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Photos of Chinese WWII Reenactors

Discussion in 'Living History' started by JCFalkenbergIII, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I found the rope sandals interesting too :). I had never seen then before.
     
  2. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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  3. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    I love the bloke with ginger hair, that last pic is a bit worrying though.
     
  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I have to agree. Seems to be a lack of Wehrmacht troopers too doesn't it?
     
  5. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Japanese reenactor from Singapore

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    This webpage gives a good inside view in regards to the Chinese Kuomintang forces that had been trained by Germans.

    Regards
    Kruska

    http://www.feldgrau.com

    The origins of the German Military Mission to China in the 1920's and 1930's can be traced back to the early period of Sun Yat Sen, the father of the Chinese Republic and to the selection by Germany of a number well qualified of German military liaison officers, such as von Falkenhausen, von Seeckt, Bauer and a few others, to manage this sensitive account.

    Prior to World War One, Sun Yat Sen traveled to Germany on a number of occasions. He admired how Germany unified itself, how its academic, economic and social welfare institutions operated, etc. He often thought that many aspects of German life could also be applied to China to help develop China and to help give China a strong foundation for the future. Of importance here is that Sun Yat Sen was not a Germanophile - but he did have a strong appreciation for German accomplishments. Many influential Kuomintang (KMT) officials, such as Chiang Kai-Shek and Dr. Chu Chia-hua, shared this (pro-German) feeling.

    One key persona was Dr. Chu Chia-hua. He had studied engineering at the Berlin Metallurgical Institute during the First World War. In 1926, in his capacity as President of the Sun Yat Sen University in Canton, he contacted Colonel Max Bauer (a former Chief of Staff to Ludendorff in the Strategic Mobilization Department - Bauer was a chief architect of the "Hindenburg Programm", a program to better integrate the needs of the German army with German military goods suppliers), to study business opportunities in China. The offer was accepted and in 1927, Bauer met Chiang Kai-Shek. Bauer possessed great interpersonal skills and the two became fast friends. Chiang Kai-Shek even offered Bauer to be his military advisor (position accepted).

    Upon reviewing the situation, Bauer came to the conclusion that German industrial capacities could be mobilized to reconstruct the Chinese economy. In 1928, Bauer returned to Germany and began making the needed contacts with German industrialists. His efforts however were met with mixed results. A big reason for his somewhat "cool" reception in Germany was that working on military issues with any foreign nations was a massive political hot potato for Germany for a post Versailles Treaty era Germany. Although Bauer tried hard, in the end, the German Reichswehr did not provide all of the support to China Bauer had hoped for.

    However, Bauer did have two important successes before he died of an illness he picked up in China. He was able to establish a Handelsabteilung (Trade Department) and the Reichswehr cautiously did enter into a more formal working relationship with the clandestine German military advisory group established in Nanking (Nanjing).

    Back in China, Bauer advised his now very close friend, Chiang Kai-Shek, to enforce his drafted Military Demobilization and Reorganization plan. In 1928, the Chinese Army had approximately 2.25 million men under arms. Bauer recommended that China retain only a small core army, trained to German standards and place the rest of the soldiers into local militia forces. While the plan was sound, it was not adopted. Another round of the civil war broke out because no one in China could agree on who had to give up what and who would control that which remained.

    Despite this setback, Bauer and his German team worked with Chiang Kai-Shek to establish a new Chinese Army based on German standards. A model division was established in Nanking. The Central Military Academy was relocated to Nanking from Whampoa, where it was staffed with German military experts. A key focus was on establishing new military command and communications protocols for the new Chinese Army.

    Bauer regretfully passed away suddenly on 06 May 1929 and was buried in China with a funeral, which was the equal of any state funeral.

    During this time frame, German aviation companies were also working strongly to establish a presence in China. Lufthansa was one of the leading developers of new aviation routes all over eastern Asia. A number of German-Chinese aviation companies were also established, such as the EURASIA Fluggesellschaft. In the early period, Junkers F-34's were used; later Ju-52's also became available. These companies also few out German military personnel to China and they also helped deliver goods and supplies in both directions as required.

    After his death, Colonel Hermann Kriebel succeeded Bauer in his post. Kriebel, as may be known, delivered the final German statement to the Allied surrender commission on 11 November 1918 - "We will see you again in 20 years.".

    What Bauer had built in China up with such great hopes for the future, Kriebel, in part, undid very fast. In short, Kriebel was a diplomatic failure - he lacked interpersonal communications skills, especially when dealing with his Chinese hosts. Although Kriebel was replaced quickly, the new man on the job, Georg Wetzell, was also not a good candidate for he too lacked the needed social graces.

