Battle of Tianquan

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Battle of Tianquan
Part of Chinese Civil War
Date February 14–20, 1950
Location Tianquan County, Sichuan, China
Result Communist victory
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg
Republic of China Army
People's Liberation Army Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
People's Liberation Army
Commanders and leaders
Taiwan Cheng Zhiwu
Taiwan Li Yuanheng
3,000+ including bandits 100
Casualties and losses
300+ killed
Over 100 captured

The Battle of Tianquan 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. It is also called "The Battle to Defend Tianquan" (Tianquan Baoweizhan, 天全保卫战) by the communists.

Order of Battle

  • Nationalists (3,000+)
    • Southwestern (China) Anticommunist National Salvation Army
    • Local bandits
  • Communists (100+)
    • A company of the 555th Regiment

On February 14, 1950, Cheng Zhiwu (程志武) the nationalist commander of the Southwestern (China) National Revolutionary Army Region negotiated with local bandits headed by Li Yuanheng (李元亨) to ally with him in an assault on the town of Tianquan County (天全) in Xikang (Present day Sichuan). The Nationalist forces expected an easy victory as the town was guarded by a single communist company of the 555th Regiment. The Nationalist Revolutionary Army besieged the town on the same day, severing all communications. The garrison was eventually overwhelmed by the Nationalist forces.

On the February 15, 1950, over a hundred National Revolutionary Army successfully penetrated into the town via the Western Pass (Xi Guan, 西关) under cover of heavy fire. The Peoples Liberation Army managed to outflank and rout the attackers. This demoralized the National Revolutionary Army who were forced into a stalemate. However, the situation facing the Peoples Liberation Army defenders was one of short supply and low morale. The final assault which occurred on the February 20, 1950, with over a hundred National Revolutionary Army soldiers successfully taking over a bunker in the Tianquan. The defending company of the 555th Regiment then counterattacked and besieged the bunker. The successful dynamiting of the bunker by the Peoples Liberation Army resulted in a military rout for the National Revolutionary Army. The Cheng Zhiwu was unable to stop his fleeing troops, forcing a complete withdraw. Given the opportunity, the Peoples Liberation Army counterattacked, inflicting further casualties on the National Revolutionary Army and taking over a hundred prisoners.

The National Revolutionary Army's failure was due to the reliance on poorly trained bandits. The bandits themselves were poorly organised and unwilling to fight. The few dedicated anticommunists under Cheng Zhiwu were not able to change the tide of the battle.

See also[edit]