By the start of the Pacific war in 1942, China has been at war with Japan for 5 years since 1937.
Since 1937 the war has claimed about 30 million Chinese lives and half a million Japanese troops.
The Japanese occupy about 25 percent of the country controlling Northern and Eastern China and parts of Southern and central China. Japanese control concentrated on the cities and major rail net links. The countryside was mostly controlled by both Communist and KMT guerillas.
The Japanese had 1-2 million men in China supported by 1-2 million poorly equiped, poor quality and morale Chinese puppet troops(mostly for garrison and anti partisan duty). The Japanese also had lots(when compared to their Chinese foes) of air, artillery, armor and naval(the Japanese had a substantial brown water river navy in China, they even had a river aircraft carrier) support.
The Chinese resistance was in two groups, the Nationalists(KMT) under the control of Generalissimo Chang Kai Shek(also known as Jiang Jie Shi) and the Communists(CCP) under the control of Mao Tse Tung.
The KMT(Kuomintang) had around 5-10 million men under arms. These groups varied widely in quality, morale and equpment thought the KMT overall were very poor in the heavy equipment department.
The KMT bore most of the brunt of the conventional fighting vs. the Japanese.
The KMT were divided in three factions
The KMT central army which consisted of around half a million men consist of units most loyal to Chang Kai Shek. These units are considered the most elite of the Nationalist armies serving as Chang's pretorian guard.. They got the best training, equipment and had the best morale.
It is a little known fact in the west that Chang was a fascist and very anti communist and was an admirer of the German army. In fact, he had many German military advisers in his staff and his army used German weapons and uniforms. When Hitler withdrew the German advisers and military support in 1938 due to Japanese diplomatic pressure Chang turned to the USSR and Joe Stalin for military support(you have to admire the irony).
The Soviets were already militarilly supporting the KMT since the Japanese invasion in 1937. The USSR only gave token support to the Chinese communists. Stalin reckoned that China was the perfect flytrap for their hated foes the Japanese. Stalin thought that if he could embroil the Japanese in a war of attrition in China, they would not turn their attentions on the USSR. Between the KMT and the CCP, Stalin reckoned the KMT was probably the only one who could stand up militarily vs. the Japanese.
The USSR shipped many many tons of equipment and weapons and gave the KMT millions of dollars of credit on weapons. The Soviets also sent many military advisors and "volunteer" pilots. Future soviet generals such as Zhukov and Chuikov spent time as Chang's military advisors.
Soviet support lessened after the signing of the USSR-Japan non agression pact and altogether ceased after Operation Barbarossa in 1941.
The USA took over support starting in 1940.
The second faction is the NRA(National Revolutionary army) which consisted of 2-3 million men. These consisted of units and factions which are loyal to Chang Kai Shek but were not of his making. This was the "average joe" military units in the KMT army.
The Third faction are the Provincial armies. These consisted the bulk of the KMT army with about 5 million men. These consisted of units and factions of dubious loyalty to Chang. Allies of convenience, these were warlord armies, provincial militia, political factions hostile to Chang but not communist etc. Quality, equipment and motivation varied widely from the good quality Kiangsi and Hunan troops with overall quality and equipment equal to NRA units to the very poor quality Sichuan troops who were likened more to bandits and mobs.
The KMT also controlled substantial numbers of guerillas.
Nationalist Weappons consist of the following:
7.63 Mauser C96 Broomhandle. The most popular handgun in China, the Chinese both imported and manufactured their own version of this pistol.
Hanyang 88: Poor quality copy(sometimes even dangerous to fire) of the German Gewehr 88. 7.92 mauser.
Gewehr 98: Imported German rifles used by the KMT central army.
Arisaka 38(6.5 mm) and 99(7.7 mm) rifles. These Japanese rifles are the second most widespread rifle among the Chinese. The Arisaka 38 in particular was used in large numbers by the Chinese warlords before the war. Captured rifles added even more of these rifles to the KMT inventory.
Czech ZB VZ 26. 7.92 Mauser, 20 rounds. This is probably the most popular machinegun in the KMT inventory, also widely copied.
