The Red Army Resists America

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At noon on Oct. 4, 1950, I was told to leave for Beijing without the slightest delay. The Party Central Committee was holding a meeting to discuss the dispatch of troops to aid Korea. The United States occupation of Korea, separated from China by only a river, would threaten northeast China. The tiger wanted to eat human beings; when it would do so would depend on its appetite. After listening to other comrades, I said, It is necessary to dispatch troops to aid Korea... The U.S. will find a pretext at any time to invade China if its troops are poised on the bank of the Yalu River. At dusk on Oct. 18, I crossed the Yalu River with vanguard units of the Chinese People's Volunteers. On the morning of Oct. 21, a division of our 40th Army encountered [South Korean President] Syngman Rhee's puppet troops. Our troops displayed characteristic flexibility and mobility and wiped out some Syngman Rhee units, forcing the pursuing U.S. and puppet troops to retreat. In mid-November, Douglas MacArthur, commander-in-chief of the United Nations Forces, came over on a reconnaissance flight. His attack came around Nov. 20. Our main force swept into the enemy ranks with the strength of an avalanche and engaged the enemy at close quarters with grenades and bayonets. The superior firepower of the enemy became useless. The enemy troops fled south in panic, abandoning Pyongyang and falling back on the 38th parallel. This campaign laid the foundation of victory in the War to Resist U.S. Aggression. The last battle in which our forces stormed enemy defenses took place in late July 1953. This victory forced Mark W. Clark, commander-in-chief of the enemy's Allied Forces, to request the armistice agreement be signed without delay. Fighting together for three years, the Chinese People's Volunteers and the Korean people and Korean People's Army built up a militant friendship sealed in blood. Long March veteran Peng Dehuai (1898-1974) commanded the Chinese soldiers who fought with North Korea against U.N. and South Korean forces. This is excerpted with permission from Memoirs of a Chinese Marshal