Major battles of 343rd Brigade

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keith A
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Major battles of 343rd Brigade

Post by keith A » 08 Feb 2016 18:19

Reading the excellent "Enter the Dragon" by Russell Spurr I came across a Chinese Captain called Lao Kongcheng who fought in Korea 1950-51. Lao was a veteran of the 343rd Brigade (8th Route Army/18th Army Group) in WW2 and therefore had served under the Korea War PVA leader Peng Tehaui. Can anyone give me details of any major engagements of 343rd Brigade in WW2? I assume they were largely a guerrilla army and large scale engagements were few?

Lao was a native of Tsingtao, born c.1925 and entered the army in 1940 as a runner and later rifleman. He fought both Nationalist Chinese and Japanese in his military career before encountering the ROK/American forces as a member of a commando unit of the 347th IR, 116th Div, 38 Field Army in Korea.

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Keith

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Re: Major battles of 343rd Brigade

Post by YC Chen » 09 Feb 2016 10:07

From what I understand(could be wrong), if he joint 343 brigade in 1940 in his native province Shandong, then this 343 brigade(of 115 Division) had very little connection with the 343 brigade of the same division who fought in Shanxi in early stage of the war. It consisted of various personnels from original 115D and local areas and had two squadrons, the Canal Squadron and the Yellow River Squadron. If this is the brigade he joined he would be fighting in south-west Shandong and northern Jiangsu Province, the area to the north of Xuzhou.

keith A
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Re: Major battles of 343rd Brigade

Post by keith A » 25 Feb 2016 10:14

He fought in the 100 regiments offensive, does this allow us to pinpoint which 343rd brigade he was in? He narrowly escaped being killed by the Japanese when they counterattacked.

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Keith

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Re: Major battles of 343rd Brigade

Post by The 51st Division » 27 Apr 2016 00:54

The communist 343B, NRA 115D, fought guerrilla wars against the Japanese and local Chinese collaborationist forces and clashed with KMT-led guerrillas and NRA forces on various occasions, after it moved into western Shandong in 1940. So it made perfect sense for Lao Kongcheng, a Qingdao native, to join the communists in 1940. By the end of WWII the 343B had already been broken apart into many other regiments in the Communists' Shandong Military District. In September/October 1945 the 115D was moved into Manchuria, became a part of the Northeast Democratic Alliance Army (which later became the Northeast Liberation Army/Northeast Field Army) and fought the Civil War against KMT there. Then during this time this Lao Kongcheng SOMEHOW made his way into the PLA 116D, which was formed in November 1948 and largely from the former NELA 2 Column which had nothing to do with the original NRA 115D back in WWII...so no idea how exactly he ended up in PLA 116D. But this division was then stationed in Northeast China (aka Manchuria) after the Civil War and was one of the first units of the PVA, so it made sense that Lao followed his division to Korea as well. Pretty badass though, for him to survive the meat grinder of Manchuria during the Chinese Civil War, and of course, then even more brutal grinder that was Korea.
"The nation might be powerful, yet it shall be destroyed if it seeks war; the world might be peaceful, yet it shall be doomed if it forgets war."
--The Method of the Sima, Qin Dynasty Chinese Military Classic

keith A
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Re: Major battles of 343rd Brigade

Post by keith A » 27 Apr 2016 20:33

This is superb, many thanks :)

He survived the Korean War despite being badly wounded in 1951 and became a language lecturer.

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