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Senior General Su Yu

PLA Daily 2005-08-11

Senior General Su Yu

Su Yu is a senior general of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and an outstanding strategist. He was born in Huitong, Hunan Province in 1907, and a native of Dong nationality. He joined the Communist Youth League of China in November 1926 and the Communist Party of China in June 1927. He participated in the Nanchang Uprising and the Southern Hunan Uprising. He served successively as company commander, battalion commander, regiment commander, division commander, chief of staff of corps, chief of staff of army group, etc. in the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army.

After the breakout of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, Su Yu was appointed deputy commander of the 2nd Detachment, and commander of the Advanced Detachment of the New Fourth Army in April 1938. He led his troops to march into the enemy occupied area in the south of the Yangtze River, where his troops won a resounding victory in the first battle against the Japanese troops at Weigang. Afterwards, he led the 2nd Detachment to fight against the Japanese aggressors in Nanjing, Wuhu and Lishui.

In August 1939, he assumed the post of deputy commander of the New Fourth Army headquarters in the south of the Yangtze River. He, together with Commander Chen Yi, opened up the Southern Jiangsu Anti-Japanese Base Area. In July 1940, Su Yu led his troops to cross the Yangtze river and march into northern Jiangsu, where he served as deputy commander and chief of staff of the New Fourth Army headquarters in the north of the Yangtze River. During the Huangqiao Campaign in October, Su Yu was one of the commanders to direct the New Fourth Army troops to smash the attack by diehard KMT army whose strength was four times that of the New Fourth Army troops.

After the battle, the Northern Jiangsu Anti-Japanese Base Area was further consolidated and developed. After the Southern Anhui Incident, Su Yu served as commander of the 1st Division of the New Fourth Army (and concurrently political commissar soon afterwards). He carried out guerilla warfare in the vast plain area which was close to the Yangtze River and near the sea on the east, and was developed in communication, smashed frequent "mopping up" campaigns, suppressing operations, and rural searching operations launched by the Japanese and puppet troops. As a result, the consolidated Central Jiangsu Anti-Japanese Base Area was established.

Since March 1944, the New Fourth Army began to launch local-scaled counterattack against the Japanese troops. Su Yu organized and directed the Cheqiao Campaign, and the success of this campaign created a good example of war of annihilation behind the enemy line in central China. In December of the same year, he led the main force of the 1st Division to cross the Yangtze River to consolidate and develop the Southern Jiangsu Anti-Japanese Base Area and the Eastern Zhejiang Anti-Japanese Base Area, and at the same time opened up the Western Zhejiang Anti-Japanese Base Area. In 1945, in the Tianmu Mountain area, Su Yu directed three self-defense and counterattack operations against diehard KMT troops, first shifting from guerilla warfare to mobile warfare in the New Fourth Army.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Su Yu served as chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, the first political commissar of the Academy of Military Sciences, and member of the standing committee of the Central Military Commission. He made great contributions to the modernization and regularization of the PLA. In 1955, he was conferred the military rank of Senior General. Su Yu died of illness on February 5, 1984 in Beijing.