CHINA BLOCK: Selective Notes (part 1)
China, the only nation on the G40/2 map which starts the game with its homeland territory under partial occupation by an enemy power, is depicted using map conventions which give a misleading impression of the Chinese territories that were controlled by Japan in June 1940.
Like many of the world’s land and sea areas, China does not have the same size and shape on the G40/2 map as it does in reality. The country is only about half as wide on the game map as it ought to be relative to its height, with most of the compression taking place in China’s western half. Because of these size and shape distortions, the orange borders which show the provinces already occupied by Japan at the June 1940 starting date of the game approximate only vaguely the actual Japanese lines of control which existed at that moment of WWII. The western salients of the Japanese lines appear much too shallow, the curved gap between them appears much too wide, and the names of the provinces inside and outside these orange borders do not reflect with complete accuracy the areas which Japan actually controlled. For example Anhwe (also known as Anhwei and Anhui) is shown on the game map as being held by China, whereas most of it was actually occupied by Japan.
A further misrepresentation is the fact that the G40/2 map depicts all the Chinese coastal provinces (except Kwangtung) as being fully under Japanese control. In reality, Japan comprehensively occupied China’s coastal provinces only as far south as Chekiang (which is not depicted separately on the game map, the closest map equivalent being Kiangsu). South of Chekiang, Japan only took control of the Chinese coast’s port cities and of their surrounding areas, with the aim of cutting off China from supply by sea without having to occupy the entire coastline.
The G40/2 map labels 18 territories with Chinese roundels. The Global 1940 OOB rules state that all these territories are considered Chinese for purposes of original ownership, even if they start the game under Japanese occupation (as denoted by the map’s orange borders). The Chinese island of Hainan, however, violates this convention: it bears a Japanese roundel, despite the fact that it was a Chinese territory and that it was not occupied by Japan until February 1939. This inconsistency is probably intended to justify the rule restriction which prevents Chinese units from being loaded onto naval transports because, in principle, Chinese forces are allowed to enter any territory marked with a Chinese roundel.
It should be noted that the dot shown in Szechwan at the terminus of the Burma Road corresponds approximately to Chungking, the wartime capital of the Republic of China.
It should be noted that the game map territory of Shensi corresponds roughly to an area which, from the mid-1930s onward, was under the control of the Chinese Communist Party rather than under the control of the Republic of China. Shaanxi Province was the location of the Chinese Communist Party’s northernmost political council in 1934, and was the destination of the Long March of 1934-1935. It served as the CCP’s power base and training centre during the Second World War. The city of Yan’an (Yenan in older sources), located in central Shaanxi, was from 1937 onward the seat of the communist government of what became known as the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border region.