Thursday, January 18, 2007

Death of Two Generals

More than 1000 Chinese generals died in the WWII defending the motherland. Among them, the two highest ranked generals are the commander of the 33 army group General Zhang Zizhong, and the commander of the 36 army group General Li Jiayu.

Days after the 11th Army of the Japanese invasion army launched the Zao-Yi Battle, General Zhang took all the troops he had at hand: two infantry regiments of 74D and one battalion of command guards to cross the enemy line and block their withdraw path. Before setting out, he sent a letter to General Feng Zhi'an, deputy commander of the 33AG, and asked him to take care of the troops. General Zhang loved the people and land deeply, but was not optimistic on the outcome of the war. In many occasions after the war started, General Zhang had expressed his eagerness to die for the country. The first day he assumed the commander of 59D in November 1937, he told his soldiers: "beyond killing enemies, my goal is to find a place to die for the country with you". In every battle, he would fight in the most front line. Some believed General Zhang finally realized his wish of dying for the country on May 16, 1940.

General Li Jiayu was a patriotic hero, who led his barely armed provincial army marched thousands of miles from inland to fight the Japanese army. When it's obviously the battle of Henan was falling, General volunteered to stay behind with his troops so that other troops could withdraw faster. General Li's scouts did not find the Japanese ambush until it was all to late. General Li's general uniform stood up among a few guards following him, which made him a primary target. General Li would love to live to see the victory, but he was killed by 2 bullets and 1 grenade shrapnel on May 21, 1944.

Two brave generals, one determined to sacrifice and one wanted to survive, both killed on battlefield in the war defending their motherland.

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