Zhang Lingfu

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Zhang Lingfu
Zhang Ling Fu Lie Shi Yi Xiang .png
Lieutenant General Zhang Lingfu
Native name張靈甫
Nickname(s)The lame legged general
Born(1903-08-20)August 20, 1903
Xi'an
DiedMay 16, 1947(1947-05-16) (aged 43)
Mengyin County, Shandong
AllegianceFlag of the Republic of China.svg  Republic of China
Years of service19241947
Rank Lieutenant General
Unit1st division, 1st corps
Commands held58th division, 74th corps
Battles/wars
Awards Order of Precious Tripod

Zhang Lingfu (traditional Chinese :張靈甫; simplified Chinese :张灵甫; pinyin :Zhāng Língfǔ; August 20, 1903 May 16, 1947) was a high-ranking general of the Chinese National Revolutionary Army. He successfully fought against the Communists and the Imperial Japanese Army. In 1947, his unit was surrounded by Chinese communist forces commanded by Field Marshal Chen Yi and General Su Yu. Zhang was unable to breakout from the communist encirclement because the relief efforts headed by his nationalist colleagues did not arrive on time, and he was killed in action in the Menglianggu Campaign on May 16, 1947.

Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Simplified Chinese characters standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Contents

Early years

Zhang was born with the given name of Zhonglin (鐘麟) in a rural gentry family outside of Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province. He was a gifted calligrapher during his middle school days and was praised by his schoolmaster Yu Youren, a famous calligrapher and educator of the time. In 1924, he was admitted to Peking University as a history major. In 1924 he abandoned his studies and traveled with other young students to the south, joining the Whampoa Military Academy, some of his notable classmates included Du Yuming, Fan Hanjie, Li Mi, Qiu Qingquan, Hu Lien, Liu Yuzhang, Guan Linzheng and Lin Biao. As a member of the fourth graduating class of the Academy, he joined the first corps of the National Revolutionary Army, Chiang Kai-shek served as the corps commander as well as commander-in-chief of the North Expedition. After the KMT-CCP split occurred, he stayed with the Chinese Nationalist Party and served at platoon, battalion, and regiment levels during the Anti-Communist Encirclement Campaigns against the Jiangxi Soviet under nationalist general Hu Zongnan. In 1936, he suspected his wife of having affairs, so he shot her dead in his home. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek sentenced him to ten years in prison.

Xian Prefecture-level & Sub-provincial city in Shaanxi, Peoples Republic of China

Xi'an is the capital of Shaanxi Province, China. A sub-provincial city on the Guanzhong Plain in northwestern China, it is one of the oldest cities in China, and the oldest of the Four Great Ancient Capitals, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui, and Tang. Xi'an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

Shaanxi Province

Shaanxi is a province of the People's Republic of China. Officially part of the Northwest China region, it lies in central China, bordering the provinces of Shanxi, Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichuan (SW), Gansu (W), Ningxia (NW), and Inner Mongolia (N). It covers an area of over 205,000 km2 (79,151 sq mi) with about 37 million people. Xi'an – which includes the sites of the former Chinese capitals Fenghao and Chang'an – is the provincial capital. Xianyang, which served as the Qin dynasty capital, is located nearby. The other prefecture-level cities into which the province is divided are Ankang, Baoji, Hanzhong, Shangluo, Tongchuan, Weinan, Yan'an and Yulin.

Yu Youren Taiwanese politician

Yu Youren ; was an educator, scholar, calligrapher, and politician in the Republic of China.