    Chiang Kai-Shek wanted German trained troops to fight the warlords of Yen His-san and Feng Y FC-hsiang - Wetzell did not deliver. When the Japanese attacked Shanghai in 1932, Wetzell was nowhere to be seen and the Chinese troops suffered greatly. In contrast, during the second battle for Shanghai in 1937, von Falkenhausen and his German colleagues were dressed in Chinese uniforms and directed Chinese troops right up to the Japanese front lines. This did wonders for Chinese morale.

    What saved the German mission in China from disaster was the appointment of von Seeckt as the mission chief. Although von Seeckt officially retired from the German Army in 1928, he still wielded enormous amounts of respect and influences in and around Germany. Seeckt did go to China and he did provide the Chinese with many military assistance efforts they were seeking from the Germans. For example, Seeckt believed that Chiang Kai-Shek should place his primary efforts on defeating the communists and then focus on the various rebellious warlords of the southern provinces. However, due to ill health, von Seeckt returned to Germany on 28 December 1936.

    By 1933, the Deutsche Beraterschaft in China (German Advisory Mission in China) had grown to over 50 personnel. It contained three branches, one covering administrative, aviation, economic, industrial, police and railroad development issues, a second covering General Staff issues, and a third covering military education and training.

    In 1935, the trading organization HARPO (Handelsgesellschaft zur Verwertung industrieller Produkte) was established. Its goal was to funnel German military goods to Chiang Kai-Shek through commercial cover. Within a short period of time, more formally documented military training programs were established between China and Germany. Trade to China not only contained items such as uniforms, guns, munitions, Pz. I-A;s, SdKfz. 221's and 222's, etc., it also included items such as manufacturing know-how, railroad technologies, munitions plants, communications technologies, etc. In return, China delivered a number of strategic raw materials to Germany. Of interest is that two German sources state that Germany, through HARPO, also supplied the Chinese navy with submarines.

    An important point must be remembered here. Germany was not the only nation bidding for Chinese contracts and influence. During the 1930's, the United States was strongly focused on aviation issues in China (i.e., The Flying Tigers); the United Kingdom was working with the Chinese navy, France established a small military school in Canton, etc.

    In 1936, Hitler assigned Alexander von Falkenhausen to serve in the German military mission in China. Both von Seeckt and von Falkenhausen contributed greatly to the Chinese military efforts. However, while in China, von Seeckt was more focused on making commercial contracts for German companies that focusing on the military aspects of his assignment - von Falkenhausen was however, the opposite. His key focus was on preparing and training China's army on strategy and tactics - German style. As a quick background, in 1900, von Falkenhausen was a young lieutenant in the 91st Oldenburg Infantry Regiment - he volunteered for duty in the German expeditionary force during the Boxer rebellion. From 1900-1914, he was the German military attachee in Tokyo. So von Falkenhausen had a fair amount of area knowledge prior to taking his up his new post. When Falkenhausen celebrated his 75th birthday in the 1950's, Chiang Kai-Shek sent him a cheque for $12,000 (USD) as a birthday present.

    Shortly after von Falkenhausen arrived in China in the summer of 1934, he prepared a report to Chiang Kai-Shek as to how best to defend China. This report had three key points, that Chiang Kai-Shek could defeat the communists in Sichuan Province (or at least keep them in check), that Kwangsi and Kwangtung Provinces could be restrained from taking hostile actions against the Central Chinese Government, and that Japan was the primary enemy now.

    Further, von Falkenhausen recommended that China fight a war of attrition with Japan - Japan could never hope to win that type of a conflict. China should hold the Yellow River line, but not attack north of that until much later in the war. China should be prepared to give up a number of regions in northern China, including Shangdong, but the retreats must be made slowly. Japan should pay for every advance it makes. He also recommended a number of fortification construction efforts to take place in China, the mining of coastal, landing and river locations, and so on. Falkenhausen also advised the Chinese to establish a number of guerrilla operations to take effect behind Japanese lines. These efforts would help to weaken an already militarily challenged Japan.

    Of interest here is the exact nature of German involvement in the subjugation of Chinese-Communist forces in October 1933 - November 1934. Many credit von Seeckt with being a key tactical advisor to Chiang Kai-Shek as he fought the fifth battle against the communist forces. However, this may not be quite the case. The fifth attack by Chiang Kai-Shek against the communists began months before von Seeckt arrived in China (von Seeckt arrived in April of 1934). It is possible that Wetzell provided some tactical planning to Chiang Kai-Shek in late 1933. One can suspect that the truth may lie somewhere in the middle - it is entirely possible that both Wetzell and von Seeckt provided strategic and tactical contributions to Chiang Kai-Shek.

    One need recall that the Chinese communists also had a German military advisor - Otto Braun. In October of 1934, the Chinese communists began their long retreat after being defeated by the Nationalist Chinese forces. During the "Long March", of about 90,000 communist Chinese troops (led in part by Mao Zedong) - only 7,000 or so arrived in Shaanxi Province about a year later 1935. On 13 January 1935, Mao severely criticized Otto Braun for his failures and told him that Chiang's Germans were apparently better than his Germans. This may be a bit unfair as Chiang's Germans had the full backing of the German government while Mao's Germans were more or less free lancing mercenaries supported in part by Moscow.

    As of 1936, Japan's Kwangtung Army fought its battles with a primary goal being that to avoid risks. Japan had gotten away with most of its demands on China through the threatened use of force. Von Falkenhausen advised Chiang Kai-Shek that for every day that the Japanese did not attack, that was one extra day China would have available to better defend and prepare itself.

    Thanks to von Falkenhausen's strategy and tactics, both Kwangsi and Kwangtung provinces fell to Chiang Kai-Shek in the summer of 1936. This was an important victory for Chiang Kai-Shek. In addition, Berlin was very surprised at the fact that Japan did not intervene militarily to save these two provinces from defeat.

    By 1937, the Japanese were beginning to pressure the Germans. German advisors in China were detrimental to the Japanese war efforts. Overtly, Hitler told the Japanese that he would curtail and end the German support efforts to China - but on 16 August 1937, he ordered the German military support efforts in China to continue as scheduled.

    At this juncture, political events would soon call a halt to the German program in China. On 04 February 1938, Germany was placed into a position whereby it diplomatically recognized Manchukuo. The Japanese now increased their anti German support in china lobbying efforts in Berlin. On 28 April 1938, Göring officially called a halt to German military export shipments through HARPO to China - regardless of contractual obligations. By the summer of 1938, most of the German military advisors in China were recalled to Germany.

    Ironically, China had up until this time been a leading source of Tungsten (Wolfram) for Germany. When the German Military Mission left China, Japan promised to continue delivering the needed metal - deliveries were never made. In 1943, Speer commented that either Germany find an alternate source to the vital metal or give up right now. Germany's available stocks of Tungsten could only be used two ways - to help build the jigs and tools necessary for industrial manufacturing or in the weapons themselves. Even Hitler saw the correct decision.

    During the last years of the German Military Mission to China, an agreement was reached whereby Germany was obliged to train 20 infantry divisions by 1937/1938; the whole Chinese army, navy and air force by the early 1940's. However, by the time of the Japanese invasion of 1937, only eight divisions were fully trained by the Germans. Among those trained were the 83rd, 87th and 88th Infantry Divisions. Allegedly, Chiang Kai-Shek's favorite was the 83rd.

    In 1933, the Chinese Army consisted of (according to German sources) 134 Infantry Divisions 9 Cavalry Divisions, 17 Cavalry Brigades, 36 Infantry Brigades, 5 Artillery Brigades, 20 Artillery Regiments, 600 aircraft (approximately), some railway artillery, limited armored forces, a small navy, for a total of 37 million main line troops and 600,000 provincial troops.
     
  7. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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  8. hc8604

    hc8604 Member

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    Those pictures were taken at the 2007 American Heritage Festival in Arizona. Some of the Chinese reenactors are from Taiwan just to attend the event. The group leader lives in Arizona and has group members in many parts of the US. They are the first and only group in the US to reenact the Chinese in WW2.
     
  9. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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  10. hc8604

    hc8604 Member

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  11. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Thanks for the other link :).
     
  12. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Some pretty fantastic pics there. Great stuff.
     
  13. Kampfer

    Kampfer Member

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    Hello everyone.
    Here are some pics of mine.
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  14. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Good Pics, Kampfer, thanks for posting them.
     
  15. Milan Mynar

    Milan Mynar Member

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    Dear Sirs,

    I am a modeller from Czech Republic . I am going to built a model of Chinese
    Vickers 6 ton tank , have you any phots of this tank?
     
  16. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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  17. Kampfer

    Kampfer Member

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  18. Wujian

    Wujian recruit

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    The Arizona-based CTGWWII group gets most of their supplies from this site:
    ?????
    And tends to do reenactments with the IJA 3rd Platoon Reenactment Group who's website is here:
    Daisan Shoutai Home

    Some more pics of their reenactments are here:
    Cape 7 Braves

    And here, there's a some more pics of the reenactors in Uniform:
    Battle reenactment: War of Resistance 1931~1945 - China History Forum, Chinese History Forum

    And some historical pics to compare to if you want:
    http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/index.php?showtopic=6651&hl=Uniforms (Scroll down/other pages)
     

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