Chiang Kai-Shek’s direct command of the frontline battles had long been a common occurrence. Such direct command had a positive and negative impact on warfare. This article is divided into three sections. Firstly, the attitudes of central and regional command towards the Songhu campaign, and the reasons for the strategic decision to expand the campaign will be introduced. The attitudes of the central and regional command towards expanding the Songhu campaign were generally unanimous, but their differences would be the considerations of regional commanders who had enlisted in the army, and the fact that Chiang and the centre had to consider international factors.
Secondly, in discussing the occasion for the decision to attack the Japanese, the battle of Songhu was not necessarily a constant battle situation, but rather a set of repeated skirmishes. There were different opinions between Chiang, the local command, and specially Zhang Zhizhong with respect to when to attack and when to retreat. Chiang kept his focus on the overall situation in his mind, but Zhang Zhizhong and other high ranking frontline officers, conversely, attached importance to the strategic dimension. On the whole, in this respect, central and regional commands were in relative agreement.
Lastly, in discussing the command and execution of the Songhu military campaign, the matters of how Chiang supplied frontline commanders with all sorts of information, mobilized the command system, and directly issued tactics will be analysed. During the War of Resistance, he was regarded as the highest ranking leader, due to the intelligence that he obtained being more diverse, and the emphasis he placed on comprehensive battle plans. But commanders in regional warzones, conversely, were familiar with local terrain and surface features, and were clearer on the state of enemy forces in their local area. The highest commander and warzone commanders were able to cooperate closely, which was beneficial for the undertaking of the battle, so, for a long time, because of the leadership style of Chiang Kai-shek, battlefield commanders became dominated strategically. With respect to the Songhu military campaign, the principle and decision to expand the campaign were not necessarily different. In terms of its execution, there were some issues. First of all, were changes in the command system; secondly, the command system of the theatre of operations adjusted repeatedly within two short months, leading to the people in charge becoming displeased; moreover, as for sacrificing many elite troops from the army, it is open to debate whether or not that this was absolutely necessary along with the occasion for final retreat.