The Chinese Revolution was a long period of civil strife and conflict within China over who owns the nation. Since the twenties Japan had been encroaching on the nation and taking land in an aggresive imperialistic military campaign. Meanwhile, warlords and the Guomindang combated the Qing Dynasty while communist forces in rural China as well as within the universities counter-revolted and protested the Kumantang under Generalismo Chiang Kai-Shek as being as unfair as the Qing Dynasty.
The conflict lasted an immense amount of time and is credited to much loss of life.
Communism in ChinaEdit
Following the dissolution of the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917 many former Bolshevik leaders and Revolutionaries fled to the outlying nations to seek asylum from the Czar's army. Fearing that not even the Siberian emptiness could even save them, many jumped ship into China and sought refuge in its rural environment. Here, though not necessarily seeking to raise a Revolution of their own many of the leaders taught the Marxist view-point.
China, unlike Russia was in a state of severe political uncertainty. With the Imperial seat in Beijing in question for the next seventeen years as well as much of China's coastal territory being in the hands of Japan the state of China was - at best - unstable. Communist communes were popular in many of the outlying rural regions in northern and western China.
The existence of Communism within China was also the curiosity of the learned university denizens, who considered the Bolshevik Revolution a failure for the Marxist system and closely observed and studied the existence and growth of Communism in the Chinese fringes for the next several years. Their close sociological examination and political intrique in turn helped bringing the philosophy to the ever militant growing urban populations.
The Shanghai CommuneEdit
The first urban commune to come to fruition following Communism establishment in Rural China was that of the Shanghai Commune. Organized by students at the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the Tongji Universities as well as a number of disgruntled factory workers the movement was aimed at practicing Communism in an urban environment in the same vein as the Paris Commune.
The city, which was under the control of the KMT at the time took the efforts in stride, choosing it would be strategic to have the support of the communists should the Japanese make an effort to reclaim the city.
The Jiaxing CommuneEdit
Following the apparent success of the Shanghai Commune urban workers formed a formal militia and stage a liberation of the city of Jiaxing of the Japanese. The battle was drawn out and brutal. But was beneficial in that the confrontation within the city was the first marked moment of action for the fledgling Chinese Communists.
The battle also drew in the attention of the KMT, who moved in additional soldiers in support and aided the Communists in beating the Japanese out of the city. Though battered, bloodied, and bruised, the Jiaxing Commune came out victorious in the affair and set about repairing the city. This second uprising of a new urban commune also spurred on further growth of the movement throughout China as news spread.
The Northern expedition was a military offensive against the warlord governments conducted by the Chinese Nationalists under the command of generalissmo Chiang Kai Chek. The opperation had immense support from the communist communes in KMT territory and its early successes on the matter were attributed to the support of the communes. Launched in 1927, the theater was set to capture or kill Wu Piefu and Sun Chuanfang of the Zhili Clique as well as Zhang Zuolin.
Recruiting the aid of communist insurgents a year before the invassion Chiang salted the lands of the Zhili Clique - who were already distrusting of themselves - with rumors of the other lord looking to attack the other. The resulting actions encouraging an air of hostility that forced the two into open civil war with each other. At the same time, the insurgents mobilized the peasants and workers by distributing information of the KMT's progressive policies.
By 1927 Chiang launched a hundred-thousand strong man army from the KMT power-base in Guangdong province. Due to the underground activities as well as the in-march activities of the KMT forces their numbers doubled from 100,000 to a 250,000 man strong force and more. Their march went unharrased for close to half a year and in its growth managed to largely decimate the warlord's armies.
Following the defeat of the Zhili Clique late in the winter of 1927 Chiang ordered the purging of all Communist members within the KMT. As a result, the Shanghai commune was slaughtered or disappeared. Fearing for themselves the Jiaxing commune attempted to flee inland, though right-wing KMT forces managed to catch up to their fleight and on their migration inland half the commune's population was killed.
The resulting violence against the left-wing forces in the KMT resulted in the political split of the KMT as well as mass desertions on the front lines. Withdrawing their support from Chiang Kai Shek half the KMT moved the operation's power base to Wuhan and condemend Chiang. As a response, the general set up his power-base in Nanjing and continued his campaign.
Taking advantage of the political division and instability within the KMT the Manchurian warlord - Zhang Zoulin - made an offensive push against the splintered KMT forces. Outside of the city of Beijing the two armies clashed. The KMT army - now split - was equal to the hundred-thousand man force of Zhang Zoulin.
