Mao and Ye Jianying History of the Long March -- Page 11
Avoiding Disaster

The date was September 10. Trouble was building up. Mao and Zhang Guotao had joined up together after the grasslands. Their talks had gone badly. Rumors were flying. Mao had taken the precaution of changing the codes. He had restricted communications between his troops to protect security. Again, Mao had dispersed his troops for fear of what might happen. Peng and the Third Army were stationed 4 miles away, Lin and the Third Army was two days distant. Zhang wanted to move to the North and West to establish a base near Russia in a non-Chinese area. Mao wanted to move to the North and East into a Chinese base. Intercepting a secret message from Zhang, Ye Jianying, the commander of Zhang's troops secretly relayed the message to Mao.

Zhang was possibly trying to take over the entire Red Army and oust Mao. Ye escaped away with Mao and Mao's troops, out of Zhang's reach. Zhang considered sending his more powerful army after Mao. Asking his commander, future Marshal Xu Xiangqian, "Shall we send troops after then?" Xu replied, "Have you ever seen the Red Army attacking the Red Army?" That was it. It was a dangerous moment in the history of the Party. Xu and Ye both got credit for stopping an open conflict. Both generals Ye and Xu would become Marshals in 1955 and would be protected by Mao during the Cultural Revolution. Zhang Guotao was enraged and held Zhu De and Liu Bocheng captive for over a year. Zhang Guotao was going south; Mao was going north. In 1938, Zhang would join Chiang and the KMT, eventually then to exile in Hong Kong and then Canada.

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Mao and Ye Jianying
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