By William W. Whitson

ISBN-10: 1349019801

ISBN-13: 9781349019809

ISBN-10: 1349019828

ISBN-13: 9781349019823

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Additional info for The Chinese High Command: A History of Communist Military Politics, 1927–71

Example text

If a peasant could not be precise about the time and place when one of his ancestors had rebelled, he could at least accept his two great legends as a credible essence of all such troublesome times. Role of the Military. Central to both legends was the thesis ~hat military power may, and often must, be used to overthrow established authority. While this was not necessarily the customary peasant notion of "military role," most peasants were familiar with the names of heroic emperors of bandit origin who had attained the Dragon Throne.

Several consequences resulted from the fact that tactical mobility was limited to the foot march (with the exception of a few Muslim, Mongolian, and Manchurian cavalry units). 5 miles per hour. A limited rail network (shown in Map 1) gave some higher commanders a means of strategic mobility, but railroads generally did not move significant quantities of supplies, since units were expected to operate at some distance from railroads and to live off the land. A unit's quartering party thus negotiated with, or simply coerced, local villagers into providing rice, vegetables, and temporary billets.

In theory, this system meant that commanders must try to be conscious of the potential political impact of their orders both on their own men and on the civilian populace with whom their men would associate. It was hoped that commissars, while the Army pursued essentially conventional military tactics with conventional weapons, would constantly emphasize their responsibility for forging a revolutionary political instrument. ). It was clearly felt that the Party Army must make a break with traditional Chinese and contemporaneous warlord practices.

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The Chinese High Command: A History of Communist Military Politics, 1927–71 by William W. Whitson


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