what handy little primers they can be in understanding the broader political, economic, social and military backgrounds to a conflict.
Chris Jarvis, Miniature Wargames
There is an unlikely photo of Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-Shek toasting each other at banquet in 1946. Chiang was on a roll. With Communist collaboration the Japanese were defeated, Chiang's Nationalist Revolutionary Army controlled most of China and was on good terms with the US. Three years later Mao announced the new Republic of China from Beijing and Chiang had fled to Taiwan. What went wrong? On resumption of the civil war, after initial set-backs, Mao switched his attacks to Manchuria where the NRA occupied former Japanese held Manchuguo and captured Harbin; his PLA generals transformed it into a modern army from its guerrilla roots. In Chiang's “strongpoint offensive” of 1947 against PLA bases, Mao's Yanan soviet was captured though Mao escaped after forewarning by a NRA commander. Counterattacks against overstretched NRA armies led to Communist Liaoshen autumn 1948 campaign capturing railway junctions of Jinzhou, Changchun and Shenyang, and the winter campaign north of the Huaihai River against Xuzhou threatening the Nationalist Goumindang government capital Nanjing. A simultaneous winter push netted Tianjin and prestigious Beijing, it falling in January 1949. Other besieged cities in the Nationalist southern heartlands fell, Nangking, Shanghai, Xian, and after the symbolic Yanzi crossing, Guangzhou, Chongching. Tibet and Xinjiang were occupied. This book is a revised version of Osprey ESS 61, 2010. Though the main battles are here, there is a substantial socio-political element, necessary to explain the complex twists and turns of this bloody civil war, which still encroaches on events today. Thanks to Osprey for the sample. John Ham, August 2022.
John Ham, Tankette
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