See China OOB Civil War

See China OOB

Other parts of 1945

  • according to official CPC stats, at the end of the war against japan, the communists had a regular army of 930 000 men and an organized militia of some 2 200 000 (1.253)

Above statistics lacked substantiation as a result of the defeat of the Nationalist Regime in 1949. At the time Japan surrendered, the Chinese communist party was entrenched in Rectification Movement 1942-1945 as well as a party congress for power consolidation. Only American planes from Dixie Mission saved the communist cause by flying out commanders. The exact number, which was also recorded by Russians, did not exceed 300,000-400,000 troops for the communist New Fourth Army and Eight Route Army combined. Even after the expansion of troops in Manchuria, the total headcount did not exceed 500,000 by Nov 1945 when the Nationalist Army began the deployment toward the northeastern territory.

Complete reorganization of the army (1.195)

Alpha Program

  • 39 divisions would be trained and equipped
    • train 500 000 Chinese troops
    • 300 000 will be armed soldiers
  • if completed, this plan would have affected approximately 1/6th of the entire Chinese regular army as reorganized
  • the plan was fully realized for only 12 as far as equipment was concerned

(Source: )

  • Militarily, Mao Tse-tung agreed to compress to 48 and consecutively 43 divisions, so that communist forces would be amounting to 1/6th and consecutively 1/7th the size of 263 KMT divisions. Chiang Kai-shek stated that they intended to compress the army to 120 divisions, but communists refused to lower to 20 divisions.

( )

  • 94th Corps
    • 5th Div commanded by Li Zefen

( ) In Manchuria, the forces were:

  • New 1st Corps commanded by Zheng Dongguo
  • New 6th Corps
  • 52nd Corps
  • 71st Corps commanded by Liang Huashen

Also the Yunnanese 60th and 92nd corps were coming to Manchuria

Nov-Dec 1945

On 27 November 1945 General George Marshall began his efforts to mediate a solution to the Chinese civil war. General Marshall arrived in China in December 1945 with the hope of brokering a cease-fire between the KMT and the CCP, and of building a coalition government that would include all of the contending political/military groups in China.

(Source: )


  • Two major campaigns occurred in early 1946 in east and west Manchuria. To the east, government troops recovered the territories of Western Liaoning Province and Jehol [excluding Chifeng and Chengde]; and to the east, government troops routed Lin Biao's communist troops at the Battle of Shaling. A respite ensued till Russians suddenly pulled out of Manchuria beginning from March 1946 when George Marshal took off for America, which was very much a calculated event. Government troops then hastily marched north to recover Shenyang, Changchun and Harbin, but encountered stiff communist resistance along the China Eastern Railway. Fightings centered around the railway nexus of Sipingjie for one and half a month.
  • "Dian-jun", the Yunnanese army, designated the 184th Division, of the 50th corps, defected to the Communists in Haiching, Liaoning Province on May 29th. The defection included only one regiment and the division command center. The majority of the defector troops, on a later occasion, fled a north-bound train and re-joined the Nationalist Army to be Re-organized 184th Division.

( )

  • In June 6 1946 a truce was imposed by the Americans in Manchuria, which allowed the Communists to recovered (1.244)
  • Natioanlists build their fighting power around a core of 31 divisions equipped with American assistance during the latter part of the war, though not all of them were trained to cmobat readiness (1.246) other fine units were:
    • crack Guangxi Armies
    • northern troops under Generals Fu Zuoyi and Sun Lianzhong
    • hard fighting Xibei San Ma Cavalry
    • northwestern armies
  • mid 1946, the Nationalists had 3 000 000 men (1.253)
  • late Oct, 25th Div of 52nd Corps encircled and destroyed

( )

  • at the end of 1946, the American military estimated that the Red army numbered some 1 150 000 (1.253)
  • at the end of 1946, the Nationalists had 2 600 000 men (1.253)


  • On March 13, Hu Zongnan led a 140 000 strong army against Yan'an and took over the empty city as popular history textbooks claimed. The historical truth, however, shows that Hu Zongnan's actual fighting force consisted of two re-organized Corps or about six re-organized divisions, with a fighting force of about 18 re-organized brigades at varying size of 5000-7000 per brigade. On the cmmunist side, the army at Yenan consisted of about 120,000-150,000 regular troops and military district troops.

