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|Chinese National Army|
War Ensign of the Chinese National Army
|Country||Republic of China-Nanjing|
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Role||Territorial defence, policing|
|Engagements|| Second Sino-Japanese War|
|Decorations||Order of the Golden Dragon|
|Minister of Defence||Bao Wenyue|
|Chief of General Staff||Li Zongren|
|Air Force Roundel|
The Chinese National Army, formerly called the Collaborationist Chinese Army, was the military force of the Reorganized National Government of China, established after the Japanese Empire merged almost all collaborationist governments and created a unified Chinese armed force. The army of collaborators initially numbered around 378,000, but this number rose to 1.4 million by 1945. When the Japanese won the Second Sino-Japanese War, the force was renamed "Chinese National Army" and was made the military of the Chinese national government (which was officially the "Republic of China"). The army was led by Li Zongren, a former warlord.
The Chinese Air Force was composed of Japanese given aircraft and captured nationalist and communist aircraft, with a total of 226 craft in 1947. It was led by a major general and ace pilot, Gao Zhihang, who was a nationalist defector, from 1942. A highly decorated nationalist war hero, Zhihang defected since he saw the war was lost for the nationalists, and the successes of the Chinese living under Japan's puppet government made him want to defect. He agreed to Wang Jingwei's (president of the "Republic of China") request of him being the head of the Chinese air force. The Japanese provided advisors to directly train Chinese recruits, and experienced pilots who defected from the nationalist side were made officers by Zhihang. The Air Force was also helped by Japanese academies: Chinese officers were sent for nine months or so to Japan where they were instructed at Japanese flight schools. This further raised the quality of the pilots.
This, combined with the experience of the pilots and the large number of aircraft, made the Chinese Air Force quite a competent and useful force; the best among all Japanese puppet states. In 1950, Wang agreed to start instructing pilots from Burma, India, Vietnam, and Thailand. The Air Force was primarily used during the war (though it came in late, seeing little use prior to 1944) for ground support, which did a lot to bolster collaborator morale. It was effective against the nationalist and communist forces, especially later during the 1945-51 insurgency in Xinjiang. Pilots from it trained members of the Chinese navy's small aviation group. The Air Force thus became a vital component of the new Chinese military.
The Chinese Navy was the maritime component of the National Army. It was also the smallest, and received the least amount of funding. This was a result of the fact that the security on the coast of China was largely done by the Imperial Japanese Navy. However, the leader of the national government wished to have a navy to make his regime seem more legitimate by the international community, which by the late 1940s largely viewed China as a Japanese colony even if they recognized his government. The Navy was led by a former warlord and consisted of over a hundred river gunboats for policing China's rivers, as well as about a dozen outdated destroyers and cruisers from the IJN, the old Chinese fleet, and enemy ships captured by the IJN. The Navy possessed a small naval air arm, with several Nakajima seaplanes. It was led by a Admiral Ren Yuandao until 1954.
Armed forces command structure
The National Army was led by various chiefs of staff on the general staff, headed by the chief of general staff.
As of 1945:
- Chief of general staff: Lieutenant General Li Zongren
- Chief of army staff: Major General Xiao Shuxuan
- Chief of navy staff: Admiral Ren Yuandao
- Chief of air force staff: Major General Gao Zhihang
- Chief of intelligence: Lieutenant General Sun Liangcheng (also director of the Tewu secret police)
- Chief of operations: