|Part of Chinese Civil War|
|Communist Party of China||Republic of China|
|Commanders and leaders|
|20,000||15,000; later 5 divisions|
|Casualties and losses|
On December 11, 1927, Red Guard citizens, directed by Communist political leaders, took over Guangzhou (then known as Canton in English). The uprising occurred despite the strong objections of Communist military commanders such as Ye Ting, Ye Jianying and Xu Xiangqian. Using the element of surprise, rebel forces took over most of the city within hours, despite a huge numerical and technical advantage held by government troops. The Communist leaders officially renamed the city's political structure "Guangzhou Soviet". However, the uprising was quickly crushed by warlord armies. Zhang Tailei, the leading Red Guard organizer, was killed in an ambush as he returned from a meeting. The takeover dissolved by the early morning of December 13, 1927.
In the resulting purges, many young Communists were killed, and the Guangzhou Soviet became known as the "Guangzhou Commune" or "Paris Commune of the East"; it lasted only a short time at the cost of more than 5,000 Communists dead and an equal number missing. Ye Ting, the military commander, was scapegoated, purged and blamed for the failure, despite the fact that the obvious disadvantage of the Communist force was the main cause of the defeat, as Ye Ting and other military commanders had correctly pointed out. Enraged by his unjustified treatment, Ye Ting left China and went into exile in Europe, not returning until nearly a decade later.
Despite being the third failed uprising of 1927, it encouraged further uprisings across China.
References[edit | edit source]
- Dirlik, Arif, "Narrativizing revolution: the Guangzhou Uprising (11-13 December 1927) in workers' perspective.", Modern China, October 1, 1997
Literature[edit | edit source]
- Setting the East Ablaze: on Secret Service in Bolshevik Asia By Peter Hopkirk
- Кантонская коммуна. Сб. статей и материалов, М. — Л., 1929; (in Russian)
- Кантонская коммуна (К 40-летию восстания в Гуанчжоу), М., 1967. (in Russian)
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