The Chinese Army

1937-49
World War II and Civil War
PHILIP JOWETT was tlorll
in Leeds In nit and flu
tlnn inrernted In military
history for as IOn'il as he un
remember. His lirst Osprey
boo_ wu Ihe 'iI,Ound·bru_lng
Men-at-Arms 305: Clllrll!'n
Civil War Armit's 1P1l-4'; III
hu sinn putl.ished a tllree-
pan nquenn on the /la#an
Anny IMen·at-Arms
¥"olumn 3.0. 3.' " 3$31.
A rugby 'ugue enUluslasl
and amaleur 'ilenu'oglsl.
lie is mnried and "Yn in

STEPHEN WALSH studi.d
art at Ille Nortll Ent Wain
Institute. tll.n, II.
hu worhd mainly lor th.
hlstorleal tlO"rd·
market, fulfilling
Iifelon'il Internt In hlsto/le,,1
sUbjeets. His Am.rle"n works
inelude the bnt-niling
Sertlen of Calan. H. h"s
"Iso m"ny
01 artwork Insplr'd tly J R R
Tolkien. He Is married with
lWO and llyn in

CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
• Historical background: the Kuominlang· the Comunuusts
-Japanese ambitions in Manchuria
CHRONOLOGY
THE NATIONALIST ARMY 1937-45
• Strength. organization and character
• Weapons
• Nationalist guerrillas
THE NATIONALIST ARMY 1945-49
• Strength. organization and character
• Weapons
UNIFORMS 1937-45
• SlUIillIer lmifonns: hillieS - trousers - puttees· footwear
• Headgear: lmifonn headgear- steel helmets-
other headgear
• Officers' clothing
• Winter tmifOlms
• InsigJua: collar patches - identification patches· ann
badges - lillit badges - annbands
• Field equipment
• ArlIloured crews
• Militia & guerrillas
UNIFORMS 1946-49
• Summer lUIifonns
• Headgear
• "Model 1946" wimer clolhing
• Insignia
• Officers' unifonns
• Parallulitaty U1ufonns
THE PLATES
INDEX
3
6
13
16
20
39
42
48
Men-at-Arms· 424
The Chinese Army
1937-49
World War II and Civil War
OSPREY
PUBLISHING
Philip Jowett· Illustrated by Stephen Walsh
Serles eCltor Mlrtl1 Windrow
Fim! pOOtisIIed ill GreOlt BriI<lOn ill 2005 bi' l'Y!)i;shio<)
Midland Hoose, Wf!Si. 8otiey. OxlO'd 0)(2 OPH, Uniled KiIlQ(lom
443 Pal'< AIIeOOe Sou:tl, New Val<, NY 10016, LISA
Email: info@osPreypublisllioQ.com
All rioJhlS '''''''''ed. Apa<t I,om <Jtr, 1;0, dealiolllor ttI<!.,.,.".",.., of ptiva1e s1lJd:;.
research, crilicism or review, ;os permitted l.<lOef too C<JpyritJht, Desi<)ns afId
Paten1S Act. 1968, 00 P'lrt oIlhis pubI;<AI:ion ma., be ,eproduced, S10red ill
a r_" sys:em, or 1r.lnsmilted ill <Jtr, lorm or bi' ""1 me""", electronK:,
electrical, chemical, optical, pho1OCOP)'i"ll, roco<d;"Il or orherwise,
wi!hoo1lhe prior 'Mitten pemission 01 the COI"IriQht l1NIIef. EnQuines sholM
be ilddressed to the PublOshe<s
ISBN 1 841169045
P"'JI' "'lOOts bi' Alan Harl1!
lmex bi' Altson l'I'or1hio<}lon
OO\lill;l1ed bi'Too Electronic P"'JI' Comparly, CWrnIJr.m, UK
Primed in CIlin<IIhrOU\llll'l'orld Pml Ltd
0506070B09 10987654321
FOR ACATALOGUE OF AlL BOOKS PUBLISHED BY
OSPREY M1lJTiIRY AND AVlATlON PLEASE CONTACT
NOflh Ame,ic.:
Osprey Oi,ocI, 2421 Bood Streel, Univef5ity Pa,k. IL 60466, USA
Email: inl0@!0Sflfeyrnfectusa.Com
All Olher regions:
Osprey Oi,ocI UK, PO 8<»: 14<1, wellifll/borough. Northanls. NN8 2FA, UK
Em:lt: info@!o5\lfeyrnfec1.CO,""
www.ospreypublishill\l.com
Dedication
To mylamily
Ac know led ge men ts
The autllo< would lil<e to express h;s app,eciaHon to lhe rollowinOJ
Paul Cornish, Colin RGreen, Joseph Liu, D.Y.Louie. Kevin Mahoney,
Eric McChesney, Robert E. Passlnini & Phil Piazza 01 the MefTilrs
Marauders Association, aoo Paul V.Walsh. Finally, lhanl<s to
Stephen Walsh lor h;s ha'd worl< on the p1ales aoo lor squeeziJl\l
in the e><l,a "OJu,es
Editor's Note
For darity, COOIese place names in lhis lext are spelt accordinOJ
10 the conventions employed in the 1940s, as beif19 more lamiliar
to Western readers - e.OJ PeI<iJl\l rather lhan Be;jifl9. Canton rather
than GuaJl\lzhou, etc
Artist's Note
Readefs may ca,e 10 note that lt1e Ofi9inal pa;ntifl9s Irom which
the colour plates in this I>0oI< were PfeP'lred are available lor
private sale. AU rep,oduction copyriOJht whatsoever is retairled
by the Publishers. All enquiries shoutd be add,essed to
inlo@!stevewatsh.co.uk
The Publishers re<;jret that they can enter into 00 correspondence
upon lhis matter.
THE CHINESE
INTRODUCTION
ARMY 1937-49
A soldier of th, 1UOs,
rern.Jl1llably will klll,d 0\1'
fOr tIM Chinen Army. wllh
kIgps.x:lI ,n wtll l; U .... ruek
.1IId c.<Invu .1mmunition
b.1ndoIier. Tht .:Ilmosl unl .... rs...
Kuomintx\9 sunbunt b.1dOjlI, In
white on tllIM .n.. mel, Is plnn,d
to his t;;Ip. His ,.. nk. equlval,nt
to l:ane.-eorpor:;oJ Of pt......" tlrsl
clus.. Is indle.1ttd by the lh,..
trWlgIes on lin. eolour.d metsl
or plntic: eoll.1r p.1tehn; lilt
small whit, o;:otton pnsoul
identific.;nion P.11dl ,1boy, hi,
Itft breUI ,ums 10 r.. Dord,r,d
in blue, whkh IS now Ihoughl
to 11<I.,. d'"Olld .111 , .. nk' Junior
to mOljor. Th' kh,1kl eOIOlir Of
ChinIw uniforms uri..:! 'ilfUtly:
!his two-button 'skl'·type
Ileld c:.1p ,md lunie sum to bt
of one of 1h, d,1rker 'ilrunlsh
or brownish ,h.:ldn.

WORLD WAR II. China was an imporlant partner in the figlll
against the Japanese Empire. Allhough often o\"erlooked today as
an ally of the Uniled Siales and the British Empire. China had
already been fighting Japanese annies on her OUll soil for four and a
half years when the attack on Pearl Harbor opened hostilities between
Japan and the Western Allies in December 1941. and thereafter this
so-called Sino-Japanese \Var became absorbed into the wider conflicl. II
has been estimated that in the period 1937-45 some 14 million Chinese
sernd ill the anned forces. aboul 1.400.000 dead and 1.800.000
wounded. (Total Chinese ci\-ilian casuahies are. of course. incalculable.
but a figure of around 800.000 dead has been suggested.)
While the United Slates proyided the gO\'enlment of Generalissimo
Chiang Kai-sllek with generous financial and material aid. air support.
staffassistallce. and training for a proportion of his forces. only a small
minorily of China's troops sen-ed in direct co-ordination wilh the British
Empire forces in South-East Asia. Ne\·ertheless. the smbbonl resistance
against the Japanese in China itself tied down more 'han a million
Japanese troops throughout the war - troops who would othenvise haye
been free for massiye reinforcement of the sou,henl armies facing the
British on the BurmalIndia border and the US forces in the Pacific.
with \'ery damaging results.
An undeclared state of hostilities had already existed between China
and Japan since the latter's im'asioll of Manchuria in September 1931.
and frill-scale war had broken out in July 1937. During the years that
followed Chinese annies were to suffer catastrophic losses in both men
and material. and huge tracts of territory and most of the major cities-
roughly. the entire northern and eastel'l1 half of the cOllntry - were to
fall under Japanese occupation. By the outbreak of the Pacific war in
1941 the Chinese Anny was exhausted, and its ability and will to resist
had been worn down: however, encouraged and funded by the \Vestern
Allies. the nation and anuy continued 10 fight until the final Allied
\·ictory in 1945.
The Chinese Anny was to emerge from the war seemingly
stronger than e\'er in both numbers and equipment. Howe\·er.
the fragility of this outward was soon to be exposed by
their COlllmunist ad\'ersaries in the resumed Chil War of
1946----49. Seyere weaknesses in strategy. morale and leadership
were to lead to Ihe final defeat ofthe Nationalist forces in lale
1949. and their flight to the island of Formosa (Taiwan).
The huge size and diwrsity of Chinese forces in mis period.
the weakness of central control. the essentially regional
3
nature of their command
and operations. and the
lack 01' loss of records. all
contribUTe TO prevent any
bllT tlte briefest accounts of
organizalion and campaign
history in this text. How-
e\'er, enough information
and images are a\'ailable to
allow a concise study of
their uniforms, insignia.
equipment and weapons -
the core concerns of dIe
Men-at-AIms series.
• • •
From Ihe Wuchang nsUlg
of 1911 which toppled the
last emperor. until Ihe mid
1930$. Ihe Chinese Republic
was ri\"en by revolutions.
re\'olts and ci\i1 wars. For a
decade after 1917 the country was fragmented between regional
warlords. but from the mid 1920$ Ihe annies of the Kuomilltallg
(Chinese Nationalist Pany. K1I.IT) emerged as rhe strongest contenders
for power.
l
The Kr'>IT. led in the early 1920s by Sun Yat-sen. was originally
based ill Canton. KwallguUlg pro\·ince. 011 Ihe SOlidi-east coast. but ils
influence spread rapidly. It promised unification. modernization. and
an end 10 foreign illlerference. Although suspicious of the then weak
Chinese Communist Parry (CCP). for pragmatic reasons the KMf
accepted So\"iet Russian advisers to help in its task: and the USSR. for its
part. sought to infiltrate Communists into tlte K.1\1T. After Sun's death in
1925 the Communists stepped up tlteir effOt1S to lake control of the
KMT. but were frustrated by Sun's military chief Chiang Kai-shek. who
took o\"er both political and militaty leadership in 1926.
General Chiang soon established KMT dominllnce south of the
Yangtze river, and purged the Commuuists: in 1927 a KMT govel1llllent
was set up in Nanking, and the Russian advisers were expelled, soon to
be replaced by a German militaty mission. The Communist Chinese
People's Liberation Anny (PLA - a tille adopted only in 1946) dates its
birth to the mutiny of Gen Chu Te's 241h Division of the K.MT anuy in
August 1927. Subsequent Communist risings agllinst lite KMT in several
llreas were crushed. and in October 1934 the Communists were driven
out of tile sOUlhem provinces and began fheir 6.000-mile 'Long March'
west and north across deserfs aud mountains 10 Yenllll in ShensS
pro\·illce. in the nonh-wesf. Reduced from about 100.000 f i g . h t e ~ 10 a
hard core of 20.000. this 8th Rome Anuy - now led by MllO Tse-tmIg. a
rural Communist fmlll Hunan pro\'ince - de\'oted itself to building a
strong base of loyally and praclical support aillong the peasantlY of
northern China. Upon this foundalion they would denlop, codify and
praclise a sophisticated strategy of rural guerrilla warfare - al fitsl:
I See WA 306, e:m....e CM w.... .ol.trntN fgll49
Chln%e lfoops movlng up to
the Ironl north 01 Pektng In 1937
to facQ the Invading Impllflat
Japane$Q Army, All wear Ihe
'1135 German hQlmeiand light
khaki COlton uniforms Wllh
woolilln PUttIlllS. some appear
to bIl armlld wlillthil ChlrKtSIl
version of tllil MaUler Gewehr
88 rille, and lhll man III 11gll1
foreground carrlllS a ZB26 light
machine gun In lis canvas covet'.
4
An MtiIJery oHinr Ll$f$ ,
peris.copie rng.flnd.r dLlring
1tM urtyfighting of U31. H.
i$ wuring , Ilghl Ilhdl eOllon
W'IifOfm wnh , Fr.neh Adrian
$lHIl1flm.l, whleh 'ppurs to
II.1w , glon finl$h In this 'nd
phologr,phs.
LXfr in th.
Vhlih. Ad,i,n wu mostly
;l$soei.1lld wilh troop$ from the
tlr soLl!h.m provlnees bord.ring
FnneIllndoehlu. (Imp.rl'l Wn
MIISILlm. CHN 11)

,
ag:ainst the KMT. and subsequently against the Japanese ill\"aders. In
future years this guerrilla doctrine was to ha\'e enormous influence on
conflicts elsewhere in the world. and the ultimate failure of the KMT
armies to defeat it taught parallellessolls.
Japan and Manchuria
While the Kuomilllang campaigned successfully ag:ainst its remallllllg
warlord riyals and the Communists in the early 1930s. elements in the
Japanese ruling class were planning: the seizure ofManchuria - Ihe huge
and underpopulated region in the north of China.
Since Japan's \'ictOlY there O\'er Russia in 1905 she had exercised
influence in Manchuria. planting: settlers in the southern part of the
reg:ion and garrisoning: it with her KwannUlg AIUlY. Rich in the natural
resources which Japan needed for her industrializalion and exploding
population. Manchuria was essentially a no-man's-land nominally ruled
by the last great Chinese regional warlord, Marshal Chang Tso-lin.
whom the Japanese at firsl supported. Howewl". extremist right-wing
factions in the Imperial Japanese Anny were conspiring: 10 dominale the
To1..1'0 goyernment and to secure for Japan the resources of Manchuria.
In June 1928 Ihey assassinated Marshal Chang by blowing: up his train:
in September 1931 they created an incident at Mukden which g:.n-e the
Kwanhmg Anny a prelexi for mO\'ing in to 'restore order'. in defiance
of orders from Tol-yo: and inJannary 1932 Ihey renamed Manchuria as
Ihe new state of Manclmkuo. ostensibly OIled by the puppet Chinese
emperor Pu-Yi. but acmally by the KWalltlLUg Army.
Japan was in ffiIlnoil during the early 19305: there were a series of
assassinations and coup attempts. during which the
amlY steadily increased its influence and support .
.. I When the League of Nations belatedly protested
against her aggression in Manchuria. Japan simply
left the League in March 1933. Furtheryiolations of
t Chinese telTitolY S01W fighting in and around the city
of Shanghai in 1932, the Japanese ill\'asioll of J ehol
.. province ill 1933. and (l c1l1ndestine campaign in
Suiyuan in 1936. In NO\'ember 1936 Japan and
Germany signed the Anti-Comintenl Pact: and the
following lIlonth President Chiang Kai-shek was
reluctantly forced to agree to a 'united front' with
the COllllllunists to concentrate on fighting the
invaders. The clllllpaigns of 1932-36, 1Iithough
bitterly fought. had been reillti\'ely small sCllle
affairs. and were to be o\'ershadowed by the
oUlbreak of all-out war in July 1937,
That war would destroy the SII"UCIUl'e ofsociely
throughout much of the COIlllllY, weakening the
political authority and militluy control of the
Kuomintang go\'emment. It would also empty the
regime's coffers. and reduce milch of the
population of all already chronically backward
country to beggary and stalyation: between 1937
and 1945 hyperinflation would see prices rise by
2.500 per cellI. 5
1939:
10 Fl'brmll)' Hainan Island occupied by Japanese.
27 March Fall ofNanchang.
22 Junl' Port of Swato\\'. south China. taken by Japanese.
14 Sl'ptl'mbl'l' First battle ofChallgsha ·Jllp:lllese £,il to tllke the city.
Nonmbl'l'-Dl'cl'mbl'1' Chinese winter offensive ends ill defeat.
CHRONOLOGY

1938:
Mal'Cb-Aplil Chinese \'lctory at Taierhchnang by forces led by
General Li Tswlg-jen: al about 16.000. Ihe losses suffered by the
Japanese 10th Diy and Ihe Chinese forces are ronghly equal.
Fall of coastal cities of.'\Jnoy and Foochow.
6 JUDl' Fall of Kaifeng.
Octobl'l' Fall of Canton; and ofWuhan • defended 'on paper'
by lO7 Chinese diyisions lotalling 800.000 men. Nationalist go\-emmelll
withdraws to somh-westem city of Chungking.
Dl'cl'mbl'l' President Roose\'e1t's US gO\'ernment makes loan of $25
million to Chiang Kai-shek.
1940:
30 Japanese install Wang Ching-wei at head of puppet
'Reorganized Government' in Nanking. to govel'll occupied China.
10 JIIIIl' Japanese lake Ichang 011 Yangtze rh·er.
July Refused US support. Britain is forced 10 agree to Japanese demand
to dose Ihe 'Bunna Road'. NalionaliSI Chinll's only stlpply route finn
Bunna. India and the West (12th). ModeraleJapanese go\'ernmelll of
Adml Yonai replaced by that of Prince Konoye (16th). US gOYelllmelll
announces limited iron. steel and hie! embargoes Oil Japan in gesture of
support for Chiang Kai-sllek (26th).
August Vichy French regime forced to agree to Japan installing
garrisons in Ilonhern French Indochina. Ihreatening Nationaiisl
positions in Kwangsi proyillce.
Sino-Japanese War 1937·41
.,'.. 1937:
7 A proyocatioll at Lukuochiao Oil the outskirts of
Peking - the 'Marco Polo Bridge incident' • is used as a
pretexi by Japan to innde China.
July Japanese occupy Peking.
13 August Fighting breaks OUI in Shanghai. where a Chinese
anllY of 500.000 lIIen in 71 di'isions face 200.000 Japanese
troops. Chiang Kai-shek's Nalionalist China and the USSR sigll
a nOIl-aggresslOll pact.
3 Sl'ptl'mbl'f Fall ofKalgan. Inner Mongolia.
12 l'\onmbl"f Fall of Shanghai. \\;th estimated Chinese losses
of 300.000 men.
13 Dl"ct>mbl'f Fall ofNalionaJist capilal. Nanking. to Japanese
troops. followed by seyeral weeks of pillage. massacre and
atrocity: scores of thousands of Chinese ci,;lians are killed. and
eye\\;mess repons arollse anti-Japanese indignalion in the We;;L
In th. crisis 01 1137 wom.n
W.f. r.cruiltd Into volunt ..r
units; this young girt soldl.r
of th. Clliun COfPS
If.nch In
S.pt.mb.r 1937. Sh.
th. pnk.d ollh.
CTC. light shirt
br..chts with punlts.
rubb.r
typ. boots.
worn th.
ov., th. I.tt should.,
sltm to b. h., only .qutpm.nt.
(Ad.q RlSourclS Incl


This young sold1., 01 th.
SllangIl3i gJrrlson In 1931
II.1s two cloth·Jnd·IJp. pock.1S
tor cJnying stick gr.nJdU In
3llditiorl to his
llr.nadu w.r. ImporUd
and also copld by
nUlIMrous
TM sold,-r's sutur. IS
.mpl'lOlsind by Ih. lacllhJI
his Uk rill. Is nurly
JS lall as h. Is.
27 SeptemlH'r AnIlouncement of Tripartite Pact by Japan. Germany
and Italy.
Orlobel" Chinese recapture Nanning in Kwangsi. British re-open Burma
Road supply route.
1941:
'New 4th Anny' incidelll - Nalionalist attacks on Communist
units under their command lead to de facto end of united front against
Japan.
Thereafter. throughout \Vorld War II. the Allies would be concerned
that Chiang Kai-shek ,,-as de,·oting more resources and allention to the
threat from the COllllllullists than 10 operations against the Japanese.
Since 1937 about 250.000 Nationalist troops had been allocated to
conlain the COllllllunists around Yenall" The CCP. for its parI. would
continue to infiltrate pre,·iously Nationalist regions in north-east and
central China. creating 'liberated' base areas for the ftllure stmggle
against the Kl\ff.
ApliI US Lend-Lease Act (8 March) allows export of 100 P-40B fighters
to China. to be flO\m by Air Volullleer Group set up by retired USAAF
Col Claire Chennault. Chiang Kai-sbek's air ad,iser. By executi'''e order.
US pilots and ground crew are penllitted to enlisl in AVG.
26 US gowrnmell1 freezes all Japanese assets. followed by Britain
and Netherlands: these embargoes cut off 90 per cent of Japanese oil
nupons.
8 Sl'pll'wbn Second battle of Changsha: Japanese again fuil to take city.
11 Orfob('l" Chinese briefly retake Ichang.
1 Chinese retake Cbengchow"
World War II 1941-45
Dl'{"ewber Japanese air allack on Pearl Harbor US Na'y base. Hawaii
(7th). leads to American declaration of war on Japan: China formally
declares war on Tripartite Pact (9th); Japanese capltlre Hong Kong
(18th). In China. third bailie ofChangsha opens.
1942:
Chiang Kai-shek named Supreme Allied Commander. China
(4th). Third battle ofChangsha ends in yet another defeat forJapanese
11th A.nlly. with heavy losses. Japanese advance illto Burma begins (15th).
J:mu:1I)'-Mll)' Far-reaching Japanese victories over Allied forces in
Philippines. Borneo. Malaya. Dutch East Indies. etc,
19 i\illrrh US LtGen Joseph \V.Stilwell appointed senior US militmy
representalive to the Nationalisl Chinese Chillng Klli-shek
appoints Stilwell as his chief-of-slllff. with comllllllld of Chinese 5th &
6th Armies figilling around Mand1l11lY and Toungoo in northern Burma.
l\illl'l:h Stilwell ani,·es in time to lead his Chinese Iroops in a long
retreat into India. while others reure into China. Chinese withdrawal
from Toungoo (30th) without destroying Salween ri"er bridge aids
Japanese ad,·ance.
29 April Japanese capture Lashio. Bnnna. thus cutting the Burma Road
to China.
:\I:ly Japanese capture important communications hub of Myltb.)'ina.
Burma (8Ih). Gen Stilwell crosses into Assam stale. 1I0nh-wesl India. 7
YELLOW
SEA
Provinces of
Eastern and
Central China
,..
,
-
,-,f\./
MANCHURIA (,
, ,
" .--. ...
;'.... \
,.i _
./ '_i-'i
, 1'--,
'-. . "
.... _.,
' ,---
OlioIfd"" e e I!JIW>
, -
, "
- .
,-
-
.....
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
\
SOUTH
CHINA
SEA
,
-- '.
...
- ,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
CHA.HAR
( '-:HOl
,
,
,
'.
-
'.-,
,
,
,

,
SOVIET UNION
MONGOLIA
L/-SUO'UAN
. .,..-""
I '-
'.i -..
,
,
,
, ,
, ,
\ ..-'
,',
-, , ---
.. ,
'. eY_
e1M_, . ..I
--"
'. , .
su
' SHENSl •
, , HONAN
,..'
, ..' . .'--,
,- ...
HUPEH
1943:
l\1aI'rlt Gen Chennault is appointed
to cOlllmand new US 14th Air Force in
China.
Throughout year. Gen Stilwell
supen'ises re-training
and re-equipmenl programme around
Ramgarb. in Bihar stale. India. for
Chinese Iroops from Burma. From
Orlobn reillforcemenls are floun back
from China 011 Iransport aircraft
emply to Ledo. Assam. from
supply flighls 'O\'er the HUlllp' to
Kmuning. Since Ihese are now the only
Allied means of supplying Chiang Kai-
shek. il is easier 10 bring Chinese troops
to Ihe supplies than to take Ihe supplies
to China: and by the end of Ihe year
four effe<:liye Chinese di\'isiOtlS ha\'e
been built in India. Meanwhile. working
fonvard from Ledo. under US
Gen Lewis Pick construct a road to link
up eyemually with the Burma Road. In
October Stilwell's forces slowly advance
south-eastwards into the Hukawng
Valley in north cenlral Burma.
2 O"e"mbH Iu China.
baule of Changteh in Hunan province:
an offensive by lOO.OOOJnpanese troops
is pushed bnck 10 its Slal't line ill a costly
Chinese ,'ictOly. whose henvy casualties
include three divisional commnnders.
after 140-mile retreal Oil foot (15th): his
22nd & 38th Di\'S v..;llllller form lhe core
of 'X-Force'. Lasl British Empire troops
lea\'e Bunna (20th).
July Stilwell appointed to command
new US China-Bunna-India Theater.
1944:
J:mulU'}' Since Chiang Kai-shek insists upon Allied offensi,'es III Burma
to re-open his supply lines before his armies can make any real
contribution 10 Allied strategy, British Adml Mountbanen (Supreme
Allied COllllllnnder Soulh-East Asia Command. SEAC) plans with Gen
Stilwell the joill1 Operalion 'Thursday'. Stilwell's Chinese X-Force are to
ad"ance against the Japanese 18th Diy to seize Shaduzup. Mogaung and
Myitkyina in north central Burma. before swinging north-east illlo
China: and the Ledo Road will be pushed forward. SOUlh of the Chinese.
se"eral Brilish/Indian 'Chindil' "ill be inserled by air 10 cut the
rear lines of Ihe Japanese facing Stil,,-ell. Meanwhile. in nOflh·east
8 Bunna, Gen Wei Li-Huang's Chinese V-Force from Yunnan is to adnnce
ABO'v'E LtG.n Jouph W.
Stilw.. 11U3.IU'I. 'Vln'in
Joe' W<IS ob'tlou$ thOlt. 10 b.
wniof US miHury ....
In h. $Iudi.d Itt.
In p.klni In Ih. "20$.
and h.1d bun US miHury
1S35039. Arri'tlni in lU2.
M WU thl.f·of·
5ti1ff by
unl to utrlut.
I13rd-9rns.cl Chinn. lortn
in All., Ih. uh3u$tlni
into h. h3d 10
wilh u ....
$imulUn.aus tnk$: to r.·.qulp
m th. trOOP$ In to
0Wf'SM the ov.r$tr.tth.el
01 $upplln to 10
k.D b.twun Ih. US go.... rnm.nt
and Chi.1ng o r th. tondutt 01
lhlI w3r: 3nel ntu3I1y, to Inel
!hi Chinn. fortn b3tk Inlo
Burma. AllhoUih 3
;nd offit." SUlw.1I
$klll$: h.
r.unt.el Prnld.nt Roou.... II·$
0fdIn, W3$ 3lmo$1 op.nly
tOnltmplUOU$ of
qUMftIl.d wllh USAAF Gtn
CMM3Ult, WU $ull.nly
suspitiou$ of Iht Brlll$h
IIItIO wtr. tarrying by Ih.
grt3ltl" burdtn In Burm,. In
oc:tobIr lU4 hl$ ulllm31um Ih31
M _ tompl.1t tOmm3nel
of Chinest lortn ltel to hl$
(US Corp$1
against the Japanese 56th Di\' on the Salween ri\'er frail!. to
open the Bunua Road bel\veen Lashio and Kunming.
5-6 :\f:U'ch Stilwell's Chinese (and 'Merrill's Marauders'.
5307th Composite brigade. the only US AnllY combat unit in
SE Asia) defeat Japanese at Maingkwall and Walawbaum.
5-12 March Chindit brigades are flO\\11 into Kaukkwe
Valley: they set up strongholds. beat offJapanese reaction.
and cut Mandalay-Myitkyilla railway.
7/8 :\t:u,<,h Unsuspected by the Allies. Japanese Gen
Mutaguchi's 151llAnny (33rd. 15th & 31st Din;) laullches U-
Go Offensiw against British Gen Slim's 141h Anuy on
Chindwin ri\'er frolll ill nOl1h·wesl Burma· a major Ihmst
illlo Assam to seize fhe \'ital base at Imphal before pushing
on imo India.
i\'IlIrch-Junr In fierce figilling around Tiddim. Tamu.
Imphal and Kohima. Slim's forces defeal Japanese with hea\")'
losses.
April Chindits pass under Stilwell's cOlllmand. His X-Force
makes slow progress against Japanese north of Mogaung
and MyitL.")'ina.
In China. the Japanese lchigo OffellSin (with objecliws including
seizure of US bomber bases) captures large areas oflerritory in Hunan
and Kwangsi provinces.
11-12 Y-Force opens Chinese offellSin on Salween fronl. but fails
10 re-open Bunua Road.
17 Merrill's Marauders caplUre Myitkyinll airfield. but the
Japanese reinforce the town. and the fighting bogs down into a siege.
JlIlll' In China. fIrSt USA.AF 8-29 raid on Japan from airfields around
Chengtu near Chungking (15th). First major Japanese offensive since
1938. by 11th & 23rd Armies. captures Changsha (18th). In Bunna.
Slilwell sacrifices the exhausted Chilldits to capture Mogaullg (26th).
11 July Defeated and slan·ing. Japanese 15 th Anny is ordered to retreat
from Assam.
3 August Stilwell's X-Force fmally captures Myitkyinll.
8 August In China. Hengyang falls toJapanese.
19 Octobl'l' Gen Stilwell is recalled to the USA. through political
machinations by Chiang Kai-shek.
31 OcfolH'r Chinese coumer-offensive begins in China.
In Burma. the chain of command is re-organized. US Gen Albert
Wedenueyer takes over liaison with Chiang Kai-shek. Gen Drmiel Sultan
takes command of Northern Combat Area Command (NCAC) -
Chinese New 6th Anuy (Gen Liao Yao-hsiang: 14th. 221ld & 50th Divs).
New 1st Anny (Gen Sun Li-jen: 30th & 38th Din). plus British 36th Di,'
and US Mars Force (fonner Menill's Marauders). Gen Raymond
Wheeler becomes Deputy Supreme Allied Commander. SEA.c.
The next phase of operations is planned to trap and desTroy Japanese
33rd Anuy (Gen Honda) in north central Burma. by Gen Slim and Gen
Sultan making simultaneous ad\'ances from the nonh-west and north:
meanwhile Y-Force will again attack from the north-east. these Chinese
ad"ances finally allowing the linking of the Ledo and Bunua roads.
1 Sonmbl'l' Y-Force relakes Lunglillg.
15 Dl'crwbE'T Chinese I.<.t Army enters Bhamo.
9
10
us LIGen 01nlel Ul,IlUn (figlll)
look our Irom sTIIWen In
nu n eomm1ndlng
genel11 of us In ttle CBI
ttluue of 1nd of ttle
comm1nd NCAC, Hete
tie to members
ot ttle Chine" npeditJon1ry
tOlce in Bl,lrmi, Wl'lO wur "I
helme", British KO Sl'Ilrts 1nd
shorts. 1nd BritiSh 31 p1ltern
webbing with 01 11rg. pnks,
1945:
J:lllUflry In the north-west. British 14th Anny
makes rapid progress into centm] Bnnna. reaching
IlTawaddy riyer and threatening Mand"lay. In
the lIo11h-east. Chinese lsI Anny and Y-FOlt:e
meet. and Ledo and Burma roads are joined at
MOlIgyu (2ith).
21 British 361h 01", operating as
NCAC's right flank. captures Myitson.
V-Force. ad\'ancing down Burma Road.
captures Lashio (7th). Didsioll from Chinese
6th Anny links \\llh V-Force at Hsipaw 011 Burma
Road (24Ih).
This essentially marks the close of actiw
Chinese operalions in Bnmla.
Augusl USAAF drop atomic bombs 011 Hiroshima
(6th) and Nagasaki (9th). USSR fmally declares war 011 Japan. and
iU\'ades Manchuria (9th). Sino-Russian treaty signed (l4Ih). recognizing
Chiang Kai-shek's and agreeing to withdraw So\-iet troops
from :\1:anclmria after Japanese defeat. Emperor Hirohito broadcasts
surrender announcement (15th).
Almost immediately. US forces begin to transport by sea and air nearly
500,000 Nationalist troops to strategic ports and cities in Manchuria and
nordlern China. This allows the Nationalists to mO\"e into areas that had
been lost to the ConUllunists during the Japanese occupation.
Augnst 1945-Janulu")' 1946
America. fearful of fumre So\-iet im'olnment in a Chinese ci\il war.
anempts 10 broker a peace between Chiang Kai-sllek's Nationalists and
Mao Tse-nmg's Communists. 80th sides pay lip sen'ice to the plan willie
actually preparing 10 resume outright WlIr, Meanwhile, the USSR delays
withdrawal from Manchuria. transferring captured Japanese weapons
to the Communists and allowing them to consolidate their hold in
lllany areas. There is constant low le\'el fighting between Nationalists
and Communists in Manchuria. In NO\'ember 1945, against US ad\·ice.
Chiang decides to commit his best Allied-lrllined llnd equipped troops
to Manchuria as soon as the So"iets withdraw,
The Civil War 1946-49
1946:
13 Ja11ual"}' Ceasefire in Manchuria brokered by US peace III1SS1011
headed by Gen George C.Marshall.
15 Jalluary Despite ceasefire. KMT forces capture Mukden.
April Communists capture Changchun and Harbin.
l\'by KMT defeat Communists south ofSungari ri\"er, retake Changchun
and capture Szepillg. Comlllunists adopt tide of People's Liberation
Allny (PLA).
JUliE' Marshall mission negotiates another brief truce.
July General ciyil war breaks out between KMT and PLA.
The broad strategies of the two sides are opposed, In simplified tenns.
Chiang's KMT annies - with an initial nUlllerical ad\'antage of abom
3 million 10 I million - ....ill seek to controlnorth·south COilullunicalions.
confident of dividing the PLA and pushing it
westv.'llIds into the wildemess fOI" final destmction.
In 1946-47 the KMT will invest far too hea\'ily in
occupying and holding cities in Manchuria and
nOl1hem China. tying down men and resources in
position.11 defences which the Communists can
affccd to ignore. at the end of a precarious 1.000-
mile supply line through the strongest areas of
ConIDlluUst support.
Outside Manchuria. the PL'\ intend to thmst
eastwards frOI1l Shensi pro\'ince to reach the coast
and separate the KJ.\fT forces in north and south
fi:c destruction in detail. They will increasingly
dominate the coullIryside. isohuing and strangling
Kc\1f centres. Meanwhile a cmmbling away of
SUppOl"t and losses in men and equipment will
reduce Chiang's numerical advantage and lift the
RA 10 equality in maleriel by mid-1948: and by
early 19.;J9 the PLA \\ill achien superiority in both
mell and weaponry.
1947:
PLA forces uuder Gen Lin Piao
nlOlUlt series of allacks on Nationalists along
ri\"er south of Harbin. Manchuria. Best
Kl\1f Iroops. wilh motorized equipmelll. are tied
<b.\1l guarding cities and railways in deep. narrow salienl. This slretches
north-east frOI1l Peking and Tientsin into Manchuria. \ia Chinchow to
MukdetL Szeping. Changchun and Kirin.
14 ::\1:udl Symbolic but otherwise pointless victOlY for Nationalists when
dll.')' take old pre-1945 Communist capital of Yenan.
r.tJy Gell Lin Piao's 270.000 PLA troops drive Nationalists back
150 miles and inflict hea\)' casualties.
December PLA cut rnillinks into Mukden and isolate all Kl\fT garrisons
in Manchuria.
1948:
MmdJ. Nationalisl commander in Manchuria, Gell Liao Yao-hsiang.
OIooS K.MT garrisons wilhdntwn from Kirin and Szeping to Mukden.
111<11 city. held by Gen Wei Li·HIl:lllg with 200.000 men. and Changdllln.
widl 40.000 nnder Gell Cheng TUllg-kao. are now only KM:T holdings in
Mrulcluuia norlh of Chinchow uilhead and supply base.
St'ptl'mlwr After feinling towards Mukden. Lin Piao threatens
Chinchow. Further soul1l. PLA attack key city of Tsinall on the Yellow
river in Shantung pro\·ince. held by 80.000 Ki\1T troops (14th). 200.000
!fOOPS encircle Mukden (17th). Tsinan garrison surrenders (24th).
1lUl}' joining Ihe PLA. Mukden ganison ordered 10 relie\'e Chinchow
with 15 di\'isions (25th). bUI Gen Wei hesitates.
OctolX't· Gen Wei sends 11 di\'isions in sOl1ie fmm Mukden lowards
duncllO\\' (9th). ordering Gen Cheng to break out ofChangchun and
wldxlrnwon Chinchow: laner order ne\'er acknowledged. At Chincho\\".
KMf 93rd Diy defect: city falls (15tb). Gen Liao Yao-hsiang killed ill
• Maretl 1U5: Sherman
ot the Chlnne ProYisional Tank
Group tronlng the Ham You
riyer during Y·Forte's adnnte
on Lnhio. The trew wear ski·
typelleld with KD tlothing.
Hote the tolourful 'tiger
on lhe mantlet
turret front, lhe 'tlaws'
on the In front
of the drlyer'S position.
(US Corps)
11
12
,
A column 01 soldi.rs Singing
patriolic songs match along
a dirt road during a wlnlfr
off.nsiYf. Th.y WUt wlnlfr·
w.igM skl·typ. ups wilh Ih.
Ut flaps li.d on top. Th.lr
wadd.d conon jachlS and
ttounrs ;It. In ditf.r.nt shadn
01 blu'lIr.y. MOSI olth.n m.n
;It. ;ltm.d wilh Ih. Hanyang II
but IWO m.n al th. ftOnl /l;IY.
lalft Maunt mod.rs.
_ PLA attack Oil his HQ. Chiang
Kaj-shek flies from Nanking
to Peking to take personal
command. but his direct
orders to individual diyisiollal
commanders add 10 confusion.
Changchull falls. after defec-
tions from garrison (19th).
Gen Wei's sOl1ie defeated west of
Mukden (27th). Disintegration
ofIO.1T anllies in Manchuria.
2 Mukden falls:
huge numbers ofmell and Ja..IT
weapons and supplies captured.
5 NO\"f,mbn POrl of Yingkow
falls. after only about 20.000
KMT troops manage to reach
it and lake ship somh. The campaign has cost the
Nationalists about 300.000 men and ,"ut resources.
De<:isi,-e battle for Hsucho\\'. ,-ital hub of Ilorth-
southfeast-west railways. commanding mo\"emenl from Peking to
Nanking and somh 10 the Yangtze. Helped by treachery ofKMT general
staff officer Gen Liu Fei. PL4. 2nd & 3rd Field Anuies (Gen Chen Yi).
aboUl 500.000 strong. manoeU\Te to en\'elop KMT Oen Tu Yu-ming's
150.000-strong garrison from west. south and easl. QnraLi KMT field
operatiolls around Hsuchow. by four amlY groups tOlaLiing 300.000
men. are commanded by incompetent political appointee Gell lin
Ch'ih. Early DE'cE'mbE'l", Hsuchow ilself abandoned. and to sOUlh of it
140.000 K...VlT troops surrounded al Suhsiell. where attempt at relief
defeated with great loss (6th).
1949:
Nationalist forces surrender south of Hsuchow (10th): PIA
claim 327.000 prisoners. and tOlal KMT casualties in campaign are
about 500.000. Many prisoners w:illjoin PLA after 're-education'. PIA
take Tientsin (15th). and Peking POth). on which date Chiang Rai-shek
resigns presidency to Li Tsung-jell.
Ff'bI"UllI1'-i\brch General advance by PLA sOllthwards to Yangtze river.
KM:T government under Sun Fo llIove to Calltoll. and attempt
negotiations with Mao Tse-tung. Still director general of KMT pmt)'.
Chiang transfers gold reserves to Fotlllosa. and prepllres Nlltionalist
redoubt 011 thllt islllnd.
AIJlil Negotiations brellk down (19Th). PLA cross Yangtze lit severnl
points. Fall ofTlliyuan: lind of Nanking (23rd),
27 Fall of Shanghai.
JUlIE'-Dl'Cl'lIlbl'l' The rest of mainland Chinll and Inlier Mongolia moe
o\'errun by the PLA against only lighT resistance.
1 Octobn In Peking. Mao Tse-Illllg proclaims the People's Republic of
China.
150ctobf'f Fall of Callion. gO\'emmenl flees 10 Chungking. then
Chengtu.
8 DE'CfoWbn Chiang Kai-shek and leadership wilhdraw fl:om
mainland 10 Taipei. Forulosa.
Nationalist Army Field Organization
CtW Tl.<.lrl = 2 CJ: mxe arrries
kmf. CJIun T(.l,)II = 2 CJ: mxe corps
COp$. C/I(n = 2 CJ: mxe dolSions
l:M'Ul, SNIt '" 2 CJ: rrae lr'Iar*Y
13
THE NATIONALIST ARMY
1937-45
-

