It is established that Party-army relation followed a “separated” pattern in the Soviet Union as opposed to an “infused” pattern in China. This article explores the historical origin of this difference in the revolutionary periods. By analyzing the biographies of communist military elites, it argues that this discrepancy took shape before the revolutionary takeover and resulted from the differentiated intensities of warfare across Russia and China. In China, the numerous civil wars and military defeats, radicalized the old military structure and boosted societal militarization; thus, eroding the mutual exclusion between the military and revolutionaries. The effect was lesser in Tsarist Russia than in prerevolutionary China, making the old military a conservative and professional corporate that the Bolsheviks could not completely subordinate to Party control.

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