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FYI China - 2/2/2016 4:46:45 PM   
Brady


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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/191029442X?redirect=true&ref_=pe_339820_166298930_em_im




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RE: FYI China - 2/2/2016 8:16:21 PM   
Skyros


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Looks Interesting.

Kangzhan: Guide to Chinese Ground Forces 1937–45 is the first ready reference to the organization and armament of Chinese ground forces during the Sino-Japanese War of 1937–45. The work integrates Chinese, Japanese and Western sources to examine the details of the structure and weapons of the period. Recent scholarship has contributed greatly to our understanding of China's role in the war, but this is the first book to deal with the bottom-level underpinnings of this massive army, crucial to an understanding of its tactical and operational utility.

An introductory chapter discusses the military operations in China, often given short shrift in World War II histories. The work then traces the evolution of the national army's organizational structure from the end of the Northern Expedition to the conclusion of World War II. Included are tables of organization and strength reports for the wartime period.

The armament section illustrates and details not only the characteristics of the many and varied weapons used in China, many seen nowhere else, but also their acquisition and such local production as was undertaken. This is complemented by a chapter on the arsenals and their evolution and production programs.

The Chinese army was one of the largest of the war and it, and Japan's, fought longer than any other. It faced unique challenges, including fragmented loyalties, huge expanses of territory, poor logistics networks, inadequate arms supplies, and, often, incompetence and corruption. Nevertheless, they fought bravely in major battles through 1941 and were able to counterpunch effectively in important regions through the rest of the war. Aimed at both military historians and wargamers, this work fills an important gap in our understanding of this, the most under-appreciated army of the war

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RE: FYI China - 2/2/2016 8:32:40 PM   
Yaab


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Hope the Chinese 150mm mortars get their own chapter.

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RE: FYI China - 2/3/2016 3:06:20 PM   
DanSez


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Skyros

Included are tables of organization and strength reports for the wartime period.



Thanks for the review. I am always looking for good reference material.

Curious about the 'strength reports' though because many of the unit commanders were notorious for over reporting number of soldiers for pay purposes and then keeping the salaries of the phantom soldiers.

The Chinese Army of this period was crippled from the rot of a class division between the elites and the 'Old Hundred Names', the cultural/military philosophy that to survive another day was itself a victory and the lack of strong national unity that resulted in factions fighting or sabotaging each other almost as frequently as they they took the field against the Japanese.

Some adjoining units would not assist units on their flanks because they belonged to another faction. CSK withheld his best units to prepare for the final battle with the Communist. Hundreds of Millions of dollars of aid siphoned into the Soong family coffers, seen as a Right of Power.

All of this makes any 'official' reporting to be suspect based on who the unit commander was and where they were based. Hopefully this book could help lift the fog of war on some of that. I will put it on the 'radar' for future purchases.

Thanks


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RE: FYI China - 2/3/2016 7:29:23 PM   
Big B

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DanSez


quote:

ORIGINAL: Skyros

Included are tables of organization and strength reports for the wartime period.



Thanks for the review. I am always looking for good reference material.

Curious about the 'strength reports' though because many of the unit commanders were notorious for over reporting number of soldiers for pay purposes and then keeping the salaries of the phantom soldiers.

The Chinese Army of this period was crippled from the rot of a class division between the elites and the 'Old Hundred Names', the cultural/military philosophy that to survive another day was itself a victory and the lack of strong national unity that resulted in factions fighting or sabotaging each other almost as frequently as they they took the field against the Japanese.

Some adjoining units would not assist units on their flanks because they belonged to another faction. CSK withheld his best units to prepare for the final battle with the Communist. Hundreds of Millions of dollars of aid siphoned into the Soong family coffers, seen as a Right of Power.

All of this makes any 'official' reporting to be suspect based on who the unit commander was and where they were based. Hopefully this book could help lift the fog of war on some of that. I will put it on the 'radar' for future purchases.

Thanks





Good points, but if official sources are not considered good enough, we are left with nothing but opinions?

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RE: FYI China - 2/4/2016 7:21:03 AM   
DanSez


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Big B
Good points, but if official sources are not considered good enough, we are left with nothing but opinions?


