The Art of the Party: Landmine Warfare

 In 1957, artist Xiao Chuanjiu created the sculpture Landmine Warfare.

The soldier in the sculpture embodies the spirit of the Chinese revolutionary.

In 1941, the Chinese War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression was into its fifth year. 

That October, the Japanese army led an offensive sweep through the northern part of the Taiyue area of Shanxi Province. This is where the Communist military - the Eighth Route Army - was based.

Japanese troops often robbed Chinese people to obtain needed supplies.

To stop the Japanese from looting, rural residents came up with an idea. Since they lacked conventional weaponry, they devised landmines to obstruct the attacks.

As Japanese troops launched campaigns to "mop up" enemy resistance, Chinese villagers set landmines along roads. When the Japanese invaders arrived, their vehicles would be bombed.

And when Japan's army got wise to the tactic, dodging some landmines, the Chinese villagers and soldiers shifted gears again, incorporating new landmine warfare strategies against them.

For instance, when Japanese troops would make villagers walk across areas where they suspected a landmine was buried, Chinese soldiers would hide and trigger the landmines to explode after the villagers had safely passed. 

Landmine warfare greatly reduced Japanese troop numbers. It also harmed Japan's morale, while boosting the courage of rural Chinese communities to continue to fight.



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