CHINESE HISTORY COLLECTION (CONTINIU)

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1925

After the death of Sun Yat-sen in 1925,

he Tingling the Beijing Xishan, shift Ling

In 1925,

Duan Regent, decided to convene the aftermath of the meeting. Segment on the matter on January 1, please call Sun Yat-sen, Li Yuan-hung, the same day electric Shanghai branch caused Tang Shaoyi, Zhang Binglin, Cen Chunxuan another electrical Li Zhaofu (primary application).

 

This just goes to show that his grandfather was practicing in Shanghai, is still home to Beijing. Memories of his father also confirmed that,

 

in Beijing when he was three, pneumonia was the the He Xiangning just to stopping by to see his father a high fever, and immediately hold him to the hospital opened by the German father remember the doctor’s name is Corey. Since then, He Xiangning become my father Ganniang. In Shanghai the Li Zhaofu and He Xiangning, Song Qingling, Huangyanpei close relationship. In 1932, he organized and Huangyanpei, Zhang Yao had a new China Construction Association, published in the “renaissance” monthly.

In 1925,

Duan Regent, decided to convene the aftermath of the meeting. Segment on the matter on January 1, please call Sun Yat-sen, Li Yuan-hung, the same day electric Shanghai branch caused Tang Shaoyi, Zhang Binglin, Cen Chunxuan another electrical Li Zhaofu (primary application).

 

This just goes to show that his grandfather was practicing in Shanghai, is still home to Beijing. Memories of his father also confirmed that,

 

in Beijing when he was three, pneumonia was the the He Xiangning just to stopping by to see his father a high fever, and immediately hold him to the hospital opened by the German father remember the doctor’s name is Corey. Since then, He Xiangning become my father Ganniang. In Shanghai the Li Zhaofu and He Xiangning, Song Qingling, Huangyanpei close relationship. In 1932, he organized and Huangyanpei, Zhang Yao had a new China Construction Association, published in the “renaissance” monthly.(Di Xinxin)

1926
China’s War of Resistance Against Japan

from the nine hundred and eighteen, counting even if the Japanese expansion in China have never stopped the anti-Japanese
German invasion of the Czech Republic, Austria-Hungary to a war a bit different in the past 20 years, people have not forgotten when Austria-Hungary brilliant many people see the German annexation moved to tears in a dream to rebuild the glory of the former Austria-Hungary Said somewhat reluctantly.

 

Germany pre stations the upper hand, you have to know a lot of interest is being carved up. For example, in fact, Germany playing Poland and the cooperation of the Soviet Union. Our textbook does not mention nothing German ultimate goal of waging war is the Soviet Union, but the beginning does not terminate the action entirely in Asia, Japan ignore the strategic interests of the United States and Britain, the United States entered the war is also a matter of time, but because the U.S. blockade of Japan is also on the route a direct result of the war accelerated.
Not the case. Japan and Germany have their own special circumstances. Germany quickly gained the upper hand after the World War, but Hitler really want to end the war (“He won a large sum of money the gambler, the only thought is to get out of the tables” – Ciano), but Britain does not will allow this to win the money to leave the gaming tables (it really lost all), and Stalin launched an attack in the Romanian problem,

 

Hitler is the last straw. Japan in World War II strategic confusion, not a core strategy, mainly because of the armed forces of the Government opposition, contradiction between Navy and Army, as well as the complex relationships within the army, September 18 Incident, the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Incident of August in this context, the emperor and the government and the Chinese that there is no need to full-scale war broke out, but the army of interest groups did not listen to their command. Italy just with the wrong person. This is not greedy, but helpless.
Time after the global financial crisis period, the transfer of domestic conflicts in countries like Japan and Germany as light occupation of several areas can not solve domestic contradictions, can only continue to fight to keep playing

Can there be so easy to stop, it is impossible to stop, like Japan, the war decision is not even the politicians, but by the military (or even junior officers) decided to sub-fascists in power aggression while in power The Cabinet also had to step down, the ruling by the soldiers to support the invasion of China. If the Nazis do not continue to expand, waiting for them can only be a step down, by an advocate of continued expansion of political parties in power. The development of history is its inevitability, not an individual can be determined.
People never know where to draw a weak country at that time the aggressor is so vulnerable, they have no reason not to invasion and occupation. Until the violation of the powerful interests was only intervention. But the arrow has been shot
Back head
World War II, Japan was the initiator of the war is also a defeated country, or a very small proportion of Japanese troops to surrender in the war, killed in action rate is relatively high, especially in Southeast Asia and mainland Japan islands contention, and some the Japanese army annihilated, few survive, even if the Japanese soldiers were injured, most of them choose to commit suicide, according to more, as well as Japan’s Kamikaze Mission Impossible, etc. will not surrender, the impression Japanese soldiers are very brave, not afraid of death! Is not the case, Japan is an imperial society, the Emperor is the God of the hearts of the Japanese, and allegiance to the emperor after the death of heaven, into the shrine has become immortal! These ideas from childhood to instill in the hearts of the Japanese control of the Japanese spirit, the spirit of that generation of Japanese soldiers have been such allegiance to the emperor, after death into God’s thinking is firmly under control, lie said that more has become truth, when Japanese soldiers did most of the fear of death, when Japanese soldiers, death is a glorious thing, in many wars, the Japanese soldiers were surrounded, in the case of exhaustion, in the Union Army a strong network of fire, often also organize an intensive group impact, it plainly is to look for dead, to die! Scrambling to die people go – the Shrine, imagines himself to be God! It can be said that the small Japanese army in World War II, is not afraid of death, but can only say that is not afraid of death, far from doing battle brave, is a group of “loyalty to the emperor’s death as God” thinking firmly to fool and control, almost no own thinking is training to become a killing machine, the metamorphosis of a small Japanese!

  1. 1.      A Bullet For Chiang

    1 May 1926
    Canton
    Republic of China (Kuomintang)

    Chiang Kai-Shek walked down the corridor of the Kuomintang Headquarters. He was in a good mood today. He had recently outmanoeuvred Wang Jingwei into leaving China a month ago at the behest of the Kuomintang Central Committee, by claiming that the left-wing of the party had been conspiring with the communists. The Committee agreed that the left-wing of the party needed to take a step back. For the last month Chiang had built up his power and managed to negotiate with the Russians.
    He was on his way to a meeting to confirm the new deal which would reduce the role of the Communists in the party. His wife, Chen Jieru, was accompanying him and his personal bodyguards to the meeting as well. He looked over at her and smiled, he was truly fortunate to have her as his wife. Down the corridor he saw a young man with an armful of newspapers coming the opposite way. Chiang assumed he was just a low level party member running an errand for one of the Council members.
    As the man came closer to Chiang he swiftly pulled his hand out from under the papers and pointed a revolver towards him. The man shouted as he pulled up the gun “You robbed my cousin of everything, DIE!”
    One of Chiang’s bodyguards reacted instantly, jumping right at the assassin but didn’t get to him before he fired off a single round. The bodyguard wrestled him to the ground and knocked the gun away. He threw the man against the wall and one of the other bodyguards emptied all of his rounds into him. The first bodyguard turned his head around at the sound of Chen’s high pitched scream.
    Chiang’s body was lying on the ground surrounded by the rest of his bodyguards and his wife cradling the body. Blood was covering her clothes and pooling on the floor. The bodyguards all had grim looks on their faces, there would be hell to pay for failing to protect Chiang.

    Taken from “Sun Yat-Sen’s Heirs”, by Liao Yanshi, © 1988, Lotus Flower Publishing, Guangzhou, Republic of China

    Despite Chiang’s rise to power after the attempted coup [1], there was one thing he hadn’t counted on and that was Xu Chu, a young cousin of the deposed general, Xu Chongzhi. Xu confronted Chiang and accused him of stealing his cousin’s army and executing two other generals that he had been allied with, right before shooting him directly in the head. Xu was killed by Chiang’s bodyguards and they had to lead a weeping Chen Jieru away from the scene. Chiang’s death left a power vacuum in the Kuomintang, since he had become the main military and political leader in the last few months and it would be difficult for the Kuomintang leaders to find someone else able to fill both roles.

    5-8 May 1926

    With the death of Chiang Kai-Shek, the Kuomintang (KMT) leadership is thrown into turmoil. Chiang had been the major military and political leader and had managed to sideline his major opponents who had been contending for leadership of the party, Wang Jingwei and Hu Hanmin, in the previous months.

    The remaining party leaders and KMT warlord allies meet in Canton to decide on who should be elected as head of the committee and who should command the National Revolutionary Army. The right-wing of the party dominates, since Wang and his allies were driven out by Chiang. A decision is reached after much debate, Hu Hanmin continues his role as premier of the party [2], but this is a role with little function, Li Zongren, military governor of Guangxi, is appointed as the new commander-in-chief of the army.

    Tan Yankai as Chairman of the National Government [3] has become the main leader of the KMT, but he has little influence with the army. He holds the political power but must rely on Li to command the soldiers. He gives Li orders to begin preparing the soldiers for a confrontation with the warlord armies. Tan also secretly contacts Wang Jingwei and advises him that returning soon to China could be in his best interests [4].

    From “Political Leaders of the Republic of China: Volume 2, 1925-1935”, By Roy Wu, © 1990 University of Hong Kong Press

    Tan Yankai may have been the nominal head of the Kuomintang, but he had little support. The right-wing faction saw him as a puppet of Wang Jingwei, with no military influence at all. The left-wing faction thought that he should have supported Wang earlier in the year, but instead he had sat on the sidelines. Tan had to delicately balance the party needs and he reshuffled the positions to keep both factions happy as well as continue the now slightly unsettled alliance with the CCP, against which there was a growing resentment [5].

    In addition to this was the growing sentiment that the Kuomintang had to start opposing the northern warlords sooner rather than later, in order to gain international recognition and expand its base of control. Tan would have to ensure that the military had a capable commander for the upcoming Northern Expedition.

 

Kuomintang leadership as at 15 May 1926:

Chairman of the National Government- Tan Yankai
Chairman of the KMT Executive Committee- Zhang Jingjiang
Head of the Organisational Department-Chen Guofu
National Revolutionary Army Commander-in-Chief- Li Zongren
President of Whampoa Military Academy-Li Jishen

Taken from “Sun Yat-Sen’s Heirs”, By Liao Yanshi, © 1988, Lotus Flower Publishing-Guangzhou, Republic of China

Wang Jingwei returned to Guangzhou on the 30 May 1926 after hearing of the divisions in the Kuomintang leadership, following Chiang’s death. An added advantage for him now, was the fact that his friend Tan Yankai was the party chairman and Wang thought it would not be difficult to sway enough of the party to his side to become its new leader. Wang would find it a more difficult road than he anticipated however and the disagreements between left and right would emerge strongly during and after the Northern Expedition. This was further complicated by Wang’s dislike of the CCP and his attempts to sideline them. When the march north started, many of the communist members of the Kuomintang had already decided not to take part, which made it much more difficult in convincing the people in the north that they were being freed by a progressive force, as well as reducing the aid from the Soviet Union. Eventually the Soviet advisor, Borodin stepped in and insisted that the CCP fully cooperate in order to overthrow the warlords and remake China.
They grudgingly did so, as they still were friendly with some of the left-wing Kuomintang but there was now a deep suspicion amongst them that would contaminate the Northern Expedition and split the Kuomintang, despite the work that Sun Yat-Sen had done in building up a Kuomintang-CCP alliance.


Chiang Kai-Shek, posing for a picture one week before his assassination.


Tan Yankai, Kuomintang Chairman.


Kuomintang members after the party meeting on 15 May 1926.

[1] A coup instigated by Wang Jingwei and the leftists, known as the Zhongshan Warship Incident. Wang attempted to have Chiang kidnapped by the captain of the Zhongshan on his way to Whampoa. Chiang was warned by his wife and organised against the conspiracy, arresting several CCP-KMT members and forcing Wang out of the country. Chiang gained in power after this and was able to control more of the party, despite continuing the alliance with the CCP and the USSR.

[2] Hu was suspected in the assassination of Liao Zhongkai and arrested. In OTL he supported Chiang after the Ninghan Split.

[3] This position is theoretically the top one in the KMT. In OTL Chiang took over from Tan and became supreme military and political leader, while the premier and other political roles were reduced in importance.

[4] Tan was an ally of Wang, but went along with the other Kuomintang leaders in supporting Chiang after the Zhongshan Incident. Here with Chiang’s death Tan feels that Wang will be able to win back control of the party and also be able to control the military. He may be Chairman, but his support is not huge and he only obtained the position due to Wang leaving.

[5] The Zhongshan Incident and Chiang’s assassination has made the right-wing and moderate Kuomintang members become more concerned about the communists and they are beginning to see why Chiang wanted to be rid of them. The anti-communist faction is led by Li Jishen and Chen Guofu, and Wang Jingwei is distrustful and suspicious of them, despite being the leader of the left-wing of the party that is allied with them.

__________________
Not By A Mine-Complete
Flaming Dragons-A Warlord China Alternate History

 

2. To The North

Taken from “The Many Headed Dragon: Warlords in China”
By Rodger Stevens
© 1970, Bluewood Books
Philadelphia, USA

To better understand the situation in northern China at the start of 1926, it is necessary to provide a list of the factions of major warlords-
Zhang Zuolin-Fengtian Clique, controlling Manchuria and the north-east
Feng Yuxiang-Guominjun Clique, controlling a large area in the north-west
Wu Peifu-Zhili Clique, controlling the central plains
Sun Chuanfang,-Zhili Clique, controlling the east coast
Yan Xishan, Shanxi Clique, controlling Shanxi province

Beijing was under the control of Duan Qirui, his Anhui Clique had been mostly destroyed and his position as President was in name only [1]. True control was shared between Zhang and Feng, but disagreements between them had finally resulted in all out war and Zhang allied with Wu against Feng.

The Guominjun armies were hard pressed and were soon defeated and most of their soldiers fled, some of them passed through Shanxi, where troops attacked them for encroaching on their territory [2]. Duan was removed from office in April and Feng left China for the Soviet Union, though he would return in a few months. Zhang and Wu were now the most powerful leaders in the north but again disagreements on how to govern broke out. Wu wanted to return Cao Kun to the presidency while Zhang was a monarchist and distrusted the republican government. A weak series of governments ruled from the capital, but had little power and Zhang and Wu retained direct control over their own regions. A more important consequence of the war however, was the fact that Zhili had moved much of its army north, leaving its southern flank exposed to the ambitious Kuomintang government, which was preparing to launch its Northern Expedition.


Regions of warlord control.
Taken from “Great Moments in Chinese History” by Hsu Win-chin, Republic Press 1990

Li Zongren, speaking at Whampoa Military Academy before the Northern Expedition, 21 July 1926.

