Long March Leaders
Marshal Xu Xiangqian
Xu Xiangqian (pronounced Shu Shee-ang-Chee-an) was from Jiangxi Province. He was a fine general with Zhang Guotao's Fourth front Army. He was Zhang's principle commander with Ye Jianying as Chief of Staff. A split developed between Zhang's forces and Chairman Mao's First Front Army. The Fourth Front Army numbered about 80,000 combat troops and about 80,000 noncombatant personnel. Mao's forces numbered about 10,000 at that time. It was a very dangerous moment in the history of the Party. One Red Army was about to attack another. After Mao's Red Army slipped away to avoid the trouble after being warned by General Ye Jianying, Xu was told, "That a strange thing has happened. The First Army has pulled out. Shall we attack and go after them?" Xu replied, "Have you ever seen the Red Army attacking the Red Army?" That was it. There was to be no attack.
Both Xu and Ye Jianying got credit for stopping a serious conflict. Xu eventually left Zhang's Army and joined Mao in Yan'an. He was named one of China's Ten Marshals in 1955. Because of the stopping of the conflict, Mao protected Xu during the worst of the Cultural Revolution.On to Marshal Nie Rongzhen   Return to Long March Choices Back to Home Page
|Marshal Xu Xiangqian|