Talk:Long March

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Distance Error[edit]

  • The communists escaped in circling retreat to the north which ultimately covered some 8,000 kilometers (4960 mi.) over 370 days. The route branched through some of the most difficult terrain of western China and arrived 9600-km (5952 mi.) west, then north, to Shaanxi.

What shortcut let them travel 8000 km to reach a place 9600 km west, then north? I think there was an editing problem there. -- SEWilco 04:13, 20 Jan 2004 (UTC)

  • I wasn't experimenting. I added information from the French version.
  • According to the record of an interview of several survivors at Luding in 2006 (http://www.newsmth.net/bbscon.php?bid=935&id=53863), Jocelyn and McEwen didn't really re-trace the route and in many of the regions the trails the red army once walked through can be three times longer than the motor ways the book writers traveled by. (Gestin (talk) 21:21, 1 November 2011 (UTC))

Eight Points of Attention[edit]

There is absolutely no mention of the eight points of attention in either the Long March or the Mao Zedong article; I find this pitiful mainly because it was such a vital factor that earned the CCP peasant support. The peasants were disillusioned with the KMT and their lack of concern for the peasants, whereas the CCP's policy of the eight points of attention earned them support otherwise impossible to gain (the peasants had become very cynical)....Yet there's no mention of it here! Surely someone should correct this discrepancy. -- Natalinasmpf 21:26, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Natalinasmpf; if you are so concerned about the error, why don't you add it yourself?
Natalinasmpf, you might be interested to know that Nationalist sources consider the 8 Points to be mere propaganda. DOR (HK) (talk) 08:13, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

-- If the 8 points were made during the Long March, they should be mentioned. But there is almost no evidence other than CCP propaganda about peasant support and mounds of evidence to indicate that everywhere the CCP army went, peasant destruction was left in its wake. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.33.125.132 (talk) 15:00, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

The following phrase seems contradictory and the second sentence in particular is confusing. Could someone who knows more about this topic than I clear it up:

The communists escaped in circling retreat to the north, which ultimately covered some 8,000 km (4,960 miles) over 370 days. The route branched through some of the most difficult terrain of western China and arrived 9,600 km (5,952 miles) west, then north, to Shaanxi.

Thanks. Gerry Lynch 10:04, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

There are so many errors in the original post. Mao was not in the leader position when Long March started.

I have tried to correct both of these problems. Ryanjo 02:41, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Epoch Times External link[edit]

There was an external link to a website named Epoch Times, which gives a highly opinionated version of the rise of the Chinese Communist party and other events, using inflammatory terms such as "Steadily Accumulating Wickedness" and "Hoodlums and Social Scum Form the Ranks of the CCP". Since links from Wikipedia to highly slanted sites are discouraged[1], I have deleted it. Ryanjo 15:40, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Epoch Times is, of course, FaLun Gong. DOR (HK) (talk) 08:14, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Larga Marcha on Spanish Wikipedia[edit]

I am adding some content and graphics from the FA about the Long March on Spanish Wikipedia. Ryanjo 02:22, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Chang & Halliday[edit]

I have revised some edits placed recently, referencing the Chang & Halliday book:

  1. IMHO, the preponderance of opinion is that Chang & Halliday is a work of note, although the scholarship in many areas is weak. It therefore deserves mention, since it addresses the period of the Long March. Let's give our readers some credit, that they will read a range of references, and form their own opinion on Chang & Halliday.
  2. The order in the "Further Reading" section is simply alphabetic, was established for this article before the Chang book was added, and therefore should remain.
  3. The Chang commentary on Mao's motivation in his circuitous route to the west is one of many reasons that I personally have read. It does not deserve a line in the text. It does deserve a footnote, as do the referenced opinions of other authors.

Ryanjo 01:56, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Also, I have commented out the lines by El C. The reference provided is to a page that is a research database (Deff - Search Service), and seems to have no abstract or access to the text of the article (which is in Swedish). If an accessible reference is available, this should be provided. See Wikipedia:Verifiability and WP:CITE. Ryanjo 02:07, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

  1. Let's also due weight. I support Ryanjo's changes (footnoting) as a step toward that.
  2. I'll see if I can find a translation online, but I'll add a different source instead for now.
  3. Fair enough. It just seemed odd to see it presented on the same par as serious scholarship.
El_C 11:35, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for revising the edit; it works for me. Regards, Ryanjo 23:30, 25 April 2007 (UTC)


