Pang Bingxun

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Pang Bingxun 庞炳勋
Pang Bingxun.jpg
General Pang Bingxun
Nickname(s) Pang The Undead
Born 1879
Xinhe County, Hebei
Died 1963
Taipei, Taiwan
Allegiance Republic of China (1912–49) Republic of China
Flag of the Republic of China-Nanjing (Peace, Anti-Communism, National Construction).svg Nanjing Government
Years of service 1900-1949
Rank General
Unit Northwestern Army
Commands held 39th division, 3rd army, 40th corps, 24th army group, provincial governor of Hebei
Battles/wars Xinhai Revolution, Zhili-Anhui War, First Zhili–Fengtian War, Beijing coup, Second Zhili–Fengtian War, Anti-Fengtian War, Northern Expedition, Central Plains War, Defense of the Great Wall, Actions in Inner Mongolia (1933–1936), Third Encirclement Campaign against Shaanxi–Gansu Soviet, Battle of Beiping–Tianjin, Battle of Taierzhuang, Battle of South Shanxi, Handan Campaign
Awards Order of Blue Sky and White Sun, Order of the Ferocious Tiger
Other work Restaurant owner, politician
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Pang.

Pang Bingxun (Traditional Chinese: 龐炳勳 Simplified Chinese: 庞炳勋 pinyin: Pang Bingxun; Wade–Giles: Pang Ping-hsun) (October 25, 1879- January 12, 1963) was a high-ranking nationalist military commander who fought against the Imperial Japanese Army and Chinese Communist Army. He stopped the IJA 5th Division led by General Seishirō Itagaki, one of the principal architects of the 1931 Manchurian incident, from capturing Linyi and converging with General Rensuke Isogai's IJA 10th Division at Tai'erzhuang District, foiling their plan to assault Xuzhou. [1]

Early life and career[edit]

General Pang was born in rural household in Hebei Province and joined the newly formed modern army under Qing Dynasty. After graduating from the Manchurian surveying Academy, he was given a rank equivalent of a captain, but when the Xinhai Revolution broke out in 1911 and his superiors suspected him as a revolutionary sympathizer and forced him to resign. After he returned home, Pang started several small businesses in order to make a living. In 1920, a bad drought hit his hometown and a famine broke out, he decided to take up military service again at the age of 41. So he entered the Northwestern Army and served under a number of local warlords, and eventually became one of the best known military commanders in the North China Region. When Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek launched the Northern Expedition in 1926, Pang was serving under General Wu Peifu, one of the most powerful warlords controlling Central and North China. Pang demonstrated his political shrewdness when he announced he was for the nationalist revolution and joined with General Tang Shengzhi. After Chiang Kai-shek purged the communists in the Shanghai Massacre, the Wuhan Nationalist Government ordered Pang Bingxun to attack Nanjing, Pang instead joined General Feng Yuxiang's Second Army Group and became a division commander in Feng's units. He fought with courage and distinction for Feng Yuxiang in the Central Plains War, but when General Zhang Xueliang, Commander-in-chief of the Northeastern Border Defense Army, formerly known as the Fengtian clique declared himself for Chiang Kai-shek, the anti-Chaing forces were quickly defeated. Pang again switched sides and declared himself for the Nationalist Government and became commander of the 40th corps. He participated in a number of actions against the Chinese Communist forces in Shaanxi province and defended North China against the Imperial Japanese Army led by Field Marshal Baron Nobuyoshi Mutō in the Defense of the Great Wall. In 1935, General Feng Yuxiang and a number of his old colleagues were involved in the Actions in Inner Mongolia (1933–1936) against Japanese penetration of the region. Because President Chiang Kai-shek still held out hopes for a peaceful settlement with Japan. President Chiang sent War minister General He Yingqin to disband Feng Yuxiang's Chahar People's Anti-Japanese Army and named Pang Bingxun as Chairman of Chahar Province in order to appease the Japanese military leaders. The Nationalist Government made him a lieutenant general in 1936 and General Pang again supported Chiang Kai-shek during the Xi'an Incident and joined the Second Sino-Japanese War next year.

Second Sino-Japanese War[edit]

In July 1937, General Pang Bingxun joined the Second Sino-Japanese War in North China. When Japanese forces struck in the Battle of Beiping–Tianjin, he covered the retreated of General Song Zheyuan's 29th Army into Shangdong Province. In December 1937 his unit became part of the 5th war zone under General Li Zongren, and from March 16 to April 17, 1938 he and General Zhang Zizhong fought a bloody defensive action against General Seishirō Itagaki and contributed to the Chinese victory in Battle of Taierzhuang. After the Battle of Xuzhou he was transferred again to North China, and engaged heavily against the Japanese forces in the region. He was promoted as commander-in-chief of the 24th Army Group and became provincial governor of Hebei province. During his tenure as governor, his forces was clashed with the communist Eighth Route Army and the two sides worked out a political settlement and armed confrontations eased soon afterwards. In 1941, the Japanese Northern China Area Army under General Hayao Tada launched Battle of South Shanxi and nationalist forces lost this important battle. General Pang was already over 60 years old and asked to resign, But President Chiang Kai-shek turned down his request because experienced commanders were hard to find at the time. General Pang continued to harass and frustrate Japanese military presence in North China. In April 1943, 50,000 Japanese soldiers under General Yasuji Okamura stepped up their military offensives against Chinese resistance in the region and achieved a decisive breakthrough against General Pang's defense areas and most of his units fled southward. But during the breakout from the Japanese attack, he lost touched with his Army headquarters and forced to hide in a cave. General Sun Dianying, commander of 5th corps of Chinese puppet forces and a Japanese lieutenant captured him and forced him to surrender to Japan. General Pang was taken to the Japanese corps headquarters and on May 23, 1943 President Wang Jingwei of the Nanjing regime appointed him as commander-in-chief of the 24 th Army Group. After he surrendered to Japan, the KMT government tried to win him back, and Pang agreed to rejoined the national resistance. But Japanese commanders discovered his plans and disbanded his units. In 1944 he was reassigned as to Hennan as pacification director of Kaifeng and he again contacted Chongqing through The Investigation and Statistics Bureau under Lieutenant General Dai Li. So when the Japanese forces in China surrendered next year, President Chiang Kai-shek again appointed him as commander-in-chief of the vanguard forces, his mission was to prevent the region fell into the hands of Chinese communists.

Chinese Civil War and retirement[edit]

In 1946 the Chinese Civil War resumed, and General Pang handed his unit to the Central government in Nanjing. General Sun Dianying was made commander of the 40th corps, concurrently serving as commander-in-chief of the 24th Army Group. But the People's Liberation Army under Marshal Liu Bocheng destroyed Pang and Sun's nationalist troops in the Handan Campaign. General Pang was tasked to reorganize these broken units, and named a military advisor to the Ministry of National Defense (Republic of China), and went into retirement. Before the Chinese Communist forces under Marshal Lin Biao took over North China he left Henan for Nanjing in 1948. After the Huaihai Campaign he followed President Chiang Kai-shek and other nationalist leaders to Taiwan. Unable to make ends meet with his meager salary, he opened up a restaurant in Taipei with his old friend General Sun Lianzhong. He died in Taiwan on January 12, 1963. [2]

Military career[edit]

  • 1937 General Officer Commanding 39th Division
  • 1937 - 1938 General Officer Commanding 3rd Army
  • 1937 - 1941 General Officer Commanding XXXX Corps
  • 1940 - 1943 Chairman of the Government of Hebei Province
  • 1943 Surrender to Japan
  • 1943-1945 Command 24th Group Army puppet troops

References[edit]

See also[edit]