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Cavalry vs tanks: story

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  • Cavalry vs tanks: story

    Chapter one

    Chu Ge Liang walked slowly along the Garden Of New Youth, his head looking down. He is in deep thoughts. The year is 1835 AD, and China is a state of great chaos. The country has been divided into five kingdoms. The Second Ming dynasty, led by the brilliant strategist Chu Ge Liang, has pushed the Manchurian power to the north of the Yangtze River ten years earlier. Now all of Southeast China is under the control of the Second Ming dynasty, while the dying Manchurian empire ruled the north. Taiwan, under the leadership of the Cheng family who had established themselves there for three centuries, had become a formidable island empire that stretched southward to include Phillipines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and all of Australia. Taiwan is the very first Chinese kingdom to open contact with the west, and as a result benefited from western institutions and technologies. Tibet and Turkistan broke free from the Manchurian empire as a result of the alliance with the Second Ming dynasty, but it appears that these former allies will soon become rivals. Unification of all China seems to be a distant possibility; at least it certainly seemed so if such a task was to be achieved before Chu Ge Liang's death.

    Further complicating the task of national unification are the mighty Russian, British, German, French, and American empires who looked hungrily at the events in Asia. All wished for a piece of China. In fact, were it not for the stealth, not to say shrewd, political maneuvers on the part of these western powers, China would not have been splitted into five kingdoms.

    Chu Ge Liang's political strategy for the past two decades has been one heavily inspired by that of the Iron Chancellor, Bismarck, of Germany. By building up the Second Ming empire's commerce, and industries, and by opening up all of the empire's sea ports to free trading with everyone, including the Manchurian and Taiwanese nemesis, Chu Ge Liang had been able to preserve the Ming empire's fragile independence. At the same time, by allowing the zealous Western Christian and Catholic missionaries to freely convert anyone within the Ming empire in exchange for western technological, military, and industrial expertise, Chu Ge Liang was able to modernize China at a stunningly fast pace. By 1835 AD, the Ming empire has caught up with Taiwan in industrial technologies completely.

    However Chu Ge Liang desperately need the very one thing that these western missionaries were forbidden to give. This is the automobile technology with tank applications. Western powers had developed automobile technologies about fifteen years ago, and Ford's ingenuine assembly line allowed for the kind of mass production that was churning out tanks in hundreds. This is a capability that even Taiwan does not pocess.

    Yet to obtain this technology is vitally crucial to the future survivability of any of these five kingdoms that now rule China. This is the reason that caused this brilliant strategist to walk along the path in the Garden of New Youth. He habitually walks at this place whenever he needs to think, plan, and strategize. Today, he is thinking about how to gain access to these tanks.

    His deep rumination is interrupted by the approachment of his cousin, Lee Jin Ning. She is herself an able female strategist, who now occupies the position of vice prime minister. She works directly for Chu Ge Liang, and had been a valuable source of inspiration when it comes to strategy formulation. Therefore it wasn't surprising that Chu welcomed her presence.

    "If I find you here, which you always are, then you are strategizing again" Lee said.

    "You know me well, my cousin. Yes, I am strategizing, yet I am afraid I have come to an impasse, from which I can not extricate myself. I humbly ask for your assistance" said Chu.

    "It must be a formidable challenge then because you, such a brilliant man, have never admitted to being in an impasse", Lee said teasingly.

    "I am afraid it is an insurmountable challenge. Our dynasty needs better technologies!"

    "Have we not progressed enough in technologies? Look at our dynasty today. We enjoy a standard of living, made possible by these awesome technologies of the west, that is comparable to that of Taiwan, and is rapidly converging toward those of the west" Lee asked with some confusion.

    "That is our civlian technology. I am talking about our military technologies. We have cannons, and rifles. We even have ironclad. But our mobile armies are consisted of ancient calvary archers while the west are now using tanks! How can our calvary fight against tanks?" Chu said with some exasperation and frustrations.

    "I thought that these technologies would have been transferred to us through the Christian and Catholic missionaries"

    "They refuse to do so. They are forbidden by their governments to make such a transfer. And what worries me the most is the intelligence that my merchant spies in northern China had brought to me yesterday. It appears that all five great western powers are now in secret negotiation to supply the Manchurian army with these tanks."

    "What is the rationale behind such action" Lee asked

    "To maintain the balance of power in East Asia. These western powers know that our Ming empire is rising rapidly. If we rise too fast, we will soon have the ability to easily conquer all of northern China, uniting a substantial part of China under our dnasty's imperial rule. The western powers can not let this happen for they wish for China to be divided permanently. Therefore to counter our industrial might, they supply Manchurian empire with military expertise. Once the tanks are delivered to the Manchurians, we will not have the ability to defend ourselves." Chu said, and sighed.

    "You are wrong my cousin" Lee said

    "Please enlighten me" Chu pleaded

    "I have never seen tanks before, but I have heard their description. I have read western military literatures on tanks, and know one thing for certain. Tanks are useful in open terrain, such as the vast Mongolian grassland, or the rolling terrains of north that is the Manchurian empire. But here in Southeast China, our empire's geography is dominated by mountains and forests. Tanks are useless in this part of the world. Let these tanks come, for I have a strategy to capture these tanks sufficiently unharmed. Our engineers can use reverse engineerings on these captured tanks to discover the secrets of automobile technology"

    Lee said these with such confidence, and was backed by such insightful analysis of the tanks' advantage and disadvantage. Chu listened, and found in Lee's plan a ray of hope. Lee expounded on her plan further, bringing much joy to Chu who knew for certain that he now had the proper solution to this dilemma that caused him a sleepless night. The thing to do now is to execute this brilliant strategy. And so, preparation would begin, leading to the famous Ming Ching war of 1835 that would spell the turning point in the event of China that would decisively favor the Ming dynasty until her successfull unification of all China fifteen years later.

    To be continued

  • #2
    Chapter 2

    General Yuei Fei stood from the top of a hill overlooking the Yangtze river. On the other side of the river is the vast northern China ruled by the dying Manchurian empire. It is sustained only with the secret help of the five western powers that wished to keep the balance of power from being disrupted by Ming dynasty's rapid rise.

    Yuei Fei, age twenty nine, was born in the village of Bai Hai. As a children, he showed great talents in those activities requiring strong spatial intelligence, such as chess. Coupled with dedicated mentors who had connections to the Imperial War Academy in Nanjing, the capital city of Ming empire, Yuei Fei was sent to study there in the art of war at the age of nine, which was the same year that Chu Ge Liang helped Emperor Ming Kao to officially declared emperorship and founded the second Ming dynasty.

    Yuei Fei was an arden nationalist, who saw in the Ming dynasty the only hope for China's ultimate unification. He dedicated fifteen years of his time to the deligent studying of Chinese principles of art of war. Furthermore, he embarked on the study of German, English, Russian, and French in order to study western military literatures. The result is a fiercefully intelligent warrior-scholar, who synthesized the best elements of both eastern and western military traditions. On the eve of the Ming Ching War of 1835, Yuei Fei was appointed by Chu Ge Liang to lead the war effort, with detailed instruction on the war strategy to be used.

    Yuei Fei knew that the Manchurian army is going to try to launch an invasion comprised completly of tanks. Tanks are powerful in their mobility and range of fire and bombardment. But it has one major disadvantage, which was that it was an utterly ineffective weapon when situated in steep hills, mountains, forests, and other kind of natural barriers that abounds in the Ming empire. Chu Ge Liang instructed Yuei Fei therefore to fight in terrains where these tanks are obstructed by natural barriers to fight effectively.

    The task for Yuei Fei is to draw these Manchurian tanks to the those locations where Yuei Fei's calvary, infantries, and canons have the advantage. Yuei Fei turned, his back now facing the Yangtze river. He looked ahead and saw the vast tract of mountain ranges that stretched interminably far beyond what his eyes can see. And as he looked at this landscape, he could not help but to be amazed by the stupidity of the Manchurian generals. It should have been obvious to the Manchurians that their tanks will not work in this part of China. Yet they are so enamored by the sophisticated technologies embodied in these tanks that they have lost all their rationality and military logic.

    A young division commander, Kao Chen Ting, approached Yuei Fei, and bowed before he commenced.

    "General. Spies disguised as fishermen selling their catch across the Yangtze river have reported Manchurian naval activities in Dong Jiang, Ningpo, and Xiao Sang Ling." the young commander reported.

