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Monday, March 26, 2012

Tunnel Warfare Diorama

This is a diorama at the Beijing Military Museum that depicts "tunnel warfare" (地道戰) in the Second Sino-Japanese war. It shows a Japanese patrol attempting to control a Chinese village and partisans falling back on a carefully laid-out system of tunnels and rooftop passages to defend and snipe at the enemy. It includes an interesting vignette that shows Japanese chemical troops poisoning a well. I cannot be certain about the scale as I took these pictures two years ago but I believe it to be 1:35 or slightly larger.

A Hazmat team at work? An interesting depiction of the use of chemical warfare at the small, local level.

 A life-size representation of the partisans.

Tunnel warfare was a well-known feature of partisan tactics during the second Sino-Japanese war. As a form of armed "peasant resistance" against foreign aggression, it also conformed well to the political ideology of the CCP, which after 1949 did much to glorify it through the commissioning of monumental art, films and even the building of "tunnel museums" wholly devoted to its commemoration.

There is a 1966 PLA "propaganda film" about this facet of the war that is well worth finding and watching. I have the DVD but also found it online. The entire black-and-white film is being hosted here:

If you just want to hear the rousing patriotic song: 

There is a more recent remake of "tunnel war" in the form of a 2010 TV series in 40 episodes!  I believe this version follows a soap-operatic format so may be too much to bear for the majority of us who are mainly interested in the military and modeling aspects. The full series is available on this Chinese site: 

You can also try YouTube, as the first part is there at least: 

1 comment:

  1. Great photos! Can I post them on my blog