In 1949, Mao won China and Chiang Kai-shek, still supported by America, fled to Taiwan with the remnants of his KMT army.
Meanwhile, Mao’s six thousand survivors from the First Red Army ruled a country of a half-billion people. Most of the Communist government’s highest-ranking officials from the 1950s through the 70s were the survivors of the Long March.
In one year and one day, the First Red Army covered six-thousand miles, the distance between New York and San Francisco and back again. They averaged about 24 miles a day, climbed 18 major mountain ranges and crossed 24 rivers.
The First Red Army wasn’t the only Communist army to make this march. Two other Red Armies followed and overcame the same obstacles to join Mao’s forces in Shaanxi Province.
Many outside China may think of Mao as a ruthless dictator, but there is no way anyone can deny what he achieved as the commander of the First Red Army during the Long March. He could not have done it without the loyalty of the people and his troops.
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