Mao was Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from 1931 until his death. He broke with STALIN in 1927 after Commintern directives led to a massacre of Communists by the Kuomintang in Shanghai. In 1937 a new alliance between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party was forged in the face of Japanese aggression, but only lasted until 1940 when Mao decided to fight CHIANG Kai-shek rather than the Japanese. Mao directed his wartime operations from Yenan, in Shensi Province. One last attempt at an alliance negotiated by US Ambassador HURLEY, between Chiang and Mao failed in 1944. After the defeat of Japan, civil war began.
Mao was a brilliant innovator of new revolutionary techniques and a master of guerrilla warfare. His strategy was to base his revolutionary movement on the peasantry, moving his forces through friendly territory and organizing these areas as he progressed. Only TITO led a comparable resistance movement during the war with such success.