Talk:Luding Bridge

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Luding Bridge:
  • article nearly seems to contradict itself, and is not logically integral.
  • work out npov issues and sources
  • specific about weaponry mentioned in sources and integrate with other articles of the Chinese Civil War
  • add architectual and historic info about the bridge and split the crossing into another article.

Jung Chang[edit]

To the anon IP, you may disagree with Chang, but her book is getting good reviews in reputable newspapers, and so she counts as a reliable source for Wikipedia. If you want to add referenced material, please do so, but don't delete material just because you don't like it. SlimVirgin (talk) June 30, 2005 02:38 (UTC)

No, those history books will not answer her claims. They were published BEFORE this new book. Find evidence that challenges her directly. Thousands of "experts" used to say the earth was flat before it was proved otherwise. So any books you can find aren't a reason for removing her views. If you want to discuss it, discuss it here. Don't keep editing until we reach an consensus please. John Smith's 30 June 2005 14:48 (UTC)
I am a different user from the the IP first of all. OK, evidence that challenged her directly on the incident, and I'm assuming you want sources that are objective and not high level officials (because all they tell is lies, right?):

Read the Diary of Cheng Xilian (a veteran who fought at Luding Bridge): this is probably the greatest firsthand account of the event...of course its written in Chinese, so I imagine you won't be able to find it. Of course, he probably doesn't exist right?

As for sources easily in access: Kim Hyong Ik's personal diary (1935, before Communist propaganda could really conjure something that big up) [[1]]

Yang Chenwu [[2]] (this link, if you scroll to the bottom, mentions this veteran and his revisitation)

Those were the only internet sources I could find...but if you can, read (haven't read this one, but I saw it at the library, and flipped to Luding Bridge, Luding Bridge is real to them...) (probably the best book on the Long March...) (contains personal interviews with veterans...)

If my word means anything to you, one of my father's friend's friends (I know its a long link) claimed to be part of the same regiment as those who fought at Luding Bridge (and I don't think he ever mentioned it was fake)...

As for favorable reviews and some some quotes that makes Jung Chang a little bit hard to believe

"Seventy million killed at the absolute minimum. We didn't even count people like my grandmother's death - which should really be on Mao's account. That figure only includes people who were murdered by Mao - and in peace time, which is completely unprecedented in the history of the world." - (if not simply false, if you were an avid reader on Mao, I think even you'll agree that this twists the truth..."

"All the historical events like the Long March, the war with Japan, how Mao came to power, the Great Leap, the Cultural Revolution - our story is completely different. Nobody has explained Mao like us." - Exactly, that's why I don't exactly advocate putting up Jung Chang's views up, because her story is completely different from ANYONE else's

According to the Guardian (a very right-wing journal even in a glowing review) "This magnificent book is not without its blemishes. There is no discussion of the quality of the sources or how they were used. The motives of people in general and of Mao in particular are asserted rather than evaluated." Well, that leaves at least a LITTLE doubt right? [[3]] (interesting discussion)

"The book is occasionally hyperbolic; it describes, on flimsy evidence, one communist spy in the nationalist camp as perhaps “single-handedly” changing the course of world history; sometimes weird - actor Michael Caine pops up as a primary source for the “human wave” attacks by the Chinese in the Korean war; and also at times unconvincingly conspiratorial." review by Howard French, senior writer at the NY Times ( Jung Chang blends fact and fiction to twist history to her views....

[[4]], google cached version, but still a very good look at Mao

I find this type of review typifies the type of people who believe Jung Chang "The iconoclasm continues: there was no battle at Dadu Bridge" (very good about getting your names straight, huh?) - contradictions between Short and Chang, read first and last paragraphs - scroll to bottom

Thanks for the sources. By all means use them to write some additional text, carefully citing the sources as you write, and closely following Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, but please don't delete Jung Chang. Many thanks, SlimVirgin (talk) July 1, 2005 00:23 (UTC)

Probably we should weigh it in the scales. On one side, Jung Chang, a woman with a doctorate in linguistics and a grudge; on the other, just about every historian to have ever written on the subject.

