“Preparing for the Final Struggle”
The Long March (October 1934 – October 1935) was an historic journey of 6,000 miles, in which Communist army forces fled their bases in Jiangxi province in south China. Surrounded by the Nationalist army of Chiang Kai-shek, some 80,000 soldiers of the Red Army escaped and headed north. Only 8,000 to 9,000 survived the trek, which ended in the establishment of a new Communist
base in Yan’an. The Long March became the central event in Chinese revolutionary mythology. It became a metaphor for the revolution itself, and was a source of inspiration for Red Guards on their own “new long marches.”
Mao Zedong eulogized the Long March in a poem:
The Long March
The Red Army fears not the trials of the Long March,
Holding light ten thousand crags and torrents.
The Five Ridges wind like gentle ripples
And the majestic Wumeng roll by, globules of clay.
Warm the steep cliffs lapped by the waters of Golden Sand,
Cold the iron chains spanning the Tatu River.
Minshan’s thousand li* of snow joyously crossed,
The three Armies march on, each face glowing.