Battle of Jianmenguan
|Jianmen Pass Campaign|
|Part of the Chinese Civil War|
National Revolutionary Army
People's Liberation Army
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Jianmen Pass (Jianmen Guan Zhandou, 剑门关战斗) was a battle fought between the communists and the nationalists during the Chinese Civil War in the post World War II era and resulted in communist victory. The battle was one of the battles in Chengdu Campaign, which in turn, was part of Southwestern China Campaign.
Jianmen Pass (Jianmen Guan, 剑门关) was one of the key gateways of Sichuan. There are 72 peaks in the mountain and the only road going through the mountain was 50 metre wide. Whoever controlled this 2 km long stretch of the road controlled the gateway of Sichuan, and the nationalists had built an elaborate system of bunkers in the area to strengthen its defense against the expected communist invasion.
Order of battle
- A regiment of local garrison
- A company from the retreating 55th Division
- The 540th Regiment of the 180th Division of 60th Army of the XVIII Corps
After taking Guangyuan on December 14, 1949 in Chengdu Campaign, the communists decided that Jianmen Pass (Jianmen Guan, 剑门关) must be taken. The 540th Regiment of the 180th Division of 60th Army of the communist XVIII Corps was tasked with this job and after three days of forced march of more than 40 km in the mountain, the communist 540th Regiment reached Jianmen Pass (Jianmen Guan, 剑门关). The communist 540th Regiment immediately launched its assault on the pass by first completely annihilating a company from the retreating nationalist 55th Division tasked to strengthen the defense. Afterward, one of the battalion of the communist regiment was sent to outflank the defenders by passing the mountain terrain which was considered impossible by the local populace, including the defenders. The rest of two battalions of the communist regiment crawled forward along the ravine under the cover of darkness, and by 10:00 PM, they were within 50 metres in front of the pass. The attackers then launched their assault in the dark under the cover of heavy fire, and with the help of the battalion that outflanked the defenders, they were able to cross the last ravine via a log and overwhelmed the defenders. With Jianmen Pass (Jianmen Guan, 剑门关) falling into the enemy hands, the nationalists had no choice but to retreat and abandon the town of Jiange (剑阁) in the afternoon of December 18, 1949.
The communists managed to capture over 300 prisoners-of-wars and had all the remaining people killed in the fierce battle, and more importantly, the taking of Jianmen Pass (Jianmen Guan, 剑门关) secure the passage for the communists to invade deeper into the heart of Sichuan.
- List of battles of the Chinese Civil War
- National Revolutionary Army
- History of the People's Liberation Army
- Chinese Civil War
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (September 2014)|
- Zhu, Zongzhen and Wang, Chaoguang, Liberation War History, 1st Edition, Social Scientific Literary Publishing House in Beijing, 2000, ISBN 7-80149-207-2 (set)
- Zhang, Ping, History of the Liberation War, 1st Edition, Chinese Youth Publishing House in Beijing, 1987, ISBN 7-5006-0081-X (pbk.)
- Jie, Lifu, Records of the Libration War: The Decisive Battle of Two Kinds of Fates, 1st Edition, Hebei People's Publishing House in Shijiazhuang, 1990, ISBN 7-202-00733-9 (set)
- Literary and Historical Research Committee of the Anhui Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Liberation War, 1st Edition, Anhui People's Publishing House in Hefei, 1987, ISBN 7-212-00007-8
- Li, Zuomin, Heroic Division and Iron Horse: Records of the Liberation War, 1st Edition, Chinese Communist Party History Publishing House in Beijing, 2004, ISBN 7-80199-029-3
- Wang, Xingsheng, and Zhang, Jingshan, Chinese Liberation War, 1st Edition, People's Liberation Army Literature and Art Publishing House in Beijing, 2001, ISBN 7-5033-1351-X (set)
- Huang, Youlan, History of the Chinese People's Liberation War, 1st Edition, Archives Publishing House in Beijing, 1992, ISBN 7-80019-338-1
- Liu Wusheng, From Yan'an to Beijing: A Collection of Military Records and Research Publications of Important Campaigns in the Liberation War, 1st Edition, Central Literary Publishing House in Beijing, 1993, ISBN 7-5073-0074-9
- Tang, Yilu and Bi, Jianzhong, History of Chinese People's Liberation Army in Chinese Liberation War, 1st Edition, Military Scientific Publishing House in Beijing, 1993 – 1997, ISBN 7-80021-719-1 (Volum 1), 7800219615 (Volum 2), 7800219631 (Volum 3), 7801370937 (Volum 4), and 7801370953 (Volum 5)