Project National Glory

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For the Chinese supermarket chain called "Guoguang", see Guoguang (Jiangxi).
Project National Glory
Cihu Chiang residence.JPG
Cihu, now the tombsite of Chiang Kai-shek, was designated the command post of Project National Glory.
Traditional Chinese 國光計劃
Simplified Chinese 国光计划
Literal meaning 國光計畫
Project National Glory

Project National Glory or Project Guoguang (Chinese: 國光計劃) was a military attempt by the Kuomintang-led Republic of China located on Taiwan to try to recapture mainland China held by the People's Republic of China (PRC). Preparatory operations began in 1965, but were mostly failures. The project was abandoned in July 1972.

History[edit]

The idea of counterattacking the Mainland started out as a slogan in 1950, after the KMT's expulsion to Taiwan. It was a bid to bolster morale on the island, which now consisted of homesick soldiers and refugees, along with the native Taiwanese.

After the PRC's disastrous Great Leap Forward, the outbreak of the Vietnam War and the prospect of the PRC having a nuclear weapon, ROC President Chiang Kai-shek launched planning for a counterattack to recover mainland China.

On April 1, 1961 the Project National Glory office was established by the Republic of China Armed Forces together with the Ministry of National Defense in Taipei County in the town of Sanxia. Army Lieutenant General Zhu Yuancong took charge as director and officially launched the project to formulate a plan of operations for retaking Mainland China. Other military members at Xindian and Bitan established Project Juguan offices to discuss and work out an alliance with American troops to attack mainland China. Another office was established for counterintelligence operations, specifically to avoid the US side learning about Project National Glory.[1] In 1962, the People's Republic of China was carrying out the Great Leap Forward and failing. Therefore, the whole country was in poor condition and Republic of China President Chiang Kai-shek was in a hurry and wished to take advantage of the golden opportunity to retake mainland China at once.[2][3] During this time, he started active ideological military education to prepare the entire ROCAF on this mission of recovering the lost territories in the Chinese mainland proper.

In April 1964, Chiang ordered the construction of air-raid shelters and five military offices at Cihu (慈湖), which served as a secret command centre.[4]

After Project National Glory was established, it consisted of the following subsections: Frontal area of the enemy, Rear area special warfare, Surprise attack, Take advantage of the counterattack, and assistance against tyranny. The plan was formulated, fine-tuned and proposed to Chiang Kai-shek 97 times. On the American side, the United States Armed Forces and the United States Department of Defense were, together with the United States State Department, actively opposed to the plan to retake mainland China. Therefore, every week they checked the inventory of ROC amphibious landing vehicles used by the Republic of China Marine Corps. American military advisory group members even flew over the Project National Glory camp on scouting missions which caused Chiang Kai-shek to become very displeased with them.[5]

On June 17, 1965 Chiang Kai-shek went for a visit to the Republic of China Military Academy to convene with all mid level and higher officers to prepare for launching the counterattack. Every military officer at the meeting had already prepared a last will and testament. During that time it was demanded that this plan be kept secret and that D-Day's date also be kept secret.

In that time, the Project National Glory was considered to be extremely top secret. According to the then Republic of China Navy commander in Chief Admiral Ye Changtong's recollection, at that time, one security official said to him, "[J]ust now we had a briefing where we decided to announce our plan to retake mainland China in a day or two." Ye Changtong believed that this kind of military landing would fail and that the essence of the plan was flawed.[5]

On June 24, 1965 dozens of soldiers died during a training drill to simulate Communist attack on major naval bases in southern Taiwan near Zuoying.[6][7] During this simulated landing maneuver, five amphibious landing craft overturned in the heavy waves. Ten people died in the line of duty and were the first but not last deaths in Project National Glory.[1]

On August 6, 1965, the Zhangjiang naval warship would carry out "Tsunami Number 1" assignment and transport special forces to the vicinity of Eastern mainland Chinese coastal island of Dongshan to carry out an intelligence gathering operation. However, they met with disaster when a People's Liberation Army Navy torpedo boat ambushed and sunk them, killing 200 soldiers.

In November 1965, Chiang ordered two other naval vessels, the CNS Shan Hai and the CNS Lin Huai, to pick up wounded soldiers from Taiwan's offshore island of Magong and Wuqiu. The vessels were attacked by 12 PRC ships, and the Lin Huai was sunk by two torpedoes, with some 90 soldiers and sailors killed in action.[6] After the naval battle at Magong Chiang Kai-shek gradually gave up all hope for Project National Glory to succeed-[1] just as the winds of the Cultural Revolution began to form.

On July 7, 1972 the Guoguang office was dissolved and merged into the Ministry of National Defense. With the People's Republic of China now recognized in the UN the project was finally finished on that very day.

Aftermath[edit]

In 1971 the United Nations voted to replace the representative of the Republic of China with that of the People's Republic of China as the legal representative of China in the United Nations.[8] Project National Glory was dropped in 1972 as the ROC no longer had international support to attack Mainland China. Chiang Kai-shek died in 1975.[8] Confidential documents on the project were revealed to the public at the Cihu Presidential Burial Place in 2009.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wang Guangci. Project National Glory. Makung Naval Battle Defeat. Waking up from the dream of retaking the mainland. United Daily News. April 20, 2009. http://udn.com/NEWS/NATIONAL/NAT1/4857575.shtml
  2. ^ Li Shui. Chiang Kai-shek Captain of the Guard Publishers. Discloses the history of retaking the mainland. November 13, 2006. http://2006.chinataiwan.org/web/webportal/W3799218/A376833.html
  3. ^ Qin Xin. Taiwan army published new book uncovering secrets of Chiang Kai-shek: Plan to retake the mainland. June 28, 2006. China News Agency. China News
  4. ^ South China morning post." Details of Chiang Kai-shek's attempts to recapture mainland to be made public. Retrieved on 2009-04-26
  5. ^ a b Wang Guangci. Project National Glory. Nearly 200 officers and men died for their cause. United Daily News. April 20, 2009. http://udn.com/NEWS/NATIONAL/NAT1/4857584.shtml
  6. ^ a b SCMP. "South China morning post." Details of Chiang Kai-shek's attempts to recapture mainland to be made public. Retrieved on 2009-04-26.
  7. ^ a b Telegraph.co.uk. "Telegraph.co.uk." Taiwan invaded China, declassified papers show. Retrieved on 2009-04-26.
  8. ^ a b Gulf-times. "Gulf-times." Generalissimo Chiang wanted to retake China. Retrieved on 2009-04-26.