    Yuei Fei went into deep thoughts for a few seconds, processing the information he had just recieved.

    "This means that they will land at Nang Kang, Shang Du, and Jin Yang. Who is the division commander who will lead the landing at Jing Yang?" Yuei Fei asked.

    "His name is Chen Yi", Kao answered.

    "The military reform embarked by Emperor Guan Shu in the Manchurian empire several years ago was inspired by the German military tradition. The Germany military structure is considerably loose in the command structure compared to those of other European powers and that of ours here in the Orient. Therefore the Manchurian military reform had also led to a similarly loose military structure, in which division commanders are given more freedom. If Chen Yi was to land at Jing Yang, it was his choice, not that of his superior. But his decision to land at Jing Yang shows much intelligence. Come here, my student.", Yuei Fei took out a map that showed the geography of Southeast China, and pointed out Jing Yang for Kao to see.

    "Jing Yang is indeed an excellent spot for landing!", Kao exclaimed as he surveyed the map, delighted at this particular choice's wisdom, one that he had never seen from any Manchurian soldier in his long study of military history.

    "Yes. From here, Chen Yi can go west to meet the division landing at Nang Kang, or go east to meet the division landing at Shang Du. But the most devastating part of this decision to us is that he can choose to charge ahead, and storm straight south along the Guan Yu Path, leading him directly to Nanjing, the Ming empire's capital city." Yuei Fei explained, articulating Kao's intuition.

    "We must marshall all our resources to counter Chen Yi's force," Kao responded.

    "No, there is no need. Chen Yi is after all still a novice. He had obviously become enamored by western technology like his fellow commanders, and believed that his tank can operate and fight effectively even in a geography like that of Southeast China. Look at what lies along the Guan Yu Path." Yuei Fei traced the path with his finger, helping Kao visualize.

    "Indeed. There are only steep hills populated by dense trees along both side of this path. His force can't fight effectively in this terrain. If we hide ambush troops along the entire stretch of this path, his tank division will be vulnerable", Kao said.

    "Yes, and since ambush troops by nature doesn't require much man resources, we can concentrate our resources on the other two divisions landing at Nang Kang, and Shang Du." Yuei Fei said.

    "I am still worried about one important thing, teacher.", Kao said.

    "What is it my student?"

    "What if the Manchurians sent their force along China's coast in addition to crossing the Yangtze river? We have made absolutely no preparation for this contingency", Kao pointed out, his face showing some degree of anxiety.

    "This is not something we need to worry about. As we speak, diplomats have been dispatched to Taiwan. The Taiwanese navy is powerful and control the entire Chinese coast. As long as we convince them to intercept any Manchurian transportships carrying their armies along the coast downward, we do not have to fear their invasion from there.", Yuei Fei said.

    "Why will the Taiwanese help us? They know more than anyone else in the world that our Ming empire's strength has caught up to theirs already. It is only in their interest that they side with the Manchurians.", Kao said.

    "They will side with us because they dare not let the Ming empire be overan by the Manchurians, who, unlike us, have so far enacted heavy trade restrictions with the Taiwanese. It is only in the Taiwanese's best economic interest that a free trading empire like ours be kept alive, for trading is the blood of the Taiwanese economy.", Yuei Fei said.

    "You are indeed far sighted, and wise, my teacher", Kao praised in genuine sincereity, and bowed.

    Yet, deep inside Yuei Fei's heart, Yuei Fei knew that he had not given a good enough reason. The Taiwanese economic interest is very real, and it is a strong enough incentive for them to side with the Ming. But, there is something buried deep inside his mind that was bothering him, but which he couldn't articulate clearly. He trusts his intuition, which is telling him that his student, Kao Chen Ting, had pointed out a very real problem that can not be solved simply by economic incentives. Subsequent event will show that his intuition was right.

    To be continued


    • #3
      Chapter 3:

      Chen Yi¡¦s entire division had landed at Jing Yang successfully. In fact, perhaps it was too successful. Chen Yi didn¡¦t like the fact that the Ming, with a decent, though not formidable, navy along the Yangtze river, made zero effort at intercepting the Manchurian transport ships which carried their tanks across to Southeast China.

