Marshal Peng Dehuai Marshal Peng Dehuai - Page 1

Peng Dehuai (pronounced Pung Dew-why) was born in 1898 in Xiang County of Hunan Province. He was a rough-hewn man from very humble beginnings. He had sparkling eyes and was imbued with a powerful and unyielding spirit. Until 1916, he was a day laborer and then a soldier in a Warlord Army for $5.50 a month. He soldiered the rest of his life, some 60 years. He would talk to his troops and had great affection for his troops and they great loyalty to him. He commanded the Third Army during the Long March. Peng met the enemy head-on in frontal assaults and fought with such fury that again and again he wiped them out. He did not believe a battle well fought unless he managed to replenish--and more than replenish--any losses by seizure of enemy guns and converting prisoners of war to new and loyal recruits to the Red Army. After the Japanese surrender Peng and He Long were cutting Beijing's connections with the rest of China and effectively surrounded Beijing. Peng ultimately became the Commander in Chief of the Chinese Forces in Korea against the United Nations Forces. All his life Peng spoke frankly, bluntly, and he wrote in plain vigorous Chinese often at great length so that no one might doubt his opinion. He was to have many military clashes with Marshal Lin Biao and won most of them. In June 1959, he tried to tell Chairman Mao at the Lushan Conference that the Great Leap Forward was a big lie and it would cost him his life during the Cultural Revolution. Neither Mao nor Peng wanted a split but once Mao initiated the break with Peng, the whole Politburo and the Central Committee were bound to support Mao.

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General Peng Dehuai