Second Sino-Japanese War

After serving in the prison for less than a year, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out, his senior classmate Wang Yaowu successfully bailed him out of prison and appointed him as a regiment commander, Zhang participated the brutal street fighting in the Battle of Shanghai and Battle of Nanjing. In 1938 he was promoted to brigade commander, during the Battle of Wanjialing of the Wuhan theatre, he personally led a detachment that cut off the Japanese retreat route and ensured the final Chinese victory. In 1939 he was wounded in his left leg during the Battle of Nanchang. Although his doctor told after one more month of treatment his wounds could be healed, he returned to the army and participated in the Battle of Changsha. As a result, he was unable to recover from his injuries and his colleagues nicknamed him The lame legged general. Afterward, he was promoted to assistant division commander of the 51st division and deputy commander of 74th corps. In 1943, Zhang personally led a task force which relieved the besieged Chinese defenders in the ferocious Battle of Changde and forced the Imperial Japanese Army to retreat, and Chiang Kai-shek called him the model soldier. Although he failed to save General Fang Xianjue from the Japanese attacks during the Defense of Hengyang in 1944, his unit fought well and he tried his best, so the National War Council did not take any action against him. After this rather unhappy episode in his military career, his old superior officer Wang Yaowu helped him again by sending Zhang to the Army War College to study, and Zhang graduated with top grades. In the May 1945, he fought under Wang Yaowu in the Battle of West Hunan and was decorated with Order of Precious Tripod and Medal of Freedom, and He Yingqin promoted him as commander of 74th corps.

Second Sino-Japanese War military conflict between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from 1937 to 1945

The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937, to September 2, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle.

Wang Yaowu Chinese general

Wang Yaowu was a high-ranking KMT general and the Governor of Shandong Province who successfully fought against both the Imperial Japanese Army and the Chinese Communists. In September 1948 Communist forces launched the Battle of Jinan and Wang was captured and held as a prisoner of war until his pardon in 1959. During the Cultural Revolution he came under attack by the Red Guards for being a former nationalist commander and died of a heart attack in 1968.

Battle of Shanghai battle

The Battle of Shanghai was the first of the twenty-two major engagements fought between the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Republic of China (ROC) and the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) of the Empire of Japan at the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the entire war, described as "Stalingrad on the Yangtze".

Chinese Civil War

General Zhang in 1947 Chang ling fu.jpg
General Zhang in 1947

Soon after the Second Sino-Japanese War is concluded, the resumption of the Chinese Civil War occurred throughout most of the country. Chiang Kai-shek reorganized his American trained and equipped divisions into five elite units: Sun Li-jen's New First Army, Liao Yaoxiang's New 6th Army, Qiu Qingquan's Fifth Army, Hu Lien's 18th Army and Zhang's 74th corps. Like many of his own nationalist classmates, Zhang joined the early successful nationalist advance against the communist controlled areas, and scored a smashing victory in the Battle of Huaiyin–Huai'an in the August 1946 against the communists. In early 1947, Chiang shifted his strategy and launched attacks on Yenan and Shandong under nationalist general Hu Zongnan and commander-in-chief of the nationalist army general Gu Zhutong, Zhang's 74th division speared nationalist advance into Shandong province. Communist commanders Chen Yi and Su Yu avoid to battle the nationalists because they tightly concentrated their formation together, which rendered the communist guerrilla tactics useless. Tang Enbo ordered Zhang Lingfu's 74th independent enhanced division to advance further than their original goal, as a result he was trapped by 5 columns of communist troops, on May 12, 1947, Chiang ordered Huang Baitao's 25th corps, Li Tianxia's 83rd corps, Hu Lien's 11th independent enhanced division, Qiu Qingquan's 5th corps to save Zhang Lingfu from the communist encirclement. But Li Tianxia only sent a token force to help his beleaguered colleague because of jealousy, Huang Baitao did try his best but his relief efforts were beaten back despite being supported by tanks and air cover, Qiu Qingquan and Hu Lien were too far away from the actual battlefield to be much of help. The situation did not look good on the intelligence front either, when high-ranking communist moles in KMT department of defense, such as Guo Rugui(zh:郭汝瑰) and Liu Fei(zh:劉斐), leaked vital military plans to the communist commanders. The difficult terrain in the mountainous areas also made Zhang unable to use his heavy weaponry; on the morning of May 16, 1947, Chiang issued another order on the pain of death to his commanders to save Zhang Lingfu and the 74th division, but none of the nationalist generals could make it on time. Zhang was killed in action in his cave hideout around 3:00 p.m. that same afternoon, although some sources cited that he committed suicide.