In addition, the Russian Empire supplied a number of soldiers ranging from 10,000-20,000 to defend the Russian population of Harbin as well as to hunt down and squash the growing communist presence in China to prevent a resurgence of Bolshvekism in Russia.
This army subsequently fought Chiang's men down to Xuxhou where a long battle was initiated that resulted in a Nationalist loss, attributed to sloppy placement of the Nationalist forces. Defeated and shamed, Chiang Kai Shek returned south to Nanking where he resiegned as head of government.
Replacing Chiang Kai Shek, Li Zongren took the helm of the KMT government and attempted reconciliation with the combined Manchu-Russian forces. Though during the talks communist forces attacked the warship talks were being had on and attempted to capture both leaders.
The assault ended in defeat and Li Zongren immediatly ordered the purging of the remaining communists in Wuhan. Reinstating Chiang Kai Shek as generallismo and head of state of the KMT government the last straw was broken between them and the communists.
Battle of LongtanEdit
Mustering the forces of the KMT's communist members, Sun Chuangfan attempted an attack on the city of Longtan, an important city in the resupplying of the KMT remaining forces in the north and future excursions into warlord. Surrounding Longtan, fighting was fierce and stubborn, with the heart of the KMT command at Mt Wulongshan.
However, additionally tied up with other uprisings in the south there were little other generals who could come to the relief of Longtan. And the city eventually fell after much blood-shed on September 2, 1927.
Following the fall of the city, the Manchu warlord Zhang Zoulin mounted an offensive of his own and took Longtan from the communist forces. And with Sun Chuangfan dead the remaining communists fled south across the Yangtze and then followed their brothers inland.
With the growth of Zhang Zoulin's influence the warlord made a push south into KMT territory. Though, a revamped Northern Expedition mounted by Chiang Kai Shek once again pushed the warlord north to Jinan.
This second expedition also made it to Tianjin but was ultimately blocked outside the city.
Having long sapped their natural home-land of resources the Japanese had made several expeditions into China and succesfully invaded Indochina and Taiwan. The combined efforts of the warlords and the KMT movement they had lost their initial territories in central-coastal China and was more than eager to reclaim their lost turf.
So sensing weakness in the enemy the Japanese invaded China second time. In 1935 Japanese forces swelled into China from Korea and rapidly and brutally made ground in Manchuria, sending Zhang Zoulin on the run. Japanese rapidly swarmed Harbin, Tianjin, and Beijing months after their initial invasion and in 1936. In 1940, the heir to the Imperial title - Puyi - was old enough to inherit his claim to the throne and with gathering support was awarded the position by the Japanese and given the seat of emperor of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukoko.
Japanese brutality and a combination of pandemics weakened KMT power in the north and forced them into a third retreat to the Yangtze River.
By the mid forties the Japanese had claimed the entire coast of China and drove the KMT inland. Japanese power was heavily consolodated in northern China from Harbin to Jiangsu.
Though never discovered until several decades later, the Japanese biological and chemical experimentation unit - Unit 731 - was given land in Harbin following its capture in 1935. With the blessings of Emperor Hirohito, Shiro Ishiji and the scientists and dotors of Unit 731 practiced brutal and grusome medical and chemical experiments on the residents of the territories they controlled and on KMT forces.
Resurgance of CommunismEdit
Holding their power in the interior of China the Communist forces reorganized themselves, establishing formal communes in Lanzhou, Chengdu, Hohhot, and elsewhere. As the KMT and Japanese forces quarreled along the coast Communist forces regrouped themselves and worked to make pushes further into the interior of China to acquire followers from the rural communities in Qinghai, Gansu, and Sichuan. All the well taking in refugees from the fighting in Eastern China.
The activities of the Chinese communists painted them as a safe-haven for the peasantry in the east who often found themselves being on the stage for Russian maneuvers in their own campaign to attempt to reconsolidate authority over the then rebelling Kazakistan, as well as refugees from the west escaping the maltreatment under Japanese forces and increasing factionalization of the KMT who continued to argue Socialist vs Nationalist ideas. Displaced communist such as Mao Tzedung used their time in hiding to build up their military strength as well as plan and mount expeditions to eastern China to confront KMT or Japanese forces.
Additionally, leaders such as Wen Xiogang - secretary to the modern National Congress - organized their own communes in this region of interior, central China.
