Did you know that Mao Zedong had a son? (Mao actually had 10 children, and 4 wives, but that’s another post.) The important son was Mao Anying. He had the vital qualities of being a man, surviving to adulthood, and not having mental health problems. Mao Anying was quietly being groomed, having been sent to the Soviet Union in 1936 for university. But then World War II broke out, and what does every good dictator’s heir need? Military experience!
Mao Anying joined the Soviet Red Army during World War II, serving as an artillery officer in Poland. As an added bonus, he got communist credentials, because China’s communist party was still friendly with the USSR at the time. When World War II ended he joined the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, as a Russian translator and secretary, and was promptly sent to the new war in Korea. And in 1950 he was killed by an American napalm bomb.
With Mao Anying’s death, any chance of a Mao dynasty also died. China was forced to have a non-hereditary leadership, with the top job being given to who could politic the best.
Mao Anying’s chance death prevented China from becoming like North Korea, which does have a hereditary dynasty. Unfortunately for North Korea, the Kim family’s children were too young to fight in World War II or the Korean War, and all survived to inherit the dynasty.
Amazing photos from vintage brochures show how North Korea used to tempt tourists back in the 1970s and 80s.
Answer: the Sudanese Civil War, which lasted from 1955 to 2005. The end of the war led to the creation of South Sudan in 2011.
Some would argue the Sudanese Civil War was actually two wars – the 1st Sudanese Civil War from 1955 to 1972 and the 2nd Sudanese Civil War from 1983 to 2005. And others would argue that since North Korea and South Korea are technically still “at war” – though no fighting has happened in over 50 years – that they get the prize.
Residents from Pyongyang, North Korea, and refugees from other areas crawl perilously over shattered girders of the city’s bridge, as they flee south across the Taedong River to escape the advance of Chinese Communist troops. Dec. 4, 1950.
Che Guevara greeting a woman in North Korea 1960
Kim Il-sung meeting the Hungarian communist leader János Kádár in 1984. Kim Il-sung, founder of North Korea, had a baseball-sized growth on his neck. Official photos of him were therefore taken from a leftward angle to hide the growth.
A selection of the title used to describe former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in state media:
- Superior Person
- Dear Leader
- Respected Leader
- Wise Leader
- Brilliant Leader
- Unique Leader
- Dear Leader, Who Is a Perfect Incarnation of the Appearance That a Leader Should Have
- Sun of the Communist Future
- Shining Star of Paektu Mountain
- Guiding Sun Ray
- Guarantee of the Fatherland’s Unification
- Symbol of the Fatherland’s Unification
- Fate of the Nation
- Leader of the Party, the Country, and the Army
- Great Leader of our Party and of our Nation
- Bright Sun of the 21st Century
- Glorious General, Who Descended From Heaven
- Great Man, Who Is A Man Of Deeds
- Highest Incarnation of the Revolutionary Comradeship