Accession Number:

ADA523450

Title:

From Red Cliffs to Chosin: The Chinese Way of War

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

115.0

Abstract:

This monograph examines Chinese warfare and suggests that 3,500 years of Chinese military history have produced a distinctive and enduring Chinese way of war. While the art and science of war in China have evolved considerably throughout its history, the characteristics and philosophies of its style of warfare contain some propensities that endure from antiquity to the present. These propensities are as follows 1 the Chinese military orientation focuses more on the strategic and operational levels of war than the tactical 2 the Chinese prefer strategic maneuver warfare to attritional or other forms of warfare 3 Chinese warfare emphasizes the importance of shaping operations -- the arrangement of the conditions of the war, campaign, or battlefield in ones favor before initiating combat and 4 deception and unorthodox warfare play a leading role in Chinese martial philosophy and conduct of war. The four propensities are general trends that emerge when the entire span of Chinese warfare is broadly considered. Rooted in the philosophy and theories of the great military classics of ancient China, these propensities provide continuities in the warfighting styles, traditions, and preferences of Chinese armies throughout history. While none of the four propensities of Chinese warfare are practiced by China alone, when aggregated they form a broad approach to warfighting that is unlike that of any other country in the world. The distinctiveness of the Chinese way of war is a product of Chinas unique cultural traditions, religious and social philosophies, and historical evolution. Focusing on the operational level of war, this study examines the Chinese way of war by analyzing a major Chinese military campaign in three distinct historical eras, the late Han Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty, and the Modern Era.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE