Part 1: Introduction

RustyHunter

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Note: This is my first AAR, so feel free to give me pointers/suggestions to improve this. I am playing HOI3 TFH with the latest version of HPP. I decided to play with this mod because of several changes it makes. I especially like that playing at China is actually really hard. I expect to lose a fair amount of territory, similar to as historically happened. I also really like the changes to units that HPP makes. I much prefer INF, MIL, and CAV sharing techs between them, and I also really like the concept of the horse/truck towed support brigades. I’m not an expert on this mod, but let me know if there’s anything else you’re curious about. Otherwise, I will cover it as we get there.



Part 1: The Republic of China's History

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San Min Chu-i,
Our aim shall be:
To found a free land,
World peace, be our stand.
Lead on, comrades,
Vanguards ye are.
Hold fast your aim,
By sun and star.
Be earnest and brave,
Your country to save,
One heart, one soul,
One mind, one goal...


-National Anthem of the Republic of China

1936 opened just like much of the last decade, with the Republic of China’s continued growth and development. Known as the Nanjing Decade, it had begun in 1927 with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s subjugation of the warlords and restoration of the republic. The new Kuomintang (KMT) government brought much needed stability to a country that had been destroyed by near-constant conflict and chaos.


M43TlsC.jpg

Chiang Kai-shek, undisputed leader of the ROC after the successful Northern Expedition.
The Chinese people made great strides in gaining more-equal treatment from Western powers, developing a modern economy, and building institutions necessary for a modern nation. Newly empowered technocrats attempted to reform much of Chinese society, ranging from advocating against foot-binding, attempting to simplify the written language, opening universities and factories, and even attempting some land reforms.

However, this development was uneven and not always successful. While Chiang had nominally reunited the country, many would argue this was in name only. Much of the Republic was controlled by largely autonomous governors, often former warlords. These men nominally pledged loyalty to the central government, but their actual loyalty ranged widely.
jCf2cBq.png

China and east Asia as of 1936.

The most loyal of these governors were the Muslim generals of Xibei San Ma. They were most famous for their cavalry and had contributed several divisions to the National Revolutionary Army (NRA). They controlled much of the northwest centered on Golmud.

Even further west from the Muslims of Xibei San Ma was the rebellious province of Xinjiang. It was governed by Sheng Shicai, a member of both the KMT and Bolshevik parties. He essentially subordinated himself to the Soviets in exchange for autonomy and protection from KMT interference.

Just south of Xinjiang and Xibei San Ma lies Tibet. The country had formally seceded after the collapse of the Qing Empire, and there had not been much interest in reasserting central authority over the region. The terrain was harsh and valuable resources were relatively uncommon, making conquest relatively unimportant.

In the southwest of China, Long Yun ruled over Yunnan as he had since becoming warlord in 1926. He was nominally subservient to the Republic of China but was almost entirely independent in reality. He was one of the more benevolent warlords, emphasizing developing the economy and bureaucracy rather than trying to conquer his neighbors.

The governors of Guangxi and Guangdong were also relatively loyal to Chiang and the central government. They had formed an informal alliance known as the Guangxi Clique, opposed to Chiang’s attempts at centralization but otherwise fairly supportive. Hu Hanmin served as the governor of Guangdong and was one of Chiang’s strongest critics before reconciling in 1936. He still remained opposed to Chiang meddling in his province and fiercely defended his loyalty. He was allied with Li Zongren and Bai Chonxi of Guangxi. Both Li and Bai were staunchly anti-communist, but they valued their autonomy from Chiang more than anything else.

In the north, Yan Xishan was governor of Shanxi. He combined a strange mix of socialism, fascism, and traditional Confucianism, known as Yan Xishan Thought, in his rule of the region, proving to be a fairly popular and effective governor. He had survived by constantly changing sides throughout the Warlord Era, and the restoration of the Republic had done little to change that. He had initially supported Chiang in reuniting the country, but then opposed him in the Central Plains War. Despite losing the war, he managed to retake control of his province, effectively regaining his independence in all but name.

Located just north of Xian, sandwiched between Shanxi and Xibei San Ma, the Chinese Communists (CCP) under Mao Zedong represented the most blatant opposition to Chiang Kai-shek and the Republic of China. Mao had been one of the few survivors of Chiang’s campaigns against the communists in the ‘20s and ‘30s, eventually settling in the remote area around Yan’an.
Negn8Uo.jpg

Chairman Mao, leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The KMT and the CCP remain at war despite the growing threat Japan presents. Chiang is almost obsessed with destroying the communists before he will even think about opposing the Japanese who have gained much of China while it remains divided and weak.

In 1931, the Japanese fabricated a justification to invade Manchuria, expelling the warlord Zhang Xueliang. They then reestablished the last Qing emperor, Pu Yi, as the head of their puppet state, Manchukuo. They also took much of Inner Mongolia and territory east of Beijing. There are concerns that the Japanese will look to keep expanding at China’s expense, but much of the Republic’s resources are focused on the communists…
 
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Wraith11B

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While it's not been thay long since we had our last Nationalist China AAR, I always like to read and see what young blood we have out there!
 
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nuclearslurpee

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HPP AARs are always good to see. Looking forward to how this might turn out.
 
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This is a good start and it’ll be interesting to see how you go. Very useful introduction placing the various warlord states into context. And I like the idea of trying to take a difficult position and making a struggle of it.
 
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RustyHunter

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While it's not been thay long since we had our last Nationalist China AAR, I always like to read and see what young blood we have out there!
Hopefully I can do enough different to keep this interesting. Thanks for following along.
HPP AARs are always good to see. Looking forward to how this might turn out.
I feel like HPP is underrepresented on here. It honestly feels like how the base game should have been. Hopefully you like how the AAR goes.
This is a good start and it’ll be interesting to see how you go. Very useful introduction placing the various warlord states into context. And I like the idea of trying to take a difficult position and making a struggle of it.
I definitely like the struggle to win so hopefully it will make an interesting read. I played a China game a few years ago, and it was probably the hardest the AI has ever pushed me. Hopefully I can survive, and maybe even win!
 
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Hopefully I can do enough different to keep this interesting. Thanks for following along.
The last one didn't have pictures so already you have differentiated yourself.

I definitely like the struggle to win so hopefully it will make an interesting read. I played a China game a few years ago, and it was probably the hardest the AI has ever pushed me. Hopefully I can survive, and maybe even win!
I remember trying China on not the latest patch but one of the more recent 3.3.3 patches before that. The key seemed to be keeping a reserve, you can't hold Japan everywhere with so many MIL brigades but once they choose where to attack you can send an army of crack infantry to push them back.
 
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Part 2: State of China

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The last one didn't have pictures so already you have differentiated yourself.


I remember trying China on not the latest patch but one of the more recent 3.3.3 patches before that. The key seemed to be keeping a reserve, you can't hold Japan everywhere with so many MIL brigades but once they choose where to attack you can send an army of crack infantry to push them back.
I think that'll be roughly my strategy. I definitely need to draw the Japanese in so they disperse their units, get bad supplies, etc. Biggest challenge is that my elite infantry can only be so many places, and the Japanese usually seem to have interior lines. I plan to go more in depth as we get closer to war, but I appreciate all suggestions.


Note: I figured I would crank out this update while I have the pictures and time. The next update will depend on when I can actually start playing and making some progress. I'm not sure how in depth to go with the war against the communists as it'll be pretty slow and grinding for little change in territory. Let me know your preferences and I'll try to tailor the next update.



Part 2: State of the Republic, 1936

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The Republic of China found itself at a crossroads as 1936 began. The country had developed substantially in the last decade but was still far behind even the weakest European powers. Internal divisions among supporters of Chiang, the CCP, provincial governors, and anti-Chiang factions left the people unsure of who to support. Similarly, KMT excesses and CCP propaganda weakened the morale of the common soldier and turned intellectuals against the regime.
ck3FPpo.png
However, cooperation with Germany provided the Republic with several benefits. In exchange for rare minerals and other raw materials, the Chinese had received military advisors, weapons, industrial guidance, and other assistance in developing the country. This mission was led by Alexander von Falkenhausen, and he had done much to develop the Republic’s army.

wfBZjSY.png
Most of the army consisted of former warlords’ militia that had been absorbed into the ranks of the National Revolutionary Army (NRA). These forces were totally lacking in heavy equipment, often having only rifles and a handful of light machine guns.

Similarly, a number of garrison divisions had been created. These men were more well trained, but they lacked much of the heavy equipment and logistics of a true infantry division. These men might suffice to hold down a city, but they would be unable of offensive actions.

The pride of the NRA was the divisions the German advisors had focused on training. These men had been equipped with the iconic M35 Stahlhelm, Mauser rifles or local reproductions, imported foreign artillery, and even a handful of Panzer I tanks. While these divisions are still lacking in heavy artillery and machine guns by European standards, they represent the strongest Asian forces outside of Japan.

fmUgMZx.jpg

German trained troops on exercises through the countryside.
However, the military had a number of substantial weaknesses. First, there was a serious lack of educated NCOs and officers to staff the entire military. Whampoa military academy had provided a number of skilled generals but proved unable to keep up with the NRA’s expansion. The core of the KMT had a monopoly on the officer graduates, while the regional militias received whoever the local governors could educate.

Second, the NRA was equipped with largely outdated weapons and lacked machine guns and heavy artillery. Most of the troops were equipped with rifles from the Qing era, while the limited selection of artillery consisted of an eclectic mix of imported mountain guns, light infantry guns, or pre-WWI artillery.
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This technological weakness extended through much of the Republic. It was decided to continue focusing on the technological development of the military. Investments were made in educating the high command on shock and human wave concepts to handle their troops more effectively. New classes were inducted into Whampoa, hopefully expanding the future officer output. Further, the acquisition of new infantry rifles and artillery had begun. Substantial investments were also made into education, attempting to create a standard curriculum for the entire nation. Finally, the government began acquiring the machine tools to develop heavy industry for military purposes.
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The economy of the Republic was similarly focused on the military. Some focus was placed on issuing new equipment to the troops, while the rest of the industry was focused on producing military supplies and consumer goods. Further training of divisions might begin once the demand for upgrades and supplies stabilized.
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Chiang also decided to reshuffle his cabinet. Yan Xishan had been caught diverting government supplies and funds to Shanxi, so he was removed from the cabinet. He was given a military command to soften the loss of prestige. Chen Guofu had proven an ineffective Minister of Security; he dealt with every issue through bribes, costing the government dearly. Instead, Chen proved an effective Armament Minister due to his close relations with a number of prominent businessmen. Chen Lifu was then brought in to run the Ministry of Security. While his methods caused some unease among the liberal newspapers and intellectuals, they proved largely effective.

0nvCtDd.png

Chiang’s troops facing the communists in Yan’an were also likely to prove insufficient. Zhang Xueliang and his personal troops had been sent to push the offensive along with some underequipped KMT troops. However, Zhang had proven lax in maintaining his guard against the communists. Spies and forward scouts predicted a major CCP offensive to capture Xian, increasing their influence.

fCNY8QF.jpg

Zhang Xueliang, former warlord of Manchuria, fervent nationalist, and ally of the KMT.

Chiang decided to bring his more of his troops to the region to hold the communists back from Xian, and possibly even regain territory. It was highly unlikely they would be able to capture Yan’an, but keeping the communists bottled up in the mountains would prevent them from truly threatening China.

Chen Cheng had been one of Chiang’s most capable subordinates, distinguishing himself in the Northern Expedition, Central Plains War, and Communist Encirclement Campaigns. He would be placed in charge in order to ensure Chiang’s will was carried out. Von Falkenhausen was also directed to advise Chen Cheng in the campaign due to his knowledge in assaulting heavily fortified positions learned in the World War. Further, reliable Whampoa graduates were placed in charge of the KMT troops in the region, ensuring they would fight the communists. Zhang Xueliang remained with his troops in Xian, but he had lost command of any KMT troops. The troops of the Ma’s and Yan Xishan were unlikely to advance beyond the own lands, content to let the KMT bleed itself against the CCP.

The terrain around the communists certainly favored whatever units were defending, but the disorganization Zhang had allowed into his army had given the communists a chance to attack, and they were certain to take the chance. This front would come down to tenacity in brutal, chaotic fighting over narrow mountain passes, river crossings, and winding dirt paths.
C3FLrdO.jpg

Aerial photograph of the Communist stronghold of Yan'an
 
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I'm not sure how in depth to go with the war against the communists as it'll be pretty slow and grinding for little change in territory. Let me know your preferences and I'll try to tailor the next update.
I like depth, but then you also have to consider scale. In a small war with limited forces, depending on how long you want updates to be and how fast you want to move the story, a bit of detail on individual battles can be good. But once the front expands, it might become too much.

But mainly, it depends on your own style and preference. It’s what you enjoy and the time you have. If you go detail consistently, the AAR would be likely to go for a couple of years of real time. If that sounds unsustainable, then maybe a broader approach might be best. But if it sounds good, then detail away. :) That’s what I’ve found, anyway.
Further training of divisions might begin once the demand for upgrades and supplies stabilized.
Looks like you also need manpower - seems you start with none in reserve, and is that before mobilisation? :eek: If so, militia divs may need to be disbanded/converted (if possible yet) to create new regular ones.
 
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I'm not sure how in depth to go with the war against the communists as it'll be pretty slow and grinding for little change in territory. Let me know your preferences and I'll try to tailor the next update.
I say to every authAAR - write whatever you like. The readAARship around here is eager to read whatever you care to publish, so don't worry too much about what the public wants. Once you get comfortable with your basic style you can worry about tuning things up a little. And of course, if you start out doing something and decide it's not to your taste anymore - you can by all means change it up and drop that thing entirely. The readAARs won't care, particularly if distracted by a large battle in the other direction. ;)

China - technologically, always interesting because unlike every other country you cannot reach technological parity before war starts. Makes for an exciting situation I think.

Chiang’s troops facing the communists in Yan’an were also likely to prove insufficient. Zhang Xueliang and his personal troops had been sent to push the offensive along with some underequipped KMT troops. However, Zhang had proven lax in maintaining his guard against the communists. Spies and forward scouts predicted a major CCP offensive to capture Xian, increasing their influence.

Chiang decided to bring his more of his troops to the region to hold the communists back from Xian, and possibly even regain territory. It was highly unlikely they would be able to capture Yan’an, but keeping the communists bottled up in the mountains would prevent them from truly threatening China.
I usually try to fight the Communists for XP and to keep my land, but don't make a serious move against Yan'an (it can be taken though!). Main reason is the ChiComs have a lot of divisions to fight the Japanese. Capturing Yan'an gives 5 IC and a bit of unneeded MP, hardly worth as much honestly.

Looks like you also need manpower - seems you start with none in reserve, and is that before mobilisation? :eek: If so, militia divs may need to be disbanded/converted (if possible yet) to create new regular ones.
This is misleading. HPP fires a setup event on 1 Jan 1936 which gives China enough manpower to play the game, and also introduces draft laws that give massive MP in a few months when chosen (usually this requires being at war). Manpower will not be a problem for China, the issue will be getting guns into the field - which can actually fire a bullet!
 
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This is misleading. HPP fires a setup event on 1 Jan 1936 which gives China enough manpower to play the game, and also introduces draft laws that give massive MP in a few months when chosen (usually this requires being at war). Manpower will not be a problem for China, the issue will be getting guns into the field - which can actually fire a bullet!
Ah, this makes more sense, as China running out of MP up front seemed rather counter-intuitive! :D
 
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Thanks for the feedback @Bullfilter and @nuclearslurpee. This first war will basically be a trial run, so I can figure out how I want to write the war with Japan. I really appreciate the feedback, it's a lot more fun to see what other people are thinking!
 
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@PanzerVITiger Thanks for following along! I found a bit of time to play and write, so I should get the update done in the next 30 minutes or so. I just need to format my post and add all the pictures. Thanks to everyone else that has been following along!
 
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Part 3: Renewed Encirclement Campaign

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Part 3: Renewed Encirclement Campaign

CXWmJyB.png

The communists launched a campaign to break out of their mountain strongholds in Yan’an in an attempt to capture Xian. The key provinces in this campaign would be Hancheng, Weinan, Tongchuan, Wuqi, and Xianyang. The KMT planned to stop the communist attack and then counterattack to force the CCP further back into the mountains.

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Important provinces in the Renewed Encirclement Campaign

The communist offensive began targeting Hancheng, quickly followed by Tongchuan. The KMT forces were totally unprepared for the offensive, with those in Hancheng retreating to Weinan almost immediately after contact with the CCP forces.

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The forces in Tongchuan held out for several days before they too retreated. They only lost about 50 men, while the communists lost about 25.

As KMT forces were retreating, Chiang and his advisors decided to reform several laws. First, they mobilized the economy to boost production for the war effort. This meant China’s industry was no longer focused so much on consumer goods, freeing up capacity for military purposes. Second, Chiang reduced the tax burden on the people. This proved to be very popular with the common people, and the reduction in tax revenue was more than compensated for by trade deals with European nations.


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The Republic’s tactical bomber wing arrived in Chengdu on January 4, and they were given several days to reorganize before beginning operations. The CCP forces were totally lacking in anti-aircraft weapons, with a handful of light machine guns being the only danger to the bombers. The wing’s Martin B-10s would range freely over the communist forces, causing chaos in their troops wherever the fighting was thickest.

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ROC B-10 Martin undergoing preparing for a raid against CCP positions.

On the 7th, KMT troops retreating from Hancheng were attacked in Weinan by CCP light infantry. The KMT forces were disorganized and temporarily lacking in supplies, but they were expected to hold out until reinforcements from nearby provinces could arrive.

