Long Marchpptx

The Long March
When did the Fifth campaign begin and who was
Chiang’s military adviser?
In the fall of 1933 Chiang Kaishek began his fifth
extermination campaign in attempt to rid of all
communists in Jiangxi. General Hans von Seeckt from
Germany was Chiang's military adviser at the time.
Why was this campaign against the
Communists so successful?
Instead of the previous methods that Chiang had used in his past four
extermination campaign attempts, General Hans von Seeckt had invented a
new attack strategy called the “Blockhouse Strategy”. Unlike the old method,
which consisted of a direct invasion of the Red Army areas, Seeckt's method
was to send troops surrounding the entire Jiangxi Soviet to construct
blockhouses, whilst digging trenches and all other sorts of blockade as they
went. The goal of this strategy was to block out all entry and exit into and out
of the Jiangxi Soviet, which disallowed the Communists access of food, fuel
weapons and ammunition, while slowly reducing their control of the the land.
What did the Soviet adviser Otto Braun
suggest to Mao?
•Otto Braun suggested a new idea to escape from
the GMD different to Mao’s. His idea involved
full-scale, frontal attacks on GMD armies to
break out of the blockhouses rather than guerilla
tactics that involved retreating and luring in the
•Otto Braun believed his tactics were right
because Mao’s tactics had been politically wrong.
By retreating, the CCP were giving up land and
abandoning peasants.
• With the backing of 24 Russian-trained leaders
Otto Braun got his way and Mao was expelled
from the CCP’s Central Committee.
As the CCP’s base in Jiang Xi held up to
1,000,000 members and extremely important
CCP leaders, Chiang Kai Shek was utterly fixed
on obliterating all the communist occupants of
that province.
After four failed extermination campaigns
against the communist, Chiang Kai Shek adopted
a new successful tactic, the ‘Block house Strategy’.
During the summer of 1934, the GMD used the
‘Block house strategy to blockade Jiang Xi
province. The GMD were triumphant, managing
to completely enclose the Communists in Jiang Xi
with four lines of ‘block houses’, which included
about 700,000 men. These 700,000 men
stopped the transportation of supplies: food,
weapons, ammunition and fuel.
Whilst the GMD waited eagerly for the CCP to
surrender. The Chinese Communist Party were
deciding agitatedly on their options. They could
do a various number of things. They could either
fight back, surrender, arrange a truce with the
GMD (all these options would probably have
resulted in death), or flee.
What had happened by the
beginning of October 1934?
By October 1934, the GMD blockhouses had
completely surrounded Ruijing, the Jiangxi base
capital. The CCP had lost over half of their
territory and 60,000 Red Army soldiers had
been killed.
More Red Army soldiers were deserting, while
some were committing suicide, thinking of it as
better than what the GMD would do to them.
The CCP were forced to give up the base and
retreat, and everyone would have to try to break
They tried to take as much as they could with
them, but 20,000 wounded CCP members were
left behind with the peasants as well as the
soldier’s children. Mao Zedong had to leave his
two children behind and they were never seen
Factories and arsenals were stripped bare; a lot
of equipment was buried or put on donkeys and
mules. Everything was to be carried including
sewing machines, printing presses, heavy
weapons, many documents and bags of
Mexican dollars.
By the end of the breakout, nearly half of the
men who attempted to escape were killed.
When the communists realised they were wholly
surrounded, and that fighting back was no use,
Otto Braun organised an escape. He planned to
flee to Hunan-Hubei, another communist base,
by breaking through the block house.
Mao was in complete disagreement with Braun’s
tactic again. Instead of retreating to another
communist base he wanted the CCP to break
through the block houses then, attack the
Guomindang from behind. However yet again,
Mao was ignored and Braun was followed.
What went wrong with Braun’s tactics?
However there were flaws to Braun’s
Firstly, since Brain was using full-scale
attacks to break out from the blockhouses
against a numerically superior GMD army
there were great casualties. At the battle of
Guangchang the Red Army lost 8000
men, and because the blockhouses were
trapping them in the Red Army could not
easily replace these men or their weapons.
Secondly, since the Red Army had to
carry so much equipment, they marched
very slowly. Finally, Braun was marching
the Red Army in a straight line, making
their movements very predictable.
These two factors meant that the GMD
could easily track down the Red Army
and they would not be able to avoid them
because they were moving so slowly.
Why did they blame Otto Braun for their
misfortune and what happened at the Zunyi
The Zunyi conference was a meeting of the
communist party of China and it was like a fight
between Otto Braun, Bo Gu and Mao Tse Tung.
Bo Gu was the first person to speak in the
conference. He states that the strategy used in
Jiangxi had failed, but he didn’t take the blame. He
says that the failure was not because of poor
planning. Next, Zhou Enlai admitted the mistakes
that he had done; Zhang Wentian did a self
criticism and blamed the communist party leaders
for the failures of the Jiangxi Soviet. Mao himself
wasn’t blamed for anything, so he started to fight
for the position of leader of the communist party.
He then started to blame Bo Gu and Otto Braun
for the military mistakes of being too defensive.
They were demoted while Zhou Enlai kept his
position with Zhu De and Mao went back to the
central committee of the communist party. Otto
Braun was then sent back to his country, while Zhu
De was stripped of all his communist party jobs.
The long march started with some 87,000 men and covered
around 9660 km. within 368 days, the communists and
peasants crossed 24 rivers, 18 mountain ranges and 11
provinces. Of the 90,000 men who journeyed, only an
estimated 6000 people survived the extermination of the
Guo Min Dang. Within the 200,000 participants of the
march, only 40,000 endured. Further details, the Army
took as much weaponry as it could. 33,000 guns, 1,800,000
cartridges, 76,000 grenades, 38 mortars and 25,000 mortar
In October 1934, the GMD military had formed a
blockhouse surrounding the Jiangxi base capital. The base
was in a complicated position, desertion from the red army
increased, and there were even several cases of suicide’s for
fear of torture after being captured. On October 16 ,1934,
90,000 of the red army started to retreat to the province of
Hunan. It took them six weeks to break through the
blockhouse strategy at the cost of 45,000 men, more than
half the number they started with.
Once the red army reached Zunyi on January, 9, 1935, Otto Braun was suspended and all military
control was given to Mao and Zhu De. Under Mao’s guidance, The red army started using tactics
which involved going in a series of twists, splitting into groups and reforming, making the GMD
to lose its main focus. This strategy prevented many more deaths and through Mao’s leadership,
The red army achieved people’s respect as a form of propaganda.
The famous act of Dadu river was performed by 22 brave men to capture a bridge occupied by the
GMD. Mao’s original plan was to lure the GMD to an area inhabited by the Lolo, then to
persuade the Lolo tribe to attack the GMD through their hatred of the Chinese. After convincing
the Lolo tribe that the GMD were savages, they attempted to take a shortcut from the Lolo area
across to the Dadu river. The floods in the river were too strong rendering the red army to take a
130 km path over the Himalayas. The GMD arrived before the Communists controlling the 120
meter stretching across the Dadu River. There the 22 heroic commanders risked their lives to
capture the bridge to continue their journey.
The Long march covered 6000 miles within a period of 368 days. After struggling through rivers, mountain ranges and
provinces, Mao arrived at the Yenan province located in the northern part of china on October 22, 1936 where he joined
forces with the First, second and fourth font.
How did Mao change the nature of the Long March?
As soon as the adviser Otto Braun was suspended and the
military control was given back to Mao Zedong and Zhu De,
learning from Otto’s mistake of planning a predictable route
in the strategy, Mao made a significant improvement and
change in his tactics towards the Long March.
Instead of moving in a straight line how it was under Otto’s
control, the Red Army progressed with twisting, turning,
spilitting and reforming directions following the leadership
of Mao’s and Zhu’s.
The nature of the Long March, which was simply retreating
from the block house lines, was transformed into escaping
from Guo Min Dang with an unpredictable route to Shaanxi
province, to maximize the chance of the Red Army’s survival
from GMD.
What happened at the Dadu River
In the Long March, because the Red Army
was chased by the Guo Min Dang, the Red
Army faced many battles and obstacles, and
one of the most important battles of all was
the battle at Dadu River. It was located in the
province of Si Chuan
The reason that makes the river so famous is
the valiant act of twenty two elite troops
equipped with best weapons who have
managed to swing across the river on chains
to help the rest of the Red Army to cross,
while they were under enemy’s rapid fire
Although suspicious speculations have been
done by historians, who argue that the
incident may have been exaggerated for the
use of propaganda by Mao Zedong, it is
indisputable that the battle at Dadu river is
one of the most important memoirs and key
events from the Long March.
What were the problems in the Snowy
Mountains and the Qinghai Grasslands?
The snowy mountains are located
in the Yunnan province. The
mountains were cold and the
soldiers didn’t have the necessary
amount of clothing to withstand
the cold. The Qinghai Grasslands
were marshy and created a
problem for the army to march
across. But the brave men of the
Red Army managed to overcome
those obstacles, completed the
Long March, and allowed them to
take over China in future years.
What problems did the KMT and the
non-Chinese tribesmen present?
Mao and his First Army were ambushed
by the Hui people and the Tibetans. The
communists were also attacked by the
KMT, the local warlords and the ethnic
minorities they met on the way. The
communists had to cross gorges, rivers,
climb mountains under the threat of the
KMT, the warlords and the ethnic
groups against them. The Ma Clique
was also in abundance. They attacked
the Fourth Red Army and destroyed
most of it with the help of their KMT
allies. The remains of the Fourth Army
joined up with Mao in Shaanxi. The
KMT and the local tribesmen were
dangerous to the communists. The
communists didn’t know the terrain
while their enemies did. This caused a
lot of problems for the communists. The
tribesmen can easily ambush them and
kill them all.
The GMD’s View of the Long March
The following is considered as GMD propaganda, and so the general view of the
Long March to most GMD members – the actual leaders of the party may feel
very differently.
The GMD refused to name the march as “The Long
March”, instead calling it “The Great Retreat” or “The 25,000
Li Pursuit”. This suited them as propaganda, as both these
names place the CCP as the lower hand.
In GMD reports, the march was regarded as the CCP
fleeing from “the Chinese Government”, to the contrary of
the CCP’s idea that the march was a advance to freedom.
Many degrading terms were used to describe the CCP’s
march, including “fled to the west”, “exhausted force”,
“communist remnants”, and “completely helpless”.
“At last, the provinces of the south – west were unified
under government control.” The GMD deemed the Long
March as a unspoken surrender, and considered the whole
event as a victory in claiming the Jiangxi Soviet area.
The CCP’s View of the Long March
The following is also propaganda.
The CCP, strangely enough, also viewed the Long March as
a victory. Their idea of the march as a unparalleled
demonstration of the CCP’s vitality and endurance was the
complete opposite of the GMD’s.
In the CCP’s reports, there are phrases such as “all
conquering fighting strength” and “courage and
endurance” etc.
The march was a “turning point” in the Civil War.
The Long March was also viewed as a exhibition of the
“greatness” of the CCP and the Red Army to the peasants,
therefore increasing the CCP’s popularity. The CCP
attempted to show themselves as the way to a just and
advanced society.
The CCP also regarded the Long March as explicit proof
that the GMD was weak, inefficient and a failure; the
GMD was defeated in their eyes.
Both parties believed that they had achieved the upper hand
after the Long March.
Mao’s View of the Long March
In December 1935 Mao gave a speech
giving his view of the long march.
Mao viewed the long march as a victorious,
never-before-seen feat of bravery by heroes.
He also thought that China was the
strongest, “history ever known a long
march to equal ours?…No, never.”
He saw the long march as a propaganda
that proved to all China that Communism
was the only way to liberation.
The long mach was also a “seeding
machine”, sowing seeds of communism
and propaganda.
He said the long march proved that the
Red Army were heroes and the GMD were
Historians view of Long March
 Many historians believe that
Mao and the CCP exaggerated
and may have even made up
some parts of the Long March
as propaganda.
 The number of men who took
part in the Long March and
the number who survived is
unclear as the figures were
covered up.
 New evidence can even suggest
that the “heroic” actions on
the Luding suspension bridge
were fake.
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By Julian Ng, Jimmie Hou, Christopher Gee, Joseph
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