Chinese Nationalist and Communist Armies

Figure 1.-- This 1944 Army Signal Corps photograph show Pvy. Larence A Nordgren from Willmar, Minnesota eating his lunch. Nordgren was assined to an anti-aircraft battery. The United States planned on launching a major air camopaign on Japan from China. Nordgren's Chinese friend seems a bit dubious about American rations. The Chinese units working with the Americans werewell supplied. Most Natinalist units were poorly trained and provisined. The Chinese soldier here looks quite young. We don't have details on recruitment procedures.

The war in China was never as simple as a two part war between the Japanese and Chinese. It was a three part war with the Chinese divided into Nationalist and Communist factions. We do not yet have details about the orgnization, recruitment, and training programs of the two Chinese armies. One basic difference was that the Natiinalist Army was compodsed of war lords who were prone to change sides. Chaing's were aimed at keeping the war lords on his side and this often conflicted with building and training strong units. The Communist Army while smaller seems to have had a stronger more cogerent organization. Both Chiang and Mao saw each other as their primary adeversary. Thus they were never willing to full the full force of their armies against the Japanese. Especiaally after the United States entered the War, they realized thast the Japanese would be defeated and the real struggle would followe after the War. This frustrated the Americans which wanted more aggressive tactics against the Japanese. I have noted suggestions that the Nationalists were the most aggressive force while others have suggested it was the Communists. Here one has to be careful as some authors allow their political leanings color there assessment. Also Americans had little contact with the Communisxts and thus were mostly aware of Nationalist operations. We in fact do not know which was more aggrssive toward the Japanese or if there was an appreciable difference. Perhaps a HBC reader will have some insights here.


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Created: 4:31 AM 7/23/2007
Last updated: 4:31 AM 7/23/2007