|Born||20 Sep 1899|
|Died||29 Jun 1954|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseTang Keqin was born in Wuyi, Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, Qing Dynasty China in 1898. In 1916, he entered a provincial secondary school in Jinhua, but transferred to a private academy in Hangzhou, graduating in 1920. An unspecified incident caused him trouble with the county government, leading him to enlist with Chen Yi's provincial military. Shortly after, in the spring of 1921, Tang took on the courtesy name of Enbo (Wade-Giles romanization: T'ang En-po) and went to study in Japan. In Mar 1922, he passed the examination for entering into Meiji University in Tokyo, studying politics and economics. In 1925, he solicited Chen Yi for a recommendation letter and funding for him to apply to the Japanese Army Academy; Chen, who had never had direct contact with Tang, surprisingly agreed. Tang subsequently earned entry, graduating in 1927. Returning to China, with Chen's recommendation, he joined the Hunan provincial military as a company-level commanding officer. In Jun 1928, he became an instructor at the Central Military Academy (renamed from the Whampoa Military Academy in 1926) in the capital city of Nanjing, China. He rose in rank quickly, reaching the rank of colonel by early 1930, and served as the deputy of the Education Department of the Academy. In mid-1930, he was promoted to the rank of major general and commanded at the brigade level at the Academy. In late 1930, he was assigned to command the 18th Brigade (with concurrent duty as the deputy commanding officer of the 4th Division) and then to command the 2nd Division amidst the 1929-1930 Central Plains War. In 1932, after success as the commanding officer of 89th Division against communist forces, he was promoted to command the 10th Column, which included 89th and 4th Divisions. In late 1933, he led the 10th Column against a communist uprising in the Fujian Province region of coastal China, entering Fuzhou on 13 Jan 1934. After a series of successes against communists, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in 1935 and was given command of the 13th Corps. By this time, he was considered one of the most influential generals in the Chinese military.
ww2dbaseIn Jul 1937, WW2 began in China. Tang led the 13th Corps against the Japanese in Hebei Province and Chahar Province in the north as a part of the 7th Army Group. In early Sep 1937, the 13th Corps was reassigned to 85th Army, with which he participated in Battle of Xuzhou. Subsequently, he was made the commanding officer of 1st Corps of the 9th War Area, and then the commanding officer of the 31st Corps. In late 1940, he was made the commanding officer of the Shandong-Jiangsu-Henan-Anhui War Area. In 1942, he was made the deputy commander of the 1st War Area with headquarters in Henan Province. In early 1943, Zhang Gaofeng, a prominent reporter, reported flooding and food shortages in Henan, problems made worse by rampant corruption of military officers. Chinese leader Chiang Kaishek asked Tang to investigate; Tang chose to place Zhang under house arrest for several weeks as a threat, rather than seriously investigating the accusations of corruption. In 1944, during the Japanese Operation Ichigo offensive, the 1st War Area was routed during the Battle of Henan, and he was reassigned to the Guizhou-Hunan-Guangxi War Area as its commanding officer. In Dec 1944, Dushan of Guizhou Province was captured by the Japanese, and the blame for this major loss was placed on Tang as well as General Jiang Dingwen. Tang played no significant role in the war from this point on.
ww2dbaseIn Feb 1946, Tang was promoted to the rank of full general as the Chinese Civil War resumed in the wake of WW2, followed by him being named the commanding officer of the Capital Garrison in May 1946. In Jun 1946, he was named one of the two deputy commanding officers of the Chinese Army (Fan Hanjie was named the other deputy). In 1947, as fighting escalated into a full-scale civil war again, Tang led a failed assault into Shandong Province that led to the destruction of 74th Division and the death of its commanding officer Zhang Lingfu. For this failure, Tang was relieved of duty as the Chinese Army's deputy commander in Jun 1947 and was relieved of duty as the Capital Garrison commander in Aug 1947. In late 1947, he participated in actions in the Northern China Plain region with distinction, and was restored as the Army's deputy commander. Before the year's end, he served briefly as the Army's acting commanding officer. In Jul 1948, he was put in charge of training and logistics in Quzhou, Zhejiang Province. In Dec 1948, Chiang Kaishek personally named Tang the commanding officer of the Nanjing-Shanghai-Hangzhou Garrison. In Jan 1949, the Ministry Of National Defense dropped all of his duties except for the Nanjing-Shanghai-Hangzhou Garrison, thus concentrating his attention on this single role in the final days of the Civil War on the mainland, as his troops was supposed to hold their ground for as long as they could to allow the government to withdraw to Taiwan. After the fall of Nanjing in Apr 1949 and Shanghai in Jun 1949, he began withdrawing his forces en masse to Fujian and Taiwan. Meanwhile, Chen Yi, whom he had known for 20 years, attempted to persuade Tang to defect to the communists. Tang declined, and reported Chen to Chiang; Chen would be found guilty of treason and was executed in Taipei, Taiwan in 1950. While he rejected defecting to the communists, he had no faith in the Nationalist government, either; in May 1949, while still in Shanghai, he embezzled US$500,000 of military funding and transferred the amount to a friend's US-based bank account, meaning to use that money to support him after his retirement. In Jul 1949, his confidants Wang Wencheng and Long Zuoliang received the money embezzled in 1949 and purchased a 22-room mansion in the suburbs of Tokyo, Japan on Tang's behalf. In Aug 1949, Tang was made the Chairman of the Fujian Provincial Government and the chief of the Xiamen Garrison. In Sep 1949, he was made the commander of the Fuzhou training-logistics command. In Oct 1949, Chiang Kaishek met with several Army generals at Tang's residence in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China. Less than 10 days later, communist forces captured Xiamen, forcing Tang to relocate his headquarters to the island of Kinmen (Quemoy) 10 kilometers to the east. Later on the same day, Chiang Kaishek sent Tang an urgent cable, ordering that Kinmen cannot be lost to the communists; Tang would subsequently be successful in thwarting communist attempts to conquer the island. In Feb 1950, Tokyo-based reporters working for the news agency Reuters discovered this and incorrectly reported it as Chiang's purchase; after an investigation, Tang's plan was uncovered, and it effectively ended Tang's career. In Mar 1950, he attempted to go to Japan, but his attempt was discovered and he was escorted off the plane by military policemen. He held only minor military postings until 1953 when he was finally allowed to move to Japan in order to receive advanced treatment for stomach cancer. He passed away at the Keio University Hospital in Tokyo, Japan in 1954.
