IN THE following pages I propose to study Stalin's grand strategy of world conquest as it can be discerned in China--its stages of experimentation and modification, of successes and failures, and its victories after long failures. The story covers 25 years, from 1924 to 1949, and culminates in the recent and, I trust, temporary conquest of continental China by the overwhelming military power of world Communism. I propose to use the history of the long and bitter struggle between Nationalist China and world Communism, between Chiang Kai-shek and Stalin, as source material for a new examination of that almost unbelievably successful strategy which has enabled world Communism to place under its domination immense areas of the earth and 800,000,000 of its population.
Nearly two years ago, there was published in Foreign Affairs a learned and very remarkable essay entitled "Stalin on Revolution," by an author who signed himself "Historicus."[i] It is a study of Stalin's theory, program, strategy and tactics of "world revolution," and is evidently based on careful research and documentation.
The author's method is literary and documentary, relying mainly on the published works of Stalin. This method has serious limitations which the author himself fully admits:
As generals are not accustomed to publish their operational directives, so it is unreasonable to expect Stalin to publish his. From his writings it is possible to reconstruct certain main lines of strategy and tactics, but the writings also contain definite acknowledgment that "illegal" or underground activities play a major rôle in Communist operations. . . . Therefore it must remain a question to what extent Stalin's published views on Communist strategy and tactics are supplemented or modified by doctrine reserved for the Communist high command.
I believe, therefore, that the documentary method needs to be supplemented by the historical approach. Although "generals are not accustomed to publish their operational directives," an historian can reconstruct their strategy and tactics by following the details of their field operations and studying how these succeeded or failed.
How did Stalin annex the
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