Significance of the Chinese military contribution to World War 2 disputed.

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Phead128, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. solarz
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    solarz Brigadier

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    Well no, that's exactly what I'm saying. It is perfectly possible for the CCP to be fully invested in fighting the Japanese, while at the same time preparing for a showdown with the KMT.

    Why? Because those two goals both lead toward the same strategic conclusion: they need to build up their military force! That's exactly what the CCP did, and I believe we're both in agreement on this point.

    What I'm trying to argue is that, contrary to what western/taiwan schools of thought claim, building up one's forces is not contrary to fighting the Japanese. In fact, it is the RIGHT way to fight the Japanese under those particular circumstances.

    Would those same schools of thought have been happy with the CCP exhausting their resources in losing battles against the Japanese? Yet, had the US not won the Pacific war, that kind of strategy would have led to the utter defeat of the Chinese forces!
     
  2. In4ser
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    In4ser Junior Member

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    And YES I AGREE YOU ARE RIGHT! Except for 100% investment. I'm not saying what the CCP did wrong in fact, it was the better strategy to employ against the Japanese by Attrition. However, I don't think you understand what I am saying doesn't change the fact that they weren't completely invested. The CCP would be stupid let their guard completely down against the KMT, however it still divided its forces/efforts against two combatants. Which means it can't be invest 100% against 1 side.
     
    #82 In4ser, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  3. montyp165
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    montyp165 Junior Member

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    Wanted to expand on this, if the KMT had been essentially a left-wing CCP-structured party it would have effectively been able to perform as well as the Soviets did during WWII. This could have happened if for example Chiang had received military training in Germany instead of Japan, which would have made him less likely to tolerate the warlord system.
     
  4. FriedRiceNSpice
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    FriedRiceNSpice Senior Member

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    I think Chiang tolerated the warlords more out of necessity than anything else... near the early years of the Republic, the more powerful warlord cliques were as powerful as the central government. However, once Chiang built up his power base, he allied with the warlords he had to out of necessity and mounted expeditions to defeat the rest.
     
  5. Phead128
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    Phead128 Junior Member

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    Original Poster here:

    I got the people at Wikipedia to remove the bolded text from ALL Big 3 and Axis powers all together.

    Although I believe the Permanent 5 (P5) of the UN Security Council (UK, US, France, China, Soviet) as well as the Big 3 Axis powers (Germany, Japan, and Italy) should have been bolded.

    I got them to unbold all of them!

    It's ridiculous since China bogged down 3 million Japanese troops and China had been fighting Japan long before US even got bombed.
     
  6. ABC78
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    ABC78 Junior Member

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    One of the reasons for the marginalization of China's contribution to ww2 is certain people of that era had low opinions of the Chinese that continues to still influence history books today.

    In the videos I'm posting Robert Dallek paraphrases a Gen Mac Aurther quote of the fighting capability of the Chinese forces which is unfaltering.

    Charlie Rose - Robert Dallek

    The Charlie Rose interview is shorter but gets to the quote quickly I've post the book tour video below if your interested.

    [The Lost Peace] - C-SPAN Video Library
     
  7. waterbound
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    waterbound Just Hatched
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    “A dead camel is still bigger than a live horse…”
    Hello Forum,

    In regards to the Chinese military during WWII, it is obvious that a Eurocentric website such as Wikipedia is biased against Asian studies in general. You don’t have to go very far to realize there is a huge inequality in regards to academic funding of educational programs. Ethnic studies in general, have been in favor of the dominant western world. Only now with the “rise” of Chinese economic power, can the rise of China be restated as the “return” of China. In turn all of East Asian studies deserve this kind of objective reassessment in regards to China’s place in World History.

    With all due respect, Wikipedia’s populace is right and wrong. You must understand that from the standpoint of major military actions, the Nationalist and CCP forces were not as effective as the UK, USSR or the USA in WWII. But what is important to note, is that they won more battles against the Japanese than the American colonials won against the British during the American War of Independence. The outcomes of both engagements were linked with events across the globe. The Asian Indians aided the American colonials with geo political engagements like the allies helped China during WWII. It is not important how many battles you win. As long as you win the right ones! Sometimes you don’t even have to win any military engagements; you just have to outlast military aggression. This was witnessed by the British handover of India and Hong Kong. “To be or not to be…” To win is truly “to be” or exist.

