lessthanpleased wrote:The amount Mao accomplished is almost unthinkable given the resources he was allocated. He outshines even the fictional Zhuge Liang insofar as he began with similar resources (the hearts of the peope) and did what the deity never could: unified China.
The man was a genius. Not a very nice person, or even good person towards the end, but a stunning tactician.
Agreed. In a striking similarity, during the Long March, Mao's meager forces escaped Chiang Kai Shek's much larger army much like Liu Bei escaped Cao Cao in Jing. They survived against hostile non-Han warlords, starvation, and the extreme trek on foot, just to obtain isolation and protection from the enemy. They did not have a Liu Biao or Sun Quan to rely on, and his army, at one point numbering less than 10,000, did not compare to the hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the nationalist army.
From this point they began to win the hearts of the people and rebuilt their party and troop base in the countryside, away from the urban-centered nationalists. During the Sino-Japanese war (WWII), when communist and nationalist forces fought alongside each other, Mao was in a stronger position than before, as he was careful to not use his own forces for the defense against the Japanese. Thereafter, he continued to reach out to the common folk and gain rural support, bided his time while his enemies lost popularity and began to implode politically, and struck at the first opportunity.
What makes his victories even more amazing was that his forces were largely uneducated peasants, yet he managed to utilize tactics that accounted for this. His tactics were broad simple, and while they lacked the finesse of a Bo Wan Slope or Chi Bi, they were even more effective because of the scope of the results. He crossed the entire country and back again to make the greatest comeback in Chinese history that I can think of (and like lessthanpleased, I'm no expert). If you didn't know what he did afterwards, you really would think this was a Liu Bei who won.