Strength, organization and qualities
At the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War inJllly 1937
the Nationalist Anny expanded 10 aboul 1.7 million
men: its official order of banIe included 182 infantry
diyisiollS. 46 independent brigades. 9 canlry di,isiOlls.
6 independent ca"ally 4 artillery brigades
and 20 independent anillery regimenls. A di,'isioll
had (again. officially) 2 infantry each of
2 regimellls: an anilJelY banalion or regiment: an
engineer and a quartennaster banalioll. and small
signals. medical and transport units.
In practice. the pro"ision of support and sen-ice
e1emellls ,-aried greatly from di,ision to di,-ision. as
did their field streng"l. The nerage of a
di\ision as described aboye was around 9.000·10.000
mell: but this only applied to the ten Gennall-trained
di\isions re-organized in 1937. The as
\\-ell as newly raised or temporary di,-isiollS. would
a\-erage only about 5.000 men. Independent brigades
might ha\'e about 4.500 men. while Iheir temporary
equi\'alellls were perhaps
China in 1937 was still a deeply di,ided COlUltry. and
the KMT gO\'emmelll could not rely 011 all its nominal
forces equally. Rebellions and other disloyalties by
yarious regional military commanders throughout Ihe
1930s had made Chiang Kai-sllek '-ery suspicious of a large part of his
forces. The most loyal and therefore best-trained and equipped troops
were approximately 380.000 mell of Chiang Kai-sllek's 0\\11 pre-1934
anny. most ofwhom had been trained by German instnlctors. They were
commanded by graduates ohhe Whampoa Military Academy ill Canton.
which Chiang had himself commanded in 1924. an educated
and politically reliable officer corps for the KMT lUlUy.
Another 520.000-odd men belonged to formatiolls that ,,,ere
traditionally loyal to Chiang. (hough not of his OWII creation. Together
with his hard core, these ga\'e him a strength of900.000 lllell that the
government could rely upon. Beyond these llrmies there existed another
c111SS of so-called 'semi-autonomous provincial troops' that could
sometimes be mobilized in the KMT gO\'el'tllllent's Interest. totalling
perhaps another 300,000 men divided between the pro\'inces ofSuiymm.
Shallsi and Shllnltlllg in the north. lind Kwangtung ill the south-ellst.
The rest of the NatioIllllist llnny was mil de up of troops led by
commanders who. while having 110 real loyalty to
Chiang Kai-shek. were willing to fight him
against the common enemy. Japan. The
quality of these troops of questionable loyalty nried
from \'ery good to extremely pOOl'. For inSlance. the
80.000 soldiers and 90.000 mililia of the fllr southern
pro\'ince of were well-led. equipped and

A NatiONlist unity $Iand$
again$! Communi$!
attJd(s dUling thl Civil War. HI
-.:n Ihlt lI$ual $ummlr·wltlghl
umorm. wilh bltlly pouehn tor
Iolr nugazinn for hl$
M1A1 (hltrl $1111 wllh
!Ill muzzllt eomplnUlor, rarlly
$ItItfl by Ihi$ dati). Thl$ $ub·
maehinIt gun Wa5 onl of thl
rrasI popular of all Importld US
WIt.1pOfl$ and Wa5 eoplltd In loeal
anns faclorln. (Popplrfoto)
14
di\ciplincd: while fbe 250.000 soldicn of Szechuan in fhe sQuth-west
were described u the ,,"orSI-trained and equipped. most undisciplined
and disloyal of all Chinese: Naliouaiisl troops.
During World War llthe five: divisions urGen Stilwell's X-Forl:c (Iatcr.
fhe: NCAC). and some: of tbe: Yuunan-based V-Force:. wen: raised to a
quality largely unknown among the: rest of fhe: Chinese: armies. Eroded
by l:a.'>ualties • particularly among the: trained prc:-1937 offi"'c:r corps·
and by povcrty of resources. and denied the Illodern equipment
provided by the Allies for the: Burma campaigm. IllOSI of these:
formations were: under strength. badly fed. badly cared [OT. badly clothed
and equipped. and badly led. wilh a combal value: comparable: to thaI of
fhe: maraudinii! peasant le\'ies of an earlier century. Historically. China's
brutal military cullllre had ii!iven Ihe peasalH soldier no reward for
victory beyond Ihe opportunity fO pillap:e. and no real emotional stake ill
any calise beyond his own inllllediate unit. CalHion and cunninii! were
admired: self-respect did nOI depend upon initiative and dash in the
allack or endurance in defence. success came quickly they tended
10 fall back: on lhe other hand. even after a headlonp: retreal in the face
of the enemy the long.sufferinii! peasant could sometimes be
brouii!ht back fO their dUfy affer a short respile.
Weapons 1937·45
With an army which quickly rose 10 over 2 million men. and only a
number of small local anenals and arms faclories, the Nationalist army
faced a constant problem ill arming ifs troops. By the early 1930s a
bewilderillg array of rifles and machine guns from all o\-er the industrial
world had been imporled alone lime or olher by the Chinese. With no
central policy on arms purchasing. Ihe various military regions and lhe
virtual warlords who commanded them imported at whim for their own
troops. This chronic lack ofSlandardizafion was only partly addressed by
the outbreak of tbe Sino-Japanese War.
G.n.rallulmo Chiang Kai-sh.k
and hl$ d.puly
P.i Hsung.ftsl (1.f1).
r.vl.wlng hlghofanking
offie.rs in
Chungking, ltU. All wnr
Chin.n Army offinrs'
uniform wllh Brown. b.lts
and, In mosl enn, bruehn
with high Inlh.r bOOIS. Chiang
Is wntlng his version 01 the
ntvle. dr.u with the addition
ot an offle.r's or
OPPOSITE A Hom.
on unlry duty Pihu, Fuki.n
provine., in 19-44. H. wnrs a
basie wlnlfr.w.lglll unilorm with
a US M1917A1 stuI h.lm,,; this
and the v.ry British Mk I
w.r. nOI mueh worn by
troops by this •. This shows
good ollh.
and·shouldlr bandoliers:
nOIf thaI hi bun issued a
knapsack of Ihl Iyp. und only'
by the b.lllr Iquippld unils in
thl (IWIll IB 4045C)
IYW
photogrolpMd in NOvtmtl.r 1,.2
firing ZB25 1i9111 gun.
C*d up in July. 11115. !l<)ys
WOI*l lin••njoy.d only brill
.n;l tl.lore
IliMlg "nll0 III. Ironl; til. hign
.mrrtion in 111. ellln."
AlTrrt I tonSlln!
01 n.w fill"le". Tn.
colou" olin. soldl.rs' winter'
!J3Cl'I uniforms to be
dn 01 rliller
Ih;m til. more Ild.d
By 1937 the predomlullilt rifle of the Chinese
armies was the 7.92llll1l Germlln Mauser 98k
which had been recolllmended by their German
advisers in the ellrly 1930s. The MllUser. imported
in large numbers lind S001l under produclion in
Chinese arsenllis. was commonly knowll as the
'Chiang Kai-shek' rifle. Other rifles based 011 the
Mauser design were also imported from Belgium
and Czechoslovakia. as 'he FN24 and VZ24 in
their nfle and carbine fonns. The older Mauser
Ge\\-ehr 88 was also widely used by China. and was
produced as the Hanyang 88 in Chinese faclones.
Many different types ofmachille gun were also
imported during the 19305 - indeed. China was in
se\'eral instances Ihe only export cus'omer for some of the more obscure
European weapons. If an arms dealer could not sell his wares to the
KMT gO\"efIUllenl. he could ah\1ryS try his luck widl one of the prO\'incial
aouy commanders. The predominant Chinese lig.ht machine gun was
Ihe excellent CzechoslO\-akiall ZB26. imported and copied ill large
numbers. Other models imported included the Swiss ZE70. the Finnish
Lahti. and the SO\iet DP26. Machine guns were always in short supply
and e\'en the best Chinese forces only had aboUl one·lhird the
allocation per di\ision enjoyed by the Japanese 'roops.
The Chinese had historically been poor in modern artillery. and most
field guns were of the light and mountain classes. This shortage is
illustrated by the fact that in 1941 there were only 800 artillery pieces in
the elllire Chinese AnllY. During his early campaigns Chiang Kai·shek
had acquired the habit of keeping as much of the artillery as possible
under his own comro!' to \\-eakeu any po,el1tially mutinous subordinates.
Traditionally the shortfall in cOIl\"entional artillel)' had been partly offset
by the use ofmol'lars of all calibres. The American 75mlll pack howitzers
and 105mm howitzers provided after 1942 were only allocated to the
di\'isions trained in India. and to a fe\...· other hand-picked foouations.
The Nationalists used a number of armomed trains in their internal
campaigns. but only a handful of lighl tllnks and other armomed
vehicles had been imported from Britain. Gemlllny. Italy and the USSR
ill the 1920s-30s. mainly Renault FTi7 tanks and Carden Loyd carriers.
Japan's own light and outdated armour in China was IIsed entirely for
dispersed infantry support: the motley Chinese inventory had little
impact on the fighting. and 1II0St soon broke down or were destroyed,
The performance of the crews ofUS-s\lpplied SWarls and Shermans in
Burma from 1944 proved that when properly trained. Chinese armour
crews were at least a match for their Japanese adversaries.
Nationalist guerrillas 1937-45
Contrary to popular belief. China's numerous anti-Japanese gueo'illas
were nOI drawn solely from the Communist forces: a large Nationalist
guelTilla movement existed for much of the war. In Japanese-occupied
regions such groups were often organized by local KMT officials. or by
Nationalist officers sent from Chungking. These guerrilla groups often
had to operate in areas which were also stalked by hosfile Communist
bands as well as Japanese and Chinese puppet 'roops. 15
The Chinese Army in gener31
W3S pitiruny short of modern
he3vy we3pons, 3nd 3ny modem
equipment W3S inv3ri3bly given
to the unils most IOy31 10 Chiolng
K3i·shek. This 3.7cm Germ3n
P3k 36 3nli·t3nk gun W3S
photogr3phed in 1937, when it
could still oller 3 userul defence
3g3inst J3p3n's obsolescenl
(Joseph T.C.Liu)
Some of the Nationalist guerrillas became well organized, setting up
small-scale local production of anns. uniforms and equipment: but in
most cases. if cut off from government sources of supply they struggled
10 survive. Consequently they were often obliged to throw in their lot
with local Communist forces. either being absorbed by force or
persuaded by propaganda. While KMT cadres would be executed by the
Communists in such cases. the rank and file were welcomed into the fold.
A unit in full b3tl1e gear in
e3rly 1945. Armed with IOC311y
m3nuf3ctured
rifles 3nd 3 few
Thompson SMGs. these soldiers
3re re3son3bly well equipped.
NOle the bl3nkets rolled up from
end 3nd 13shed together to
form no doubl wilh
person31 gear inside: the
shovels c3rried by men in the
righl foreground. Their 3re
3 more 'rel3xed' version of the
ski·lype C3P, supplied to
troops on the Burmese front.
The KMT white sun b3dge
is displ3yed, unusu3l1y. on 3
blue cloth p31Ch.
(US Archives)
NATIONALIST ARMY 1945-49
Strength and organization
The Nationalist army had been reduced in size from 3 million men in
August 1945 to 2.6 million in 1946 as an economy measure, 0ut of this
total about 870,000 were service and logistical troops of little combat
value, leaving a paper fighting strength of about 1.73 million. By late
1946 the field armies were built around a core of30-plus divisions that
had been trained and equipped largely by the US in India and westem
China since 1942. with a divisional establishment of just under 11.000
men. By late July 1945 the US training programme had given 13 weeks'
instruction 10 11 Chinese divisions and had begun training another 22.
and Lend-Lease supplies -
of weapons. uniforms.
equipment and vehicles -
were flooding in.
The fiw divisions of the
New 1st and New 6th
Armies. trained at Ramgarh
under the inspiration of
Gen Stilwell and more or
less fresh from fighting
in Burma. were the best
Nationalist formations. In
fact. so different were they
from the normal nlll of
troops that they were often
mistaken for foreigners by
The civi1i:m oon1l1f1tioll. fllln
THE
16
17
Weaknesses
By September 1948 the Nationalist anny had been reduced to about
1.500.000 men. of whom only about 500.000 could be considered first
line troops. In a period offour and a halfillonths of 1948 the NationaliSTS
lost 45 per cell! of their strength through death or desenion. Just as in
World War II. the yast majority of their divisiolls were of poor quality and
were usuany under-strength: less than half had o"er 50 per cent of their
establishment. The Nationalists had begun the war with a three-to-one
numerical advantage over the Communists in both
men and equipment. which ifproperly marshalled
should haH seen them achieve final victOlY.
However. lllany weaknesses penlleafed the
Nationalist annies frolll lOp to boltom.
By the outbreak of the real fighting in 1946
these annies had been f.,tally weakened by eight
years of deyastating war against Japan. Although
the war inside Chilla had senled down into
something of a stalemate in 1942. this had been
broken by a number ofs.,,·agely fought campaigns.
notably in summer 1944. The Nationalists had
already suffered catastrophic losses in 1937-4\: by
1945 some 100.000 of their Irained officer corps
their elite status was reflected in their nickname -
'The Best Alluy under Hea"en', Howe\"er. their
deployment to Manchuria in 1945-46 wasted
their potential in static defence. These and some
other good unils began the Ci,il War with high
morale. bUI this was soon diluted by bad
leadership. neglect. and the dispiriting effects of
haying to sel'\'e alongside less competent and
mOliyaled trOOps.
Other good fonnations and units did exist.
their quality being dependent on the stewardship
of outs landing indi"idual commanders.
Unfortunately for the Nationalists such able
leaders were few in number. and e"en they were
ofteu sidelined for some perceiHd lack of
personal loyalty to Chiang. The bener forces
inclnded the Kwangsi Annies under Gen Li
Tsung-jen. the Northern Annies under Gens Fu
Tso-yi and Sun Lien-chung. and the North-Western Annies nnder Gen
Ma Hung-ku'ei. The latter included a large number of elite Muslim
ca,-alry who were said to be a match for any Communist unit.
The organization of fonnations during the Cnil War was extremely
loose. and both nominal brigades and di"isions might haH strengths of
approximately 10.000 men. Often the only support element within these
fOOllations was a battalion ofartillery. When compared with its US AmlY
equi,-alenl. a Nationalist diyision had about of the personnel
and about one-third of the aJ1illery. A Nationalist anuy comprised three
di"isions: it was numerically roughly equiYalent to a US corps. but had
only the same artillery strength as a single US di,·ision.
BElOW A Chin.n sOldl,r on
the Burm,l Iront in U" poses
proudly with his US 7Smm "1A1
pxt howitzer on ,In old M1
C,Irri,lge. Thin Ingeniously
dui9ned mount,lin \Iuns, which
could bt broktn down Into sll
Io;lds lor ,Inlm,lllr,lnSporl and
wlr. nslly "Ir·trilnsport,ltllt,
Wlrt ont 01 tilt m"lnstays 01
tht Chln,n utlUtry right
thfough to lht end 01 tht CIVIl
Weighing 3.1111, thty Ilrtd "
14lb HE shtU OUI to ',610 yards,
'.
.
T1'le cre. 01 a
Genn;lll 20mm
.e;aring the 11'35 helm", MoS!
moclHn equipment like tllb \Iun
supplit'd (0 the I.n Glnun.
niMd dirisions thill form'"
the b,lckbont 01111, "rmy in
lU7. "nd .trt d'stroye" In
the I.lrly lighting.
18
had been lost. with panicularly damaging effects 011 the efficiency of the
anny. A high proportion of the remaining commanders were KMT
appointees who owed their ranks and postings to supposed political
loyall)' rather than to professional competence. Such men had no culture
of disinterested national service, care for their troops' welfare. or
collecti\-e mutual solidarity: memally, they were soldiers from a preyious
age of the world.
Chiang Kai-shek was not blind to the weaknesses of his anllY. His
frank analysis of his officers recognized their lack of professional ilills.
tbeir neglect or ill-treallnem of their men, and their endemic personal
corruption. His intentions were fmstraled by senior commanders failing
to co-operate with one another. each protecting his own anuy's assets
like some jealous warlord. unwilling to risk his 0\\11 men (or more
importantly. his equipment) to help a neighbouring commander who
was under anack. Chiang had a gmdging respect for the mJified
command. discipline. and solidarity of purpose displayed by the
COlllmunists. bnt was unable to instil these qual.ities into his O\\n
commanders and their men.
Despite his occasionally clear-sighted \iew of Nationalist weaknesses.
Chiang Kai-sllek began the Ci\-il War blinded by an onr-confidence that
was shared by most of his subordinates. Like a 19th-century Chinese
a11llY seduced by their 0\\11 flags and gongs but neglectful of weapons
training and logistics. they were o\'er-impressed by their riches of Ir\\'
American weapons and \·ehicles. lmpatient to crush the apparently
much weaker PLA... they failed to take the time to train the troops
thoroughly in their use. Much of the modern equipment was neyer
employed to its full potemial through simple ignorance.
As already melllioned. strategically the Nationalists wasted their besl
di\-isions. which had a potential for mobile operations. by nailing them
down to defend lowns. railways and roads while the Communists
outmanoeuYfed them in the coulltryside, Many cities held by the
Nationalists became. effecti\·e1y. prison camps for their garrisons.
Chiang Kai-shek insisted on maintaining the prestige of his regime by
trying to impose his power oYer the whole of China simultaneously. TIlls
was against the ad\'ice of his best Chinese officers and his US adYisers.
who urged that the Nationalists should first cOllsolidate their control of
sOUlhern and central China.
The static campaign in Manchuria and nOl'lhel'll China also had
disastrous effects on morale and popular support, Although welcomed
at first as liberators from the Japanese. most of the troops sell! to that
front were from southern and cenrral prodnces. and when sUlTollilded
by e1usi\'e guerrilla enemies they began to mistreat the northem
peasantry badly. The steady growth of popular support for the PLA led
to increasingly damaging rates of desertion from Nationalist units.
Paramilitary organizations
In addition to the regular anny there were three para-military sel."\ices
responsible for protecting lines ofcOlllmunication and small towns. These
were the Railway Police. Traffic Police, and Peace Presel'\'ation Corps - dIe
latter being by far the llIost numerous. Railway and Tmffic Police wa:e
described colleCliyely by the Conunullists as the 'Communication Police
Corps'. All three of these lightly armed organizalions were easy prey fiJI'
Communist guerrillas and became a ready source of weaponry for them.
A Nationalist dUage llIilitia also existed. but was militarily negligible
except as a source of booty for local guelTillas.
The Peace Preser..alioll Corps \,..·as raised on a local basis to support
dle regular Nationalist anny. While the Railway & Traffic Police were
lunited 10 protecting Nationalist lines of communicalion. the PPC had
a more general mililia role. lis units were assembled into brigade·size
fOimations; though only lightly armed and poorly equipped. these
were regarded by Ihe Conullunists as a \'aluable source of caplUres.
When employed in battle alongside regular units the PPC were regarded
by Nationalist generals as being there simply to make up the lll11nbers.
A...Il agreement regarding the strength of the PPC was reached
between Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Tse-nmg in late August 1945. during
dle period of ostensible peace negotiations. This called for the size of
dle local PPC to be gO\'emed by the populalion of the pro\'ince; no
prO\'lnce's PPC should exceed 15.000 men. and their annamenls should
be limited to pistols. rifles and automatic rifles. This agreement was of
course ignored once the Ci\i1 War broke out. At the stan oflhe conflicl
dIe PPC and other local forces allloUilled to about 1.5 million men.