Reference material is useful, even the 'official' reports.

The winners write the history, but after the heat of the battle dies with the actors who lead their nations, alternative or hidden factors can receive their just due.

There has been a movement in the past 5-10 years of more open-ness in reconciling the different sides of China's struggle toward whatever it's identity or destiny is to be. While a bit dry, I just recently finished a good modern review of this period
China's War with Japan 1937-1945 The Struggle for Survival
by Ran Mitter
(published 2013)

I recently found a nice hard backed copy of
Stillwell and the American Experience in China 1911-1945
by Barbara W. Tuchman
Read it a long, long time ago and currently re-reading it.

More information is a good thing. But each point of reference needs to be calibrated with others to really bring the past into focus.



< Message edited by DanSez -- 2/4/2016 8:23:12 AM >

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RE: FYI China - 2/4/2016 4:40:01 PM   
Brady


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Given the Chinese Army in WiTP, well their OOB/TOE is largely a work of fiction (yes really) this might be a great way for a serious ModMan to Finally sort that.



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RE: FYI China - 2/4/2016 5:08:02 PM   
DanSez


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Allowing a unified command of all the Chinese forces is a work of fiction too.
Beyond the scope or ability of this game to simulate.

For what it does, it works pretty well.
Have you tried playing with stacking limits?
I know at one point the DBB gang and others were working on a further restriction of the map (gnarly roads?) which would also slow down any Japanese Blitzkrieg. I am not sure if that was completed or not.


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RE: FYI China - 2/4/2016 5:29:03 PM   
Big B

 

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I Love the DBB Team and tried out the Gnarly Asian Roads - unfortunately all I found was that it only served to make Chinese Supply tactically and strategically impossible for the Chinese, it just wouldn't move supply.
The Japanese on the other hand still functioned well enough to overrun most of China in 6 months... hardly the effect that was intended.

My opinion

quote:

ORIGINAL: DanSez
...
I know at one point the DBB gang and others were working on a further restriction of the map (gnarly roads?) which would also slow down any Japanese Blitzkrieg. I am not sure if that was completed or not.





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RE: FYI China - 2/4/2016 5:37:59 PM   
Brady


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My point is not that the Chinese necessarily should be stronger, but that they should be modeled with some historically correct outline, In WiTP they were created largely from scratch to be a foil for the Japanese forces that were in China, the Japanese being a known quantity.

The obvious issue with this is of course (aside from the fictional aspect of it) that it assumes the often preconceived misconception that the Chinese actually stopped that the Japanese, some how thwarted their intentions, While the Chinese did on occasion give the Japanese pause, the prerogative to advance or not strategically was always with the Japanese they just chose not to, they were after different things. So creating a foil for the Japanese is when viewed in this light Not Historically accurate.

Part of the reason the Chinese were built in game the way they were is that AFiK their was not a reference available at the time like the one above to draw on.

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RE: FYI China - 2/4/2016 5:45:01 PM   
Big B

 

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I am comfortable that the RHS Team did a bang-up job with China,years of research allowed them to build an economic model of China that is impressive, and their OOB looks pretty well also - I'd like to see what this book says in comparison.

In my mod I took the stock Chinese OOB, tweaked it based on the limited resources I could find, and borrowed a bit from RHS - the outcome is a much better representation of China - game wise.

At any rate - that book is going on my Amazon Wish List, thanks for the head's-up

< Message edited by Big B -- 2/5/2016 12:30:40 AM >


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RE: FYI China - 2/5/2016 12:54:38 AM   
el cid again

 

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For Chinese OB and maps of important campaigns in considerable detail, I recommend the official
ROC history. Although the original is massive - exactly 100 volumes - there is an outstanding
summary volume carefully translated in to English: The History of the Sino-Japanese War, 1937-45.
It is available on the used book market at modest cost (under $20, sometimes under $10).

There is a similar Japanese history - even longer - but unfortunately it is very difficult to read,
even for readers of scholarly Japanese.

