Sunday, March 3, 2013

Documents related to the Battle of Chamdo II

Document 4

Source: Military Papers by Mao Zedong since the Founding of The People’s Republic. Beijing: Zhongguo junchi chubanshe & Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2010. Pp. 189-190.

Note: Original footnotes included.


Arrange for High-Altitude Transport Aircraft Needed
 For Marching into Tibet as Quickly as Possible[1]

(August 23 & 24, 1950)

I. Zhou[2] please urge  Air Force Headquarters to arrange item No. 7[3] as quickly as possible, and inform me of the situation. The 30 aircraft must be suitable for use at high altitude; pilots must meet this condition too. Trust that attention will be paid to this.

                                                                                                                        Mao Zedong
                                                                                                                        August 23

II. Comrade Li Tao:

Southwest Military Area Command needs 30 high altitude transport aircraft for the advance into Tibet. Please inquire whether Air Force Headquarters has begun to make arrangements, when the aircraft and pilots can be ready, and what are the prospects for the next three or four months. Please find out and let me know, and I trust that you will supervise (the matter).

Mao Zedong
                                                                                                            August 23

III. Zhou - for the arrangements, make sure to have 30 (including the current 9) high-altitude airplanes by January or February or March next year.[4]

Document 5

Source:  Liberation of Chamdo. Compiled by Office of Editing and Research, Political Department, Chengdu Military Area Command and Tibet Military Area Command. Chengdu: Sichuan Renmin Chubanshe, 1991. Pp. 12-13. 

Note: Notes added by translator.

Basic (Initial?) Order by Southwest Military Area Command
for Battle of Chamdo

(August 26, 1950)

I. At the moment, the main force of the Tibetan army consists of seven depons  positioned in and around Chamdo, actively preparing for war with the intention of  stopping us from liberating Tibet. The specific distribution is as follows:  over 600 men  in Chamdo; over 500 men in Gantuo,[5] Tongpu,[6] Jiangda (region of Dege on the west bank of the Jinsha river); [7] over 300 (plus 800 militia ) men in Shengda[8] between Chamdo and Dengke; [9] about 2000 men in the Leiwuqi,[10] Dingqing[11] and Qiongbo[12] (northwest of Chamdo) flank; and around 500 (plus 200 militia ) in Ninging and Yanjing area. Besides, there are about 3000 militia gathering in Bomi[13] region, Endaxi, Luolong Zong, [14] Shuodu[15] etc. and the bordering area of Nangqian. [16] The above numbers, including militia, make altogether 8000 men of the Tibetan army. The rest of the troops are distributed in Lhasa, Heisha[17], Rikaze,[18] Jiangzi, [19] etc.  

II. In order to annihilate the main force of the Tibetan army in Chamdo and its eastern areas including Enda and Leiwuqi, to occupy Chamdo and lay the foundation for marching into Lhasa to liberate Tibet in the next year, it is hereby decided:
1. Led by the 18th group army, three regiments of 52nd division, reconnaissance battalion, artillery battalion and one engineer regiment reinforcing the headquarters, move from the Yulong,[20] Dege [21] and Dengke lines to attack Chamdo. The main force will detour toward west of Chamdo, cut off enemy retreat and annihilate it.  Assembling of the above troops must be completed by early September in the Ganzi, Yulong and Dengke line, advancing from there in the mid-September and pushing to occupy Chamdo around October 10th. At the same time, one regiment of 53rd division will move from Ba-an,[22] annihilating enemies in Ninjing, then fight on toward Chamdo, and coordinate with the 52nd division in a pincer attack. Detailed disposition should be drawn up by 18th group army and reported to us.

2. A combat-capable troop of 14th Group Army in Yunnan, while marching toward Chamdo together with the 18th Group Army, (should) annihilate the enemy in Yanjing and take control of the area, meanwhile keeping contact with (the troops of) the 18th Group Army stationed in Ningjing. At the same time, another troop watches for a chance to occupy and control Zhuwageng[23] (between Kemai and Cayu).  

III. (We) suggest that the Northwest Military Area Command order troops stationed in Yushu to make close contact with the 52nd division of the 18th group army, and be put under its command, so as to reinforce the battle in Chamdo.

Document 6

Source: Military Papers by Mao Zedong since the Founding of The People’s Republic. Beijing: Zhongguo junchi chubanshe & Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2010. p. 224.

Note: Original footnote included.

Do not Mention the Time for Attacking Taiwan and Tibet[24]

(September 29, 1950)

Comrade Qiaomu:

Please check whether the time for attacking Taiwan was specified in past publicity.  Somebody told me that he had read in this year’s New Year document that this year (we) will attack Taiwan, is it correct? Please take note that from now on, just mention attacking Taiwan and Tibet, but do not mention any specific time. I have crossed out all the tasks for 1951 in the congratulatory message to all parties, for it contains mention of attacking Taiwan and Tibet.
Mao Zedong
September 29

Document 7:

Source:  Liberation of Chamdo. Compiled by Office of Editing and Research, Political Department, Chengdu Military Area Command and Tibet Military Area Command. Chengdu: Sichuan Renmin Chubanshe, 1991. pp.14-15.

Note: Footnotes added by translator. 

18th Army’s Report on Implementing the Battle Plan for Chamdo

(September 11, 1950) 

I. The Tibetan army has deployed seven depons (over 4000 men) and 3000 militia, altogether about 8000 men in and around Chamdo, mainly concentrated in Shengda between Dengke[25] and Chamdo. Based on the latest situation learnt, the enemy has massed two depons and over 2000 militia in Shenda and surrounding area, attempting to block our army advancing from Dengke to Chamdo. 

II. According to our current state of preparation, we decided to deploy the following forces to carry out the military tasks for occupying Chamdo: the 52nd division (excluding one battalion and some miscellaneous staff), artillery battalion affiliated to the Army, reconnaissance battalion, engineer battalion, artillery battalion of the 54th Division, the artillery company of the 154th regiment, the 157th regiment and the artillery company of the 53rd Division, supply regiment of branch headquarter, plus Qinghai cavalry detachment, altogether 15,000 men. Mountain artillery, recoilless artillery, 92-type infantry cannon, a total of 57 mortars, 3 basic loads of ammunition (excluding the 126th regiment in Yunnan). (The army) is scheduled to cross the river on the 2nd and 3rd days of October (the 8th month[26]) respectively in pre-set positions and wipe out enemy forces in Leiwuqi, Enda and east of Lanchuang (Mekong) river. If the enemy masses its main force in Shengda and launches a battle, we are determined to mobilize our main force to annihilate the enemy in Shengda first. 

III: Specific arrangements are as following: 

(1) The 52nd division (excluding one battalion and some miscellaneous staff) together with the artillery battalion affiliated with the army and the 1st supply regiment will complete assembling in the Dengke area on September 30th, and on October 2nd, the 154th regiment and the artillery company affiliated with the division will secretly cross the river, cutting straight to Leiwuqi and Enda aggressively and rapidly by a short cut skirting Shengda. On the way (those troops) should ignore obstructive assaults from small groups of enemy fighters so as to circle to Chamdo quickly, to cut off the enemy’s retreat and join with the Division’s main force to annihilate them in Chamdo area. On the morning of October 3rd, the division headquarter will lead the 155th regiment, the 156th regiment (one battalion short) and the artillery battalion affiliated with the division to cross the river at Dengke and advance straight to Chamdo by way of Shengda.   

(2) Qinghai cavalry detachment must mobilize by October 4th (more specific and proper time to be decided by the 52nd division) from Yushu and fight forward to Nangqian and Leiwuqi, guarding the 154th regiment’s right flank and the rear, meanwhile moving quickly and actively coordinating with the 154th regiment to annihilate the enemy in Enda and Leiwuqi areas.  In the case that the 154th regiment engages one Depon or more of the enemy and annihilates them on its own,  Qinghai cavalry detachment should make a detour from the far (west) side of Leiwuqi and advance to Enda to cut off the enemy’s retreat. 

(3) Reconnaissance battalion affiliated with the army, engineer battalion and artillery battalion of the 54th Division, under the command of Su Xiangqing, commander of reconnaissance battalion, (must) complete assembling in Xincun, Dege (east bank of Gangtuo ferry) area by September 30,  cross the river at noon on October 3 at Gangtuo and fight forward  against the enemy in Tongpu and Jiangda, doing everything possible to engage the enemies in that area in order to coordinate the 54th division in annihilating the enemy’s main force in Chamdo. The above units are collectively commanded by the 52rd Division. 

(4) Front Headquarters of the 53rd Division leads its artillery company and the 157th regiment into and around Ba-an[27] and completes assembling there by September 30. On the night of October 2nd, two battalions with light loads cross river secretly near Songwa Kamei[28] in north Ba-an, advancing straight toward the west of Ningjing to cut off enemy’s retreat. On the morning of October 3, one battalion crosses the river near Niugudu and Zhubalong[29], fighting toward Ningjing, annihilating enemies in Ningjing first, then according to the situation, advancing toward Caya[30] and coordinating with the main force of the 52nd Division.
IV. We suggest that the Military Area Command order the 126th regiment of Yunnan to fight on to Yanjing on October 2. Besides attacking and occupying Yanjing, (we) should prevent the enemy from escaping to Cayu.[31] 

V. In order to facilitate reconnaissance and master the enemy’s situation in depth, the army headquarters is temporarily positioned in Ganzi.
Please review and advise if the above arrangement is proper. 

Documents Related to the Battle of Chamdo I

Documents Related to the Battle of Chamdo III

[1] Part I is Mao Zedong’s comment on the report dated August 20, 1950 by the Southwest Bureau of CPCCC on preparations to attack and occupy Chamdo. Part II is Mao Zedong’s letter to Li Tao, director of Combat Operation Command, Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China. Part III is Mao Zedong’s comment on Li Tao’s report dated August 24, 1950 about purchase of high-altitude transport aircraft.

[2] Zhou, meaning Zhou Enlai.

[3] Referring to Item No. 7 in the report  by Southwest Bureau. (Content quoted in the original footnote omitted. See Item 7, Document 2.)

[4] Li Tao’s report stated: regarding the issue of arranging 30 high-altitude transport aircraft to support the march into Tibet, response from Air Force Headquarters is that the aircraft will be available by January 1951 at the earliest, but this depends on whether aircraft purchased from the Soviet Union can be delivered by November.

[5] Kamtok (sKam thog) is the village above the ferry crossing on the west bank of the Jinsha river, on the main road from Chamdo to Dege.

[6] Dongpu (rDong phu)

[7] Jomda (’Jo mda’)

[8] Sipda (Srib mda’)

[9] Denkok (’Dan khog)

[10] Riwochey (Ri bo che)

[11] Tengchen (sTeng chen)

[12] Khyungpo (Khyung po). Khyungpo and Tengchen are not usually listed separately. Tengchen is the main town in the Khyungpo region.

[13] Pomey (sPo smad)

[14] Original document is not clear. It may mean “Enda and west of Luolong Zong” or “west of Enda”. Luolong Zong: Lhorong Dzong (lHo rong rdzong)

[15] Shopando (Sho pa mdo rdzong).

[16] Nangchen (Nang chen)

[17] Unclear, may be typo for Heihe (Nakchu).

[18] Shigatse (gZhis ka rtse)

[19] Gyantse (rGyal rtse)

[20] Yilhung (Yid lhung)

[21] Derge (sDe dge)

[22] Today’s Bathang.

[23] Tsawagang (Tsha ba sgang)

[24] This is Mao Zedong’s letter to Hu Qiaomu, Deputy Director of Propaganda Department of CPC and Director of  the Central Government General Press  Administration. 

[25]Shengda: Srib mda’ (Sipda) in today’s Jomda county, Chamdo prefecture, TAR. Dengke: ’Dan khog (Denkok) on the Jinsha river.

[26] Original text contains the words “酉月” in parenthesis. It means the eight month in lunar calendar, normally is the tenth month in solar calendar. 

[27] Ba-an: ’Ba’ thang (Ba-tang) in present Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan.

[28] A village in today’s Zhubalong  (Gru pa rong, Druparong) xiang, Markham county, Chamdo prefecture.

[29] Niugudu is about 20 km from Ba-tang. 

[30] Caya: Brag g.yab (Drayab), now a county in Chamdo prefecture.

[31] Cayu: rDza yul (Dzayul), on the Burma/Assam border, now a county in Linzhi prefecture.

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