-“Students of Whampoa, soldiers of the National Army. I stand here before you as your commander, but also as your comrade. Our nation has been through turbulent times and continues to go through them. But with your courage and determination, along with the vision of a free, united China, left to us by President Sun Yat-Sen, we will prevail. The chaos in the north will be ended and we will restore China as it should be. As I take command of this expedition, I pledge to uphold the values that Sun and Chiang held. Values which will see us victorious over those who still follow the old ways and allow the new ways to usher in a strong China.”


Soldiers at Whampoa rallying for the Northern Expedition.


Li Zongren, Commander of the Kuomintang Army.

Taken from “Sun Yat-Sen’s Heirs”, By Liao Yanshi, © 1988, Lotus Flower Publishing-Guangzhou, Republic of China

On the 20 July 1926 the Northern Expedition began. This was the first true military test of the Republic’s National Revolutionary Army and its leadership. The training at Whampoa, Russian arms and advisors, the strong will and morale of the soldiers and the warm welcome they received from most of the common people as they marched north combined to be a deadly combination for the warlords. The first major battle was fought at Changsha in Hunan province, where General Tang Shengzhi was leading a rebellion against Wu Peifu. Tang had been supported by troops from the Guangxi Clique for some time and with the Northern Expedition his army become one of the eight that made up the NRA.

Ironically while the military was strong, in particular Li Zongren led a capable campaign against the northern warlords, politically the Kuomintang was struggling. Chiang’s death had left a power vacuum and three main contenders emerged to take the spotlight. Tan Yankai had no control over the left and right factions of the party and throughout the Northern Expedition he only kept his position as chairman because neither faction wanted to instigate political problems in the middle of the campaign [3].

Wang Jing-wei had managed to gather back much of the power and influence he once had and was slowly garnering support from most of the left and some of the middle ground in the party as well as having support from Tan, the current Chairman. His main problem was that despite his strong party influence, he had very little military power, though this would change by the end of the Northern Expedition. Hu Hanmin represented the moderate right-wing of the Kuomintang and despite his tarnishing by Chiang, he was the most popular man among the moderates. But his support base was small and he didn’t appeal to either of the extremes as a leader.
The final contender for leadership was Chen Lifu, while the other two had been close protégés of Sun Yat-Sen, Chen had come to the party later. However Chen had been close with Chiang Kai-Shek, had the backing of H. H. Kung, one of the richest men in China, and he and his elder brother, Chen Guofu, controlled a large number of interests via the growing secret police organisation they had begun to establish. He had support among the traditionalists, anti-communists and also from the underworld which controlled China’s opium trade [4]. Chen was the closest thing Chiang had to a successor, but he did not have the same military experience and thus his support from Whampoa and the NRA was mild. Whoever could garner the most support from the army generals was the one most likely to emerge as the leader of the Kuomintang.

[1] Duan had been placed as president as a figurehead, after the Second Zhili-Fengtian War and his small number soldiers only operated in Beijing.

[2] Yan Xishan tried to remain neutral, which meant that he attacked any forces in his territory, or risk being accused of aiding them.

[3] This is not exactly true. Political infighting began almost after the first battle had been fought. The CCP members started giving power to the poor peasants in areas that the KMT had conquered and staged worker’s uprisings. In addition the KMT left and right began contesting for power and Tan was simply left as Chairman until the each side decided to make their move.

[4] The opium trade in China provided large funds for the Nationalists, particularly via Big-Eared Du’s Green Gang in Shanghai.

__________________
Not By A Mine-Complete
Flaming Dragons-A Warlord China Alternate History

 

Trouble In Th 3. Clash Of Arms

Taken from “The Many Headed Dragon: Warlords in China”
By Rodger Stevens
© 1970, Bluewood Books
Philadelphia, USA

The Northern Expedition carried out by the Kuomintang government was an astounding success. Wu Peifu and Sun Chuanfang’s armies were beaten back by the much more modern and capably led armies of Li Zongren and Li Jishen. Everywhere the warlord armies were pushed back, the common people celebrated their liberation and welcomed the new republican soldiers. Much of this support of the Kuomintang by the common people can be attributed to the extreme taxation, poverty and famines that had plagued the warlord controlled regions, while the Kuomintang was seen as being a government for the people, aided by its ties to the CCP. An additional benefit of the victories, other than morale and support was the influx of new young men signing up to join the KMT army. Many wanted to be part of the great revolution which was finally overthrowing the warlords and bringing China into the modern world.

By the end of the first year both warlords in central China had been utterly defeated their soldiers either dead, exiled or having switched sides to the KMT. After taking the cities of Wuhan, Shanghai and Nanjing the KMT was now in control of a large part of China. There was only one other powerful warlord still to contend with, the Mukden Tiger, Zhang Zuolin-warlord of Manchuria, whose own Fengtian Army outnumbered the KMT forces. [1]

Yunnan, 1926, Junk Issue,

 

 

½¢-$5 complete (Scott 1-20. Chan 1-20), limited for use in th Province of Yunnan, complete set of 20, all values expertly regummed, overall brilliant colors, fine appearance, clean set, Very Fine. Realized HK$ 3,800

Zhang Zuolin, The Mukden Tiger.

Textbook and reading material for History 402: China’s Move Into The Modern World, University of Natal, taught by Professor Dineke Weers.
“Breath Of The Dragon: A Military History Of Modern China”
© 1999 By Jonathan Drake
Crescent History Publishing, Pretoria, South Africa

The Battle of Huaibei is a defining moment in modern Chinese history. It marked the end of the corrupt warlord era of the last two decades [2] and showed the world that the revolutionary Kuomintang had the military strength and support that they very well could indeed unify the people of China into a modern nation.

On the plains north of the city of Zhang had managed to gather all of his elite troops that had served with him for many years. Throughout March the Fengtian and other warlord forces made their way into the plains, travelling along the shores of Lake Taihu and heading south. The main Kuomintang force was stationed in and around Suzhou, but when Li first heard reports of Zhang’s gathering army he quickly organized his generals into action. Li’s meeting with his generals went on for several hours as they discussed the strategy they would need to hold back the far greater numbers of Zhang’s army.

A rundown of the numbers at first glance seems to overwhelmingly favour the warlords. Zhang had four army corps which made up the bulk of his most loyal soldiers from the north, each of which had 30,000 men. He had also managed to bring in the forces of several allies, namely Tang Yulin and Zhang Jingyao, who contributed another 50,000 men. And finally the remnants of the Central China warlord armies had been placed under the command of Xu Kun who was eager to avenge the series of defeats his commander, Sun had suffered near Nanchang. He had at least 20,000 men under his command. In addition to this the warlord forces had several other armies spread out between Peking and Nanking, which were in place in case of any of the other Nationalist forces tried to make any further moves north.

In contrast the Kuomintang only had an army of just over 100,000 men garrisoned at Suzhou and many of the units in this army had been battered and experienced casualties in the previous campaign, thus many of the actual units were under strength from their original numbers. However because of this, the men in this army had a great deal of experience and were likely the best fighting force in China at the time. In addition to this they were far better equipped than their foes. The NRA soldiers were almost all supplied with Hanyang 88 rifles, a very reliable copy of the German Gewehr 88 and had more modern artillery devices than the warlord armies. Much of the lack of equipment amongst the warlord troops can be contributed to the miserly nature of their leaders, which is described in detail in Bennett’s Money From A Stone: Greed of the Warlords and Hu’s Lords Of Ruin. While the pay of many warlord soldiers was substantial and they lived far more luxuriant lives compared to most civilians in warlord controlled areas, this was not reflected in the standard of their supplies and equipment, much of which had to be traded for or bought on the black market [3].

