Long March

The 'Long March' was a 6,000 miles heroic trek of the Chinese Communists, which resulted in the relocation of the Communist revolutionary base in Southeast China to Yenan in the Northwest.

In 1934 the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek threatened to encircle and crush the outnumbered Communist forces in Hunan. The Communists decided to break through the Kuomintang lines at their weakest point and flee westward.

During the early stages of this strategic retreat Mao Tse-tung became supreme commander of the party. Fighting Nationalist forces throughout their journey, Mao's troops crossed 18 mountain ranges and 24 rivers.
They fought 14 major battles, traversed 12 provinces - many larger than most European countries - and marched once for ten days through uninhabitated lands without any food or water supplies.

Over 100,000 men began the trek on October 1934; only about 8,000 arrived one year later in Yennan. After the establishment of the Peoples Republic in 1949 many of the veterans of the Long March became the leaders of the new China.