Operation Beleaguer leads to more American involvement in the Chinese Civil War

Sorry to say the scenario you paint is completely unrealistic. The Western Allies didn't care much about Manchuria, and North China. They did care about Eastern Europe, and it took 45 years of Cold War to get the Soviets to leave. The USA did get the Soviets to leave Northern Iran in 1946, because it wasn't that important to them, compared to the Far East. In 1945 Nationalist China was a fragile State, devastated by war, militarily, and economically weak. The Chinese Nationalists were hoping to get what aid they could get from West, and East, and hang on for deer life. The Soviets for their part were striping out the industrial plant in Manchuria, and shipping it back home, they weren't about to stop, and put it back.

As for an aging Stalin backing down from a threat of war from Chiang the idea isn't serious. The only danger to Stalin would be an early stroke from fits of laughter. Like Churchill Stalin regarded Chiang, and Chinese Power with contempt. Stalin was a ruthless, and evil cynic, only power entered into his calculations, and Nationalist China had almost none.

China had much more to lose than the Soviets, and conversely what would the Soviets have gained from fighting China? Booted out of the UN and alienated on the world stage?
 
Anyways, with the United States committing significant forces into a major ground effort in China, that massively opens up Soviet options elsewhere. The commitment of transport aircraft to support American forces in China would make the Berlin airlift would be impossible, for example,

In my view the best way to prevent the CCP resurgence after World War II would have been to evict the Soviet Red Army from Manchuria as soon as possible. On 14 August 1945 the USSR and KMT China signed a Treaty of Friendship and Alliance against Japan. The exchange of notes attached to this treaty had, among other things, the following two obligations:

So the Nationalists rush in earlier into land they can't adequately (they actually begged the Soviets to stay in at certain places because they couldn't get their forces in a timely enough manner) and get cut off anyways when the communist armies that had been infiltrated into the Beijing area rise up like they did OTL.
 
So the Nationalists rush in earlier into land they can't adequately (they actually begged the Soviets to stay in at certain places because they couldn't get their forces in a timely enough manner) and get cut off anyways when the communist armies that had been infiltrated into the Beijing area rise up like they did OTL.

Not without Soviet aid they won't. If the Red Army turned over captured inventories to the KMT and evacuated Manchuria on-schedule, it would have been much more difficult for the communists to have defeated Chiang. I don't know if it would have been impossible, but booting out the Russians and bringing in the US as an overt economic and military ally rather than a 'friendly neutral.'
 
China had much more to lose than the Soviets, and conversely what would the Soviets have gained from fighting China? Booted out of the UN and alienated on the world stage?

The Soviets have a veto on the Security Council, and had enough support in the General Assembly to not be expelled, and it was always alienated from most of the world. In 1945-46 the West is still trying to cooperate with the Soviets on issues more important to them then Manchuria. In 1945 China has no military option against the Soviet Union. In 7 years of brutal war Nationalist China, with the Communists on their side couldn't drive the Japanese out of China. The Red Army trashed the Japanese in two weeks, and they had the CCP Forces on their side. Attacking the Soviets would have been foolish, it would only rebound against them, with the Soviets occupying even more territory.
 
In 7 years of brutal war Nationalist China, with the Communists on their side
Zhou Enlai told Stalin, that while a million Chinese troops died in fighting the IJA thru 1939, only 3% were CCP Troops. Mao ordered no major engagements with the IJA for most of the War, only having a single battle where more than a regiments was used. That did not apply against KMT forces,, where there were larger skirmishes


Spent most of the war recruiting for after the war, and small scale guerilla attacks, not fighting directly against the Japanese
 
Not without Soviet aid they won't.

Yeah, they will. Soviet aid may have been there, but the number one source of Communist Chinese arms were the Nationalists, due to gross corruption and mass defections. More American weapons were actually being used by Communist forces by 1948 than were being used by the Nationalists. Not for nothing did Mao quip that "The Quartermaster of the Chinese Red Army is Chiang Kai'Shek."
 
China had much more to lose than the Soviets, and conversely what would the Soviets have gained from fighting China? Booted out of the UN and alienated on the world stage?
They can denounce Stalin's government as an aggressor and declare its presence an illegal occupation. This wouldn't be Mussolini vs Ethiopia or Japan in Manchuria: China was one of the founding members of the UN, which, unlike the League of Nations the United States had an expressed interest in as a means of preventing a future war.
Diplomatically, I would think the Soviets would stonewall by saying that they have been invited in by the People’s Republic of China and therefore the rightful government and hold a referendum or something to prove it. Yes it’s technically violating the previous agreement, but who’s going to stop the Soviets after letting them get away with the same thing in E. Europe?
 
Yeah, they will. Soviet aid may have been there, but the number one source of Communist Chinese arms were the Nationalists, due to gross corruption and mass defections. More American weapons were actually being used by Communist forces by 1948 than were being used by the Nationalists. Not for nothing did Mao quip that "The Quartermaster of the Chinese Red Army is Chiang Kai'Shek."