Iris Chang had a degree in journalism and Chinese love her for what she did over Nanjing.
I'm not so sure that mainland Chinese living in China have even heard of her...

Those links are interesting and I have read some of them already. However I have problems:

  • First the diary on Kimsoft. What does it say? We were greatly encouraged by the news that they had crossed River Dadu. By the news? Well this implies the individual did not see it happen, so it's not evidence that Chang is wrong.
Well it gives a little bit of weight to Luding Bridge did exist. I think at the time of the diary entry, the Communists were still worrying about existing, not conjuring up propaganda for future use. I guess its possible...
  • The second link. I don't see it say anywhere saying "well we gave the KMT a good beating that day" or anything like that. It seems to be a modern description of some TV/art project. I'm not saying he isn't a veteran, but he doesn't actually make a statement about the crossing.
  • The Guardian is NOT right-wing. It is left-wing!
My bad, I'm not British, so I really had no idea...
  • The blog discussion is rather inconclusive given that some people support the book. And this person then admits that they haven't read the whole book and that they're a scientist with some arts modules.
  • What's wrong with the NZ review? Why is that awful, when the New Age article is so pro-Mao and clearly biased? If you don't like the NZ review because you feel it's not partisan then the same should apply to the New Age one. Anyway, what the hell is "New Age"? It's not exactly the Times or the Guardian, is it?
Pro-Mao and "clearly biased" are not necessarily equivalant.
Honestly, I don't see why the New Age review is good and the NZ one is bad. They're both biased or they're both expressing an opinion. John Smith's 1 July 2005 19:19 (UTC)
  • Those books seem interesting but I note they're all out of print bar the last one - and that is criticised by the readers for the authors praising Mao and the Communists so unreservedly. So they're hardly impartial either.
Most westerners (especially Americans) will criticize any "pinko commie author" book for being pro-Mao.
Well I would never label an author that way. But if they can praise Mao greatly, Chang has the right to criticise him as well. John Smith's 1 July 2005 19:19 (UTC)

This is a controversial subject, but it's not a reason to discount Chang & Halliday's views. The way you've addressed their claims is much better than simply deleting them. I'll tweak it a bit because her book has only been published recently, and I don't think anyone presumed that Luding might have been propaganda. John Smith's 1 July 2005 08:55 (UTC)

I'm sorry for the repeated deletions, and I'm happy to let Jung Chang stay. I took the whole "Luding Bridge doesn't exist" thing as an insult to national pride. Its sort of the equivalent of saying something like the Battle of Britain was a propaganda tool that Winston Churchill made up so Britain would be encourage to stay fighting throughout the war. Nonetheless, I think we've reached a compromise on this... -

I'm glad you've realised that this not an attack on China - for one thing, it's important to remember that national pride is a personal decision. I can understand your feelings, but you do have to remember that there is no such thing as "historical truth". There are plenty of stories and events that have been exaggerated outside of China for the benefit of governments, which have been exposed.

I'm sorry if I jumped in very quickly after her book was published. Hopefully in the next few months we'll see some serious commentary on the new book (i.e. proper criticism) and we'll be able to go from there. John Smith's 1 July 2005 19:19 (UTC)

I had a word with another Wikipedia editor about this, someone's who an expert in this area, but who's on wikibreak at the moment. He made the point that Chang's book has not been peer-reviewed yet, and that her view about Luding Bridge is highly controversial to say the least, so I'm beginning to wonder whether we're right to include her views. I haven't read her book, and it's not available yet where I live. John Smith's, what does she actually say about Luding Bridge, and how much space does she devote to it? I'm curious in particular about the eye-witnesses she interviewed. If there was no battle, what were they eyewitnesses to? SlimVirgin (talk) July 2, 2005 07:50 (UTC)

Jung Chang's evidence[edit]

She has about three pages on it - I'm not sure what else she could say. She does go into specific detail rather than just say "it never happened". She names her source, a woman alive at the time as "Li Xiu-zhen", who was 97 when Chang met her in 1997. Obviously I can't just copy the passage as it would be rather illegal. However I'll try and reproduce it without infringing copywrite:

  • Communists claim KMT engaged them with a force led by Li Quan-shan, but cables to and from the regiment located it at Hualinping instead at the time. There had been a different force at Luding, but it had been moved before the Reds got there. Nationalist communications mention no fighting at the bridge, only skirmishes on the way there.

- Footnote: KMT orders on the 28th say that this force under Yu Song-lin was to move to defend Kangding (50k away as the crow flies). Governor of the region stated in a report on 3rd June that this force was not near the bridge when it was crossed.

  • Li said she only remembered sporadic firing by the Reds and no returning fire.
  • Some planks had been removed or damaged, so the Communists asked to borrow Li's doors as well as those of her neighbours. Some kindly donated coffin lids. However it was not reduced to bear chains as the stories claim.
  • A central part of the myth was that the bridge was on fire. Apparently the museum curator denied this in 1983 (a prize to anyone that can find a reference to this).
  • But her no. 1 piece of evidence is the fact that NO Red casualties were inflicted. The vanguard stormed the bridge in a supposedly suicidal attempt, but none died. All survived for a ceremony on 2nd June where they all got a Lenin suit, fountain pen, bowl & pair of chopsticks. No one who followed them died. Chou Enlai's bodyguard commented how he was concerned a horse had fallen into the river. He asked the commander of the unit that had secured the bridge if anyone had died - he said "no". Even the worst organised defence would have inflicted a few casualties.

- Footnote: A British writer interviewed Peng De-huai in 1947 about the crossing, but he refused to endorse the story. He claimed he couldn't remember much about it, apart from people falling off the bridge. Li said that some did when they were trying to repair it. Peng didn't say anything about fighting going on there. John Smith's 2 July 2005 15:28 (UTC)

But her no. 1 piece of evidence is the fact that NO Red casualties were inflicted. Seventeen? >50? El_C 11:36, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Interesting. But that those estimates have no sources. Equally there is still the issue of whether the vanguard all turned up for the presentation ceremony afterwards or not. John Smith's 18:26, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
It appears to cut off(?). Passage is from Edgar Snow's Red Star over China (Grove Press, NY, 1973, c1968), ISBN 0394177975. El_C 23:56, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for that. So now what? We've already listed several sources that do mention Luding. John Smith's 11:34, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Which sources don't mention it, though? To my knowledge, they all do, none deny the event, not least based on such evidence. I suspect her historical revisionist claims will not meet the burden of Peer Review, but until this process has taken place, they need to be qualified accordingly. El_C 11:44, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Well this is the whole issue. No one has actually come forward yet from the academic community and said "she's wrong because xyz" - nor have they said "OMG, she's right!". It's very difficult to judge this kind of work, because people sometimes produce work that rightly challenges established beliefs. One thing I have noticed about the Western sources mentioned is that they're only secondary material. And then of course there's a big debate about how "trustworthy" sources, both the primary and secondary material, are on both sides.
I think the article actually needs to be re-centred. Rather than use the sources to counter what Chang says, it would be better to put them first to support the article itself. Perhaps someone could actually put some quotes in about what they say. Then it would be more logical to have what she says and say "well she's the only person to say it thus far".
I have no idea what the various academics will have to say on the issue of Luding. Some of the points she raises are very interesting, but we need to see if anyone can then support/deny them. It might sound ridiculous, but as a historian you surely know how blinkered other historians can be and how often they don't contemplate than an established idea might be false. John Smith's 20:42, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Hi John Smith's, thanks for your note, but I'm not clear about what I'm supposed to comment on. I blame premature ageing. Mine, not yours. ;-) SlimVirgin (talk) 18:56, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

A skirmish involving 30 men[edit]

That's the account in Edgar Snow's Red Star Over China. It's not referred to as a battle, nor does Snow say he got the story from Mao. The total number of survivors out of the 30 is not mentioned. If 22 men were honored for it, that suggests 8 out of the 30 died, quite a high death rate for a single skirmish.

Jung Chang does not accurately summarise the story in Red Star Over China, which also does not say which unit was defending the bridge.

--Gwydion M. Williams172.216.27.87 19:04, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Who's account?

“There could be no slackening of pace, no half-heartedness, no fatigue. ‘Victory was life’ said P’eng Teh-huai; ‘defeat was certain death’.” (Red Star Over China: Revised Edition of 1971.) P’eng Teh-huai - Peng Dehuai in the new Pinyin system - was the defence minister whom Mao got dismissed in 1959. Snow has two entire chapters on the man, more than any Red leader apart from Mao. The account given by Snow is likely to have come from Peng, not Mao.

There is some confusion over numbers and casualties. Here is another account

"Carrying tommy-guns, big knives strapped across their backs, twelve grenades apiece tucked into their belts, twenty-two heroes, led by Commander Liao, climbed across the swaying bridge chains, in the teeth of intense enemy fire. Behind them came the officers and men of 3rd Company, each carrying a plank in addition to full battle gear; they fought and laid planks at the same time. "...snipers shot at the Reds tossing high above the water, working slowly toward them. The first warrior was hit, and dropped into the current below; a second fell, and then a third. But as others drew nearer the center, the bridge flooring somewhat protected these dare-to-dies, and most of the enemy bullets glanced off, or ended in the cliffs on the opposite bank. "The whole outcome of the attack hung by a hair. Confronted by the fire at the city gate our assault squad hesitated...(but) at the sound of a clarion bugle call, plunged boldly into the flames. Commander Liao's cap caught fire. He threw it away and fought on. The hair and eyebrows of the men were singed but, streaming smoke and flame, they continued charging behind Liao, smashing their way into the city. In the street fighting that followed, the enemy brought their full weight to bear, determined to wipe our assault squad out. (They) fought until all their bullets and grenades were gone. The situation was critical. It seemed to be all up with them. "But just then 3rd Company came charging to their rescue. Next, Regimental Commander Wang and I sped across the bridge with our second contingent and also entered the city." "In two hours' time we destroyed half of the enemy's two regiments. The remainder broke and scattered. By dusk we had completely occupied the city of Luding and were in firm control of the bridge." "The losses were minimal. One source puts the dead at seventeen, with "many scorched and wounded, and a few severely burned," another at under fifty, of whom twelve were blown by the wind into the river below." This account is by the late Will Downs, a fascinating traveller who spoke and wrote Chinese, had many friends in China and loved to travel there. The account can be found at his site [5].

Jung Chang is a gossip, a completely useless historian. She ignores evidence that does not suit her. She can’t organise the rival versions side-by-side and then ask which one is closest to the truth.

Gwydion M. Williams-- 11:30, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Peer review[edit]

When does her new book actually get peer review... CharlesZ

Hopefuly soon, because all this conjecture is becoming tiresom. El_C 20:15, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Most of their specific claims disintegrate if you check them against published sources. But reviewers have praised it and questioned very little. I'd not be expecting any sensible reviews to be appearing in the commercial media: they resent the way that China is succeeding while ignoring Western advice. Gwydion M. Williams-- 12:41, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, and the sign of China's success under Maoist policies can be seen how the CCP rejected all of Maoism in the 1980s and has not touched it with a barge-pole ever since. The fact that China's current economic growth is based on capitalism is not relevant either. John Smith's 23:22, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Deng Xiaoping favoured 1950s Maoism as distinct from the 1960s variety. He refused to follow Khrushchev's example and try to deny his own past.

China flourises, Russia began to go downhill under Khrushchev, though not as much as under Brezhnev.

The Chinese insist their policies are socialists. Most big companies are partly state owned. The currency is not convertable. Farmers run their own farms but do not actually own the land. That's 'capitalism'?

--GwydionM 18:49, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Boys, this is an article about Luding Bridge. Take it to your user pages if you must. Mark1 18:53, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

It's not 'alleged'[edit]

'Alledged' implies serious doubt. But dozens of historians, some quite hostile to Mao, insist that there was some sort of fight. There was an interesting story to be told, and others have now told it, since there was some propaganda exaggeration in the Maoist account. But Chang & Halliday were too caught up in their hatred of Mao and made a deeply foolish claim, denying that there was any fighting or courage, which no one else believes.

I've tracked down another gross error in Chang & Halliday. They say that Peng Dehuai refused to confirm the battle for the bridge. Check their source, Robert Payne's Mao Tse-tung: Ruler of Red China. In Chapter six, the second paragraph mentions some variations in accounts of the crossing of the Tatu (Dadu). It then mentions Peng getting confused about two entirely different battles, one in Kweichow (Guizhou) and another (unspecified) in Szechuan (Szechwan).

The same book gives a fairly standard account of the crossing. And it explains another Chang / Halliday 'discovery'. They say that the Chinese Communist Party was founded in 1920, but Mao altered the record. Source, a notice printed in Moscow. But Payne in Chapter three explains how Pravda in 1920 had wrongly reported the formation of a Chinese Communist Party, but this was actually a mixed bag of anarchists and non-Leninist socialists which “ended in a fiasco”.

--GwydionM 11:29, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

The current revision is quite suitable - no need to defend it. John Smith's 15:53, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

German weaponry[edit]

I wikified it in, but I would like someone to confirm it, but it was the truth the KMT had German assistance anyway. Anyhow, two years back I was reading a book on this exact same topic: in fact, I thought it was a neutral source at the time and I didn't know it was disputed - it was pretty vivid. I think it was the one described in the Shangri-La link, actually - it mentioned the "grenade after grenade" part, and also mentioned something about a fifteen year old boy who had been through the Long March and had a "faded red star" on his cap. 'Twas pretty fascinating.

Anyhow, the book mentioned Mausers in the battle, (which as I am aware there is a grenade-launching kind, too) but I can't remember the specific details, that's all I remember. It was in fact in one of those "clearance sale" kind of things, and I didn't actually buy it because I was just window-shopping. Or browsing-reading. Whatever. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 03:51, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Uh, see below. Mausers were the rage in 30's China, and it didn't have anything to do with the German assistance... it was market forces at work. (Meaning, there was a BUNCH of Mausers in Germany and a BUNCH of wars in China, so the Mausers ended up in China.) -- Миборовский 04:02, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, yes, but it was my impression that it would have been rather expensive given the supply line without assistance, so I sort of hastily jumped to a conclusion, heh (especially at you deciding to plug market forces at this point :p). Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 04:32, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm a running dog of the capitalist pig-dogs, remember? -- Миборовский 04:52, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Weaponry bit is incorrect[edit]

Realizing their dangerous situation, the Chinese Red Army sent their crack troops to seize the bridge, and the soldiers were armed with the best guns captured from the National Revolutionary Army, which in turn had German assistance: the assault team members were all armed with submachine guns with an effective range of 300 — 400 meters while others were armed with the semi-automatic rifles with 800 meter effective range. In contrast, the local warlord's troops were armed only with bolt-action rifles so that their firepower was far less dense than what the Chinese Red Army could lay on them.