      Yet, the landing had already happened, which meant that whatever mistake there is, if there are any, had already been made. The more useful thing to do now is to figure out what the enemy strategy is by allowing the Manchurian army to land with such ease.

      Chen Yi now has four options. He can meet General Shiang Yu who is leading the division landing at Nang Kang or General Chiang Kai Shek who is leading the division landing at Shang Du. If not these two options, he can always charge ahead southward for Nanjing along the Guang Yu Path. Or else, he can simply stay put.

      That he was given so much options was the result of the surprisingly, not to say absurd, vagueness of his mission objective. His mission was to ¡§¡Kwait for Shiang Yu and Chiang Kai Shek to make their first move, and act accordingly after that.¡¨ That was very uninformative, yet it also gave him a tremendous degree of freedom in his choice of action. But one thing is for sure. His role in this war is primarily one who will lead a division acting as reserve. The main action will be undertaken by Shiang Yu, and Chiang Kai Shek. He was not bitter by this designation however for he knows that he is one of the younger and relatively inexperienced soldier who have graduated only recently from the Imperial War Academy of Beijing. It was therefore actually quite an honor that he was allowed to participate in this war at all, and to participate as a commander!

      A soldier walked up to Chen Yi, and informed him that the landing process has been completed. The thing to do now is to wait for food supplies as well as ammunitions to be transported from across the Yangtze river. However, Chen Yi¡¦s division has now sufficient supplies to last itself for one week. If lightening warfare, a tactic invented by the German military from whom the Manchurian army learned and adopted much, is used effectively, Chen Yi can potentially inflict substantial damage on the enemy before he needs to replenish his division¡¦s supplies.

      His mission objective however did not allow him to act before Chiang and Shiang. Chen Yi only hoped that these two senior commanders will begin their moves as soon as possible, for Chen Yi is quite eager for some actions.

      Shiang Yu strolled along the tanks lined up along the bank of Yangtze river. He marveled at these modern killing machines and wanted to fight NOW! He remembered vividly the war that happened ten years ago in which the brilliant Chu Ge Liang used cunning strategy to outwit the Manchurian army, pushed them to the north of the Yangtze river, and displaced the Manchurian power from Southeast China permanently. Back then, his role in this war was that of a young soldier who led a small division of cavalry. Now he is a general, commanding the most modernized weaponry on the planet. He wanted to secure for himself a place in military history as one of the greatest general of all time. He was quite confident about achieving that, too.

      Shiang Yu knew already what he would do next now that the landing process is completed. Spies stationed throughout Southeast China will soon be reporting to him on their findings. The information he needed to know the most is the current location of Ming dynast¡¦s famous Thousand Li cavalry. The Thousand Li cavalry is one of the world¡¦s most skilled cavalry army. Its strength lies in the speed and maneuverability. Speed, coupled with the horses¡¦ stunningly high endurance, allowed the army to be deployed to every location throughout Southeast China faster than any other form of military transportation that currently exists. Maneuverability allowed the cavalry to fight in unbreakable formations, and efficient coordination. In addition, the Thousand Li cavalry had developed an impressively sophisticated battle field communication system that allowed each cavalry division to disperse and concentrate alternatively quickly. Ten years ago, this army, equipped with crossbows, was already strong enough to expel the Manchurian from Southeast China. Now, this army has rifles, making them more invincible than ever.

      Shiang Yu wished to know where this cavalry army is for this army is the core of Ming army. Its destruction will have the functional equivalence of complete annihilation of all resistance in Southeast China, save the minor and insignificant ones. Shiang Yu¡¦s strategy was to fight these cavalry with his tanks, which was much superior in technology. He wanted a decisive battle that will completely destroy the Thousand Li cavalry. After this, the remainder of the war will consist of gun boat diplomacy in which relentless bombardment on Southeast China¡¦s major metropolises and power centers should be sufficient to shock the Ming into submission.

      Chiang Kai Shek had landed at Shang Du. He was pleased by the rapid completion of the landing process. He was sure that Ming spies are observing secretly at this moment. No doubt, the Ming spies will inform their generals of his ability to organize such a complicated task as landing with such high efficiency. The Ming generals will be awed, of course.

