long march

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long march, Chin., Changzheng, the journey of c.6,000 mi (9,660 km) undertaken by the Red Army of China in 1934–35. When their Jiangxi prov. Soviet base was encircled by the Nationalist army of Chiang Kai-shek, some 90,000 men and women broke through the siege (Oct., 1934) and marched westward to Guizhou prov. There, at the Zunyi Conference (Jan., 1935), Mao Zedong won leadership of the Communist party and decided to join the remote Shaanxi prov. Soviet base. Overcoming numerous natural obstacles (such as towering mountain ranges and turbulent rivers) and despite constant harassment by Nationalist troops and the armies of provincial warlords, the Red Army arrived at its new home in the north in Oct., 1935. However, more than half of the original marchers were lost in this almost incredible trek. Those who survived settled around the city of Yan'an.

See E. Snow, Red Star over China (rev. ed. 1968) and R. G. Wilson, The Long March, 1935 (1971).

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Long March Enforced march of the Chinese Red Army during the war against the nationalist (Kuomintang) forces. Led by Zhu De and Mao Zedong, 90,000 communist troops, accompanied by c.15,000 civilians, broke through a Nationalist encirclement of their headquarters and marched some 10,000km (6000mi) from Jiangsu province, se China, to Shanxi province in the nw. Under frequent attack, the communists suffered 45,000 casualties. The march prevented the extermination of the Communist Party by the Nationalists.