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1st Group Army

The 1st Group Army, headquartered in Huzhou, is comprised of three divisions, a motorized infantry brigade, an engineer regiment and an air defense brigade. The unit is believed to be a Category A unit.

The 1st Group Army traces its origins back to the activation of the "2nd Red Army Regiment" in 1930 in Hunan. As the 358th Brigade of the 120th Division of the 8th Route Army the unit took part in the Long March. In 1946 the brigade was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Column of the Northwest Field Army. According to Andy Chan (aka Xinhui) of China the 1st Column was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Corps on February 1, 1947 comprised of the 358th Brigade, the 1st Independent Brigade and the 7th Brigade. In 1949 the unit was again reorganized and was comprised of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisions.

During the Civil War the 1st Corps took part in the battles for Shanzong, Fumei, and Longdong.

The 3rd Division was inactivated in 1952 and the 1st and 3rd Corps were reoganized and combined to form the 1st Corps with the 1st, 2nd, and 7th Divisions subordinate. Elements of the Corp arrived in Korea in April 1953.

The 2nd Infantry Division of the 1st Group Army conducted routine and field training in the Langxi area of the Anhui Province from early July 1991 thru October 1991. [Yang 1993]

An artillery brigade organic to the 1st Division of the 1st Group Army conducted offensive exercises and joint army and air force training including signal exercises, river crossing, infantry and armor maneuvers and counter-airborne operations in the Anhui Province bordering Anhui, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu Provinces from early August to late October 1991. [Yang 1993]

In late February 1992 the 2nd Division conducted routine training and marching and field training exercises in West Village, Guangde Xian, Anhui Province. [Yang 1993]

The 2nd Division was tranferred to the People's Armed Police to become the 8690 Unit in the 1990s. [Blasko 2002]

An unidentified artillery division, probably the unit attached to the 1st Group Army as it is the only artillery division in the Nanjing MR, conducted tactical demonstrations in the East Anhui Mountains in late Fall 2002. The drills included simulated amphibious warfare operations as the unit conducted landing drills and during the course of the exercise had to choose an alternate landing site as the original site had "been destroyed". The unit was able to conduct fire support missions within eleven minutes of landing relocated to avoid counter-battery fires. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxin 30 Oct 2002 (PLA Activities Report Nov 2002)]

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