Long March: Chinese Man vs. Wild 80 years ago

Hunger, severe cold, diseases; snow mountains, canyons, marshes... Sometimes, the power of Nature can be fatal. Nowadays, people can feel Mother Nature’s cruelty through movies or TV reality shows experience the strenuous endeavors needed for survival. We are stunned by Bear Grylls’ courage and viability in Man vs. Wild. However, just image what would it be like when a young army goes through such cruel conditions, struggling against both cruel natural environment and well-equipped enemy troops.

The Chinese Red Army once fulfilled sucb a great expedition, the Long March, in 1930s.

Tens of thousands of people including Mao Zedong participated in the Long March, and most of them aged between20 and 30. There were also newly-born babies, even 57-year-old seniors, as well asmore than 2,000 women. They were not equipped with basic necessities suitable for long-distance march and keeping out the cold. Most of them only had one pair of straw sandals and a suit of unlined clothes. In two years, they cut across 14 provinces from east to west, from south to north. And the distance they covered was equivalent to that from New York to Shanghai.

If an ordinary adult, with a stride length of 0.6 meters, walks 8,000 steps every day, he will spend 7 years to cover the distance. Hundreds of battles and combats occurred during the expedition.

Meanwhile, they climbed over more than 20 snow mountains with an elevation of over 4,000 meters, crossed a marshland with a radius of hundreds of kilometers, and almost 100rivers.

Foods were in extremely short supply during the expedition. Sometimes, they were very lucky to eat a handful of rice, barley or corn But in most cases, they subsisted only on wild plants, bark, grass roots, even officers’ leather belts or shoes. There is still a piece of cowhide belt on display at the Museum of the Chinese Revolution.

Script by Liu Jiaming & Zhang Zhou

Video edited by Zeng Fanhua & Fan Zichuan

[ Editor: Fanhua ]