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|Part of the Chinese Civil War|
People's Liberation Army enters Beiping
|Commanders and leaders|
|Fu Zuoyi||Nie Rongzhen|
|2,500,000||1,000,000|
|Casualties and losses|
|~520,000 (including non-combat losses)||39,000 (PRC sources) |
Pingjin Campaign (simplified Chinese: 平津战役; traditional Chinese: 平津戰役; pinyin: Píngjīn Zhànyì), also known as the Battle of Pingjin, was part of the three major campaigns launched by the People's Liberation Army during the late stage of the Chinese Civil War against the Nationalist Government. It began on 29 November 1948 and ended on 31 January 1949, lasting a total of 64 days. This campaign marked the end of Nationalist dominance in the North China Plain. The term Pingjin refers to the cities Beiping (now Beijing) and Tianjin.
By the winter of 1948, the balance of power in Northern China had shifted in favour of the People's Liberation Army. As the Communist Fourth Field Army led by Lin Biao and Luo Ronghuan entered North China Plain after the conclusion of Liaoshen Campaign, Fu Zuoyi and the Nationalist Government decided to abandon Chengde, Baoding, Shanhai Pass and Qinhuangdao to withdraw the military forces to Beiping, Tianjin and Zhangjiakou. The Nationalists were hoping to preserve their strength and reinforce Xuzhou where another major campaign was under its way. The alternative option is to retreat to nearby Suiyuan Province.
In preparations for the campaign, the People's Liberation Army halted the advance of First Field Army toward Taiyuan. The attack on Hohhot were also held back as the Third Field Army was being deployed from Jining District toward Beiping.
On 29 November 1948, the People's Liberation Army launched an assault on Zhangjiakou. Fu Zuoyi immediately ordered the 35th Army in Beiping and the 104th Army in Huailai to reinforce the city. On 2 December, the Communist Second Field Army advanced toward Zhuolu. The Fourth Field Army captured Miyun on 5 December, and continued their advance toward Huailai. The Second Field Army advanced to the south of Zhuolu. Beiping was now threatened, and Fu recalled the 35th Army from Zhangjiakou and ordered 104th Army from Huailai to support the defense of Beiping.
The Nationalist 35th Army found themselves surrounded by the Communist forces in Xinbao'an on their return to Beiping. In response, reinforcements were sent from Beiping in hopes to breakout the 35th Army. However, they were defeated by the Communist forces and unable to reach the city. Subsequently, the People's Liberation Army launched an assault against Nationalist defenders in Xinbao'an on 21 December and captured the city the next evening. Commander Guo Jingyun committed suicide, and the remainder of Nationalist forces were destroyed as they attempt to retreat to Zhangjiakou.
After capturing Zhangjiakou and Xinbao'an, the Communists began to assemble troops around Tianjin area beginning on 2 January 1949. In the wake of the conclusion of Huaihai Campaign on 10 January, the People's Liberation Army launched their final assault on Tianjin on 14 January. The city was captured after 29 hours of fighting, and the Nationalist 62nd Army and 86th Army, a total of 130,000 men in ten divisions were destroyed. Nationalist commander Chen Changjie was himself captured also.
The remainder of the Nationalist forces in the 17th Army Group and five other divisions from the 87th Army in Tanggu retreated south on 17 January by sea.
Surrender of Beiping
After the fall of Tianjin to the Communist forces, the Nationalist garrison in Beiping was effectively isolated. Fu Zuoyi came to the decision to negotiate a peace settlement on 21 January. In the following week, 260,000 Nationalist troops began to exit the city in anticipation for the immediate surrender. On 31 January, the Fourth Field Army of PLA entered Beiping to take over the city. The Pingjin Campaign was now over.
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- (in Chinese) Pingjin Campaign Memorial