The final and, in my opinion, most important multiplier [4] was the army officers and commanders. While Zhang’s army had some decent commanders, including Xu Kun-perhaps one of China’s best military leaders at the time, as well as Zhang Zongchang and Li Jinglin, but on the whole it was lacking sorely in competent leadership. Even Zhang’s direct forces had generals that were very cautious and held back constantly during combat. The officers were even worse. The system of corrupt, kleptocratic rule that governed the warlord territories spilled over into the military, such that any man in a position above his fellow soldiers would abuse his power and privileges. Thus the soldiers were hardly likely to be keen to follow their officers, who were even less likely to inspire their men.

The NRA forces however had some of the best generals in China and several of them were present at Huaibei, Li Zongren-who had commanded his own separate forces and land before joining the KMT [5] and would go on to command the most successful Chinese army in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Bai Chongxi had two divisions under his command and some brilliant tacticians, namely, Chen Jitang, Zhang Fakui and Xue Yue. Also participating in the battle was Chen Cheng, a young soldier who would demonstrate his leadership qualities for the first time at Huaibei, taking command of his unit when the captain was killed and would go on to hand the Chinese Communists their final defeat at Harbin in 1945.


Details of the Battle of Huaibei from Interpedia.

[1] Without Chiang’s decision to implement a communist purge in April, the KMT forces have not been split and confused and been able to defeat Wu and Sun much quicker. In addition Li Zongren and Li Jishen have made better military decisions without Chiang’s pride interfering in operations. There are still some strong anti-communist forces in the KMT, though without total military control they have decided to wait until the Northern Expedition has been completed.

[2] Strictly speaking the warlord era had not been going on for two decades, and it certainly didn’t end with this battle. There still numerous warlords in the west and north who would remain independent for some time and others that would go on to work with the Kuomintang government.

[3] Many soldiers in fact provided their own weapons and equipment, as the relics they were given were susceptible to jamming or outright failure. This added to their own personal costs and meant that some units were well-equipped while others were very under-equipped. This isn’t to say this is the case with all of the warlord troops but a large number of them certainly.

[4] Force multiplier is not a phrase used in TTL, people simply use multiplier when talking about military combat factors.

[5] Li Zongren was the leader of the Guangxi Clique which in OTL was closely allied with Chiang until 1928 and turned against him in the Central Plains War, with Chiang gone the Guangxi remain a vital part of the NRA.

__________________
Not By A Mine-Complete
Flaming Dragons-A Warlord China Alternate History

4. The Decisive Battle

North of the city of Huaibei two armies stand ready to face each other in the battle which will decide the outcome of the Northern Expedition. On one side is Li Zongren, NRA Commander-in-Chief, Guangxi warlord and Kuomintang soldier, on the other is Zhang Zuolin, the lord of Manchuria, the Northern Tiger and self-proclaimed Grand Marshal of the Republic of China.

20 March 1927
East of Huaibei
Anhui Province, Republic of China

General Li Zongren, military commander of the National Revolutionary Army looked over his men as they prepared for the most difficult battle of the entire Northern Expedition. Despite being some of the best soldiers from Whampoa, they were sorely outnumbered by Zhang’s forces, most of the other sections of the army were still keeping order at Nanjing and Wuhan, the need to keep these important urban centres secure was a high priority and they could be attacked by any of the other warlords at any moment. So He Yingqin remained in Nanjing along with much of the Kuomintang leadership, while Li Jishen had three armies at Wuhan, and he was here facing off against all that the northern warlords could gather against him.

Despite the fierce morning sun, Li refrained from squinting his eyes. The warlord forces were no doubt going to arrive any minute and he hoped that his plan would work, if not Zhang’s troops would pour into central China and split the KMT-held territory that had taken so much blood and effort to win. The sudden sound of gunfire pulled him out of his thoughts, that would be Bai’s units engaging the arriving enemy forces. He told his generals to get ready, they would be making their move soon.


The battle begins.

Textbook and reading material for History 402: China’s Move Into The Modern World, University of Natal, taught by Professor Dineke Weers.
“Breath Of The Dragon: A Military History Of Modern China”
© 1999 By Jonathan Drake
Crescent History Publishing, Pretoria, South Africa

Li strategy may have been fairly simple, but it was also effective. The warlord forces were using their overwhelming numbers to simply attack the NRA head on and hope that they would force them into a surrender o retreat eventually. Li had rightly predicted that they would do this and devised a plan to deal with it. Li had placed the bulk of his units behind the mountains and hills northeast of Huaibei. Bai Chongxi would have his units displayed nearer to the city and present as a target for the warlord soldiers. When enough of the enemy had charged forward at Bai’s men, Li and his soldiers would outflank the warlord forces, driving into their sides. The plan also hinged on General Tang Yulin, a Fengtian commander in the warlord armies. Tang had met with Li several times in secret in the previous few weeks and was sympathetic to the Kuomintang cause. Li had managed to convince him to use this battle to turn on his hated allies and join the NRA.

As Li forces engaged the shocked warlord soldiers from the west, Tang had positioned his force where it could do the most damage to the surprised forces. Tang gave the order for his men to turn on their allies after Li’s soldiers had forced the warlord troops to retreat some distance and absolutely shattered their remaining morale. Most of the warlord commanders saw the deteriorating situation and gave orders for their men to retreat in order to preserve what they could of their own forces. This led to much confusion and an orderly retreat turned into a debacle with most of the warlord forces taking heavy casualties. In addition to this Zhang Zuolin was killed when his horse threw him off, scared by a nearby artillery strike and he cracked his skull on a rock on the ground. Some of the warlord commanders put up resistance over the next week or so, but they were easily dealt with, as they were isolated from each other and captured or killed. By the morning of 30 March, the NRA was completely victorious having driven the warlord army from the region completely and securing central China for the Kuomintang. News of the battle quickly spread and other warlords were standing down and pledging their loyalty to the Kuomintang. Huaibei represented the end of the Northern Expedition and the destruction of the remaining northern warlords, in fact even the new leader of what remained of Fengtian, Zhang Xueliang-the former leaders son, joined the Kuomintang in another six months, when they were recognised as the legitimate government of China internationally. China had overcome the second stage of revolution [1] and was well on its way to progressing into a modern nation. However there were several more internal bumps that would occur before the road begun to smooth.


General Tang Yulin, leading his officers to meet with General Li after the battle

[1] Drake considers the Xinhai Revolution the first stage and the Northern Expedition the second stage.

__________________
Not By A Mine-Complete
Flaming Dragons-A Warlord China Alternate History

5. Consolidation

 

 

 

in July 1926.

since 1927,

establish a capital of the Nationalist government in Nanjing military authorities more than the Shiu just old friends, when multiplied by the official reached, a breeze. Care each about public office, Noir to frail numerous fan drama resigned. “Why refuse him not official? He died long gone, no one can see their mentality, I guess he saw the darkness of political and democratic retrogression.(Du Xinxin)

1927

 

Manchurian Provinces, 1927,

 

 

 

Junk Issue, ½¢-$5 complete (Scott 1-20. Chan KH1-20), set of 20, limited for use in Manchuria District, all values expertly regummed, clean fresh appearance, F.-V.F. Realized HK$ 2,800

 

The end of the first part of the Northern Expedition

 

brought the Kuomintang into the spotlight in China and their support surged. There were still some warlords in the north that retained power and even after Huaibei they managed to maintain their independence, despite the international recognition that the Wuhan based Kuomintang government received after January 1927. Ironically these warlords that remained after the Northern Expedition had only been minor leaders previously and while many of them were connected with the new government and recognised its rule, they still ruled their provinces with a great deal of independence, such as Long Yun, Sheng Shicai , Ma Hongkui, Feng Yuxiang and Yan Xishan [1].