19

through Ihtlr
.... t1l elOlhtd tor wlnlfr in
.... eotton trounrs.
hts doutllt·l)ruslfd
Tht two ottietrs
(rlghl) h"yt ilddtd shouldtr
to Ihtlr
Thty ....urln'il Iht US·Slylt
puhd nrylet Wilh Iht
. Iht KMT sun
bordtrtd In rtd. In 'il0ld wrulh
(nt H1). Tht
el"lms mtn
lormtr CommunislS.
(US Arehiyul
Weapons 1946·49
Small anus used by Ihe Nationalists included all pre\'iously acquired
Mauser 7.921lUll rifle types. both imported and locally made. Additional
rifles came from among the large number of Japanese 6.5mm and 7. 7nUll
Arisakas captured in 1945. The .3Ocal Springfield M1903 and Enfield
1\11917 rifles had been supplied in large numbers by the USA pre-1945;
brn while significant numbers of Ml carbines were proyided. as far as
is known no Garand MI rifles were supplied. Sub-machine glUIS were
usually either ,45cal Thompsons (imported. or \'arious copies).
Canadian-made 9mm Stem. or the Chinese Type 36 copy ofthe US .45cal
M3 'grease gun'. Lighlmachine guns used during the Ci\'iJ. War were the
Czech-designed 7.92mlll ZB26 and a Canadian-made 7.92nun Brell gun.
TIle mOSI common hea\")' machine gUll throughout the war was the
archaic-looking Type 24. a copy of the 7.92nun Gennau MG08 Maxim.
TItis mix of so lllallY types of weapon taking at least si.x types of
ammunition mllst have made the lives of ordnance officers aud
quartermasters a hell 011 earth.
Roughly speaking. about
30 per ceut of Nationalist
small arms were of US origin.
30 per ceut captured Japan·
ese. and the remainder from
various Chinese sources.
Huge numbers of Japanese
weapons had been captured
in August 1945. including
629.544 rifles and 27.745 light
and hea\}' machine guns.
III their turn. the Nationalists
were to lose equally stag-
gering numbers of weapons
captured from them by the
PLA. Qne US miliHuy source states IbM between September and
Noyember 1948 the NationalislS lost 230.000 rifles to the Communists:
by the start of 1949 the lotal figure had reached over 400.000. ofwhich
at 1easl 100.000 were US types.
The Nationalist artillety was equipped mainly with Japanese pieces.
of which some 10.300 had been captured: among. the more modern US
,gUllS the 75mlll pack howitzer was the most common type. E\'en though
large numbers ofDS I05mm and some 155m howitzers had been sel.ll
to China the anillery in the field still relied heaYily on mountain and
light field gUllS.
Armour was poorly utilized. The Nationalists had only one annoured
brigade. equipped with Stuart M3A3 liglll tanks and cOlllmanded by
Chiang Kai-shek's son. Other armour included more thlln 300 outdated
Japanese captures. and eyen some older lefto\'ers such as the Soyiet T-
26. Any armour not on Ihe strength of the single armonred brigade Wit>
distributed piecemeal among the nrious Nationalist commanders.
Annoured trains were still in use by the Nationalists. in usually furile
attempts to defend their nJinerable snpply lines.
1937-45 UNIFORMS
The ullifonn oflhe Chinese Anny in 1937 was practical. reflecting the
dO\Hl-to-eanh nature of the ordinary fighting man. Parade-ground
smanness was rarely insisted upon ours ide the occasional elite or
bodyguard units. Si.x years of experience in small scale campaigns
against the Japanese on the Manchurian borders had taught die
Chinese how 10 kit out their troops from the limited resources ofa poor
nation, in l.lIility uniforms for both summer and winter conditions, The
high turnoyer of manpower meant that many millions of Chinese
soldiers had to be dressed
and equipped during
the course of the ml',
These huge demllnds are
exemplified by production
figures from 1945, Dtuing
thllt year Chinese gowm-
ment factories supplied 5
million S\lits of sUlllmer
clothing and up to 4
million winter uniforms.
plus 10 million sets of
underwear. In addition.
I million mililaly blankets
were produced (which
gi\'es pause for thought -
was only I soldier in 4
issued with a new blanket?).
Much of the cotton aOO
other material needed iar
the uniforms had to be
imported from India.
In Flbrury 1Ut. til,
uuu a
unit 01 tllroUllh
Ill. SUUIS of Th• .,
u. drnud In wlnln
uniforms wilh gt• ., totton Ski·
caps. Th. Ironl un. <lIf' armld
with Thompsons, ud lilt
Slcond r<llnk with US MI
carbinn ;lind <ll a.lllian Mrt 30
<llutomUlc rlllt. Furth,r b,1ck In
Ill. column ar, min ",mld with
M<lluser ,IfIn <lind Ze26 IIIJht
machln. guns.
20
Summer uniforms
At the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War the Chinese Alluy wore both
a lightweight summer and a heavier winter uniform. Generally speaking_
the summer unifolln was made up ofa light cotton jacket and trousers
WOI"II with pultees. and either a peaked (yisored) sen'ice cap_ a peaked
'ski-type' field cap_ or Yanous models ofhelmel.
The standard summer IUnic during the Sino-Japanese War was a light
khaki cotlon jacket with a slalld-and-faIJ collar. four pockets and fiye
fronl buttons: both the breast and waist pockets had bultol1ed flaps. The
buttons were made of anything from wood to plaslic and e\'ery other
malerial in between. Allhough usually described as lighl khaki_ the tunic
varied widely in both colour and quality. wilh many shades of khaki.
brown and green seen in use. Because Ihe Chinese AmlY relied far more
than 11I0st a1lllies upon dispersed local manufaclure. the I}-pe and
quality of cloth used were as \-aned as the colour. Howe\·er. the basic
design of Ihe jackel does seem 10 ha\-e been adhered to in Illost cases_
Rank patches ,,-ere displayed on Ihe collar. and Ihe soldier's identifi-
calion patch ab<)\-e the left breast pockel (see 'Insignia'_ below).
Most soldiers wore conon trousers. CUI baggier in Ihe thigh than Ihe
caJ( which were confined by pUllees of woollen or other c10lh tied wilh
tapes al the top_ Generally the trousers would be issued in Ihe same
c10lh as the jacket. and seem 10 han faded unifonuly. Long_ ba!Lll)'
shorls were also worn: Ihese came tojusl abO\-e the knee_ and were also
usuaUy worn with puttees. lea\-ing the knees exposed.
Bools were not usually WOOl by Chinese soldiers during the 1937-45
period_ the most common fonn of footwear being brown or black
leather shoes. Other Ihan for parade and guard units these were usually
left unpolished_ The traditional Chinese black can\-as plilllsoll-lype
shoes were also yery widely wom. as they had been by soldiers for many
generations: these were wonl in summer witholll socks and in winter
with white stockings. Soldiers are often seen with a spare pair of cam-as
shoes strapped to their packs. so Ihey must han been cheap and easily
obtainable_ In summertime homemade straw sandals were also WOOl by
yelY many soldiers. either for comfort. to sa\-e wear and tear on shoes, or
because nothing else ,,,as a\-ailable.
The X- and V-Force units which were trained in India and Western
China by the Allies received a mixlUre of British Mid US uniform
clothing. British khaki drill (KD) was the most common_ and could be
made lip of a KD shirt with eifher long trousers or shorts. More often
than not the soldiers continued the practice of wearing puttees with
both trousers and shorts. Many types ofIndian·made uniforlll items worn
by the British in Asia found their way into use by the Chinese. including
woollen pullovers. The Chinese were at the back of the queue for the
new British purpose-made jungle green (JG) uniforms. bUI lIlay ha\-e
recei\'ed the green-dyed K.D c10fhing which preceded these as a stop-gap.
Uniform headgear
The Chinese AllUY of the early to mid 1930s wore two types of cap. a
peaked sep,ice cap being mosl popular in Ihe north and a ski-type field
cap being worn in the sOUlh_ Howeyer. in the Chinese context there are
no hard and fast mles: one unil was photographed near the Bunllese
border in the far somh of China wearing the sen-ice cap in July 1937_ 21
22
1338: sOlcll,rs
with th, famous Maunr
pistol· In this
to JUd'i!' Irom th'
numerous
th, Astra or G,rman
R713 mocl,1
01 fully fir"
01 Itns of thouuncls
wert impon'd b,'o" 1337. Th'
thl
Maunr a wupon,
without
HOWlVtr, fully 'ire
a! 15 rounds ptr Is
absurdly ' i'l Is
almost imposslbl' to maintain
th, aim on a m,n·slucltar'i!"
Inn 2S yuds' r'n'i!'. Th,n
soldi,rs take aim on parade,
without ma'i!nlnu 'in,d, Th'y
mort smartly lurn'cl out
and b'"lr ,qulpp'd than thl
anra'i!' NationaUsl soldl", and
u, almoSi unalnly a boclY'i!utd
unil. Th'I' 'polo'4yp' pilh
hllmlls would pruumably han
bun "pluld by stul hllmlts
lor It avallabl"
non-r''i!ul,tion Iltms as then
hudgur wert by
to impron
thl olth,lr 'lilt
units. $u PI,t, 81, (Rob,n
Hunt Libr,ryl
At the oUlbreak of the fighting in the 110l'lh Ihat month. Illany of the
lroops facing the Japanese still wore the service cap. This came in Slumner
CO!fon and winter wool versions. and had a black or brown leather peak
and chin strap. w-ith an enamelled KNIT sunburst badge on the front. Mer
Ihe \"inual destlUction of the northe1'll Chinese annies in 1937 the sel\'ice
cap went OUi of common use.
By far the most common type of headgear wom by the Chinese Army
throughout the period cO\"ered by this book was Ihe ski.type field cap.
based on caps worn by alpine troops of Ihe German and Austro-
Hungarian annies. The cap had a cloth peak and a fold-down side
curtain. which was usually worn faslened up and held in place at die
front by one or two buttons. A one· button \'ersion was more common in
the early 19305. and the two-bullon \'anety was seen most cOllunollly
from the late 19305 onwards. Field caps were made from a \'anery of
materials. bUl nonnally from light conon for snmmer wear and hea\-ief"
cotton or wool for wimer. The standard KMT enamelled badge of a
white sunburst on a circular blue background was WOOl at the from of
the crown alxwe the buttons. This cap was in continuous service finn
1930 umil the [mal defeat of the Nationalists in 1949. but became 1ess
common after 1942.
Another type ofstiff field cap. based on the German Nazi SA kepi. \\3;
used by some Nationalist troops in the early 19305. This had a leather
peak and a single small metal bullon at the front. again with the
sun badge. This type ofcap was mainly seen worn by soldiers during the
1933 Jehol campaign. and seems to ha\'e been more or less phased au
by the mid 19305. A softer cloth·peaked \"ersion of this cap was WUJ.I
during the 19405. but not \\idely.
Hea\'ier duty \"ersions of the ski·type field cap were wom with die
wimer lUlifofln. and were made of quilted or wadded conon. nlis \\3;
basically a bulkier\"ersiotl of
the summer cap but with a
substantial fold-down side
curtain to protect the
cheeks and neck. The side-
pieces were nOflllally wom
fastened on top of die
crown with a butlon or
tapes. The standard winter
version of the cap. 1Il
woollen cloth. had the smile
IWO bUllons at the front as
Ihe smnmer Illodel. Various
\'ersions were in service wid}
different units: one pattem
with (l quilted lining and no
front buttons was wom by
froops of the 29th A.l.111Y.
Steel helmets
The hislory ofsteel hehnets
worn by Ihe Chinese
Anny in the 1930s-40s is
complicaled by the wide rnnge of types in ser...ice.
especially before 1937. The mnin types used
before 1937 were the British Mk I or Its Americnn
MI917Al counterpart. Ahhough other models
are seen. these two almost identical types were by
fur the most commonly WOI'l1 during the fighting
of 1931-37.
Three other types were WOIll by Nationalist
troops. The firsl was the 'plum blossom' model.
which was based on the Japanese helmet of ...ery
similar design (see Plate my' A second model had
a pot-shalX'd s,},:ull with a brim that ",-as slightly
wider at the front. gi\'ing it the appearance of
haxing a peak: this type seems laI",!Zely 10 ha\-e gone
out of use by 1937. but probably sun.-i,-ed in some
umts. Finally. a third model of distincti'-e Chinese
design (see Plate A3). similar in shape 10 a
flanened Gennan 'coalscunle' helmet. ",-as seen in
use from 1932 until 1937. TIlis model was unique in
shape. but may han been based on the US
eXlX'rimental Model 2A design which ",-as later
denloped into the MI of World War II fame.
The steel helmet that WliS really representati...e
of the Chinese AI'I11Y of 1937-45 was the Gennan M35. This model was
introduced after the arri\'al in China in 1933 of the Gennan training
mission under Colonel-General Hans "on Seeckt. Gennan advisers were
quick to recommend their own country's armament industries to supply
much of the modern weaponry and equipmelll bought by the Chinese
during the 1930s. These included approximately 250.000 M35 helmets
imported before 1936. when all exports of the helmet ceased. They
were used to equip the tell German-trained di...isions which fonned the
backbone of the Nationalist AI111Y, Although the \'ast majority of
Chinese soldiers did not recei ...e steel helmets. those that did during the
period 1937-45 were normally issued the M35. The M35 in Chinese use
retained its field-grey factory paint finish. with a white-sun-on-blue·sky
Ki\ff decal on the lefl hand side: it was identical to the German model
apart from having II different liner.
Another model in fnil'1y widespread use by Nationalist troops was
the French Adrian. which was seen on a few fronts in 1937. After the
initial fighTing. howen!'. most Adrlall helmets were worn by troops in
The south-west of the coulltry. away frolll the main war fronts. In
Yunnan pro\'ince in the far south-west, adjacelll 10 the border with
French Indochina. the local warlord YUlIg Lun imported large
numbers of them. Nationalist Illsignia on the Adrians nried from a
standard KMT enamel badge to a white stencilled sun surrounded by
a rice-plant wreath.
The Allied-supplied soldiers of x- and Y-Forces wore a mixture of
British Mk II and US MI helmets. The fonner was usually wom with
Indian-made camouflage netting. while the latter bore a KMT decal on
the left side.
2 9le aI50 1.9.1 362. 71leJapaneseAfmy 1931-45(1)
AI1hough In th. fl.ld. this mOljor
Is ImmOleulOlt.ly turn.d out in
th. smOlrtut urvlu drus
uniform with brnehu Olnd
riding boOIS. Olnd whit. p..,Old.
glovu • ovt of pIOle•.•nn it
this Is Ol pue.tim. uueiu.
HOlnglng trom nls SOlm Brown.
b.U on his I.tt hlp Is th.
oftleus' drus dOl'il'il.r,
23
Other headgear
Some Nationalist soldiers wore a distinctive cork
pith helmet of polo style. which appears to lla\-e
been nrnished. The polo helmet was smaller
than the standard pith helmets in use widl
European colonial anllies, and its brim was dIe
same width all around instead of being drawn out
at the back to protect the neck. An enamel
Nationalist sun badge was anached to the fronl. A
pith helmet of more cOI1\'entional shape is seen in
newsreels of the rime, and this was sometimes
paillled for camouflage and covered with netting.
The British supplied their 'India pallern' pith
helmet to X-Force during its training at Ramgarh:
it bore the usual K.\fT badge on the front and
had a brown leather chin strap. Reportedly. US
pith helmets were also issued to X-Force officers
after being declared to be 'limited standard' or
obsolete by the US AmlY in 1941, Broad straw sun
or 'coolie' hats were \\"idely WOnt. usually carried
in addition to the steel helmet or cap and slung
on the soldier's back when not in use. The exact
design of the straw hat depended on the region
of China that the soldier (or the hal) came from.
Sometimes these were painted in camouflage
patterns or festooned with foliage: cOIl\"ersely.
other troops decorated them with patriotic
slogans in Chinese script. or had the KMT Slill
badge stencilled on fhem. Some helmet-shaped
headgear made of basketwork were also used (see
photographs 011 pages 33 and 45).
24
A cad.t Mltlury
Is plctur.d on
with Cnch lB21 on his
should.r. His uniform Is mad.
from hnvy wooll.n cloth, and
hn th. disc
on th. 01
Abov. his 1.lt br.nt
pock.t Is th. Id.nllty
nrvlc. and unIt
th. 1.11
appnrs to display th. slngl'
01 .Ith.r or
ncond This cad.t
comu Irom a
rnsoubly •
nott th. 10unUIn p.n
protruding from his
(tWill, CHN
Officers' uniforms 1937 -45
The materials and tailoring of Chinese officers' IIniforms were of a
much higher standard than those of the lower ranks. Officers were
normally responsible for pro\'iding their own IIniforms. and since most
clime from wealthier families this was reflected in the quality of their
dress. Officers \vore a selTice dress of khaki wool comprising a ski-type
cap. a tunic, and either riding breeches with topboots or leggings, or
straight slacks worn with brown leather shoes. Theil' brown leather belts
were of 'Sam Browne' style. and supponed a pistol holster and an
officel>s dress dagger.
Caps were of the same basic paltern as those worn by enlisted men
but ofbeller qualities. depending on the rank of the individual. During
the war a few higher ranking Anny officers were seen wearing the US
officel>s peaked service cap. but these were normally worn only by Air
Force personnel.
The tunic had a stand-and-fall collar. four pockets. and fi\"e brass
front bUllons. Ahhough there were \'ariations of colour. the normal
shade was. in British ternIS. a brownish khaki. or in American usage a
brownish olive drab. Rank insignia were displayed 011 plastic or metal
(ronrin,,<Mi .", JK1g. 33)
CHINA 1937
1: f'rhrll1e, 72nd DI¥, 71h Army a .....p; north Ch""', "U1I1937
2: C ~ , 8&1h Dlv: Sh-.g".l, 1037
3: Priv"'to, 561h DIv; Shan"""'l, 1037
4: Sergeant. 37th DiY. 29th Army; Peking. J u ~ 1137
A

