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Chiang Kai-Shek
Chiang
Historical Figure
Nationality: China
Date of Birth: 1887
Date of Death: 1975
Cause of Death: Renal failure caused by cardiac arrest
Religion: Methodism
Occupation: Soldier, Politician
Spouse: Soong May-ling
Children: Chiang Ching-kuo
Chiang Wei-kuo (sons)
Military Branch: Republic of China Army
Political Party: Kuomintang
Turtledove Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away
through
Armistice
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
The Man With the Iron Heart
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Worldwar
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): In the Balance
through
Aftershocks
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Hitler's War;
Coup d'Etat
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Both
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Chiang Kai-Shek (Chinese 蔣介石) (October 31, 1887 – April 5, 1975) was a Chinese military and political leader who assumed the leadership of the Kuomintang (KMT) in 1925. He began his military education at the Baoding Military Academy, in 1906. Attended the Military State Academy in Japan in 1907. Chiang Kai-shek served in the Imperial Japanese Army from 1909 to 1911. He commmanded the Northern Expedition to unify China against the warlords and emerged victorious in 1928 as the overall leader of the Republic of China (ROC). Chiang led China in the Second Sino-Japanese War, during which Chiang's stature within China weakened, but his international prominence grew. During the Chinese Civil War, Chiang attempted to eradicate the Chinese Communists. He failed, and the KMT was forced to retreat to Taiwan. He served as the President of the Republic of China (which now consisted solely of Taiwan) until his death.

Chiang Kai-Shek in The Hot War

The United States pointedly recognized Chiang Kai-Shek as the legitimate leader of China even though he only held Formosa. The outbreak of World War III certainly didn't change their position.[1]

Chiang still had intelligence-sources on the mainland, and shared the information he received with the U.S. In September 1951, Chiang confirmed for the U.S. that Mao Tse-Tung only stayed in one town for a day or two at a time before moving on, to thwart U.S. attempts to kill him with an atomic bomb.[2]

As the U.S. prepared Operation: Long Reach in June 1952, President Harry Truman speculated that Chiang wanted a parallel plan to kill Mao. Defense Secretary Omar Bradley agreed.[3] However, the U.S. was not able to successfully kill Mao or restore Chiang to the mainland.

Chiang Kai-Shek in Joe Steele

Chiang Kai-Shek was the President of China before, during and after World War II, including the period when Japan had invaded China. Throughout much of this period, Chiang was locked in a civil war with Mao Tse-Tung's Reds.[4] In August 1945, the Soviet Union pushed Japan out of China. However, Soviet Premier Leon Trotsky ensured that Manchuria went to Mao.[5] Throughout the remainder of the 1940s, Chiang's forces lost ground to Mao's forces,[6] until, in October 1949, just two months after the end of the Japanese War, Mao and his Reds pushed Chiang's forces off of the Chinese mainland.[7]

The U.S. had backed Chiang, and refused to recognize Mao. For a time, U.S. President Joe Steele had considered using atomic bombs to support Chiang, as they'd effectively ended the Japanese War. However, the Soviet ambassador to the U.S., Andrei Gromyko, suggested that any U.S. atomic attack in China might be met with a Soviet atomic attack in Europe.[8]

Literary comment

Chiang is only referenced once in the short story, but his role is identical to the novel, and OTL, for that matter.

Chiang Kai-Shek in The Man With the Iron Heart

With Japan defeated, Chiang Kai-Shek and the Kuomintang turned back to their direct conflict with the Chinese Communist Party. The years 1946-1948 saw a series of set-backs and downturns in Chiang's fortunes, events which were detrimental to popular support for US President Harry Truman's foreign policy.[9]

Chiang Kai-Shek in The War That Came Early

As the leader of China, Chiang Kai-Shek was supposed to be fighting the invasion of Japan. However, many people (Communists especially) believed China's only real hope lay with Mao Tse-Tung.[10] Even the Japanese, while worried about Chiang's troopers, were more worried about the guerrilla tactics of the Communist Party throughout the war.[11]

Still, Chiang's actions against the Japanese were effective. His troops maintained a secure hold in Yunnan Province, and received a measure of help from Britain in the form of supplies from India. Japan responded in the Fall of 1941 by releasing cholera bacilli and rodents infected with plague into Yunnan.[12]

Chiang Kai-Shek in Worldwar

With the arrival of the Race's Conquest Fleet in 1942, Chiang Kai-Shek found himself working uneasily with both Japan and the Chinese Communist Party against the Race.

Chiang was viewed as corrupt and worthless by most average people in China. Chiang had evacuated Peking quickly in the face of the approaching Japanese. Ironically, the Japanese had fought the Race tooth-and-nail in a failed bid to hold Peking. The Communists proved far more adept at fighting the Race, and so Chiang and the KMT lost favor.

Nonetheless, Chiang remained an important figure in China, and continued to fight the Race's occupation into the 1960s, although he continued to fight the Communists, as well.[13]

References

  1. Bombs Away, pg. 373 e-book.
  2. Fallout, pg. 187, HC.
  3. Armistice, loc. 1266, ebook.
  4. Joe Steele, pg. 325.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid., pg. 358.
  7. Ibid., pg. 376.
  8. Ibid, pg. 376-377.
  9. The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 503.
  10. Hitler's War, pg. 450.
  11. See, e.g., Coup d'Etat, pg. 161, HC.
  12. Ibid., pg. 333.
  13. See, e.g.Second Contact, pg. 163.
Political offices
(OTL)
Preceded by
Li Zongren
President of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
1950-1976
Succeeded by
Yen Chia-kan
Preceded by
Soong Tse-ven
Premier of the Republic of China
1930-1931
Succeeded by
Chen Mingshu
Preceded by
Wang Jingwei
Premier of the Republic of China
1935-1938
Succeeded by
Hsiang-hsi Kung
Preceded by
Hsiang-hsi Kung
Premier of the Republic of China
1939-1945
Succeeded by
Song Ziwen
Political offices
(Worldwar)
Preceded by
Hsiang-hsi Kung
Premier of the Republic of China
1939-1944
Succeeded by
Nobody;
Race rule of China recognized
Political offices
(The War That Came Early)
Preceded by
Wang Jingwei
Premier of the Republic of China
1935-19??
Succeeded by
Incumbent at series' end, 1944

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