Talk:Peng Dehuai

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Good article Peng Dehuai has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
May 6, 2012 Good article nominee Listed

1959 dispute[edit]

These were other major issues in the 1959 dispute. Peng had made the army more professional and less political, changes reversed when Lin Biao replaced him. He had also shown signs of not liking the break with Moscow. Mao in 1959 was in too weak a position to have removed Peng if others had not also been suspicious.

He may also have been blamed for the unsuccessful confrontation over Taiwan the previous year:

"On Sept. 17 [1959] Peking announced that Marshal Lin Piao had succeeded Marshal Peng Teh-huai as defence minister… "Marshal Lin Piao was commander-in-chief of the people’s liberation army which conquered the whole of mainland China in 1948-49, but owing to a breakdown of health he was inactive for many years. His return to health and to official activity was indicated when, in 1958, he was appointed a member of the Politburo. Marshal Peng, whose fame was not enhanced by the failure of the Quemoy operation in 1958, remained a deputy prime minister." (Britannica Book of the year 1960)

At the time, there was little dispute that the weather was a major cause of China's problems. "China entered 1959 in a mood of confident but grim sobriety. The high tide of effervescence had markedly diminished… It was made clear later, in party and other pronouncements, that though Mao had relinquished the post of chairman of the republic, he remained not only head of the party but the most potent personality in the regime… “The increasing preoccupation with the weather, which began when vast areas in north and northeast China suffered a lack of snowfall and spring rain, grew steadily with the constant threat of floods throughout the southern provinces and a persistent plague of locusts in the region along the yellow river… The deluge in June (which brought 30 in. of rain to Hong Kong in five days) moved northward, flooding the countryside as it moved, so that the greater part of the country south of the Yangtze was seriously affected." (Ibid.)

Mao was probably thinking long-term. He gave one of his major jobs to Liu Shaoqi, who had no significant army support. He removed Peng and replaced him with Lin Biao, whose military reputation was at least equal to Peng and who would support Mao later when he launched the Cultural Revolution.

People should also think about the alternatives. Suppose Peng had replaced Mao rather than the other way round. Would China have ended up as another North Korea, sticking to the Soviet link to the bitter end?

--GwydionM 21:42, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

The last section looks a lot like propaganda Jake 09:47, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

This man was brilliant - he should have been leader instead of Mao.

North Korea never liked the new USSR under Krushchev (refering to stupid comment above).

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed and graded as start class. --dashiellx (talk) 20:19, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Ambiguities in text[edit]

1) In paragraph "Fall from power" it is stated that "This statement would later cost him his life during the Cultural Revolution." However, in "Persecution, death, and exoneration" it is stated that "He died of cancer in November 29, 1974". Could anyone help with this? Did he died from cancer, or during the Cultural Revolution?

2) Again in "Persecution, death, and exoneration" it is mentioned that he was "beaten 130 times until his internal organs were crushed and his back splintered". If this is true, I would assume that he was fataly wounded and possibly died due to implications and not from cancer? Anyhow citations would be very helpful if anyone knows these details!Xebeche (talk) 13:40, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

All of these issues have since been resolved.Ferox Seneca (talk) 20:59, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Korean War[edit]

I want to thank Jim101 for your recent work on Peng's bio. I think that you have clearly done more research than me on the Korean War, and your sources are more comprehensive and focused on that period than the ones that I had available. Your understanding of that conflict is better than mine, but I want to discuss three minor changes that you made to the article.

  1. Before your recent work, the article mentioned that China suffered nearly a million casualties, "according to American estimates", but you changed it to read that the Chinese suffered over a million casualties, without qualification. I agree that Chinese government statistics from this period are (as a rule) not reliable or accurate, but I think that we should add that this high number is a UN/American estimate, just to recognize that Chinese casualty estimates from the War are disputed (by China). Would you support re-adding a brief clause stating that these estimates are American?
  2. Is the Chinese casualty estimate you cited the official Pentagon estimate, your source's interpretation of that estimate, or information that your source compiled independently? It differs slightly from the number currently cited in the infobox for our article on the Korean War: according to that article, only 926,000 Chinese soldiers participated in the War, so I believe that casualty estimates of over 1,000,000 men may be too high.
  3. Before your recent work, the article mentioned that large-scale bayonet charges were a major feature of Peng's "human wave tactics", but this detail has since been removed. I would like to re-add this detail, unless my source is wrong.

