Saturday, June 10, 2017

Anthem of the Chinese Soviet Republic 1931 -1934 - The Internationale and the unknown history of the Chinese Soviet Republic

The Chinese Soviet Republic, also known as the Soviet Republic of China or the China Soviet Republic, is often referred to in historical sources as the Jiangxi Soviet

On November 7th 1931, the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, a National Soviet People's Delegates Conference took place in Ruijin, Jiangxi province, establishing the provisional Soviet Republic. 

Under the leadership of Mao Zedong, Jiangxi Soviet gradually expanded and reached its peak in the early 1930s, with a size more than 30,000 square kilometres, larger than many provinces in China, and a population numbered more than three million. 

Furthermore, its economy was doing better than most area under the control of the Chinese warlords. In addition to the militia and guerrilla, its regular Chinese Red Army alone already numbered more than 140,000 by the early 1930's, and they were better armed than most Chinese warlords' armies at the time. 

For example, not only the Chinese Red Army already had the modern communication means such as telephones, telegraphs and radios which most Chinese warlords' armies still lacked, it was already regularly transmitting wireless messages in codes and breaking nationalist codes. Only Chiang Kai-shek's army could match this formidable communist force.

Kuomintang, led by Chiang Kai-shek, felt threatened by the Soviet republic and lead other Chinese warlords to have the National Revolutionary Army besieged this Soviet Republic repeatedly, launching what Chiang and his fellow nationalists called encirclement campaigns at the time, and the communists called their counter attacks counter encirclement campaigns. Chiang Kai-shek's first, second and third encirclement campaigns were defeated by Chinese Red Army led by Mao. 

However, after the third counter encirclement campaign, Mao was removed from the leadership and replaced by the Chinese communists returning from the Soviet Union such as Wang Ming, and the command of Chinese Red Army was handled by a three man committee that included Wang Ming's associates Otto Braun (Li De), the Comintern military advisor, Bo Gu, and Zhou Enlai. 

The Jiangxi Soviet thus begun its inevitable rapid downfall under their policy of extreme leftism and incompetent military command, though the new leadership could not immediately rid of Mao's influence which prevailed during the fourth counter encirclement campaign, and thus saved the communists temporarily. 

However, as a result of the complete dominance of the new communist leadership achieved after the fourth counter encirclement campaign, the Red Army was nearly halved, with most its equipment lost during Chiang's fifth encirclement campaign in started in 1933 orchestrated by his German advisors that involved the systematic encirclement of the Jiangxi Soviet region with fortified blockhouses. 

This method proved to be very effective. In an effort to break the blockade, the Red Army under the orders of the three man committee besieged the forts many times but suffered heavy casualties with little success, resulting the Jiangxi Soviet shrunk significantly in size due to the Chinese Red Army's disastrous manpower and material loss.

By the fall of 1934, the Communists faced total annihilation. 

This situation had already convinced Mao Zedong and his supporters to believe that the Communists to abandon their bases in the Jiangxi Soviet republic. 

However, the communist leadership stubbornly refused to accept the inevitable failure and still daydreamed defeating the victorious nationalist force. The three man committee devised a plan of diversions, and then regroup after a temporary retreat. Once the regroup was complete, a counterattack would launched in conjunction with the earlier diversion forces, driving the enemy out of the Jiangxi Soviet.

The first movements of the retreating diversion were undertaken by Fang Zhimin. Fang Zhimin and his deputy Xun Weizhou were first to break through Kuomintang lines in June, followed by Xiao Ke in August. These movements surprised the Kuomintang, who were numerically superior to the Communists at the time and did not expect an attack on their fortified perimeter. However, things did not turn out as the communist had hoped: 

Fang Zhimin's force was crushed after its initial success, and with Xun Weizhou killed in action, nearly every commander in this force was wounded and captured alive, including Fang Zhimin himself, and all were executed later by the nationalists. 

The only exception was Su Yu, who managed to escape. Xiao Ke fared no better: although his force initially managed to break through and then reached He Long's communist base in Hubei, but even with their combined forces, they were unable to challenge the far superior nationalist force besieging Jiangxi Soviet, never to return until the establishment of the People's Republic of China 15 years later.



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