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Chinese Army list 1939 or 1937?

Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:59 am
by Myron.shipp

Here is my take on the Chinese Army of 1939 hopefully Rich can tidy it up and put it into the usual format.

CHINA 1939

The Chinese Rifle platoon was based on German Stormtrooper tactics of WW1, heavily influenced by German Advisors, at least in the National Republican Army until 1943 when the Chinese Expeditionary Army took on the US structure. The Chinese Army was large but poorly trained and poor logistics meant huge amounts of aid was never used at the front. Chinese Troops count as Green but should be rated as Diehards, as well as any other weapon they have, all Chinese Soldiers can also have a sword.


Captain or Lieutenant, with SMG (Thompson or MP18)


Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant with pistol or SMG (C98 Broomhandle Mauser)

Three crew
Rifleman (Gewehr 98 or Type 24)

4 X SMG or Riflemen

Satchel Charge
Medical Orderly
Engineer Mine Clearance team, 3 men
Engineer Wire Cutting team, 3 men
Engineer Demolition team, 3 men
Barbed Wire
Entrenchments for 1 team
Motor Car, no crew
Boys ATR, 2 crew

5cm Mortar team,3 crew
Pre-Game Barrage

Leichter Armoured Car
Vickers Carden-Loyd Tankette
L3.35 Tank
Sniper team

PaK 36 36mm anti tank gun with 5 crew and a Junior leader
T 26 Tank
Engineer section with Junior Leader
Forward observer and PaK 37 Mountain Gun

Vickers 6 ton tank with Junior Leader
Panzer 1 with Junior Leader

Most of the support weapons on the list will be self explanatory and their qualities covered by the National Arsenal Table. All Tanks and Armoured cars come with a Junior Leader. Transport only vehicles, such as the car are simply vehicles and come with no crew, remember you will need to allocate men to drive them.


The Arsenal Table below covers a wide range of Chinese support weapons. For Infantry weapons and some Armoured vehicles armament may be found in the rules on the Master Arsenal Table.

Leichter Armoured Car 1 - - Wheeled 2 X MG 34
Vickers Carden-Loyd Tankette 2 4 6 Fast Low profile,small
L3.35 Tank 2 4 6 Fast Low profile, small
T 26 5 5 3 Average
Vickers 6 ton Tank 5 5 3 Slow No hull MG?
Panzer 1 2 - 2XMG Average, no hull MG
PaK 36 5 3
Boys ATR 3 1

Well there it is, feel free to add or pick it apart before hopefully Rich puts it into some sort of order.


Re: Chinese Army list 1939

Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:09 pm
by stecal
What are your sources for 4 squads & MG34s?

everything I have read has 3 squads of 10-14 men & the usual LMG, if any, is the Chinese model of the Czech Bren gun. That is just for the 8 German trained "Shanghai" divisions in 1937. The other 200 or so divisions were much less well equipped.

the wiki page is pretty good: ... onary_Army

then there are the various Ospreys on Warlord, Civil War & WW2 china.

To avoid recreating the wheel, Agis Neubauer's research for Victory Decision, another platoon level game, is also pretty complete: ... Army-Guide

Re: Chinese Army list 1939

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:46 am
by Myron.shipp

You are right it was the Chinese copy of the MG 34 and Czech Brno 2B26, The squads comes from the Chinese copying Stormtroopers of WW1 so had the same orbat, but that would only be small elite units which is what most would use if playing a Chinese Army otherwise they will get mauled I am happy to change to 3 X 1 LMG and 10 or so riflemen.

I have the Ospreys and also Mollos Armed Forces of WW2 and this is a good site as well:

Re: Chinese Army list 1939

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:54 pm
by stecal
I dunno, we have played 2 games Chinese vs Japanese and those 14 man rilfe squads put out a good amount of fire & are very resilient, almost impossible to pin. We played them as regular though.

I really wish all those links off the wiki page to chinese websites still worked. They obviously know a lot more about the subject.

This is the suggested TO&E of the German trained divisions in 1937:
Reorganized Division organization

Division headquarters troops:
1 Artillery battalion:
3 Artillery companies (12 x 75 millimeter mountain artillery guns in batteries of 4)
1 Anti Tank artillery company (4 x 37mm AT gun)
1 Anti-aircraft gun company (4 x 20mm anti-aircraft guns)
1 Military Engineer Battalion
1 Signal battalion
2 Wire communications companies
1 Wireless correspondence platoon
1 Heavy Transport Battalion
1 Special duty Battalion (Special Operations Battalion)
1 medical team (usually is a Division hospital)
2 Infantry Brigades of:
Each Regiment consisted of:
Regimental headquarters troops:
1 Mortar company (6 x 81 millimeter mortars)
1 Small artillery company (6 x 20 millimeter autocannon)
1 Communications company
1 Regimental recon company
3 infantry battalions each of:
Infantry battalion headquarters troops:
1 heavy Machinegun company (6 heavy machine guns, 2 x 82 millimeter mortars)
3 Infantry companies of:
3 rifle platoons of
3 squads (each of 1 light machine gun, 10 rifles)

Re: Chinese Army list 1939

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:16 pm
by stecal
I would add the following the support choices:


Tank Killer Team - molotov coktails & the like
BAR team with 3 men

20 mm AA or Solothurn Gun Team w/ 5 crew
Poorly Equiped (Green)Squad 12 riflemen - no Jr leader
FT-17 tank with MG or 37mm gun
LMG Team with Brno ZB26 (Bren Gun) & 3 crew

Senior Leader (to represent various foreign advisors)
Infantry Section w/ LMG and Jr Leader
MMG team & 5 crew
Fwd Obs & Mortar battery (one thing the Chinese were known for were tons of mortars)

Cavalry Section (dismount as regular squad)
Assault Squad (Dare to Die or Big Sword unit) Agressive in CC, more than usuall # of SMG/machine pistols

Re: Chinese Army list 1939

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:43 pm
by stecal
For Provincial Army Division units 1937-45 I would use the following list for the vast horde of poorly equiped and trained units, mostly prior Warlord units.

Green troop quality , Force morale -8

Sr Leader with Machine pistol
Platoon LMG team with Brno ZB26 LMG or the like and 4 crew

3 Sections with 13 riflemen & jr leader with Machine Pistol or SMG

the -8 Force morale allows a scattered and ragged amount of support to be purchased for the platoon. -8 may not be enough, but the 14man rifle sections are pretty tough. Debatable if they should even have grenades or rifle grenades.

FYI, I also uploaded some crude Nationalist Chinese jump-off & patrol markers to the yahoo files area.

Re: Chinese Army list 1939

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:08 pm
by Myron.shipp
I think a lot of that applies more to the Warlord era and Dare to Die troops gone and Tanks like the FT 17 were relegated to training by 1939. The Chinese Army was huge and diverse, but if I was going to do a Chinese Army for CoC I would go for the best unit I could get which would be one of the German trained units around Shanghai from 1937 and still operating in 1939, but you could just as easily justify your units as there was bound to be a Platoon in China that was set up almost any way you could think of. I think the Brigade Games "China at War" figures look like Stormtroopers so perhaps that was their thinking as well. I accept given your TOE for the German trained Divisions I may be wrong though.

Re: Chinese Army list 1939

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:31 pm
by stecal
From what I am reading, the decision to commit all the German trained divisions into the Shanghai fight in 1937 resulted in their near destruction & massive losses in the Whampoa trained officer corps. Realistically by mid 1938 after Shanghai & the departure of the German Mission, the German training & equipment was lost. The above list would be good for 1937.

Then the Russian support begins almost immediately in 1938. They equipped the "Elite" 200th Mechanized Division in 1938:
"The Tank regiments had 70 T-26, 4 BT-5, 20 ( 92? ) CV-33 tanks. The armoured car regiment had around 50 BA armoured cars and 12 ( 18? ) Leichter Panzerspähwagen (Sd Kfz 221) armoured cars. Besides, it had more than 400 Ford trucks. The motorised infantry regiment used Soviet trucks and rifles, and the artillery regiment had 12 122 mm howitzers, also 45 mm anti-aircraft artillery and 75 mm field guns." ... nary_Army)

Also see this article on the Russian Mission: