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Campaign to the South of Baoding

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Title: Campaign to the South of Baoding  
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Subject: Zhengtai Campaign, History of Hebei, 1947 in China, Encirclement Campaigns, Campaign to Suppress Bandits in Northern Guangdong
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Campaign to the South of Baoding

Campaign to the South of Baoding
Part of Chinese Civil War
Date January 21, 1947 - January 28, 1947
Location Hebei, China
Result Communist victory
Flag of the National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
Chinese Red Army
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the National Revolutionary Army ? PLA Chen Zhengxiang 陈正湘
PLA Hu Yaobang
20,000 45,000
Casualties and losses
> 8,000 ?

The Campaign to the South of Baoding (保南战役) consisted of several battles fought in regions south of Baoding between the nationalists and the communists during the Chinese Civil War after World War II, and resulted in the communist victory.


In December 1946, after the setback of the failed attempts to take Easy County (Yi Xian, 易县) and Full City (Man Cheng, 满城) regions, the nationalists redeployed their forces along the railroad from Beijing to Baoding to fragment the enemy base into smaller pieces. However, when carrying out the new strategy, the nationalist force was overstretched and the region between Wangdu (望都) and Zhengding to the south of Baoding was thinly manned: the vast area of over 200 km stretch of land was only guarded by a detachment of the 32nd Division of the nationalist 3rd Army and four regiments of the nationalist 5th Security Division totaling 20,000 troops. The communists decided to take this advantage by launching a campaign aimed to sever the nationalist communication / transportation line in central Hebei, thus cutting off the food supply for the nationalists in western Hebei.

Order of battle

Nationalist order of battle:

Communist order of battle:

  • The 2nd Column
  • The 4th Column
  • The Independent 1st Brigade
  • The Independent 8th Brigade

The Campaign

The communist 10th Brigade, the 11th Brigade, the Independent 1st Brigade and units of the 3rd and 9th Military Districts were tasked with the main responsibilities of the campaign, while the 8th Independent Brigade would launch assaults along the railroad around Gaobei Hotel (Gao Bei Dian, 高碑店) region to the north of Baoding to tie down the nationalists in order to prevent them from reinforcing the nationalists in the south. The communist 2nd and 3rd Column would station at the Town of Sun City (Yang Cheng Zhen, 阳城镇) and White Bunker Town (Bai Bao Zhen, 白堡镇), waiting to ambush the nationalist reinforcements if there was any.

At the dawn on January 21, 1947, under the cover of heavy snow storm, the communist 10th Brigade and the 11th Brigade launched their surprise attacks on the Imperial Capital Village (王京村) and the town of Wangdu (望都), successfully taking the both nationalist strongholds and completely annihilated the nationalist garrison consisted of a battalion and a regiment of the nationalist 5th Security Division in the process. Meanwhile, the communist 1st Independent Brigade and communist units from the 3rd and the 9th Military Districts launched their offensives on the nationalist positions along the railroad. At night of January 21, 1947, the communist 4th Column had succeeded in penetrating into region between the town Xinle (新乐) and the town of Ding (定) County. On January 23, 1947, the communist 4th Column sent out a detachment to successfully take the region of Camp West Hotel (Zhai Xi Dian, 寨西 店), while the bulk of its force was deployed along the railroad to ambush the nationalist reinforcement. On January 24, 1947, the nationalist reinforcement from Zhengding consisted of a regiment of the 5th Security Division and a portion of the nationalist 32nd Division was completely annihilated by the waiting communist 4th Column in the region of Shijiading (十家町). Learning the news of the disaster, the nationalist defenders of the town Xinle (新乐) was forced to abandon the town when the communist 1st Independent Brigade attacked. On January 28, 1947, the communist 4th Column launched the final assault on the besieged town of Ding (定) County, badly mauling the nationalist brigade defending the town. As the nationalist survivors attempted to flee, they were ambushed by the communist 2nd Column at Wangdu (望都) region, and the communist victory was complete with the conclusion of the campaign.


The nationalists suffered more than 8,000 losses in their defeat, and the link between Shijiazhuang and Baoding was severed. Additionally, towns included Wangdu (望都), Ding (定) County, and Xinle (新乐) fell into the enemy hands, while the previously separated communist bases in the central Hebei and the border area of Hebei and Shanxi was successfully linked up by the enemy to form a new base with much larger size.

See also


  • Zhu, Zongzhen and Wang, Chaoguang, Liberation War History, 1st Edition, Social Scientific Literary Publishing House in Beijing, 2000, ISBN 7-80149-207-2 (set)
  • Zhang, Ping, History of the Liberation War, 1st Edition, Chinese Youth Publishing House in Beijing, 1987, ISBN 7-5006-0081-X (pbk.)
  • Jie, Lifu, Records of the Libration War: The Decisive Battle of Two Kinds of Fates, 1st Edition, Hebei People's Publishing House in Shijiazhuang, 1990, ISBN 7-202-00733-9 (set)
  • Literary and Historical Research Committee of the Anhui Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Liberation War, 1st Edition, Anhui People's Publishing House in Hefei, 1987, ISBN 7-212-00007-8
  • Li, Zuomin, Heroic Division and Iron Horse: Records of the Liberation War, 1st Edition, Chinese Communist Party History Publishing House in Beijing, 2004, ISBN 7-80199-029-3
  • Wang, Xingsheng, and Zhang, Jingshan, Chinese Liberation War, 1st Edition, People's Liberation Army Literature and Art Publishing House in Beijing, 2001, ISBN 7-5033-1351-X (set)
  • Huang, Youlan, History of the Chinese People's Liberation War, 1st Edition, Archives Publishing House in Beijing, 1992, ISBN 7-80019-338-1
  • Liu Wusheng, From Yan'an to Beijing: A Collection of Military Records and Research Publications of Important Campaigns in the Liberation War, 1st Edition, Central Literary Publishing House in Beijing, 1993, ISBN 7-5073-0074-9
  • Tang, Yilu and Bi, Jianzhong, History of Chinese People's Liberation Army in Chinese Liberation War, 1st Edition, Military Scientific Publishing House in Beijing, 1993 – 1997, ISBN 7-80021-719-1 (Volum 1), 7800219615 (Volum 2), 7800219631 (Volum 3), 7801370937 (Volum 4), and 7801370953 (Volum 5)

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