The Zhongzheng Rifle (1935): The gun that DIDN’T win the East….. but helped lose it

Illustrations:
(left) 陈逸飞《黄河颂》Chen Yifei, Encomium to the Yellow River (1972),
oil on canvas 143 mm * 297 mm, CAFA: an 8RA soldier with a scavenged and repaired Hanyang 88 rifle: as a lookout/sharpshooter.
He might, if the enemy blunders, kill only one or two enemy from his position, but he will keep them off the roads and bridges, and will probably live after the fray. His training and his rifle will remain useful, if not to him, then to his unit. He will not dent the bullet supply. Much.

(right) German trained infantrymen of KMT elite unit carrying the “Zhongzheng” Rifle on the eve of the 1937 (2nd) battle of Shanghai- as defensive line re enforcement for the trenches. He will (statistically) kill or wound .25 Japanese before himself falling – probably even less – but he will reveal his unit/fortification to murderous artillery or air counter attack, and neither he nor his comrades-in-line will survive. All that training and expensive weaponry will be go for naught.

(Below): Comparison of the KMT vs CCP “party-brand” weaponries designed for political eclat: (1) three receiver-ring model-name plates from the KMT G-mo series (1935-44): Hanyang Arsenal (Hubei, relocated to Chongqing, 1943), Gong xian Arsenal (Hebei, 1935), and the mysterious “1933” (w swastika), possible a relabelled import) (2) a rare “Red” (non-8RA) model-name/plate from E Shandong (Jiaodong) “Arsenal”, 1947: a “Red” refurb from Shandong, a rebuild of the Hanyang 88.

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