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The battle of Weinan would continue as KMT reinforcements arrived on the 11th. More troops would be cycled into the battle over the next week. As new divisions arrived, those in combat were withdrawn to rest and refit.

While the battle in Weinan raged, a similar conflict was occurring in Tongchuan. The initial border guards had been routed from the province on Jan. 4, but KMT reinforcements arrived on Jan. 10, before the CCP could occupy the province.

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By the end of January, both battles were clearly going in the CCP’s direction. KMT reinforcements in Weinan proved unable to join the battle because the roads were clogged by retreating forces. In Tongchuan, two infantry divisions had been dispatched, but they were unlikely to join in time.

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On Jan. 30, KMT forces in Tongchuan retreated from the river to defensive positions in Xian. They had inflicted about 300 casualties on the communists while taking about 280 themselves. The infantry divisions were still en route to Tongchuan, setting up another conflict.

At the beginning of February, KMT infantry under Tang Enbo arrived in Weinan, taking over from the disorganized militia. They were facing two light CCP divisions and one infantry division, forming the elite core of the Red Army.

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These men would hold out until Feb. 10, allowing the CCP to begin occupying Weinan. Both sides lost approximately 250 men, with the communists losing slightly more.

Two days before, two KMT infantry divisions under He Yinqing arrived in Tongchuan to contest the approaching CCP forces. Initially, they were able to hold off the communists until CCP forces in Hancheng joined the battle. The KMT was forced to withdraw on the 17th, inflicting 622 casualties while sustaining 485.

On Feb. 18, the communists took control of Weinan and were assaulted by overwhelming KMT forces from the surrounding provinces. Despite their superior morale, the communists could not hold their ground against overwhelming numbers. They withdrew from Weinan on the 21st, leaving almost 400 men behind.

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The KMT attempted to recreate this battle in their assault on Tongchuan on Feb. 25. However, the KMT forces struggled to secure river crossings, suffering heavy casualties for little gain. The attack was called off after three days, losing 183 men to the communists’ 116.

On the 27th, KMT forces arrived in Weinan and were immediately attacked by CCP forces from Hancheng. Both sides threw reinforcements into the battle on March 5. The communists were unable to get their second division into the battle, so they withdrew after losing twice as many men to the KMT.

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The KMT capitalized on this victory, counterattacking into Hancheng. The communists had left their forces totally disorganized, leaving them vulnerable to the KMT. CCP forces withdrew almost immediately with minimal losses.

On March 6, it was noticed that Xibei San Ma had withdrawn from the forts of Xianyang, leaving them open to the communists. KMT forces that had retreated from Tongchuan were rushed to the province. However, the communists beat them in taking the forts. The attack was then called off due to the low chance of success.

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On the 10th, the communists had rushed reinforcements to Hancheng before KMT forces could occupy the province. After 5 days, the attack was called off with higher losses for the Republic.

On March 13, Hu Hanmin, governor of Guangdong, died. He had been a prominent opponent to Chiang Kai-shek within the KMT. Chiang decided to end the autonomy of Guangdong, subordinating the province to the central government. With several well-placed bribes, the important military and bureaucratic officials agreed to Chiang’s proposal.

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The integration of Guangdong increased the industrial capacity of the Republic. The port city of Guangzhou was especially significant, increasing China’s industrial capacity from 35 to 40. It was decided to use this new industry to begin training militia divisions to help defend the newly acquired coastline.

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On March 16, Hancheng was again assaulted. This time, regular infantry forces led the assault rather than the militia of the last offensive. The communist forces quickly withdrew, unable to resist the artillery and machine guns of the KMT regulars.

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The KMT infantry were able to reoccupy Hancheng on the 29th. They were almost immediately engaged by CCP forces from Yan’an. However, the communists did not stand a chance against the infantry, suffering heavy casualties.

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As the forces in Hancheng defended against attacks from both Yan’an and Tongchuan, the KMT decided to attack to recapture Tongchuan. The CCP were again met with overwhelming numbers, withdrawing after several days.

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Another battle for Hancheng would begin on April 2, drawing in numerous reinforcements on both sides. This battle would prove to be one of the most hard-fought of the entire campaign. The mountainous terrain provided the defenders with superior positions to site their artillery and numerous chokepoints to ambush the CCP.

As the battle for Hancheng raged on, territory changed hands to the west. Forces that had attacked Tongchuan arrived and repulsed CCP reinforcements securing the province for minimal losses. 4 days later, the communists sent a poorly armed but fanatical militia into the battle. They only inflicted 25 casualties while losing almost 300 of their own in two days of brutal combat.

