PLA Daily 2005-08-11
Zuo Quan was born in Liling County, Hunan Province in 1905. He was a famous military strategist and a senior commander of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and the Eighth Route Army. In 1924 he was enrolled into the Huangpu Military Academy and admitted into the Communist Party of China in February 1925. In December of the same year, he went to Soviet Union and ever studied in Sun Yat-sen University in Moscow and the Volongze Military Academy. He returned to China in 1930 and worked in the Central Soviet Area, where he participated in all the campaigns resisting against the "encirclement and suppression" launched by Chiang Kai-shek and his troops on the Central Soviet Area and took part in the Long March with the Red Army. In May 1936, he acted as the acting commander of the 1st Army Corps of the Red Army.
After the breakout of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, Zuo Quan served as deputy chief of staff of the Eighth Route Army and the chief of staff of the front headquarters of the Eighth Route Army and concurrently commander of the 2nd Column of the Eighth Route Army, assisting Zhu De and Peng Dehuai to lead the Eighth Route Army to march to the anti-Japanese battlefront in North China, where the Eighth Route Army carried out guerrilla war behind the enemy line and smashed for many times brutal "mopping-up" campaigns launched by the Japanese troops.
In the autumn of 1940, Zuo assisted Peng Dehuai to direct the famous Hundred-Regiment Campaign. In November 1941, he commanded the Special Task Regiment under the Headquarters of the Eighth Route Army to wage the Huangyadong Defense Battle. After eight days' and nights' intense fighting, his troops managed to annihilate over 1,000 enemy troops at a relatively small cost. This battle was cited as a "Model Battle in Anti-Mopping-Up Operation". Zuo Quan was also a strategist with both military theoretical knowledge as well as practical combat experience.
From 1939 to 1941, he wrote over 40 military works such as "On Perseverance in the War of Anti-Japanese Aggression in North China", "Ambush Tactics" and "Surprise Attack Tactics". Zuo Quan made immortal contributions to the establishment and consolidation of the North China Anti-Japanese Revolutionary Base Area, to the development and growth of the people's anti-Japanese armed forces, and to the all-round development of the Eighth Route Army. In May 1942, the Japanese troops besieged the Taihang Anti-Japanese Base Area in a mopping-up operation. On 25th, in Liaoxian County, Shanxi Province, Zuo Quan, at the age of 37, laid down his life in action in the Shiziling combat when he was directing the troops to cover the North China Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and the headquarters of the Eighth Route Army to break through the enemy's encirclement and transfer to safe place.
Among all the Eighth Route Army officers who died on the anti-Japanese battlefield, Zuo Quan was the only one with the highest military rank. Zhou Enlai praised him as " A Model of the CPC Members" and Zhu De praised him as " A Rare Talent in China's Military Circle".