( )

  • Also in march, Communist forces under Chen Yi, after suffering a serious defeat at the hands of a Guangxi army column (consisting of the 7th and 48th corps),, seized the opportunity to destroy one of the best US equipped army corps (74th) of the central army at Mengliangkan , killing the commander, Zhang Ningfu (1.252)
  • On May 14th, Su Yu forced Zhang Lingfu onto Mt Menglianggu, Shandong Province by encircling KMT Reinforced 74th Division (i.e., originally Yu Jishi's 74th Corps) with 5 echelons and cutting off KMT relief armies with another 4 echelons. On May 16th, 100,000 communist forces totally destroyed 32,000 KMT forces, with a casualty of 12,000 on the communist side

( )

  • Also, Communists in Manchuria launch an offensive
    • KMT's 88th Division of 71st Corps was destroyed while en route to the relief of Huaide.
  • In mid-June, communist forces, numbering 200,000, surrounded Sipingjie in a surprise move. KMT dispatched 53rd Corps to Shenyang from northern China. In the ensuing months, KMT lost 40 counties and 80,000 soldiers in the fightings with communists.

( )

  • in the 50 day summer offensive in may 1947, communists made extensive use of artillery power against best-equipped gov't units and claimed 89 000 government losses
  • in August, Chen Cheng replaces Xiong Shihui as director for Northeast Military District
    • Chen Cheng relocates 49th corps to Manchuria from Northern Jiangsu
    • shortly after, 105 division of 49th corps destroyed
  • Chen Cheng re-organized Du Yuming's local security forces into New 3rd Corps, New 5th Corps, New 7th Corps and New 8th Corps.

( )

  • By mid-Oct, communists, totalling 500,000 in Manchuria area, mounted an "autumn campaign" and destroyed about 100,000 KMT forces, including Chen Xinda's New 5th Corps in Gongzhuling.

( )

  • at the end of 1947, the Red army numbered some 1 622 000 (1.253)
  • late 1947, the Nationalists had 2 700 000 men (1.253)


  • throughout 1948, the Nationalists had about 2 730 000 men (1.253)
  • early in the year, several military commands were set up (1.246):
    • north China Command led by Fu Zuoyi
    • central China command led by Bai Chongxi
    • northwest China command led by Ma Bufang
    • although they were honored with major commands, none was entrusted with important authority in the central military establishment
  • under Bai Chongxi, the central China command did pretty well against the communists(1.248)
  • Fu Zuoyi raised and partially trained a 100 000 man militia, but government refused to arm it (1.248)

Forces in Manchuria ( )

  • New 7th Corps @ Changchun
  • 60th Corps @ Changchun
  • 9th Corps Conglomerate @ Central Liaoning Province, consisting of:
    • New 1st Corps
    • New 3rd Corps
    • New 6th Corps
    • 49th Corps
  • 52nd Corps
  • 1 Corps of Zhou Fucheng's 8th Corps Conglomerate @ Southern Liaoning Province and Shenyang
  • Dian-jun (Yunnanese) 93rd Corps @ Jinzhou
  • 71st Corps commanded by (Xiang Fengwu)

Wei Lihuang regrouped 4 corps-conglomerates of 14 corps or 44 divisions, making Zheng Dongguo's 1st corps-conglomerate (about 6 divisions or 100,000 men) in charge of Changchun in the north, Fan Hanjie's 6th corps-conglomerate (about 14 divisions or 150,000 men) in charge of Jinzhou in the west, and 8th & 9th corps-conglomerates etc (about 300,000 men) in charge of Shenyang, Benxi, Fushun, Tieling and Xinmin in the middle. ( )


( ) On the evening of Sept 17th 1948 (Oct 1st per Jung Chang's "Wild Swans"), CCP forces sacked Yixian county, to the north of Jinzhou, and destroyed KMT 93rd Corps plus one cavalry column, totalling 10,000 men. Fan Hanjie's forces in Jinzhou city were hence surrounded by CCP forces on all sides. [...] Meantime, Chiang Kai-shek air-lifted 49th Corps to Jinzhou for assistance with city defence. Jinzhou was said to have been cut off from outside world by Sept 26th.


"despite the basic soundness of his order for simultaneous attacks from Mukden and Changchun in order to effectuate the breakout of government force from Changchun, his commands were not obeyed in full. General Wei Lihuang's force did not lash out from Mukden in full strength. In despair, one of the garrison units, the 60th Army (Yunnanese) revolted and turned its guns on the loyal New 7th Army. The latter, a parly American trained force, was the backbone of the city's defense forces. On the 20th of the month, Changchun and its starving defenders fell into communist hands." (1.259)

  • Jinzhou, a supply base for Manchuria between Mukden and Beiping was surrounded (1.259)
    • held some 70 000 nationalist troops, including crack units of the recently arrived 8th Army under General Fan Hanjie, reputedly one of Whampoa's ables commanders
    • wei lihuang was in Mukden, and was ordered to bring his 150 000 man force (composed of 12 divisions and 3 cavalry brigades) to the relief of the Jinzhou siege, but delayed and then moved out hesitantly with only a fraction of his strength
    • meanwhile, strong gov't reinforcements (9 divisions) were landed at the port of Hulutao, but only a portion of them moved to the aid of besieged Jinzhou
  • certain gov't units within the city deserted to the communists and the city fell

( ) After receivng the breakout order, Zheng Dongguo ordered that New 38th Division push to the position. On the night of Oct 17th, Zeng Zesheng's 60th Corps declared an uprising for the communist camp, and cut Changchun city into two parts.

( ) On Oct 20th, Du Yuming and Wei Lihuang flew back to Shenyang, with order that Liao Yaoxiang's Army Group, with an addition of 207th Division of 6th Corps, attack Heishan and that Liu Yuezhang's 52nd Corps attack Yingkou for securing the withdrawal route of Liao Yaoxiang. Secretly, Wei Lihuang instructed Shenyang garrison division chief Wang Lihuan in guaranteeing the peaceful transfer of Shenyang and its 2 million citizens to CCP.

( ) Liao Yaoxiang's army group, the heroes of Burma, were destroyed by the Communists by October 28th

( ) Du Yuming was dispatched to Shenyang for assisting Wei Lihuang & Zhou Fucheng in city defence. Shenyang still possessed 53rd Corps, 6th Corps and 207th Division.

  • loss of manchuria and some 300 000 of its best troops spelled the beginning of the end for the natioanlists. Nearly 360 000 communist troops from manchuria were now free to move against china proper. (p.260)
    • 550 000 men of the communist 3rd and 2nd field armies, commmanded by Chen Yi and Liu Bocheng, marched on Xuzhou, where the gov't had initially maintained 20-odd divisions, later increased to 7 army groups
    • Government intended to defend Xuzhou with 66 divisions
    • Liu Zhi, assisted by Du Yuming ordered to command the defense of Xuzhou
    • air force was hoarded by the incompetent air commanders and was ineffectively employed
  • nationalist commanders Generals Li Mi, Jiu Jingzhuan, Huang Bodao
    • Jiu Jingzhuan commanded strong gov't forces
  • at the end of the first stage of the campaign, communists claimed 178 000 nationalist casualties
  • second phase began on Nov 23 1948
    • Liu Bocheng impeded General Huang Wei's 12th Army group marching eastward
    • gov'ts position in and around Xuzhou was untenable
    • Huang Bodao's army group on east flank was destroyed
    • Chiang was about to withdraw, when he found out that 4 of the 9 nationalist armies were not being employed
    • under command of Du Yuming, 3 army groups moved westward in a desparate effort both to rescue Huang Wei's army group and retreat to a more defensible position
    • Huang's army, ordered by Generalissimo Chiang to converge upon Xuzhou, and consisting of 5 army corps, 1 divisions and a mechanized column, was taken away from bai Chongxi's central China command
    • it ran into a communist encirclement SW of <Suhsien>
    • Du Yuming's 3 army groups were repulsed and fled to the SW, trapped by the communists, and were surrounded
    • 6th and 8th armies under Generals Li Yannian and Liu Ruming attempted to relieve Huang Wei from Pengpu but were driven back.
  • under Du Yuming's incompotent generalship, 4 army groups were destroyed and General Huang Bodao was killed
  • Xuzhou forces and intended reinforcements met with the same fate (destroyed)
  • November to December 1948, the Nationalist lost 400 000 men, including most of Chiang's mechanized forces in the Huai Hai campaign
  • now the only remaining forces of the once powerful Central Army were those commanded by General Hu Zongnan in the NW and by Gneeral Tang Enbo in the SE


