a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


Kuomintang vs warlords

Also called: Intra-Guomindang War

Years: 1929-1930
Battle deaths: 75,000 [1]

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

Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2013-08-01 15:37:38
In early 1927 the KMT-CPC rivalry led to a split in the revolutionary ranks. The CPC and the left wing of the KMT had decided to move the seat of the Nationalist government from Guangzhou to Wuhan. But Chiang, whose Northern Expedition was proving successful, set his forces out to destroy the Shanghai CPC apparatus. Chiang Kai-shek, with the aid of the Shanghai underworld, arguing that communist activities were socially and economically disruptive, turned on Communists and unionists in Shanghai, arresting and executing hundreds on April 12, 1927. The purge widened the rift between Chiang and Wang Ching-wei’s Wuhan government (a contest won by Chiang Kai-shek) and destroyed the urban base of the CPC. Chiang, expelled from the KMT for his actions, formed a rival government in Nanjing. There now were three capitals in China: the internationally recognized warlord regime in Beijing; the Communist and left-wing Kuomintang regime at Wuhan; and the right-wing civilian-military regime at Nanjing, which would remain the Nationalist capital for the next decade.

The Comintern cause appeared bankrupt. A new policy was instituted calling on the CPC to foment armed insurrections in both urban and rural areas in preparation for an expected rising tide of revolution. Unsuccessful attempts were made by Communists to take cities such as Nanchang, Changsha, Shantou, and Guangzhou, and an armed rural insurrection, known as the Autumn Harvest Uprising, was staged by peasants in Hunan Province. The insurrection was led by Mao Zedong.

But in mid-1927 the CPC was at a low ebb. The Communists had been expelled from Wuhan by their left-wing KMT allies, who in turn were toppled by a military regime.

The KMT resumed the campaign against warlords and captured Beijing in June 1928, after which most of eastern China was under Chiang’s control, and the Nanjing government received prompt international recognition as the sole legitimate government of China. The Nationalist government announced that in conformity with Sun Yat-sen’s formula for the three stages of revolution--military unification, political tutelage, and constitutional democracy--China had reached the end of the first phase and would embark on the second, which would be under KMT direction.

An excerpt from an article in the open online dictionary Wikipedia published under the GNU free licence: Read Article


Notes on fatalities

[1] Battle deaths: Source unknown. In Correlates of War, Intra-State War Data v4.1 but with no fatality data available.

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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