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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Faeelin

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Beijing, December 1924

A sick man waits nervously in a hospital. Brought to the hospital complaining of stomach pains, he is oddly silent. Others would cry in pain, or call for their loved ones, but he lies in bed silently while his wife holds his hand. After so long, they don’t need to say anything; but in his heart he worries for her. Had he been a good enough husband?

Without a word, his wife patted his hand, and he smiled. It was then that a doctor walked in; one educated in Japan, of course. The man seemed indifferent to the importance of the man in the hospital bed, and smiled. “He’s fine. It was just food poisoning.”

At that, the wife of Sun Yat-sen hugged her husband, and the founder of the Guomindang smiled. The Northern Expedition was ready, he had Russian support, and was very much alive.
 
Last edited:

Karelian

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It has really astonished me that no one had written an AAR about Sun Yat-sen before this. The future of China is at stake, and with outside help and a better health than in OTL, who knows what Sun will yet accomplish?
"China will grow larger..."
 

Faeelin

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sonsoftaurus said:
Interesting. Wonder how long the alliance with the Communists will hold, or at least if Sun can keep the leftist KMT'ers around when the Reds split.

I think a break with the CCP is ineveitable, although I could see some of them jumping ship. But the GMD will be rather more leftist than in OTL; I'm almost tempted to call it "fascist", but that might not be appropriate. We'll see.

The above scene should actually be in December of 1924, when Sun was first diagnosed, but oh well.
 

unmerged(85424)

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Faeelin said:
I think a break with the CCP is ineveitable, although I could see some of them jumping ship. But the GMD will be rather more leftist than in OTL; I'm almost tempted to call it "fascist", but that might not be appropriate. We'll see.

Yeah, the CCP was still pretty much following Moscow's directives at that time, I'd expect a split.

The above scene should actually be in December of 1924, when Sun was first diagnosed, but oh well.

Should be an easy edit.
 

Faeelin

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In 1924, many would have considered Sun Yat-sen’s dream of uniting China to be nothing more than a fool’s venture. His army consisted of a coalition of warlord troops from Yunnan and Guangxi, as well as troops loyal to the Guomindang. He struggled with Chen Jiongming for control of eastern Guangdong, and in Guangzhou itself he faced opposition from the Merchants Opposition, whose militia opposed Sun’s policies. Hardly the base, it would seem, from which to unite China. Yet by 1927 the Nationalist flag flew from Harbin to Sichuan, and China had been united once more. How did he accomplish this?

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits was that, in comparison to the warlords who opposed him, his army had a professional and well armed core. Since 1921 Sun had negotiated with the Soviet Union for military and financial aid in his bid to unify China. This was not an alliance Sun was happy about, but the French, British, and Americans all expressed indifference or hostility to his cause, and the Japanese preferred to use the warlords as their agents in China. The Soviet Union, meanwhile, were opposed to Japanese hegemony in China and believed only the Guomindang could oppose them.

Thus, an alliance was born, and in June of 1924 the Whampoa military academy opened. Students there trained under Chinese soldiers such as Chiang Kai-Shek and Soviet veterans, while the head of the political department was a young communist known as Zhou Enlai. In October of 1924 the Soviet Union began shipping rifles, artillery, and ammunition to the Guomindang, and there was a real fear that Sun, and the Guomindang, were becoming “Sovietized”.

sunyswx4.jpg


The Whampoa Academy's inaugural ceremonies

Yet was this the case? While Sun was certainly sympathetic to the Russian people, who he believed had had their own war of liberation from Imperialism, he was ambiguous about their plans for a state-run economy, and feared that the Communists would try to take over the Guomindang from within. Moreover, he disagreed with the Communists on the policy of land reform, for while the Communists urged radical redistribution, Sun believed that the government should focus on lowering rents and helping peasants improve productivity. Indeed, by the beginning of 1925 Sun met with British, Japanese, and american delegates to assure them that his ties with the Communists did not indicate opposition to their interests, and that he would not abolish China’s treaties with other nations if he gained control of the country.

Yet Soviet help was critical to Sun Yat-sen’s northern expedition. With their help, the Guomindang was ready for the Northern Expedition, which they launched in 1925.
 

unmerged(62343)

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So far a very nice start. Good historical background is always appreciated.
 

unmerged(70479)

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Great Start, had me hooked at Sun's name being mentioned.
 

Faeelin

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March, 1925

A clock ticked in the corner of the office as two men waited for a third. The younger man apced about the room with a scowl on his face. “I still think this was foolish,” he said. “You risked your life by coming here. Can you trust the Betraying General?”[1]

The elder man, wearing a simple cotton jacket, shifted in his wooden chair and smiled. “If Feng wanted me dead I would be already.”

“But what if one of the other warlords wants you dead?” demanded the younger man. “What then?”

The older man was about to say something, when a door opened below them. “Sit down, Jingwei,” said the older man. “We’re here to persuade Fengtien Clique that they need us more than we need them.”

