Completion of the Long March

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Long march.jpg

The Long March (长征) was a military maneuver carried out by the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army of the Communist Party of China from 1934 to 1936. 

In the summer of 1934, under the passive defense principle of former leader Wang Ming, the Red Army of the Central Soviet Area lost the fifth Counter-Campaign against the Kuomintang's "encirclement and suppression." High demands on military strength, manpower and resources made it difficult for the Red Army to fight the enemy inside the shrinking base area, so the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army was forced to leave the base area and started the Long March.

The Red Army set off on the Long March in six separate groups from five different starting points during the 1934-1935 period.

Early on, resulting from the leadership of Wang Ming, the Long March did not fare well and resulted in large losses. In January 1935, the Red Army held the Zunyi Conference after taking over the second large city in Guizhou. The conference confirmed Mao Zedong's undisputed leadership of the Red Army and the Communist Party of China.

During that time, Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Kuomintang, dispatched hundreds of thousands of troops to intercept the 30,000 soldiers of the First Red Army. Nevertheless, the Red Army prevailed, with troops crossing the Chishui River four times, crossing the Jinsha River with strategy, attacking Anshunchang by surprise, scaling snow-topped mountains and plodding through marsh lands. They finally arrived in the Shanbei (northern Shaanxi) base area in October 1935. During the following year, aside from developing the base area, the First Red Army took part in both eastward and westward fighting.

In August 1935, the Fourth Red Army and the Second Red Army arrived in the south of Gansu Province. Before the Kuomintang gathered all the armies and deployed strategically, the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Central Military Commission decided to join up the three branches of the Red Army's main force. The Second and the Fourth Red Armies were directed to advance north, while the First Red Army divided into two processions and headed south, joining up with the other two armies in October 1936 in Huining, Gansu Province, marking the victorious completion of the Long March.