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(1934–35) Trek of 6,000 mi (10,000 km) by Chinese Communists, resulting in the relocation of their revolutionary base from southeastern China to northwestern China and the emergence of Mao Zedong as their undisputed leader. Having withstood four of Chiang Kai-shek's campaigns against their base area, the Communists were nearly defeated by his fifth attack. The remaining 85,000 troops broke through Nationalist lines and fled first westward under Zhu De and then north under Mao. By the time Mao arrived at Shaanxi, he was followed by only about 8,000 survivors, most of the rest having been killed by fighting, disease, and starvation (among the casualties were Mao's two children and a brother). At their new base the Communists were able to build up their strength at a safe remove from the Nationalists in preparation for their eventual victory in 1949.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Long March, visit Britannica.com.
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