As the forces in Tongchuan held off the CCP advance, KMT forces attacked in Xianyang. After the defenders of Tongchuan had dispatched the communist militia on April 10, several divisions assisted the offensive into Xianyang. The remaining divisions attacked into Wuqi, attempting to remove some of the pressure on the defenders to the east in Hancheng.

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The attack into Wuqi was a failure and called off after only one day. It did succeed in pulling several CCP divisions out of the attack on Hancheng, but at great loss to the KMT forces. The CCP responded by launching their own counterattack on Tongchuan. The KMT divisions assisting in Xianyang had to be withdrawn to focus on defending their own lines.

The battle begun in Hancheng on April 2 was still raging almost two weeks later. Both sides had cycled troops in and out of the battle, prolonging the conflict. The communists had fresher troops to cycle in, but the terrain was also working against them.

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On April 15, the defense of Tongchuan became untenable. KMT forces were ordered to retreat south to Xian and Weinan. The KMT had only lost 129 men, but their organization had become far too degraded to maintain a coherent defense. To the west, KMT forces succeeded in pushing the CCP out of Xianyang and assisted Xibei San Ma in defending their province of Xifeng.

KMT forces were attacked on April 23 after they retook the fortifications of Xianyang. The defenders held an advantage, but the CCP had a chance of wearing them down. However, the Mas had sent much of their cavalry forces to help defend, arriving on the 26th and forcing the CCP to call off the attack.

On the 27th, the CCP offensive into Hancheng had nearly collapsed. KMT forces had successfully used their superior equipment and defensive positions to inflict massive casualties on the communists. In a battle lasting from April 2-29, the communists lost almost 4,000 men to only 700 KMT soldiers. The Generalissimo was greatly pleased with the performance of his men, allowing them to continue digging in for inevitable communist attacks.

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One day after, KMT forces again attacked to retake Tongchuan. By April 30, they had succeeded in pushing the communists out with only 64 men lost to the communists’ 346.

The communists restarted the battle of Hancheng, attacking on May 2. In response, KMT forces in Tongchuan, Xianyang, and Xifeng attempted to push the CCP out of Wuqi. This attack was called off after two days with significant casualties for little land gained.

On May 16, the Japanese decided to formally annex Inner Mongolia into a new puppet government known as Menjiang. Chiang accepted that the Republic could not yet oppose the Japanese despite the outrage of the Chinese public. Additional resources were placed into consumer goods to calm the populace.

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The battle for Hancheng continued to rage on, so Chiang decided to attempt to relieve pressure by attacking Wuqi once again. The offensive succeeded in pulling CCP forces away from the battle for Hancheng but lasted far longer than necessary. KMT forces would continue to attack Wuqi until May 24. They withdrew after taking almost 1800 casualties to the CCP’s 600.

The CCP continued to throw everything into Hancheng, even pulling troops away from Wuqi. The Republic’s bombers had focused on Wuqi and reported the convoys of men moving east. This intel gave the KMT the confidence to once again attack Wuqi on May 31.

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The offensive ultimately proved successful, removing one axis of attack on Hancheng. It was hoped that this would relieve some of the pressure on the brave defenders. However, this plan was foiled by new CCP forces arriving in Wuqi on June 1, pushing the KMT back with heavy casualties on the 3rd.

Attacks on Hancheng and counterattacks on Wuqi would occur throughout the rest of June. The KMT consistently held the CCP out of Hancheng but proved unable to secure Wuqi even after winning some of the battles. The communists lost over 1700 troops in assaults on Hancheng while the KMT lost only 1000 holding them back.

Several research initiatives finished during June and July. First, education initiatives were completed, improving China’s leadership and tax collection. Next, new Hanyang rifles were developed for the infantry, and the human wave doctrine was refined. Leadership was then transitioned from research to training new officers.

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July opened much the same as June, but the communists had continued withdrawing troops from Wuqi to focus on Hancheng. The KMT assaulted Wuqi once more on July 1, forcing out the CCP on July 4.

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The KMT finally succeeding in occupying Wuqi before the communists could send more troops. They were immediately attacked, but the mountains were finally working in their favor. The province was finally secured on July 14. The victory in Wuqi had finally secured Hancheng against the communists, causing the front to solidify into continuous fortified positions with almost no offensives launched.

The development of shock doctrine was completed at the end of July while another CCP attack on Wuqi was repulsed. Shock doctrine seemed to perfectly complement China’s military situation, requiring less officers, increasing morale, decreasing build time, and decreasing supply consumption. Therefore, development of the doctrine would eventually be refined.

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Overall, the end of July marked a dramatic shift in the Chinese Civil War. Territory had repeatedly changed hands over the previous months, but the front had become a stalemate with neither side able to overcome the other to press the offensive. Overall, the Renewed Encirclement Campaign was considered a moderate success. The KMT had forced the communists even deeper into their mountain fortresses without taking too many losses. It was estimated that the CCP took substantially more losses, and they could less afford to replace them. Chiang was not entirely satisfied that Yan'an remained unconquered but there was still time to develop another offensive for the early fall.

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Summary of KMT offensives at the end of July.
 
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In a battle lasting from April 2-29, the communists lost almost 4,000 men to only 700 KMT soldiers.
Great episode. That was a huge battle amid a torrid campaign.
 
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RustyHunter

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Great episode. That was a huge battle amid a torrid campaign.
It's amazing what bad techs, bad terrain, river crossings, and low organization can do. Glad you liked the update!
 
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Part 4: Internal Development

RustyHunter

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Part 4: Sitzkrieg, World Affairs, Internal Development
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After the conclusion of the Renewed Encirclement Campaigns in late July, both sides set about fortifying their positions. The border with the communists was much like the World War, with continuous fortifications making it almost impossible to attack. This continued throughout the summer until September. The communists were uncomfortable with KMT forces being so close to their capital, Yan'an. A massive offensive was organized to push the KMT out of Hancheng again.

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The KMT forces proved unable to hold the CCP back despite their superior numbers and leadership. The communists had attacked with their best divisions while the KMT forces were almost entirely militias. The KMT forces would retreat in good order to Tongchuan and Weinan to prepare a counter-attack. They attempted to return to Hancheng on Sep. 23.
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Both sides would pull large numbers of reinforcements into the battle, creating another long-running conflict. Some of the KMT forces in Wuqi assisted in the attack which led the communists to think they could retake Wuqi and Hancheng. However, the communists struggled to secure a river crossing in the mountains of Wuqi, losing over 600 men to the KMT's 96. The communists would periodically attack Wuqi throughout the rest of September and early October, taking heavy casualties each time.

On Oct. 10, the KMT succeeded in pushing the CCP out of Hancheng. This battle had begun on Sep. 23, making Hancheng the site of two bloody battles in this war. KMT losses were heavy, especially in officers (Note: my officer ratio went from 78 to 76%).

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From Oct. 15 to Oct. 26, CCP forces would trickle into Hancheng before it had been occupied by the KMT. They were beat back with heavy casualties each time. KMT forces finally took the province on Oct. 26, but they were hit by another large CCP offensive on Oct. 28.

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It looked like KMT forces might be forced out, but sufficient reinforcements arrived to turn the tide of the battle. The KMT lost 150 men to the CCP's 43, but they held the province. After this, more KMT forces arrived and refortified the province. Thus, operations against the communists ended for the winter.

During the minor communist offensive, Germany had proposed an Anti-Comintern Pact, especially directed against the Soviet Union. It was technically a military pact against possible Soviet aggression, but it was really an alignment of authoritarian and extremely anti-communist nations. Chiang Kai-shek and the Republic were very pleased to sign the proposal, increasing relations with Germany, decreasing relations with the world's communist governments, and making the populace more supportive of possible wars.


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Germany accepted China's signing, as well as fascist Italy, Hungary, and Japan in the following days. There was some controversy over accepting both China and Japan's signing within Germany. While China was currently the focus of German diplomacy, there was a major faction advocating for Germany to abandon China and align with Japan instead. This faction was weaker within foreign policy circles, but some of their members had the ear of Hitler and other leading Nazis.

The Anti-Comintern Pact highlighted this contradiction between German foreign policy and the reality in Asia. The Germans would ideally have continued receiving Chinese raw materials and weapon orders while also allying with Japan against the Soviets. However, Japan was heavily focused on increasing its dominance of China. If the two countries came to blows, Germany would be forced to choose a more permanent ally in Asia.

Much was quiet in the Republic of China and the world until early December. After a left-wing coalition had narrowly won elections in Spain, violence erupted across the country. Anarchist mobs caused chaos in the countryside, and the government failed to suppress the unrest. The military, landowners, and Catholic Church decided to overthrow the government and return order to Spain. The Spanish Civil War had officially begun on Dec. 10, 1936.