Unless 25-40% of the KMT defected wholesale to Mao, that doesn't seem likely. According to Appendix VIII of "Kangzhan" by Leland Ness with Bin Shih, the Chinese Army had the following weapons and equipment in September 1945 (excluding communists or local defense forces):

- 638,323 rifles​
- 57,029 SMGs​
- 34,296 pistols​
- 56,734 MGs (45,548 light, 11,186 medium)​
- 15,503 rifle grenade launchers​
- 25,412 artillery pieces (12,119 grenade dischargers, 10,662 trench mortars, 1,232 AT, 83 AA, 225 infantry guns, 639 mountain guns, 156 field guns, 18 howitzers, 58 fortress artillery, 220 "heavy artillery")​
- 132 flame throwers​
- 1,817 AT rifles​
- 1,072 AT rocket launchers​

This for an army of 3,139,259 officers and men, excluding the Chinese Army in India (which was well-equipped). Tanks and aircraft were also not shown.
Compare these numbers with the equipment taken from the Kwantung Army in post #16

Diplomatically, I would think the Soviets would stonewall by saying that they have been invited in by the People’s Republic of China and therefore the rightful government and hold a referendum or something to prove it. Yes it’s technically violating the previous agreement, but who’s going to stop the Soviets after letting them get away with the same thing in E. Europe?

At that time the PRC didn't exist yet, and the document signed was the "Treaty of Friendship and Alliance between the Soviet Union & the Chinese Republic." The Chinese side was represented by the KMT, then the internationally recognized government of China.
 
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At that time the PRC didn't exist yet, and the document signed was the "Treaty of Friendship and Alliance between the Soviet Union & the Chinese Republic." The Chinese side was represented by the KMT, then the internationally recognized government of China.
And the “fraternal republics” in Eastern Europe didn’t exist, until they did. Similarly, the real question is on distance. The USSR shares a border with China while the US doesn’t. The willingness to invest political capital varies accordingly
 
And the “fraternal republics” in Eastern Europe didn’t exist, until they did. Similarly, the real question is on distance. The USSR shares a border with China while the US doesn’t. The willingness to invest political capital varies accordingly

In the case of China, it would be 1949 before the communists won OTL even with Soviet support. In the immediate aftermath of WWII this was still years away, and the US openly preferred the KMT, though relations between the two governments were chilly in the wake of Nationalist defeats in 1944 and early 45.
 
Unless 25-40% of the KMT defected wholesale to Mao,

Not a bad estimate on what happened. The rates of desertion, defection, and surrenders can be seen by how the size of the NRA went from 4.3 million in 1945 to 1.5 million by 1949, whereas the PLA went from 1.2 million to 4 million in the same timeframe.

Regardless, the key base camp areas that enabled the Communist victory were established in the countryside around Beijing by 1944 and the KMT's movement into Manchuria in 1946 was poorly supported as it was, trying to rush it will put them in an even worse position.

Tanks and aircraft were also not shown.

Interestingly, most accounts indicate Chinese Communist forces were unable to use any stocks of vehicles and tanks, whether captured from the Japanese or KMT, until skilled technical operators defected to them from the KMT's forces.
 
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Not a bad estimate on what happened. The rates of desertion, defection, and surrenders can be seen by how the size of the NRA went from 4.3 million in 1945 to 1.5 million by 1949, whereas the PLA went from 1.2 million to 4 million in the same timeframe.

By 1949 the Nationalists were militarily beaten, so it's obvious that their army was badly depleted whereas the communists increased in strength. But, at the end of World War II the Chinese Red Army numbered about 1.2 million with 2 million irregulars.

Regardless, the key base camp areas that enabled the Communist victory were established in the countryside around Beijing by 1944 and the KMT's movement into Manchuria in 1946 was poorly supported as it was, trying to rush it will put them in an even worse position.

It's not the same if the CCP is deprived of military and technical support from the USSR at an earlier date. If the Soviets and Chinese communists actually formed a military alliance to fight Chiang Kai Shek, the it would be a question of how much Stalin was willing to give up elsewhere for the sake of running off to fight in China.

Interestingly, most accounts indicate Chinese Communist forces were unable to use any stocks of vehicles and tanks, whether captured from the Japanese or KMT, until skilled technical operators defected to them from the KMT's forces.

The Soviet army probably had more to do with it; even at the end of the war the Japanese likely had more tanks on the Asian mainland than the KMT.
 
By 1949 the Nationalists were militarily beaten, so it's obvious that their army was badly depleted whereas the communists increased in strength. But, at the end of World War II the Chinese Red Army numbered about 1.2 million with 2 million irregulars.

