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Huang Baitao

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Nickname(s)  Huang the Bald
Name  Huang Baitao
Rank  General
Allegiance  China ( Kuomintang)

Huang Baitao wwwgeneralsdkcontentportraitsHuangBaitaojpg

Unit  Jiangxi Provincial Army
Battles/wars  New Fourth Army Incident, Battle of Zhejiang-Jiangxi, Huaihai Campaign
Died  November 22, 1948, Jiangsu, China
Awards  Order of Blue Sky and White Sun
Children  Huang Ching-hsien, Huang Hsiao-hsien, Huang Chen-hsien, Huang Shao-hsien
Battles and wars  New Fourth Army incident, Zhejiang-Jiangxi campaign, Huaihai Campaign
Similar People  Qiu Qingquan, Li Mi, Du Yuming, Liu Chih, Su Yu

Commands held  25th Corps, 7th Army

Huang Baitao (Chinese: 黄百韬; 9 September 1900 – 22 November 1948) was a Chinese Nationalist general active in the Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War, for which he was twice awarded the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun, the highest honor a Chinese commander can achieve.

Contents

Huang Baitao FileTomb of Huang Baitao 04 201305JPG Wikimedia Commons

Early years and career

Huang's family was from Meixian, Guangdong but he was born in Tianjin. After a stint of serving in the units of various northern warlords, he joined to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's forces during the Northern Expedition. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, he was promoted from a staff officer to command positions in regiment, brigade and division levels solely based on merit and attended the Chinese Army War College, and assigned as chief of staff of the third, six and ninth war zones, and he helped to plan the New Fourth Army Incident and wiped out a large numbers of communist troops. In 1946, when the Chinese Civil War restarted he was promoted to command the 25th corps.

Rise to fame

In December 1947, Huang helped the nationalist army to evacuate from the Shandong province, and stopped the Communist advances led by Su Yu at Central China in the Eastern Henan Campaign around the summer of 1948. His actions helped to save two KMT units from destruction. President Chiang Kai-shek decorated him with the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun and promoted him to command the 7th army. However, his promotion did not suit well with other nationalist commanders, notably Lieutenant General Qiu Qingquan, commander of 5th corps, and Communist moles in the KMT army spread rumors so their working relationship were very tense.

Huaihai Campaign and death

On November 8, 1948, the Huaihai Campaign was about to start, so the nationalist department of defense decided to withdrew the 7th army and the 6th army from northern Jiansu (江苏) province to the nationalist military headquarters in Xuzhou. [1] Huang was ordered to wait for another KMT corps (44th corps) to arrive from the 9th pacification zone in Haizhou (海州) before he can travel across the grand canal, precious time of 2 days were wasted. He also made the crucial mistake of not securing a bridgehead on the grand canal, and the 320,000 communist soldiers of the Eastern China Field Army under Su Yu caught up with him, and the 63rd corps under his command were wiped out of the 7th army's order of battle while trying route to cross the grand canal at Yaowan (窑湾) after finishing the rearguard duties. On the same day (November 8, 1948), as Huang continued to retreat toward Xuzhou, Communist underground members of the 3rd pacification zone suddenly revolted on the battlefield, surrendering 23,000 troops to the communist forces. The nationalist headquarters in Xuzhou under Liu Zhi panicked and ordered the 13th army under Lieutenant General Li Mi, which was defending the east side of Xuzhou, to retreat to back to Xuzhou. Those developments allowed the communist forces to completely cut off Huang's 7th army from the rest of the nationalist forces by taking Caobaji (曹八集) and Daxujia (大许家) vacated by Li Mi's 13th army. Chiang Kai-shek ordered the KMT 2nd army and 13th army to relieve the 7th army; But Lieutenant General Qiu Qingquan (邱清泉), commander of the 2nd army, was not eager to save his beleaguered colleague because of their previous feuds and feared the Communists might encircle his unit as well. Li Mi did try but his relieve efforts were beaten back by the communist forces despite the support of the planes and tanks thus equally unsuccessful in saving the 7th Army. After 15 days of brutal fighting, the 7th army was destroyed in Nianzhuang (碾庄) village, only 20 miles from Xuzhou. On the night of November 22, 1948, Huang Baitao committed suicide after successfully broke out from his army headquarters with his deputy commander of the 25th corps, who smuggled his body and personal belongings through the communist security checkpoints. Since Huang Baitao was one of the few KMT army commanders who chose death rather than being taken prisoner by the Communists, President Chiang Kai-shek personally arranged a state funeral for him.[2] The Nationalist Government posthumously promoted him to four-star general and awarded him with second Order of Blue Sky and White Sun. When the People's Liberation Army approached on Nanjing in the summer of 1949, the survivors of the 7th army transferred his remains to Taiwan.

Trivia

In the 1960s, Huang Baitao's only son murdered one of his gay male friends by using a handgun that his father had left. President Chiang Kaishek reduced the sentence from execution to life imprisonment. He has been released from prison and migrated to United States as a retiree.

References

Huang Baitao Wikipedia