“Are these peasants seriously going to eat all the sweet potatoes?”
A distinctive feature of communist operations in Chinese Civil War by 1948 was that novel, large-scale conventional-scale military operations were combined with mass mobilization and conscription of civilians /1
for logistic support—the latter referred to as “People’s War” in Mao Zedong’s parlance.
Before the outbreak of the Huaihai Campaign, Captain Guo, a company commander in 100th Army, 7th Corps, Republic of China Army, was conducting an inspection of civilian houses in a village. /2
In one dwelling, pulling back a cloth curtain, he stumbled upon a room chock-full of sweet potatoes, covering the entire floor.
He promptly reported the suspicious finding to his superior officers.
They scratched their heads. “These peasants in Shandong province, they all eat /3
sweet potatoes.“ Captain Guo was instructed to do nothing.
Idiots, he reflected many decades after the war: his superiors simply didn’t understand the psychology of how communists had operated.
Nor did most of the Republic of China Army understand, to their own detriment. /end

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with Simon Boyi Chen

Simon Boyi Chen Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @simonbchen

23 Feb
Xi Jinping’s father was veteran of Northwest Field Army in Civil War, which of the 4 numbered Field Armies of the communists, had to contend with most adverse conditions and most trying challenges, including the Nationalist Army’s seizure of communist capital Yan’an in 1947 /1
and consequent flight of Mao Zedong as bait to lure Nationalist Army into ambush and diversion. Xi Jinping’s family, decades later in Cultural Revolution, went through chaos, disruption, and violence. There is absolutely no question that, more than any other world leader in /2
21st century, even including recent predecessors in Red Party, his worldview was and continues to be indelibly shaped by history. Yet, the conclusions that he appears to have drawn, evidently differ from those of many others with overlapping backgrounds. Addressing historical /3
Read 4 tweets
23 Feb
For almost a century leading up to 1949, the US economic, social, and religious establishment made tremendous investments of personnel and funds in China, believing that it holds a vast untapped market of virtually boundless potential, whose materialization was predicated upon /1
the transformation of China as a country of democracy, individual freedom, respect for civic and legal values, high population-level attainments in education and standards of living, and amicability with US economic interests. Although this era met an untimely and sudden end /2
in 1949, the aforementioned motivations and intentions were correct and justified. A few decades later, similar investments returned, but with the risky assumption that the end-goal of market access could be achieved without all of the aforementioned predicates. This was /3
Read 7 tweets
21 Feb
Some forgotten details of Sino-Soviet border conflict over Damansky Island in 1969 deserve comment. Soviet Union leadership was split into 2 camps on how to respond to Mao Zedong’s provocations in the area. The 1st camp, led by Marshal Andrei Grechko, Soviet Defense Minister, /1
advocated a forceful response to what they perceived as Mao’s dangerous and violent hooliganism, which ultimately included not only the Terekty Incident along Xinjiang-Kazakh border, but also contingency war planning of a possible invasion of northern China up to a demarcation /2
through old Chinese Civil War battleground of Shanxi Province. 2nd camp, led by Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister, and which initially had Brezhnev’s sympathy, thought Mao Zedong’s armed provocations as essentially immaturity and acting-out, and advocated a diplomatic /3
Read 9 tweets
24 Jan
The first few paragraphs about communist troops entering Shanghai in 1949 are important and deserve some comment. Yes, communist troops entering Shanghai in 1949 were generally well-disciplined. From earliest days of Chinese Red Army, the communist /1 economist.com/china/2021/01/…
military leadership under Mao Zedong and Zhu De formulated and imposed upon their troops a strict moral code of conduct, the 3 Rules of Discipline and 8 Points of Attention (3/8 Behavior), to contrast themselves from the motley of poorly-behaved Nationalist-affiliated warlord /2
troops they were fighting against, in gaining popular sympathy and support among civilians. Of course, this was very much also a distraction, and in no way diminished the numerous atrocities that the communist military leadership had also perpetuated against socioeconomically /3
Read 7 tweets
12 Jan
Business and history.
After suffering colossal destruction and disruption from two decades of upheaval, the most notorious apex of which was the Cultural Revolution, many ambitious and educated people in China realized one (or both) of two things: 1) They were tired of living /1
lies, and they realized that the only way out of their predicament, and not suffer a repeat of the past 20 years again, was to be truthful and look back at what had happened with a seriously honest perspective; and 2) Politics and ideology can be extremely destructive and /2
wasteful, so their salvation was to pivot all-in, into the capitalist business and entrepreneurial experiments that began in China in the 1980s.
By and large, the populations who pursued (1) and (2) were non-overlapping.
Many Party and military historians (although they are /3
Read 5 tweets
16 Sep 20
Tales of Anna Shen, one of most notorious communist sleeper agents who penetrated deeply into the military command structure of Chiang Kai-shek's Republic of China Army and government.
How did she—the femme fatale of modern Chinese history—pull off such an intelligence coup? /1 ImageImage
1) What motivated Anna Shen to dedicate her life to radical social change?
Roots could be found in early tensions between her and her family. She was born into a well-to-do family in 1915, in Jiangsu Province of southern China. While she was allowed school education, her /2
(1 cont'd) family was otherwise very traditional, insisting on arranged marriage for her, which she had no interest in and tradition of which she despised. She also sided with her older sister when latter was physically abused by rest of family for being unable to conceive. /3
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!