I would urge great caution in using Jung Chang and Jon Halliday’s Mao: The Unknown Story as an unbiased source. I am deeply familiar with several of the subjects dealt with in this book, and found numerous examples of selective use of sources and the use of unverifiable sources. The short book review would be, “Anything and everything negative; nothing positive at all.” This is "scholarship" on the order of that of Sterling Seagrave, nothing more. DOR (HK) (talk) 08:23, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Footnote 9 should be edited back to a footnote, and the discussion relegated to the talk page. Kaz Ross's supporters need to understand that this is an article about the Long March, and not about Chang's & Halliday's book. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.107.11.10 (talk) 15:38, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree with the unsigned comment above. I missed this edit when it was made, I'm glad someone noticed it. This footnote is for clarification and to give due weight to the references, not for links outside Wikipedia. If Kaz Ross' reference belongs anywhere, it is in the Mao: The Unknown Story article, not here. Ryanjo (talk) 00:30, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Protege or supporter[edit]

I have to politely disagree with Ksyrie's edit, changing "proteges" to "surpporters" (which is misspelled) in the lead paragraph of the Long march article.

A protege is defined as "a person who receives support and protection from an influential patron who furthers the protege's career". The sentence states that these proteges became leaders of the future, which is indeed what occurred. A "supporter" gives aid or encouragement to a person or cause. There is a different relationship, which is more general and does not imply that the leader returns a benefit to the supporter. The use of protege adds an extra level of meaning to the sentence.

I have posted this in the discussions to see how other editors feel. Ryanjo 03:03, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

As Far as I know,Mao Zedong didn't rise to prominence until the Long March,so he wasn't so influential to further the protege's career at that time.--Ksyrie 10:07, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Size of FFA[edit]

I am correcting a recent edit on the size of the First Front Red Army at the beginning of the Long March. According to the Wikipedia article Jiangxi Soviet:

According to the Statistical Chart of the Field Army Personnel, Weaponry, Ammunition, and Supply completed by the Chinese Red Army on October 8, 1934, two days before the Long March begun, the communist Long March force was consisted of... 5 corps and the 2 columns...a total of 86,859 combatants.

Ryanjo 14:41, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

I think this page has been vandalised. The following line exists: "followed by Fe Ke Yu" when describing the initial breakout of the First Red Army. Gregoryhinton (talk) 23:48, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

User:Dariusisdaman link spam[edit]

This user has been indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet of User:Dariusdaman - I am undoing his link spammage. John Smith's (talk) 07:24, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Jocelyn and McEwen quote[edit]

The standard for this article is not met by the quote added by 86.158.0.115. It should be referenced, using a book citation template (see WP:CIT for examples). I will remove it after 7 days if no cite is provided. Ryanjo (talk) 18:19, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Bibliography[edit]

I've added Whitson to the list. DOR (HK) (talk) 08:37, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I also question the inclusion of Liu Shaoqi in the list of people who marched. DOR (HK) (talk) 08:16, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Kuomintang (KMT) or the Guomindong (GMD)[edit]

Several edits have been made (and reverted) changing Kuomintang (KMT) to Guomindong (GMD). The standard term for the Chinese Nationalists for this article is Kuomintang (KMT). Wikipedia recommends uniform use of terminology through articles. For authors who feel that Guomindong (GMD) should be used, please expand this in the Kuomintang (KMT) and Guomindong (GMD) articles, or set up a disambiguation page. - Ryanjo (talk) 17:19, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

mao the unknown story[edit]

as another user was previously unwilling to include the fact that the book was challenged as unreliable-

This week in Luding the Herald could not find the authors' unnamed local source, or anyone who remembered someone of her description. But it did find Li, whom other locals said was the last surviving witness they knew of in Luding. Li says there was indeed a battle. "The KMT warned us that the Reds would eat the young people and bury the old," she said. "Many fled up the mountainside. But when we saw them, they told us not to be afraid, they only opposed bad people. I remember they were wearing straw shoes, with cloth wound around their shins. "The fighting started in the evening. There were many killed on the Red Army side. The KMT set fire to the bridge-house on the other side, to try to melt the chains, and one of the chains was cut. After it was taken, the Red Army took seven days and seven nights to cross. Later, I was told that someone we had seen was Mao Zedong."

the whole thing would have to go, or the fact that the Herald found evidence that the authors were possibly lying/exaggerating will have to be included.ΔΥΝΓΑΝΕ (talk) 17:50, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Map[edit]

It might be helpful to include a map to show where the Long March went. Does anyone have something that would fit? ItsZippy (talk) 11:19, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

The map was removed when the info box was vandalized in November 2010. I replaced it. Thanks for pointing that out. Ryanjo (talk) 00:18, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

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This article is shamefull propaganda.[edit]