Now, in 1935 the Kraut hasn't begun to train KMT troops yet. That was the other Kraut's job. It is unlikely that CKS would have sent his best troops (of the time) against the communists. And his best troops at the time were really not much better than the warlords' troops. I don't know what sources y'all have for this bit, but I'd venture an educated guess that this section is bull. It might be possible, might be, that the commies captured equipment that were of marginally better quality than the warlords had, but there's no way the disparity was that large. -- Миборовский 03:59, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

And as I said in one edit summary, I'm now watching this article with my commie-slaying, Jung Chang-obliterating stare. Thanks to Natalina for tagging this article, heh. -- Миборовский 04:04, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I added that part in, actually. :o I didn't say anything about the training, but I assume having "cooperation" aided in the KMT having access to Mausers to buy in the first place, which then could be stolen? How many German weapons did the CPC use that they acquired themselves? There aren't sources for that passage anyway, and it is weasel wordy. But the CPC was quite a concentrated force, and a minor warlord would have been possibly quite dispersed, anyhow so the CPC could afford to pick troops. I was quite surprised by the allegation it might be fake, actually. You're an anticommunist who thinks its true, right? :p Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 04:36, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
No, I'm an anti-communist who is also anti-Jung Chang. As I explained up there, China was a huge market for Mauser (and other German armsmakers) because there were a bunch of wars of different sizes, and in war people need guns, and when they need guns Mauser is there. I think there is a detailed history of Mausers in China at, but I'm too lazy to dig it up. I would say that the CPC had access to Mauser pistols (the Broomhandle) and that's it. The KMT army was mostly equipped with American and British SMGs during the war and I don't think Germany was big on SMGs until the MP40... but I could be wrong, as my Wehrmacht history could be better. -- Миборовский 04:45, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Anti-Jung Chang from a military history point of view? Of course I still have that American perception residue in me which says "OMG China was backwards and couldn't shoot straight, never mind get Mausers!" subconsciously (thanks, American education!). It was still quite a distant market, so I assume that the KMT had a leg-up on weapons supply?
(Another jewel: I read quite a bit of elementary military history in second and third grade. 6 pages about D-Day in a particular children's book about World War II. One line roughly saying, "Mao Zedong led the Communists to victory in China in 1949", not giving a very good childhood impression of pre-1949 China and lots of prejudice instead. It was almost implied like as though Mao Zedong somehow managed to gain access to modern firearms, overpowered the bow-and-arrow government and they swept to victory, the end. Moral: that is why American interventionism is good, so we can donate arms before the bad guys get them.) Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 04:54, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Of course KMT had the upper hand in equipment, they got spiffy howitzers and cannons and stuff, but how much of that got to the soldiers in the field? Then the commies had to scrounge that from the KMT soldiers, so yes, the KMT probably was better equipped, but not by much, and those were warlord troops defending Luding Bridge, so who knows what they had? (My dislike of Jung Chang is not really appropriate for this discussion, so let's leave it at that *whistles*.) -- Миборовский 04:59, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
(But at least you didn't get the textbook which said "Mao Tze-Dung"!!!) -- Миборовский 05:01, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
That happened to you for real?(!) Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 06:23, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, in T3h Chinese High Skool of all places. -- Миборовский 15:33, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


I'm not sure it was needed, since it was a very small action militarily. But since the request was there, I filled in what I could.

I tried and failed to include the picture.

--GwydionM 18:17, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Move to 'Luding Bridge Crossing'?[edit]

How do people feel about moving the article and letting the bridge have its own entry? It had been there a long time before the 1930s.

The name of the battle is a shade problematic. If someone has a better idea, fine.

--GwydionM 18:17, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree, but I think "Crossing of Luding Bridge" would be a better title. (飞夺泸定桥 is the Chinese term for it, but..."Flying across Luding Bridge"? XD)_dk 08:20, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Blitzkrieg across Luding Bridge :D -- Миборовский 08:26, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Maybe Crossing of Luding Bridge (1935). It doesn't fit the definition of Blitzkrieg, everyone marched. --GwydionM 14:34, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure that was a joke...:D I don't think the (1935) part is necessary, since there isn't any other significant crossing of the bridge. _dk 23:40, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes it was. -- Миборовский 05:39, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for bringing this up. Of course this article needs to be moved, it is mostly about 20th century battles and says little or nothing about the history and other aspects of the bridge itself. It merely grazes over the fact it was built in the 18th century, then jumps right into battle logistics and the relationship of warlords to Chiang Kai-shek. What the hell is that? That's like writing an article for the Roman Colosseum with nothing but information on battles and political intrigue during the reigns of Vespasian and Domitian, with one or two lines about the Colosseum itself.--Pericles of AthensTalk 17:53, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Relevance of warlord drug references[edit]