      Chiang Kai Shek participated in the war fought between Ming and the Manchurian ten years ago. He was just a foot soldier back then. He witnessed first hand the destruction of the entire Manchurian army fortified in Southeast China when Chu Ge Liang¡¦s Thousand Li cavalry materialized unexpectedly from the rear of the very infantry division in which he served. The sudden appearance of the cavalry brought about such confusion which turned quickly into horror as the Manchurian infantries¡¦ neat formations turned into chaos. All coordination among the various divisions of infantries was lost. He remembered his fellow soldiers and he himself fleeing away from the cavalry. But the cavalry seemed to be everywhere, and there was no place to escape.

      He became a prisoner of war, and was released to be sent back home after the Manchurian government signed a humiliating peace treaty with the young Ming dynasty. This was the treaty that recognized the Ming¡¦s status as the mandate of heaven. It also recognized Ming¡¦s rightful jurisdiction of all territories south of the Yangtze river. Ever since that treaty, the Manchurian emperor had found himself having to justify his own rightful status as heaven¡¦s mandate to rule Northern China once every few month when the most minor but unfortunate event occurred, such as moderate drought that reduced harvest in a small region of the Manchurian empire.

      Chiang was ambitious, and studied assiduously the western principles of war. He was able to recite the translated military text originally written in German and Russian. He believed that he is the reincarnation of the great ancient Chinese general, Sun Tzi, who lived two thousands years earlier. But despite Chiang¡¦s own admiration for Sun Tzi, he touched nothing of Chinese military literatures, and certainly not the war principles that Sun Tzi had written down. This was because Chiang believed that time has changed, and new era required new military thinking. He did not want his mind to be contaminated by out-dated military doctrines. In fact, he laughed at the stupidity of those Ming generals who graduated from Nanjing¡¦s Imperial War academy which placed a heavy emphasis on Sun Tzi¡¦s military principles.

      There is another reason that Chiang was pleased. He had already secretly arranged for another division of tanks to be transported along China¡¦s coast. The transport ships carrying these tanks will land at Hong Kong and Macao. He had anticipated that the Taiwanese navy may side with the Ming and intercept the Manchurian transport ships. Thus, with the support of Emperor Guang Shu, he decreed an imperial edict that required the cooperation of all six Manchurian empire¡¦s commercial shipping companies for the purpose of transporting his tanks in civilian cargo ships. The Taiwanese will intercept war vessels, but allowed free civilian shipping. Therefore he was confident that the tanks will catch the Ming government and generals by complete surprise upon landing in Hong Kong and Macao.

      Chiang laughed as he thought of his brilliant plan. He was sure that he would emerge from this war as a hero. Already, he is imagining himself being promoted by his emperor to become the supreme commander of all of Manchurian empire¡¦s military. Never before in all of Manchurian dynasty¡¦s history had the entire military been under the control of one man who was not the emperor himself. In the past, the Manchurian military had always been divided into categories, each with a general leading it. These generals reported to the emperor, not to another superior general. If Chiang can become the supreme general of all of the empire¡¦s military, it says much about his intelligence and competence. This is a prestige that he had wanted all his life, and it is what he is determined to achieve from this war.


      • #4
        Chapter 4:

        Hu Jing Tsao had got off the ship that ferried him across the straight from Xiamen to Tainan. Tainan, the capital of the Taiwanese republic, is also the financial center of the Orient. It was the Tainan financial capitalists who made the rapid industrialization of Ming dynasty possible. It is the same financial capitalists who now wield an overwhelmingly huge influence over Ming dynasty's heavy industries, such as the emerging steel and chemical industries. Among the many reasons that Ming's government had to maintain a healthy relationship with Taiwan, the Tainan financial capitalists is one important factor.

        Hu Jing Tsao is a native of Xiamen, the capital city of the Fujien province, which sits directly across from Taiwan. Fujien itself is part of the Ming empire, and served as the empire's industrial heartland. Hu grew up witnessing the rapid changes that had taken place in his native hometown under the leadership of Chu Ge Liang and some of the most brilliant economists and businessmen in the world. Xiamen had, in a short term of two decades, transformed herself from a sleepy fishing village into a huge commercial metropolise and boast one of the world's largest seaport.