This article is written in a totally biased way. Please compare it to the Spanish article. In each of the sections there is an obvious attempt to show all the achievements of the communist forces as "mere propaganda". The only evidence needed to support this is that "other sources" deny what the official Chinese sources say. Is totally embarrassing, is the kind of articles that give the English wikipedia a bad name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 200.31.1.98 (talk) 01:16, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I must disagree. I actually translated much of the Larga Marcha article on Spanish Wikipedia in 2007, after it was named a Featured Article. I find the content and tone very similar, with the newer additions of detail to the English version making it superior at this point IMHO. I guess one hombre's propaganda is another man's prose, but does this sound like "an obvious attempt to show all the achievements of the communist forces as mere propaganda":
- a significant episode in the history of the Communist Party of China, and would seal the personal prestige of Mao
- vital in helping the CCP to gain a positive reputation among the peasants due to the determination and dedication of the surviving participants of the Long March
In any case, there is some demonstrative language in the "Use as Propaganda" section which can certainly be toned down to more factual tone. However, it is supported by references. Ryanjo (talk) 01:59, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I believe that the most important sections of this article are now supported by reliable sources, and that the article in general reflects the consensus of contemporary scholarship. The article could still be improved. If you have any examples of how this article is "totally biased", and/or if you have a reliable source which seems to refute some content presented in this article, please bring this up so that we can see how and why you have come to your conclusions.Ferox Seneca (talk) 02:48, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the "most important sections are now supported by reliable sources," and that it is not fair to say that it is "totally biased." However, the section Long March#Use as Propaganda still does need work to make clear who has alleged what. For instance, the phrases "played out for all its worth" does not seem NPOV, and the paragraphs beginning "The Long March was longer than was necessary..." and "Kidnap and blackmail appear to have been common recruitment strategies..." likewise. Ditto the last paragraph contrasting "Communist propaganda" with "reality." These are points which could be made in an NPOV way, however, as I do not want to omit this POV. In general, I think the work on this article has been exemplary, however, and I would be happy to either see one of the experienced editors make the changes or to try it myself to see if it would meet your approval. ch (talk) 05:30, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
You yourself are an experienced editor with a background in this period of Chinese history. You seem to have a strong understanding of the work that should be done and are motivated to do it. If these observations are true, then you are the editor who is probably best suited to make the appropriate changes.Ferox Seneca (talk) 01:03, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
The "Use as Propaganda" secion seem indeed poorly written in terms of both references and NPOV. For example, the third paragraph is entirely copied from a webpage which in turn doesn't cite any sources. The fourth paragraph, as it appeared in the cited webpage, is from a book that the editor of this entry apparently hasn't read and couldn't provide a, more prefereable, direct reference. With this quality of edit, I am not surprised to find nonsense like "While Mao’s troops suffered huge losses, not a single senior party member was killed or even seriously wounded". According to CCP's own statistics, 35 military or political commanders of division or larger unit, died during the long march. Those who died early are naturally less heard of, but just consider their peers who survived: Lin Biao, Chen Geng, Xu Shiyou and others who all became generals or even marshals after the founding of PRC, the heavy loss of senior members during the long march seems quite evident. This kind of mistake can be easily avoided with a little effort to seek reliable sources rather than just grab any striking piece of information from the internet. (Gestin (talk) 20:10, 1 November 2011 (UTC))
Why should military commanders or people, whose 'peers' later became military leaders, be considered 'senior party members'? Members of the Central Committee of the CCP might be called thus; members of the Enlarged Politbureau certainly fit the description. Perhaps Gestin can list CC and PB members who died on the March? Besides, refering to 'CCP's own statistics' without any further information isn't much better than citing no source at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.153.36.180 (talk) 11:53, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
The request to rewrite the "propaganda" section of this article has been outstanding for long enough that I can do it myself over the next week. Let me know what you think when I'm done.Ferox Seneca (talk) 19:48, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
I disagree with your interpretation of the term 'senior party member', considering that only 6 members and 4 alternate members of PB were among the tens of thousands marching communists. It's true that none of those 10 died, but this interpretation is way too restrictive and apparently doesn't fit the implication of that sentence, which neither stated the range of 'senior party member' nor gave the number. And don't forget all senior military commanders of the red army were party members and they ranked high in the hierachy. If taking the top 30 instead of the top 10, which includes some 20 commanders of the field armies, one will find Dong Zhentang and Deng Ping in the mortality list. The former was the commander of the 5th field army and the latter was the chief of staff of the 3rd field army. The mentioning of their peers was merely to give people an idea how senior they were despite their relative obscurity. Furthermore, I see no reason why CCP's own statistics should be overlooked. They certainly possess the most detailed and complete record on this issue. Gestin (talk) 15:50, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Gestin: If you want to include military men, then use a term like "senior party and military men". As to the CCP's own statistics, where were they published? You should simply give a source that anyone can look up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.153.40.140 (talk) 06:49, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Being military commanders does not keep them from being 'senior party members'. I can't see why the two identities are mutally exclusive. If you insisted on excluding them, you need to use a term like 'party leader'. As you may or may not know, the whole party was highly military before 1949 and it was especially so during the long march, when Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai were no less 'military' than any field commander. After all, the point I want to make here is that the section is poorly supported by reliable sources and is filled with false or inaccurate claims. If someone, like Ferox Seneca, would be willing to re-write it, I would be very willing to review and provide comment. There are quite a few good books published in China about the long march, but I have yet to found any translated version. The one from which I got the numbers and names of those died is called "The long march of the red army: reviews, major events and tables" published by the PLA Press. Gestin (talk) 16:16, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
I rewrote the section discussing the use of the Long March as propaganda, as per request. It was mostly an edit for prose. I judged one of the sources to be non-reliable, and I deleted the content sourced from that site as spurious. I believe that Asia Times Online and Sun Shuyun are both reliable sources, so I retained the information sourced from them. Please let me know if you disagree with my judgments, and/or if you believe that further editing should be done, and we can discuss how to alter the article further.Ferox Seneca (talk) 23:12, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Ferox. The section looks better now. However, I noticed that reference 43-46 (foreignaffairs.com and asian times online) are all reviews of Sun Shuyun's book on the long march and the claims they made all cited Sun Shuyun. Reference 35 is directly from Sun. So it appears the whole section is based on what Sun has said. We should make this point explicit in the text, as what is done in the 'Length' subsection. A specific point: citing the battle at Xiang River as an example of propaganda is quite crappy. Though the Red Army soldiers are described as 'heroic', the battle is generally regarded by CCP as a mistake under the wrong 'military route'. This, together with the number of casualties, is widely known in China, as they are written in history textbooks for high school students. More generally, to describe something as propaganda, one needs to compare that against solid facts. As it is, the section is more like comparing claims against claims. Under this view, perhaps it's worth making this part a subsection of a 'Controversy' section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.62.202.241 (talk) 11:06, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I deleted the claim that "no senior leaders died" because the site sourcing that claim was non-reliable, but anyone sufficiently knowledgeable about the Red Army in 1935 should recognize that the claim doesn't make any sense. The claim is misleading because the Red Army had few genuinely "senior" military leaders at the time, and the military leaders who later became "senior" were those who survived the Long March. The most senior military leader that I am aware of who was killed during the Long March was Liu Zhidan (an associate of Xu Haidong who does not yet have a page on Wikipedia, probably because he didn't survive long enough to become as famous as those who did survive). Qu Qiubai and Mao Zetan were also killed during the breakout from Jiangxi. Of China's future "senior leaders", Hu Yaobang was seriously injured during the Long March.Ferox Seneca (talk) 23:34, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

