Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wuli Campaign

The Wuli Campaign was a campaign fought in Wuli in northern Shandong, and it was a clash between the communists and the former s turned Japanese puppet regime force who rejoined the s after World War II. The battle was one of the battles of the Chinese Civil War in the immediate post World War II era, and resulted in victory.


Like other similar clashes immediately after the end of World War II between the communists and the s in China, this conflict also rooted from the fact that Chiang Kai-shek had realized that his regime simply had neither the sufficient troops nor enough transportation assets to deploy his troops into the Japanese-occupied regions of China. Unwilling to let the communists who had already dominated most of the rural regions in China to further expand their territories by accepting the Japanese surrender and thus would consequently control the Japanese occupied regions, Chiang Kai-shek ordered the Japanese and their turncoat Chinese puppet regime not to surrender to the communists and kept their fighting capabilities to “maintain order” in the Japanese occupied regions, fighting off the communists as necessary, until the final arrivals and completion of the deployment of the troops. As a result, most members of the Japanese puppet regimes and their military forces rejoined the s.

However, it must be noted that most of these former s turned Japanese puppet regime forces were not from Chiang Kai-shek’s own clique, but instead, they were mainly consisted of troops of who were only nominally under the Chiang Kai-shek’s before World War II, since they were s in name only and mostly maintained their independent and semi-independent status. These were only interested in keeping their own power and defected to the Japanese side when Japanese invaders offered to let them keep their power in exchange for their collaborations. After the World War II, these forces of former Japanese puppet regimes once again returned to the camp for the same reason they defected to the Japanese invaders. Obviously, it was difficult for Chiang to immediately get rid of these warlords for good as soon as they surrendered to Chiang and rejoined s, because such move would alienate other factions within the ranks, and these former Japanese puppet regime's warlords could still help the s to gain more territories by holding on to what was under their control until Chiang completed the deployment of his own troops to takeover. Chiang Kai-shek’s objective was to simultaneously solve the problem that had plagued China for so long and the problem of the extermination of communism together, which proved to be an extremely fatal mistake for him and his regime later on, as shown in this conflict.


In accordance with his strategy to simultaneously solve the problem that had plagued China for so long and the problem of the extermination of communism together, Chiang Kai-shek and his followers had hoped that these former Japanese puppet regime's warlords who rejoined the s would be able to hold on to the regions long enough for Chiang to deploy his own troops by holding off communists. If the communists were victorious in such conflicts, however, the result would still benefit to Chiang and China because the power of these warlords would be reduced as their military forces were smashed by the communists, and the warlord problem plagued China for so long could thus be greatly reduced, while at the same time, communists would be weakened by the fights and Chiang's own troops would have easier time to take control.

For the former turned Japanese puppet regime forces, these s and their troops had no problem of following Chiang Kai-shek’s orders, and they were eager to prove themselves. These s and their troops were well aware that due to the collaboration with the Japanese invaders during the Second Sino-Japanese War, they were well hated by the general population in China, including those s who refused to surrender to the enemy and fought the enemy until the eventual victory. Therefore, in the impending demilitarization after World War II, they were certainly be disarmed and discharged, which would probably be the best outcome and the power of these would be reduced or even completely eliminated as a result. Chiang Kai-shek’s ordering them not surrendering to the communists and fighting off the communists was a savior for them because by carrying out such orders, these s and their troops could legitimize themselves and thus retain their power by fighting the communists who were targeted as rebels by Chiang Kai-shek and his regime.

Communist Strategy

The communist strategy was much simpler than that of the s because there was not any huge division within the communist rank like that of the . The communists already earned considerable popular support by being the only Chinese force left in the region fighting the Japanese invaders and their puppet regime after the withdrew, and after successfully establishing communist bases in the rural regions where better life was provided to the general populace in comparison to that of Japanese occupied regions, the general Chinese populace agreed that the communists were well deserved to represent the China to accept the invaders’ surrender in the region and takeover the regions occupied by the invaders.


In, 1945, the communist decided to take Shanxi by force after the local defenders consisted of former s turned Japanese puppet regime force who rejoined the s after World War II refused to surrender. By August 30, 1945, Zouping and Qingcheng fell into the communist hands. By early September, 1945, other counties including Huimin , Jiyang , Qidong , Yanshan , and Ningjin fell in a domino effect. On September 10, 1945, the communists succeeded in completely annihilating the four thousand strong Japanese puppet regime force headed by Cheng Jianji , thus the nationalists at Wuli was completely isolated when their last ally they would turn for help was destroyed. Both sides realized the inevitable final showdown and prepared accordingly.

Nationalist defenders of Wuli first strengthened their defense by further fortifying the positions. The city wall was widened to six to seven meters and its height was increased to eighteen meters. Watchtowers with height of twenty meters were constructed and serve as machine gun positions. A ditch five meters deep and twenty five meters wide surrounding the city was filled with water. In addition to other obstacles, numerous bunkers were also constructed in the positions outside the city wall. Inside the city, the nationalists also built four large bunkers with diameter greater than twenty meters. The 30 meter-high Haifeng Pagoda to the southeast of the city was built in the Tang Dynasty and its was used a machine gun position, which covers several villages surrounding the pagoda. The nationalist commander was confident on the defense of the city and he postulated that the communist enemy would not succeed in breaching the defense.

On August 6, 1945 , communist commander Yang Guofu gave the order to take the city of Wuli. By September 11, 1945, communist regular force from the 1st and 4th Military Sub-region of the communist Bohai Military Region had reached their assigned destination. The communist regular troops were assisted by over three thousand communist militias from Wuli , Yangxin , Zhanhua , and Qingyun counties. The communists begun to dig a deep ditch of more than fifty kilometers long to isolate the city. On September 12, 1945, communist Specialized Battalion of the Bohai Military Region approached nationalist position at Tianqi Temple before dawn, and planned to sever the communication line between Chengkou and Yangxin , thus preventing any nationalist force from reinforcing the besieged city. The communist scout suddenly reported that there was a group of nationalist soldiers at the Lesser Ma Family Village 1.5 km away. Song Jialie , the commander of the communist vanguard, the 3rd Company of the Specialized Battalion of the Bohai Military Region decided to immediately capture these nationalists before the sunrise, and the communists only had an hour to do so. The nationalist troops were caught completely off guard, and all of them were captured while in their sleep. It was soon revealed that in the afternoon on the previous day, the nationalist commander-in-chief was still claiming that within 150 km of the city, there was not a single communist troop in the area. The capture of the nationalist troops at the Lesser Ma Family Village severed the communication link of the nationalist outpost at Tianqi Temple outside the city. By the early evening, the communist attack force had surrounded the city from three sides, east, west and south. Soon after, the communist Muslim squadron took Shisanli , threatened the northern flank of the city and the communist siege of the city was complete.

Order of battle

order of battle:
*The 10th Advancing Column of Hebei – War Zone with Zhang Ziliang as the commander-in-chief, Feng Ligang as the deputy commander-in-chief, and Ma Ruzhen as the chief-of-staff
**1st Squadron commanded by Zhang Huanan stationed inside the city
**2nd Squadron commanded by Luo Jingyi guarding the Eastern Pass
**3rd Squadron commanded by Ai Chuansheng guarding the Western Pass
**4th Squadron commanded by Zhao Zhongshun guarding the Southeastern Pass
***A detachment of 4th Squadron commanded by Mou Songshan guarding the Tianqi Temple and Haifeng Pagoda
**5th Squadron commanded by Cheng Huichuan guarding the Southern Pass
**6th Squadron commanded by Zhang Guanting guarding the Southwestern Pass
**7th Squadron commanded by Wu Zanxun guarding the Northern Pass
**General reserve commanded by Jiang Xuekong
**Bodyguard Group commanded by Gao Bingchen
order of battle:
*Specialized Regiment of the Bohai Military Region
*24th Regiment of the 7th Division of the Bohai Military Region
*Regiment directly under the control of the Bohai Military Region
*Muslim Squadron
*3,000 militia from Wuli , Yangxin , Zhanhua , and Qingyun counties

Battle at Southern Pass

On September 13, 1945, the nationalists simultaneously launched several assaults from the city in different directions, in an attempt to find out which was the main direction of the enemy’s attack. Most of the nationalist probes were immediately beaten back, with an exception of a group of forty troops that ventured out from the city via the southern gate. The communists planned to ambush this group in the region to the west of the Greater Ma Family Village , and captured these nationalist troops for intelligence gathering purposes. However, the communist plan did not proceed according to the original goal due to a fatal mistake made by nationalists themselves: as the nationalist force approached the communist positions, the nationalist artillery providing fire support fell short and the entire barrage totaling several dozen rounds landed on their own troops, killing most of them. Less than ten out of the original forty nationalist troops survived and quickly retreated back to the safety of the city wall. After this incident, the nationalist defenders never ventured out to actively engaged the enemy again.

Haifeng Pagoda was sheltered by the important position at Tianqi Temple, which must be taken before attacking the pagoda. Zhang Ziliang ordered his two trusted commanders, Zhao Zhongshun and Mou Songshan to guard this critical position. At 9:00 AM on September 14, 1945, communists began their assault on the nationalist position. The battle begun with a fierce artillery duel and under the cover of artillery bombardment, the communist Specialized Battalion of the Bohai Military Region spearheaded the attack. Meanwhile, over 300 nationalist troops counterattacked under the cover of their own artillery fire support. The nationalists were successful in checking the initial communist assault by attacking the advancing communist vanguards, but in doing so, all 300 troops were killed. The loss of manpower meant that there were not enough troops left to defend the position, which fell into the communist hands. Realizing the severity of losing the position, the nationalists sent out more troops to launch another round of counteroffensive in order to take back the lost position, which was held by the 3rd company of the communist Specialized Battalion of the Bohai Military Region. Over two hundred nationalist dare-to-die team members charged the communist positions but the numerically inferior communist enemy proved to be much tougher than expected. Song Jialie , the communist company commander charged into the nationalist crowd and opened up his submachine gun, killing everyone around him, and Xing Shanyi and Wang Jiushou , the political commissar and the deputy political commissar of the communist 3rd company, led the entire company to charge into the nationalist crowd to fight in close quarter, effectively naturalizing the superior firepower advantage of the nationalist artillery. With communist reinforcement arriving, the entire nationalist counterattack force was thoroughly wiped out by the early morning of September 15, 1945. The nationalist defeat at the Tianqi Temple and Haifeng Pagoda cost the entire nationalist reserve deployed at Southern Pass , which meant that in the struggle for the pass in the next phase of the campaign, the nationalist defenders of the pass had to rely on themselves.