- -
CHINA 1938-39
1: Corporal, 1SUh ON, 12t1't Army, C.,ton, May 1938
2: Privale 1.t CI...; Wuh." Oct 1938
3; Prlva\lll 2nd Cia••, 7th DIY; winter 1939
,
CHINA 1939-41
1: Captain, 14th ArtIllery Regt; Honan, Jan HMO
2; Major, 1!13rd Div, 60th Corp.; Changlha, Sept 1939
3: Regrnenlalalandard·beaAlf, 12th Dlv, 3rd Corps;
st.....1p r o v l ~ , May ltil41
3
c
May 1944
rthern Byrma, 944
BURMA 1943-45 38th Div, New 1st Valley, March 1
l' Private, 112th Regt'oo Div, New 6th Army; y
lance-Corporal, India, Aug 1944
3; Privata 1st ClasS;
D
,
L
,
CHINA & BURMA 1943-45
1: Tank commander, (1111 PTovl,lonal Tank Group; Burma, 1944-45
2; Major-General Sun U-jen, 38th DIY; Burma, late 1943
3: Colonel, US TAG; KU<lmlng, 1943
E

,


-",",""-
. --
-
-.
2 3
~ A ~
,
'"
CHINA 1944-45
1: OSS-trained soldier, ISOUthern China. Aug 1945
2: Guerrilla, ~ Regl, 15th Mabie Column;
Shantung. 1944
3: uncI-corporal; P1hu tnlnlng centre, 11144
4: Privet. hI QaM. New 10th DIY. 46th Co.,.a:
Kw"'lin.luicl'looo". Apr 1945
1
2
3
CIVIL WAR 1946-49
1: Lieutenant, 123<d Corps; ShPr'llIhal, A;K 1949
z: PrtvalB 2nd Class, 4th COtPs; Carlton, oa 1949
3: 2JM:llt, Eng;.........., 7th DIv; ShIt>chiKlw.>ana, Oc11948
.: Vt>lunt_. P.....,. Pnu""vlltion Corps: kllifenD. June 1948

,
Q
H
,
CIVIL WAR 1946-49
1: Lieutenant, 60th D1v; Fe lIM1
2: Private 111I. ClaSs, 207th Youth Div;
Mukchn, Ocll948
3: NCO, 12th Army Group;
StJ,fwallQClli.oenl, NO\I 1948
4: Corporal, 73n1 Almy; Menchun., Nov 19ot1
3

