|Du Yuming - 杜聿明|
|First||Name: Du Yuming|
|Second||Position: Lieutenant General|
|Fourth||Allegiance: Republic of China - Kuomintang|
|Fifth||Born: 28 November 1904|
|Sixth||Died: 7 May 1981 (aged 77)|
Du Yuming (Chinese: 杜聿明; pinyin: Dù Yùmíng; 1904–1981) was a Kuomintang field commander active in the Sino-Japanese War theatre of World War II and in the Chinese Civil War from 1945 to 1949.
Du was born in Xikou, a town approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of downtown Ningbo, in Fenghua, Zhejiang. However, his ancestral home, a concept important in Chinese society, was the town of Heqiao (和橋鎮) in Yixing, Jiangsu, approximately 38 km (24 mi) southwest of downtown Wuxi, and 10 km (6.2 mi) from the shores of Lake Tai.
Du's father, Jiang Zhaocong (蔣肇聰), and mother, Wang Caiyu (王采玉), were members of an upper-middle to upper-class family of salt merchants. Du's father died when he was only eight years of age, and he wrote of his mother as the "embodiment of Confucian virtues".
A trusted protégé of Chiang Kai-shek, Du was a graduate of the first cadet class at the Whampoa Military Academy. During the Northern Expedition (1926–1928), Du was the Chief of Staff of the National Revolutionary Army and was credited with many victories over the northern warlords, often using speed, maneuver and surprise to defeat larger enemy forces.
He led the Eastern Route Army which conquered Hangzhou and Shanghai in 1927. As garrison commander of Shanghai, Du also took part in the purge of Communist elements of the National Revolutionary Army on April 4, 1927 and of the labor unions in Shanghai.
Du also commanded the forward units which first entered Beijing and was credited with being the senior commander on site to complete the Northern Expedition. For many of his battlefield exploits during the Northern expedition, he was given the laudatory nickname Xiao Zhuge, literally meaning "little Zhuge Liang," of the Three Kingdoms fame.
During World War II, he commanded the same 5th Corps or Nationalist Fifth Army in the Battle of Yunnan-Burma Road from mid March to early June 1942, during the Burma Campaign under Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell. When the British Army collapsed and abandoned their Chinese saviours to their fate, Du was forced to order a hastily planned withdrawal that resulted in the loss of 50,000 Chinese soldiers.
Yet, Du was also criticized for dismissing General Sun Li-Jen's advice that the route back to China is hazardous and should instead retreat with the British to India. Most men that followed Du Died in the Burmese jungle of tropical disease and starvation or were killed by the Axis forces. On the other hand, Sun's army retreated in an orderly fashion into India.
After the war, Du helped strengthen the Nationalist position in the Southwest by removing Long Yun, the local warlord of Yunnan Province in October 1945. Du was then transferred to the Northeast Theatre to consolidate Kuomintang control. For most of the Civil War, he served as a field commander in Manchuria and Eastern China.
Toward the end of the struggles against the communists, Du correctly guessed that Major General Guo Rugui (郭汝瑰), one of Chiang's most trusted staff officers, was a communist agent but the only evidence he came up with was that unlike most corrupted nationalist cadres and officers, the suspected communist spy was clean. Obviously, this was not a good reason and Chiang was enraged when Du presented his view, because Chiang interpreted such reason would imply that all of the nationalists were corrupted, and only the communists were clean, not mentioning the fact that Du's wife was once a communist herself.
Du was captured during the Huaihai Campaign and held in prison until his pardon in 1959, after which he was rewarded a high-ranking position in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, reportedly because the Chinese government wanted to convince his son-in-law Yang Zhenning, a Nobel laureate in physics, to return to China. The communist agent Du correctly suspected was also in the same political organization and the two became friends.