Monday, June 17, 2019

The Top Ten Battles of All Time......Battle # 8 Huai-Hai - Chinese Civil War, 1948

Despite efforts by the United States to mediate an agreement, the Communists and Nationalists resumed their armed conflict soon after the conclusion of World War II. In contrast to their weaker position prior to the war, the Communists now were stronger than the Nationalists. On October 10, 1947, Mao called for the overthrow of the Nationalist administration.

Mao, a student of Washington, Napoleon, and Sun Tzu, began to push his army south into the Nationalist zone. Whereas the Nationalists often looted the cities they occupied and punished their residents, the Communists took little retribution, especially against towns that did not resist. Now the Communists steadily achieved victories over the Nationalists. During the summer of 1948, the Communists experienced a series of victories that pushed the major portion of the Nationalist army into a cross-shaped area extending from Nanking north to Tsinan and from Kaifeng east through Soochow to the sea.

Mao decided that it was time to achieve a total victory. On October 11, 1948, he issued orders for a methodical campaign to surround, separate, and destroy the half-million-man Nationalist army between the Huai River and the Lung Hai Railway--the locations that gave the resulting battle its name. Mao divided his battle plan into three phases, all of which his army accomplished more smoothly and efficiently than anticipated.
Story here. 

Lessons from this "war"?  Never leave a foe to escape that is all but defeated.  The Nationalist caused the Communist to go on a long deadly retreat.  They started with 100,000 troops, ended with 20,000 and the Nationalist didn't kill them off as a fighting force.

Never ravage a population.  The Communist treated captured populations properly but the nationalist didn't.  Of course that changed after they achieved victory but you get the idea.

Another lesson is that air power isn't enough.  You can own the skies but if you can't effectively employ that power then it will NOT win the war for you!

That's what I got from this quick little summary.  I'll want to read up on this fighting.  China's past might help prepare us for the future fight.

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