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The Sea and the Second World WarMaritime Aspects of a Global Conflict$
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Marcus Faulkner and Alessio Patalano

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781949668049

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9781949668049.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Naval Power, Mao Zedong, and the War in China, 1926–1949

Naval Power, Mao Zedong, and the War in China, 1926–1949

(p.239) 9 Naval Power, Mao Zedong, and the War in China, 1926–1949
The Sea and the Second World War

Francis Grice

University Press of Kentucky

Naval power had a huge impact on the rise of Mao Zedong and the Communists in China from 1926 to 1949. Despite this, scholars have often marginalized its role because Mao himself wrote very little about the topic. This chapter by Francis Gricerebuts the belief that naval power was unimportant by providing an extensive account of the different ways that Mao and the Communists were affected by naval power during three main periods: their early struggles with the Kuomintang and foreign powers, the war against Japan, and the subsequent Civil War. The chapter asserts that Mao paid little heed to naval issues because he lacked strategic vision and because he was determined to provide a "victor" narrative that emphasized the strengths of the Communist movement and marginalized its weaknesses. The chapter links the absence of naval components within Mao's writings with the surprising dearth of attention to maritime issues within modern counter-insurgency literature, including the recent U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. Finally, the chapter argues that the omission of naval power from Mao's writings helps to demonstrate that his relevance for later insurgencies was considerably lower than is conventionally assumed.

Keywords:   Chinese Civil War, Communist Party of China, Insurgency, Kuomintang Party, Mao Zedong, maritime forces, naval power, riverine warfare, Sino-Japanese War, War in China

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