collar p<llches. and personal identification patches were usually worn
abo\-e the left breast pocket (see 'Insignia'. below).
Full-cut STraight slacks were generally WOOl with the ser',-ice uniform.
A popular altel'lHlIive were riding breeches. WOIll with eilher high brown
leather boots or high leggings and shoes. Field unifonns were usually the
same as those worn by lower ranks in both summer and winler versions.
Trousers wom with both seasonal unifonns were often wom wilh pultees
as an altematin 10 the high leather boots or leggings. \Vinler field
clodling was of wadded cotton in blue-grey shades. similar to Ihal wom
by lo\\-er ranks. A double-breasled khaki wool greatcoal had 1"'-0 rows of
&.""1: buttons. An officers' cloak or mamle of khaki \\-oollell cloth had a
deep collar and fiw chest burtons.
Items of US and British unifonns were wom by some officers of the
units trained in India and westem China. These included officers'
nrsions oflhe Brilish KD unifonn. mostly made in India. complele with
Ihe India-panern four-pocket belted bnshjacket. American items wom
by Chinese officers included Ihe short '.M1941' or 'Parsons' fieldjacket
in light oli\'e drab. The wearing offoreign items seems 10 ban been an
individual choice. and in these unils some more Iraditioual officers
retained Chinese unifonns right up to 1949.
Winter clothing
A double-breasted khAki wool greatcoat was seen in limited use.
especially in Ihe mid to late 19305: but for the most part the winter
clothing of the Nationalist Anny was based on the e\-eryday clothing
\\-om by most peasants in China during cold weather. This consisted ora
loose-filling padded ('wadded') jacket of heal")' COtlOIl. Most jackets were
originally dyed a blue colour (roughly the shade of unwashed blue
denim in Ihe West). In mosl cases Ihe poor quality ohhe dye meanllhal
after being exposed 10 snow. rain and sun the blue colour quickly faded
10 a lighter blue-grey shade - this is sometimes described in the Wesl as
'bright' blue_ Matching Trousers made ofhea\")' duty COttOIl. again lined
aud padded. ga\'e the wearer an ungainly appearance. They were wom
with Thick woollen pUllees. and eXIra insulaTing materials could also be
wrapped around the legs and feel. Locally acquired fur-lined boots were
wom by troops ill Ihe coldesl areas.
Specilll cold weaTher clothing was issued To the
norThern Chinese Troops III 1937-38: fur-lined
coats 11ud snrCOlllS of vAriouS types were issued To
11 fortull<lle few. WITh gOnfskil1 being the most
frequenT lining..
Fur- and fleece-lined winTer hats h11d been a
fealllre of Chinese willler clothing since the
inlroduclion of modern uniforms afTer 1910.
During the fig.hting. in llonhern China and
Manchuria in the early 19305 se\"eral types were
used. lined with \"alying amounts of yak. goat.
lamb or rabbit skin. Some of Ihese. with copious
amounlS of fur on Ihe inside and the ear flaps.
ga\-e Ihe wearer a \'eIY untidy look.
By 1937 1110S1 fur hals worn by Chinese soldiers
were ralher smarler and more lUlifonnly made.
Silt Tung in
th. original caption to have
_1111(1 100 (luring th.
lighting on the upp.r Yangtze
rl.... r In May_Junl 1943. Arm.d
with Chlnln h.
wun $Impll cotton $hiM
$hOM$ with
the u$ual canvas bandoller$.
Notl that hi hn a baskltwork
$Un hllml. with thl KMT badgl
on (hi Iront,
33
Gen Sir C l ~ l I d . Auchllll,e.,
Allied C-in-C I n ( l I ~ . Insp.ets I
Chin,n mortar er.w In training.
Tnt wupon IS I us 4.21n
monu. In. uniforms and w.b
.quipmtnt u. British, though
worn Wllh wooll.n pUllIn. In
III. ri';)111 baekifounCl stands I
Chin,n InstrUCtor wurlhg I
Britlsn solaf fopl or pith 1I,lml'
01 Indian plll,rn. (IWIIl INO
3775)
Branch CO/Ollrs:
General Staff
Infantry
Ca\'alry
Altille1Y
Engineers
Commissariat
Medical
Supply Train
Military Police
Regional nlrillliol1s did persist, however.
including black Inmbswool lining in hats worn by
the 29th Army stationed near Peking in 1937.
Another model was WOI1l lhat September by
soldiers of the 'Suiyuall People's Anny'. which
despite its title was a regular Nationalist force
defending SlIiyuan pro\'ince, This hat was made
of wadded cOllon with a peak and padded cOllon
ear flaps. and a black fur section visible on (he
from below the cap badge.
INSIGNIA
Collar patches
The Chinese Anny had ne"er had a complicated
system of insignia. and official ullil or regimental
badges did not exist. Official insignia were limited
10 rank and idelltificalion patches, widl in some
cases a di"isional sign on the ann.
Ranks were USlJ..111y shown by a system of ranK
bars wilh 1·3 lriangles. mounted on coloured
collar palches (see the accompanying chart). Below
general officers' rank the bars and lriallgles were
displayed on patches of lhe wearer's branch colour.
RanK symbols were usually made of either metal or
plastic and were worn on both sides of the collar.
gold
cod
yellow
blue
white
dark red
green
black
pink
divided
Chinese
patch was
number in
of this
brigade
Identification patches
The most important fonn of insignia worn by the Chinese Anny in
1937-49 was the unique system ofidelltification patches. A white cloth
patch was worn above the left brellst pocket. displilying various
information aboUl the wearer and his IInit. A stllndilrd patch was
divided into six panels - a verticlll p1ll1el at ellch side fbnking four equal
horizontal panels. In these horizontal spaces blilck Chinese chilracters
described different aspects of the individulll's sen'ice. The top panel
gan the divisional number and the illdividulll's rank: the second ga"e
the soldier's regiment and batlalion: the third bore lhe name of the
soldier's battalion commander: and the bottom panel ga"e the date of
the soldier's enlistment. The right hand nrtical panel. as viewed.
displayed the soldier's name: the left hand panel bore black rank
symbols. if any were appropriate.
A smaller and simplified version
horizontally in half with the man's 34
Rank insignia, Nationalist Army 1937-46
1511.., ann
ICo'PJI"
1 Gl*l o:JIar paIdl edgea gokl, 3 gokI triangIe$. 2·3 Gl*l patch. 3 gokIlriangIes (r.Ir*s
rdI by dtlelenl gokIlnsignIa 00 CU'I 01 don !*Ie ceeiluD tIDe).
4-5 GI:*l patch. 2-1 gold lI!.lngIes. I-I Branl:I'I<olc:: patch edged gold, 2 gold bars. 3-1
gdd triangIe$. 9_12 patch edgea gold. 1 PI a. 3--lJ gold 1riangIe!;_
13-15 8r.:Wlch-<:oIol patch. d<lfIC Dk.oe Sbipe. 3-1 16-1' Branch--a:JIolr patch.
3-1 gold trtangles 19 cap baOge. sIvef or wfliIe 00 bkie_
characters in the top half. and in the bottom panet his diyisional
number and rank.
Around the edges ofsol11e but not all of these patches were borders
in "arious colollrs. which were either ill the branch colour or related 10
the man's rank. Westem sources haye always maintained that these
showed branch colollrs. but recent Chinese sources now state that a
different system applied. with the borders being blue for all ranks below
field officers. yellow for field officers and red for general officers. Black
and white photographic evidence confuses this issue by seeming to
show officers ",,·ith dllrker borders. Perhaps the trmh is that the tv.-o
systems operated at the Slllue time in different units. Certainly. the
design of the plllch vllried greatly from region to region and allny to
allny. so there seems no plll"ticular reason why the border colour
sequence should hll'-e been cOlllmon to all.
Arm badges
Another fOlln of insignia wom by some of the bener organized annies
was a cloth patch WOI'tl on the left upper slee,·e. which usually denoted
the wearer's di,·ision. These came ill differelll designs but the standard
pattem bore black Arabic numerals for the division and a capital 'D'.
e.g. '128D' for 128,h Diyisioll. These ,,-ere marked on a white oya1. set
on a blue or black background with a while border. In Chinese
characters at the bottom of the patch was wrillen Ihe wearer's dale of
35
36
Cllines. Infantry from Yunnan
watcll sll.lIlng on til. c.ntral
Salwlln rivet ftontln Jun.
1943. All at. dr.ss.d in IIglll·
colour.d colton uniforms and
ImprovIsed backpukS.
willi doubl.d blank.t roilS
surround.d by a wat.rproof
shill.
A camouflag.d Chinn.
infantryman. willi bayon.t fb.d
and Ills Mauser tifl. tucked
und.r his arm, runs Ihrough the
Burmn. Jungl. nur Pyu. south
of Toungoo, In 1942. H. wears
shorts and pUIl.n, and has
a knapuck
roll.
enlistment. Earlier patches of the same design bore black Chinese
characters rather than Arabic numerals to denote the di,-ision. and
these probably continued in use concurrently with the new design.
A simpler and smaller fonn of the di"isional patch wom by some
units was a white field with a black border. bearing in the celUre the
Arabic di,-isiolllllnumber and '0'.
Some patches of the same design as the first di"isional type bore
instead Roman numerals which indicated the war zone in which the
wearer was ser'\"ing. e.g. 'V indicated the 5th War ZOlle. Sources suggest
that these patches may haH been WOOl only by headquarters staff
Unit badges
SOllie units also had their own unofficial badges. usually worn as
enamel pins on the breast pocket flap. Although few examples of
these sUf\·i,·e. and none seem to have been documented at the time.
they were usually round or oval in shape and incorporated the colours
of the national flag - red. blue and white· with e.g. '120' for 12th
Division superimposed. Other units had unofficial doth patches
which would han been issued 011 the whim of
their commanders.
Armbands
The armband had tl'llditiolllllly been used in
China to indicate the llllegiance of soldiers.
especially during civil conflicts, III the Nationalist
AnllY they seem only to have been wom to denote
that the wearer belonged to a special unit.
MilitalY police were recognisable by the crimsoll-
pink background to their collar patches. but also
wore a distincth'e armband. This was made of
white doth and '\'om on the upper left arm.
bearing in red the Chinese characters for 'MP'.
Chemical troops had no branch colour of their
own. so were distinguished by a white armband
with red characters Slating their special role.
Field equipment
As for so Illany other llspects of Chinese Anny
practice. the officilll should be distinguished
from the actual. Reguilltions clllled for the
Chinese soldier to be equipped with a leather or
cam'as knapsack. with a blanket fastened around
the sides and top by means of leather straps. A
waterproofed tent quarter which doubled as a
rain poncho was also fastened on top of the pack.
A brown leather waist belt supported three
ammunition pouches on each side. holding
charger clips for the Chinese Yersion of the
Manser 98k rifle. These pouches were similar 10
the Gennan MI933 model. and at least initially
were manufactured in Germany. Other equip-
ment included a can\'as 'bread bag' or hayersack.
a water boule (which came in two models). and a
gas mask in a long metal canister with horizontal
ribbing. The bayonet scabbard hung from the
belt by means of a leather frog.
This field equipment was worn by a limited
number of Chinese troops. mainly from the
Gennan-trained di\'isions that were \-irmally
destroyed in the fighting of 1937-38. For the \-a5t
majority of Chinese soldiers the typical equipment
included a pair of cam'as anullunition bandoliers.
one worn O\'er the left shoulder and the other
around the waist O\'er a simple leather belt. A
simple cam-as haHrsack might carry the soldier's
entire personal gear. Cam'as chest pouches. to cany
one Gennan-type stick grenade on each side. were
also widely worn. An impro\'ised backpack was
often made by stowing the personal kit in
a blanket. rolled from both ends until it met in the
middle. then lashing the two rolls together. In
1lL.1lly cases a rolled shelter quarter or groundsheet
was attached round the sides and top of this
improvised pack. and pairs of sandals 01' shoes
and/or a plate or mess tin are often seen fastened
to the back. A simpler 'horseshoe' blanket roll
WOIll around the torso was also comlllonly used.
The haversack. chest pouches and homemade backpack were easily
produced at a local level. but the average Chinese soldier would IH1\'e
considered himself lucky to be issued with them. Various types ofwllter
bottle were also issued. the two main models being based on those used
by the German Anny. Widespread use was also made of any captured
water bottles. and some had been imported from Japan before the
outbreak of war.
The forces trained by the Allies in India for the BUlma frolll mostly
recei\'ed standard British 37 pattern webbing equipmelll. much of
it locally manufactured and generally of rather flimsier materials and
construction than rhe lJK-nL.1de originals.
A lont Chlnnt stntry
ovtr a stction 01 tht
Burma Road In 1U4. drtsstd in
a waddtd cotton winttr
with normal lI<;1httr wti<;lht
ttounrs and puttns.
Adtlan patttrn htlmtt. His kit
Includn a
bandolitrs twO stiCk
<;Ittnadt pouchn.
37
Armoured crew uniforms
The Chinese Anny had only a smaU llUmber of armoured in
1937. and these were not grouped in large units as they were in oilIer
anllies. but dispersed in support of infamry. Armoured crewmen were
ne\"ertbeless issued with their own unifonns and equipment. and these
- like Iheir \"ehicles - came from "arious foreign sources. Before large-
scale Allied assistance from 1943. armoured crewmen wore a mixture
of Gennan and hal ian clothing. All wore simple one-piece linen
overalls, which were probably supplied from Ilaly. T\\-o types of crash
helmet WOnt pre-1943 were Ihe German 1937 and the Italian fibre
model covered with black learher. A number of Soviet T-26 light tanks
were supplied to the Chinese in the 1930s. and these probably arri\"ed
with supplies of Russian black overalls and brown leather crash
helmers. After 1943 all new Chinese armour was supplied by rhe US
and the crews were issued wirh US herringbone twill overalls and fibre
crash he Imels,
Militia & guerrilla uniforms
During rhe Japanese invasion various local auxiliaries fought alongside
the regular aOllY as village guards. coast guards and town militias,
dressed in quasi-milirary 01' civiliml clothes. Where unifoI1ns were nor
available the militiamen wore patrioric armbands and badges on their
own clorhing. Helldgellr was more often than not the straw coolie hat.
Qne coastal plltrol force in Kwangtung province. were issued with coolie
hats made in the sallie shape as the British steel helmet. Nationalist
guerrillas gained no benefit of concealment by wearing civiliall clothes
-Japanese anri-guerTillll oper1ltions routinely im'olved rhe killing of any
ci\'ilians found in the target area.
Unifonns were often manufactured in guerrilla-held territory.
howe\'er, and one foreign obsen'er noted a unit which produced its 0\\11
summer and winler uniforms as well as heavy overcoats and shoes.
Better unifoolls would ha"e been resen'ed for the 'regular' guerrillas of
the more aCli\'e and Illobile bands. rather than being made for second
line Village SelfProlection Corps fighters. Any a\'ailable fireanns were
38 employed, with the Mauser C96 'broomhandle' range ofsemi-automatic
Th' eaw of M3A3 liglll
tank of III'
Group In nOlt lilt
applleaUon of wlrt mull 10
auaeh camouflagt. Tilt driver
and lIuli gunner wnr US
Ovtralls willi fibft erull
1I,lmtts goggln. Tlltir
tank eommandtr lIu Britisll
1(0 Shirt and lIis light _lIa_i
eonon Chlnnt Army litld
A Chlntn is
piellHld /U$I c:ompltling
jump n of his
Itaj"'ing by lilt Amtric:n OSS
In Jun, IUS. Wlltn proptrly
tulnld and for lilt
n,ragt Chlntn rteruil madt
an Uetlltnt solditr. Howtver,
lh' Vail 01
eonserlpn .,rt nOl .
• tll elolh'd. w'"ltd••tll
eaftd for or well ltd. and thtir
ptrtorman"t during World II
and Iht Civil Wu
r'fl,eltd lllis ntgltel by Illtir
olfletrs. (US Hnional Arehivesl
pistols being fin"oured by unit leaders - as much for the cachet imparted
by a pistol as for its useful firepower. Others had to make do with
hunting guns. da-dao swords and enn bamboo spears.
UNIFORMS 1946-49
A ulhn portly major 01 Ihe
US-Ied TrainIng Advl$oty Gro",p
based al K",nming, wearing a
superior qualily COllon tunic
ski-type cap. We has Ihe
",sual collar rank patchu. an
chUI 10 palCh,
and Ihe 1.f1 shoulder palCh
of Ihe TAG· Ihe KMT sun
superimposed on red While
sltipu Is" Plait Ul.
His revolver 10 be
Ihe shon-lind US nOI .•SUI
Coli Army Sputal.
(US Archlvu)
The unifolllls \vOIll by the Nationalists during the Ci,il War were a
chaotic mixture of old and new. Althongh new uniforms had been
introduced after 1945 a large number of Nationalist troops still looked
identical to those who had f1l"St fought in 1937. In the aftermath oflhe
Japanese surrender the Chinese and US go'·efllments concluded an
agreement whereby large US surplus uniform and equipment stocks in
the Pacific thealre could be purchased at knockdown prices. Huge
stockpiles of equipment of all kinds had been built up on the Pacific
islands in amicipation ofOperation 'Olympic'. the projected im'asion of
the Japanese home islands ill 1946. Needless to add. many of these items
ne"er reached Ihe ordinary Chinese soldier. since they were diwned
and sold Oll by corrupt officelOS and K.\IT officials. Howe'·er. any pre-
1945 US Anny or Marines unifonn item could and probably did find its
way into Nationalist sen·ice.
Indi\"idual unils would still ha"e relied upon the influence or open-
handedness of their cOlllmanders ill the mailer of clothing issue. and
some officers had the means to clodle and equip their units better than
others. While Ihere was a marked lack ofstandardizatioll. units did tend
to wear the same types. As wilh the pre·1945 amlY. there were distillci
sumlller and willler unifonns. The summer unifoml was again in ligln
cotton in Yarious shades of khaki and was worn with either the old ski-
cap. 1946 model peaked cap. or steel helmet. Winter uniforms were
usually of grey wadded cotton WOIll with either a peaked cap or new
model winter hal (see below). Very few mentions of Nationalist
uniforms are found in eyewitness reports of Ihe lime. However. John
F.Melby in his book Mandate From Heal"€11 nOled during a visit to the
headquarters ofGen WangYao-wu's 96th Anny that the discipline and
general condition of the men he saw on parade indicated a very well
led unit - although about half the llIeu were ulltlrmed tlud velY
few htld steel helmets.
Headgear
The ski-type field cap continued in used throughout the Ci,il
War but was gradually replaced by other types. Prominent
during 1946-48 was the US sUlluner/tropictll peaked service
cap in light khaki. either stiffened or with its stiffening
removed to make it 'crushable'. This cap was worn in summer
and wimer alike. but was often adapted for cold weather.
These impro,·ised willieI' hats were produced by sewing
woollen ear flaps (0 the band. wom tied up aboH the crown
in wanner weadler. Although described as being of US origin.
lUany of these peaked caps may Ita"e been copies
manufactured ill Chinese factoties. Other types of US surplus
caps were also worn. including the soft fatigue cap and seHral
types of baseball caps. 39
During th Civil WU.
cr.w pr.pu. th.lr
Chinn. Typ. 24
gun. Iht 10UI
copy of th. old. bUI
MGO. Mulm. whiCh
was uud right up 10 U". Th.y
3rt 311 drnud in Iht n.w gr.y
winl.r clolhing. 3nd Iht h31
with nr CUI,OUI$ In Ih.
(s.. Pl31t H21; th. No.2 hu
woolltn glovu.
The US 1\11 st('('1 h('lmH was imported in IMge Ilumbers and was one
of the most common models in lise. During the Civil War the
insignia was usually placed at the from rather lhan the left hand side.
The German M35 was still seen ill sen·ice ulllil Ihe end of the war in
some regions. e.g. Shanghai in 1949. but it seems 10 haH been more
commonly issued to the "anous paramilitary units. The old 'plum
blossom' helmet was still in limited sen·ice al the start of the Waf. GiHIl
the parlous state ofsome Nationalist units. any anilable type would ha,-e
been pressed imo sen·ice. Large numbers of Japanese M32 helmets were
certainly worn by Nationalisl troops. although not 011 the same scale as
by the Communists. Some Japanese helmets had a KJ.IT sunburst badge
attached 10 Ihe front. and if these were not a"ailable then the Japanese
Anny five-point slar emblem would lun'e been removed or defaced.
Second model Japanese cork sun helmets were also widely worn.
especially by support troops. wilh the brass star emblem
'Model 1946' winter clothing
While mosl Nationalist soldiers continued to wear the old blue-grey
wadded clothing. a new and more unifonnly manufactured suit of grey
c10lh with a padded lining was also worn in large numbers and seems
to ha"e been produced in stale workshops. Although no official date
for Ihis item is known. it did appear after the stan of the Ci,i1 War and
was probably introduced in 1946. In 1949 units of rather hastily
enlisted Kc\1T troops are often pictured wearing this smarter padded
jacket and trousers with a distinctin new model winter hat (see Plate
H. and H2 for the hat). The matching trousers were often worn
without pUllees. The faci that Ihese last-ditch conscripts were well
uniformed suggests a considerable stockpile of these garments. Large
units are seen wearing Ihem. suggesting mass production at least in the
last year of the Waf.
A padded grey cottOIl double-breasted grealcoat was also issued to
some soldiers. either with or without fur collars. The Japanese sailcloth
winter coat with detachable sleeHS and nIT collar was also worn: Chinese
workshops may well haH copied it. ahhough substantial numbers of
them must ha"e been capmred in 1945.
40
Insignia
In May 1946 the rank
system in the Nationalist
Army was changed,
basically 10 conform with
lhe US system. Although
lhe new insignia were seen
in lise by some officers
during lhe Ci"il War. most
officel'S and other ranks
continued to wear the pre-
1946 sequence illustrated
011 pag.e 35. The following
insig.nia were worn on the
shoulder straps of Ihe
\Unic:
Special Ranking General = 5 gold stars forming a circle
General of the Anny = 4 gold stars forming a square
General ., 3 gold stars forming a triangle
Lieutenant-General ., 2 gold stars
Major-General ., I gold star
Colonel ., 3 gold plum blossoms fonning a Iriangle
Lieutenant·Colonel ., 2 gold plum blossoms
., I gold plum blossom
Caplain .. 3 siln:r bars
Lieutenant .. 2 sih"er bars
2nd LieUiellant .. I silnr bar
Warrant Officer .. I sih"er bar
Under the post-1946 system the branch-of-service colours were
replaced by a syslem of gold metal badges:
Staff .. crossed balons
lnfalllry .. crossed rifles
C3yalry .. crossed sabres
Anillery .. cannon
Annour .. lank
Engineers .. castle
Signals ., crossed flags
Military Police ., crossed pislols
Quartennaster ., wheel
Officers below general rank wore Ihe branch de\"ice 011 Ihe left side
of the collar with a gold plum blossom 011 Ihe righl side. Generals wore
a plum blossom on both sides of Ihe collar with no branch insignia.
Piping on officers' unifonns was red for general officers. yellow for field
officers and blue for company officers.
Officers' uniforms
The mixture of pre- and
post-1946 lInifonns was also
evidelll in the dress of
Nationalist officers. Officers
had a beller chance to
acquire US uniforms. :lIld
photographs suggest that
the decision (0 do so was
often an individual choice,
Photographs of officers of
the same units show some
wearing ski-caps and pre-
1946 field lInifonns while
comrades wear post-1946
US-type uniform. The
difference. perhaps smpris-
does not appear to
ha\·e depended on the
age of the indi\·idulli. and
may ha\"e been a question
ofwealth.
NUJonJlisl SOldl" Jlm,d with
J Thompson SNO 'ilurdln'il
J d,j,elld 'ilfOUp 01 CommuniS!
prlson'rs: th, Civil WJr wn
nOI J continuous urin 01
CommuniS! vletorln. th,
NJllonJl1sl$
notJbl' sueensn. Th' sotdi,r
wurs IUI-lln'd CJp.
winll, eIOlhln'il. Jnd sum
10 b' llood IUlh,r boots. It
would ott'n Un bun difficult
to IIl1lh' "dv'rurln
np,el"lIy U Ih' Communisls
somllimn WOII
NJtlonJIlSI unllolms.
IUS 'hllon"l Archlvn)
41
Paramilitary uniforms
The unifollllS of the various paramilitary and militia forces were usually
indistinguishable from those of the regular anny. The PPC and the
other militarized police and militia had a low priority for new uniforms
and weapons. Photographs suggest that most PPC soldiers wore the US-
type khaki peaked sen"ice cap along with nondescript winter ,grey or
summer light khaki unifonns. Police units were usually seen in dark blue
unifollns with either peaked caps or the German M35 steel helmet.
July 1141: w.1I
turn.d-out $oldl.r$ 01 on. of
Ill. Youth Dlvi$lon$.
$Iloutlnll
Th. Youth Divi$lon$.
form.d Irom $tud.nt voluntur$,
w.r. th. but
troop$ $IHI r.laln.d $om.
olth. old f.rvour 10$1 by th.
majority of Chiang Kal-$h.k'$
$01(11'[$, Alllh.u m.n han
bun hu.d with eaptulfd
11I32 $tlll h.lm.t$
Willi add.d KIIIT .mbl.m$,
and hn. bun lucky .nough
10 r.ctlv. US doubl.-buckl.
boot$, (Tim. & Lif. Plcturul
42
THE PLATES
A: CHINA 1937
A1: Private, 72nd Division, 7th Army Group;
Peking-Suiyuan railway, China, August 1937
This pnvate of one of the formations which took the brunt of
the eorty fighting against the Japanese IS wearing what is
often described as the 'Northern Chinese' unifoon. His
peaked service cap, of German shape, is made of light calion
with a brown leather peak and chin strap His tunic and
are made from a slightly diff9fent shade of light khaki
colton, and hIS puttees from strips of the same cloth His very
light equipment is limited to an ecrty type of Chinese water
bollle, and magazine pouches for hiS German MP 28-11 sub-
machine gun; thiS was imported in large numbers by the KMT
government. The leather pouches, with a pocket fOf a loading
tool, are supported by both the belt and a neck strap.
A2: Corporal, 88th Division; Shanghai, 1937
The best German-trained divisklns of the Nationalist Army
were sacrificed in the brave but futile defence of Shanghai,
and the 88th was one of these As a member of one of
Chiang Kal-shak's most loyal divlslOfls this soldier is as well
dressed and equipped as the limited resources of the KMT
government allowed HtS German M35 steel helmet has the
white-on-b1ue sunburst decal on the left side. Below his rn
collar patch can just be seen the edge of his cloth
idenliflC8tlOfl patch gMng details of his unit, enlistment date
and commander His large canvas waist pooches carry
magazines for his Czech-made ZB26 light machine gun.
A3: Priv.te, 56th Division; Sh.ngh.l, 1937
This steel helmet IS of a type pecull(ll" to the Chinese AIrrr'f
and seen most. often on thtS front Roughly resembling a
'flattened 001' German helmet, It was crudely made and did
not always conform to exactly the same shape Some but
not all had the sunburst badge embossed on the front. The
fest 0( the soldier's light summer Uniform is unremarKable.
The apparent blanket rollover his left shoulder is in fact
made from '¥6y cotton and contains his food supply. His
canvas haversack accommodates hiS few personal items,
and because of his lack of a canvas bandolier it also has to
hold ammunition for his Hanyang 88 rine.
A4: Sergeant, 37th Division, 29th Army; Marco
Polo Bridge, July 1937
The 29th Army were statklne<t in the Vicinity of Peking when
fighting broke out with the Japanese This soldier belongs to
one of that army's elite 'big sword' units, which were
slaughtered in large numbers when they tried to allack
Japanese troops emplaced With machine guns; some troops
were seen going into action with their sword in one hand and
a pistol in the other. This sergeant hos his blue-striped red
rank patches with two gold triangles on lhe collar 01 his light
collon tunic, and the usual KMT sun badge on his field cap.
As well as his kXitl 'Chiang Kai-shek' copy of the Mauser
98k rifle and bayonet he is also armed With a two-handed
da400 fighting broadsword which he carnes in its leather
scabbard on his back These large chopping swords
featured in many of the propaganda photographs 0( the
lime, but Iheir prac!1C81 use was naturaUy limited; they were

