chinese infantry officers

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keith A
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Joined: 19 Jan 2012 16:51

chinese infantry officers

Post by keith A » 03 Sep 2019 17:43

Assuming that second lieutenants lead platoons, are first lieutenants company commanders, captains battalion commanders and majors lead battalions etc...?



Posts: 2629
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: chinese infantry officers

Post by gebhk » 12 Sep 2019 10:08

Hi Keith

I didn't write earlier, hoped someone more knowledgeable would respond.

In most armies a platoon leader's 'berth' goes to a 1st or 2nd lieutenant - the difference in rank is related to status rather than function. I couldn't find anything definitive on the Chinese armies but a review of what I had suggests that (at least as far as central government troops goes) the usual progression (platoon led by lt/2nd lt; company led by captian; battalion by major, regiment by colonel etc ) was followed, at least as far as official TOEs went. However.....

Firstly, even within the government-controlled units there was bewildering variation, as numerous official organisations were introduced successively while the wherewithal to implement them varied from one unit to the next. Thus, depending on which unit we are considering and when, new structures were adopted wholly, partially or not at all.

Secondly, a significant portion of the armed forces remained outside direct government control. The communist forces and the armies of the various provincial warlords each had their own organisational doctrines.

Thirdly, the Chinese were bedevilled by a bewildering range of weapons and equipment. With the different levels of command expertise required to use them, this too would have some impact on local command structures.

The point of this ramble, is that you cannot describe 'Chinese infantry officers'' command structure as a single entity. There were dozens depending on time, organisational allegiance and type/equipment of unit.

More importantly perhaps, this is theory. In practice, in all armies in the world, for an endless number of reasons, units are often led by officers of more junior rank than organisational doctrine demands. This is particularly the case in wartime, even more so when an army sustains heavy casualties. The early stages of the Sino-Chinese conflict in WW2 can only be described as crippling for the Chinese with regard to casualties. In 1937, a communist regiment (179th/769th - this is not clear from the data I have) we researched for a wargame, was commanded by a captain, the battalions were commanded by lieutenants and Lord alone only knows who commanded the companies and platoons. In most cases no doubt it was NCOs and/or field-promoted boys just out of their short pants.

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