Lieutenant General Du Yuming
28 November 1904|
Mizhi County, Shaanxi Province, Qing Dynasty
|Died||7 May 1981
Beijing, People's Republic of China
|Allegiance||Republic of China|
|Years of service||1924-1948|
|Commands held||5th corps, 2nd army, Xuzhou Forward Command Center|
|Awards||Order of Blue Sky and White Sun|
|Other work||writer, researcher, historian|
A trusted protégé of Chiang Kai-shek, Du was a graduate of the first cadet class at the Whampoa Military Academy. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, he commanded the KMT 5th Corps in the First Changsha Campaign, and Battle of South Guangxi.
During World War II, he commanded the same 5th Corps or Nationalist Fifth Army in the Battle of Yunnan-Burma Road from mid March to early June 1942, during the Burma Campaign under Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell. When the British Army collapsed and abandoned their Chinese saviours to their fate, Du was forced to order a hastily planned withdrawal that resulted in the loss of 50,000 Chinese soldiers. Yet, Du was also criticized for dismissing General Sun Li-Jen's advice that the route back to China is hazardous and should instead retreat with the British to India. Most men that followed Du Died in the Burmese jungle of tropical disease and starvation or were killed by the Axis forces. On the other hand, Sun's army retreated in an orderly fashion into India.
After the war, Du helped strengthen the Nationalist position in the Southwest by removing Long Yun, the local warlord of Yunnan Province in October 1945. Du was then transferred to the Northeast Theatre to consolidate Kuomintang control. For most of the Civil War, he served as a field commander in Manchuria and Eastern China.
Toward the end of the struggles against the communists, Du correctly guessed that Major General Guo Rugui (郭汝瑰), one of Chiang's most trusted staff officers, was a communist agent but the only evidence he came up with was that unlike most corrupted nationalist cadres and officers, the suspected communist spy was clean. Obviously, this was not a good reason and Chiang was enraged when Du presented his view, because Chiang interpreted such reason would imply that all of the nationalists were corrupted, and only the communists were clean, not mentioning the fact that Du's wife was once a communist herself.
Du was captured during the Huaihai Campaign and held in prison until his pardon in 1959, after which he was rewarded a high-ranking position in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, reportedly because the Chinese government wanted to convince his son-in-law Yang Zhenning, a Nobel laureate in physics, to return to China. The communist agent Du correctly suspected was also in the same political organization and the two became friends.
- Ministry of National Defense R.O.C 
- US Naval War College