The Southern Pass was an important position, losing which would mean that the entire southern gate of the town would be exposed under the direct fire of the attackers. In the morning of September 15, 1945, the specialized regiment and the regiment directly under the control of the communist Bohai Military Region attacked the Southern Pass and the ancient Haifeng Pagoda respectively. Under the intense artillery barrage, the communist assault teams approached and took nationalist positions one by one, bunker by bunker, and hand grenades became the most effective weapon in the fierce close quarter combat. The defenders could not check the communist onslaught and were forced to retreat back to the safety of the city wall under the command of the nationalist commander of the 5th Squadron, Cheng Huichuan. As the nationalist commander Zhang Ziliang learnt the news of the retreat, he was furious and ordered the defenders atop of the city wall to machinegun his retreating troops and had the drawbridge pulled up, in the hope of forcing the retreating force to turn back and fight. However, the plan did not work, instead of making a stand and fighting, the trapped retreating nationalist troops simply laid down their arms and surrendered to the pursuing enemy. At the same time, the Haifeng Pagoda also fell into the communist hands, and eventually, a total of five out of six passes were firmly in the communist hands. The nationalist commander Zhang Ziliang decided to hold on until the dark and then attempted to breakout. At night of September 15, 1945, Zhang Ziliang ordered his chief-of-staff Ma Zhenru to accompany his in his breakout attempt, and ordered one of his subordinate, Jiang Xuekong to lead the vanguards of breakout. However, the nationalist vanguards were immediately intercepted by the waiting communists as soon as they ventured out the northern gate, and were forced to turn back.

The conclusion

After the first attempt to breakout had failed, Zhang Ziliang returned to his headquarter and asked his protégé Han Binghua , who was a famed fortuneteller, to predict the fate of the defenders. Unfortunately, the resulting prediction of the fortunetelling was that the defenders fate would be catastrophic. The nationalist chief-of-staff Ma Zhenru was present, and was shocked by the fact that his commander would resort to fortunetelling to decide their fate. Coincidentally, a loud thunder had just struck after the depressing result of the fortunetelling was revealed, and the nationalist commander lost his composure and repeatedly murmured the superstitious claim “celestial drum had sounded” in front of everyone, implying that the end was near. The news of what happened at the meeting traveled fast and the nationalist morale decayed rapidly. To compound the problem, the defenders also learnt that their commander had attempt to breakout earlier without them, and were outraged. At 7:00 AM on September 16, 1945, a group of commanders headed by Cheng Huichuan went to headquarter to see Zhang Ziliang, and accused him of abandoning his men. Zhang Ziliang was in no position to deny the blame and was forced to declare that whoever abandoned his post would be shot, himself included. Afterward, Zhang Ziliang led his commander to inspect the nationalist positions but they were discovered by the communist sentry atop of the Haifeng Pagoda, who immediately opened fire on them. Zhang Ziliang immediately retreated back to the safety of his headquarter and assigned his deputy Feng Ligang to continue the inspection for him.

At 9:00 AM on September 16, 1945, Zhang Ziliang asked his chief-of-staff, Ma Zhenru if the defenders could hold on until darkness and what were their options. The chief-of-staff answered that if the communists just slightly increase the intensity of their assault, the city would fall for sure, and suggest another attempt to breakout. Zhang Ziliang immediately summoned Gao Bingchen, the commander of bodyguard group, to escort him to breakout westward from the northern gate. Zhang Ziliang hidden some gold and silver on himself, and took his concubine and third daughter with him. The three hundred member strong force went out the northern gate and was intercepted by the Independent Regiment of the communist 1st Military Sub-region around a quarter kilometers away from the gate. The vanguard of the communist Independent Regiment, the 1st platoon of the 3rd Company managed to infiltrate the nationalist line and communist machine gunner Li Xinzhang opened up his light machine gun on the nationalists and killed Zhang Ziliang and those around him. Zhang Ziliang’s deputy, Feng Ligang attempted to organize the nationalist survivors to continue the fight, but the situation was helpless. By 7:30 PM on September 17, 1945, the campaign concluded with communist victory. Over five thousands nationalist troops were captured, including the highest ranking survivor, the deputy commander Feng Ligang, while another thousand nationalists were killed, and the town of Wuli was firmly in the communist hands.


Like other similar clashes immediately after the end of World War II between the communists and the s in China, this conflict also showed that Chiang Kai-shek’s attempt to simultaneously solve the problem that had plagued China for so long and the problem of the extermination of communism together proved to be a fatal mistake. Although the result of the campaign turned out exactly like Chiang Kai-shek and his subordinates had predicted, and consequently the power of the in this region was indeed reduced as their military forces were smashed by the communists, so that the problem plagued China for so long was thus reduced for this particular region, and Chiang Kai-shek’s secondary objective was achieved here, any positive gains obtained by the nationalists were negated by the politic fallout. The reason was that this success of achieving the secondary objective came at a huge cost in nationalists’ loss of popular support in this region formerly dominated by the Japanese, because the local population had already blamed nationalists for losing the regions to the Japanese invaders, while reassigning these former Japanese puppet regime forces as the nationalist forces to fight the communists, the only Chinese force left in the regions, only further alienated the local populace and strengthened the popular resentment to Chiang Kai-shek and his nationalist regime.

The communists did not have the dilemmas faced by the s and enjoyed popular support, and thus was able to easily overwhelm their adversary, and thus achieving victory without much difficulty. Like other similar clashes immediately after the end of World War II between the communists and the s in China, the political gain was much greater than the military one for the communists as result of this battle.

Western Tai'an Campaign

Western Tai'an Campaign was a series of battles fought between the and the during Chinese Civil War in the post World War II era, and resulted in the communist victory. The communists also refer this campaign as Campaign to Move Eastward , and viewed this campaign as the prelude to Huaihai Campaign.


In December, 1947, nationalist commander Wang Yaowu ordered two brigade-sized reorganized regiments to strike western Tai'an, in the hope of strengthening the nationalist blockade along the canal and eradicating communists in western Tai'an. The nationalists’ slogan at the time was to “Marching a hundred mile per day, swiftly swiping western Tai'an.” Nationalists proved to be overconfident, as Zhao Jianmin , the commander-in-chief of the communist Hebei-Shandong-Henan Military Region and his chief-of-staff, Fu Jiaxuan , decided to gather a force that was almost twice the size of the attacking nationalists to crush the nationalist blockade by destroying the overconfident nationalist attackers.

Order of battle

order of battle:
*44th Reorganized Regiment of the 15th Reorganized Brigade of the 73rd Reorganized Division
*45th Reorganized Regiment of the 15th Reorganized Brigade of the 73rd Reorganized Division
order of battle:
*1st Brigade of the Hebei-Shandong-Henan Military Region
*Independent Brigade of the Hebei-Shandong-Henan Military Region
*Artillery battalion of the Hebei-Shandong-Henan Military Region
*Basic Cadre Regiment of the 1st Military Sub Region the Hebei-Shandong-Henan Military Region
*A regiment of the 2nd Military Sub Region the Hebei-Shandong-Henan Military Region
*14th Regiment of the 5th Military Sub Region the Hebei-Shandong-Henan Military Region
*Riverine Defense Regiment of the 6th Military Sub Region the Hebei-Shandong-Henan Military Region
*Dongping County Group
*Wenshang County Group


The battle of the White Hamlet was the fiercest and most decisive battle of the campaign, which first begun in the morning of December 19, 1947, and lasted well into the night. Under the cover of darkness, the communists attacked and took Xiang Hamlet , White Hamlet from the nationalists. The next day, fierce battle broke out at the bridge over Hui River at Ding Dock between the nationalist reinforcement and the communists. During the battle, over a dozen ROCAF aircraft participated in supporting the ground troops, but due to the fierce antiaircraft fire, two aircraft were lost when they collided with each other midair as they perform evasive maneuver. After the loss, nationalist air support became ineffective as aircraft flew at much higher altitude in avoiding ground fire. Despite suffering hundreds of casualties, including come regimental and battalion commanders, the communist nonetheless achieved victory by inflicting over two thousand casualties on the nationalists, capturing another seven hundred, and the nationalists were forced to retreat. After the victory, unbeknown to the two local communists, Zhang Jie , the director of communist militia and militia member Jie Chengsheng , the communist force immediately redeployed for other battles and as the two went to look for the communist regular army to get rifles and did not find anyone, they were reported missing in action and were never found. After the communist takeover, the two were named as revolutionary martyrs. The communists continued to score victories afterward in the following battles in the regions of Ding Family’s Dock and Yuan’s Mouth of Dongping County, and Performing Horses Hamlet of Fat Town . When the military actions finally ceased on January 9, 1948, the nationalist blockade along the canal was completely crushed and the communists had successfully linked up their bases in western Tai'an and Wen River region.

Although the military action ceased on January 9, 1948, the communist onslaught did not stop. Riding on their military victory, communists immediately launched another round of propaganda, political and psychological offensive aimed to encourage nationalist soldiers to desert or defect. By the end of early spring, nationalist reception centers in regions Mao’s Shop and Luan’s Bay in the fourth district and in the regions of Confucian Hamlet and Xiaozhi in the fifth district had been completed to support this effort. The Social Affairs Department, the communist spy agency and predecessor of the present day United Front Work Department of the CPC , was also reestablished first at Pingyin county for the same purpose. The effort proved to be very successful that by June 15, 1948, 1,873 nationalist draftees from the 190 hamlets of Pingyin county defected to the communist side, or half of total conscripts nationalist army drafted from the local region, bringing back 119 rifles and 26 handguns with them, and this only included the defectors, while nationalist deserters were not included. The biggest communist gain from this propaganda, political and psychological offensive, however, was important intelligence defectors had, and the intelligence obtained had helped the communists in the following Huaihai Campaign to achieve their next victory.

Teng (state)

The State of Teng was a small state that existed during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period of Chinese Antiquity. It was located in the south of modern-day Shandong province. Its territory is now the county-level city of Tengzhou.

The ancestral name of Teng's ruling family was . The state was conquered and annexed by the State of during the reign of King Goujian of Yue .

The small state of Teng was a vassal of State of and is famed as the birthplace of the Chinese philosopher Mozi and architect Lu Ban. The name of the state survives in both the city of Tengzhou and the Chinese surname Teng.

Nanma-Linqu Campaign

The Nanma-Linqu Campaign was consisted of two battles fought at Nanma and Linqu in Shandong between the communists and the nationalists during the Chinese Civil War in the post World War II era, and resulted in the nationalist victory.


