Sponsored by PLA Daily of the Chinese People's Liberation Army
|Producer & Editor:Zhao Xianfeng, Lian Junyi, Yang Liming,Ouyang Dongmei,Xuan Qi|
PLA Daily 2005-07-21
Zhang Zizhong was born in 1891 in Linqing, Shandong Province. Zhang studied in Tianjin Political Science and Law School in 1911. In the fall of 1914, Zhang went to Fengtian (today's Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province) to join the 20th Division of the Kuomintang Army, in which he successively served as platoon leader, company commander and battalion commander, regiment commander, brigade commander, division commander, and commander-in-chief of the 33rd Group Army of the Kuomintang.
In the small hours of May 16, 1940, at the Changshan Mountain near a town named Pumpkin Shop in Yicheng of Hubei Province, a fierce battle was going on between the Chinese defending troops and the Japanese invaders. The Japanese troops concentrated their heavy gunfire on the less-than-one-sq. km position of the troops under the command of Zhang Zizhong. The earth and stones were busting into the air and the air was thick with dark smoke and smell of powder. At that time, Zhang Zizhong's right shoulder was already wounded by bomb splinters and his left arm was shot by a bullet. However he still stayed at the position to shout order at his troops to beat back the Japanese troops. His subordinates persuaded him to seized the opportunity to make a breakthrough of enemy's encirclement, but Zhang replied with glaring eyes: " Today I am determined to fight to the last drop of my blood!"
Just nine days ago, in order to reverse the tide of operation and rescue an friendly troops, Zhang Zizhong, as commander-in-chief of the 33rd Group Army, personally led two regiments and a special task battalion with over 2,000 troops to cross the Xianghe River to intercept the Japanese troops. The Japanese troops mustered over 50,000 troops to conduct converging attack against the troops led by Zhang Zizhong. It was really a fierce and bloody battle. From morning up to noontime on the 16th May, Zhang Zizhong stayed at the frontline to supervise military operations. Finally he even dispatched his own guard team to reinforce the troops fighting at the front. By14:00 in the afternoon, most Chinese soldiers in the front were killed in action, and Zhang Zizhong had only several hundred officers and men with him.
By 16:00, Zhang Zizhong was seriously wounded in six places on his body. Then, a Japanese soldier charged onto the Chinese position and stabbed at Zhang's adjutant Ma Xiaotang. Zhang Zizhong stood up suddenly to protect his adjutant with his own body. At this moment, one enemy bullet hit his belly and another one entered into his right forehead. Thus, Zhang Zizhong, a famous anti-Japanese general of his time, laid down his life for the country. He was then only 49. In that battle, the officers and men involved in that battle were all killed in action.
By Qu Yantao