The Kuomintang allowed these warlords to keep their rule of provinces, as the Northern Expedition had exhausted the Kuomintang armies and they needed time to recover and establish their rule. This meant focussing on governing rather than fighting warlords that were willing to accept the new order. In addition some of the former warlords who had joined the NRA still tired to retain a form of independence, in terms of keeping control of their armies, but the new leadership was happy to accept this provided that those armies continued to fight for them, especially considering the new problems that would soon come to pass with the CCP.


Several of the Kuomintang allied warlords, from left to right, Long Yun, Ma Hongkui, Feng Yuxiang

6 February 1928
Wuhan, Republic of China

Chen Duxiu and Zhou Enlai were addressing their comrades in a large meeting hall. The Chinese Communist Party had for a long time been allies and many of them members of the Kuomintang and they both expected that to continue despite the recent problems many of their members had faced with the military and the right-wing of the party. Though neither of them had met with Wang in the last week, which was troubling, he usually held joint meetings for the entire party and was constantly giving them assurances that the CCP were important members of the new government.

Zhou stepped out of the main room after he was finished speaking to go and relieve himself, he had had some huangjiu [2] to drink earlier and it had seemed to go right through him. As he was doing so, he heard Chen speaking from the hall. Then he heard the doors open and Chen stopped. He heard some loud voices after that and several shouts of outrage. He finished what he was doing, but waited before going back inside. He put his head against the wall to see if he could hear better. Just as he did so, the sound of gunfire cracked through the wall and he withdrew his head in horror. He didn’t what had happened, but whatever it was, wasn’t good. He fled out the side door and ran as fast as he could to check the other party building in the city.

Taken from “Sun Yat-Sen’s Heirs”, By Liao Yanshi, © 1988, Lotus Flower Publishing-Guangzhou, Republic of China

The goodwill that had existed between the KMT and CCP was quick to disintegrate in 1928. Despite Sun Yat-sen’s wish that all Chinese revolutionaries cooperated together there was a substantial amount of distrust from the KMT rightwing. This had been increased in the wake of Chiang Kai-Shek’s assassination and during the Northern Expedition. Chinese communists had instigated uprisings during the Northern Expedition in several cities as well as several peasant revolts, which brought some alarm to many of the KMT leaders as well as their new warlord allies.
However Wang Jingwei had been close to the communists for quite some time and showed every sign of continuing the cooperation with them, despite what his later actions and attitude towards communists would reveal.

Wang had included them in his new Wuhan based government and met with their top leaders, Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao and Xiang Zhongfa. In the north and east, anti-communist actions were already being taken by several KMT and warlord province rulers, in Beiping [3], Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou armed gangs sanctioned by the city rulers would go out and disrupt CCP and labour union meetings in an effort to keep them from organising.


Warlord soldiers having just raided a communist HQ

This situation could not continue forever, the communists were reaching a point of striking back while the right-wing KMT had practically declared war. On 18 January Wang had a meeting with several key KMT leaders as well as generals, Li Zongren and Li Jishen. During the meeting Wang was presented with evidence that the Comintern had plans to use the CCP to replace the left-wing KMT and take over the party. (This was in fact true, Stalin had given Mikhail Borodin secret orders to this effect but told him not to implement them until the time was right, they were leaked and eventually ended up in the hands of one of Chen Guofu’s agents, who presented them to Wang)
Wang agreed with the other leaders that it was time to end the alliance with the communists before the Comintern ordered them to take over the party.
Wang stopped meeting with the communists and started planning the actions required to remove them, a dangerous move since it could have tipped them off to his intentions, but they remained unaware right up until the February Purge began.

From ‘Bloody Politics: A History of Ideological Violence’, By Brad Miller, © 1989, HGO Publishing-Chicago, USA

The February Purge
Location: Republic of China, various cities
Perpetrators: Kuomintang Government and allied warlords

After the Northern Expedition carried out by the Kuomintang’s National Revolutionary Army had succeeded in ousting the former warlords and unified China, tensions between the left and right soon increased. The Communists had worked hand in hand with the Kuomintang since Sun Yat-Sen had decided that all the revolutionaries need to work together and many of them were party members, but since his death there had been a growing anti-communist faction. This was only exacerbated by the Zhongshan incident and Chiang Kai-Shek’s assassination, which despite contrary claims, was not perpetrated by a communist agent. This claim was likely used as a way to discredit the CCP and curb their increasing power. Wang Jingwei, one of Sun’s successors had newly made his way to the top of the party and was in the precarious position of balancing the various interests and factions, one of the larger factors to weigh in on his decision to turn on the communists was due to many of the prominent NRA generals being very anti-communist and Wang needed their support to maintain his position. The first act of which became the February Purge happened on the 6 February 1928. Several communist leaders were holding a large party meeting in downtown Wuhan when soldiers stormed into the building and started making arrests. Anyone who tried to resist was shot down and in fact the soldiers had orders that made it clear, any small action could be interpreted as ‘resisting’. Among the first few killed was Chen Duxiu, one of the founders of the CCP. In addition Xiong Zhongfa was arrested at the house he was living in and hundreds of other communists were rounded up and taken into custody or in many cases executed on the spot. This was soon repeated in most of the other major cities in China and the CCP was dealt a hefty blow to its influence in the urban areas. Their response came quickly though and organised peasant rebellions broke out in March against KMT rule, led by important communists who had escaped the purge in the cities-Li Dazhao, Li Lisan, Zhou Enlai, Bo Gu, Fang Zhimin, and Mao Zedong. The Chinese Civil War had begun.


Rounding up communist prisoners in Wuhan

[1] Just as they did in OTL.

[2] Chinese yellow wine or liquor.

[3] Northern Peace-Beijing was renamed to this after OTL Northern Expedition as well.

__________________
Not By A Mine-Complete
Flaming Dragons-A Warlord China Alternate History

 

 

The Nationalist army met little resistance and

by April 1927

had reached the lower Yangtze. Meanwhile, Chiang, claiming to be a sincere follower of Sun Yat-sen, had broken with the left-wing elements of the KMT. After the Nationalist forces had taken Shanghai, a Communist-led general strike was suppressed with bloodshed. Following suppressions in other cities, Chiang set up his own government at Nanjing on April 18, 1927. He professed friendship with the Soviet Union,

but by July 1927

he was expelling Communists from the KMT. Some left-wingers left for the Soviet Union.

(Photo – Chinese Generals pay tribute to the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Beijing in 1928 after the success of the Northern Expedition. From right to left, are Generals Cheng Jin, Zhang Zuobao, Chen Diaoyuan, Chiang Kai-shek, Woo Tsin-hang, Wen Xishan, Ma Fuxiang, Ma Sida, and Bai Chongxi.)

