|Born||19 Nov 1890|
|Died||22 Sep 1964|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseYu Xuezhong was born to military officer Yu Wenfu in Penglai County, Shandong Province, Qing Dynasty China in 1890. In 1894, his father took in future warlord Zhang Zuolin under his tutelage and gave Zhang a junior officer rank, which would solidify Yu's connection to the Zhang family. In 1908, Yu passed the examination to enter the infantry school in Tongzhou, Jiangsu Province China, graduating at the top of his class in 1911. He was assigned to the Beiyang Army as a platoon leader, and was quickly promoted to company commander. When the Qing was overthrown by the Republic in 1911, Beiyang Army pledged allegiance to the Republic, and Yu followed. In Jun 1914, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In Aug 1917, after Beiyang leader Yuan Shikai's death, he was made an artillery officer in the 18th Mixed Brigade based in Xiangyang, Hubei Province, China, under Warlord Wu Peifu's influence. In the summer of 1920, during the Zhili-Anhui War, he contributed to Wu's conquest of Yichang, Hubei Province. In the fall of 1921, his stubborn defense of Yichang during an assault by the Sichuan Faction, despite fellow officers' abandonment of the city, gave Wu enough time to gather reinforcement to drive back the attackers; this led to him being promoted to the 2nd Infantry Regiment in the 18th Mixed Brigade, personally recommended by Wu. In late 1922, he led troops in the war between the Nationalists and Warlord Liu Xiang, on the side of the Nationalists. In Sep 1923, after the coalition's successful conquest of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. In late 1923, Zhao Ronghua's inability to hold Yichang led to Zhao's demotion, and Yu was promoted to lead the 18th Mixed Brigade. In Oct 1925, the 18th Mixed Brigade was reorganized as the 26th Division of the Fourteen Provinces Coalition, with Yu as its commanding officer with headquarters at Enshi in Hubei Province. In 1926, during the Northern Expedition, he as the deputy commanding officer in the Upper Yangtze River region fought against the Nationalists. In the winter of 1926, he was made the commanding officer of the 9th Army of the Fourteen Provinces Coalition, with a concurrent role as the head of the Jingzhou-Xiangyang Flank Command. His forces were annihilated by the Nationalists in Jun 1927. Disgraced, he returnd to his home town of Penglai. His stay at home would not be long, as he was soon recruited to join warlord Zhang Zuolin - the young officer the Yu's father had favored in 1894 - based in northeastern China as the commanding general of Zhang's 20th Army. In 1928, he was made the commanding officer of Zhang's 1st Army. Zhang Zuolin was assassinated by the Japanese in Jun 1928, and he remained with the successor, Zhang Xueliang, Zhang Zuolin's son. Later in 1928, he was made the Chairman of the Gansu Provincial Government. Between Jul and Dec 1929, Yu participated in the Zhongdong Railway Incident, an armed incident between China and the Soviet Union; in Jan 1930, for his achievements during the incident, he was awarded the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun alongside with Zhang Xueliang. In Sep 1930, he led the troops of the 1st Army into Beiping, China, and he was made the head of the Beijing-Tianjin Garrison by Zhang, with concurrent role as the Chairman of the Hebei Provincial Government. In 1931, he was made the commanding officer of the Nationalist 1st Group Army. In Aug 1932, while still the commander of Nationalist 1st Group Army, he was given command of the 51st Army (previously Zhang's Northeastern 1st Army). In Apr 1935, he was promoted to the rank of General 2nd Class. In Nov 1935, he was made the commander of the Shaanxi-Gansu Anti-Communist Headquarters. In Nov 1935, he was made the Chairman of the Gansu Provincial Government and was elected an executive member of the 5th Central Committee of the Nationalist Party. In Dec 1935, he was made the commander of the Northwestern Anti-Communist 2nd Route Army. In Dec 1936, he sided with Zhang Xueliang during the Xi'an Incident during which Zhang attempted to kidnap Chiang Kaishek in order to persuade him to pause anti-Communist efforts in order to focus on defenses against the Japanese.
ww2dbaseYu was still the commander of the 51st Army when WW2 broke out in 1937, with the 51st Army's headquarter having recently been relocated from Anhui Province to Jiangsu Province in May 1937. He was soon given the responsibility as the deputy of the 3rd Group Army for the defense of the Jiangsu-Shandong coastal region. In Jan 1938, he was made the commanding officer of the 3rd Group Army, in which role he participated in Battle of Tai'erzhuang, Battle of Xuzhou, and Battle of Wuhan. In Jan 1939, he was made the commanding officer of the Jiangsu-Shandong War Area, which oversaw the 51st and 57th Armies. In late 1941, he was made the Chairman of the Shandong Provincial Government. In May 1941, he was named the commanding officer of guerrilla forces in southern Shandong. In Mar 1944, he shed his military roles, and was made the deputy of the Military Advisory Council of the Nationalist Central government. In May 1945, he was elected to the 6th Central Executive Committee of the Nationalist Party.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, in Apr 1946, Yu was elected to National Assembly. He ostensibly retired from political service in Jan 1949 and moved to Sichuan Province, China. In actuality, having lost trust in Chiang Kaishek since Zhang Xueliang's failed Xi'an Incident, he had been plotting with other Nationalist Party members who had intentions of betraying Chiang; this secretive group later became the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Nationalist Party, a nominal political party in Communist China. After the communists declared victory later that year, Yu was rewarded with the position of a committee member of Hebei Province in Dec 1952. He was made a committee member of People's First Political Consultative Conference in Aug 1954, and then a committee member of the National Defense Committee in Sep 1954. In Feb 1955, he was made a committee member of the Hebei Provincial People's Representative Committee. In 1956, he was elected a committee member of Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang's 3rd Conference. He passed away in Beijing, China in Sep 1964.
Last Major Revision: May 2021
Yu Xuezhong Timeline
|19 Nov 1890||Yu Xuezhong was born in Penglai County, Shandong, China.|
|12 May 1937||Yu Xuezhong relocated the headquarters of the 51st Army from Anhui Province to Jiangsu Province, China.|
|22 Sep 1964||Yu Xuezhong passed away in Beijing, China.|
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944
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