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Division of territory in Spain after the start of the Civil War
Generalissimo Chiang expressed his sympathy for the Nationalists in Spain, but could not provide any resources to aid them in their war against communism. However, both Nazi Germany and fascist Italy decided to invest heavily into the Nationalists' cause. Meanwhile, the Spanish Republic had not received any aid from the western democracies or Soviet Union, making their victory unlikely.

As Europe edged closer to war, Chinese researchers made numerous developments. Basic construction engineering was developed in August, as well as new artillery for infantry divisions. Beginning in December of 1936, training of Chinese infantry was improved. This was then followed by the purchase of new rifles, improvements in the nation's educational system, development of new defensive weapons, and shock doctrine. As the infantry received new rifles, their old arms were given to militia units (Note: This is one of the best features of HPP. Weapon techs apply to INF, CAV, and MIL rather than being separate).

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Chinese industry had also been busy during the time from Aug. 1936 to May 1 of 1937. Several militia divisions had been trained to improve coastal defenses across the south and east of China. Further, one new infantry division had been trained, and two more were in progress. These divisions were binary, just like the rest of the NRA. They were also lacking in any supporting artillery or anti-tank guns. It was hoped that these men's superior training, organization, and equipment would allow them to hold the line better than militia while still being relatively cheap to train and equip. China's biggest problem is that any conflict with Japan would cover a huge amount of land. The Japanese would obviously invade from the northeast, but they could also land troops anywhere along China's extensive coastline. This convinced Chiang that the military would need to be even bigger in order to resist any possible Japanese aggression.
 
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nuclearslurpee

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Much was quiet in the Republic of China and the world until early December. After a left-wing coalition had narrowly won elections in Spain, violence erupted across the country. Anarchist mobs caused chaos in the countryside, and the government failed to suppress the unrest. The military, landowners, and Catholic Church decided to overthrow the government and return order to Spain. The Spanish Civil War had officially begun on Dec. 10, 1936.
Some of us will root for the Nationalists, and some will root for the Republicans, but we can all root for a good, long war that actually lasts the historical 3 years instead of the usual ROFLstomp in six months followed by a year fo the AI ineptly attempting to reduce Valencia.

Although the one time I did see the SCW last that long, the Republicans joined the Allies and they made a whole thing out of it.

As the infantry received new rifles, their old arms were given to militia units (Note: This is one of the best features of HPP. Weapon techs apply to INF, CAV, and MIL rather than being separate).
The best feature of course is the use of consolidated support brigades instead of this insane Paradox minigame of "artillery, anti-tank, anti-air, you will only choose one and you will like it!" Easily the number one reason I can't go back to vanilla.

Chinese industry had also been busy during the time from Aug. 1936 to May 1 of 1937.
The date of 1 May coming up with no mention of the Xi'an Incident makes me antsy, if Japan fires Marco Polo and you're still at war with the Communists things can get hairy pretty quickly.
 
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RustyHunter

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Some of us will root for the Nationalists, and some will root for the Republicans, but we can all root for a good, long war that actually lasts the historical 3 years instead of the usual ROFLstomp in six months followed by a year fo the AI ineptly attempting to reduce Valencia.
I will definitely be posting updates on this. There are a lot of ways the war can develop in HPP. I had one Italian game where the war lasted into 1940 and the Republicans joined the Allies, pushing the Nationalists into the Axis. Made WWII a lot more interesting.

The best feature of course is the use of consolidated support brigades instead of this insane Paradox minigame of "artillery, anti-tank, anti-air, you will only choose one and you will like it!" Easily the number one reason I can't go back to vanilla.

I totally forgot to mention that! I definitely agree it's the best change in HPP. I didn't mind playing FTM when combined arms was just for armored divisions, but TFH makes it so important to have piercing and combined arms which is kind of annoying. It also screws over minor countries that don't have the IC to build support units, and don't have the leadership to research ART, AT, INF, and whatever else they need.

The date of 1 May coming up with no mention of the Xi'an Incident makes me antsy, if Japan fires Marco Polo and you're still at war with the Communists things can get hairy pretty quickly.
I was also getting nervous at this point. The communists have enough troops that they could really mess me up if I pull too many men away to fight Japan.
 
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It also screws over minor countries
Vanilla HoI3 in one sentence.

I was also getting nervous at this point. The communists have enough troops that they could really mess me up if I pull too many men away to fight Japan.
The Xi'an event gets a massive boost to MTTH when Japan DoWs so you won't be likely to suffer a lot from CommChi. The bigger problem is that your troops are out of position so you can't fight your initial defensive campaign north of the Huang He, Japan gets a lot of free land and probably invades Shanxi before you can get troops from the interior out to meet them.
 
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