Last Major Revision: Mar 2021
Tang Enbo Interactive Map
Tang Enbo Timeline
|20 Sep 1899Â||Tang Keqin was born in Wuyi, Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, Qing Dynasty China.|
|13 Jan 1934Â||Tang Enbo's 10th Column captured Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China from communist forces.|
|15 Feb 1945Â||Tang Enbo was promoted to the rank of general.|
|7 Sep 1945Â||General Tang Enbo arrived in Shanghai, China with the mission to ensure peace, stability, and Nationalist control in the Nanjing-Shanghai region.|
|28 May 1946Â||Tang Enbo was made the commanding officer of the Capital Garrison.|
|29 Jun 1946Â||Tang Enbo was named the deputy commanding officer of the Army.|
|16 Aug 1947Â||Tang Enbo was relieved of duty as the commanding officer of the Capital Garrison.|
|1 Dec 1948Â||Tang Enbo was made the commanding officer of the Nanjing-Shanghai-Hangzhou Garrison by Chiang Kaishek.|
|18 Jan 1949Â||The Chinese Ministry Of National Defense, by orders of Chiang Kaishek, dropped Tang Enbo's other responsibilities thus concentrating his attention on his position as the commanding officer of the Nanjing-Shanghai-Hangzhou Garrison, merged the training-logistics commands of Quzhou into that command in Fuzhou with Zhu Shaoliang as its chief, named Zhang Qun as the chief of the Chongqing training-logistics command, named Yu Hanmou as the chief of the Guangzhou training-logistics command thus concentrating Song Ziwen's attention on his position as the Chairman of the Guangdong Provincial Government, and upgraded the Taiwan Garrison with Chen Cheng as its chief and Peng Mengji as its deputy.|
|31 Jan 1949Â||Tang Enbo, commander of the Nanjing-Shanghai-Hangzhou Garrison, announced that his forces would hold the communist forces north of the Yangtze River.|
|19 Mar 1949Â||Tang Enbo arrived at Xikou, Zhejiang Province, China.|
|6 May 1949Â||Tang Enbo named Mao Sen the commanding officer of the Southeast People's Anti-Communist Salvation Army, with responsibility of coordinating military and guerrilla actions in the region. On the same day, he secretly embezzled US$50,000 of military funding and transferred the amount to a friend's US-based bank account.|
|8 May 1949Â||Tang Enbo informed the US Consul General in Shanghai, China that three communist divisions were getting into their positions to attack Shanghai, and a successful defense was not certain.|
|18 May 1949Â||Tang Enbo successfully transported 200,000 taels (about 200 kilograms) of government gold from Shanghai, China to Taiwan.|
|14 Sep 1949Â||Tang Enbo was made the commander of the Fuzhou training-logistics command.|
|7 Oct 1949Â||Chiang Kaishek arrived in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China and met with several Army generals at Tang Enbo's residence.|
|16 Oct 1949Â||Tang Enbo relocated his headquarters from Xiamen, Fujian Province, China to Kinmen (Quemoy) island 10 kilometers east of Xiamen. Later on the same day, Chiang Kaishek sent Tang an urgent cable, ordering that Kinmen cannot be lost to the communists.|
|2 Feb 1950Â||Reuters reported incorrectly that Chiang Kaishek had purchased of a luxurious mansion outside of Tokyo, Japan. It was later found out to be a purchase made by Tang Enbo, with embezzled money.|
|29 Jun 1954Â||Tang Enbo passed away at the Keio University Hospital in Tokyo, Japan from stomach cancer.|
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944
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