    This brings up the point that a war is a battle of logistics in terms of manpower and resources; not just aggressive battles. Logistically speaking China had a major role during WWII. It had the longest duration of military occupation and tied up huge amounts of Japanese military resources. Even with the parasitic machinations of the Japanese empire, China could not be conquered and organized like the Germans did in Europe. However what China lacked in industrial infrastructure she made up for in terms of natural resources and manpower. If Chiang Kai Sheik had surrendered to the Japanese clearly the Japanese could have salvaged parts of their empire.

    Even before Dec 7th, 1941 Chinese Americans made sure to trade valuable resources such as tungsten for American industrial output. Obviously they imported enough to win WWII. This kind of foresight was pinnacle for US manufacturing. Tungsten was also a minor and political reason given for the American entrance into the Vietnam War; although other global sources were later found. The British and the Russians both benefitted from American arms made with Chinese tungsten.

    The Japanese had two atomic bomb projects, biological and chemical weapons programs that benefitted from large scale human experimentation. It was larger in terms of duration, breath and scale than the German projects. In fact one Japanese experimental air balloon weapon actually reached the US shore and shut down power to the Manhattan project for a day. This news was censored for fear of exciting and promoting further Japanese experiments.
    The fact remains the “China Incident”-full scale war took up the majority of time, manpower and resources that the Japanese could have otherwise devoted to their advanced weapons and industrial plans. Make no mistake; the Japanese had made many preparations to survive an American invasion. Mt Fuji is a national symbol for Japan and during WWII was made into an atomic weapon proof bunker. Huge caves were dug out of Mt Fuji and were designed to survive repeated atomic weapons attacks. The Russians were the straw that broke the camels back and not purely American atomic shock and awe. In fact the Russians captured the most Japanese soldiers of any force during WWII.

    In terms of actual destruction no one suffered more than China during WWII, 35 million people. China suffered the most in terms of sheer human casualties, the amount of people affected and also the fact that Japanese military weapons still kill Chinese civilians to this day. The environmental impacts also are ongoing. During WWII one coal mine set off an ore fire that still rages today some 3,000km long in Manchuria. The engineered biological and chemical weapons are still long term hazards.

    The crimes against humanity are large scale. The Japanese military conducted mass rape, organized sex slavery, committed human vivisection/experimentation, human bayonet practices, used humans in bomb experiments, froze people to death, froze limbs and broke them off piece by piece, infected people with pathogens, exploded people in pressure chambers, killed people using artificial blood, burned people to death, buried people alive, forced relatives to rape and mutilate each other, child rape, fed children candy laced with arsenic and biological weapons, industrial opium production, forced opium addiction, mutilation and cannibalism. Dr Shiro Ishii himself raped a Chinese woman to impregnate her with his child and then infected her with syphilis. He examined the subjects for a period and then opened them up alive to examine the stages of development. This was not just committed on Chinese, but Korean, Philippinos, Indonesians, Malaysians, Dutch, French, Russian, American, Australian and British human beings. Japan is responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people during WII.

    A major offense to humanity is the destruction of archeological artifacts. The oldest building in the world right now is in Japan. It used to be in China until Japan burned all of the older buildings down. In Nanjing they destroyed a 2,700 year old city. Japan itself only dates to 300B.C.E. Before the fall of Shanghai the US sent in a secret military mission to retrieve the bones of Peking Man. They failed and the Japanese destroyed the artifacts. Today only castings remain of the originals. Peking Man is the foundation for hominoids in East Asia. It was a major artifact that linked east Asians to global human evolution. Many dinosaur bones and eggs were illegally smuggled out of China during this period. In all China took the brunt of Japanese aggression both physically, emotionally and culturally not just individually, but as a member of humanity.

    The British had been bankrupted by two world wars and could no longer hold out against the political and economic instability created by Ghandi. The Japanese had lost the war and were also bankrupted. Both would leave vast territories without central political administration in their void. The ensuing civil wars would engulf both nations, but still not equal the devastation caused by colonialism.

    Both of these epic events are very similar in that the populace suffered the brunt of military aggression. Both are examples of huge disparities in military arms and training. Both were economically and politically strangled for long periods before actual military actions took place. Both battlegrounds were witness to previous battles and wars.

    In the end China does qualify in the same sense as the UK, USA and USSR as far as military engagements or battles. It definitely had more military engagements than France or Italy during WII. It faced biological and chemical weapons of war that the other allies did not. No matter how the Chinese futilely resisted, they still fought as hard as and longer than the other 3 nations. Many large scale battles were waged in the 8 years of war. More territory was also contested. More people were harassed and died in China than the UK, USA and USSR combined. More loose ends were left that led to other major wars: Korean & Vietnam wars. China more than qualifies to be counted as one of the 5 major UN powers based upon its role in WII. It also should be counted as a major ally in Wikipedia.