Reading either will dispel the myth that China was a pushover. China is Japan's USSR: a problem too
big to solve by conquest. IF Japan had been willing to settle for status quo anti about 1940 it could
have "won" the war - leaving a rump ROC state. But it was not - and its behaviors caused the Chinese
people to refuse to tolerate any compromise. A single battle alone will dispel the myth - if you wish
to limit your reading: look up the Third Battle of Chang Sha - which begins just as the Pacific War re
the US, UK and NEI begins. Chiang, for once, released the heavy artillery (105s and 150s - neither of
which are in the stock OB). Japanese leadership was close to incompetent and Chinese leadership was more
than adequate. It was a disaster. Partly because Japanese forces were too small - the long term pattern
is that Japanese forces cannot hold what they take.

While modeling China is difficult in this game system, we have found ways to model guerilla warfare that
work (we just lack the slots to put them all in play; the 30 day regeneration mechanism of code helps render
that less than critical however). We have found ways to let China have its effective river navy - one that
never lost control of the most important LOC in China - the Yangtze. In theory Japan can take Chunking using
riverine support. Maybe it can in game terms too - but there should be a real fight. To that end we put in
the river forts, the ability to lay mines, the Marines, and other things. When one puts in all 150 corps and
other units, and the logistics needed to feed them - Japan must limit its objectives to realistic ones: the
plains of Eastern China for example. Sian will probably never fall (I have seen it surrounded several times -
but never taken). Chunking is similar - but I have never seen it even approached. Kunming certainly never will
fall and a Japanese offensive out of Western China into Burma (which I read happens in stock) is not possible.
But I have seen Changsha fall - and when it does - the position in central China collapses - very similar to what
really happened in Ichi Go.


< Message edited by el cid again -- 2/5/2016 2:08:10 AM >

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RE: FYI China - 2/5/2016 1:04:50 AM   
Big B

 

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Thanks Cid, another book for the Wish List
quote:

ORIGINAL: el cid again

For Chinese OB and maps of important campaigns in considerable detail, I recommend the official
ROC history. Although the original is massive - exactly 100 volumes - there is an outstanding
summary volume carefully translated in to English: The History of the Sino-Japanese War, 1937-45.
It is available on the used book market at modest cost (under $20, sometimes under $10).

There is a similar Japanese history - even longer - but unfortunately it is very difficult to read,
even for readers of scholarly Japanese.

Reading either will dispel the myth that China was a pushover. China is Japan's USSR: a problem too
big to solve by conquest. IF Japan had been willing to settle for status quo anti about 1940 it could
have "won" the war - leaving a rump ROC state. But it was not - and its behaviors caused the Chinese
people to refuse to tolerate any compromise. A single battle alone will dispel the myth - if you wish
to limit your reading: look up the Third Battle of Chang Sha - which begins just as the Pacific War re
the US, UK and NEI begins. Chiang, for once, released the heavy artillery (105s and 150s - neither of
which are in the stock OB). Japanese leadership was close to incompetent and Chinese leadership was more
than adequate. It was a disaster. Partly because Japanese forces were too small - the long term pattern
is that Japanese forces cannot hold what they take.

While modeling China is difficult in this game system, we have found ways to model guerilla warfare that
work (we just lack the slots to put them all in play; the 30 day regeneration mechanism of code helps render
that less than critical however). We have found ways to let China have its effective river navy - one that
never lost control of the most important LOC in China - the Yangtze. In theory Japan can take Chunking using
riverine support. Maybe it can in game terms too - but there should be a real fight. To that end we put in
the river forts, the ability to lay mines, the Marines, and other things. When one puts in all 150 corps and
other units, and the logistics needed to feed them - Japan must limit its objectives to realistic ones: the
plains of Eastern China for example. Sian will probably never fall (I have seen it surrounded several times -
but never taken). Chunking is similar - but I have never seen it even approached. Kunming certainly never will
fall and a Japanese offensive out of Western China into Burma (which I read happens in stock) is not possible.
But I have seen Changsha fall - and when it does - the position in central China collapses - very similar to what
really happened in Ichi Go.



< Message edited by Big B -- 2/5/2016 2:21:03 AM >


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RE: FYI China - 2/18/2016 5:07:58 PM   
US87891

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Big B
I Love the DBB Team and tried out the Gnarly Asian Roads - unfortunately all I found was that it only served to make Chinese Supply tactically and strategically impossible for the Chinese, it just wouldn't move supply.
The Japanese on the other hand still functioned well enough to overrun most of China in 6 months... hardly the effect that was intended.

