Peng Dehuai (October 24, 1898 – November 29, 1974) was a prominent military leader of the Communist Party of China, and China's Defence Minister from 1954 to 1959. Peng was an important commander during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945) and the War of Liberation and was also the commander-in-chief of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army in the Korean War.
During the World War II, Peng served as deputy commander-in-chief of the Communist forces and coordinated the Hundred Regiments Campaign. Peng went on to serve with distinction behind Japanese lines in North China. After the Japanese surrender, during the late stages of the War of Liberation he led the Chinese 1st Field Army in its conquest of Shanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, and Qinghai.
On October 8, 1950, he was made the supreme commander of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army during the Korean War and served in that position until the Korean Armistice Agreement in 1953. During that same time, Peng also served as the Defense Minister and as a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China. He was made a marshal of the People's Liberation Army in 1955 after the war's end.
In the early 1960s, he was put in charge of establishing the "Third Front", a planned strategic base in China's south-west that would have been a fall-back position if China were invaded. But he was arrested in 1966 during the Cultural Revolution. He died of cancer on November 29, 1974.
The Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, held in 1978, reexamined Marshal Peng's case and reversed the judgment that had been imposed on him. It exonerated him of all charges and reaffirmed his contributions to the Chinese Revolution.