Within 12 months, the Communists had lost 50% of the territory they had controlled in 1933 and 60,000 Communist soldiers (the Red Army) were killed.
The Guomindang was advised by the German general, Hans von Seeckt. Seeckt wanted to starve the Communists out rather than engage in combat with them. Guomindang troops surrounded the Communists. The Guomindang had a policy of making a slow advance building trenches and blockhouses as they went.
The Long March OCT 1934 – October 1935 Mao’s escape
The Red Army did not only have to contend with the Guomindang. The land in northern China was very much controlled by warlords. Even the Guomindang under Chiang had failed to break their power. They did not welcome the arrival of the Red Army into an area they effectively ruled.
By October 1935, what was left of the original 87,000 Red Army soldiers reached their goal of Yanan. Less than 10,000 men had survived the march. These survivors had marched over 9000 kilometres. The march had taken 368 days..