Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek`s Army

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Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek`s Army

Post by Steve » 06 Apr 2005 02:07

An American report on the Chinese army in 1941 observed it was, ill equipped, poorly trained and quite innefficient. Between March 41 and October 45 $631,509,000 of aid was sent but an efficient force was never permanently established.

Chinese divisions were arranged in a triangular structure with three regiments and a nominal strength in 1941 of 9,529 officers and men though most divisions averaged 6,000- 7,000 with many weaker. It had no artillery or heavy weapons as these were hoarded by Chiang and alloted to well behaved war lords. Trench mortars were normally relied upon for support and a reasonably equipped division would have between 18 and 30. On paper there were 324 light and heavy machine guns but the average was 200 light and 36 heavy. Chinese divisional commanders looked upon their formations as private property. When new weapons arrived they would be impounded by the commanding officer and hoarded.

A land army had three divisions and three land armies formed a group army. On average each war lord had three group armies at his disposal. War lords often doubled as provincial governors with loyalty to Chiang the most valued attribute. There were 12 war areas and these took instructions from Chiang and his Military Council. All Chinese commanders were ordered to stay on the defensive and await an American victory.

Each area commander recruited and trained his own men and in so far as possible equipped them. There was no central reserve and if the Japanese attacked one area then the Military Council would try to coordinate its defence. Many military Governors would try not to expend military force as this detracted from their position vis a vis neighbouring war lords. Military operations recieved little central support as a successful military governor may have challenged the power of Chiang.

In late 1942 Chiang had a total of 3,819,000 men under arms, 2,919,000 formed into 246 divisions employed as "front line" troops plus 44 brigades (a very loose term). In the rear areas were 70 divisions and three brigades with a total strength of approx. 900,000 men. In addition Chiang had another 30 divisions under his personal command to ensure the loyalty of his war area commanders and keep an eye on the Communists. Against the Japanese he fielded about 300 divisions. This alignment was only theoretical as serious fighting was not contemplated.

Taken from World War 11 a weekly publication on ww2 in the early 70s in the UK.

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