Northern Campaign of 1926–27

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Northern Campaign of 1926–27


a march of the Chinese National Revolutionary Army (NRA) from the province of Kwangtung northward against the Peiyang militarist clique; part of the Chinese revolution of 1925–27. The main NRA forces moved north from Kwangtung on July 9, 1926, but as early as May a regiment commanded by the Communist Yeh T’ing had entered Hunan Province. In August 1926, NRA troops completed the liberation of Hunan; in September-October, Hupeh Province was liberated. The remnants of the troops of Wu P’ei-fu, a militarist of Anglo-American orientation, retreated northward.

In September 1926 the NRA launched military actions in East China against Sun Ch’uan-fang, another militarist of Anglo-American orientation. In November-December 1926 the provinces of Kiangsi and Fukien were liberated, and in February-March 1927, the province of Chekiang and part of the province of Anhwei.

The successes of the Northern Campaign resulted from the support of the popular masses; the moral-political and material support of the Soviet people was an important factor. The advance of the NRA was accompanied by an intensification of the workers’ and peasants’ movement in the country. On March 21, Shanghai workers under the leadership of the Communist Party of China staged an insurrection and freed Shanghai from militarist power. On March 22, NRA troops entered Shanghai. On March 24, Nanking was freed.

However, the victories of the revolutionary forces were shortlived. The commander in chief of the NRA was the right-wing Kuomintangist Chiang Kai-shek. Many militarists joined the NRA, changing the nature of the organization. After establishing contact with the imperialists, the right-wing Kuomintang-ists, headed by Chiang Kai-shek, staged counterrevolutionary coups in Shanghai, Nanking, Kuangchou, and other cities of East and South China during April 1927. The NRA troops who remained loyal to the national government in Wuhan continued the Northern Campaign in May and early June, winning a victory over the forces of the pro-Japanese militarist Chang Tso-lin and liberating the province of Honan. But on July 15, 1927, a counterrevolutionary coup took place also in Wuhan. The Chinese revolution had suffered a temporary defeat.


Cherepanov, A. I. Severnyi pokhod Natsional’no-revoliutsionnoi armii Kitaia (Zapiski voennogo sovetnika). Moscow, 1968.
Konchits, N. I. Kitaiskie dnevniki 1925–1926gg. Moscow, 1969.
Kartunova, A. I. V. K. Bliukher v Kitae 1924–1927gg. Moscow, 1970.


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