"Fu Zuoyi, commander of North China, concentrated his main force int he Beiping-Tianjin area for a decisive battle, counting upon a communist regrouping period of at least one and a half months before Red general Lin Biao could move his army into the Great Wall. To his surprise, Lin Biao's force appeared in his area barely twenty days after the fall of Mukden and, unfortunately, Fu's war plans and his troop dispositions became known to the communists through internal treachery." (1.264)

  • Lin Biao's force and teh Red Army commanded by Nie Rongzheng converged on Fu's left flank, knocking out 2 nationalist army corps at Xinbaoan and Huailai along the strategic Beiping-Suiyuan railway.
  • Red force captured Kalgan and decimated 40 000 of Fu's forces around that strategic base
  • Tianjin fell on Jan 15, 1949 and strategic gateway of Juyongguan also taken
  • Beiping surrounded by Red forces
  • Fu Zuoyi, only recently appointed commander of northern forces designated to defend Tianjin and Beiping, surrendered Beiping and 100 000 men to Red general Ye Jianying.
  • all of China north of the Yangzi River was int he hands of the communists
  • by February, the Nationalists had about 1 500 000 men (1.253)
  • the largest single force that president Li Zongren could now rely on were the 350 000 troops under Bai Chongxi, whose HQ was in central China Command at Hankou
  • Chiang retained firm control of 2 major army groupings under Tang Ebo and HU Zongnan (1.265)
  • instead of defending the Yangtze back from communists, Chiang withdrew Tang Enbo's army to Shanghai in the hope that the main Red forces could be brought to fight around that strongly defnded city where the Chinese might possibly be able to defeat them. The communists occupied Nanjing on april 24. Tang Enbo spoke of making Shanghai a "ssecond Stalingrad" but lost Shanghai a month later
  • Tang's forces were not out of battle
  • general Xia Wei's army group, under Bai Chongxi's command, chalked up the only nationalist victory in Anqing while General Lin Biao moved down from the north to meet the main body of Bai's troops (1.267)
  • in June, 125 000 man communist force under Peng Dehuai was driving General Hu Zongnan's gov't force toward Sichuan. 20 000 cavalry men commanded by Xibei San Ma Moslem general Ma Jiyuan daringly assailed Peng's flank. (1.269)
    • Hu's force then counterattacked to squeeze Pen's forces
    • Ma Bufang was appointed CiC of China's NW as a measure of the gov'ts gratitude for his son's victory
    • however, supplies didn't get to Ma Jiyuan, and Ma Jiyuan ran out of ammunition as reinforcements came to Peng Dehuai's aid.
  • Guangzhou falls to the Communists on October 16 (1.269)
  • Chongqing and Chengdu fall to the Communists in November
  • Chiang's forces under Hu Zongnan and Song Xinian collapse in a week
  • Yunnan goes communist

Nationalist Government's estimates on the Chinese Forces during the Civil War

September 1945

June 1948






3 700 000

320 000

2 180 000

2 600 000


1 600 000

160 000

980 000

970 000


6 000


2 100

2 280

Source: Source: Liu, F.F. A Military History of Modern China : 1924-1949, Princeton University Press: New Jersey, 1956, ISBN 0313230129

Communist estimates on the Chinese Forces during the Civil War

Government Forces

Communist Forces


July 1946

4 300 000

1 200 000


June 1947

3 730 000

1 950 000


June 1948

3 650 000

2 800 000


June 1949

1 490 000

4 000 000


Source: Source: Liu, F.F. A Military History of Modern China : 1924-1949, Princeton University Press: New Jersey, 1956, ISBN 0313230129