What is the value of the opium dealing and addiction references? Would it have effected the outcome? Would it have given the local war lord's forces more endurance, or made them sloppier? Perhaps it helped to make the warlords themselves more open to bribery?

Are there any citations for this information?

GreenValleyHawk 22:35, 14 November 2006 (UTC) GreenValleyHawk

Serious changes need to be made[edit]

I'm greatly interested in the Luding Bridge crossing and it saddens me to discover the shape that this webpage is in. It seems like many people 2 years ago sincerely tried to do a good job putting an article together, but the effort wasn't concerted, competing views of the crossing were not presented in an understandable way, and citation of sources was rarely used. This is a serious problem. The article is entirely too long now and the people who wrote haven't been active on the talk page for over a year. It seems like people grew frustrated and quit for the most part. The article itself seems hopelessly confused and the talk page is in even worse shape. This article needs a new start.

I propose a plan, but I'm quite new to Wikipedia, so I don't know what the rules are concerning these things and I need help. The first thing I propose is cleaning up the talk page, most of which is no longer relevant. There was a huge flame war over Jung Chang that is of little value to the Wiki community, seeing as the argument happened at a time when there was scant peer review of her work. As a result, that part of the talk page is several people's uninformed opinion over whether she is trustworthy. I see no reason not to delete most of this talk page, unless that is prohibited for some reason. People who really want to see what people said two years ago can look in the page history.

The second thing I propose is also quite extensive. I think most of this article should be flat out deleted. It is tremendously unsourced, so it is impossible to know what information is worth maintaining and what isn't. I think we should leave it up for about a week so that people have time to add citations. Everything that isn't cited after that point should go. We will then have a great starting point for fixing this page.

The third thing is to rewrite the article. I propose the following section headings and content:

Pre-Long March History A description of the building of the bridge and the nearby annihilation of Shi Dakai's army.

Original Accounts of the Crossing Here we would include the traditional story of what happened the bridge, replete with all the juicy details that grab everyone's attention. Sources would be CCP and PRC documentation and Western documentation written before the 1970s (things like Red Star over China. Also, there would be a description of the importance of these accounts in China and the West, and the use of the Luding Bridge story as propaganda.

Later Accounts from the West Here we would have the story as told by Harrison and Charlotte Salisbury and Dick Wilson, as well as a description of where they got their information from.

Recent Historiographical Developments Finally, we would include recent literature's description of what happened at the bridge: Jung Chang, Andrew McEwen and Ed Jocelyn, and Sun Shuyun. An evaluation of the reliability of these sources, looking at their citations and ideologies, would be in order.

I'm not trying to be autocratic about this whole thing. I look forward to seeing if anyone has a better idea how to fix this article. I have great faith that we can do this together. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bgaulke (talkcontribs) 03:19, 23 March 2007 (UTC).

