|Died||1 Jan 1940|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseBie Tingfang was born into a poor peasant family in Neixiang County, Nanyang, Henan, China. He joined a bandit group after his family was persecuted by the local warlord, and soon earned a reputation as a man who was willing to help the poor. He obtained financial support of a superstitious local warlord after an episode of deceit (staging a mock exorcism ceremony to rid for the warlord haunting ghost of his concubine), which allowed Bie to purchase repeating rifles and other modern weapons. With a more advanced force, he persuaded various smaller local warlords to join him, including those who persecuted his family previously, thus making him a formidable warlord in the Henan province in his own right. His stern anti-communism stance also wiped out the possibility of Chinese communists establishing a foothold in Henan. The strength of his forces, in addition to the anti-communism stance, made him an influential neutral power during the 1930s Central Plains War in China.
ww2dbaseAs the Second Sino-Japanese War began in Jul 1937, Bie joined the Nationalist Chinese forces in the following year as the commandant of the Self-Defense Army, a militia force consisted largely of his own men, in the Henan 6th District. He was given the rank of lieutenant general. Even during the war against Japan, Chiang Kaishek was worried that Bie would become too powerful and would one day oppose him, thus Chiang turned on Bie. Bie's forces put up a stubborn defense against Chiang's invasion, defeating Chiang's forces regularly until finally being defeated in 1939. After being removed from the Nationalist Party, he became the leader of a local anti-Japanese resistance group in the Hubei-Henan-Anhui border area, surprisingly changing his position to cooperate with Chinese communists in order to fight the Japanese.
ww2dbaseBie died of disease in 1940.
Last Major Revision: Feb 2009
Bie Tingfang Timeline
|1 Jan 1883||Tingfang Bie was born.|
|1 Jan 1940||Tingfang Bie passed away.|
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Winston Churchill, 1935