The Third Chinese Revolutionary Civil War, 1945–49

An Analysis of Communist Strategy and Leadership

By Christopher R. Lew

© 2009 – Routledge

224 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415673860
pub: 2011-05-16
US Dollars$54.95
x
Hardback: 9780415777308
pub: 2009-04-02
US Dollars$178.00
x

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

This book examines the Third Chinese Revolutionary Civil War of 1945–1949, which resulted in the victory of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over Chiang Kaishek and the Guomindang (GMD) and the founding of The People’s Republic of China in 1949. It provides a military and strategic history of how the CCP waged and ultimately won the war, the transformation its armed forces and how the Communist leadership interacted with each other.

Whereas most explanations of the CCP’s eventual victory focus on the Sino-Japanese War of 1937–45, when the revolution was supposedly won as a result of the communists’ invention of "peasant nationalism", this book shows that the outcome of the revolution was not a foregone conclusion in 1945. It explains how the eventual victory of the communists resulted from important strategic decisions taken on both sides, in particular the remarkable transformation of the communist army from an insurgent / guerrilla force into a conventional army. The book also explores how the hierarchy of The People’s Republic of China developed during the war. It shows how Mao’s power was based as much on his military acumen as his political thought, above all his role in formulating and implementing a successful military strategy in the war of 1945–49.

It also describes how other important figures, such as Lin Biao, Deng Xiaoping, Nie Rongzhen, Liu Shaoqi and Chen Yi, made their reputations during the conflict; and reveals the inner workings of the first political-military elite of the PRC. Overall, this book is an important resource for anyone seeking to understand the origins and early history of The People’s Republic of China, the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army.

Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction 1. Setting the Stage 2. March on the North, Defend in the South (August 1945-June 1946) 3. The Guomindang High Tide (June 1946-June 1947) 4. The Turning Point (July 1947-August 1948) 5. Three Crucibles of Victory. Conclusion. Bibliography.

About the Author

Christopher R. Lew is a senior strategic analyst for the US Department of Defense, and a Captain in the reserve component of the U.S. Army. He has a Ph.D in History from the University of Pennsylvania – his focus is on Chinese Military history and thought.

About the Series

Asian States and Empires

The importance of Asia will continue to grow in the twenty-first century, but remarkably little is available in English on the history of the polities that constitute this critical area.  Most current work on Asia is hindered by the extremely limited state of knowledge of the Asian past in general, and the history of Asian states and empires in particular.  Asian States and Empires is a book series that will provide detailed accounts of the history of states and empires across Asia from earliest times until the present.  It aims to explain and describe the formation, maintenance and collapse of Asian states and empires, and the means by which this was accomplished, making available the history of more than half the world’s population at a level of detail comparable to the history of Western polities.  In so doing, it will demonstrate that Asian peoples and civilizations had their own histories apart from the West, and provide the basis for understanding contemporary Asia in terms of its actual histories, rather than broad generalizations informed by Western categories of knowledge.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS008000
HISTORY / Asia / China
HIS027000
HISTORY / Military / General
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General