Type 24 ; 7.92 Mauser. Copy of the Maxim Machinegun chambered to 7.92 Mauser.
Also Japanese machineguns(mostly captured but the Type 92 machinegun was also widely used before the war)
The KMT armies were all poor in artillery, heavy Artillery(german made) was reserved for the KMT central army. A regular NRA XX fielded only a few mountain guns usually. The provincial armies were even worse, mostly using mortars as artillery support. The KMT central army also used German Pak36 anti tank guns.
The KMT armies were also poor in armored vehicles. In fact, only the KMT central army used them in any number and they were usually not in the front lines but used to protect Chang.
The best tanks they used in 1942 were Soviet T-26, BA-20 armored cars and German PZIs in small numbers.
By 1942, the Chinese still had a small air force, bolstered by the Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers. Planes used was a hodge podge of U.S. p-40, Soviet I-16 Rata fighters and Tupolev soviet bombers. The KMT never really had a big air force but it was kept alive by constant infusions of shipments of aircraft and Soviet volunteers along with U.S. pilots. While the Japanese usually had air superiority, they lost a lot of aircraft over China.
The Chinese communists CCP consists of 3-5 million men with only a quarter being full time troops. They were mostly guerilla troops and were strongest in North China were they controlled the anti Japanese resistance. The waged a guerilla war of hit and run and avoided conventional battles(since they got hammered during the Hundred Regiments offensive in 1940 losing around 200,000 men). The CCP troops were overall good quality and highly motivated but had very poor equipment with their weapons being mostly captured KMT and Japanese weapons.
The situation in China as of 1942 is one of stalemate. The Japanese have mostly stopped their offensives in China in order to concentrate on their offensives in the South(in Burma and Southeast Asia). The Japanese troops in China are second class Japanese trooops as their best troops have been sent south . Another incentive for the stalemate is the Japanese being defeated in their third try to capture the Chinese city of Changsha(losing around 40,000 men)(in Central China) and the KMT focusing their attentions to destroying the CCP.
As for Talents and parahumans in China. Officially the first talent manifested in 1940 but there have been unsubstantiated reports of talent manifestations dating back to 1937. During the siege of Shanghai in 1937, the Japanese cruiser Izumo was heavill damaged by what Japanese witnesses said was a comet like fireball coming from the city of Shanghai and slamming into the cruiser. These reports were not substantiated and the damage on Izumo was attributed to a lucky bomb hit from a Chinese plane.
Chang Kai Shek himself was very interested in Parahumans ever since the first parahuman appeared in Germany in 1936. He was aware of the German Special Department A(from his still close German contacts) and wanted to form his own parahuman unit.
By 1942, there have probably been tens of thousands of talents who have manifested in China(5 years of war will do that to you) but most of them are independent.
In China, the talents were known as Jins(definition Martial Power, necessary demons etc.).
The Japanese Unit 731 was quite active in China even as far back as its inception in 1932. In 1938, Unit 731 became interested in unsubstantiated reports of Chinese parahumans and tried to capture them only being successful in 1941 with the capture of the Chinese talent Zhao Zheng though a lot of its records were lost in the aftermath of WW2, it is rumored that Japanese parahumans were active as far back as 1938. By 1942, there are Japanese parahumans in China but they are heavilly outnumbered by the Chinese. A surprising number of Chinese talents actually fought for the Japanese willingly.
