a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


Communists vs Koumintang

Also called: Chinese Civil War, Phase 1

Years: 1930-1935
Battle deaths: 500,000 [1]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]

Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2014-03-24 01:35:12
During the Agrarian Revolution, Communist Party activists retreated underground or to the countryside where they fomented a military revolt (Nanchang Uprising on August 1, 1927), combined the force with remnants of peasant rebels, and established control over several areas in southern China. Attempts by the Nationalist armies to suppress the rebellion were unsuccessful but extremely damaging to the Communist forces.

A Communist leader addressing Long March survivors.After Chiang Kai-shek had foiled the coup to oust him launched by Feng Yü-hsiang, Yen Hsi-shan, and Wang Ching-wei (1929-30), he immediately turned his attention to rooting out the remaining pockets of Communist activity. The first two campaigns failed and the third was aborted due to the Mukden Incident. The fourth campaign (1932-1933) achieved some early successes, but Chiang’s armies were badly mauled when they tried to penetrate into the heart of Mao’s Soviet Chinese Republic. Finally in late 1933 Chiang launched a fifth campaign orchestrated by his German advisors that involved the systematic encirclement of the Jiangxi Soviet region with fortified blockhouses. By the fall of 1934, the Communists faced the possibility of total annihilation. It seemed that the time was now ripe to finish off the CPC, then turn against the remaining warlords, before finally retaking Manchuria from the Japanese.

In October of 1934, the Communists decided to make a massive military retreat to the west to escape the ensuing KMT forces. It was under this yearlong, 6000 km retreat, called the Long March, which ended when the Communists reached the interior of Shaanxi, that Mao Zedong emerged as the top Communist leader. Along the way, the Communist Army confiscated property and weapons from local warlords and landlords, while recruiting peasants and the poor, solidifying its appeal to the masses.


Source: excerpt from article in the open dictionary Wikipedia. Read Article


Notes on fatalities

[1] Battle deaths: Correlates of War, Intra-State War Data v4.1

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



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