The Long March was a 6,000 mile retreat of the Chinese Communist Army back to northwest to Outer Mongolia and the Soviet Union after it being routed by the Kuomintang in October 1933 to January 1934. In the fifth operation by the KMT, which aimed to encircle and annihilate the CCP, the CCP lost its rural strongholds one after another. With its base areas continually shrinking, the main Red Army had to flee. The “Long March” was aimed at breaking out of the encirclement and fleeing to Outer Mongolia and the Soviet Union along an arc that first went west and then north. Once in place, the CCP could escape into the Soviet Union in case of defeat.
The Long March travelled through Shanxi and Suiyuan where no Japanese troops were deployed. Along the way the Army of the CCP claimed to be fighting the Japanese. A year later, when the CCP finally arrived at Shanbei (northern Shaanxi province), the main force of the Central Red Army had decreased from 80,000 to 6,000 people. The Communists in 1949 rallied to conquer mainland China, and all the Communist leaders of the country after 1949 were on the Long March; by the 1960s, the children of people on the March started to gain power.
- Shuyun, Sun. The Long March: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth (2006)
- Spence, Jonatham. Mao Zedong (1999) excerpt and text search
- Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China (1991), 876pp; well written survey from 1644 to 1980s excerpt and text search; complete edition online at Questia