Nationalist Uniforms 192028

The very earliest Nationalist uniforms consisted of a loose-fitting cotton shirt and trousers with a canvas sun hat. Even for Chinese uniforms these were not very martial looking, and as soon as better uniforms became available they were replaced. In 1922 a new uniform was designed for the Kuomintang Army. It was described in the press as the 'new uniform of the warriors of Sun Yat-sen'. It consisted of a cotton peaked cap with a black band and the five-coloured star cap badge. The jacket was light khaki in colour and had red collar and shoulder insignia with the same system of ranks as the other armies of China at that time. Light khaki shorts and black woollen puttees finished off the new uniform, which was available in limited numbers only.

By the time of the Northern Expedition of 1926 the Nationalists were wearing their own uniform, made from light brown cotton with the Nationalist sun emblem on the peaked cap. Trousers were worn with or without puttees. Riding breeches and leather gaiters were popular with officers. No rank distinctions were normally worn, although a few high-ranking officers did improvise by wearing Republican shoulder ranks on the left upper arm with a small Nationalist sun badge

RIGHT Manchukuo cavalry on the march on their Mongolian ponies, which were small and hardy creatures. Cavalry made up an important part of the Manchukuo army, totalling about 25,000 men. They wear early fur hats, later replaced with a neater model. They have the five-coloured enamel star cap badge with the same colours as the old Chinese Republican badge but in a different order. Nearly all equipment and weaponry of the army would have been Japanese - as are these soldiers'. (Popperfoto)

Nationalist Army Lu-chun) 1929-1946

Eastern Volunteers Rank Insignia

1: Gold collar-patch edged gold, 3 gold triangles. 2-3: Gold collar-patch, 3 gold triangles (ranks were only distinguishable by the different gold insignia on the cuff of the dark-blue ceremonial tunic). 4-5: Gold collar-patch, 2-1 gold triangles. 6-8: Branch-colour collar-patch edged gold, 2 gold bars, 3-1 gold triangles. 9-12: Branch-colour collar-patch edged gold, 1 gold bar, 3-0 gold triangles. 13-15: Red collar-patch, dark blue centre-stripe, 3-1 gold triangles. 16-18: Red collar-patch, 3-1 gold triangles. 19: Silver sun on dark blue disc. Branch-colours: Infantry - red: Cavalry and Armour - yellow: Artillery - blue: Engineers - white: Transport -black: Medical - dark green: Military Police and Pay Corps - crimson.

1: Gold collar-patch edged gold, 3 gold triangles. 2-3: Gold collar-patch, 3 gold triangles (ranks were only distinguishable by the different gold insignia on the cuff of the dark-blue ceremonial tunic). 4-5: Gold collar-patch, 2-1 gold triangles. 6-8: Branch-colour collar-patch edged gold, 2 gold bars, 3-1 gold triangles. 9-12: Branch-colour collar-patch edged gold, 1 gold bar, 3-0 gold triangles. 13-15: Red collar-patch, dark blue centre-stripe, 3-1 gold triangles. 16-18: Red collar-patch, 3-1 gold triangles. 19: Silver sun on dark blue disc. Branch-colours: Infantry - red: Cavalry and Armour - yellow: Artillery - blue: Engineers - white: Transport -black: Medical - dark green: Military Police and Pay Corps - crimson.

Note. Collar-patches 3 (Shang-chiang) - 17 were worn on the left collar by personnel of the Chinese National Defence Army (Chung-hua Kuo-fang Lu-chun) of the 'Reorganised National Government of the Republic of China' from April 1940 to August 1945.

Insignia Rang Mongolian Army

attached. The majority of early Nationalist uniforms had only a cotton name or unit patch above the left breast pocket and the cap badge as insignia.

Flags had a highly symbolic role in the Kuomintang armies of the Northern Expedition, and the Nationalist sun flag of the party was always seen in battle. Even small squads of soldiers carried their own flags, which they would have used to stir up revolutionary fervour in the men. As Warlord soldiers switched to the Nationalist side, they wore their old uniforms with the five-coloured star removed and the Nationalist sun added. The constant fighting and confusion meant that any attempt at standardising uniforms during this period was very difficult; it is rare to see two soldiers of the early Nationalist Army wearing exactly the same uniform.

BELOW Manchukuoan Imperial Guard cavalry at the Coronation of Pu-Yi as emperor of the new Empire of Manchukuo in April 1934. They men wear Japanese khaki uniforms with the collar insignia in the branch colour of green. The pennants on their lances are yellow with in the fly vertical stripes of red, blue, white and black after the Manchukuo flag. The dress uniform of the Imperial Guard was a much more ornate uniform of 'comic opera' design. (Ugo Pericoli)

Was this article helpful?

+1 -1

Post a comment