George Pennefather poseidon at
Sun Aug 15 04:15:21 MDT 1999

I made a mistake in listing the strength of Chiang Kai-shek's army during the 5th
extermination campaign against the CCP.

According to the reference book on Guomindang history I have here (published in the
PRC), in Chiang Kai-shek's first extermination campaign against the CCP, he was able
to muster 100,000 troops. In the second, he had 200,000. In the third, there were
300,000. In the fourth, there were 600,000. And in the fifth and final extermination
campaign, Chiang mustered one million troops as well as 200 planes.

The official Maoist history blames the CCP's loss during the 5th extermination
campaign on the "leftist" tactics of the anti-encirclement defence. But it seems fair
to say that regardless of what tactics they were taking, they were not going to be
able to hold out long against this kind of onslaught.

Mao's policy of holding out in the rural soviets was based on the assumption the mass
movement would get going before Chiang would have a chance to build up his forces. But
Mao wasunderestimating the stability of Chiang's regime and overestimating his own
influence. In the end, it was only the fact of Japan's aggression that allowed the CCP
the opportunity to expand.

Saul Thomas

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