,-

a throwback 10 the waJ10fd penod when S8'0Ellai 1II'lii...s had
elite "dare to dl9' urwlS armed With ltws weapon The simple
persooal equlpmenl comprises a couple of canvas
BrmJUnllJOn bandoliers worn at shoulder and waist.
B: CHINA 1938·39
81: Corporal, 154th Division, 12th Army; Canton,
May 1938
A membef of an eI,te bodyguard unit, this NCO is wearing a
smart woollen unlfOflTl with regulation collar and chest
patches, with a non-regulation 'polo'·type pith helmet.
Unusually, this lXlit has also been provided With knapsacks,
A of Ihl 29th Army some 12151lnctlve
on his light COllon offlcer's unllorm. HI hn thl
on his letl collu, with one gold on 1'11I0
Sll on his colour. Howlver. on the
right hi pin-on '29A' lor
29th Army. This lorm sums 10 be unilful in the
record. havi bun plcullar to thl
staff of this army. The major alSO has an unusualtrianllular
cloth patch thl conventional idlntlflcation patch
on his Iitl brust. burlng '29A' In black bllow what
sums to bl symbol. His 10 patch appufS to
be borderld in Yillow, ud thl letl vIMlcal panel burs thl
singll 01 his I Roben Hunt Library)
of unknown origm, worn complete With a rolled and strapped
blanket The 7.63mm Mauser C96 senes of seflll-8utomatic
pistols, with their distInCtive wooden ho!sterfdip-on shoulder
stock, had been very popular III Chlna since the 91riy 20th
cenIufy. They WEIfe WIdely cOpted by 1or9lQfl
notably in Spain and ChIll8, Ifl 9n'm and 45ca1 as well as
7.63mm. ThIs SChne1IfeuefselectrYe fire vet'SlOfl (i.e capable
offully aulomallC fire, and Ifl fact ongmaled by Astra III Spain)
look either 10- or 2O-rd detachable magaztneS; it is ooIoaded
here, but the IUTlet"OUS Ie6Iher bell pooches Ml dearty for
2O--fddps
82: Priv.te 1st Clns; Wuh.n, October 1938
A merrber 01 the gamson oflhts strategic city, scene of a
decistYe aclion Ifl 1938 His steel heIrnEM doseIy resembles
the 'plum blossom' model Ifl use by some Japanese troops
in the eBl1y 19305. It has a KMT badge mounted on the front,
and IS fastened by means of dw1 tapes Ifl the Japanese
fashion_ HIS light khaki cotton tllfltC IS worn With shorts and
puttees, and he has been lucky eooogh to recEllV6 a new par
of brown Ieo!hef shoes BaeXpacks were virtually unkno\.vn
in the Chinese AArrf, aoo he carnes t.s kit in a roughly made
havefSBCk. The scabbarded bayonet fragged to tvs belt is for
tvs German Karobmer 9& nile - one of the less popular
types in service With the Chinese, but almost artI available
rille in 7.92mm was imported dunng the 1930s in an attempt
to supply the large army.
Tllis soldi,r pholo';lraphtd In
1937 carrln tht maslyt
traditional t1roaClsworcl,
which was widely und during
Ih. lirs! ytHS 01 Iht Sino·
JapantSf WH' nt Platt A•.
Around his waist a broad brown
Inth,r Ilttt supporttd by a
cron strap carrln ammunltloll
pouches lor his Maunf pistOl,
whose distlnctln bun un Just
bt sun protruding Irom Its
wooden holsltrlStock In front
01 his righl hip • , .. Plait B1.
Tilt IUlll luthlr pouch slung
untidily blhind his Iitl Shouldlf
is unidlntilild. His helmel Is
lithlr BritiSh Mk I Of US
MU17A1.IJonph T.C.Llu)
43
44
B3: Private 2nd Class, 7th Division; winter 1939
Taking part in the Nationalist WInter offensive, he wears
typical Chinese cold weather clothing. Of heavy collon, it is
thickly padded and tined ('wadded') but does not show
exterior stitching ('Quiltll'lQ'); originally blue, it has faded in
use to a grey shade It is worn with puttees, and Chinese
s1ip.on cloth shoes 0II9l" thld( stockll'lgs His BiitJsh Mk I Of
US M1917A1 steel helmet has the KMT SlXl stenciled on the
front. Apart from the rougI'lty made name patch above the
breast pocket he has no insignia EQuipment is limited to a
canvas bandolier, a slung water bollia Of ha\l8fS8Cl( hidden
here on tis nght SIde, and a ChIlese ISSUe gas mask in
its uoosually long metal canIster - thiS presumably
accommodated e spare tlltElf? The ight machine gun is a
FIIri;h lahb Saloren18 M26, one of many types in
the 1930s. China was the onty expon customer for this
lfiOOlllf1ulble but stlXdy weapon, wtMch was converted to
Hl2nvn frOfll the FIYlIsh 762mm; it continued in use
the lMOs.
C: CHINA 1939·41
C': Captain, 14th Artillery Reglmenl; soulhern
Honan province, January 1940
TRs officer wears the same flf!!1 wadded collon winter
lriform as the ()(her I'8Iits but of a bener quality - most
officers could afford 10 hove their IieId unrfOfms made up by
local lailors. His chest palch IS of the SImple twQ..paoel type
and has no coloured boldel He wears nondescripI grf!!1-
brown woollen puttees and otfic&r's blad; shoes. His collar
lid. insigrlO are on the blue backflound patch denoting the
lIftillery branch His Mauser prstol hangs from a strapped
COII9f around its hoIsler/stock BInoculars were purchased
privately, and like many items aCQuired 1M the 1930s may well
hove been made 1M Japan
C2: Major, 183rd Division, 60th Corps; First
Battle of Changsha, Seplember 1939
Perhaps a battalion commander, this Infantry field officer
wears standard officer's service uniform in a pala brownish
khaki woollen material, with a stiffened ski-type cap in the
same cloth. The colours and matenals of officers' uniforms
varied greatly depending on local ConditionS. His 10 patch on
the left chest is bordered 1M yellow, wtuch is row believed to
show that he is a fl9ld officer The stralQht-eut slad(s could
be replaced in the front Ina by breeches wom WIth puttees,
lopboots Of leather IegglOQS. Fl'OOl his sam Browne belt
hangs the office(s dress dagger Of dirx, whICh was for pt.WIy
decorative purposes and shows the German influence on
the Chnese AIfrr.t of the , 9305, these were QUite highly
decorated on the scabbard, and had a KMT SlXl on the hilt
C3: Regimental slandard-bearer, 121h Ol\llsion,
3rd Corps; southern Shans! province, May 1941
As a regmentaI standard-bearef on parade thIS corporal is
wei tOOled out and 1m been lSSlIEld WIth the best available
uniform. I-ts ski-eap, IIJ1lC and trousefS ere made from finely
woven cotton in a brown-khakl oolour, and whIte parade
gkwes and a sam Browne belt complele what IS a
particuIar1y smlIf1 riorm IOf the Owlese AIfrr.t. The plastic
lid. IlSqII8 on tis c:c*lr show a SIngle tnangle 0II8f a dar1I
blue k1e on a red background As wei as the ldentilicallon
patch on t"Is left breast he 1m a dMsIonel patch on the left
sJoove: on a w1lite 0\/81, a black ArabIc "20' for 12th 0iIIIsi0n,
set on a dark bkJe Of black baclong on a Iargef white patch,
with t"Is date of eNislmenl 1M ctlI'lese characters along the
oottom. Chilese fvrrr.t standards were 81 of the same basic
design, differenced here by the unit details in black
characters on the white ver1IC8I panel IkIIt standards usualy
had a yellow fringe when possible Smaller guidons used as
company and other sub-unll lIags were about hall the siZe of
the reginental standards
0: BURMA 1943·45
01: Private, 112th Regiment, 38th Division,
'New 1st Army'; northern Burma, May 1944
This US.trained and Allied-eQUipped soldier 0( Gen Stilwell's
X-FOfce has a US M1 steel helmet with the KMT sun deall on
the left side. His British 'khaki drill' shirl is worn IJlder a
button-neck these appeared in both drab khaki and
grey shades. Much of X-Foree's - and the British Army's -
uniforms and eQuiprnent issued in the SE Asia theatre was
made in India. The KO trousers are confined by khaki woollen
puttees in the usual Chinese fashion Boots seem rarely to
have been issued to the Chinese troops by the Allies, and
most are seen wearing straw sandals or lightweight shoes, like
this soldier. He has British 37 pattem webbing eQuipment with
an 08 pattern water bottle carriecl in an open strap holder.
A jubilanl soldi.r of C.n Slltw.II'S 8rtllsh·<:loth.d X·For<:.
<:.I.br31.s Ih. <:rossing 01 th. lanai rlnr In lh. Hukawng
nOrlh.rn Burma, in Mar<:h 19U, H. Is w.aTlng Indian·
m3d. KD ov.r3l1s ov.r 3n urtu Shirl: lh. onr311s hln a
singl. brnsl pock.1 3nd a fly front, anCl w.r. dnlgn.C1lo
b. worn for g.n.r31 dUlln as w.1l U by mOloriud and
umour.d lroops. Chinn. troops In InClla w.r. gr31.lul for 3
b.ll.r 1.v.1 and sundud 01 fl.ld .qulpm.nI than lh.y had
.v.r b.lor. r.c.iv.d; lor .urnpl., InCllan-mad. mosquilo
hoods would han bun a w.lcorn. nov.,ty.
Chinese soldiers were usually issued with this US 'Enfield'
M1917 rifle, and commonly carried the bayooet fixed
D2: Lance-Corporal, 22nd Division, 'New
6th Army'; Hukawng Valley, northern Burma,
March 1944
The designation 'new' was usually applied to divisions and
Iargef foonallons which had lakElfl the nOOlbers of the rnalY
Chinese fonnatlOtls cJestroyed in !he fIrSt years of the Sino-
Japanese WfJI. ApM from t'fs Chinese puttees and shoes
this junKlf NCO (who displays no flSi!pa) is dressed exactly
fike B British soldier III Bl.rma III 1942, in KD shirt and shorts,
B British Mk II steel heWnet With netting and foliage
camounage, and 37 panem webbing equipment His
weapon is the Bren, outWardy the standard Bntish section
Iighl m&ChIne gun, but here a vanaooo in
Canada by Inglis in the standard Chnese HJ2rrrn calibre.
These saw WIdespread seMee lI'\IlI 1949.
03: Printe 1st Class; Ramgarh training centre,
Bihar, India, August 1944
This soldier undergoing trell'llng at the CtJnese centre n0rth-
west 01 calcutta IS dressed III BntISh KD with the addition of
ChInese lis Ideolllkauon patch res a blue border
and bears his Ul'llt and personal details in ChInese
characte.s The India-pattern plIh hemet _ one of several
<i1ferenl typeS of Bnllsh solar lop ISSU9d _ bears the KMT
badge on the front. His webbing IS 1rQan.made British 37
pattern, made from a coarser matenal With rather fragile
brass fittings Thompson sub-machine !1JIS had been
popular III ChInese seMee lor rmny years, but this new
M1AI IS trom US stocks
E: CHINA & BURMA 1943·45
E1: Tank commander, (1st) Provisional Tank
Group; Burma, 1944-45
The Chinese anooured IOfce in Burma was equipped with
US Sherman M4M medium tanks, StlJBrt M3A3 light tanks,
White seout cars, and Bnbst! UrVvetsal carriers. T<ri:
crewmen were drawn from dlfferElflt provinces of China and
were one of the few examples of soldiers trom different
rBglOOs serving together The crews' clothing, like their
tanks, was provided by the US. ThiS commander is wearing
a US hemngbone tWIll (H3D one-piece overall suit, as
issued to mechanics, and the tanker's fibre crash helmet
The only Chinese items are his homemade straw sandals,
which must have been quite comfortable in tha heat of a
tank in tropical conditions.
E2: Major-General Sun Ll.jen, commanding 38th
Division; Burma, late 1943
General Sun Li-jen was a graduate of the Virginia Military
Institute, and one of the most able of the Chinese
commanders, He led the 38th Division in Burma in 1942, and
after its retreat to India during its re_equipmoot and re-
training In 1942·43 He fought again in Burma in 1943-45,
latterty in command of the New 1st Army General Sun
favoured simple, soIcfierty uniforms; he is wearing the US
Army first pattern M1942 olive drab HBT two-piece fatigues.
Apart from the KMT sun decal on the len of his M1 helmet,
his only inSlgl'll8 BfB his mBjOf..general's gold one-star rank
patches fixed to the open lapels 01 the jacket. His brown
leather 'rough-out' boots BfB standard US Ar'my issue, as is
the Colt Mt911A t 45ca1 seffil-8utomatic pistol holstered on
his M1936 web pistol belt. Apart from US weapons, Ctinese
This rnolull-loo_inll soldier squints through th. sights
of his TV\M Z. Hille: Ih. r.urud swutlh on th. brus
Qri.nUI good luc_
symbol. Th. <jIunn.r hn a IInlt on th. l.ft sinn
of his light SlImm.r uniform. a buhtwor_ sun
h.lm.t. with a or elOth KIIIT on top of his fl.ld
eap. (IWIII, PlP Zutel
officers were alll'led WIth PlSloIs from C8nadian and most
Euopean arms
E3: Colonel, attached to US Training Advisory
Group; Kunming, 1943
This colonel at the lr"BlIllng area lor Y-Force (Y for YIJ'"I"a'l)
wealS standard Chnese Army officer's urufoon in one of the
many differing shades of khaki cotlon used for tailoring
officers' clothmg. Although not VISible here, the brass
butlons bore the KMT sun deslQn Besides the usual rank
and identification patches - the Ialler bordered in yellow for
a field grade officer - he displays on tis left shoulder the
sign of the US Training AdVisory Group, worn by US and
Chinese personnel alike, lis breeches are worn with brown
leather leggings and officers' shoes as an alternative to
officer's riding boots
F: CHINA 1944-45
F1: OSS-tralned soldIer; southern China,
August 1945
The US Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner to the
CIA, trained a limited number of Nationalist troops in
China towards the end of the war Some aSS_trained
troops were issued with US tropical uniforms, but the
majority seem to have retained their Chinese clothing, like
this simple khaki cotton uniform and slip-on fabric shoes
His US· supplied kit is limited to an M1 helmet, web
M1923 cartridge ben, and a .3Ocal Brownin9 M1919A6
machine gun. (This adaptation of the tripod_mounted
M1919A4 medium MG, with a blPod, shoulder stock and
pistol grip. was rather heavy in its Intended role as an
infantry squad/section weapon) The Chinese troops who
were trained by US and BnlJsh instructors during the war
often went 00 to become the Nauonalist Army's best units
during the CIVil WfJI, 1946-49
45
46
F2: Nationalist guerrilla, 43rd Regiment,
15th Mobile Column; northern Shantung
province, 1944
This guemlla tighter belongs to lhe 2,000-slroog elite
regiment of a 10,OOO-strong force . a reminder that
'guerrillas' were not alWays members of small, ragged bands
dispersed around the countJYSIde. The 15th Mobile Column
was a very well organized formation, and had 20 lactones
produdng all typeS of sman arms. Uniforms waB also
produced, and this lUcky fighter has B nev..ty issued blue
wadded cottoo WlnlS( undorm that has not yet had time to
fade His equipment is the same as thai worn by many
regUar soldiers, and indudes a couple cI cmvas baodoIiefs
and chesl pouches lor suck grenades. Such German-type
grenades were made ., smaI arsen;js all over CNna, and