After the communist victory of Southwestern Shandong Campaign in early July of 1947, Zaozhuang, Yi City , Fei County, Dawenkou and Tai'an fell into the enemy hands, while Xuzhou was threatened, and the nationalists were forced to redeploy seven reorganized divisions for reinforcement since July 12, 1947 to reinforce southwestern Shandong. As a result of this redeployment, the nationalists only had four divisions in the mountainous regions in central Shandong. Taking this advantage, the communists hoped to take the nationalist strongholds of Nanma and Linqu and annihilating the nationalist defenders in the process, little did they know that they were gravely mistaken.

Order of battle

Defenders: nationalist order of battle:
*The Reorganized 8th Division
*The Reorganized 11th Division
*The Reorganized 25th Division
*The 64th Division
*The Shandong 1st Security Division
Attackers: communist order of battle:
*The 2nd Column
*The 6th Column
*The 7th Column
*The 9th Column


On July 17, 1947, the advance guard of 4 enemy columns approached the town of Nanma and by the next day, all nationalist positions outside the city wall had fallen to the enemy hands. The nationalist Reorganized 11th Division was forced withdrew behind the city wall on July 18, 1947. Confident that the town would fall just as easily as the nationalist positions outside the city wall, the enemy advance guards unleashed their attacks on the town before the arrival of the main force. However, the bad weather the enemy had counted on turned against them by completely soaking the poorly equipped communist peasantry army, including their ammunition, while the flood caused by the heavy rain prevent the enemy reinforcement from arriving. Hu Lian , the defenders' brilliant nationalist commander who had badly mauled the enemy numerous time, was well aware that the isolated city would be attacked for certain and prior to the battle, had ordered the completion of a comprehensive fortifications within 20 days. These fortifications proved to be instrumental in defeating the attacking enemy. Meanwhile, the better equipped nationalists had mobilized the Reorganized 8th Division to reinforce Linqu from north, and the Reorganized 25th Division and the 64th Division to reinforce Nanma from south. After three nights and four days of fierce fighting without any necessary equipment and thus any progress, and the nationalist reinforcement approaching fast, the enemy attacking Nanma was forced to withdraw when they learned that their main force could not make it in time.

On the different front, another battle was raging on in the region of Linqu . On July 23, 1947, the nationalist Reorganized 8th Division and the Shandong 1st Security Division took Linqu and camped behind the city wall to wait until the heavy rain to stop. The enemy planned to launch a surprise attack on the nationalists in the town under the cover of darkness and bad weather by concentrating a total of 4 communist columns. At night of July 24, 1947, communist 2nd Column reached the suburb of Linqu while communist 9th Column managed to cut off the defenders’ escape route by first taking Dragon Hill and then Northern Pass , wiping out two nationalist battalions in the process, and the town was thus besieged. On July 25, 1947, the communist 2nd Column attacked the town from the southwest while the communist 9th Column attacked the town from the northwest, and by July 26, 1947, a regiment of the communist 2nd Column managed to breach the defense at the city wall and penetrated into the town, and the defenders' morale begun to shake and many defenders begun to abandon their posts to flee. Realizing that failure was not an option, the brilliant nationalist commander Li Mi had a fleeing battalion commander shot and restored the morale and resolve of the defenders, who fought back with everything they had with Li Mi personally lead the charge, and successfully annihilated the enemy regiment inside the town and eliminated the defensive gap along the city wall, thus secured the defensive perimeter. Again, the bad weather the enemy had hoped to help them turned against them instead: only one of the two communist columns had reached the town and the other was stopped by the heavy rain and the flood it caused. Furthermore, the poorly equipped peasantry army was completely soaked once again, including their ammunitions. Lacking the necessary equipment and heavy weaponry needed to breach the fortifications along the city wall, the enemy nonetheless attempted yet another futile assault on the town on July 29, 1947, but again was beaten back. With the nationalist reinforcement approaching fast and no hope of taking the town, the enemy was forced to withdraw and the campaign ended with the nationalist victory.


The nationalist victory was significant political and morale boost and had profound impact on the nationalist tactics in the following engagements. In the earlier Menglianggu Campaign, numerically and technically superior nationalist force was defeated by the numerically and technically inferior enemy out in the open, while in this campaign, the only advantage the nationalists had was the technical superiority, and the numerically inferior defenders were able to thwart the numerically superior enemy’s offensives with the help of the fortifications and the city wall. The result of the Nanma-Linqu Campaign obviously demonstrated clearly that such static defensive posture not only enabled the nationalists to defeat the enemy, but also enabled them to fulfill an uncompromising doctrine of Chiang Kai-shek: hold on the land they were defending. The tactic was therefore not only militarily practical, but also politically safe, and thus it was only natural for the nationalist commanders to adopt this tactic for the conflicts followed.

However, as the nationalists adopted the static defensive posture proved to be very effective against the communist peasantry army at the time, the success of the Nanma-Liqu Campaign became a victory that lead to disaster: the tactic required the defenders to concentrate their forces behind the city wall and the fortifications next to it, and thus the enemy was able to occupy and consolidate their positions in the vast rural regions within immunity. As the rural area fell into the enemy hands, the urban regions strongly defended became isolated and strangled when the supply lines were severed in sieges. The nationalist troops were still better off in the sieges because all available resources were devoted to combat troops, but the civilian populace would be starved and suffering. As a result, the very urban populace the nationalists attempted to protect inevitably turned against the nationalist troops, thus contributing to the eventual downfall of the nationalist regime. Militarily, the tactic would no longer work toward the end of the Chinese Civil War as the enemy begun to possess the necessary equipments to assault the cities / town, but the tactic certainly worked at the time, and nobody had anticipated the rapid advance the enemy would make, and the enemy therefore unexpectedly gained in the long run from this defeat.