        For his own part, Hu benefitted handsomely from this economic prosperity when his father became a rich exporter of silk. Hu's father was able to afford Hu Jing Tsao an education at the prestigeous National Taiwan University. After having gotten a degree in mathematical finance, and political economy, Hu went back to Xiamen and worked for the Ming government. Working his way up through diligence, he came to the attention of Chu Ge Liang five years ago, and had ever since worked closely with Chu in important matters regarding the state of Ming.

        Hu is back in Taiwan now. But where he was here years ago for education, now he is here as an imperial ambassador representing Emperor Ming Kao.

        For the past fifteen years, the Taiwanese policy regarding the Pacific Ocean was one of total naval domination and peaceful civilian shipping. In another word, the Taiwanese had made it clear that she will not tolerate the Manchurian, the Ming, and any of the five western powers to challenge her command of the ocean along coast of China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia. No military vessles were allowed to enter this region of water. However, the Taiwanese also welcomed peaceful civilian shipping in the same region of water that she controlled. If one were to think about it, the need to dominate these waters by no more than one power makes sense for economic reason. Without a hegemon like Taiwan to dominate these water, free shipping will be severely handicapped as various countries impse restriction on shipping through whatever water they control. International trade, which Taiwan so heavily depended upon for her economy, will suffer.

        The Ming government does not care so much that the Taiwanese control the water along China's coast through her mighty navy. But for this war that Ming is now engaged in with the Manchurian empire, the Ming court needs assurance that Taiwan will continue her policy of absolute naval domination. Put it simply and bluntly, the Emperor Ming Kao needs to know that the Taiwanese will intercept any Manchurian military vessels who enter the pacific coast of China.

        And thus Hu's mission. Hu Jing Tsao is here in Taiwan to speak to President Lee Tung Huei. He needs to convince the president that it is only in Taiwan's interest that the Ming empire not fall into danger of being conquered by the invading Manchurians. Hu is to make clear the fact that Taiwan can contribute to Ming empire's safety simply by intercepting all Manchurian ships carrying their army down to the coast of Southeast China.

        Hu walked out of the seaport into which his ship had entered. There outside the seaport building, he stood waiting for Mak Yok Sai, an old friend of his. Mak is a Cantonese merchant who had been doing business in Taiwan for many years. Although Hu had spent four years in Taiwan during his university years, Mak knows more about Taiwan than Hu. For his knowledge of Taiwan, Hu wanted to meet with Mak.

        Mak is a merchant with an international and modern worldview, but he is also an arden nationalist, who has tremendous pride in being an Emperor Ming Kao's subject. He was more than willing to contribute his part to the welfare of the Ming dynasty.

        The two men met soon after Hu walked out of the seaport. Mak took Hu to a nearby restaraunt to eat and discuss the important matter of the war that is now taking place.

        "In great stealth, I have arrived two days earlier than was expected by the Taiwanese government. This way, I can meet with you with no chance of being spied upon. Therefore we can converse more freely now with no fear. Come, old friend, and tell me what is happening in Taiwan", Hu said, whlie pouring a cup of tea for Mak.

        "A war between two major countries like the one being fought now between the Ming and Manchurian is no small event. It certainly isn't so when Taiwan is located only one hundred miles away. Yet, here in Taiwan, I have heard surprisingly little discussion of this war.", Mak said.

        "Then it must be because there is something even more important that is occupying the mind of these Taiwanese people. Do you know what it is?", Hu asked.

        "Yes. The Taiwanese economy is build on trading, business, commerce, and finance. Anything relevant to these are big news to the Taiwanese people. The Japanese Emperor Meiji had recently restored his power and had declared the launching of a major rapid industrialization and modernization program.", Mak said.

        "Ah...I see...someone will have to finance this industrialization and modernization program. Who better to undertake such a task than these Tainan financial capitalists."

        "Correct. War is no big news when compared to those news about new money making opportunities", Mak said somewhat sarcastically.

        "Have not these Tainan financial capitalists thought that a war can endanger their investments in Ming empire?", Hu asked.