 

The northern expedition was resumed,

1927

since 1927,

establish a capital of the Nationalist government in Nanjing military authorities more than the Shiu just old friends, when multiplied by the official reached, a breeze. Care each about public office, Noir to frail numerous fan drama resigned. “Why refuse him not official? He died long gone, no one can see their mentality, I guess he saw the darkness of political and democratic retrogression

 

 

in 1928

Chiang took Peking. China was formally unified. Nationalist China was recognized by the Western powers and supported by loans from foreign banks. (The Photo is of Dr Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek)

The Nationalist Era

(1928-1937)

   

The Nationalist period began with high hopes and much promise. More could have been accomplished had it not been for the problems of Comintern corruption and Japanese aggression. In his efforts to combat them both, Chiang neglected the land reform needed to improve the lives of the peasants. Driven from the cities, the Communists concentrated on organizing the peasants in the countryside.

 

1928

 


1928 Peking to France taxed Postcard


 

6. Party Splinters

March 1928
The Chinese Civil War between the Nationalists and Communists has begun. The February purge has decimated the CCP in the cities and led to the execution of many prominent communist leaders. The communist response was to organise large peasant uprisings against the government. Throughout the countryside in the provinces of Guangdong, Hunan, and Jiangxi large armies of peasants and workers mobilised and staged uprisings. A major battle is taking place in the cities of Fuzhou and Nanchang, the new Chinese Red Army commanded by He Long and Bo Gu has almost taken the city form the few remaining government forces. Meanwhile a much larger NRA force, commanded by Li Jishen is moving south in an attempt to retake the provincial capital.

6 May 1928
Hunan Province
Republic of China (recognised)
Hunan Soviet (proclaimed)

Mao Zedong was one of the last to retreat from the battlefield, as commander of his forces he felt responsible for them and refused to abandon his position until his comrades had escaped as well. Once the Kuomintang army had engaged his forces it was clear who was going to win, the enemy had overwhelmed them with sheer numbers.
Mao turned and spoke to his fellow communist and military commander, Lin Biao.
“We held out as long as we could, but they were too strong for us comrade” he said shaking his head.
“It isn’t over” replied Lin “This fight is just beginning, our army is intact and we can still fight these traitors.” And he gestured his hand at the advancing NRA force.
Mao nodded “You’re right. But from now we have to be smarter in how we fight, engaging the government forces in direct battle cannot work any longer. We have to conserve our forces, attack them when they are weak and lest expected. Spread the party message throughout the countryside until the peasants and workers outnumber the government soldiers and we can beat them back.”
Lin nodded in approval “Guerrilla warfare. Where are we heading for now?”
“Further west” replied Mao “we can avoid the Kuomintang in the mountains and regroup there.”
“Will the others be able to join us?” [1]
“I hope so. Last I heard Nanchang had fallen to Li Jishen and that rabid dog of a general has started slaughtering as many of our comrades as he can get his hands on, He’s forces were scattered. Bo Gu and Zhu De are still fighting but there are far too many for them to defeat. If they can make it here, we can consolidate forces and change our tactics. Ah, good, we had best be going.”
The last of Mao’s soldiers had retreated from the battlefield and Mao and Lin began leading them away on their horses.

 



Communist general Mao Zedong in 1928

Taken from “Our Struggle”, By Deng Xiaoping © 1979, Editorial Atlantida. Buenos Aires, People’s Republic of Argentina
Note-This Book is banned in the Republic of China

I wasn’t with Mao and Lin after their first losses, but they talked about it a lot during the Great March. It was then that the first developed the idea of turning the war into a protracted guerrilla struggle rather than large scale revolution. I barely escaped Nanchang with my life, fleeing in disguise as I had in Nanjing. After the failure in Nanchang, we were desperate, the Kuomintang armies were closing in and half of the Second Front Army had been killed or captured. There was little choice, we had to follow Mao to his hideout in the mountains [2]. So we marched west and found ourselves in the mountains soon to join the other forces making their way there. Once we had recovered things didn’t seem so bad, we still had a sizeable army and support among many of the peasants, but the government forces seemed to be everywhere. Then we received word that Zhang Guotao had returned and started his own uprising in Sichuan and Guizhou, and had declared the part of the province he ruled over as the Chinese Soviet State. We bided our time and waited for the right moment to sneak through the gaps between the enemy forces.


The flag of the Chinese Soviet State


CCP leaders gathering in Guiyang

Taken from “The Battle For China:1927-1945”, By Eric Warren © 1999, Blackwoods Books, London, UK
The initial seizures of Nanchang and Jiangxi province were relatively easy for the communist forces. There regions did not have large garrisons of NRA soldiers and many in the region had communist sympathies, in fact the party had spent a great deal of time appealing to the peasants and focussed on increasing their numbers. In addition to this many of the best communist military leaders, men who had lead forces in the Northern Expedition, took command of the communist soldiers and proved their worth. But eventually they ran out of time. Wang Jingwei had made his decision to rid himself of them and he stuck by it, indeed he may have had little choice, siding with the communists meant that he could align himself with the right wing of the Kuomintang, which included the ever growing secret police force led by the Chen brothers, the money and connections of several rich families and last, but not least connections to China’s underworld, which brought in a substantial amount of money from the growing opium epidemic [3].

In addition to this Wang badly needed some strong military allies and he choose generals that had given the best performance in the Northern Expedition, Li Zongren, Li Jishen, Bai Chongxi and He Yingqin. These men commanded some of the best and brightest from Whampoa, many of whom would go on to receive German military training and serve as the strong backbone of the NRA in the future. Wang needed these men firmly on his side and they had a large amount antipathy for the communists, so the communists had to go. But despite the quick campaigns to dismantle the communist holdings in the south and the brief uprisings in Shandong and Anhui, they were far from easy to eradicate completely. In fact several independent minded warlord allies, refused to attack them for fear of taking losses, since the only real power they could command came from the size of their armies. This gave the communists a reprieve and they were consolidated in the west, mostly in Sichuan under Zhang Guotao, recently returned from the Soviet Union and now the most senior member of the CCP after the recent purges and executions. But not all of the communists joined Zhang in his Chinese Soviet State, Mao Zedong had decided the war needed to be turned into a guerrilla struggle that would slowly wear away at the nationalists, so he only briefly stopped in Sichuan to resupply and conduct raids on the nearby nationalist armies. Before the end of the year he would have taken his men north on the Great March. The bulk of the communist forces under Zhang would not be easy to break for the nationalists, but the hammer came down in the spring of 1929. Four armies of the NRA were converging on the region with every intention of sealing off any escape and wiping them out completely.

[1] Lin is referring to the other Red Army forces further east. The make-up of these forces are the Second Front Red Army and the Third Front Red Army. The First Front Red Army was based further north, under the command of Li Dazhao and Ye Ting and has been mostly wiped out by the NRA.

[2] The idea of going to Hunan suggested by He Long is taken more seriously TTL since Mao’s army is already there and the Kuomintang already has an extremely large force in Guangdong.

[3] At this point is still fairly limited in China, but Warren is writing with the benefit of hindsight and as per OTL the opium trade will increase significantly via the Green Gang’s connection to the Kuomintang.