can oIten be clistJng\ashed by the.. carved wooden
shafts. As a bodyguard to the ooiI's oorrrnander, Yu-min, this
man IS well armed WIth one of the runerous Ctinese copies
of the Thompson sub-moctwne gun
F3: Lance-corporal; Plhu military training
centre, 1944
This yooog NCO receMng combat tralring al the PhJ cenlre
i!;, wei kltted out. He has CO\/9fad tis Iiglt khaki cotton ski-
type field cap WIth foMage camoutIage. His rotJ!t1 cotton
tunic and br89mes and puttees are all of the sane doth.
Many soldlElfS found the famaliar homemade straw SMdaIs
nue comfoftable than boots or shoes; !hey were cool in
surmer, and octuaIy gall'El a better grip in mud l)lusuaIy,
he has a rssue Iea1her knapsack and blanket roI,
with the wooden shaft of a small pick Itvust oodef its straps.
A canvas haversack and a watElf bottle llfe s100g to tr; len.
hlp, wttere his belt supports lhe bllyooet frog; tr; brown
ammunition pouches are local copies of the German
OIiginals The carbine is a Belgian FN24, one of many
Mauser·type rines and carbines In 7,92mm that were
imported during the 19305,
F4: Private 1st Clus, New 19th Division, 46th
Corps; Kweilin·L.ulchow, April 1945
This soklier in sooth·west China is on example of
the diverse sources of Uniforms and weaponry during the
waf. He has II klcalIy made Uniform in a grass-green shade,
with shoulder straps and scalloped pocket flaps. I-is insignia
include a SImplified divlslooat patch on lhe left sleeve. The
KMT badge is displayed on his helmet, of lhe Freod1 Adrian
model worn by II oonber of Chinese units from lhe mid-
1930s - thiS, despite the fact that lhe 19th Div is described
as being supplied by Itte US (note his M1923 cartndge belt).
FIJther evneoce of the cosmopolitan Mue of Chinese
prOClSement is provided by his BeIglan FN fwIe 30 heavy
automatic nne.
G: CIVIL. WAR 1946·49
G1: Lieutenant, 123rd Corps; Shanghai, April 1949
This officer IS weanng 8 Y9fY faded example of an olive drab
US Amrf SUfJ*lS M1943 combat JllCket and trousers, with a
palf of US Am'rt double-buckle boots t--r.; field cap is lhe old
fashlOOed ski type made of t9lt khaki colton, with the usual
KMT badge. He has a palf of war booty Japanese
officer's binoculars, and a US M1g36 pistol belt and
suspenders Desprte ItS lnmeciate resemblance to lhe old
Mauser C96, his prstoilS IIllaet a Conadl8fl-made 1r9is Type
1 YefSion of Itte Belguln M1935 FN Browning Hi-Power,
caffied IIlSIde 8 Mauser-type wooden holster/stock fixed to
the belt by II canvas hangef
G2: Printe 2nd Clus, 4th Corps; Canton,
October 1949
Even in the very Iasl days of lhe CIVil WPI this soldier,
shipping out of Cantoo for FOfIT'lOSII, has a surprisingly old-
fashioned appearal'lCe The trousers of his US Army surplus
khaki colton 'Class C chino shirtsleeve uniform oce confined
by puttees; and he wears II captured Japanese cork sun
helmet, seen in quite widespread use dunng the waf. The
brass five,polnt star badge of the IJA has been removed but
not replaced with a KMT sun. Many soldiers wore these
basketball·type boots in canvas and rubber, eithef imported
or locally made, His only equipment is the American M1923
cartridge bell. This Johnson M1941 semi-automatic fine,
though not laken up by the US Anny, was exported to
several countries, It IS unclear if the light machine gun
version was also acquired by the Nationalists,
G3 2nd L.ieutenallt of Engineers, 7th Division,
Shihchiachuang, October 1948
The 1946 uniform regulalions included a Il9W system of
rank and branch inSignia which followed the US ATmy
MajG.n Sun LI-j.n lsn Pial. Ul, pholograph.d during a
mnling with G.n Fran_ 0",,..,,111 olth. 5307th Composit.
Unit - 'M.rrill's Maraud.rs', On this occasion th.
command.r olth. Chinn. 'N.w' 38th Diy was wuring
a US Army Ii.ld ju_.t, a 8rltlsh JG Shirl and swuur and
KD slac_s. and a right _ha_l s.l.typ. up. G.n.ral Sun,
on. olth. most aDI. Cfllnn. eommand.rs, w.nt on to
I.ad tfl. N.w ht Army In tfl. 8urmn. adnnc. 01 UU·45.
lM.rriWs Maraud.rs Anoei"tlonl
model. This officer wears the new US-type peaked service
cap with a new woven officers' cap badge featuring an oval
foliate wreath; the white-on-blue sun was sometimes
outlined with a red ring, but this was not universal. On his
service tunic the Engineers' fomess branch insignia is worn
in brass on his left collar and a plum blossom on the nght;
his silver US-style rarj( bar is pinned to the shoulder straps.
He retains the tradJllonal identlficalJon patch above the left
breast pocket. Slacks seem to have been the most
common trousers worn WIth the 1946 uniform_ The Sam
Browne bett supports the commonly seen US-supplied Colt
M1911A1.
G4: Volunteer, Peace Preservation Corps;
Kaifeng, June 1948
TlVs is a merrtler of a SO,OOO-strong fOfce of PPC and oIher
auxiIiaIy lI"VIs comrruned 10 the battle of Kaifeng, which
lasted from the end of M9y 10 the beginning of.kJly 1948.
PPC volunteers had no reaIy distinctive uniform; ttWs man is
weamg a hoIy-green tll'll<: and trousers with bro.Yn woolleo
puttees. I-ts cap IS the standard KMT type but made from
war booty Japanese mdorm cloth Black canvas shoes -
here, a laced type _ were still worn by many Na1looalisl
troops alongside Imported boots EQUIpment is mIflimal,
with brown canvas bandoliers and 8 haversack 10 ClIfTY tis
persooaI gear The second-line status of the PPC is
demoostrated by his eIdefIy captured Japanese 6_5nm
Type 30 carbine
H: CIVIL WAR 1946·49
H1: Lieutenant, 69th Division;
February 1947
Tris officer pICtured durwlg the W\fItar of
1946/47 IS wearing the new f¥9'f padded
winter uniform which appeared eOl1y In the
Civil War, for offIcers n had shoulder
straps. Old-style 10Slg'lIa of rank and
identity are still worn, and the chest
patch has the blue border flCM' believed
to indicate company officers, His
peaked service cap IS a US surplus
model, with the new officer's cap badge
in metal He has acquired a pair of
US Army Jungle boots - thoroughly
inadaquate for winter, but at least allowing
extra insulation to be worn inside, Like many
Chinese soldiers he has equipped himself
ffOm captured Japanese stocks, WIth a map
case and on 801m Nambu Type 14
semi_automotic pistol.
A young N3tlon311$1 n3v31
inl3nlrym3n on unlry duty
during lh. Civil W3t,
w.3ring 3n old
fnhion.d-Iooklng
pUhd $Irviu c ~ p ,
Mor31. In Ih. N3VY
wn low.r Ih3n In Ih.
Army, 3nd corruption
wn p3"icululy rit.
3mong UV11 offic.r$.
(Rob." HUn! Libr3ryl
H2: Private 1st Class, 207th Youth Division;
Mukden, October 1948
The Nationalists heKI suffered enormous losses during their
campaign in Manchuna, This young volunteer soldier serves
with one of two brigades of the 207th which were len to
defend the city of Mukden by OCtober 1948. He is dressed
in the new grey winter uniform, the new model winter hat has
ear rut-outs in the naps, surrounded by extra padding_
US-suppHed basketball-type boots were popular, although
most soldiers had to take whatlhey were gIVen or could buy
for themselves on the bIacX market ThIs soldier's basic
equipment includes a Ie6ther belt on to whICh he has
fastened locally made canvas pouches WIth tape-and--toggle
fastening, to hold spare magazrleS fOf his Chlnes&made
T ~ 36 copy of the US 45ca1 M3A1 'grease gun'. TlVs sub-
mactine goo was produced al the governmenl 8fSeOaI in
Mukden.
H3: NCO, 12th Army Group; Shwangchiaochi,
November 1948
He wears the ~ wadded colton WW\ter ooform WIth
puttees and traditional canvas shoes. HIs M1 helmet has the
KMT sun badge on the front, although the M1 was supplied
in Rge numbers !here were 0lMlf enough 10 go round, and
many captured Japanese and older CtwIese helmets were
stiI used IflSIgf'II8 on his Jacket would be limited to the
simplest bIack-on-whlte doth name and 00Il patch OYer tws
left breast pocket. He carnes Ihree stick grenades In a doth
carner from tws belt. I-ts oRy Olher equlPffi80t IS 8 canvas
bandc*lr crude/y adapted 10 take spare maga2nes for tws
US "'11 cartline. These weapons were SUppfiKllfl qUIte Rge
numbers, and (as In most aUlilIas) were popular for their
lightness and handiness HoNever, II'l the Korean W..
of B couple of vears later there were complaints
(again, as In mosl BlIIlies) about the lack of
stopping power of its short .3Oca1 round -
essentially, a pistol cartndge. Some Gis even
claimed thai Its bullets sometimes failed to
penetrate the heavy padded jackets 01 the
Chinese Communist troops.
H4: Corporal, 73rd Army; Manchuria,
November 1947
This member of a newty anived division sent to
Manchuria as reinforcements wears uniform typical of
the Nationalist rank anc! file during Civil Wei winters.
His wadded cotton Jacket and trousers
are dirty and worn A simple black-on-
white 10 patch on the left chest is the
only inSignia. HIS US Army surplus
peaked service cap displays a
larger than usual metal KMT
badge. Footwear IS a pair of
soft black Chinese shoes worn
over thick white stockings
V8lY large quantities of Jap-
anese arms and equipment
were used by both sides
dunng the Civil W<'r, this
soldier has an unwieldy
old 65mm Arisaka Type
38 nne, and Japanese
brown leather ammunition
pouches on his belt.
47
48
IN D EX
zrmourtd tmO'lO 38. 38
AU<:hmlta. Gm SIr C\.nldt 3-1
Chmg T><:>-lirl. M.wJ S
Cbtn Yi. Gm 12
Cbmgr..".no.Gm 11
C'bt:nn>ul.t. Gal CbR 7, S. 9
0n2ag Kat-SI:llt 14
.md aI'illI7n 4. 7. 10. I&. 19
.md IC\IT U. IS, IS
md'il'oddW.. D 7.1.9,12
""'" m'il. 'lI7n 3.4-5. 100-12
m2fI .md «:llInI S
ChmdiIO 1-9
a..-e-.,I\lAml)'(CCP) 1.4-5,1.10
ClImnt l\1l>OlI2blot hrtys«""-·ana
comm"""nol 38
...,.......,.
tqWpmf:l1l 36. n, 37
bm<IolJon 15. n
bmocubn +I, CI. GI
p" n::a<b. +I, B3
l,ll
tn>pWb 3. 1S.}6. 43• .$6. BI. f3
m'Inn 24
10.37, +1-5. 0
foar.\nr 21
boots d. .wi. 47. G2. Ii:!
<m\':ISlo!o::ln 21.4S.·I1.Fl.GI
double-buckk boots 42
JW:tgl( boots 41, HI
IitullmnU Gl
<>fticm; 24, H. 45. El-3
5lm>'uod.aI.52U3,45.£1
.... 33
15-16.3&·9.46. n
M.dge." 21·4,39-40
boqy pe.ked 6
C3fI)(IOIfl>go: 46. F3
cap badges 3. 16. 19
fur hal' 33-4
'..' ....n:xlel willter hall 40.40.47. H2
officers 24
pe>ktd '"''ICe 19. 21·2, 39. 42. 47. 47.
At. 03, HI
11.12.16.20.21-2.39
smrrltld 22
r./nV,' luI, 24
Jualschelmetl
btl,."." n·}
Adrim< S. 23. 37, 46. H
b2!J:tm."{d; son be\mel. 24, 33. 4S
Bnti\h Mk D 23.45. D2
'cMl«uttle' 23••2,A3
cod; ,m btlmel. 40, 46, G2
2J. 40, 4-1, 45, 47, 01. FI, H3
42
!.OS 4, 17, 23, 40, 42, A2
MI917AI 15,23,4-1, B3
pith 22, 24, 34, 43, 45, BI, 03
'plum1>l<:>uan'lllO<Iel B, 40, 43, B2
IdliKoO!lim!.n., (\944) 9
Wi.lgw.a 3.34-6,35,39,40-1,43
""" md Mmchurit 5
md W. (1937-41) 3. 5. 6-7
KDomiI1tml (K!.£I) 4-5,7. IB.-12
u T""'l'''''''' G<:Il 6. 12, 11
9,11-12
LwPI.3o, G<:Il 11
L'lIC11'1h, G<:Il 12
L'uf.... Gm 12
'I..oa, 4
;\11:1 H""g-ku·ft. Q:lI 11
MaDel.."", 5. 10-11. 11. 18
MaD ToH1IIIl': -4. 12, 19
10
39
9.46
lIlih:s.a 38. 41
Nl><lDah>I Arm}'
cq:....nDm< 18--19
Slrmgth. QEjl.Zltiz:otiuu md J.l.. 14,
16-18,38
Army: subImir\
hi PraI'isIaa.1I Tmk Group 45, E1
lId Corps, 11Ih On........ 44. C3
4th CCIIpS 46. G2
1Ih AIm}' Group, 72Dd On'isnl 42, AI
1IhDn........ 4-1,46-1. Bl,G3
11IhAlm}' 43. BI
11IhArmy Group 41, Hl
14th Anilkry 4-1, a
19Ih Army 4l
l71hDn'islw 41-3,"'4
46dI CDIpS, NN- 19Ih Dn'ision 46, H
S6Ih Di\'islw 42. Al
6OIhCOlJ", 183rdOn'isnl 4-1, C2
69th 47, ill
7lrdAfmy 41, H4
881h Onls>oo 42. A2
IBn! Corps 46, GI
1S4!h DI\'NOIl 43. Bl
I!lAnny 16-17
38th I)jvj"oo.. 111lh 44-5, Dl
6th Anny 16-17
2200 Di1.;"", 45, m
l'i'lional.L" My 47
1'i.liOfLlli'l YOUIh Di\;>JOO' 42. 47, H2
l'iCo. 47. Hl
cOlJ'OI'II, 42,43,47,."\2, BI. H4
45.46, m, F3
olIIc<n 14.11-18.19, 24-B. 41
aptrins 44, a
46.47, GI, HI
IfLlJOl-gm=l. 45, U
1fLJJl>E" 1l. 19, 44. C2
Op=tion 'lb=doJ' 8-9
OSs.-mw.d ...kl>o-s 45, FI
18-19.47,G4
I'ft Hsiml-m., Q:lI 14
Pn>pl<', Libon.uon.-\mIy (Pl."') 4. IB--I2. 16. 41
PICk. Gm le\\1S S
pm.res hi 43. ·41. 81. 03. H H1
pm.res 2Dd dm B3. G1
b!I\;I)' PIlbce IS-19
sngean1S 42-3, A4
w. (1937-41) 3, 5. 6-1
SlIm, Q:lI U'iIlwD 9
SWllbf6s mel SWJdMd.bl:1fCn 44. C3
LtGea JowpIl \\' ('ViDrp J",,') 1-1, 9. 9
Suhm. Gm DmotI 9, 10
Sw Fo. Gm 12
Sw U.,en. Gm 9,45,46, E.!
QIlt C(WllID>""m 4S, E1
tiIIb II. IS. 20. 31.38
TI<I!!ic PolItt 18--19
ImIlulg 45.46, 03, Fl
T\I YL>-lllI:lSo Geo 11
T..., ClD-yWD B
U-GoO&usr.. 9
umfonm 20-34, 39-42
1937-45 20-1
WIlIIllIef -4, 5, 6, 7. 21. 36
"lII[ft" 12, 15,33-4,37,44. B3
1946-49 3!142
13.39
"'1Iller 19,20,39, -to, 40.,41. -41. HI-3
'Sonll<1'll Cbmew' H. -42, AI
us TI'lIIUIIll AdI'KOl)' Group -45. El
Wq Y_lI, GI:Il 39
"":lpOIl$ 1-4-15.19-20
<ll'tlllay IS, 16, 17.20.34
ba)'alets 36. -43, B2
-42-3,43, H4
C<tfbllleS 19, 20, 46, -47, D, G4. H3
drt'ls<t:aggm 23,44, C2
g<m3des 7,46, -41, Fl, H3
38-9
l!\WS 4, IS. 19,40,45,45. n
bght n1Khme guns IS, 15, 19, 10. 24. 44, B3
,ub-rnacllllle guns J.l, 16, 19. 20, 41. 45, 46,
H, D3, F2, H2
pi<>toll
Colt 45, E2
Inglis Type 1 46. 01
l>uu>er 22, 43, 43, 44, Bl, CI
NJlllbu Type 14 41, HI
1t'\'Ol\-m 39
nfles 15,19
Ari'.W Type 38 47, H4
aUlomalk nfles 20,46, H. G2
EnfIeld 45, DI
Hangyang88 12
43, B2
4, 7, 16,20,33. 36
GnI Albeit 9
We u·Huang, Ge1l 8-9, I!, 12
\\"beele<, Geu 9
""Ol1l<1l s.okllm 6, 7
U'ork! U'x 0 (1941-45) 7·10
X Force 8-9, 14, 21, 23, 24, 44·5. 44. Dl
Y Force 8-9, 10, 14, 21, 23, 45, El
The unirorms. equipment history and organization
of the world's military forces, past and present
The Chinese
Army 1937-49
World War II and
Civil War
Ful colour <lftW()O:,
Photographs
OSPREY
PUBLISHING
www.ospreypubllshlng.com
p""",",
UrYivalied detail
Although the Chinese
contribution to Allied victory
in World War 11 is often
oVt'rlooked. China fought the
japanese fmpin" for far longer
than any other belligerent
nation. By the time that the
Sino-japanese War became
absorbed into the wider conflict
at the end of 1941, Chinese
armies had already suffered
huge casualties, and half the
country had been lost. After
japan's defeat in 1945, China
was Immediately plunged back
into civil war between Chiang
Kai·shek's Nationalists and
Mao Tse·tung's Communists;
the latter's victory in 1949 was
to have historic consequences.
This book covers the uniforms,
equipment anti weaponry of
these campaigns.
ISBN 1-84176-904-5
9 U I J ! 1 1 1 7 l U ~ ~

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful