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24th Group Army

The 24th Group Army was demobilised following the 2003 reductions cycle. The 24th Group Army was located in Chengde, Hebei and is comprised of two motorized infantry divisions, an armored division, an artillery brigade, and an anti-aircraft artillery brigade. It is probable that the unidentified armored division located in Tangshan (identified in the Directory of PRC Military Personalities) is the 1st Armored Division and that the 52824 unit is actually the 71st Motorized Infantry Division. [Blasko p. 327-8]

The 24th Group Army is considered a "B Category" unit, or a non-full-training unit which does not have modern equipment, has less funds, receives less training and would need a significant infusion of equipment and training to be considered combat ready.

In 2001 the unit's identification number was changed from 52831 to 66169.

The 24th Group Army traces its lineage to the mid-1940s when it was established under Third Field Army. The unit was originally designated the 24th Corps and was comprised of the 70th, 71st, and 72nd Divisions. During the Civil War the 24th took part in the Nanking Campaign against Nationalist Forces. Following the Civil War until it received orders to fight in Korea the 24th was positioned in Southeast China and the Shantung coast area to provide coastal defense.

The 24th Corps deployed to Korea in September 1952. The 24th along with other elements of the 3rd Field Army replaced the 20th, 26th, and 27th Corps in an effort by the PLA to give other units combat experience. In mid-1953 the 24th took part in all three stages of the final Chinese offensive including the May 13-26 attacks on outposts of the Kumsong bulge, the June Offensive and the July Offensive. Following the return of the unit to China, in the mid-1950s, the 24th Corps was reassigned to the Beijing (then Peking) Military Region.

24th Army - Early History

The predecessor of the 24th Army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army was the 6th Column of the East China Field Army. The column was developed by the 6th Division of the Huazhong Field Army, composed of the 6th Column of the Huazhong Field Army, the Independent Brigade of the Suzhong Military Region and the 20th Brigade of the 7th Division of the New Fourth Army.

In the spring of 1938, after the long march of the main Red Army, the Red Army guerrillas who persisted in the struggle in the regions of Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Jiangxi, Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangxi, and southern Hunan. A total of more than 2,300 people were reorganized into the first detachment of the New Fourth Army. Chen Yi served as commander, under the jurisdiction of the first and second regiments. In March, the first detachment arrived at Yansi Town, She County, South Anhui Province to concentrate. In May, Chen Yi led his ministry to the east and started in the southern part of Jiangsu with Maoshan as the center. In the same winter, the 6th Regiment of the 3rd Detachment of the New Fourth Army was transferred to Sunan, led by the 1st Detachment. At the same time, the 1st regiment was transferred to South Anhui and led by the 3rd detachment. In May 1939, the 6th Regiment entered the area between Suzhou, Changshu, and Taicang, and was renamed Jianghang No. 2 Army. A new 6th regiment was formed in the Maoshan area.

On November 7, 1939, the leading organ of the 1st detachment and the leading organ of the 2nd detachment were merged into the leading organ of the Jiangnan Command of the New Fourth Army. In March 1941, the 2nd Detachment of the Jiangnan Command was reorganized to form the 16th Brigade of the Fourth Pro-Army, and was returned to the 6th Division of the New Fourth Army. On December 31, 1942, the 2nd Brigade Division of the New Fourth Army led the 4th Regiment south and merged with the 16th Brigade to form the new 16th Brigade. On February 5, 1945, the 16th Brigade was reorganized as the 1st Column of the Jiangsu-Zhejiang Military Region, and had jurisdiction over the 1st, 2nd and 3rd detachments and the independent 2nd and 3rd regiments. After the formation of the 1st column, it participated in three anti-stubborn battles in the Jiangsu-Zhejiang Military Region. In August, it participated in the strategic counterattack and recovered more than 10 counties including Liyang, Jintan, Jurong, and Lishui. In October, crossing the Yangtze River and moving northward.

In November 1945, the 1st Column of the New Fourth Army Soviet and Zhejiang Military Region was ordered to withdraw from the north of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui to Dongtai County, Jiangsu Province, and was reorganized as the 6th Column of the New Fourth Army Central China Field Army. Wang Bicheng served as commander, Jiang Weiqing served as political commissar, and Duan Huanjing served as deputy commander. Chen Tiejun served as chief of staff, and Liu Wenxue served as director of the political department. It had 5 regiments under its jurisdiction and a total of more than 11,000 people. After the establishment of the column, the Shaobo and Fanchuan areas guarded the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal and defended Huaiyin, the capital of the border areas of Jiangsu and Anhui. In May 1946, the 6th Column of the Huazhong Field Army and the Independent Brigade of the Suzhong Military Region formed the 6th Division of the Huazhong Field Army. Tan Zhenlin served as the division commander and political commissar.