Wang Jingwei grunted, but sat down next to Sun Yat-sen. As the door opened, a smile crinkled the older man’s face. “Come in, General.”

A heavyset man wearing a laborer’s outfit entered, smiling. “It’s an honor to meet you, Premier. Let’s talk.”

And so they did.

April, 1925

The flag of the Guomindang fluttered in the breeze, as the graduates of the Whampoa military academy stood attention. Wearing new uniforms, and the graduates of the Guomindang military academy, the officers appeared as if they were dedicated to fulfilling the revolution. Beyond them stood soldiers and party members, peasants and reporters. They had all gathered to hear the words of Sun Yat-sen, and

On a platform before them, Sun Yat-sen smiled. “For forty years,” he cried, “I have labored for the liberation of China. My experience during these 40 years has convinced me that to attain this goal we must bring about an awakening of our own people. Military force will be necessary, but not sufficient. Only when the people of China stand together can we stand free.”

The audience cheered, but Sun raised his hand. “Yet we need a military as well. China is like a clump of loose sand; divided and malleable. United, however, we will become a rock which can withstand anything. Together, we will be unstoppable!”

And as Sun Yat-sen’s Northern Expedition set out, a wave of cheers washed over the Premier.

“The anticipation that was felt in Guangzhou in April of 1925 can be illustrated by the formation of a new national government in the city. With Sun Yat-sen as Premier, Wang Jingwei as the Communications Minister, and Hu Hanmin as the Minister of War, it was an uneasy balance of leftists and rightists in the country. Yet to many observers, it seemed to be nothing more than empty words.

This changed in May when GMD forces overran the remnants of the Chili clique in southern China, occupying Fujian, Anhui, Zhejiang, and even threatening Jiangsu. The National Revolutionary Army, supplied with Russian weapons and equipment, seemed as if it was on the brink of overrunning China.

Understandably, this did not sit well with those who feared a Communist China….”
-Sun Yat-Sen: An Enigmatic Patriot


[1] Okay, a piece of background info. In 1924, there were two main warlord factiosn fighting for control of China. The Fengtien, based in Manchuria, were ostensibly the weaker set, while the Zhili, based in Central China, were held to be the stronger. In 1924 the Chili clique set out to conquer the Fengtien, but Feng Yuxiang, as the general of the Fengtien army near Beijing, betrayed the rest of the Clique and took the city for the Fengtien, leading to their victory.
 

Faeelin

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Karelian said:
Progress in on the march!

A thought that occurred to me while writing this is that in 1925, when the ATL Northern Expedition took place, there was a great deal of urban unrest in Shanghai. It culminated with a wave of strikes, and a British officer ordered his squad to fire onto the crowd, killing eleven. There was plenty of GMD involvement as it was, and now you have a revolutionary army near the city.

Nope. No way this could possibly spiral out of control, no sirree.
 

Faeelin

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Shanghai, May 30 1925

As the crowd shouted and waved placards, Police Inspector Evenson lit a cigarette. “Christ,” he muttered to himself as he took a drag. “Maybe I should have stayed in Birmingham.”

A Chinese policeman ran up to him, saluted, and began speaking in accented English. Puffing, the man said “Inspector Evenson, sir, headquarters says to expect trouble. They want you to disperse the crowd, if you can.”

Evenson barked a laugh and gestured to the crowd. “What gave them that idea?” He tossed the cigarette onto the ground. “Shanghai is a Chinese city,” he snarled. “What a pile of horsehit. The city wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t built it.”

The Chinese policeman didn’t respond, but did point to the crowd. “What are your orders, sir?”

Evenson smiled. “Smack them around and they’ll behave.” He raised his voice and called to the crowd. “On behalf of the police of the International Settlement at Shanghai, I order you to disperse!” The crowd continued yelling. “If you do not disperse, we will fire upon you!”

Ten seconds later, thirty-three people lay on the ground in pools of blood.
 

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War with the british? This is a great start, I love the background info. Good luck wherever you take it.
 

Karelian

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The pacifist public mood of Britain in 1920´s is definitively not ready for another Boxer Rebellion. If Sun Yat-sen can now mobilize the masses of Shanghai and use this recent massacre to his advantage....Interesting prospects, to say at least.
 

Faeelin

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Karelian said:
The pacifist public mood of Britain in 1920´s is definitively not ready for another Boxer Rebellion. If Sun Yat-sen can now mobilize the masses of Shanghai and use this recent massacre to his advantage....Interesting prospects, to say at least.

I won't lie; I started this with the idea of a radical leftist (or maybe Social Democrat) China in the 1930s against Japan; but things get so weird so fast I'm not sure what's going to happen ATM.

Japan gets spanked in 1931, moderate politicians take over, and a true Co-Prosperity Sphere is formed?

The Sino-Soviet Alliance makes the world tremble?

Continued Warlordism due to Western & Japanese Intervention? (I find this one unlikely).

Japan loses the Sino-Japanese war in 1936?

Cookies?

What would people like to see?
 
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