Chinese Communist Forces in WWII

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eiserne kreuz
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Chinese Communist Forces in WWII

Post by eiserne kreuz » 22 Jul 2005 15:57

Uncertain if this is the correct place to put post, apologies in advance. I am interested in the Chinese Communist forces that were in existence at the time of world war II. Does anyone have any information on their order of battle, or is this something that is lost forever? Thank you in advance

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Leonard
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Post by Leonard » 23 Jul 2005 09:22

The regular CCP force consists of the 8th Route Army (later renamed 18th Group Army) in the north. Its 3 divisions are: 115thD, 120thD, and 129thD. It has about 40,000 men in 1937. There is also the New Fourth Army (about 10,000 men) in the south, plus numerous guerilla units, such as those in Guangdong and Hainan Island.

The CCP force expanded exponentially throughout the war. But the "official" units (as recognized by Kuomintang) has never be more than the 2 armies named above.

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kutuzov
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Post by kutuzov » 23 Jul 2005 14:11

Actually the Communist China undertook the mission of destroying or damaging Japanese railways or other infraustructure and cutting off the supplies.The 8th Route Army was the main force of the Communist and was directly led under Mao,based in the northwest of China,while the 4th Army was a branch playing a role in the southeast.

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Chinese Communist Forces in WWII

Post by eiserne kreuz » 24 Jul 2005 09:01

Thanks for the information, very gratefully received. I would have thought that the Communists were much larger than that, but as you say the Kuomintang only recognised those formations. This will help me in my endeavours and I am sure I will be back with some more questions.

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Leonard
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Post by Leonard » 25 Jul 2005 04:44

Officially the commander of 8th route army is Zhu De. Though Mao is the one actually making the call. New 4th Army is originally lead by Xiang Ying, later to be disbanded by the KMT.

The CCP did not fight much with the Japanese (not even when it is called upon by the Comintern to protect "mother russia" during German invasion). The largeest campaign - the "100 Regiment Offense" is critized by Mao for it shows off CCP's strength too soon and lead to reprimand by the Japanese.

CCP concentrate on expanding its force throughout the war. Their force increases more than 20 times while that of Chiang is subtantially weakened by the Japanese. Eventually leading to Mao's victory in the civil war.

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kutuzov
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Post by kutuzov » 25 Jul 2005 10:38

Leonard wrote:Officially the commander of 8th route army is Zhu De. Though Mao is the one actually making the call. New 4th Army is originally lead by Xiang Ying, later to be disbanded by the KMT.

The CCP did not fight much with the Japanese (not even when it is called upon by the Comintern to protect "mother russia" during German invasion). The largeest campaign - the "100 Regiment Offense" is critized by Mao for it shows off CCP's strength too soon and lead to reprimand by the Japanese.

CCP concentrate on expanding its force throughout the war. Their force increases more than 20 times while that of Chiang is subtantially weakened by the Japanese. Eventually leading to Mao's victory in the civil war.
My 2 cents,
On one hand,CCP fought hard and very bravely,on the other hand,they were very wise to fight a war that way,considering their own strength.So I always say thankyou to the Nationalist troops for their great contributions to the final V-J Day.
So personally I don't think Mao took advantage of the anti-japanese war,as Chiang had a thousand miles better weapons and far more armed forces at the end of 1945.Their defeat was due to their ridiculous commanding system and wrong strategies.

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Steve
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Post by Steve » 25 Jul 2005 14:57

The following is from The History Of WW2 edited by Barrie Pit and published by Purnell and Sons a magazine on WW2 published in the late 60s early 70s.

The "Hundred Regiments Campaign" of 1940 had been very costly and after Pearl Harbour the communists (like the Nationalists) decided that a Japanese defeat was inevitable and to save themselves for what would come after.

The 8th Route Army under Chu Teh in 1937 had an official strength of 45,000 but was probably 80,000 including guerrillas. By the end of 1943 the 8th was probably 325,000 strong of whom about two thirds were guerrillas. In April 1945 Chu Teh addressing the 7th Party Congress claimed 910,000 regulars in various formations and 2,500,000 guerrillas. Non communist estimates put the Nationalist forces in early 1946 at about 2,500,000 and Communist forces at about 500,000 and by the early summer of 1948 Nationalist forces about 2,00,000 and communist forces about 1,500,000.

The core of the communist forces were the regular troops. The basic communist organisation was 3 squads each of 10 to 15 men making up a platoon, 3 platoons a company which with admin troops was about 120 men, 3 companies a battalion, 3 battalions a regiment, 3 regiments a division. The basic squad was composed of 3 small teams and each team leader would be an aspirant to or member of the Communist Party. The platoon leader was a Party member

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Post by Goldfish » 25 Jul 2005 22:43

Nationalist leaders later criticized the Communists for not launching more major offensives, or destroying supply lines, etc. Later, they claimed that the Communists had only "laid low" building their strength until the war ended.

However, this doesn't take into account the following:

-The Communists had no source of outside supply for either weapons or ammuntion, and hadn't had one since 1927. As bad as the Nationalist supply situation was, the Nationalists at least had the "Hump" and the Burma/Ledo roads. The Communists relied entirely on whatever they could capture or steal from the Japanese and their puppet troops or buy from unscrupulous Nationalist officers. Without a regular source of weapons and ammuntion, it would be difficult to launch and sustain a major offensive. The US considered sending weapons or at least "commando supplies", like plastic explosives, to the Communists, but Chiang refused to allow it. Some medical supplies were sent, mostly because the Communists were at that time involved in rescuing B-29 crews.

-The Communists had very little artillery and no armor or aircraft. This made it very difficult for the Communists to take fortified positions (like bridges and supply dumps) or attack armored trains. They were basically a light infantry force and best suited for small unit actions.

-The Communists managed, by the end of the war, to control large parts of North China and Manchuria. They did not control the cities, of course, or the railways, but controlling the countryside meant that the Japanese were denied revenue and could never really feel safe moving those troops to other areas of China.

-The Japanese considered guerilla operations such a threat that they launched several campaigns, collectively known as the "Three Alls", designed to break up this Communist control in North China. The campaigns were very effective, more effective than the Communists would like to admit, but failed to break up Communist influence.

Considering their limitations, the Communists did very well. The Nationalists had more advantages, American support and weapons being first among them, but had squandered them during the war. Neither side, however, had the resources to drive the Japanese out on their own, at least not in the short term.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 28 Jul 2005 03:12

From Mao:The Unknown Story,Jung Chang:
...page 225...by January 1940 the 8RA...had grown to at least 240,000(from 46,000 at the beginning of the war).And the N4A,operating under Liu Shao-chi...had tripled to 30,000.
...page 231...in east central China,a deal was struck under which the Communist New 4th Army left the railways alone in the countryside.For years,Japanese trains ran smoothly,and the N4A expanded quietly.The underlying reasonong behind leaving the Reds in peace was spelled out to us by...Prince Mikasa,who was an officer in China at the time.He told us that the Japanese view was that while the Communists could be a nuisance,they had no strategic importance.
Chang states that 'Operation 100 Regiments' only lasted a month(August 1940) and resulted in 90,000 Communist casualties.Peng De-huai ran the show much against Mao's will:
..but what most infuriated Mao was that the initiative lessened the chances of Chiang's defeat...and hence of Russia intervening.In future years,Mao was to make Peng pay dearly for this,the only large scale operation carried out by any Communist forces during the whole eight years of the Japanese occupation..page 233.

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