Nanchang Uprising of 1927

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nanch’ang Uprising of 1927


an armed action organized by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and carried out by units of the National Revolutionary Army against counter revolutionary Kuomintang power. While the uprising was a rearguard action of the Revolution of 1925–27, it simultaneously marked the beginning of a new period in the history of the CPC —that of the civil war with the Kuomintang.

The uprising began on August 1 in Nanch’ang. Along with members of the CPC, the revolutionary committee included Sung Ch’ing-ling and other members of the Kuomintang Left. The CPC Front Committee, with Chou En-lai as secretary, along with such military commanders as Ho Lung, Yeh T’ing, Liu Po-ch’eng, and Chu Teh, provided the leadership of the uprising. The insurgent force (some 20,000 troops, of whom 1,400 were Communists) disarmed the Kuomintang garrison in Nanch’ang on August 1. On August 3–5 they marched south to establish a revolutionary base in Canton. After a 50-day march across eastern Kiangsi and western Fukien, the revolutionary forces entered the Ch’aoan-Swatow region of eastern Kwangtung. Here they were defeated on September 29–30 by superior enemy forces. About 1,000 soldiers under Yeh T’ing broke through to a region controlled by the peasant movement in eastern Kwangtung, while a force of about 2,000 under Chu Teh, along with 8,000 peasant insurgents from southern Hunan, proceeded first to northern Kwangtung and then to the mountainous region on the Hunan-Kiangsi border.

Despite this defeat, the Nanch’ang Uprising of 1927 holds an important place in the history of the Chinese revolution and marks the establishment of the Chinese Red Army. August 1 is celebrated in China as People’s Liberation Army Day.


Smolov, N. A. “Vosstanie ν Nanchane i pokhod na Svatou.” Revoliutsionnyi Vostok, 1928, nos. 4–5.
“K 45-letiiu Nan’chanskogo vosstaniia.” Problemy Dal’nego Vostoka, 1972, no. 3.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.