__________________
Not By A Mine-Complete
Flaming Dragons-A Warlord China Alternate History

. Two Red Eggs In The Basket

Taken from “The Battle For China:1927-1945”, By Eric Warren © 1999, Blackwoods Books, London, UK

Despite the fierce resistance put up by the communists in Sichuan they eventually lost out to the inevitable. Li Jishen was in command of the four armies converging on them and he had no intention of allowing them to escape. He made sure that he spread enough troops along the western and northern routes to attempt to stop the communist forces from retreating. However this didn’t stop all of them completely. Enough communists through themselves into the fight at Luzhou that Li was forced to recall some of his units to help him in the battle. This was in fact a strategy that Zhang Guotao had decided on in order to allow a large portion of the communists to escape north, closer to the Soviet Union. Mao Zedong had in fact already taken his forces north near to the mountainous region of Yan’an and Zhang had hoped to join him there. While this strategy did work for a time and allowed many communists to escape the region it was almost for nought. When most of the major battles in Sichuan had finished by 12 January 1929, Li Jishen was already directing troops to pursue the retreating communists. Continued harassment of their force and ambushes by the warlord troops of Ma Hongkui reduced the 100,000 strong force down to about 15,000. By the time Zhang and his remaining men arrived in Yan’an, Mao had already departed further north towards Manchuria, where he would set up his base of resistance which would endure for almost a decade.

With little hope left Zhang decided that defeat was inevitable and he allowed his men to go wherever they wished while he went into exile to Soviet-controlled Mongolia. Most of his men scattered into the countryside, and the Kuomintang declared a victory, but many of them would resurge years later in command of communist guerrilla bands which would cause numerous headaches to the government. In addition to this another group of communists had managed to link up with the southern army of Bo Gu and Zhu De. This group included Zhang Wentian who pushed for a move south towards Tibet where they could lie low and continue the struggle as Mao was now doing in the north. For now there remained two large groupings of communists in China, both in fairly secure areas which were difficult for large forces to reach them. Wang Jingwei had every intention of finishing them off, but had been convinced that they were finished as a fighting force and he had other concerns on his mind, like the reorganising of the Kuomintang armies and the first invasions of one of the greatest threats to the Republic.


A portrayal of the Nationalist victory over the communists at Luzhou


Communist soldiers crossing the Yangtze River to head south to Tibet

Taken from “Our Struggle”, By Deng Xiaoping © 1979, Editorial Atlantida. Buenos Aires, People’s Republic of Argentina
Note-This Book is banned in the Republic of China

They were black days in early 1929, more and more of our comrades were being captured every day, but Mao was like a steady rock of morale that kept us going. We headed further north until we reached the wild, untamed lands of Manchuria. The territory may have been under the control of the Young Warlord [1], but his control was limited to the major cities. Holed up in the Xing’an region, Mao set to work rebuilding and retraining us as effective guerrillas. It would prove invaluable, for Manchuria was about to be invaded, giving us an opportunity to train in warfare and also gain many more recruits to our cause. We also received word that Zhang had managed to hold up in the Tibet region and he was clamouring to be the rightful ruler of the CCP. Mao would make him eat those words in the years to come. Zhang had nothing on his brilliant leadership in battle, or his effectiveness at galvanising troops. I was placed in charge of some the new recruits in May of 1929 and the first thing I had to do was give them a proper revolutionary attitude. Many of them had joined up, simply because they didn’t like their warlord overlords, but they knew nothing about the worker’s cause. The first batch was sitting on some rocks awaiting me one morning and I could tell I would have my work cut out for me.

1929

14 July 1929
Sichuan Province
Republic of China

Sweat trickled down Li Jishen’s forehead. The summer sun was scorching him, but he didn’t bother moving towards his tent. He waited and watched as the horseman rode towards his command headquarters. As he got closer, Li could see an official government banner on the horse’s side, it was likely a messenger from Wuhan.
The man pulled his horse up towards Li and his officers, stopped and climbed off.
“General sir, a message from President Wang.” [2]
He handed the envelope to Li who thanked him and bid him goodbye. Li opened it and began reading, his face developed a slight frown.
“General?” asked General Chen Mingshu, his second-in-command “what is it?”
Li sighed and said ‘We’ve being ordered to proceed immediately to Wuhan. The president has called meeting of all generals and subordinates.”
“But we haven’t finished chasing down these communist dogs!”said Chen.
“Yes” agreed Li “but Feng ahs been testing his authority against Wang for some time now and my guess is Wang has finally decided to implement changes to the armed forces that I recommended to him months ago, Feng will be satisfied, but in the long run I suspect it will curb his independent streak and make him a more useful part of the government. There’s not much more the rest of these traitors can do anyway. They’re leaderless, divided and finished. Tell the others to make ready to move out.”


General Li Jishen, who destroyed the communist forces in the Sichuan Campaign of 1929.

[1] Zhang Xueliang

[2] After the Northern Expedition, the Nationalist government was reorganised in a similar way as OTL, with the Executive Yuan, thought there are differences. The title of premier does not exist, the Yuan being headed by the president, while there is the administrative role is the Chairman, which shares many of the duties as OTL premier.

__________________
Not By A Mine-Complete
Flaming Dragons-A Warlord China Alternate History

8. Fast Times At Whampoa Military Academy

18 April 1995
Los Angeles
USA

Moving to Los Angeles may have been the best move that John Lau [1] had ever made. Despite the lack of radiation around southern China and Hong Kong, the British colony had been flooded to the brim with refugees fleeing the chaotic mainland. The last year had seen some semblance of order restored to the still-liveable parts of China, but the government was only surviving by the skin of its teeth. So the people still left the country in droves, seeking a better life in places like Hong Kong, South Japan, Vietnam, even Korea, which had taken some damage [2] from the nuclear exchange between the old Chinese government and the former USSSR, but had managed to secure plenty of aid from Europe and the US.

John had tried his hand at acting in Hong Kong, but the growth of the film industry had been killed off by the flood of refugees and people having far greater concerns than investing in films. So he had come to America, where things seemed heavenly in comparison. And after a few minor roles in some films and one big role last year, he had managed to land the main character in a large scale historical film. Granted it was about Chinese history, which no doubt helped him, but there was no end of actors in LA and enough of them were Asian that he still had to compete for the role. And here he was now, ready and dressed in costume to begin filming in what he hoped would lead to fame and fortune.

“Ready John?” asked Daniel Spielberg [3], the director. Having him as director only made the film even more important for John. Spielberg had won several Academy Awards for his past films and his last historical film Three Days Of Blood [4], had received Best Film. He was one of the biggest names in Hollywood and John was excited to be working with him.
John nodded and stood up from his seat and made his way towards the set. It was a replica of Whampoa Military Academy as it looked in the 1920’s.
John heard the phrase “Action” and stood up to the podium to re-enact the famous speech Li had made at Whampoa shortly before the Northern Expedition.
He put a stern look on his face, hoping to capture Li’s military training and spoke to the extras that were standing below him as the cameras rolled.

From the LA Entertainment News-October 1995 Issue
Review of ‘Raising Flags: The True Story Of General Li Zongren’
By John Mabell
Despite broaching a controversial subject, Spielberg has managed to pull off what this critic considers another Oscar winning film. While any historical film will be biased in certain ways, Spielberg has managed to maintain an incredible amount of historical accuracy, while also balancing the need for plenty of action and drama. Hong Kong native John Lau has certainly come a long way since starting out in Hollywood and word is that he will be in the running for Best Actor for numerous awards.

As for the film itself, it gives us a brief view of Li’s early life and rise to power in south China, before becoming the Republic’s key military figure, then there is plenty of action detailing the battles that made up the Chinese Civil War and the Chinese part of World War II. Interspersed with this is Li’s struggle amongst the various government factions during the and after the war and his eventual rise to president in the chaotic aftermath of the assassination of President Wang in 1947. More action follows in the with the brief Sino-Soviet Border War and the spin-off conflicts in Korea, Japan and Vietnam as Li takes control of his country in more turbulent times.