        "According to several friends who are part of the financial capitalists circle, they say that whatever investment that had been made in Southeast China had been recuperated, along with the handsome profit that had been captured. They no longer expect more profit to be made from Ming. Therefore even if a war were to devastate all of Ming, the financial capitalists can not care less. Japan however is the "next big thing". Japan is where future industries will emerge. It is there that big profits are to be made in the future if investment is made now", Mak said

        Hu took these information in with some anxiety. If Ming is no longer important to these financial capitalists, who wield big influences in the Taiwanese congress, then they will convince the government of Ming's insignificance. That is not to say that the financial capitalists will convince the Taiwanese government to take on actions that will hurt the Ming. But the Taiwanese government will have a smaller incentive now to see to Ming's victory against the Manchurian. It will only make his task harder.

        However, Hu was still confident. Taiwan's trade with the Ming is nevertheless a substantial source of revenue for the Taiwanese government. If Ming were to be conquered by the Manchurians, whose government actively control trade, Taiwan will very likely loose an important source of wealth. This, Hu will have capitalize on in his negotiation with the Taiwanese president two days from now.


        • #5
          Chapter 5:

          "Supreme general! Shiang Yu's division is moving south from Nank Kang. It appears that they are moving down to Xinju", Yao, a spy reported.

          Yuei Fei stared at the map hanging on the wall behind his studying desk inside the camp, and then went into a deep state of rumination, his eyes appear to be looking at some distant object. Kao Chen Ting dismissed the spy, and waited for his teacher to speak.

          "As I have expected. Shiang Yu wants a decisive battle to wipe out the core of our army once and for all", Yuei Fei said after a few minutes.

          "I do not understand my teacher. Please enlighten me", Kao entreated humbly.

          "One third of our elite Thousand Li cavalry army is fortified here in Xinju. Shiang Yu is a student of European military tradition. In the west, generals look for the one or two, but no more than three, decisive battles to destroy the enemy's stronghold once and for all so that the remainder of the war is nothing more than consolidation of the territories and fighting off resistance from local populations and militias. This is the kind of thinking that had dominated western military thoughts for centuries", Yuei Fei said.

          "Destroying the enemy stronghold once and for all? You mean they attack the enemy's strength instead of weakness?" Kao asked, his face betraying his confusion.

          "Correct. Western military tradition is based on attrition warfare. Tactics have been developed to reduce the damage of attrition warfare, and they are admittedly cunning tactics. However, western military traditions' overemphasis on tactical level of war comes at the expense of operation and strategic level. And I plan to use this to our advantage.", Yuei Fei said.

          "Please elaborate, teacher"

          "By my estimate, the three tanks divisions which have landed on our side of the Yangtze river have no more than two weeks of food, water, ammunition and fuel supplies. I am going to deny them further supplies. Once these three divisions run out of fuel, and ammunitions, they are useless. We will then be able to capture these weapons for our engineers to study. The task now at hand is to figure a way out to make them run out of fuel and ammunition as soon as possible before the next scheduled shipment of supplies reach them.", Yuei Fei said.

          "How will you do that, my teacher?"

          "Shiang Yu wants a decisive battle. This means that Chiang, who is also a follower of western military tradition, will want the same. We will deny them that decisive battle. We will move our cavalry army from locations to locations, and make them chase after us throughout Southeast China. When opportunities present themselves, we should not shy away from ambush and other forms of attack if we have the advantage. This will demoralize their army while wasting their fuels and ammunitions. If we do this right, we can easily capture their tanks still in working conditions."

          "What about Chen Yi?"

          "We will give him a bait and draw him toward Nanjing through the Guan Yu path. Along the path, our ambush troop will have the terrain advantage, where his tanks will be completely useless"

          "Such excellent strategy my teacher. You are the reincarnation of Sun Tzi!", Kao said with great admiration. Yet, to his surprise, his teacher sighed in regret.

          "What is the matter my teacher", Kao asked.

          "If Sun Tzi was here, he would have found a way to prevent this war from breaking out in the first place. A true brilliant general is one who conquer without fighting. I do not think I'll ever reach to Sun Tzi's level." Yuei Fei said.


          • #6
            Wow, that is good. Thank you. I have read a third of it, and printed the rest out to complete on the train this evening.

            Is this a new story you have just written, or something you have been working on for a longer time?

            Thank you, and hope we see some more of your work.
            Gurka 17, People of the Valley
            I am of the Horde.