    In closing the Chinese military during WWII was mostly a peasant war of sticks and stones versus guns and planes. That might seem weak to some, but heroic to others. Especially since the Chinese used the pure mass of population and land to smother the Japanese. In the American War of Independence, the mass of America smothered the British. Just like the mass of China smothered Japan. I definitely see both peoples heroism in the face of overwhelming military odds.
     
    #87 waterbound, Apr 17, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  8. Mightypeon
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    Mightypeon Junior Member
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    Allow me to state my point:

    -During the 1939 battle of Kalkhin Gol, the second rate Soviet Army of 39 decisivly defeated the Japanese imperial guard.
    For an introduction one can consult the work of David Glantz or Edward Drea on the subject, f.e.
    Combined Arms Research Library

    In 1945 the Red army, having finished off the Nazis in Germany arrived in Manchuria and handled the Japanese Kwantung army like a red headed stepchild.
    http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/download/csipubs/augustta/augta_intro.pdf


    However, I am not particularly happy with the whole arbitrary "Big three" thing in general.
    Imho, Russia was by far the MVP on the allied side, and Germany was by far the heaviest hitter on the axis.

    Beyond putting Russia on place one, it imho becomes very difficult to assess each allied members contributions. China had a very large contribution in manpower, contributed this manpower for a long time and did keep a lot of Japanese formations occupied.
    In this they likely influenced the decision of Japan to not invade Russia, but I would argue that the battle of Kalkhin Gol did more to that. The internal dynamics of the Inner Japanese power struggle between Admirals and Generals are of course another issue.
    Of course, one cannot completly see Kalkhin Gol in isolation from the Sino Japanese theatre, and it may have been that the Japanese could have brought more forces to bear had Chinese resistance been weaker, a different outcome of Kalkin Gol may have changed history more than most people would expect.


    If you wish to "rate" military contribution, it could perhaps be interesting to imagine scenarios which set that military contribution to near 0.
    If we imagine that Chiang either folded quickly, or folded before Russia gained control of the east front, and a Japanese offensive into Siberia coincided with Barbarossa, things would look very bleak for Russia (who is the allied MVP in terms of military casulties caused) and as a result the allies.
    In my opinion, things would be roughly as bleak as if the UK had folded early, both scenarios could feature enough axis reinforcements (either more Germans in the East front, or Japanese in Siberia) to tip the scales in the Axis favor.

    If you set the USSR to 0, (a scenario in which the USSR collapses after the Germans "kick the door in"), earth is pretty much fucked. I seriously question the ability of the Americans to invade either Germany or Japan with the USSR in German hands, and it would also be incredibly bad for any Chinese resistance.

    If you set the USA to 0 (imagine a scenario where they dont oil embargo the Japanese and thus no pearl harbor happens, neither Germany nor Japan had the ability to actually force them out of the war, so USA staying totally neutral), then the question becomes: Can the USSR win the eastern front without US supplies (imho yes but would take longer) and can the UK and China prevent Japan from opening a second front in Siberia (imho potential to do so exists) by fiercily resisting Japanese aggression.


    If you look at it from a more conventional point of view, military contribution would rather strongly be corellated with succesfully defending ones territors, making counter offensives against the enemy and eventually planting your banner on the other sides seat of gouverment.

    China did, with more success than most people in the west think, tenaciously defend herself against Japan, but it could not go on the offensive. In addition, it tied up 3 million Japanese rather than killing/capturing them.
    The USSR and the USA did take the offensive and eventually won.

    Imho, Chinas contribution is roughly on a level with the UK, above France but below the USSR and the USA.
    I would, for "emotional" reasons argue against putting France in the same level as China. When China was attacked, it was facing a highly complicated internal situation, suprised, and quite strongly "outteched". However, it did not fall. France, in theory having the best army of the world did fall.
    China performance was imho what one would/could expect of it, France was below expectations.
     
  9. solarz
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    solarz Brigadier

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    No it doesn't.

    Even had Moscow fallen, it's still a very long way to China.

    By the end of WW2, the Japanese were overstretched to their limit, while the reverse was happening to China: more and more resources, both human and natural, were being leveraged against the Japanese. It might have taken longer, but the defeat of the Japanese was inevitable.
     
  10. Mightypeon
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    Mightypeon Junior Member
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    Are you claiming that WW2 China can hold out on the Eurasian mainland alone? Against Japan and a Germany with no other full scale threat to it remaining?

    I would argue that not even the USSR could pull that stunt off...
     
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