My opinion

The roads thing was an attempt to mitigate some of the game engine’s deficiencies. It works to some extent, with appropriate house/umpire rules, but not as well in an open, everything goes, environment. The problem is that the game system is not capable of modelling continental, theater level, ground operations. “Fixes” are prophylactic at best, but the system can, and will, be gamed into absurdity.

A big reason Babes went to smaller scenarios is the wish to avoid the bizarre China/Russia nonsense. Babes is for players wishing to develop strategic and tactical skills. It is not for players who only want to beat a wargame.

Matt

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RE: FYI China - 2/18/2016 7:27:04 PM   
spence

 

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quote:

the prerogative to advance or not strategically was always with the Japanese


This statement is complete fiction. Advances by anyone to anywhere are 99% a function of how well the troops are supplied. Japan supplied a 20th century army (sort of anyway...they needed more ammo for their breech loaders and gasoline for their tanks) with a 16th century supply establishment. In WitP tank units go racing around Western China apparently "living off the land".

For a wagon the hay/oats/other horse fodder take a much greater percentage of the wagon's load than the gasoline needed by a truck for an equivalent distance does. Railroads are needed to sustain an advance and China relatively few and they didn't really go to places to where the Japanese needed to go to conquer China.

Frankly the Chinese OOB and Japanese OOB are not the problem with the China Theater. The problem in WitP is that there is no differentiation between a the logistical support capabilities of gasoline-powered truck and a hay powered horse-cart.


< Message edited by spence -- 2/18/2016 8:29:45 PM >

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RE: FYI China - 2/19/2016 3:36:39 PM   
US87891

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence
quote:

the prerogative to advance or not strategically was always with the Japanese

This statement is complete fiction. Advances by anyone to anywhere are 99% a function of how well the troops are supplied. Japan supplied a 20th century army (sort of anyway...they needed more ammo for their breech loaders and gasoline for their tanks) with a 16th century supply establishment. In WitP tank units go racing around Western China apparently "living off the land".

For a wagon the hay/oats/other horse fodder take a much greater percentage of the wagon's load than the gasoline needed by a truck for an equivalent distance does. Railroads are needed to sustain an advance and China relatively few and they didn't really go to places to where the Japanese needed to go to conquer China.

Frankly the Chinese OOB and Japanese OOB are not the problem with the China Theater. The problem in WitP is that there is no differentiation between a the logistical support capabilities of gasoline-powered truck and a hay powered horse-cart.

Yes, to both these statements. They are not inconsistent. A good idea of the nature of the Chinese Theater can be had by a study of the Spanish conflict in the Napoleonic period.

It, too, was theater level for the time. In it, the prerogative to advance or not strategically was always with the French. The French would advance, the Spanish would be defeated, but never catastrophically. They would disperse and then regroup.

The Spanish army had a small core of well trained, professional, units, and it was around these that the "armies" of Estremadura, Aragon, the North, the West, coalesced. Much the same, Chaing had some very well trained, well equiped, and highly motivated units that he kept close to home. He used tham very sparingly, just like the Spanish juntas used their "Royal" cards.

It was a war of space and time and communication, and above all, logistics. The French had over 250,000 troops in Spain, but cound never collect a mobile column of more than 10-15,000 for an op in an area. They strained every resource to collect 50-70,000 troops to confront Wellington's advances and strategigally turned him back on two occasions. Both Wellington and every French commander screamed about the utter inability to supply their troops in such an environment.

Read about is. Understand it. Think of China as Spain. Internally, think of Cuesta, Romana, Blake, Suedes, Rodriguez. Externally, think of Stillwell and the Allied presence in India as Wellington in Portugal. I think you will begin to understand.

Matt

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RE: FYI China - 2/20/2016 1:37:02 PM   
m10bob


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I had the great pleasure to work with El Cid on the original RHS for WITP and he had the best info on China of anybody I know.
I know his sources for his info were good, (in my youth I was involved in the so-called "cult of intelligence", and had access to interesting sources of my own.)

