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

When the Red Army began the famous Long March, Qu stayed in the south to lead the bush fighting.

- Qu Qiubai

It is not known what criteria were used to determine who would stay and who would go, but 16,000 troops and some of the Communists' most notable commanders at the time (including Xiang Ying, Chen Yi, Tan Zhenlin, and Qu Qiubai) were left to form a rear guard, to divert the main force of Nationalist troops from noticing, and preventing, the general withdrawal.

- Long March
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.

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