The Long March
The Long March started in 1934 October and lasted till 1935 October. It was the most historic six thousand miles journey by the Red Army which was China’s Communist Party. It wasn’t just one Long March rather, a series of marches as Communist armies made an escape to the West and North. Eighty thousand soldiers were part of the walk but roughly, only eight thousand or nine thousand made it through the trek. At the end of the trek a Communist base was established in Yan’an and the March became the focal point of events in the mythology of Chinese revolutionary.
The march that is best known was the one from the province of Jiangxi which commenced in 1934 October. At that time, the First Front Army was close to annihilation by troops belonging to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s troops all this within their stronghold because the army was led by a military commission that was inexperienced. Under Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai leadership, the communists managed to escape in a retreat to the north and west. They walked for nine thousand kilometers in three hundred and seventy days. The route used by the communists was the trickiest terrain in west China as they first traveled west then later North finding their way to Shaanxi.
The commencement of the March was after Mao Zedong ascension to power. The leadership of Zadong at the time of retreat helped him gain support from party members. The March was a bitter struggle and one that only one-tenth of the army managed to complete. It represented a significant chapter in history of Communist party and sealed the prestige of Mao as well as his supporters in the decades that followed. However, it is important to note the role of Mao is a disputed one with many claiming his role was not just exaggerated but that certain events were completely fabricated.
After making an escape from the Chiang encirclement, it became obvious to leaders of the party that the intention of Chiang was interception of what still remained of Red Army hence they had to make reconsiderations regarding the route the army should take. They made a rendezvous plan with the aim of joining Hunan’s He Long’s army.
Mao was the one who made the suggestion the Red Army should change direction and head towards Guizhou where he believed defenses of the enemy would be weak. To make the decision on which direction the Red Army should follow, on 12th December, 1934 a meeting was convened at Tongdao which was close to the Guizhou and Hunan border. The proposal made by Mao was endorsed by Zhou thus overruling objections raised by Braun and Bo.
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