Marshal He Long in 1955
In 1925 He met his first Communists while running a Kuomintang military training school.
He Long with Deng Xiaoping (left) and Zhu De (right) (1949)

Xiao Ke fared no better: although his force initially managed to break through and then reached He Long's Communist base in Hubei, but even with their combined forces, they were entirely defeated and unable to challenge the far superior nationalist force besieging the Jiangxi Soviet, never to return until the establishment of the People's Republic of China 15 years later.

- Jiangxi–Fujian Soviet

He joined the Long March in November 1935, over a year after forces led by Zhu De and Mao Zedong were forced to evacuate their own soviet in Jiangxi.

- He Long
Marshal He Long in 1955

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Mao in 1959

Mao Zedong

Chinese communist revolutionary who was the founder of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which he led as the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from the establishment of the PRC in 1949 until his death in 1976.

Chinese communist revolutionary who was the founder of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which he led as the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from the establishment of the PRC in 1949 until his death in 1976.

Mao in 1959
Mao Zedong's childhood home in Shaoshan, in 2010, by which time it had become a tourist destination
Mao in 1913
Students in Beijing rallying during the May Fourth Movement
Location of the first Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in July 1921, in Xintiandi, former French Concession, Shanghai
Mao Zedong around the time of his work at Guangzhou's PMTI in 1925
Third Plenum of the KMT Central Executive Committee in March 1927. Mao is third from the right in the second row.
Flag of the HistoryChinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army
Mao in 1927
Chinese Communist revolutionaries in the 1920s
Mao in Yan'an
Military parade on the occasion of the founding of a Chinese Soviet Republic in 1931
An overview map of the Long March
Zhang Guotao (left) and Mao Zedong in Yan'an, 1937
In an effort to defeat the Japanese, Mao (left) agreed to collaborate with Chiang (right).
Mao in 1938, writing On Protracted War
Mao with Kang Sheng in Yan'an, 1945
PLA troops, supported by captured M5 Stuart light tanks, attacking the Nationalist lines in 1948
Mao Zedong declares the founding of the modern People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949
Mao with his fourth wife, Jiang Qing, called "Madame Mao", 1946
Mao at Joseph Stalin's 70th birthday celebration in Moscow, December 1949
Mao and Zhou Enlai meeting with Dalai Lama (right) and Panchen Lama (left) to celebrate Tibetan New Year, Beijing, 1955
Photo of Mao Zedong sitting, published in "Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung", ca. 1955
Mao with Nikita Khrushchev, Ho Chi Minh and Soong Ching-ling during a state dinner in Beijing, 1959
Early in the Great Leap Forward, commune members were encouraged to eat their fill in communal canteens, but many canteens shut down as they ran out of food and fuel.
Mao with Henry Kissinger and Zhou Enlai, Beijing, 1972
U.S. President Gerald Ford watches as Henry Kissinger shakes hands with Mao during their visit to China, December 2, 1975
A public appearance of Chairman Mao and Lin Biao among Red Guards, in Beijing, during the Cultural Revolution (November 1966)
A large portrait of Mao at Tiananmen
Mao Zedong Square at Saoshan
Statue of young Mao in Changsha, the capital of Hunan
In 1978, the classroom of a kindergarten in Shanghai putting up portraits of then- Chairman Hua Guofeng and former Chairman Mao Zedong
Mao greets U.S. President Richard Nixon during his visit to China in 1972.
Statue of Mao in Lijiang
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Mao with Jiang Qing and daughter Li Na in the 1940s
Mao Zedong with his nephew Mao Yuanxin, and daughters Li Min (second from left) and Li Na
Mao and Zhang Yufeng in 1964
Mao's calligraphy: a bronze plaque of a poem by Li Bai. (Chinese: 白帝城毛澤東手書李白詩銅匾 )

During the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang (KMT) and the CCP, Mao helped to found the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, led the Jiangxi Soviet's radical land policies, and ultimately became head of the CCP during the Long March.

Mao now commanded 15,000 soldiers, boosted by the arrival of He Long's men from Hunan and the armies of Zhu De and Zhang Guotao returned from Tibet.

Overview map of the route of the Long March
Light red areas show Communist enclaves. Areas marked by a blue "X" were overrun by Kuomintang forces during the Fourth Encirclement Campaign, forcing the Fourth Red Army (north) and the Second Red Army (south) to retreat to more western enclaves (dotted lines). The dashed line is the route of the First Red Army from Jiangxi. The withdrawal of all three Red Armies ends in the northeast enclave of Shaanxi.

Long March

Military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the National Army of the Chinese Nationalist Party (CNP/KMT).

Military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the National Army of the Chinese Nationalist Party (CNP/KMT).

Overview map of the route of the Long March
Light red areas show Communist enclaves. Areas marked by a blue "X" were overrun by Kuomintang forces during the Fourth Encirclement Campaign, forcing the Fourth Red Army (north) and the Second Red Army (south) to retreat to more western enclaves (dotted lines). The dashed line is the route of the First Red Army from Jiangxi. The withdrawal of all three Red Armies ends in the northeast enclave of Shaanxi.
Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek encircled the Communists in Jiangxi in 1934.
Map drawn by the Red Army Command before the Battle of Xiangjiang
The Luding Bridge
Tiger Leaping Gorge in the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain massif of western Yunnan province
A Communist leader addressing Long March survivors

1931: Unofficial founding of the Jiangxi–Fujian Soviet by Mao Zedong and Zhu De.

After the organization of these first two main forces, the Second Red Army formed in eastern Guizhou by unifying the Second and Sixth Army Groups under He Long and Xiao Ke.

Peng Dehuai in his Marshal uniform

Peng Dehuai

Prominent Chinese Communist military leader, who served as China's Defense Minister from 1954 to 1959.

Prominent Chinese Communist military leader, who served as China's Defense Minister from 1954 to 1959.

Peng Dehuai in his Marshal uniform
By his mid-thirties, Peng was one of the most senior generals in the Jiangxi Soviet (1934-1935).
Peng Dehuai commanded the largest communist offensive in the war against Japan.
A statue of Peng now stands on the Chinese border with Korea, on the place that Peng crossed into North Korea in 1950.
In 1953, Peng signed the armistice agreement which ended the Korean War.
After returning to China from the Korean War, Peng became engaged in a rivalry with Mao Zedong over the political future of China (photo: Hou Bo).
Following the Korean War, Peng rose in prominence and is here seen welcoming Kim Il-sung to Beijing in 1955.
During the Great Leap Forward, many farmers were forced to work in primitive backyard furnaces in order to produce poor-quality steel.
Peng Dehuai (1966) was brought to Beijing in chains by Red Guards, where he would be tortured and publicly humiliated for years.

Peng was one of the most senior generals who defended the Jiangxi Soviet from Chiang's attempts to capture it, and his successes were rivaled only by Lin Biao.

Peng himself was placed in command of 175,000 soldiers, organized as the "Northwest Field Army," most of which had been under the command of He Long during the war against Japan.