Addendum re: The 1929 Sino-Soviet War: The War Nobody Knew - by Michael Walker
The failure of the Chinese forces would be ascribed to the generals, misjudgement by some and lack of good leadership by one. The author repeatedly makes a point of the toughness of the Chinese soldiers and quality of the junior officers. The Chinese forces beat off all the raids, probes and sabotage incidents during the summer of 1929. They did not expect a major offensive when winter weather came late in the year. The Warlord Wars technically just ended in 1928 and there was scant time to reorganize and unify the warlord armies into a national force. The Soviets, on the other hand, had a few years since the end of their Civil War to restructure and improve their army. The Soviets were also developing a very advanced military doctrine. They had a significant numerical advantage in artillery and aircraft. The orders of battle presented in the book would indicate that the Soviets probably also had superior numbers overall. This is counter to the usual Soviet histories which claim the Soviets were outnumbered. (For instance, Chinese forces are often reported as totaling 100,000, but there was only an equivalent of one division each in the Western, Northern and Eastern fronts actually facing the Soviets - perhaps 10,000 troops each). The Soviet leader, Stalin, gathered some of the best Russian generals from the Russian Civil War for the offensive, and the Soviets held the military initiative. The author emphasizes that this conflict was a war. The Soviets minimized the conflict, claiming only minor incidents, and this served to paralyze the League of Nations which mainly wanted to believe it so as to do nothing. The true extent of the Soviet casualties was secret and will probably never be known. The author submits that the Soviets' minimization of the conflict wrongly became the accepted view among historians. Consequences of this war: stimulation of Soviet and Japanese imperialism and the road to WW2.