The morale of the Chinese soldiers

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The morale of the Chinese soldiers

Post by paratatruc » 03 Dec 2007 12:16

I'm curious to know how motivated was the chinese soldier to protect his motherland, before and after Pearl Harbour.
In the(old) books I have read he is oftenly described as a simple peasant forcibly drafted, neglected by his corrupt officiers.
As the same sources hail the communist discipline, order and combativity I'm highly sceptical , especially after reading the recent biography of Mao who denies any important communist participation to the war 's effort before 1944.
So , what is the reader opinion on the chinese soldier and the Kuomintang army?
Thank you very much in advance, I'm really curious.

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Post by Ubermensch » 03 Dec 2007 14:40

i think you have to first define which army (CPC or KMT) you would like to know about as these two differs greatly in most aspects. Kuomingtang troops bore the brunt of the fighting in WW2 so i will assume this is what you are after for now.

im not going to go into details since that will take too long, but KMT forces can generally be seperated into two main group - the central armies from Wampoa which were professionally trained and equipped with german arms, and repatriated warlord armies which are not well trained and are often recruited from local peasantry.

obviously, these two groups will have different morale due to training and equipment differences. most sources and battle results (again im too lazy to dig up these sources so someone might want to help me out here) would suggest that KMT central armies had a high level of morale and were highly motivated in participating in the war of resistance, particularly in the early to mid stages of the war. however, a turning point came around '43 when there was a lull in fighting and issues such as corruption and cumulation of defeats began chipping away the initial enthusiasms. the devastating loss of chinese NCOs in the shanghai-nanking campaigns would also have had a brutal effect in reducing morale if u know how the armed forces work. from that point onwards, chinese morale is more difficult to gauge but it would definitely have been declining. changing demographics (the reduction of well trained wampoa cadets and the increase in new less trained troops) will also have an impact on morale

warlord armies, while enthusiastic as any other group, also had their own motivations - mainly to keep their domain, therefore it is entirely possible for these troops to be just as motivated but for slightly different reasons.

Jerry Asher
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Post by Jerry Asher » 03 Dec 2007 16:20

In late 1937, two American military observers noticed a very slow moving train at considerable distance, only after considerable time did it become clear to them that the entire train had no engines and was being pulled by humans. One turned to the other and said, "That's the spirit that will beat the Japanese at the end." In early 1944, 330,000 farmers were drafted to built four air fields for the American B-29 bombers, the runways were 8,500 yards long, (can't remember how wide--but wide-- and twenty inches thick. They started work on January 24 in an all Chinese operation and the last of the baes was turned over to the Americans on May 1, 1944. At another time, thousands of men pulled up river, 3,000 ton ships "at the rate of two Chinese yards per hour." Guys and gals that is not many centimeters per day.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 04 Dec 2007 09:32

This is an estimate of Chinese military losses:

1937-1941 1,070,440 dead,1,376,019 wounded

1942-1945 291,518 dead, 385,316 wounded

Sub-Total 1,361,958 dead

Plus 900,000 CPC & Guerillas

Plus 900.042 starvation,disease

Total 3,162,000 deaths

If anything this shows how after 1941 generally the intensity of battle dropped in China,the Japanese committed elsewhere,the Chinese holding on the defensive until an Allied victory.

I assume these figures are correct.

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Post by sjchan » 04 Dec 2007 13:22

These figures are apparently based on Clodfelter's book. While accurate statistics are certainly difficult to find regarding Chinese military losses, I have lots of questions with the tables in the link you posted.

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