The Long March – Part 1 (1/6)

July 24, 2010

Mao’s Long March is considered one of the most significant military campaigns of the 20th Century and one of the most amazing physical feats ever attempted.

Surrounded by hostile armies, 87,000 Communist troops escaped and walked nearly 6,000 miles in one year. It was a desperate retreat for Mao’s Communist Chinese Army from the Nationalist forces (the KMT) of General Chiang Kai-shek. The KMT had a huge advantage with a much larger military force big enough to surround their enemy, the Chinese Communists.

Many say The Long March was a brilliant military maneuver. Others claim it was a series of strategic blunders. However, most historians agree that what was accomplished was astounding. In this documentary, the survivors reveal what happened.

In the 1920s, eighty percent of the 450 million Chinese people were poor peasants who lived in the countryside. Over half owned no land and often worked for little more than food for an absentee landlord.

The difference between the Communists and Nationalists was vast. The Communists wanted to give the land to the peasants while the Nationalists wanted to maintain the old social order.

See The Roots of Madness, which came before The Long March, or go on to The Long March – Part 1/2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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China: The Roots of Madness – Part 4/8

June 10, 2010

In Part 4, Chiang Kai-shek’s army is not ready when Japan invades Manchuria. He doesn’t have tanks, the artillery is old and the Chinese are learning about airplanes.

Meanwhile, the Communists that Chiang thought he had destroyed are back. Mao knew the peasants lived in horrible poverty. He promised land reforms and by 1932 has millions of supporters.

The language describing Mao is not flattering. Yes, when Mao ruled China, he was a brutal dictator. However, Chiang Kai-shek was also a brutal dictator. But Chiang converted to Christian in 1929, and the West still refers to him as the president of China—not a dictator.

Instead of fighting Japan, Chiang’s army bombs villages that Mao controls killing tens of thousands of noncombatants. Mao takes his ninety thousand troops on the famous thousand-mile Long March. A year later, only a few thousand remain. Mao calls for unity to fight Japan.

One of Chiang’s generals, Zhang Xueliang, forces him to sit down with the Communists where Chiang Kai-shek agrees to fight Japan. As soon as Chiang returns to his capital, he breaks the agreement and throws Zhang in prison.

Continued in The Roots of Madness- Part 5 or return to Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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