Reading the orders of battle for the Second Sino-Japanese War, it seems that in the major battles, the Chinese side consistently fields large numbers of divisions, but not as many total troops as that may suggest. It seems that the Chinese divisions are much smaller, especially compared to the opposing Japanese.
Divisions don't really have a standard size since they can be organised differently but generally consist of between 10000 and 20000 troops. But a closer look at some orders of battle shows that the Chinese have much less troops than the expected ratio:
- NRA: "700,000 troops in 75 divisions and 9 brigades", <9333 per division
- IJA: "300,000 troops in 8 divisions and 6 brigades", <37500 per division
- NRA: "1,100,000 (120 divisions)", <9166 per division
- IJA: 350,000 troops, 16 divisions, <21875 per division
- NRA: "200,000 troops in 39 Divisions", <5128 per division
- IJA: "120,000 troops in 3 Divisions", <40000 per division
Not all troops belong to divisions, so the actual ratio is even smaller than those calculations.
Why were the division sizes so different, with the Chinese ones much smaller than typical for divisions?