Under the jurisdiction of the 16th and 18th Brigade, there were more than 14,000 people. From July to August, it participated in the Soviet-Chinese campaign and annihilated more than 15,000 Kuomintang troops in Taixing, Rugao, Libao, Dingyan, Linzi, and other places. In October, it participated in the Lianshui defending war, and provided the 74th Division of the reorganized Kuomintang Army with heavy damage, covering the transfer of the rear organs of the Soviet-Anhui Liberated Area. At this time, the 20th Brigade of the 7th Division of the New Fourth Army was incorporated into the 6th Division and the 17th Brigade was established. In December, participated in the second Lianshui defense battle. In early January 1947, during the Battle of Lunan, it acted as a blocker in northern Jiangsu. In early February, the 6th Division of the Central China Field Army was reorganized into the 6th Column of the East China Field Army. Wang Bicheng served as commander, Jiang Weiqing served as political commissar, Pi Dingjun served as deputy commander, and Chen Shifu served as deputy political commissar and director of the political department.

The 18th Brigade was renamed the 16th, 17th, and 18th Divisions in turn, with a total of more than 35,000 people. In February, it participated in the Battle of Laiwu and annihilated the Kuomintang army in the battle of capturing and holding Tusikou 2. More than 20,000 people. In April, served as a blocker in the Battle of Taimeng. In early May, advanced into Lunan to fight. In the middle of the year, it returned to the north to participate in the battle of Meng Lianggu, and together with his comrades, seized Duozhuang, cut off the retreat of the 74th Division of the Kuomintang army, and closed the enclosure to contribute to the victory of the battle. In July, participated in the battle of Nanma and Linqu. In August, it entered southwestern Shandong. At the beginning of September, it crossed the Yellow River to participate in the battle of sand and soil.

At the end of the month, it crossed the Longhai Road with his comrades, marched into the border areas of Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu, swept the local armed groups, bandits and other local armed forces, and conquered cities such as Haoxian, Jieshou, Fuyang, and Xincai. In December, it acted as a blocker in Haoxian, Luyi, and Taikang areas in the battles of Pinghan and Longhai Road. In February 1948, the town of Lankao was captured, and the 119th Brigade of the Kuomintang Army was completely wiped out, and then moved to the Puyang area to carry out a new army consolidation movement. In June, it participated in the Battle of Eastern Henan, first aided east of Lankao, and then participated in the siege of the Kuomintang Military Region. In September, it participated in the battle of Jinan and prepared to block in Lunan. In the winter of the same year, it participated in the Huaihai Battle and served successively to encircle and annihilate the Huang Baitao Corps and to aid the north of Bengbu to the south.

In February 1949, in accordance with the Central Military Commission’s order to unify the army’s establishment and troop designation, the 6th Column of the East China Field Army was renamed the 24th Army of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, which was formed by the 8th Corps of the 3rd Field Army. Wang Bicheng served as military commander, Liao Haiguang served as political commissar, Pi Dingjun served as deputy military commander, Zhao Jun served as chief of staff, and Lan Rongyu served as director of the political department. The 16th Division was renamed the 70th Division, Chen Renhong was the division head, Xie Liquan was the political commissar; the 17th Division was renamed the 71st division, Liang Jinhua was the division chief, and Chen Weida was the political commissar; the 18th Division was renamed the 72nd division, and Kang Lin was division chief, Zhang At the beginning of the division as a political commissar.

There were more than 36,000 people in the army. Participated in the battle of crossing the river in April, crossing the Yangtze River from Yaogou to Beigen in Anhui, occupying Shun'an, Tongling, Datong and other places, and annihilating 5 Kuomintang troops in the Lang (Xi) Guang (German) area with the comrades military. In June, the 70th Division went north to cooperate with the siblings to liberate Qingdao, and the 71st Division went south to Huaibei, under the command of the Joint Bandit Headquarters in the border areas of Hubei, Henan, and Anhui, and entered the Dabie Mountain area. On August 11, the 72nd Division cooperated with the comrades to capture the Changshan Islands.