I think most of this article should be flat out deleted - that would be vandalism. Even when individual facts are not tied to a source, they are fairly accurate.
Improvements would be welcome. The history of the bridge - maybe move the bulk of it to Lunding Bridge (Battle of), because the place itself has some significance. Maybe also a separate page on Controversies over the Battle of Lunding Bridge. Mentioning that Edgar Snow described it as a relatively easy victory, though won under heroic circumstances.
The problem with Chang & Halliday is that they make ridiculous claims and embarrass many historians who are just as anti-Mao. They make a big thing of there being 22 attackers and 22 survivors, but Snow's account says 30 attackers. The book is full of nonsense like that. --GwydionM 17:55, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
How can we leave statements in the article when we don't know if they are accurate and have no way of assessing if they are? That seems unacceptable. There is a lot of contradictory information in this piece, so surely some of it is faulty.
Perhaps separate pages for the battle and the bridge might be a good idea. That's what was done the Marco Polo Bridge and the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. Of course, Marco Polo Bridge is much more significant, both historically and architecturally, than Luding Bridge.
I don't know why you started talking about Chang and Halliday, since I had hardly mentioned them. I would agree with you that their book is an extremely tainted and biased source of information that most academics find quite untrustworthy. That being said, the book made quite a splash, especially when it comes to the controversy over the Luding Bridge crossing. It would seem foolish to ignore it in this article, just as it would be equally foolish to not present the disreputable nature of the text itself.
--Bgaulke 19:12, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
It seems like a large amount, if not most, of this article was written by three IP addresses:,, and Since and seem to have addressed very similar issues and edited in similar styles, I'm guessing it might be the same person using two computers to edit. Of course, and are almost certainly the same person, considering their very similar IP addresses. Unfortunately, this editor has cited very little of the information that he (or she) has written, which is frustrating, because I find it all very interesting. For instance, on my own, I have yet to find any of the weaponry information that he provided. I'm not saying he made it up (that'd be a lot of work for no reason), but I want to find the source. If anyone can help, please post here.

User:Dariusisdaman link spam[edit]

This user has been indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet of User:Dariusdaman - I am undoing his link spammage. John Smith's (talk) 07:24, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Expert Attention[edit]

I just completed a copyedit of this article. Grammatically, it's ok now. Readability-wise, though, it's still a bit of a mess. However, as I know zero about military or Chinese history, and what's important to those topics, I didn't feel comfortable doing things like removing the listing and re-listing of squadron, battalion, etc numbers, or the naming of every official that took part in the battle. I have no idea if things like that are important or just kind of crufty, so I left them. To bring this article to a readable, non-eye-crossing form, though, the abundance of small, possibly unnecessary facts is going to need to be addressed. keɪɑtɪk flʌfi (talk) 20:03, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Mobo Gao and Jung Chang[edit]

Jung Chang's Mao: The Unknown Story is not a good source. Evidence that refutes her idiotic claims is presented in "The Battle for China's Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution" by Mobo Gao. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:50, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Chinese Characters[edit]

Do we need to have those Chinese Charaters after EVERY name, placed there EVERY time? After a while it becomes a bit annoying, you know.Jeff5102 (talk) 21:21, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

3 more names identified;at least two of the assault team members did live to see the establishment of PRC[edit]

I'm just describing the information I got from Chinese news sources. Note that they are written in Chinese and some of them have an ideological tone. I personally believe these news texts provide some factual details. They can be four points:

1. 3 more names of the assault team members are known; these names are Zhao Changfa(赵长发),Yang Tianming(杨田铭) and "Yun gui chuan(云贵川)"[[6]][[7]][[8]]. According to the third news source, the soldier "Yun gui chuan(云贵川)" did not have name when he joined the Red Army; the name "Yun gui chuan(云贵川)" was given by his comrades.

2. Liu Zihua(刘梓华) was not killed in Pingjin Campaign; he survived until 1951[[9]][[10]].

3. Yang Tianming(杨田铭) survived until 1963[[11]][[12]].

4. Li Jinshan(李金山) should be Liu Jinshan(刘金山)[[13]]. You guys can check any of these sources. It's all mentioned as "Liu Jinshan(刘金山)" rather than "Li Jinshan(李金山)".

Because Liu Zihua(刘梓华) and Yang Tianming(杨田铭) survived after 1949, the claim "none of the survivors lived to see the establishment of the People's Republic" seems to be inaccurate in this article.

Some may not think the sources are reliable. That's okay. -BlueYearning (talk) 10:28, 22 October 2013 (UTC)