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74th Group Army
42nd Group Army

The Communist Party of China (CPC) continued its ongoing purge of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF), reshuffling what it described as "84 corps-level units" in April 2017. The purge was ordered by Chinese president Xi Jinping, who was also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) that controls the PLAGF and its parent, the People's Liberation Army [PLA]. There were only 18 active Group Armies as of early 2017, which received new numerial designations.

The 42nd Group Army, headquartered in Hiuzhou, was comprised of three divisions, an armored brigade, an air defense brigade, an ACW regiment and an enginner regiment.

42nd Army - Early History

The predecessor of the 42nd Army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army was the 5th Column of the Northeast Field Army. After the victory of the Anti-Japanese War, the column was developed as a backbone by some troops that entered the Northeast from several liberated areas in Shanhaiguan.

From September to October 1945, in order to implement the strategic deployment of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to the northeast and strive to control the northeast, some troops and cadres from the liberated areas of Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Jinchaji, Central China and Shandong moved to the northeast Liaodong region. Under the leadership of the Liaodong Military Region, these troops participated in the struggle to establish and defend the Liaodong Revolutionary Base, and cooperated with the main forces to participate in the Sibao Linjiang Campaign and the Northeast Summer and Autumn Offensive Operations. Regiment and other troops. In May 1946, the independent first division of the Liaodong Military Region was formed by a group of cadres transferred from the security battalion of the Liaonan Military Region, the Zhuanghe Security Regiment, the 1st Security Group of the Andong Military Region, the 1st Security Group of the Liaoning Military Division, and the Yanan Artillery School; 8 In December, the Tonghua Detachment, Jingyu Detachment, Shandong and Central China advanced into the Northeast Army to form an independent second division; in November 1947, the Anton Security Command, Liaoning Military Region 3rd Division 1 Regiment, 4th Division became independent The 1st Regiment and the 3rd Regiment of Anton Security formed an independent third division.

From December to March 1948, three independent divisions participated in the Northeast winter offensive, attacked the Kuomintang army transportation lines, and cooperated with the main forces to conquer cities such as Liaoyang and Anshan. The independent first division also conquered important seaport camps. On March 31, the fifth column of the Northeast People's Liberation Army was established in Liaoyang. Wan Yi served as commander, Liu Xingyuan served as political member, Wu Ruilin served as deputy commander, and Tang Kai served as deputy political member. The three independent divisions were renamed the 13th, 14th, and 15th divisions of the column in turn.

The whole column had more than 36,000 people. From September to October, the 5th Column participated in the Liao-Shen Battle. It first blocked the National Development Party Army Liao Yaoxiang Corps in aid of Jinzhou in the southeast and southwest of Zhangwu. Later, it cooperated with the comrades to annihilate Liao Corps in the area east of Montenegro and brought the KMT army. More than 17,000 people, captured the newly edited first general Lieutenant General Wen Xiaoshan.

In November 1948, the 5th Column was renamed the 42nd Army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, Wan Yi served as the commander, Liu Xingyuan served as the political commissar, Wu Ruilin served as the deputy commander, and Tang Kai as the order of the Central Military Commission The deputy political commissar and chief of staff (later Liao Zhongfu), Guo Chengzhu served as director of the political department. The 13th Division under its jurisdiction was renamed the 124th Division, Xu Guofu was acting as the divisional commander, and Li Hui was the political commissar; the 14th Division was renamed the 125th Division, Peng Longfei was the divisional commander, and Ding Guoyu was the political commissar. In the 155th Division, Liao Zhongfu served as the commander and Zhong Min served as the political commissar.

The army had more than 47,000 people and was affiliated with the Northeast Field Army. From November to January 1949, it participated in the Battle of Pingjin. It first captured Changping and Shahe, cut off the main route of the Kuomintang army to the west, and then captured Fengtai of the Kuomintang army supply base with the cooperation of the comrades.

In April, the army was organized into the 14th Corps of the Fourth Field Army. From April to May, it participated in the Anxin campaign under the command of the 13th Corps and completely wiped out the Kuomintang army Anyang. In June, the military department and the 125th, 126th, and 155th divisions went to the bandits in the west and southeast of Henan; the 124th division trained in Luoyang. From August to January 1950, the military department and the 125th and 126th divisions continued to rob bandits in the original area; the 124th and 155th divisions were ordered to participate in the Battle of Western Hubei, and then entered the Eastern Sichuan War under the command of the Second Field Army. The 124th Division was built, and the 155th Division was assigned to the Central South Military Region Transportation Command. In February, the army was ordered to be stationed in Heilongjiang Province, under the jurisdiction of the Northeast Military Region.

In October 1950, the 42nd Army went to the DPRK as the first group of troops to go abroad. In the first to fourth battles and a year and a half of defensive operations, more than 28,000 enemies were annihilated, and the "Huangcaoling Hero Company" emerged, "Three Eight Lines Sharp Blade Hero Company", "Shicheng Xian Hero Company", Guan Chonggui, An Bingxun, Yuan Baoshan and a group of hero units and individuals. Returned to China in November 1952.

