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Chinese units - Communist or Kuomintang?

 
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Chinese units - Communist or Kuomintang? - 1/9/2016 6:26:33 AM   
Kull


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Over the years there's been a lot of general discussion on the issue of Red Chinese and Kuomintang units being treated as a single entity ("Allied China"), yet a forum search could not find anything which addressed these differences at the unit level.

I do appreciate historical play, and would prefer to have a game in which Communist units do not stack with Kuomintang, so I embarked on a search to determine which were communist and which were not. Suffice to say, "it's complicated". Let's start with the easy part:

1) Red Chinese Army (Sian - more on this later) is an Army HQ, led by Mao Tse-teung. Duh. Oddly enough, it does not have any subsidiary Corps level HQs. But it does have the following units, and I think we can safely assume that all are Communist:
- 12th Chinese Base Force (Yenan)
- 15th Chinese Base Force (Sian)

2) 18th Group Army (Yenan) is a Corps HQ led by GEN Chu Teh, one of the most important WW2 Communist military leaders. And the first three units are clearly Red Chinese (as are their commanders):
- 115 Red Chinese Division (part of 8 Route Army) (Yenan)
- 120 Red Chinese Division (part of 8 Route Army) (Yenan)
- 129 Red Chinese Division (part of 8 Route Army) (Yenan)

But not the next two. In fact, research strongly points to Kuomintang affiliation:
- 22 Chinese Corps (NE of Yenan). This was led by LGEN Kao Shuang-cheng, and an internet search indicates he was a Kuomintang leader and that this unit was really under the 7th Army Group.
- 42 Chinese Corps (Yenan). This was led by LGEN Feng An-pang, but an internet search (Feng Anbang) showed him as dead in 1938. I couldn't find anything more direct on the actual Command structure, but an article describing a 1938 battle implies that the 42nd Corps was actually part of the 5th War Area (GEN Liu Chih), a thoroughly Kuomintang outfit.

3) Also present in Yenan are an Army level HQ and 3 subsidiary units:
- 2 War Area HQ is led by GEN Yen Hsi-shan, who was clearly a Warlord affiliated with the Kuomintang.
- 4th Chinese Cavalry Corps (Yenan) falls under 2 War Area and its leader (LGEN Yuan Ching-yuan) can't be found under that name, but may really be Yuan Qingrong, who led this Cavalry Corps in 1944. Either way, the link indicates this was not a Red Chinese unit.
- The other two units are Construction regiments with generic leaders, and nothing that organizationally suggests they are communist affiliated (besides location).

4) Even though 2 War Area is clearly Kuomintang, 18th Group Army (definitely Red Chinese) is one of its 5 subsidiary Corps HQs. So what about the other four?
- 6th Group Army is led by LGEN Yang Ai-yuan. Definitely Kuomintang.
- 7th Group Army is led by LGEN Fu Tso-yi. Again, definitely Kuomintang.
- 13th Group Army & 17th Group Army have generic leaders, but again, nothing that would suggest communist affiliation.

Pretty clear then - we can probably assume that the only Red Chinese units on the map are those specifically assigned to the Red Chinese Army and 18th Group Army HQs.

5) But what about locations? Yenan itself was clearly the capital of the Red Chinese during this part of the war, yet it's occupied by a Kuomintang Army HQ and several affiliated units. Meanwhile Mao and his Red Chinese Army HQ are located in Sian, which they pretty clearly did NOT occupy during this period. And just to be sure, I also looked at the other units based in Sian and all are affiliated with the Jingcha War Area (GEN Chiang Ting-wen) or it's subsidiary HQs, and every named leader is clearly Kuomintang.

6) Lastly there's the matter of the missing New Fourth Army. While most Communist Chinese units were active in the Yenan area, this one operated south of the Yangtze near Nanchang. After a losing battle with Kuomintang forces in late 1940, the unit was disbanded and then recreated as (apparently) a largely guerrilla force operating north of the Yangtze in Jiangsu province under General Chen Yi. Looking at force dispositions on the AE map, the only possible units in this region are:
- Lusu War Area (Hwaiyin), led by LGEN Yu Hsueh-chun. Definitely Kuomintang.
- 89 Chinese Corps (Pengpu), led by LGEN Ku Hsi-chin. Very little information, but definitely this is a Kuomintang formation.
- 48 Chinese Corps (W of Hwainan), led by LGEN Chang Yi-shun. Even less data, but the 1938 Battle of Wuhan lists 48 Corps under the 11th Army Group, whose leader is Kuomintang.

From what I can see, this Communist formation is not part of the AE force dispositions. If anyone knows different, please let us know!

So there we have it. To play China "historically", all the non-Red Chinese units should be evicted from Yenan and its immediate environs (1 or 2 hexes) while at the same time, Mao needs to grab the 15th Base Force and follow it on another "Long March" from Sian to Yenan. Of course, both Base Force units are going to be rather useless since the Red Chinese did not field an Air Force until 1949, so perhaps a reasonable accommodation would be to swap them with the two Yenan-based construction regiments, in which case the only required unit move would be to evict the 12th Chinese Base Force from Yenan.

< Message edited by Kull -- 1/9/2016 7:57:11 AM >


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RE: Chinese units - Communist or Kuomintang? - 1/9/2016 3:16:36 PM   
BBfanboy


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Interesting Kull. Kudos on the extensive research this must have required, with the English language spelling of Chinese names changing over the years.

Looking at the OOB makes me wonder how Chiang Kai Shek could have lost China after the war. He must have really ticked off the people with his corruption!

When you opened this topic I wondered if the supply of US equipment (like 105 howitzers) to Chinese units goes only to KMT units. Has anyone noticed in game if that happens? This may be a moot question now that Japanese players know how to demolish China before allied equipment gets there.

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No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

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RE: Chinese units - Communist or Kuomintang? - 1/9/2016 3:53:09 PM   
Alfred

 

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The severe 1943 inflation and food requisitioning did a lot to destroy support for Chiang Kai Shek.  Both issues being very much linked with the war.

Alfred

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RE: Chinese units - Communist or Kuomintang? - 1/9/2016 4:45:00 PM   
fcharton

 

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The OOB is a little shaky.

18th Group Army is the original KMT designation of the 8th Route Army. This unit, led by Zhu De (Chu Teh), mutinied in the late 30s, and became the main communist outfit, changing its name to "eight route army" (route army is a chinese designation for something a little smaller than a proper army group). At the beginning of the 40s, there was another communist unit, the new fourth army, about 10 000 men strong, but it was destroyed in January 41 after a battle with the KMT (Chinese historians call it the Wannan incident) which ended the cooperation of nationalists and communists against the japanese.

So, in my opinion, the "reds" in AE should be the Red Army HQ and the 8th Route Army (ie the three red divisions). They should be based in Yenan (Mao certainly wasn't in Sian...). For what I understand, the base forces do not really belong to the OOB. I think any base in Yenan should be Communist, and any other KMT.

In the KMT OOB from 1939, the 18th Group Army is part of the 2nd War Area, which consisted of Army Groups 4,5,6,7,9,14 and 18. This war area covered the provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi, all the area between Sian and Taiyuan.
(Here is the 1939 OOB, from the Chinese wikipedia, Google translate should be able to manage most of the words, ask me if it doesn't https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/1939%E5%B9%B4%E5%9C%8B%E8%BB%8D%E6%88%B0%E9%AC%A5%E5%BA%8F%E5%88%97 , this data is taken from He Yingqin history of the war, which is why you get the KMT designation for the 8th route army)

Francois


< Message edited by fcharton -- 1/9/2016 5:54:52 PM >

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RE: Chinese units - Communist or Kuomintang? - 1/9/2016 11:41:46 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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The Communist promise of land reform was also key for winning "hearts and minds" of the hugemongeous Chinese peasantry.
Ideology, land and the hope of a better future were great incentives.

< Message edited by Jorge_Stanbury -- 1/10/2016 12:46:10 AM >

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RE: Chinese units - Communist or Kuomintang? - 1/18/2016 7:00:20 PM   
kbfchicago


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Great post Kull! I like to play as historical as possible but had completely missed this aspect of the War in China. Will likely designate Red's via editor so they are easier to see/remember, re-position between Yenan and Sian. House rule - no stacking or supporting with Nationalists. Thanks again! Kevin

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RE: Chinese units - Communist or Kuomintang? - 1/19/2016 3:35:11 AM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: kbfchicago

Great post Kull! I like to play as historical as possible but had completely missed this aspect of the War in China. Will likely designate Red's via editor so they are easier to see/remember, re-position between Yenan and Sian. House rule - no stacking or supporting with Nationalists. Thanks again! Kevin

Since the Japanese already have red dots and the Soviets have salmon locked up, are you going with hot pink for the Maoists?

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No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

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