The pacing of the film does at times feel slow, but this is more than made up for in the large scale battle sequences and tense dramatic moments between the various historical figures. The length provides enough slow and fast paced material to flesh out into a 2 hour and 45 minute epic that is certainly worth waiting in line at the box office for.


A film poster for Raising Flags, starring John Lau as Li Zongren.

Discussion at on http://www.althist.org
Thread started by LI-2
Topic: Could anyone else have done as good a job as Li Zongren as commander of the Kuomintang Army?

Jackhigh: This is a tough question. Do you mean as commander of the army or do you mean could someone else have done an army job and also gone on to become an impressive leader? For the latter I would say no.

LI-2: No, only could someone have stepped into place and commanded the NRA during the Chinese Civil War and Japanese invasion as well as Li did.

Blackguard: I suspect Li Jishen or He Yingqin would have been decent commanders but Li Zongren had more experience in politics and his position in both the army and the government was pretty crucial during the Clique Crisis, he managed to persuade President Wang to allow the warlords to maintain regional control and independent armies while some of them were on the verge of outright rebellion, a war between them at this time would have been devastating and could have allowed the communists to regroup and gain more ground. Not to mention the state of the Chinese armies when it came to the war with Japan.

Agoraphobiaaa: I reckon if Li had died during the late 1920s somewhere then Zhang Fakui would have been made commander of the army. He was very close to Wang Jingwei and his ‘Iron Army’ 4th corps was the one that had inflicted the final defeat on Zhang Zuolin. This gave him a very large status amongst the other generals. Its fortunate he shared similar aims to Li Zongren (anti-communism, regional independence) otherwise he may have tried to take power form him, but as it was he was content to follow Li, though they had some disagreements during the Clique Crisis. Zhang led some capable campaigns against the Japanese as well, in Nanjing, and Wuhan.

Democratic Bob: No Li Zongren in command equals Warlord Civil War in 1928.

LI-2: Seems like there are some candidates, but there is something else I should mention Li Zongren came up with the strategy of prolonged resistance that was very effective against the Japanese, would anyone else have thought this up? Otherwise the IJA could have made it much further into central China, perhaps even forcing the KMT to surrender.

Jackhigh: Doubtful. For Japan to conquer China would require far more men than they actually had, at worst it would allow more men to be used in the Pacific and delay the US victory perhaps, but the end result is the same. On Li Zongren, apparently Zhang Xueliang’s decision to fight the Japanese in Manchuria, came after he had a heated phone conversation with Li and Wang Jingwei, without Li would he have still fought them, or would he have kept to his orders and let them march into Manchuria?

Taken from “The Battle For China:1927-1945”, By Eric Warren © 1999, Blackwoods Books, London, UK

Chapter 5. Disputes

With most of the main communist forces defeated (except for the fortified enclaves in Manchuria and Tibet) China had now finally been properly unified under the Kuomintang National Government. But with unification came the need for the central government, which had been relocated to Nanjing, to reorganise things. First and foremost was the army. While the NRA made up the bulk of the armed forces, the warlords still retained significant numbers under arms, that answered directly to them, so the appearance of unity was not always there. Wang Jing-wei was tempted to try to reorder the armies in, but the warlords would be resistant as it would mean giving up the personal power they had over their regions. Fortunately General Li Zongren and the German military advisor Max Bauer were able to advise Wang on the best course of action, to retain the loyalty of the warlords. Bauer had originally advocated a corps professional army and many local militia forces when he first came to China, but at the time Chiang Kai-Shek had not wanted to implement this.

But since the end of the Northern Expedition Bauer had been working with Li to make this plan a reality. Bauer had brought thirty German officers to train troops at Whampoa and in particular develop a military intelligence branch. Some of these soldiers would be placed alongside the various clique armies in the spirit of cooperation and the clique leaders would retain leadership over their own militia forces and direct as they saw fit, providing that the declared themselves and their provinces as part of the central government. There was some discourse over the mixing of the armies, but Li Zongren smoothed things out, by meeting with the leaders and explaining to them that they would not be bearing any of the costs for the German trained troops, but still receive their aid as well as potential training for their own men. The so called Clique Crisis had not lasted long and there was still ongoing discussions but for the most part the warlords found the new order acceptable, though Zhang Xueliang is one notable exception to this. For President Wang he scored big political points by securing relations with the warlords, particularly since his military background was severely lacking. Though many have pointed out that the placement of these forces had a hidden purpose. Since many of the NRA soldiers in the provinces had been trained in military intelligence at Whampoa they would also be able to track down communists and their sympathisers amongst the militia forces, but they would also be able to keep track of the warlord forces to see that they maintained their loyalty to Nanjing and could report back of any dissent amongst the warlords.


Max Bauer from his early days in China, when he first met Chiang Kai-Shek and became involved with the Kuomintang. Bauer would continue as a military adivsor in China until his death in 1937.

[1] ATL brother to Hong Kong actor Andy Lau.

[2] By damage, this mostly means fallout that hit these countries due to weather patterns, although the one like Korea that had actual alliances with either of the two sides did take some hits from nuclear weapons.

[3] I hardly think this one needs explanation .

[4] A film depicting the Battle of Gettysburg

trouble North

“Frivolous thinking is due to foreign thought. Japan must no longer let the impudence of the white peoples go unpunished. It is the duty of Japan to fulfil her natural destiny, to cause China to respect the Japanese, to expel Chinese influence from Manchuria, and to follow the way of imperial destiny.”
-General Sadao Araki of the Imperial Army of Ja

Nanjing in 1929.

Shift Ling, Li Zhaofu one held Rare. My father still remembers. He said the grandfather wearing a top hat, wearing a tuxedo, the coffin of the Sun is a red envelope with ROC, two long black satin. It was reported that sixty-four people surrounded the coffin, including carry coffins held Rare by. Held Rare among Wu Yuzhang, Xie immeasurable, Zhao Tie bridges, the three men with Li Zhaofu are relatively close. I the father also remember flying painting of Zhang Shanzai and Xie Wuliang limerick home.

According to my grandmother recalled after the death of Sun Yat-sen, Wang Ching-wei and Chiang Kai-shek had asked the grandfather went to Beihai Park, Fangshan dinner, to be his grandfather out an official, but he declined to Dingfu worry “(his father died). Quit politics, Li Zhaofu still be treated as “Xunlao in national qualifications

Nanjing in 1929.

Shift Ling, Li Zhaofu one held Rare. My father still remembers. He said the grandfather wearing a top hat, wearing a tuxedo, the coffin of the Sun is a red envelope with ROC, two long black satin. It was reported that sixty-four people surrounded the coffin, including carry coffins held Rare by. Held Rare among Wu Yuzhang, Xie immeasurable, Zhao Tie bridges, the three men with Li Zhaofu are relatively close. I the father also remember flying painting of Zhang Shanzai and Xie Wuliang limerick home.

According to my grandmother recalled after the death of Sun Yat-sen, Wang Ching-wei and Chiang Kai-shek had asked the grandfather went to Beihai Park, Fangshan dinner, to be his grandfather out an official, but he declined to Dingfu worry “(his father died). Quit politics, Li Zhaofu still be treated as “Xunlao in national qualifications.

 

 

(du xinxin)

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