The headquarters of the 42nd Army was located in Huizhou City, Guangdong Province. The original code was 53200 troops. It was adapted from the 42nd Army of the Army in 1985. It had a total of three infantry divisions under the jurisdiction of 124,126 divisions and 163 divisions of the 55th Army. It was incorporated into the 1st Artillery Division (composed of the Northeast Artillery Corps during the Liberation War and was one of the first troops to enter the war.

In the early 1990s, the 124th Infantry Division became one of the earliest batch of emergency combat maneuver units in the army, and served as a foreign-facing performance task. In 1994, the 42nd Army participated in the formation of the troops stationed in Hong Kong. At that time, Liu Zhenwu, the commander of the army, served as the first commander of the troops stationed in Hong Kong. The main body, together with a part of the "Tashan Hero Group" of the 41st Army, constitutes the infantry brigade. In 1996, the 126th Infantry Division was changed to the Armed Police Mobile Division. In the summer of 1998, the army participated in the flood relief of Jingjiang, Hubei, and the 4th Company of the 372nd Regiment of the Infantry was awarded the title of "Fighting Rescue Hero Company" by the Central Military Commission. After that, the Tank Brigade was converted into an armored brigade, the Anti-aircraft Brigade was converted into an air defense brigade, the 498th Regiment of the Infantry 163rd Division and the former 7th Division of the Tank were combined into a Divisional Armored Regiment, and an Infantry Regiment of the 124th Infantry Division was also converted into armored. group. The current military commander Ye Aiqun, political commissar Zhang Yang.

Yu Yongbo, a member of the Central Military Commission and director of the General Political Department, grew up in this army. He served as the 42nd military political commissar from 1983-1985. In addition, Gu Hui, the former commander of the Nanjing Military Region, also came from this army. He served as the division commander of the 124 division, the deputy commander of the 42nd army, and the commander of the army. The current political commissar of the Nanjing Military Region Lei Mingqiu served as the political commissar of this army from 1985 to 1992.

Recent Activities

Elements of the 42nd Group Army participated in an examinational sea-crossing and landing exercise that lasted a week and ended on September 9, 2002. The commander of the group army organized and directed the exercise. The exercise examined the recently improved amphibious capabilities of the group army and utilized joint tactics. [Guangzhou MR Zhanshi Bao 10 Oct 2002 (PLA Activities Report Sep 2002)]

The 42nd Group Army conducted a command post exercise in early 2003 involving officers from divisional, brigade, and regimental levels. The exercise involved over 70 officers and used a "virtual battlefield" using computers. The exercise was a rehearsal for the upcoming integration of "leapfrog" development towards mechanization and greater utilization of computers. The Group Army has reportedly received new equipment and replaced older armaments. Its main battle equipment has appatently been mechanized and a majority of the vehicles have had information elements installed. The article clearly identifies the Commanding General (Liu Yuejun) and Chief of Staff (Zhang Yongda) of the 42nd Group Army though the article did not identify the unit. [Guangzhou MR Zhanshi Bao 25 Feb 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]

A Guangzhou MR air defense brigade (the 42nd Group Army was the only unit with an air defense unit though its commander was listed in the Directory as Li Chuanguang but the PLA Activities summary lists the commander as Ye Dingjiang) conducted live-fire drills in late Autumn 2002 at a target range in Zhanjiang. The exercise involved a no notice mobilization alert and order that required the brigade to move equipment and troops to nearest rail facility and to move its forces to another location. The brigade was able to load some 100 weapons on to the rail cars in roughly 32 minutes. The brigade travelled for 40 hours and upon arrival travelled to a training location where it began conducting combat exercises. [Guangzhou MR Zhanshi Bao 30 Nov 2002 (PLA Activities Report Dec 2002)]

The 74th Group Army of the PLA held a joint land assault exercise off the eastern coast of South China's Guangdong Province in August 2019, with the navy and air force joining the simulated attack, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on 05 September 2019. Led by the navy's amphibious assault ships, with additional air support, a combined arms brigade of the army launched a joint assault on a coastal area. Navy minesweepers and obstacle breaking boats first cleared a path through the sea, and amphibious assault vehicles of the army stormed to the coast from multiple directions. As the army closed in on the coast, warplanes, artilleries and tanks launched simulated joint strikes from multiple points and successfully seized the position.

While the defending team attempted counterattacks, the army called in air strikes from a communications command platform, guiding fighter aircraft and long-range rockets that eliminated the defender's threat. "We upgraded our system so that battlefield data can be shared in real time. Intelligence gathered by the navy, air force and ourselves on the battlefield can be reported to the command center, and shared between basic units," Liu Shuyi, staff officer of the combined arms brigade, told CCTV.

Joint operations are essential in modern warfare, especially during landing missions, which are usually complicated as defenders usually have the advantage, an anonymous military expert told the Global Times on Sunday. The PLA used to conduct exercises within single military branches during which the army, navy and air force were trained on their own, the expert said, noting that joint training exercises could help the PLA make the best of its full potential. Although the report did not identify an imaginary enemy for the exercises, Chinese internet users noted the location of the exercises was close to the island of Taiwan.




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Page last modified: 01-08-2021 14:09:13 ZULU