Please let me know if you would disagree with me changing the article to reflect this information.Ferox Seneca (talk) 20:59, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

As for the Chinese casualty number that number is provided Prof Li Xiaobing, a former PLA soldier. His statistic is also collaborated by Prof Zhang Shuguang, who is recognized as THE expert on Chinese side of the story. So I don't think the the over one million casualties is inaccurate or made by wild guesses from US intelligence.
As for the impossibility of Chinese suffering over a million losses, the misunderstanding here is that you interpreted those losses as irreplaceable combat losses. The actual breakdown of the statics was that half of those 1 million soldier were only labelled "hospitalized" (possibly due to crappy logistic service plagued the Chinese throughout the war), a figure which rarely appear in Chinese government source. As for the rest of the 500,000 losses, the number is identical to Chinese government release (~100,000 died, ~300,000 wounded, ~100,000 missing or captured).
As for the number of Chinese soldier served in Korea, the actual number is over 3 million military and civilian personnel during the entire course of the war (the Korean War article only represent the peak figure, not the total figure.) The 3 million figure is corroborated by both Prof Li Xiaobing and Prof Zhang Shuguang (although Zhang only provided the 2.3 million military personnel figure)
As the the description of "human wave attack" as "mass bayonet charges", the reason I remove it is because according to US Army research into infantry operation in Korea, such description are purely exaggeration from excited soldiers taken as facts by mass media. S.L.A. Marshall, in his research paper to DOD to improve US infantry tactics in Korea, stated that Chinese rarely deploy their men in "mass" to drown out enemy fire. US Army/Korean War historian Roy Edgar Appleman also outright dismiss the image of mass bayonet charges as "a myth". I could also cite official US Marine history, etc, but that is just beating a dead horse. The real Chinese "human wave attack" is actually conducted by sending one fireteam after another against selected points in UN positions until everyone in the unit are dead (it is said that such attack were compared by Lin Biao as dripping water against stones according to historian Patrick Roe of the Chosin Few), but 5 men teams attacking in series are hardly "mass bayonet charges". Jim101 (talk) 23:17, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough. Do you know anybody who can read Chinese? Has anybody ever told you that you have a lot of 厲害 when you talk about the Korean War?Ferox Seneca (talk) 00:05, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Second question[edit]

I need your help to confirm a date found in the Korean War section. That section describes an episode in which:

"the Central Military Commission, presided over by Zhou, discussed the PVA's logistical problems with members of various government agencies involved in the war effort. After the government representatives emphasized their inability to meet the demands of the war, Peng, in an angry outburst, shouted: "You have this and that problem... You should go to the front and see with your own eyes what food and clothing the soldiers have! Not to speak of the casualties! For what are they giving their lives? We have no aircraft. We have only a few guns. Transports are not protected. More and more soldiers are dying of starvation. Can't you overcome some of your difficulties?" The atmosphere became so tense that Zhou was forced to adjourn the conference."

Barnouin and Yu, the source that I have referenced this from, states that this incident occurred on February 24, 1952, but The People's Daily (found halfway down, in Chinese) states that this occurred a year earlier, on February 23, 1951. I don't have a source to corroborate either date: have you ever read about this, and can you confirm the date with a third source? If not, does either date (either 1951, during the Fourth Phase Offensive, or 1952, two months before he was recalled) sound more logical to you, given what you know about Peng's actions and movements during the War?

Also, what is your interpretation of Peng's being recalled to Beijing due to a "suspected head tumor"? I have never read anything about Peng suffering from a head tumor, and my intuitive interpretation is that he may have been suffering from some sort of PTSD. What is your interpretation of why Peng was recalled?Ferox Seneca (talk) 18:26, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

As for the first question: I'm not exactly sure either since I am only doing research on Chinese military operation during the Korean War, but not on any particular generals. But in Zhang 1995, pp. 168-169 did state that Zhou and Peng participated in a meeting in discussing improving Chinese logistics at Shenyang between January 22-30 1951. Whether that means the same meeting or not is another matter (although it is deemed to be a major milestone in PVA logistics development, which led to the creation of a unified PVA logistics command). As for my opinion, the People's Daily story made more sense given that Fourth Phase Offensive is when Peng became desperate enough to state he is going to lose the war without extra support/reinforcement on January 31, 1951 per Zhang 1995, pp. 138-139, but given Zhang 1995, pp. 138-139 also stated that Mao agreed to Peng's opinion on February 7, 1951, the People's Daily account still doesn't fit the timeline. So anything is possible, to be honest. If you really want a more definitive answer to this issue, I believe Hong Xuezhi's memoir might provide more insight since he got promoted to lead the PVA logistics command after all the discussions between Peng, Mao and Zhou.
As for Peng tumor, in Zhang 1995, p. 304 it stated that Peng had a tumor grown in his forehead in the spring of 1952. Several of his deputy commander afraid that it may be cancer and urged him to get surgery, but Peng refused. Mao, after hearing the news from Peng's deputies on March 19 (Zhang made a mistake here since he wrote 1953, but Chinese sources and his earlier statement in p. 217 stated that it is in 1952), send a direct order to him on April 2 to get medical treatment. Zhang sourced his story to the memoirs of Yang Dezhi and Hong Xuezhi and The Biography Peng Dehuai. I'm afraid I don't know whether the tumor is actually treated or not (or real or not, depend on whether you believe the story is actually a cover for Mao to sack Peng for poor performance), aside from the fact that Deng Hua received the title of "Acting Commander and Commissar of PVA" in August 1952 after this episode according to Chinese Military Science Academy (2000), History of War to Resist America and Aid Korea (抗美援朝战争史), III, Beijing: Chinese Military Science Academy Publishing House, p. 563, ISBN 7801373901 . Jim101 (talk) 19:10, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Addendum: it appear that Peng did rush back to meet with Mao on Beijing in February 20, 1951 after the Fourth Phase Offensive had failed per Zhang 1995, p. 143. But Zhang 1995, p. 143 also stated that the meeting conversations were not released to public (as of 1992 per Zhang's research materials) did Beijing Central Archive actually release something significant in the last 20 years, or did People's Daily just plagiarized another internet rumor? Jim101 (talk) 19:54, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This review is transcluded from Talk:Peng Dehuai/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Jezhotwells (talk · contribs) 03:25, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

