Principles of Warfare - Mao Zedong

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Principles of Warfare HS215 Great Commanders Principles of Warfare The Chinese Nationalist party took a very hard line against the communists, and went on a campaign of eradication starting in 1927. The Communist movement was almost extinguished, if not for the spectacular military leadership of Mao Zedong. He developed an army that could be loved and relied upon by the people. The innovative battlefield decisions he made kept the Red army not just alive but successful against a much better equipped and larger force. I believe that if Zedong had commanded the Confederate troops during the American Civil War, Sherman would not have stood a chance. The Red Army didn’t have even close to comparable weapons at their command, in relation to the KMT army. This and the extremely huge numbers of troops that the Nationalists could put to field, meant that Mao Zedong had to rely on unconventional warfare. Zedong used the local peasants as spies, so that the movements of the KMT were always known to him. Knowing the enemies location allowed him to move his units around quickly and secretly, mostly at night. This kept the Nationalist troops from being able to encircle the Red army, and allowed Mao to attack small isolated KMT units. Zedong would lure the KMT deep into friendly territory, where he would have the locals on his side, and vast knowledge of the terrain. Then the Communists would sweep in, ambush or attack the rear of a division, and then just as quickly fade away into the countryside. Later during the “Long March” Zedong was a master at keeping his army together in a forced retreat. Time and time again the KMT would be on the verge of surrounding the Red army, but Mao would feint in one direction, and quickly move in another. As a philosophical exercise, trying to envision Mao Zedong against General Sherman in Georgia in 1864 is
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