The rise of Hou Sai TangEdit
In 1946 a thirty-six year old man named Hou Sai Tang enrolled in the University of Law in Hong Kong to study. Born in 1910 in Tianjin the new student had worked much of his life in factories across northern China, evading the Japanese. The city of Hong Kong was liberated by KMT forces a year after its initial capture by the Imperial Army in 1937. Under the discretion of the more liberal KMT leader Zhenwu Zhang its colleges and universities had been reopened. As such the city often had several communist cells operating within, operated by college students angered at the maltreatment of the workers and the constant warring.
A year into his education Hou officially enrolled in an underground communist group, the Students for Free China at the insistence of a new friend of his, Wen Chu. Being enchanted by the Communist Manifesto and Sun Yet-Sen's Three Principles of the People. Though silent, the insistence of his friend to speak had led him to give riveting accounts of the worker's plight in the north to the group and he was quick to become a favorite for his expositions. So much so, a year after his enrollment he was elected "chairman" of the movement after its original - Min Wu - was caught distributing propoganda in the street and beaten in the streets.
None the less, even with his position he was never wholly active in the group. Through daring visits to his home in Tianjin he would often take time to discuss produly the tenants of the group to his family, eventually recruiting his brother Hou Tsun who later organized a loose Tianjin commune under the nose of Japan. The rest of his siblings supported him, though his father was apprehensive, he kept loyal to his son.
Hou eventually graduated from Hong Kong - after several war-related delays - in 1953 as a full fledged lawyer. Though he attempted to vouch for worker's rites he was denied by the ruling KMT who tried to distance themselves several times from Hou. Wen Chu did his part and helped to expand the Students for Free China making it the larger of the communist circles in Hong Kong culminating in the unofficial Hong Kong commune. Hou tried to keep the operations of the group quite and "mature" as to not catch attention and a bad name.
In 1955 during a protest against Japanese rule Hou's brother, Tsun was shot dead by Japanese forces on the step of the imperial office of the state of Manchukoko. The news struck hard on Hou, angered by the killing broke down. His opinions of the Japanese and KMT plummeted and he effectively declared war, to the relief of many in the group.
Hong Kong CommuneEdit
The Hong Kong commune survived for a year under Hou Sai Tang and Wen Chu. Shutting down a port to the outside it effectivly crippled KMT ability to recieve aide from elsewhere during the course of the worker's occupation of the city. The commune spread to Macau where it established the even more brief Macau commune.
Its existence propegated remaining division in the KMT and prompted the seccession of several leaders from Chiang Kai-Shek who fought to liberate Hong Kong from his siege. Communist forces were also re-bolstered and fired up their war on the KMT from the west.
March of Hong KongEdit
On March 3, 1956, nearly a year after Hou Tsun's death the KMT siege of the city was taking its toll. Fearing death by starvation Wen Chu demanded a full evacuation of the commune. Sending word to Macau, both cities attempted fleight on March 6.
The numbers under Hou left at night by boat, travelling north to Shantou where they landed in the early morning and marched north-west through enemy territory to meet with forces under Wen Xiogang and Mang Xhu in Chongqing.
Born to a blue-collar family in Angqing, Anhui who worked as tailors 1923. The family made off pretty well. When the Kumintang began occupying the town in full in 1928 the family was forced to move from small out-of-home clothes making to the factories to make uniforms for the KMT soldiers.
When the Japanese invaded the mainland in 1935 Xhu's father joined the KMT army. He was later killed in the line of duty when Xhu was only twelve. This forcing the family to move further inland to stay with relatives in Xiaogang. His uncle, who he and mother moved to live with was modestly well off. Though within his circles of cousins he was outcasted for a certain lack of athleticism leading him to wander about the countryside.
By 1941, he and his mother managed to convince his uncle into helping to invest money into the child's foriegn education and he was enrolled into the University of California where he studied economics and western philosophy. However, news coming in from the home-front made him homesick, and he returned home two years later.
After his return, he was swept up into the communist spirit on the Chinese interior, if at first apprhensivly. But after observing the internal economic practices of the communes, and their treatement of the peasents he had known as a boy he grew to them and became a speaking figure within the local commune. Eventually becoming a sort of figure-head in his own at a young age. Here is when he also met Wen Xiogang
Hong Kong RendevouzEdit
When word reached Mang Xhu and Wen Xiogang of the Hong Kong commune they and their lieutenants voted to dispatch a number of soldiers to aid them. However, they were not able to make it passed Chengdu and Chongqing and found themselves forced to wait at the edge of the border. When it was declared that when the communes had evacuated to the north-west they waited, eventually recieving the haggard and beaten remnants on September 10, 1956.
I will write more when I have a viable time-table to tell the story of Chinese Civil War in full.