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The Impact of Chairman Mao - The Civil War 1946-9


Long-term Causes of the Civil War

-The Civil War began in 1946 between the Nationalist and Communist struggle for power. The
Nationalist leader, Chiang Kai-shek had tried to eradicate the Communist Party and so introduce a
one-party rule on the…

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The Impact of Chairman Mao - The Civil War 1946-9


Nationalist -> They favoured business interests and landlords and so wanted to maintain capitalism
and private enterprise.
Communist -> aimed for a revolutionary overthrow of this regime. They wanted to confiscate
estates from landlords and businesses of private owners.
Long-term…

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The Impact of Chairman Mao - The Civil War 1946-9


Phase 1 ­ Early Setbacks, July 1946 to May 1947
In the first months the Guomindang had a larger army and were better equipped, forcing the
Communists into a defensive mode.
The Guomindang captured large cities securing a GMD-controlled `corridor',…

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The Impact of Chairman Mao - The Civil War 1946-9



The PLA were divided for the final assault on GMD territory.
One force, led by Peng Dehuai, struck westwards from Wuhan towards Xi'an and Lanzhou
(both taken in August 1949).
Another force, led by Lin Biao, marched south towards Guangzhou…

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The Impact of Chairman Mao - The Civil War 1946-9


They also had an important role in winning over the locals not previously under Communist control.




The Strengths and Weaknesses
of the Guomindang in 1946
Military
GMD had a larger army than Communist in 1945, including air force. They gained…

Page 6

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The Impact of Chairman Mao - The Civil War 1946-9



Territorial Control
Nationalist controlled more territory than Communists, including large population, large cities and so
most railway networks and waterways. Most was never `complete'.
Warlords were still around, controlling their own area under GMD compromise, weakening the ability
to mobilise…

Page 7

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The Impact of Chairman Mao - The Civil War 1946-9


and Land Reforms
The support of peasants was crucial to success. So the CPC concentrated on them. Mao had two main
elements to do this: discipline and land reforms.
Disciplined Behaviour by Communist Troops
Since 1928, Mao had impressed people…

Page 8

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The Impact of Chairman Mao - The Civil War 1946-9


Communist victory in 1949 was mainly military victory.
Military Factors
Communist knew how to fight a bigger army through the Japanese war -> Guerrilla warfare.
Successful in Manchuria. It had high terrain and forested areas, perfect for it.
In 1930s,…

Page 9

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The Impact of Chairman Mao - The Civil War 1946-9


Economic Mismanagement by the Nationalist Government.
Historiography
'15 May 1947. Rice prices have more than doubled in the past two weeks and the riots
are spreading even to the countryside. Students and teachers are becoming
increasingly violent.'
'28 September 1947.…

Page 10

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The Impact of Chairman Mao - The Civil War 1946-9


By 1945, Mao undisputed leader of CPC and directed military operations.
Mao decided on the guerrilla warfare and in 1948 opted for CONVENTIAL warfare.
But did make some mistakes:
Nov 1945, overruled Liu Shaoqi [commander] and sent PLA to defend…

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