickedinto sacrificing their lives. So their army swelled in size. Theyused ten times the troops to attack the National Army and it was saidthat when one enemy soldier was killed, they could sacrifice ten oftheirs.
    In the second civil war, there werethree major campaigns besides many minor battles.

  9. #89
    Thecampaign in the northeastern provinces

    The first campaign was waged from the12th of September to the 2nd of November, in1948, in the northeastern provinces. There the situation wasfavorable to the Communist “Liberation” army, because during theAnti-Japanese War, they had guerrillas in the northeastern Chinacontrolling wide swathes of the countryside. When the National Armywas transported there to take over what was in the hands of theJapanese army, they only occupied cities such as Shenyang, Changchunand Jinzhou. The Communist Party wanted to take over all theprovinces in the northeastern China first, because there werefactories that could make weapons for them, and also this areaprovided grain supplies for their army. Then they would go down southto the coastline.
    For this campaign, the 4thfield army, under the command of Lin Biao, gathered 700,000 men whilethe National Army had only 550,000. As a result, the casualties ofthe Liberation Army, including those wounded, were 609,000 and thoseof the National Army 470,000.
    At the beginning of the campaign, theCommunist Liberation Army had already surrounded Changchun. Theyoriginally planned that if they could take Changchun, they would getsupplies from it. However, the city was built so strong that it wasnot easy to take. Therefore, they had to surround it lest theNational Army in the city came out to interfere with their otherschemes. On the 7th of September, Mao telegrammed Lin Biaoto attack Jinzhou. If they occupied Jinzhou area, they would blockthe National Army from escaping south.
    On the 24th of September,1948, the National Army telegrammed Chiang Kai-shek forreinforcements. Chiang commanded Wei Lihuang in Shenyang to send adetachment to rescue the army in Jinzhou, but Wei refused to carryout the order on the excuse that it might jeopardize the safety ofShenyang. Chiang had to transport the 49th army by air toJinzhou. But only two regiments landed successfully. Then the airportwas blocked by Communist anti-aircraft guns on the 28thand the airplanes could not land any more. On October 1, theCommunist Liberation Army surrounded Jinzhou after taking over allother towns in its vicinity.

  10. #90
    On October 2, Chiang Kai-shek flew toShenyang to summon a military meeting and decided to send sevendivisions from Shandong province by sea to the Hulu Islands, and fromthere to Jinzhou. Next day he left Shenyang by plane. When Lin Biaolearned of Chiang’s plan, he accelerated his attack on Jinzhou. Ifthe Tashan line was broken through by the national reinforcements,the whole campaign would end in failure.
    On October 10, the nationalreinforcements reached Tashan and the fight started. On October 13,Tashan was still under the control of the Liberation Army. On the14th, Tashan changed hands nine times, but the NationalArmy still could not break through the line. While the fighting wassevere at Tashan, an attack on Jinzhou began at 10 o’clock thatmorning. Some 500 cannons fired at targets in the city. At 11:30AM,the communist foot soldiers rushed forth. When the soldiers in thefront fell, the soldiers behind took up their positions. The attacklasted till 6:00PM on October 15 when the Liberation Army entered thecity. Over 100,000 National Army fighters were eliminated. The vicecommander-in-chief, Fan Hanji, and the commander of the 6thbloc, Lu Junquan, were captured. When the national reinforcementsheard of the fall of Jinzhou, they retreated to the Hulu islands.
    There were only two cities left to beconquered: Shenyang and Changchun. The eastern half of Changchun wasguarded by the 60th army, under the command of ZengZesheng, who was a friend of Lu Junquan. Therefore, Lin Biao orderedLu Junquan to contact Zeng Zesheng to talk him into betraying ChiangKai-shek and turning over to the Communist Party. A telegram was sentto Zeng in Lu’s name. Seeing the National Army was in a badsituation, Zeng declared an uprising on October 17, with his threedivisions, 26,000 in number. That night, the Liberation Armystealthily took up position in the eastern half of Changchun. OnOctober 19 day, the new 7th army surrendered to theLiberation Army. The commander-in-chief in the city, Zheng Tongguo,contacted the Liberation Army and asked for permission to put up twomore days’ fake resistance before he surrendered. After hesurrendered, a false news bulletin should then be issued that he wascaptured. Thus Changchun City fell into the possession of theLiberation Army. On October 31st, the Liberation Armysurrounded the last city, Shenyang, and at dawn November 1, theattack on the city commenced. After one day’s fight, the CommunistLiberation Army occupied the city. All the northeastern provinceswere under the control of the Communist Party.


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