Military campaign in China waged by nationalist forces under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek to extend their power from their base in southern China to much of northern China by defeating local warlord armies, initially with military assistance from the Soviet Union. Shanghai and Nanjing were captured in March 1927 and Beijing finally fell on 8 June 1928. A nationalist government was established in Nanjing from 1928 to 1932. The Northern Expedition was notable both for the final emergence of Chiang Kai-shek as the sole leader of the nationalist Kuomintang and for his purge of the communists. This resulted in a series of unsuccessful communist risings in August 1927 and the first ten-year phase of the nationalist-communist civil war.