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Alternate History

Project National Glory (This is the Dream)

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Project National Glory
Part of the Third Chinese Civil War and the
Nationalist Invasion of Southern China
American Marines at Inchon
Nationalist Chinese soldiers of the 6th Army Corps scale beach defences during the landings in Zone Red.
Date 12 October 1973 – 9 September 1974
(10 months, 4 weeks and 1 day)
Location Fujian, Southeast China
Result Nationalist victory
Territorial

changes

The Republic of China re-establishes a permanent mainland presence
Belligerents
Nationalist forces

Flag of the Republic of China Republic of China

Republic of China Army Flag Nationalist loyalists


Supported by:
Flag of the United States United States
Flag of South Vietnam South Vietnam
Flag of South Korea South Korea
Flag of Thailand Thailand
Flag of the Philippines Philippines
Flag of Laos (1952-1975) Laos
Flag of the Khmer Republic Cambodia

Communist forces

Flag of the People's Republic of China Communist China


Supported by:
Flag of the Soviet Union Soviet Union
Flag of Vietnam North Vietnam
Flag of North Korea North Korea
Flag of Cuba Cuba
Flag of Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
Flag of East Germany East Germany
Flag of Romania (1965-1989) Romania
Flag of Albania (1946-1992) Albania

Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek
Flag of the Republic of China Hau Pei-tsun
Flag of the Republic of China Huang Chieh
Flag of the Republic of China Fu Szeto
Flag of the Republic of China Wang Sheng
Republic of China Army Flag Zhu Yuancong
Republic of China Army Flag Huang Geng
Flag of the People's Republic of China Nie Rongzhen
Flag of the People's Republic of China Chen Bojun
Flag of the People's Republic of China Chen Biao
Flag of the People's Republic of China Sun Shidi
Flag of the People's Republic of China Liu Bocheng
Flag of the People's Republic of China Ma Zheng
Flag of the People's Republic of China Wang Chunquan
Strength
480,000–710,000 138,000 (Oct. 1973)
443,000 (June. 1974)
Casualties and losses
82,000–185,000 killed
130,000–200,000 wounded
20,000–78,000 captured
Total KIA, WIA or POW:
232,000–463,000
65,000–100,000 killed
73,000–219,000 wounded
40,000–225,000 captured
Total KIA, WIA or POW:
178,000–544,000

Project National Glory (Chinese: 國光計劃; pinyin: Guóguāng jìhuà) were the initial landing operations by the Republic of China against the People's Republic of China in Fujian. Taking place during the Third Chinese Civil War, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history and marked the beginning of the Republic of China's return to the mainland after 24 years exile on Taiwan.

Plans for an invasion of the mainland began in 1965, but it wasn't until the outbreak of persistent fighting in the PRC in 1971 in which they could be implemented. Several unsuccessful feigned invasions were attempted between August 1971 and June 1973 in the lead up to the primary landings. The 1973 coup which saw Nie Rongzhen come to power in Beijing led Nationalist President Chiang Kai-shek to cancel all further false attacks and commence full landing operations.

The targeted landing locations on the Fujian coast were divided into three zones that would be assaulted over a one-week period; Zone Red, Zone Blue, and Zone White with the primary goal of securing the cities of Xiamen, Quanzhou, Putian, and Fuzhou. To ensure secrecy regarding the assault locations, no prior aerial and naval bombardment occured. As a result, the amphibious landings faced intact coastal defences which hampered the initial invasion force of over 170,000 men when they landed in Zone Blue.

Subsequent landings in Zone Red and Zone White eased pressure on the primary invasion forces, however, poor weather conditions and stern defences stifled a swift advance. Beachhead trenches were established and it would take several months before three of the objective cities were secured, during which time hundreds of thousands of attackers and defenders were killed or wounded. Operations wouldn't be completed until the fall of Fuzhou in September 1974.

Whilst the Nationalists did not complete all objectives decisively, the landing operations did have major effects on China. Inability to deal with the invasion led to the collapse of the Rongzhen Junta in March 1975 which served to further instability within the collapsing PRC, leading to the Soviet intervention in North China later that year. Moreover, the success of the landings initiated the Nationalist recovery of Southern China and helped stifle debate over the legitimacy of the Republic of China's position within the United Nations.

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