Sorry maybe i watched Li Au's talk show too much, Chiang will never be a Hero in my book. Flawed personality etc.
I think Japanese failure to conquer the whole of China is partly their own fault, not discrediting Chinese defenders or anything. Isn't it after Xi An incident only then Chiang compromised to work with CCP rather then killing each other while Japanese having zero resistance? And Chiang kept Zhang Xueliang under house arrest for rest of his life.
If Chiang was a military genius he wouldn't have lost the civil war to the weaker eqiupped communists..
Comparing Chiang to Churchill is an insult on the Englishman...
If not for the Cultural Revolution, I will rate Mao as a great leader...
Li Ao had a personal grudge and agenda against Chiang. His views with regards to Chiang and KMT are definitely flawed.
Chiang's policy of xian an nei, hou rang wai is definitely the right one. Throughout chinese history, almost every golden era is built based on this basis. (HanWudi, Kangxi, etc.). I didn't say Chiang was a military genius. He lost the civil war because the KMT forces were already depleted after fighting 8 years with the Japanese.
Statistics speak for itself, 2-3 million KMT soldiers perished during the war while many top generals such as Zhang Zhi Zhong, Dai An Lan, etc were killed during the war. The communist on the contrary, expanded from a mere 10,000-20,000 after their escape to Yenan to a force of 2-3 million after the war. It goes to show that they not really fighting the Japanese at all. Please don't give me the bullshit about how brilliant Mao were in his guerilla tactics as the reason why they could expand and not suffer casualties against the Japanese. How many huge battles were fought with the Japanese as compared to KMT? Can the communist come out with names of top generals perished in the war? How many really perished, fighting the Japanese?
Although the KMT were US-equipped, the communist were not that badly equipped either. They were using surrendered Japanese weapons from the Russians.
Lastly, and most important of all, is the different mentality of the soldiers of both sides during the civil war. The KMT soldiers were instilled with nationalist doctrines and thinking as a form of morale booster in the war against the Japanese. The main idea to them is to safeguard the country and race against foreign invaders. Such doctrine does not work in a civil war. Many soldiers did not want to fight in a civil war as they believe that war against foreign invaders is justfied but not war against their own kind. Chinese should not fight against one another. However, the communist soldiers does not have this problem as they were instill with communist ideology from the very start which is all about class struggle. Class struggle does not have any national or racial boundaries. The communist soldiers deemed it fit to fight against fellow Chinese in the KMT army as they were brain-washed into thinking that killing fellow chinese is fine if they were "counter-revolutionary" or "against the rights of the peasants and workers".
I am not trying to lift Chiang to the heavens, praising him as a perfect leader. He was a ruthless dictator just like mao but I believe history should credit him for his leadership and contribution during the war against the Japanese.