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23rd Group Army

The 23rd Group Army was demobilised during the 2003 reductions cycle. The 23rd Group Army, headquartered in Heilongjiang, was comprised of one motorized infantry division, two motorized infantry brigades, an armored brigade, an artillery brigade, a AAA brigade, a communications regiment, and an engineer regiment.

The 23rd Group Army traces its lineage back to the Chinese Red Army of the early 1930s and elements of the New Fourth Army of the late 1930s. The first unit that the 23rd Group Army can clearly trace its lineage to is the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, formed in the early 1940s. By 1945 the 3rd Brigade had been reorganized and redesignated as the 3rd Column and by 1946 the unit was again redesignated, this time as the 4th Column. By 1949 the 4th was reorganized and redesignated as the 23rd Corps, 8th Army. The 23rd was comprised of the 67th, 68th, and 69th Divisions.

The 23rd Corps took part in the Chekiang and Fukien Campaign of the Civil War. Until its September 1952 deployment to Korea, the 23rd Corps was part of the defenses of the Shantung coast area. In 1958 the 23rd Corps was reassigned to the Peking Military Region and throughout the late 1950s and 60s the unit was located in Kirin. This unit took part in the Korean war and participated in the 1969 Sino-Soviet border clashes.

23rd Army - Early History

The predecessor of the 23rd Army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army was the 4th Column of the East China Field Army. The column was developed by the advancement division of the Red Army Minzhe Military Region during the Agrarian Revolutionary War, the 4th and 5th detachments of the Red Army Southwest Fujian Anti-Japanese Army and the 3rd Regiment of the Red Army Independent South Fujian. In February 1938, the above-mentioned Red Army troops, which persisted in the struggle in southern Fujian and southwestern Fujian, were reorganized into the second detachment of the New Fourth Army in Baitu Township, Longyan, Fujian Province, with jurisdiction over the 3rd and 4th Regiments.

In the winter of 1939, the headquarters of the New Fourth Army Jiangnan with Chen Yi and Su Yu as the deputy commanders followed the CPC Central Committee’s War, northward development ”, sending troops across the river north to open up the base area for the anti-Japanese war in North Jiangsu. The leader of the 4th regiment, Zhang Daoyong (namely Tao Yong), and the political commissar Li Sheng (namely Lu Sheng) were ordered to lead the regiment and the 2nd Battalion Crossing the Yangtze River to the Yuetangji area in Yizheng County, Jiangsu Province, the 3rd Regiment of the advancing column led by Mei Jiasheng was formed as the New Fourth Army Su-Wan Detachment. In June 1940, the Su-Wan Detachment was crushed with the strength of the two regiments After the Kuomintang Sulu and Anhui guerrilla army Li Changjiang's 13 regiments offensive, defended Guo village, creating an example of anti-friction fighting in central China with fewer wins. Later, the Su-Wan detachment was expanded into the new Fourth Army Su in Tangtou Town, Jiangdu County. The third column of the North Command. The column commander and political commissar Tao Yong, the deputy commander Chen Yusheng, the chief of staff Zhang Zhendong, and the director of the political department Lu Sheng.

In January 1941, after the New Fourth Army rebuilt its headquarters, the 3rd Column was reorganized as the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Division of the New Fourth Army, under the jurisdiction of the 7th, 8th, 9th Regiment and the Nantong Independent Regiment. Under the leadership of brigade commander Tao Yong and political commissar Liu Xiansheng, they insisted on the anti-Japanese armed struggle in the border areas of Sulu and Anhui.

In December 1944, the 3rd Brigade was ordered to cross the south of the river and entered Changxing County, Zhejiang Province in January 1945. Column commander Tao Yong, political commissar Ruan Yingping, deputy commander and chief of staff Peng Deqing, director of the political department Han Nianlong. In August 1945, the column launched a resolute attack on the Japanese puppet army and successively liberated 24 towns including Anji, Meixi, Zhangzhu, Chuanbu, Dingshan, Shushan, Yixing, and Huangchi, annihilating a large number of refusals The Japanese puppet army threatened Huning. In November, according to the Party Central Committee's strategic deployment, it crossed the river north and reorganized into the 8th column of the New Fourth Army Huazhong Field Army in the Huai'an area in northern Jiangsu. Column commander and political commissar Tao Yong, deputy commander Peng Deqing, deputy political commissar Wu Hongxiang, and director of the political department Han Nianlong.