I shall be reviewing this article against the Good Article criteria, following its nomination for Good Article status.

Disambiguations: none found.

Linkrot: one found and tagged.[1]

I aim to post a substantive review within 48 hours. Jezhotwells (talk) 03:31, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Checking against GA criteria[edit]

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    Well written, but there are minor inconsistencies in spelling: favor and labour should be either British or American English, not a mixture.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    One dead link: "Peng Dehuai". People's Daily Online. Retrieved February 10, 2012. I cannot find it in the the Internet Archive or Webcite. Can you replace this? Done
    Sources appear to be RS, I find no OR, assume good faith for offline sources. Spotchecks show statements supported by cites.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    Thorough without unnecessary trivia
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    Images sufficiently captioned, tagged and licensed.
  7. Overall:
    On hold for seven days for these issues to be addressed. Jezhotwells (talk) 04:15, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
    OK, the dead link is fixed and I am happy to list this. Congratulations! Jezhotwells (talk) 21:14, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Author of the article obviously dedicated a significant amount of time to writing it. I would say that to increase accessibility, the intro needs to be scaled down significantly in accordance with WP:LEAD. Colipon+(Talk) 17:23, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment, but I find the lead to be a good executive summary of the article, and thus entirely compliant with WP:LEAD. Jezhotwells (talk) 21:09, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Moving questionable source information from main article to here until better sources are found.[edit]

Given the news and mass entertainment sources are typically not reliable history resource, I move the below statement from main article to here so that other people can find better sources to support those statements before move it back to main article space.

  • According to Chinese record, Stalin has favored Peng over Russian counsel of NKPA,calling Peng "talented militar".[1]
  • Peng had accumulated a lot of bias against another prominent general Su Yu so in 1958,after harsh accusation such as secretly relating with Russia, Su was relieved of all positions, not to be rehabilitated until his death. Such conflict has lingered until now. For example the Biography of Peng accuses Su of abusing power as Chief of Staff, signing an aborted attack on Matsu Islands and withdrawing troops from Noth Korea without authorization.[2]

Cheers. Jim101 (talk) 17:03, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

The first statement is probably true: Peng had a good relationship with Soviet military leaders, and this probably extended to Stalin. I do not believe that the second claim is completely accurate, though. The only book I have read that discusses the relationship between Peng and Su is Domes, who states that Deng turned on Su and scapegoated him at the urging of Mao Zedong, which alienated Deng from Su's allies, including at least two of the other "Ten Marshals". Domes believes that Mao's actions were part of a plan he had to isolate Peng politically, so that Mao could more easily remove Peng from power. The bad relationship between Peng and Su only occurred as the result of a plot by Mao, and the fact that Peng bought into it only made it much easier for Mao to remove Peng from office the next year, in 1959.Ferox Seneca (talk) 16:06, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Re: "dubious" tag[edit]

The tagged section is sourced to Peng's standard English-language biography, and the information included in the section is a fairly close paraphrase of what the book says. Domes is an academic historian: he is a reliable source. My understanding of the content was that the primary source(s) the author found describing that event did not state the outcome of the event clearly, and so the outcome "could not be known" according to the author's research. I think that is a reasonable and honest interpretation.

The old Red Guards (and their children) that I have met have been very reluctant to talk in any detail about the things that they did or witnessed during the Cultural Revolution. It isn't unreasonable that the people who took part in persecuting Peng Dehuai would not be enthusiastic about advertising their participation, especially to foreign researchers.

If you are interested in how this event might have ended, I encourage you to do more research on the subject and clarify the article. Something might have turned up since that book was written, but calling reliably-sourced, reasonable interpretations "dubious" in the body of an article without submitting alternative reliably sourced information violates WP:OR.Ferox Seneca (talk) 07:07, 27 February 2015 (UTC)