Description: (New text, descriptions coming soon).

New! -- Additional References Added HERE!


The Science of Military Strategy


Author: AMS Military Strategy Research Department


Military Science Publishing



Edition: DEC 2013, 1st Edition

Printing: DEC 2013, First Printing,

     Description: (New text, descriptions coming soon).

Liberation Army Publishing House
Executive Editor: Qin Yuzhong (秦宇忠)
ISBN 7-5065-5014-8, 2005.11.1, 1st Edition, 1st Printing


Desk Reference Volume, 12"x9"


The Science of Military Strategy


National Defense Industry Publishing House



Edition: JUN 2001, 1st Edition

Printing: JUN 2001, First Printing

     Description: (New text, descriptions coming soon).

PDF Scans of original Chinese text available on FAS.ORG here!

非战争军事行动辞典 (全本)
Non-War Military Actions (NWMA) Dictionary
(2012 NWMA Dictionary)

National Defense University Press
统一书号:5 5626·883 (军内发行,不得外传)
All-Army Military Terminology Committee, AMS
357,000 characters, 485 pages

First Printing, December 2012

Military Mandarin References

Copyright © 2016 Military Mandarin, LLC -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

     Description: A large hard bound reference book (about 10"x12"x2") comprised mostly of technical sketches in color plates depicting Chinese uniforms, rank, and insignias throughout the history of China.  Page 412 to 488 provide the only currently relevant section, covering the '07 style uniforms including all hat and uniform emblems and optional devices, officer and enlisted ranks, service variants, service or department chest badges, ribbons of grade and time in service, ceremonial uniforms, all unit/command patches, seasonal and optional uniform items, etc.  Page 548 to 588 covers the same for current PAP (CAPF) uniforms and insignia.  Also covers a great deal of Kuomindang (ROC / Taiwan) historic and current uniforms, insignia, and accoutrements. 


China Regimental 100 Years


Chief Editor: Xu Ping


Gold Wall Press

ISBN: 978-7-80084-679-3

2009年9月第2版, 2009年9月第2次印刷

SEP 2009, 2nd Edition, 2nd Printing

   Particularly interesting charts include: A map depicting the Invasion of China by Foreign Militaries since 1840 [1840年以来外国军队的入侵]; charts of Chinese territory occupied or taken by bordering countries; chart listing Regional Wars and Conflict since the Second World War [through 1989]; details charts of the Falklands War; charts depicting the history of the Chinese revolution over time, charts of the Liberation of China (1947-1951); including breakout charts for the major campaigns (Liao-Shen, Huaihai, etc.,), etc.

   Description: A Chinese reference book, designed as a library or desk reference for officers in training or professional military education.  A foreword citing the 7th five-year plan for military science research of the entire military (全军军事科学研究 “七五” 规划) as impetus for this edition, and signed 1992  is the only edition or dating information available. 

     This atlas begins with solar system and global data on the earth.  Has civil and military specific charts that include political information, resource information, campaign maps from several conflicts, population data, etc. 


Military Officer's Map Atlas


Bureau of Mapping and Survey, GSD

350 pages / plates

(No publication or distribution data)

     Description: Approved by the Central Military Commission, and all three* general departments, this text (now superceded by a 2011 edition) replaced the 1982 version under the same title as the official military dictionary of the PLA.  It is organized in 29 categories, with no Army (陆军) category, but several of the branches (corps) listed separately (Armor Corps, Engineer Corps, Signal Corps, etc.).   6562 entries, and 182 pictures or charts.  Each entry has Pinyin and a full definition in Chinese characters, but no English translation of the headword (as the 2011 edition now has).  This book was the authoritative source for the current Chinese definition of military terms in the PLA until the 2011 Edition was published.

中国人民解放军  军语 (全本)一九九七年九月
1997 CPLA Junyu (Military Terms)
Military Science Publishing House Publication
(京)新登字122号 (军内发行)
军事科学院, AMS

820,000 Characters, 979 pages

    A notice (通知) signed by the General Staff Headquarters (总参谋部), General Political Department (总政治部), and General Logistics Department (总后勤部), notifies the reader that this text is approved by the Central Military Commission (中央军委), and supercedes the 1982 edition under the same title.  

TM 30-634
Cantonese Phrasebook, December 4, 1943

War Department, Washington DC.

Marked almost the same as the Chinese (Mandarin) phrase book above.  Sections are similarly organized with largely the same vocabulary.  The book is shorter as it has only three items per entry (no Wade System Romanization). 

135 pages, approximately 4"x4.5"

Also includes the note: For Sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. - Price 25 cents.

   Description: Entries in this simple handbook have four items for each word entered: English, Pronunciation (some type of phonetic attempt), Wade System (a standardized Romanization with tone numbers), and Chinese Writing (typed charachters) for each entry.  Organized by topic, for pocket or field use, including the following main headings: Emergency Expressions, General Expressions, Personal Needs, Location and Terrain, Roads and Transportation, Communications, Reconnaissance, Landing a Plane, Numbers, Size, Time, Etc., Road SIgns, and other information.

TM 30-633
Chinese Phrasebook, December 10, 1943

War Department, Washington DC

No publishing data, but carries the following inside the front cover "TM 30-633, Chinese Phrase Book, is published for military personnel only, and is not to be republished in whole or in part without the consent of the War Department."  Signed by Order of the Secretary of War, by G.C. Marshal, Chief of Staff, and J.A. Ulio, The Adjutant General.

[A. G. 300.7 (3 Mar 43)]  Distribution: X.

270 pages, approximately 4"x4.5"

   Description: A small handbook sized (roughly 4"x6"x1/2" thick) softbound book with roughly 8000 entries.   Presented as a vocabulary list, organized by English alphabetically with a single Chinese translation offered in characters.  No pinyin, definition, or other linguistic information provided.  As the title suggests, a lot of equipment, weapon, component, function, and other technical terms.

   Description: A large vocabulary list (no definitions) organized alphabetically, including a large number of acronyms.  It provides a single Chinese translation of each term, with no pinyin, definition, language usage, or other information.  Clearly designed for naïve Chinese researchers who have enough English language to look up terms in English and find a Chinese translation.  It provides no index or Chinese look-up, so would be very difficult for an English speaker trying to identify technical terms in Chinese text they are researching.  There are no appendices, indexes, charts, or other information beyond the roughly 40,000 entires.

A Brief English-Chinese Handbook of Military Equipment
National Defense Industry Press
Chief Editor; Kang Zhanjun
ISBN: 978-7-118-06447-6, 2009.8, 1st Ed., 1st Printing

326 Pages

English-Chinese C4ISR Technical Terms Dictionary
Main Editors: Qi Jianping, Wu Jiangxing
National Defense Industry Press
ISBN: 7-118-04414-8, 934 pages

   Description:  Oversized hard-bound library reference dictionary style in appearance.  963 pages with roughly 100 entries per page, roughly 90.000 entires.  Entirely listed by Chinese with a single English translation and no definitions.  2011 Preface by former Director of MND-FAO Major General Qian Lihua.  Nine interesting appendices including major CPLA organization names, PLA ranks into English, U.S. ranks into Chinese (WO and NCO ranks have errors), and UK ranks, Names of key U.S. bases, U.S. aircraft names and numbers, U.S. missiles and rockets, major equipment, etc.

Army (Ground Force) Chinese - English Dictionary


CPLA Nanjing Army Command College


ISBN 978-7-5065-6562-2


OCT 2013, First Edition, First Printing

2976千字 (2,976,000 characters)

   Description:  Large soft-bound college-text style in appearance.  67,000 entries, all of which are English listed, with a Chinese translation and no definitions.  No other appendices or other information.  Only about 5 pages total that are not part of the lengthy vocab list.  Organized alphabetically by the English term, with a lot of acronyms interspersed in the main body alphabetic listings.  In many cases it lists the same acronyms multiple times with several different translations for the same acronym.  Translation is characters only with no pinyin, and no indexing by Chinese entry.  Clearly designed for use by native Chinese speakers researching in English.

An English-Chinese Dictionary of Information Warfare Terms



Chief Editor: Wu Hanping

ISBN 978-7-121-14973-3


JAN 2012, First Printing

   Description: A Chinese textbook published by the Chinese PLA National Defense University (CNDU) as an academic study on the topic of the operational or campaign level of war.  The beginning is a very academic approach to the history of the concepts, principles, key historic events shaping the subject, and to some extent, different views in different countries.  As the study gets more into practical application, it clearly becomes more focused on instructing the PLA's version of Operational Art.  It covers practical topics such as military analysis of terrain and climate, the PLA's planning and preparation process, including their version of a standard "Operations Order" format and staff planning process.  The second half of the large study is a series of example or format campaigns and description of considerations and unique features for each campaign.  Covers three major joint campaigns and fourteen service lead campaigns.

   Description: A pocket sized (4x6”) US Military publication under the signature of G.C. Marshall, Chief of Staff.  All entries include hand-written Chinese characters, “Wade Romanization”, and English.  Characters are very hard to distinguish, printed too light, and inconsistent quality.  The Romanization listed as “Wade Romanization” is actually likely Wade-Giles based on the date of publication and the sources, but is not compatible with the modern mainland hanyu pinyin. Also, characters are not equal to either modern simplified or traditional, but most likely 95% or more overlap with Taiwan use traditional characters. The book is quite interesting for historical purposes, but not a handy reference for Chinese speakers who have learned Hanyu Pinyin and Simplified Characters.  Based on 7 primary references and several secondary references (interestingly including several English-Japanese military references).

TM 30=533
War Department Technical Manual
Chinese Military Dictionary
26 May 1944
415 Pages

   Description: A pocket sized (4x6”) English to Chinese dictionary of US DoD and NATO terms.  English words, alphabetic listing with Chinese translation, then definition in Chinese. Every word is cited as DoD or NATO or both.  Obviously designed for a native Chinese speaker to learn US military terminology, or assist in reading US military writings in English.  May be an interesting source for native English speakers with intermediate Chinese language skills, reading the definitions in Chinese may be useful in practicing how to define or describe technical terms in Chinese. No Chinese look-up, no appendixes.

A New Dictionary of US Military Terms
National Defense Industry Press
程勇 程石 主编
Chief Editors; Cheng Yong and Cheng Shi
ISBN: 978-7-118-05450-7, 2008.3, 1st Ed., 1st Printing

679 Pages

   Description: Pocket/student size Chinese-Chinese military dictionary, no English, gives Chinese definitions, about 6-10 definitions per page. 2,361 terms in 25 categories including strategic, operational, tactical, army, navy, air force, missiles, units, training, tech, artillery, armor, engineer, etc. Civilian publisher, so not “authoritative” though many of the definitions check against other sources. This Shanghai based reference publishing house also publishes a Military volume Dacihai, which has gone through editorial review by all four general departments, the service headquarters and a dozen other military units, organizations, or academies/institutes. It is likely this expertise carries over in this abridged version for quick reference use. Preface states it incorporates Chinese and foreign, modern and classical terms, but definitions do not explain whether definition is PLA’s or a specific foreign country’s definition.

Concise Military Dictionary, Social Sciences Concise Dictionary Series
主要作者: (18 names listed), 责任编辑:朱伟明
18 listed important authors, Responsible Editor: Zhu Weiming
Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House
ISBN: 978-7-5326-2238-2, 494 pages

   Description:  Huge library size desk reference publication. Chinese to English only, translation provided with no definitions or context.  Six appendices.  App 1 – CPLA Military Ranks, note one of few sources with PLA rank structure translated to English, most dictionaries include U.S. ranks translated into Chinese, these are not the same thing.  PLA Rank list is given once in Chinese (common rank names apply to all services) but lists English separately for Army, Navy and Air specific English terms. App 2, British, U.S. military ranks.  App 3, Common math symbols.  App 4, Units of measure.  App 5, Table of Chemical Elements.  App 6, Chart of countries listing country, region, capital, currency, and language.  Bibliography on page 1887.

A Chinese – English Dictionary of Military Technology Terms,
China Military Education Society Series
汉英军事技术大辞典, 中国军事教育学会编    
ISBN 7-5077-2260-0
Beijing, 学苑出版社 2004.5, 1st Edition, 1st Printing, 1887 pages

   Comments: Translation of terms, no definitions or explanations.  A pretty full E-C (250pp) and C-E (200+pp) section with 7 appendices.  Chinese section appears to be Chinese use military terms, not just two way look up on western military terms.  App 1, Names of historic battles and wars, alphabetic listing by English.  App 2, World main military equipment, planes, ships, missiles, automated command systems.  App 3, By country (region) weapon and equipment names. App 4, Each country (or region) satellite and space equipment.  App 5, Common military acronyms/abbreviations (缩略语).  App 6, World, by country (region) base name list, App 7, World (main) English military, political periodical names.

A New English – Chinese Chinese – English Dictionary of Military Terms
Defense Industry Press, Chief Editor Cui Changqi
国防工业出版社,主编 崔长琦
ISBN 7-118-02041-9
1999.10 1st Edition, 1st Printing, 726 pages

   Comments: Clearly written to explain English (U.S.) military terms to a Chinese reader.  No distinction between U.S., Brit, or other use on the terms.  Though it is translation only (no definitions, example sentences, or explanation of context for a term, it does give various translations of the term, for example LD has 8 English understandings of the term (from Line of Departure to Laser Diode to Lunar Drill, etc.) and 11 possible Chinese terms for LD.  Four appendices: 1, US and British military ranks and unit translations (includes chart for USA, USN, USAF, USMC, RN, BA, RAF, and RM). 2, list of air and naval base location names translated, world-wide, alphabetic listing by city name with country in parens.  3, U.S. (partial) listing of defense science and related military periodicals.  4, List of major world cities, alpha by English w/ Chinese translation and time difference from Beijing time.

“Abbreviations of Military Terminology” Dictionary

English – Chinese
Foreign Language Press, Editor – Li Sizhe
外文出版社,李思哲 编著
ISBN 7-119-01978-3/H.1189
2002.1 1st Edition, 1st Printing
697 pages

   Description: Pinyin organized, Chinese-Chinese dictionary (definitions in Chinese, not translations) for each term.  Dec 2008 preface.  Categorically organized with category numbers and category names.  One appendix lays out the categories, another gives measures with definitions and translations. Contributing Editor Units (参编单位) includes 14 military organizations, including GSD, GLD, GAD, Navy, AF, and SAC Comms or C2 organizations, GS Communications Department, PLA Ligong University Automated Command Institute, 61st Research Department of the GS.

Military Informationization Dictionary
Director: Chen Dong

Chief Editors: Wang Jianchun, Nie Shaosan

Liberation Army Publishing House
ISBN 978-7-5065-5741-2
2008.12, 1st Edition, 1st Printing


Campaignology (The Study of Campaigns)

(Operational Art)

主编:张玉良  Chief Editor: Zhang Yuliang


National Defense University Press



Edition: SEP 2006, 2nd Edition

Printing: NOV 2007, Second Printing

A Chinese-English Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms of Weapons   汉英兵器科技大词典

   Description: Organized entirely Chinese to English, pinyin sorted by character. Gives the appearance that it is designed to translate Chinese terms into English, but terms and appendixes include foreign originating terms. More likely designed for assisting a reader of Chinese sources unfamiliar with weapon/military terms in Chinese, whether Chinese or foreign originating terms.  More useful for an English reader translating out Chinese defense articles than many of the English look-up only military references. Four appendixes, App I, Chinese terms that begin with an English letter or number (still Chinese terms).  Example: K-波段,  K-Band.  App II, English Acronyms/abbreviations (English to Chinese).  App III, Foreign weapons industry and research organizations, Chinese to English name check (duizhao).  App IV, English to Chinese of appendix III. 

Compiled by

Nanjing University of Science and Technology
南京理工大学 编
Chief Editor: Li Hongzhi
Weapon Industry Press,
ISBN: 7-80172-240-X, 2004,
1st Ed, 1st Printing 

   Description: This book starts about four years before the Nanchang Uprising on August First 1927, the birth of the PLA.  It covers peacetime and wartime development of the PLA from 1924 to 2007 in detail, including the revolutionary period, the Anti-Japanese War, the War of Liberation, the Korean War    (抗美援朝,保家卫国), border conflicts against Burma and India, the Cultural Revolution, Founding of the Second Artillery, and other important events or periods.  It also includes in depth descriptions of peacetime reforms, such as the major reorganization of the PLA around 1985.  No charts, pictures, or appendices.

The Chinese PLA's 80 Years; 1927-2007
Compiled by AMS Military History Research Department

Compiling Committee Chair: Shou Xiaosong
责任编辑:潘宏, Chief Editor: Pan Hong
军事科学出版社, Military Science Publishing House 2007
ISBN: 978-7-80237-108-8,  558 pages

First printing, Dec 2007, Second Printing Apr 2011

   Description: Not a dictionary. A novel-size research book giving one to five page explanations of 200 important strategic concepts or military terms relevant to modern warfare.  Sorted by topic, term given in Chinese and English with a one to five page essay (in Chinese) explaining the term, its use and relevance. Only 200 terms, but a very good selection (strategic, operational, tactical, units, equipment, etc.,).  Several terms give country of origin, some history on the development of the concept, or recent historical examples.  Written in simple modern Chinese, though some familiarity with basic military terms recommended.  Best suited for a student of Chinese who can read a one or two page long article (with some dictionary assistance)  who is looking for a broader or deeper understanding of a few key current  terms that impact the PLA view of strategy and warfare.  Not for the student looking for word-to-word translations.

New Concepts in the Revolution in Military Affairs;
Interpretation of 200 New Military Terms
Written by NDU Scientific Research Dept.
主任:苏希胜, Chair: Su Xisheng
主编:常巧章, Chief Editor: Chang Qiaozhang
解放军出版社, Liberation Army Publishing House 2004
ISBN: 7-5065-4606-X,  391 pages

   Description: Chinese definitions of Chinese terms, organized in encyclopedic fashion with a very encyclopedic reference book outward appearance.  Terms are grouped by subject, with short descriptive explanation or definition, some entries have pictures, maps, sketches., etc. Written for a native speaker to explain military terms. While this civilian institution’s name doesn’t jump out as “authoritative” on military issues, the book bears an impressive resume. The 44 member review committee was headed by three different full generals (上将); 葛振峰 (A former AMS director, former Deputy Dir of GSD), 张定发 (a former AMS Director, PLAN Commander, and CMC member) and 郑申侠 (a former PLAAF CoS and AMS Director). Compiling editorial work units (编纂单位) include 6 departments or offices of the GSD, two depts. of the GPD, 2 depts. of the GAD, both the PLAN and PLAAF HQ, SAC Command College, Logistics Command University, 4 AMS research departments, and the PAP HQ.

大辞海·军事卷 / 夏征农 主编;郑申侠等编著
Great Dictionary – Military Volume
Xia Zhengnong (author), Chief Editor Zheng Shenxia, etc.,
上海辞书出版社, Shanghai Dictionary Publishing House
1st Edition, 1st Printing

   Description: 1:21,000,000 scale maps of China from primitive societies through historic dynasties, the Republic and the PRC.  Each time period or dynasty has a page or two of text description and a large two page map.  Displays area controlled by the major dynasty and neighboring powers for each major time period.  Follow the status of Tibet, Taiwan, the Northeast (Manchuria) or other key areas as the control of China expands and contracts, unifies and breaks into competing powers, through the ages.  Appendix includes a consolidated place name reference list.        

Concise Historical Atlas of China
中国社会科学院 主办
Sponsored by CASS (China Academy of Social Sciences)
主编 谭其骧
Chief Editor, Prof. Tan Qixiang
China Cartographic Publishing House
ISBN 7-5031-1015-51996.6
Reprint, 2nd Printing of 1st Edition, original print 1991.10.11985
Foreword, 1990 Foreword by Tan Qixiang

     Description: English terms translated to Chinese only (no Chinese to English), includes notes distinguishing between U.S. or British use terms in some cases.  It appears to be designed to translate western military terms and ideas into Chinese.  This dictionary includes an unlabeled appendix with terms that begin with a number instead of a letter.  An appendix gives translations of U.S., British, and Japanese ranks (note: translation of foreign ranks, it does not give the PLA or any other Chinese military's own rank system as direct comparison).  Note, in all three cases (US, British, Japan) the English term is given with service variations, and in all cases there is only one “joint” or all-service Chinese rank.

The English – Chinese Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms  英汉军语大辞典

中国人民解放军  军语 (全本)二〇一一年
2011 CPLA Junyu (Military Terms)
Military Science Publishing House Publication
统一书号:580237·681 (军内发行)
All-Army Military Terminology Committee, AMS
1047000 characters, 1301 pages
junyu@email.xxfw.zc , http://www.zc

     Description: Approved by the Central Military Commission, and all four general departments, this text replaces the 1997 version under the same title as the official military dictionary of the PLA.  It is organized in 26 categories, plus 9 secondary categories under the category Army (陆军).   8587 entries, and 195 pictures or charts.  New to this edition, each entry has an English translation of the headword.  It has an index of entries organized by pinyin, and an English index as well.  This book is the authoritative source for the current Chinese definition of military terms in the PLA.

     A list of military dictionaries, military relevant references, or other source material, with commentary.  Send us information on your best or favorite sources, hard copy or web links, and we'll add to this list.