Peng Xuefeng: A commander well versed in both intellectual pursuit and military prowess
PLA Daily 2005-08-11
Peng Xuefeng was born in Zhenping County, Henan Province in 1907. He was a military strategist and an outstanding commander of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and the New Fourth Army. He joined the Communist Youth League of China in June 1925 and the Communist Party of China in September 1926. He was successively appointed as the political commissar of the Red Army University, and director of the No. 1 Bureau of the Central Revolutionary Military Commission. He took part in the Long March in October 1934 and was then the political commissar of the 4th Division of the 1st Army Corps of the Red Army. He fought all the battles staged by the Central Red Army, in which he often acted as commander of advanced detachments.
When the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression broke out, Peng Xuefeng was the director of the staff division of the Eighth Route Army Headquarters and the director of the Representative Office of the Eighth Route Army in Shanxi. In the spring of 1938, he was transferred to Zhugou, Queshan County in Henan Province to assume the post of director of the military affairs department of the CPC Henan Provincial Committee to organize and train anti-Japanese armed forces.
In September 1938, he established a guerilla detachment under the New Fourth Army, in which he acted as both commander and political commissar. He led the detachment to open up the Anti-Japanese Base Area in the Henan-Anhui-Jiangsu border areas. After the Southern Anhui Incident in 1941, Peng Xuefeng was appointed commander and political commissar of the 4th Division of the New Fourth Army, concurrently commander of the Northern Huaihe River Military Area Command. Under his leadership, the 4th Division and local anti-Japanese armed forces as well as local people waged arduous struggle against the Japanese and puppet troops and the troops of diehard KMT, succeeded in smashing the mopping-up campaigns in the Northern Huaihe River area in the winter of 1942, and won the victory of the Shanzitou Campaign in March 1943, consolidating and developing the anti-Japanese base area in the north of the Huaihe River.
In August 1944, following the order of the CPC Central Committee to drive into the areas behind the enemy line in Henan Province, Peng Xuefeng commanded the 4th Division to push westward to recover the Anti-Japanese Base Area in the Henan-Anhui-Jiangsu border areas. On September 11, he laid down his life in action when he was directing a battle against the troops of the diehard KMT in Balizhuang, Xiayi County, Henan Province. In his short life of only 37 years, Peng Xuefeng dedicated twenty years to the Chinese revolution. He was a commander with both wisdom and courage, always fought bravely on the battlefield without giving any thought to his own safety. Mao Zedong and Zhu De praised him as an "Outstanding Example of the CPC Members".