Forged in the furnace of the anti-Japanese war, Chinese communism first took root in the North, later expanding to conquer all of China. The nature of this explosive growth remains disputed. Dagfinn Gatu examines issues that have so far not received comprehensive treatment. In the North China regions, the CCP secured most of its recruits and its policy programmes were most severely tested by Japanese military campaigns. The CCP movement in these regions had a broad, if uneven, redistributive impact on power resources. These conditions lead to a structural fluidity that lowered the barriers to a future revolution.