In March 1950, the 71st Division was built. In May, it went southward to the west of Zhejiang and northern Fujian, and was responsible for the construction of the highway from Shangrao to Fuzhou and banditry. On July 20, 1952, the 71st Division was revoked, and the 25th Military Division was returned to the 24th Military Organization. In September, the 24th Army was returned to the command of the 9th Corps and went to the DPRK to participate in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. The 24th Army returned to the country in October 1955. It belongs to the Beijing Military Region and was stationed in Chengde, Hebei. It was deployed on the outskirts of Beijing and Tangshan to defend Beijing. In 1968, the 70th Division was changed to the 3rd Division of the Beijing Guard District. In December 1969, the army rearranged the number, the 74th Division was renamed the 70th Division, and the 71st Division was rebuilt (later revoked). During the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, the army was among the first troops to enter the earthquake zone.

The headquarters of the 24th Army was in Chengde, Hebei Province. It was originally coded as 52831. It belongs to the Beijing Military Region and was adapted from the 24th Army in 1985. With the anti-aircraft artillery brigade and the 4th brigade. In May 1989, the army of the group entered Beijing to perform martial law tasks. In 1992, the 4th Brigade was withdrawn, and it was originally the 1st Tank Division of the Tianjin Security Zone (the division was the first tank unit of the army. Its predecessor was the Northeast Tank Brigade formed in December 1945. The tank was formally established in May 1949. The 1st Division, participated in the Battle of Jinzhou, the Battle of Tianjin, the Founding Ceremony, and the DPRK. In 1985, it was transferred from the original 66th Army to the Tianjin Security District) and transferred to the group army. In 1998, the 72nd Infantry Division merged with the Tangshan Reserve Division to form the Hebei Province Reserve Artillery Division. The 1st Division of the tank was changed to the Armored Division.

At the same time, the 196th Brigade of Mobu, Tianjin Guard District (previously known as the Independent 1st Brigade of Jijin Military Region, which was formed by Shanxi local troops in March 1946, and the 1st Brigade of North China Military Region 1st Brigade) In February 1949, it was changed to the 196th Division of the 66th Army and participated in the anti-American aid. After the withdrawal of the 66th Army in 1985, it was returned to the Tianjin Police District). It was also transferred to the 24th Army. In the 1999 National Day parade, the 83rd 152mm self-propelled howitzer of the 1st Division Artillery Regiment formed the 10th party team. The current military commander Li Shiming and political commissar Wu Zhongming.

Wan Haifeng, former political commissar of the Chengdu Military Region, was a veteran of the 24th Army and served as the army commander from 1968-1972. In addition, there were two armed police commanders who were promoted by the commander of the 24th Army. They were promoted to the commander of the armed police by the commander of the 24th army in 1990, and Wu Shuangzhan, the current commander of the armed police, also served as the deputy commander of the 24th army. Su Rongsheng, the son of General Su Yu, was promoted from the commander of the 24th Army to the deputy commander of the Beijing Military Region in 1998.

Recent Activity

Elements of the 24th Group Army, including headquarters elements and two divisions, took part in the suppression of student protests on June 4, 1989 at Tiananmen Square. The 24th Group Army was ordered to report to a designated area in Beijing on May 19 and 20 to carry out martial law orders.

Sometime following the Tiananmen Square Massacre, at least one division sized unit is reported to have been transferred to the People's Armed Police.

The PLA Activities Report's summary of a Zhanyou Bao article on 26 November 2002 indicates the U/I Artillery Brigade (Unit 66248) assigned to the 24th GA has apparently been working to improve its long-range artillery capabilities and has been conducting training with naval and Air Force systems. There are also indications that the brigade is working to improve the dissemination of detection and fire-control data down to a battalion or company level.

The 24 GA's Anti-Aircraft Artillery Brigade (Unit 66039) has reportedly conducted various training exercises to improve its capability with regards to countering "hi-tech flying vehicles. Beijing MR's Zhanyou Bao on February 11, 2003 indicates that using small-caliber weapons and a digital fire control system the unit has been able to bring down three aircraft.

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 24th Group Army would be inactivated along with two other group armies, the 23rd and the 63rd. It is not clear if the troop reduction will include the inactivation of the Group Army's subordinate units.

Honored Troops

The units that have been awarded the honorary title are:

  • Red Army-208th Regiment of the 70th Infantry Division;
  • The First Company of Dengcheng, Yanzhou-The 1st Company of the 208th Regiment of the 70th Infantry Division;
  • Yanzhou Combat Hero Company -2nd Company, 208th Regiment, 70th Infantry Division;
  • Yanzhou Combat Model Company-5th Company, 208th Regiment, 70th Infantry Division;
  • Cross-river Model Battalion -3rd Battalion, 210th Regiment, 70th Infantry Division



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