Modern War on an Ancient Battlefield: The Diffusion of Military Technology and Ideas in the Chinese Civil War, 1946-49

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article studies a hitherto unexplored dimension of the Chinese Civil War: the disparity between modern military technology and the conceptual and logistical capacities of the two warring sides. The author argues that the advanced weaponry, received by the Nationalists from their ally, the United States, but often captured on the battlefield by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) forces, proved to be a liability because the Chinese armies, burdened by insufficient logistical capability and antiquated military thinking, were unable to use the weaponry effectively. By examining the intersection of Chinese and modern Western ways of warfare and technological capacities, the author contends that the difficulties experienced by the Chinese leaders in sustaining a modern army created technophobic misperceptions that had a significant effect on their decision-making. In this sense, the implication of this article transcends the Chinese Civil War history and solidifies often-abstract discussions about “modernity” and “tradition”.

Details

Authors
  • Victor Cheng
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Social Sciences

Keywords

  • modernity, Chinese Civil War, revolution in military affairs, military decision making
Original languageEnglish
JournalModern China
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2008
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes