New 1st Army

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New 1st Army
Parade of US equipped Chinese Army in India.jpg
Parade of US equipped Chinese Army in India.
Active 1927—1928
Country  Republic of China
Allegiance  Republic of China
Type Field Army
Size New 38th Division
New 22nd Division
New 30th Division
Part of National Revolutionary Army
Nickname(s) 1st Army Under the Heaven
Equipment M1A1Thompson submachine gun
M116 howitzer
M2 mortar
M1 carbine
Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)
Chinese Civil War
Sun Li-jen

New 1st Army (simplified Chinese: 新一军; traditional Chinese: 新一軍) was reputed as the most elite Chinese military unit of the Kuomintang. Nicknamed the "1st [Best] Army Under the Heaven" (simplified Chinese: 天下第一军; traditional Chinese: 天下第一軍) during the Chinese Civil War, it caused the most Japanese Army casualties during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945).


Formed from the Chinese Army in India, particularly the New 38th Division, the New 1st Army was among the top five nationalist crack units (the other four included the New 6th Army, the Reorganized 11th Division (army-sized, formerly known as the 18th Army and later reverted to its original designation), the Reorganized 74th Division (army sized, formerly known as the 74th Army), and the 5th Army).

After the New 38th Division under Sun Li-jen (Pingyin spelling Sun Liren) 孙立人 and New 22nd Division under Liao Yao-hsiang (Pingyin spelling Liao Yaoxiang) 廖耀湘 retreated to India from Burma in the first phase of the Burma Campaign, the two divisions obtained American equipment and training at Ramgarh, India.

The New 1st Army was formed in February 1943 at Ramgarh with the three divisions: the New 38th, the New 22nd and the New 30th. Lieutenant-General Qiu Qingquan 邱清泉 was appointed its commander, but was soon replaced by Lieutenant-General Cheng Tung-kuo (Pingyin spelling Zheng Dongguo) 郑洞国. Sun Li-jen served as the deputy commander but took over tactical command at the beginning of the second phase of the Burma Campaign. In May 1944, General Sun was promoted its commander.

During the Chinese Civil War, the New 1st Army was deployed in northeast China to fight against Communist Party of China military units under Lin Biao. It saw much success in the early battles.[1] However, after some time, Sun Li-jen was dismissed as commander after offending important members of the KMT, including his superior, Chiang Kai-shek's favorite Lieutenant-General Du Yuming 杜聿明. Sun was replaced by Lieutenant-General Pan Yukun 潘裕昆 on 26th April, 1947. Most officers above battalion level were also dismissed. This dealt a huge blow to the New 1st army and it began to suffer heavy losses. The N1A saw its last action in the effort to relieve the KMT-controlled city of Jinzhou in late October,1948 as part of General Liao Yao-hsiang's 9th Army Corps. The entire army was literally wiped out. General Pan barely escaped with his life. The commanders of the three divisions (New 30th, 50th and Provisional 53rd ) were either captured or surrendered. Due to this army's group uneasy history with both the KMT and communist party of China, its successes are rarely talked about both on the China mainland and Taiwan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 莊, 慕. "再談孫立人-1984的回顧". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 

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