And the fact the nationalist could not replenish their army despite receiving far more in American aid than the Communist Chinese ever did from any foreign source speaks to how little the material factors mattered in the Chinese Civil War, since the overwhelming political support for the Communists meant that nationalist supplies quickly became communist supplies in short order. As Alfred Wedermeyer observed while in China*: "Lack of spirit, primarily lack of spirit. It was not lack of equipment. In my opinion they could have defended the Yangtze with broomsticks if they had the will to do it."

One of the reasons I observed that the 25-40% estimate isn't bad is because that Chiang was losing about 40% of his supplies to the communists through corruption, desertion, and defection was George Marshall's own estimate in mid-1947. He would add to that: "If the percentage should reach 50 percent, he [Chiang] will have to decide whether it is wise to continue to supply his troops." The observation that the communists had more American equipment than the Nationalists did was made by David Barr, the last senior military advisor to the Nationalist Regime, in the fall of 1948.

*Of course, Wedermeyer, like many of the Chinese lobby, did like to say one thing depending on whether he was in China on a fact-finding mission or out of it doing political lobbying. The quote in question on a former occasion. David Halberstom observes of this phenomenon that it was deeply tied to McCarthyistic politics: "there was one truth that you told in China when you were surrounded by Chinese and Americans who knew how pathetically Chiang's forces had fought, and another you told back in the States, when surrounded by conservative friends who wanted their truths reinforced."

It's not the same if the CCP is deprived of military and technical support from the USSR at an earlier date.

Which your proposal does not do. The CCP would still have contact with the USSR through the lands it already gained control of via Mongolia and Siberia. Mao was already predicting his victory in the Civil War in mid-1945, before the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, in pretty much the exact timeframe as actually happened.

If the Soviets and Chinese communists actually formed a military alliance to fight Chiang Kai Shek, the it would be a question of how much Stalin was willing to give up elsewhere for the sake of running off to fight in China.

About as much as he was willing and had to give up OTL. Which wasn't a lot. After all, the Red Army is vastly superior to Chiang's forces and once the Soviets trivially crush the initial attack, they'll just let loose a bunch of their spare stocks of weaponry (which they were awash in during the late-1940s) to Mao's own communists and let them wage the Civil War as per OTL.

The Soviet army probably had more to do with it; even at the end of the war the Japanese likely had more tanks on the Asian mainland than the KMT.

Soviets provided no technical advice until 1949. Although after reexamination, the CCP did manage basic operations in 1945-46, it wasn't until a number of technically trained Chinese forces from the KMT started defecting that they were able to consistently operate them.

Wikipedia said:
Although General Marshall stated that he knew of no evidence that the CPC was being supplied by the Soviet Union, the CPC was able to utilize a large number of weapons abandoned by the Japanese, including some tanks, but it was not until large numbers of well-trained KMT troops began surrendering and joining the Communist forces that the CPC was finally able to master the hardware.
 
Unless 25-40% of the KMT defected wholesale to Mao, that doesn't seem likely. According to Appendix VIII of "Kangzhan" by Leland Ness with Bin Shih, the Chinese Army had the following weapons and equipment in September 1945 (excluding communists or local defense forces):

- 638,323 rifles​
- 57,029 SMGs​
- 34,296 pistols​
- 56,734 MGs (45,548 light, 11,186 medium)​
- 15,503 rifle grenade launchers​
- 25,412 artillery pieces (12,119 grenade dischargers, 10,662 trench mortars, 1,232 AT, 83 AA, 225 infantry guns, 639 mountain guns, 156 field guns, 18 howitzers, 58 fortress artillery, 220 "heavy artillery")​
- 132 flame throwers​
- 1,817 AT rifles​
- 1,072 AT rocket launchers​

This for an army of 3,139,259 officers and men, excluding the Chinese Army in India (which was well-equipped). Tanks and aircraft were also not shown.
Compare these numbers with the equipment taken from the Kwantung Army in post #16
All those guns and equipment won't matter if the NRA/KMT aren't competent to use them. Does not help that their corruption caused so much division within themselves and the Chinese people that it made the Communists look like saints.

At that time the PRC didn't exist yet, and the document signed was the "Treaty of Friendship and Alliance between the Soviet Union & the Chinese Republic." The Chinese side was represented by the KMT, then the internationally recognized government of China.
As evidenced by this poster some time after World War II:

I want to emphasize the depth of the "bring the boys home" sentiment in the US in 1945-6. https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...hinkable-launched.351941/page-3#post-10672201 People were definitely not in the mood to fight the Soviet army just because it was dragging its heels over withdrawal from Manchuria or clandestinely helping to supply the CCP.
I could see the American public not wanting to fight an irregular force in mainland China as well, since the period from 1945-49 was the time the U.S. demobilized its military after four years of war.
 
The British also had their own operations in post-WWII China coinciding with Operation Beleaguer. This article mentions how the HMS Amethyst was involved in tensions with Mao's communist armies that could have seen a larger British military operation in China.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/t...itish-frigate-took-communist-china—-won-25026
 
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