Chinese Civil War 1927–1950 civil war in China

The Chinese Civil War was a war fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China (CPC). Although particular attention is paid to the four years of Chinese Communist Revolution from 1945 to 1949, the war actually started in August 1927, with the White Terror at the end of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's Northern Expedition, and essentially ended when major hostilities between the two sides ceased in 1950. The conflict took place in two stages: the first between 1927 and 1937, and the second from 1946 to 1950, with the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937–1945 separating them. The war marked a major turning point in modern Chinese history, with the Communists gaining control of mainland China and establishing the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, forcing the Republic of China (ROC) to retreat to Taiwan. It resulted in a lasting political and military standoff between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, with the ROC in Taiwan and the PRC in mainland China both officially claiming to be the legitimate government of all China.

Chiang Kai-shek Chinese politician and military leader

Chiang Kai-shek, also known as Generalissimo Chiang or Chiang Chungcheng and romanized as Chiang Chieh-shih or Jiang Jieshi, was a politician and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975, first in mainland China until 1949 and then in Taiwan until his death. He was recognized by much of the world as the head of the legitimate government of China until 1971, during which the United Nations passed Resolution 2758.

Sun Li-jen Chinese general and politician

Sun Li-jen KBE was a Chinese Nationalist (KMT) general, a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, best known for his leadership in the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War. His military achievements earned him the laudatory nickname "Rommel of the East". His New First Army was known as the "Best Army under heaven" and credited with effectively confronting Japanese troops in the 1937 Battle of Shanghai and in the Burma Campaign, 1943–1944.

Aftermath

Chiang Kai-shek lost one of his most able generals in the Menglianggu Campaign and his elite 74th independent enhanced division was wiped out from nationalist order of battle. Although the unit was rebuilt later on, but it never regained the former strength of the old 74th independent enhanced division, and was again destroyed in the Huaihai Campaign next year. Because of this disastrous defeat, Chiang responded by relieving Gu Zhutong as commander-in-chief of the army, Tang Enbo lost his position as commander of the first army, Li Tianxia was court-martialled and would not be holding any command position for the next two years, while Huang Baitao received a serious reprimand but was allowed to stay on as commander of the 25th corps. Chiang Kai-shek personally arranged a state funeral for Zhang after recovering his remains from the Communist forces, and renamed the Mengyin County of Shandong province in his honor, and a naval destroyer was also named in his honor.

Menglianggu Campaign

The Menglianggu Campaign was a campaign fought between the nationalists and the communists during the Chinese Civil War in the post-World War II era and resulted in communist victory. The campaign was later used by the communists as a specific battle example in their military science and history, as well as a propaganda piece. The battle mainly took place in Menglianggu of Linyi region in Shandong Province.

Huaihai Campaign military campaign

Huaihai Campaign or Battle of Hsupeng was one of the military conflicts in the late stage of the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China. The campaign started when the People's Liberation Army (PLA) launched a major offensive against the Kuomintang headquarter in Xuzhou on 6 November 1948, and ended on 10 January 1949 when the PLA reached the north of the Yangtze.

Gu Zhutong Chinese general, administrator

Gu Zhutong, courtesy name Moshan (墨山), was a military general and administrator of the Republic of China.

Trivia

In early 2009, his widow sent a letter to KMT party chairman Wu Po-hsiung to ask for the reissuing of her husband's medals, since Zhang destroyed his medal box during the end of the Menglianggu Campaign. But the military spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense said his wife must make some payments in order to have those medals back. When the news broke in the media on November 9 of the same year, it caused a firestorm of controversy: the defense ministry held a press conference, apologized to his family, issued the medals right away and promised responsible parties involved in this scandal would be punished.

Wu Po-hsiung Taiwanese politician

Wu Po-hsiung is a politician in Taiwan (ROC) who formerly served as chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT). He has been the Interior Minister (1984-1988), Mayor of Taipei (1988–1990), Secretary-General to the President (1991–1996), and Chairman of the KMT (2007-2009). Wu was nominated as Honorary Chairman of the Kuomintang when he was succeeded by Ma Ying-jeou as the Chairman of the Kuomintang.

Ministry of National Defense (Republic of China) Defense ministry of the Republic of China located in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of China is a cabinet-level agency under the Executive Yuan responsible for all defense and military affairs of Taiwan. The MND is headed by Minister Yen Teh-fa.

See also

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