Special Pacification Division: These are KMT controlled Chinese parahuman organization. This division was created by the Zhong Tong or the KMTs Bureau of Investigation and Statistics(The KMT secret police) under the direction of its head Dai Li(also known as the "Beria of China" and the head of China's Blue Shirts fascist organization). It was created in 1940 and inspired by Germany's Special Department A. The Special Pacificaton Division was quite secret and by 1942 consisted of around 1000 talents in its roster. The division did not really research into the workings of how to create talents or powers but served as a recruitment agency for talents to fight for the KMT. Recruitment was done first by volunteer then if this did not work, coercion by force or blackmail or any means was done on the Chinese talent. In fact, Chinese talents were forcibly captured and inducted into the XX. Those who were too stubborn were executed. Talents who fought with the communists were immidiately executed upon capture. The Division talents were mostly based in Kunming as bodyguards to Chang Kai Shek himself(owing to Chang being paranoid). Chinese talents in this division would see little action, in fact their majority of their actions was in fighting the Chinese communists instead of the Japanese. The XX was also close with the U.S. OSS and Section two. In fact, there were some U.S. section 2 talents advising the Special Pacification XX. As a show of support for the Allies, the division sent token numbers of talents to fight in Burma vs. the Japanese.
CCP: The Chinese communists by 1942 had about 5000 talents in its ranks. Though they are not organized as the KMT they operated with their respective guerilla unit. Mao himself is aware of the Special Pacification Division(through spies in the KMT) and would like to organize the talents in the CCP into one unit but his current circumstances make this very difficult at best. The Chinese communists however would form large units of talents during the Chinese civil war 1945-1949.
Others: the vast majority of Chinese talents were independent, many fought the Japanese. Some were bandits who set up their own petty kingdoms or preyed on the civilians or even fought as mercenaries for all sides. There were some Chinese mad talents too with Jiang Shi being the most famous. Chinese talents either fought in small groups or with their military units. many of those who fought with the KMT were protected by their military units(Chang was loathe to fight a civil war within the KMT during a national crisis). While the Brotherhood may be the most famous Chinese talent group. The largest is said to be the 100 Immortals(they numbered actually around 50) who functioned as a independent warlord army which controlled a large area in Hunan province and fought all sides. There were several notorious talents such as Emperor Li which controlled a valley in Sichuan(he dressed as the Chinese emperor of old and was quite powerful, super strength, can call lightning and had hypercommand. as well as small number of right hand talents and a large army of mundanes, the KMT effectively ignore him until 1945 right after the war, the KMT kills him and destroys his kingdom with a large offensive. He made the mistake of vying with Chang as leader of China. The mad talent Jiang Shi who haunted the city of Changsha and looked like a 8 foot tall rotting corpse with rotting green skin and red glowing eyes.(had various powers with the most prominent being animating huge numbers of corpses in the area).
The Chinese talents effectively balanced the military power of the Japanese in China and was disuputedly a major reason why the Japanese was stalemated throughout the war. While there were huge numbers of Chinese talents, they did organize enough to push the Japanese out of China. This and the rising infighting between the KMT and the CCP, The Japanese would remain in control of 25 percent of China by the end of the war in 1945.
Chinese talents though would play a major part in Chinese victories in battles vs. the Japanese after 1941. The most famous being the the Fourth Battle of Changsha in 1944 during the Japanese Ichi Go offensive. The battle involved at least 500 Chinese talents(mostly independent, including the Brotherhood and the 100 Immortals) and 5,000 poorly equiped KMT troops defended Changsha vs. around 100 Japanese talents and two Japanese XXs(20,000 troops) with heavy artillery and armored support. While both sides battered each other to a standstill, the Chinese mad talent Jiang Shi intervened in the fighting with his army of undead(all risen from dead civilians and soldiers from all sides). The climax being a Japanese talent called Daimajin transformed into a Gigantic armored samurai statue supported by various Japanese talents and fought Jiang Shi transformed into a gigantic unspeakable tentacled horror. Only 1 talent(Jade Statue of the Brotherhood) and a few dozen soldiers survived the battle and wrecked Changsha in the process.
Besides Chinese talents, there are also a rise of Chinese sorcerers and shamans which would have a major effect throughout the war though many would be purged during the chinese cultural revolution in the 60s and 70s.
The next and probably largest clash of talents would be in the Battle of Huai Hai in 1948-1949 which would see the clash of around 3 million Chinese troops combined and tens of thousands of talents. This battle would result in the defeat of teh KMT and its retreat to Taiwan and the rise of the CCP to rule China but that's another story.
Last edited by Changsha Tiger
on Sat May 03, 2008 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.