El Cid was bold enough to be diligent in his researches, even while some forum members here criticized him very uncivilly .

Always keen to see the new things he ponders "aloud" in the forums, or includes to an already fantastic game.

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RE: FYI China - 2/20/2016 1:48:17 PM   
Big B

 

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+1


quote:

ORIGINAL: m10bob

I had the great pleasure to work with El Cid on the original RHS for WITP and he had the best info on China of anybody I know.
I know his sources for his info were good, (in my youth I was involved in the so-called "cult of intelligence", and had access to interesting sources of my own.)

El Cid was bold enough to be diligent in his researches, even while some forum members here criticized him very uncivilly .

Always keen to see the new things he ponders "aloud" in the forums, or includes to an already fantastic game.



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RE: FYI China - 2/23/2016 11:42:28 AM   
SigUp

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: US87891

Much the same, Chaing had some very well trained, well equiped, and highly motivated units that he kept close to home. He used tham very sparingly, just like the Spanish juntas used their "Royal" cards.

That's not exactly correct. Chiang committed the elite units that he spent years to build up with German aid to Shanghai in 1937 where they bled out. It's a myth that Chiang was holding back his best forces. The elite of the Central Army was destroyed in the fierce battles of 1937-38 and later on Chiang's best units were the ones built up in India. There is a reason why by 1938-39 Chiang had become little more than the head of a warlord alliance instead of a true authoritative leader.

Another reality is also that the Chinese forces over time degraded in quality. The Chinese army that crumbled under the pressure by Ichigo in 1944 was not the same army that fought in 1938 or even 1942. And yet for Ichigo to succeed the Japanese spent nearly a year building up supplies and they drew forces from all over occupied China with the result that once Ichigo was commenced the Communist guerilla forces had free reign in the countryside - a significant factor contributing to the Communists' advantage following the Japanese surrender.

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RE: FYI China - 2/23/2016 3:59:56 PM   
btd64


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I'll need to add to the book case.....GP

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Post #: 20
RE: FYI China - 2/25/2016 5:40:16 AM   
el cid again

 

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There is considerable truth in this assertion (China was not a unified command). In RHS, for scenarios starting
in 1941, I split off a LOT of (little populated) "Northern China" (Sinkiang and an adjacent province) - and made
them part of the Soviet Command. This is because the area is under a warlord allied with the Russians, and because
the Russians operated NKVD regiments in the area. This effectively reduces the "Chinese command area" - and also
complicates any Japanese intention of invading that part of China - they must deal with the Russians and all that
implies.

Another thing I did was to create several flavors of "Chinese" units - NRA (National Revolutionary Army),
PLA (Peoples Liberation Army), and Warlord troops. In tag team games, we give the PLA units (using the
prefix RED in early forms, PLA in later ones) to the Russian player for management - and the NRA units to
the British player. Warlord troops are played by the American player, as are some later units the US
trains in India which fight with Allied units in combined formations. Or if I play as a single player,
I pretend I am a different commander based on which unit I am moving - so they do not operate as a fully
cooperative command. Note both the NRA and the PLA operate guerilla formations which are semi-independent
of supply sources - they benefit from them but will survive and rebuild without them. These permit deep
operations in the enemy rear - and drive some Japanese players nuts (not used to defending their LOC).

The greatest things you can do to help Chinese units are to assign realistic numbers of replacement squads -
not zero or 10 or even 30 but numbers like 600 in some cases for infantry squads and 60 for special function
squads. And add serious sources of supply all over China. Guerillas may have supply sources INSIDE the LCU
itself (try it - it works - remember divide by 30). That simulates "living off the land." And not all units
in China should start badly disrupted, with huge numbers of disabled squads, and no planning. Some are 100%
prepared to defend the location they have been at for years.


quote:

ORIGINAL: DanSez

Allowing a unified command of all the Chinese forces is a work of fiction too.
Beyond the scope or ability of this game to simulate.

For what it does, it works pretty well.
Have you tried playing with stacking limits?
I know at one point the DBB gang and others were working on a further restriction of the map (gnarly roads?) which would also slow down any Japanese Blitzkrieg. I am not sure if that was completed or not.




(in reply to DanSez)
Post #: 21
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