Hong Beom-do

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Hong Beom-do
Hangul 홍범도
Revised Romanization Hong Beom-do
McCune–Reischauer Hong Pŏmdo

Hong Beom-do Russian: Хон Бом До; August 27, 1868 – October 25, 1943), was a Korean independence activist. Hong was born in Chasong, North Pyongan.


Hong was originally a hunter. In September 1907 Japan proclaimed a law to gather hunters' guns to weaken Korean resistance. The law made hunters angry, including Hong. So, he organized a Righteous Army which defeated Japanese garrisons around Bukcheong through the use of hit-and-run attacks.

In 1910, He moved to Gando. After March First Movement, He became a Commander-in-Chief of Korean Independence Army. In August 1919, Hong crossed Tumen River with 200 soldiers. He assaulted Japanese troops in Hyesanjin and Kapsan. He would cross the river twice more, each time carrying out more successful attacks.

In June 1920, Hong and his army fought against Japanese forces, killing hundreds of Japanese soldiers in Samdunja(Hangul삼둔자; Hanja三屯子) and Bongodong(Hangul봉오동; Hanja鳳梧洞). In October, working together with Kim Jwa-jin, Hong again fought against Japanese troops (Battle of Chingshanli).

In June 1921 as the Soviet Union disarmed Korean troops by force and internal trouble occurred, resulting in the collapse of the Korean independence army. Hong ended up as a member of the Russian red army.

In 1937, Hong and other Koreans were deported to Kazakhstan by Joseph Stalin. Hong would die there in 1943.

On October 25, 1963, Hong was posthumously awarded the Republic of Korea Medal of merit for national foundation.

Battle of Bongo-dong[edit]

After March First Independence Movement(Hangul3.1운동; Hanja三一運動), there are several armed resistance of Korean independence army in Manchuria. Japanese Imperialism carried forward a suppression operation from on May 1920. After on August 1919, Hong Beom-do set a advance operations to Korea briskly, he succeeded to integration of army in north Gando. On May 28, 1920, Hong Beom-do's Korean Independence Army(Hangul대한독립군; Hanja大韓獨立軍), Ahn-Mu's National Army(Hangul국민회군; Hanja國民會軍) and Choi Jin-dong's Military Affair Command(Hangul군무도독부; Hanja軍務都督府) was combined to Korean Northern Army Command(Hangul대한북로독군부; Hanja大韓北路督軍府). They assembled troops and ready for huge advance operation.[1]

On June 4, 1920, troops of Korean Democratic Corps(Hangul대한신민단; Hanja大韓新民團) attacked to Japanese army in Hamgyeongbuk-do Gangyang-dong(Hangul강양동; Hanja江陽洞). The next day Japanese platoon chased independence army, Korean Northern Army Command assaulted on Japanese pursuers in Samdunja(Hangul삼둔자; Hanja三屯子) and defeated them.[2]

On the pretext of this war, Japanese Army organized into a battalion in 19th division which was stationed at Nanam(Hangul나남; Hanja羅南). The battalion launched an attack on Bongo-dong(Hangul봉오동; Hanja鳳梧洞). Independence combined arms led by Hong Beom-do hid in ambush for mountain of Bongo-dong and besieged the pursuers battalion in three ways and destroyed them. The Japanese army withdrew with many casualties.[3]


The Battle of Bongo-dong was a first large scale battle between Korean independence army and Japanese army in Manchuria which was chinese land. All Korean army included Korean Northern Army Command had high morale as the battle's win. This war served as a momentum that Independence war were more briskly operated in 1920s.[4]