The alliance between the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party in China was always fragile, their joint hatred of the Warlords the only thing that kept it together. When Chiang Kai-shek decided to wipe out his Communist allies in 1927, he began 20 years of fighting. After the Nationalists' victory over the Warlords in 1928, Chiang then turned his attention to the Communists. In a series of extermination campaigns he tried to eradicate the bases or 'soviets' that were under Communist control, and by 1934 it seemed he had finally succeeded. The main soviet in Kiangsi was surrounded by 800,000 Nationalists and all seemed hopeless. Then the Communists broke out and began the epic 'Long March' - which would cover some 3,000 miles - to a new base in Shensi province, from where they would continue their fighting.
Warfare between the Nationalists and the Communists continued even when the Japanese began their incursions into Chinese territory. The Nationalists were accused of being more concerned with defeating the Communists than fighting the Japanese, although some Nationalist officers were unhappy with this tactic. This unhappiness with Chiang's policy of attacking the Communists rather than facing up to the invading Japanese came to a head in the famous 'Shansi' incident of 1936. Chiang was visiting some of his soldiers in Shansi province because they had refused to attack the Communists, when he was kidnapped by the 'Young marshal' Chiang Hsi-yuang. Chiang was forced to agree to form a united front with the Communists to fight the Japanese. This uneasy alliance held until 1941, when the Nationalists attacked a Communist unit, the New 4th Army, which was under Nationalist command. After this incident any pretence of co-operation ended, and for the next few years neither side made any real effort to fight the Japanese on a large scale. They were both preparing for the Civil War they believed would follow an Allied victory over Japan. The end of World War II, in August 1945, started a period of 'false' peace, with attempts at talks failing. Both the Nationalists and the Communists were now spoiling for a fight, and the fight began in earnest in 1946.
Group Army Commanding Officer Army Commanding Officer Divisional Commanding Officer Brigade Commanding Officer Regimental Officer Deputy Regimental Commander Battalion Commander Company Commander Deputy Company Commander Platoon Commander Deputy Platoon Commander Squad Commander Deputy Squad Commander Fighter
1: Military policemen, Feng Yu-Hsiang's Army, Peking 1924 2: White Russian, armoured train crewman, North China 1925 3: Nationalist soldier, Northern Expedition, 1927 4: Detail of Nationalist cap badge on C3
1: Nationalist private 3rd class, 1931 g '
1: Reformed Government officer, 1939 2: Inner-Mongolian cavalryman, Suiyuan 1939 3: Provisional Government soldier, 1939 4: Detail of Reformed Government cap badge on G1
4: Detail of badge commemorating communist victory in battle of Huai-Hai on H3 5: Detail of red star from cap of H1
Was this article helpful?