Battle of Wei River

The Battle of Wei River was fought in 204 BC between the Han and a combined force of and Western Chu. The famous general Han Xin led the Han force, while the Qi were led by Prince Tian Guang , and the Chu were led by Long Qie . It was one of the most important battles of the Chu-Han Contention.

In 205 BC, Han Xin had captured most of the modern Hebei and Shanxi provinces, the principalities of , and , and was starting to march on the principality of Qi. At this time, Prince Tian Guang, persuaded by noted diplomat Li Yiji , had decided to acknowledge the leadership of Han and its king Liu Bang. However, Liu Bang did not officially notify Han Xin of this fact. Ignorant of Prince Tian Guang's intentions Han Xin decided to launch a surprise attack against Qi, under the counsel of Kuai Che . Tian Guang's forces were completely surprised. Tian Guang fled and sought assistance from King Xiang Yu of Western Chu, pledging fealty. Xiang Yu sent a strong expeditionary force, including some elite cavalry, under Long Qie to relieve Qi.

Han Xin knew that Long, noted for his personal bravery and fighting prowess, was too arrogant. The night before the battle, he set a trap for Long by building a makeshift dam with sandbags to lower the water level in the Wei river. Long was counseled to fight a slow battle of attrition since he had forces to spare . Long declined, believing he had overwhelming forces. Long also believed Han Xin was a coward, as a result of an incident when Han Xin served in the Chu forces. In this well-known incident, Han Xin crawled between the legs of some hooligan to avoid conflict when he was outnumbered.

The next morning, Han Xin marched across the lowered river and attacked Long's forces. Then made a strategic retreat, tricking Long into charging his army across the river. When about one quarter of the Chu army had crossed, Han signalled for his men to open the dam. This succeeded both in drowning many of the Chu soldiers, and isolating Long Qie with only a fraction of his force. Cut off by the river, Long Qie had nowhere to go and was cut down in battle. The rest of the Chu army disintegrated when Han Xin continued to press his attack. Prince Tian Guang fled and was eventually caught and killed.

This battle was strategically significant because it cost Xiang Yu between half and a third of his forces, including many veterans, depleted Chu of important reserves and prevented any future possibility of Xiang Yu fighting successfully on two fronts. Eventually, Xiang Yu was deprived of elbow room and lost the war.

It was worth noting that Xiang Yu, for some reason, did not lead the Chu army into battle himself, when fighting against the by then well-known Han Xin.

Battle of Phoenix Peak

The Battle of Phoenix Peak is also called the Battle to Check Enemy's Advance at Phoenix Peak by the Communist Party of China, and it was a fierce battle fought during Laiyang Campaign between the s and the communists during the Chinese Civil War in the post World War II era.


After Laiyang was besieged by the communist 7th Column, the nationalist planned to reinforce the city first and then annihilate the local communists in a decisive battle by luring them out to fight in the open at the gate of the city, in conditions that favored the nationalists. The nationalists managed to gather a total of eight brigades from different divisions to reinforce the Laiyang and the overall command of the reinforcement was put under the command of the nationalist 64th Division, Huang Guoliang 黄国梁. The communist 2nd Column was tasked to stop the nationalist reinforcement at the several key locations and one of them was Phoenix Peak . The 3rd Battalion of the 13th Regiment of the 5th of the communist 2nd Column was tasked to defend Phoenix Peak with following deployments: the battalion headquarter was located at north side of the peak, the 7th Company with two heavy machine guns held the left flank, the 9th Company in the northwest of the peak as reserve. The communist 8th Company was at the front while the communist company was behind the 8th Company. On December 6, 1947, the communist 3rd Battalion entered its pre-designated positions. Two lines of obstacles were built and mines in the form of hand grenades and dynamite sticks were laid. Antitank teams included bazooka teams were also deployed.


At 7:00 AM on December 8, 1947, the nationalists begun their push toward Phoenix Peak , and a total of five battalions from the nationalist 54th Army was committed. The nationalists attacked the positions held by the 5th Division of the communist 2nd Column from Greater Po and Lesser Po in three fronts. On December 9, 1947, the nationalist aircraft attacked the positions at the Phoenix Peak held by the communist 7th Company and the 8th Company in conjunction with the nationalist shelling. With the exception of observers and patrols, majority of the defenders were forced to take cover in the fortifications. 3rd Squad of the communist 8th Company discovered six or seven nationalist plain-cloth scouts approaching the communist positions, and a short burst of machine gun fire was enough to turn them back. Soon after, the defenders discovered that a nationalist tank approached within 300 metres of the position held by the communist 1st Platoon. The defenders opened everything they had, and thus exposed their positions. Ten minutes later, three more tanks joined the original one in shelling the communist positions 200 meters away, but failed to inflict any heavy casualties on the defenders, but they did manage to destroy some of the defenders’ fortifications.