I know nothing about the subject, but the comment that independent research has not been possible till recently needs expansion, and even if the facts are not fully known, there must be information available about how accurate or reliable the information is or is not. That should be explored further, not just leaving it with the comment I mention. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.130.173.78 (talk) 07:14, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

This article[edit]

This article is so biased against China it is ridiculous. I love how the Wiki maintains a false pretense of neutrality while being biased. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.191.189.195 (talkcontribs) 08:22, March 28, 2014

If you have a reliable source that includes contradictory information, please share and/or add that information to the article. Please do the research and then fix it, rather than just complaining.Ferox Seneca (talk) 22:37, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Unsourced info on encirclement[edit]

This edit adds interesting information, but it lacks a source and seems to contradict preexisting sourced information. If I can figure out whose perspective this is, I can put it into context and add it. I suspect that it is a preface or summary of Mao Zedong's Art of War. Can anybody confirm where the information from this edit is from?Ferox Seneca (talk) 22:37, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

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They didn't all go on foot[edit]

I read an account somewhere of an interview with an old woman who had seen the battle of Luding Bridge, in which she remarked that Mao Tse-Tung was carried there in a litter. NRPanikker (talk) 00:44, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

Chronological inaccuracies concerning the 2nd Red Army[edit]

Chapter 3.7. says that the 2nd Red Army began its Long March on November 19th, 1935, but it is mentioned multiple times in the article that the 2nd Red Army arrived in Shaanxi on October 22nd, 1935, thus ending the Long March a month earlier than it supposedly set out. I presume the years are wrong and the 2nd Army began its march on November 19th, 1934 instead of 1935? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.105.54.194 (talk) 14:49, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

Contradictions[edit]

1933: Bo Gu and Otto Braun arrived from the USSR, reorganized the Red Army, and took control of Party affairs. They defeated four encirclement campaigns.

This point seems to contradict what was mentioned in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Soviet_Republic, which implied that Mao was responsible for most of the victories, and that they did not win all 4 campaigns.

Qwartz2003 (talk) 08:13, 12 June 2019 (UTC)