There were 5 regiments under the jurisdiction of a total of more than 12,000 people. After the reorganization, the eighth column, with the cooperation of friends and neighbors, first overcame the Gaoyou City, which was firmly fortified by the Japanese puppet army, capturing more than 890 people under the Japanese army Da Zuoyanqi and 3490 people under the puppet army commander. Then it swept north and, with the cooperation of the comrades, wiped out the Japanese puppet army that refused to land on the eastern section of Longhai Road, basically bringing Shandong and Central China Liberated Areas together, creating favorable conditions for preparing for the large-scale offensive of the Kuomintang reactionaries.

During the National Liberation War, this unit was further developed and strengthened in the battle of the Corps. In May 1946, the 8th Column was reorganized into the 1st Division of the New Fourth Army Huazhong Field Army in the Rugao region of Suzhong, Su Yu was the division commander and political commissar, Tao Yong was the deputy division commander, Wang Jiji was the deputy political commissar, Mei Jiasheng was the chief of staff, and Han Nianlong Director of the Political Department. Under the jurisdiction of the first, second, and third brigades, there were more than 16,000 people. From July to August, it participated in the battles of Xuanjiabao, Ru (Gao) Nan, Dingyan, Lin Zi, etc. In October, participated in the Lianshui defense battle. At the end of October, the 2nd Brigade was formed with each of the 1st, 3rd Brigade and the 20th Brigade of the 7th Division and the Central China Military Region Special Service Corps, which was included in the 1st Division.

Participated in the defense of Yancheng in December. After that, the 1st Division went north to Lunan, under the unified command of Chen Yi and others, and worked closely with the comrades to completely wipe out the 26th Division and the 1st Rapid Column of the Kuomintang Army. Then it captured the enemy's fortified Zaozhuang city, completely wiped out the 51st Division of the Kuomintang Army, and captured more than 7,700 people under the commander of the lieutenant general Zhou Yuying. In late January 1947, the 1st Division was reorganized into the 4th column of the East China Field Army in the Daguanzhuang area of Linyi County, Shandong. The column commander Tao Yong, political commissar Wang Jieji, chief of staff Mei Jiasheng, and director of the political department Liu Wenxue. The first brigade was the 10th division, the second brigade was the 11th division, and the third brigade was the 12th division. A total of more than 30,000 people.

In late February, the 4th Column went north to participate in the Battle of Laiwu. Together with the comrades, it annihilated the Li Xianzhou Group, the deputy commander of the 2nd Suijing District of the Kuomintang Army. At the beginning of April, in the southern Luzhong area, after more than a month of maneuvering, together with the comrades, the 74th Division, one of the five main forces of the Kuomintang army, surrounded the Menglianggu area. After 3 days and nights of blood fighting, a total of 6,470 enemies were killed. At the end of June, went to Lunan to fight. In August, the column headquarters led the 11th and 12th divisions to the southwest of Shandong, where they were assigned to the Western Front. The 10th Division remained in the Yimeng mountain area to cover the main battle, and was rebuilt in October. In November, it participated in the Longhai Road Breakout Battle, and in December participated in the Pinghan Road Breakout Battle, and wiped out more than 3,700 people in the 1st Brigade of the Kuomintang Army Cavalry in Guanting.

In March 1948, a new type of army consolidation was conducted in Puyang, Henan. From June to July, it participated in the Battle of East Henan, and in September it participated in the Battle of Jinan. At this time, Guo Huaruo served as the political commissar of the column, Lu Sheng served as deputy commander, and Han Nianlong served as director of the political department. From November to January 1949, it participated in the Battle of Huaihai, fought more than 40 times in succession, and conquered 22 villages and strongholds guarded by the Kuomintang and above. Lieutenant General Du Yuming, deputy commander of the "Xuzhou General", who captured the enemy.

In February 1949, in accordance with the Central Military Commission’s order to unify the army’s establishment and troop designation, the 4th Column was renamed the 23rd Army of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Feng County, Shandong Province. Under the 7th Regiment of the 3rd Field Army. Tao Yong served as military commander, Lu Sheng served as political commissar, Mei Jiasheng served as deputy military commander and chief of staff, Liu Wenxue served as deputy political commissar, Xie Yunhui served as director of the military political department, and Wang Zhiran served as minister of logistics. The 10th Division was renamed the 67th Division, Du Ping was the division head, and Li Binshan was the political commissar; the 11th Division was renamed the 68th division, Zhang Yunlong was the division chief, Chen Maohui was the division political commissar, the 12th Division was renamed the 69th division, Tan Zhigeng was the division chief, Hong Xiang was a political member of the division. There were more than 35,000 people in the army. On April 21st, the 23rd Army was instructed to participate in the Battle of the Crossing the River, breaking through the Kuomintang Army Jiangfen between Zhenjiang and Jiangyin, taking the victory and intersecting deeply, cutting off the Shanghai-Nanjing Railway and the Ninghang Highway, in Liyang, Langxi, Guangde areas.

Together with the sibling forces, they intercepted and wiped out most of the five armies of the enemy who fled south from Nanjing and other places. In early May, they liberated Hangzhou together with the sibling forces. Then it entered Shanghai, forcibly crossed the Suzhou River, captured the Kuomintang government mint and the enemy Songhu Security Command, captured more than 10,000 enemies, and liberated Shanghai together with the comrades. In June, the 23rd Army returned from Shanghai to station in Hangzhou. In January 1950, it was transferred to the 9th Corps. Chen Qing was first commander of the army, Fu Quejian was deputy political commissar and director of the political department, and Tan Zhigeng was chief of staff. In May, the 23rd Army entered East Zhejiang, participated in the Battle of Zhoushan Islands and bandits in East Zhejiang, liberating Dinghaiben Island. In July 1952, the 73rd Division of the 25th Army was transferred to the 23rd Army, and the 68th Division was revoked.

In September 1952, the 23rd Army participated in the Chinese People's Volunteer Army Warfare, and held a defensive combat mission near the "38th Line." After the armistice, North Korea continued to stick to the central position of the "38th Line" and helped the Korean people heal the wounds of the war and rebuild their homes.

Recent Activity

In March 1958, the 23rd Army withdrew from North Korea, and after returning home, the army was stationed in Heilongjiang. In the early 1960s, the army participated in the Daqing Petroleum Battle. In March 1966, Liu Shuai, a soldier of the army, made a heroic sacrifice in order to protect children and stop the horse. In March 1969, the first division of the 73rd Division participated in the battle of Treasure Island. The 1st Battalion Commander Leng Pengfei and the 1st Deputy Company Commander Wang Qingrong of the 217th Regiment were awarded the honorary title of "Combat Hero" by the Central Military Commission. In December 1969, the army rearranged the number, and the 73rd Division was renamed the 68th Division.

The headquarters of the 23rd Group Army was located in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province. It was originally coded 81032 and belongs to the Shenyang Military Region. It was adapted from the 23rd Army of the Army in 1985. It had a total of 3 infantry divisions under the jurisdiction of 67, 68 and 69 divisions and was incorporated into the tank. Brigade, Artillery Brigade and Artillery Brigade, and the 5th and 7th Divisions of Defense (later withdrawn).

In May 1987, in the Daxinganling Forest Fire, the 68th Infantry Division was the first force to rush to the fire. Afterwards, the entire division was awarded the collective first-class merit, and Wu Changfu, the "Big Beard Commander", was also selected as the "Top Ten News Persons" in that year.. In 1991, among the "Top Ten News Figures" in the country, there was Suning, the former chief of staff of the 69th Division Artillery Regiment of the Group's Army Infantry, known as the "modern military model". In the summer of 1998, the army of the group army participated in the flood rescue of Songhua River and Nenjiang River. The 205th Regiment of the 69th Infantry Division was awarded the honorary title of "Flood Rescue Model Regiment" by the Central Military Commission. Since then, the 67th and 68th Infantry Divisions have been changed to the Infantry Brigade and the Motor Infantry Brigade, respectively, while the Tank Brigade had been modified to the Armoured Brigade. Current military commander Liu Fengju, political commissar Zhang Shixian.

Former political commissar of the Fuzhou Military Region and Fu Kuiqing of the Nanjing Military Region had served as the political commissar of the 69th Division, director of the political department of the 23rd Army, and political commissar. Su Rongsheng, the son of General Su Yu, also grew up in this army. After graduating from Harbin Institute of Technology in 1965, he served as a soldier, squad leader, technician, and platoon leader in this army. After 1969, he served as deputy company commander, company commander, and deputy commander. The battalion commander and regimental commander was the 69th Division Commander of the Infantry in 1983. It was not until 1990 that he served as the deputy head of the military department of the General Staff. He served the army for 25 years. He was appointed deputy commander of the Beijing Military Region in 1998, and promoted to lieutenant general in 2000.

In September 2003 Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po reported that as part of the 200,000 troop reduction announced by the Chinese government, the 23rd Group Army would be inactivated along with two other group armies, the 63rd and the 24th. It is not clear if the troop reduction will include the inactivation of the Group Army's subordinate units.

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Page last modified: 01-08-2021 14:09:09 ZULU