At 9:15 AM, two nationalist companies attacked the position held by the 3rd Squad of the communist 8th Company by following a tank that provided cover. The defenders concentrated their fire on the infantry behind the tank while a communist soldier jumped out of trench and approached the nationalist tank, and then inserted hand grenades between the tracks and wheels of the tank, successfully blowing up the tank. Losing their armor cover, the follow on nationalist attacks were beaten back for three time consecutively before the nationalist were forced to abandon any further attacks. The At 10:30 AM, a nationalist platoon attacked the junction of the 2nd Squad and the 6th Squad of the communist 8th Company, while a nationalist company attacked the left flank of the communist 3rd Squad. The 2nd Squad and the 6th Squad of the communist 8th Company driven back the attackers and the communist company commander also redeployed the heavy machine gun to the right flank of the communist 1st Platoon, and successfully checked the third nationalist assault on the positions held by the 3rd Platoon of the communist 8th Company. The nationalist attackers made a brief gain when they took the positions held by communist 3rd Squad, but the victory was short lived: the communist company commander personally lead the 8th Squad to counterattack immediately from the flank and wiped out every surviving nationalist attacker and destroyed a nationalist tank in the process. After failing repeatedly in their attacks on the positions held by the communist 8th Company, the nationalists changed their objective by attacking the position held by the communist 7th Company from 11:30 AM on, but the battalion sized assaulting force was driven back every time due to heavy enemy fire.

At 3:00 PM, the nationalists launched two attacks simultaneously: one nationalist company attacked the position of the communist 7th Company, while two other nationalist companies attacked the position held by the communist 2nd Platoon of the 8th Company. The commander of the communist 3rd battalion defending the Phoenix Peak immediately reinforced the position held by the communist 2nd Platoon of the 8th Company by sending additional bazooka and heavy machine gun crew, which helped the defender to beat back the attackers after fierce battle. The other position did not fare well: after a fierce battle that lasted over an hour, the 1st Platoon and the 2nd Platoon of the communist 7th Company was not able to check the advancing nationalists due to the heavy casualties suffered by the 1st Platoon, and the positions at the extreme left flank was lost to the surviving attackers and nationalists immediately sent reinforcement forward to strengthen their new gain. The commander of the communist 7th Company ordered the 3rd Platoon and the 5th Platoon to counterattack and successfully took back the position by wiping out the enemy in the position, and this left the advancing nationalist reinforce exposed, and as the nationalist withdrew, many of them were cut down by the communist fire. At 4:20 PM, a nationalist platoon had breached the defense of the 3rd Squad of the communist 8th Company, but their further advance was stopped by the stubborn defenders who managed to damage a nationalist tank by using bazooka and took cover in bomb craters. Losing the armor cover, the attackers were forced to stop while the communist company commander redeployed the 7th Squad to reinforce the 3rd Platoon. The company political commissar personally lead the charge of the communist 7th Squad, attacking the nationalist platoon from the right flank of the communist 3rd Squad, completely wiped out the nationalist platoon. This last nationalist attempt signaled the end of the nationalist offensive and by dusk, the nationalist withdrew and the battle ended.


The nationalist withdrew from the Phoenix Peak was part of the larger nationalist general withdraw in Laiyang Campaign due to the worsening situation for the nationalists elsewhere on the battlefields. When the nationalist reinforcement to Laiyang was withdrawn because the need to redeploy elsewhere, not only the nationalists had missed the opportunity to retake the city, but also failed to achieve their objective that was within their grasp: to annihilate the enemy in a decisive battle at the gate of the city by luring them out to fight in the open in situations that favored the nationalists.

Battle of Yan Province

The Battle of Yan Province was a battle for control of the region between Cao Cao and Lü Bu during the prelude to the Three Kingdoms period in 194 A.D that lasted for at least one hundred days. The battle was indecisive, so neither side emerged victorious.


For at least one hundred days, the two were at a stalemate with Cao Cao’s army at the unfavorable end. Lü Bu had to give up his position because of a famine outbreak. To rebel against Cao Cao, Zhang Miao and Chen Gong handed Yanzhou over to Lü Bu. After hearing of the rebellion, Cao Cao laid siege to Lü Bu at Juye in Puyang Castle. Xun Yu and Cheng Yu defended the cities of Juancheng, Fan and Dong’a, but this left only two counties with solid defenses, so Cao Cao therefore led his army back. Lü Bu arrived, couldn’t take Juancheng by siege so he went west and garrisoned Puyang. Lü Bu re-stationed his forces to the east at Shanyang.

In battle, Lü Bu used his cavalry in the first clash of arms, charging against the Qingzhou Army. The Qingzhou Army fled in terror and the formations of Cao Cao were in complete disarray, and Cao Cao, seeing the confusion, quickly galloped ahead when a fire broke out, and he fell from his horse, burning the palm of his left hand. Before reaching the camp, the army halted. Most generals had not sighted Cao Cao and were fearful of his safety. Cao Cao then strained himself to rouse his officers, ordering that siege weapons be prepared immediately so that Lü Bu could be besieged once again. Zhang Miao followed Lü Bu and left Zhang Chao to settle the family at Yongqiu. Cao Cao took several months to siege the place and upon success killed Zhang Chao and his entire family. Zhang Miao then pleaded for assistance from Yuan Shu but was rejected and killed by his soldiers. At that time, there was a locust plague and the commoners were extremely hungry and the civilians had no choice but to resort to cannibalism or starve. Lü Bu had also used up all his provisions, horse feed, and grain supplies so both sides were forced to withdraw.

