Mao Zedong Biography


(Comprehensive Guide to Military History)

0111203493-Mao.jpg Mao Zedong. (National Archives) Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Article abstract: Military significance: Mao led the Chinese Communist Party to victory in a successful revolt against the Nationalists and established a Communist government.

Mao Zedong became the paramount Chinese Communist Party leader and one of the most important theorists and strategists in Chinese military history. He began his military career by organizing rural-centered, armed revolts in his home province in 1927 and establishing the first Communist base in Jinggangshan in 1928. In this remote mountainous region in South China, he became the first political commissar of the Chinese Red Army and the chairman of the Chinese Soviet Republic in 1931. He transformed the revolt begun with the Chinese Revolution from an urban working-class struggle to a rural-based peasant armed rebellion. He led the Long March in 1934-1935 to save the Red Army from destruction by Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist (Guomindang) Army, emerging as the unquestionable top man in the Chinese Communist Party. In the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), his successful strategy of cooperating with Chiang and mobilizing guerrilla warfare behind Japanese lines increased Chinese Communist Party members from 40,000 in 1937 to more than one million in 1945 with nearly two million regular troops and two million militia. He was elected chairman of the Chinese Communist Party Central Military Commission in 1937, of the Politburo in 1943, and of the Central Committee in 1945.

Unwilling to cooperate after World War II, Mao and Chiang ended their united front and resumed the civil war from 1946 to 1949. After...

(The entire section is 662 words.)