No Warlord Era?

Jun 2018
23
Earth
#1
Let's say that after the Republican Revolution in China a strong central government emerges(unlikely, I know) and the Warlord Era is avoided. What could be the impacts of this. Could imperialism had ended earlier in China? How much better prepared would the Chinese be at fighting off the Japanese invasion. Would the rise of the Communist Party in China been avoided?
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,255
Brassicaland
#2
The Communist path was tried and succeeded, and the web novel of Red Dawn (赤色黎明) is about even earlier Chinese communist revolution (starting in 1905 and slowly conquering provinces after provinces, which eventually brought China to unification in the 1920s).
As a typical time travel novel, Chen Ke, the protagonist, brings in technologies and concepts from the twenty-first century.
Note that virtually no destruction took place, and Chen Ke manages to kick Germans and Japanese out of China way before World War II.

Then, this may not be what the OP wants.
 
Mar 2012
4,224
#3
Why after the revolution? From hindsight, the Xinhai revolution was one of the most damaging events to have occured in recent Chinese history as far as Chinese political interests were concerned. It put a violent halt to reforms everywhere which was rapidly taking off after 1901; including steel production, railways, battleships, and modern firearms. If the Qing dynasty never collapsed, and the New Policy continued the way it was implemented, China might have caught up to Japan as early as the 1920s in industrial output and military power (and probably surpass Japan in regard to ground forces).

Steel production under the Qing grew from 70,000 tons to 120,000 tons in less than a decade, with the growth rate roughly comparable to Japan's. In 1911, Qing modern steel production of the Hanyang factory was over 120,000 tons (of which over 20,000 was for railways) whereas Japanese steel production was around 270,000 tons (grew from 150,000 tons a few years before), or just above twice of that. After the Xinhai Revolution, Chinese steel production and overall industrialization plummeted. By 1914, the ROC only produced around 43,000 tons of industrial steel, whereas Japan was producing 350,000 tons and still increasing rapidly. By 1931, Japan was producing 2,200,000 tons of steel whereas the ROC, due to civil war was only producing 15,000-20,000 tons.
The Hanyang factory founded by the Qing could also produce 2000-3000 of native made type 88 Mousers (and native made Maxim guns) annually by the 1900s, and the Qing also produced 3,900 heavy cannons, and over 80 of its own iron clad battle ships. The ROC mostly used old Qing equipments, only produced 98 cannons during the war against Japan and cannot make a single battleship outside of importing foreign made parts and putting them together. At no point in history did the ROC produce more steel or weapons than the Qing dynasty in the 1900s. China under the ROC for the first time at least since the 17th century, fell behind India in industrial output and GDP per capita, and even total GDP.

Yuan Shikai's regime performed worse than the Qing in economic growth, but its military was at least updated, unlike Chiang Kaishek's under-equipped army.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2012
4,224
#5
Chiang Kaishek never had enough heavy artillery or mechanized division to equipt even a quarter of his 2 million soldiers. Air power and naval power was even further behind. In the initial phase of the war, he was losing horibbly to Japan even with a 4:1 numerical superiority.

The New Army under the late Qing and the Beiyang army that succeeded it under Yuan Shikai were just as well equipped as the most updated forces in Europe. Each battalion was organized with one gattling gun battalion with 27 heavy guns and 18 field cannons, compared to just 12 field cannon per battalion organizations that were circulating in most modern armies of the time, including much of the Japanese and Russian army.

By 1911, the New Army of the Qing dynasty, has reached roughly 16 garrisons and 16 combined battalions(hunhe lu ) large. Each garrison is roughly 12,500 large. While each combined batallion ranged from 3000-10000. This means that in 1911, the Qing had a modern standing army of over 200,000 (contemporary Japan also only had 300,000 standing soldiers). Among these forces, the Beiyang army under Yuan Shikai had 8 garrisons and 2 batallions, which placed it at over 110,000 large. By 1914, the Beiyang army increased 3 more battalions and the other New armies also increased in size, increasing the total force of the modern equipped Chinese army to over 350,000 large.


More importantly, the Qing had the industrial potential (and a growing one) that was not that far behind Japan's. The Qing steel production was almost half of Japan's. This mean in a prolonged war, the Qing can be coming up with reserves that can keep up with Japan in a defensive war at the very least and keep the Japanese army in the northeast (or advance not much further than Hebei) if an invasion were to occur in 1910.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,255
Brassicaland
#6
Chiang Kaishek never had enough heavy artillery or mechanized division to equipt even a quarter of his 2 million soldiers. Air power and naval power was even further behind. In the initial phase of the war, he was losing horibbly to Japan even with a 4:1 numerical superiority.

The New Army under the late Qing and the Beiyang army that succeeded it under Yuan Shikai were just as well equipped as the most updated forces in Europe. Each battalion was organized with one gattling gun battalion with 27 heavy guns and 18 field cannons, compared to just 12 field cannon per battalion organizations that were circulating in most modern armies of the time, including much of the Japanese and Russian army.

By 1911, the New Army of the Qing dynasty, has reached roughly 16 garrisons and 16 combined battalions(hunhe lu ) large. Each garrison is roughly 12,500 large. While each combined batallion ranged from 3000-10000. This means that in 1911, the Qing had a modern standing army of over 200,000 (contemporary Japan also only had 300,000 standing soldiers). Among these forces, the Beiyang army under Yuan Shikai had 8 garrisons and 2 batallions, which placed it at over 110,000 large. By 1914, the Beiyang army increased 3 more battalions and the other New armies also increased in size, increasing the total force of the modern equipped Chinese army to over 350,000 large.


More importantly, the Qing had the industrial potential (and a growing one) that was not that far behind Japan's. The Qing steel production was almost half of Japan's. This mean in a prolonged war, the Qing can be coming up with reserves that can keep up with Japan in a defensive war at the very least and keep the Japanese army in the northeast (or advance not much further than Hebei) if an invasion were to occur in 1910.
Why were Chiang's forces so under-equipped? Even the German-trained divisions were known to be "lightly armed".
 

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