Cao Cao had surrounded Puyang, wherein the distinguished Tian family switched sides, Cao Cao thereby obtaining entrance to the city. He set fire to the eastern gate, demonstrating he had no intention of reversing course. Thereupon he came under attack and his army was defeated. Some of Lü Bu’s cavalrymen had captured Cao Cao but were not aware it was he. Lü Bu’s cavalrymen thereupon released Cao Cao and chased after the man on the yellow horse. The gate fire was now blazing but Cao Cao quickly dashed through and escaped.

Within two years’ time, Cao Cao was able to recapture all the cities and defeated Lü Bu at Juye. Lü Bu then fled eastwards to Liu Bei. This battle led to the Battle of Xiapi.

In ''Romance of the Three Kingdoms''

Cao Cao defeated

Zang Ba, Yue Jin, Xiahou Dun, and Zhang Liao fought. Lü Bu grew angry, and set out his Trident Spear and rushed towards them. Xiahou Dun and Yue Jin fled; however, Lü Bu kept pressing the attack and Cao Cao was forced to retreat ten miles and made a new camp.

Lü Bu sent Gao Shun, Wei Xu and Hou Cheng to defend the camp. Cao Cao attacked the camp from all four directions and the defending force was losing heavily. Cao Cao marched into the city and met with Commander Gao Shun. After the fourth watch, as dawn was breaking, Cao Cao heard war drums approaching quickly from the west. When he heard Lü Bu himself was leading the relief force, Cao Cao abandoned the attack.

Gao Shun, Wei Xu and Hou Cheng pursued him, with Lü Bu joining them in the lead. Cao Cao sent Yu Jin and Yue Jin to stop the pursuit, but they were unsuccessful. So Cao Cao went north, only to meet the ambush of Zhang Liao and Zhang Ba. Lu Qian and Cao Hong were sent to meet them, but they were also defeated. Cao Cao sought safety in the west, but again was met by Lü Bu’s forces, this time led by Hou Meng, Cao Xing, Cheng Lian and Song Xian. Cao Cao was in grave danger and cried out for help. Dian Wei came out to help on his own. Cao Cao was able to get away and make up camp.

Cao Cao whipped up his steed and entered the city. Soon, Cao Cao realized that he walked into a trap. An explosion of signal bomb was heard, gong beat all around with a roar. Cheng Gong set a trap for Cao Cao, and Cao Cao fell for it, the evasion routes were cut off. From the east and west, bodies of soldiers eagerly attacked; they were led by Zhang Liao and Zhang Ba. Cao Cao dashed out to the north; however, Cao Xing and Hou Meng barred him. Therefore, Cao Cao turned around towards the south, but was met by Gao Sheng and Hou Cheng. Dian Wei, Li Dian, and Li Yue rode through the masses of enemy soldiers in an attempt to find their lord. When Cao Cao met up with Dian Wei, he once again made a dash at the north gate, Lü Bu stood in the opening calling out for Cao Cao. However, Lü Bu was fooled easily and chased the wrong rider, giving Cao Cao a chance to escape with Dian Wei and Xiahou Yuan as his escorts.

Lü Bu defeated

The next day, word reached Lü Bu’s camp that Cao Cao burned to death in a fire during the fifth watch. Lü Bu immediately gathered his soldiers and took Ma Ling road to attack the enemy camp. Once he passed the hills, war drums could be heard from both sides and Cao Cao’s soldiers charged their enemy. Only by desperate fighting, did Lü Bu get out of the melee and back to Puyang. There he fortified his defenses and couldn't be tempted to do battle.

The next time Cao Cao’s army came to attack, he had six generals leading the battle: Xiahou Dun, Xiahou Yuan, Li Dian, Lu Qian, and Yu Jin. Lü Bu came out alone to oppose them, but soon his enemies overwhelmed him and he turned back towards the city. However, the Tian family had closed the gates and wouldn't let him in. Lü Bu was forced to flee and Chen Gong took Lü Bu’s family and fled the city through the east gate. Puyang was back in Cao Cao’s hands.

Lü Bu took refuge in Dingtao with Zhang Miao and Zhang Chao. Lü Bu went out to scout the enemy camp, but returned when he saw that Cao Cao’s camp was located near a forest, fearing an ambush he retreated to Dingtao.

Lü Bu decided to burn out the ambush with fire; he rode out again towards the camp and ordered his men to set fire to the woods. However, to his surprise, nobody leaped out from the woods. Still he heard the drums of his enemies, and he saw soldiers coming from the shelter in the stockade, he immediately rode forth to see what it was about. The signal bombs exploded and soldiers came out to attack Lü Bu. Xiahou Dun, Xiahou Yuan, Dian Wei, Xu Zhu, Li Dian, and Yue Jin led the troops. Lü Bu suffered a huge defeat, and almost two thirds of his troops were killed. His officer Cheng Lian died when an arrow hit him. The remains of the forces went back and reported this to Chen Gong. Therefore, Gao Shun and Chen Gong gathered the generals and abandoned Dingtao. Zhang Chao committed suicide and Zhang Miao fled to Yuan Shu. Lü Bu rejoined his generals later on. The northeast had completely fallen to Cao Cao.

Lü Bu’s spirit wasn't broken, and on Chen Gong’s advice, he inquired about serving Yuan Shao once again. In response, Yuan Shao sent Yan Liang with fifty thousand troops to destroy Lü Bu. Having no means of repelling such an army, Lü Bu fled to Xuzhou where he joined up with Liu Bei. Liu Bei welcomed Lü Bu with a large following.

Modern references

In ''Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends'' there is a stage dedicated to this battle.