Ho (He Long) was born in Hunan province, China,
to to a tailor. He became a bandit leader in 1916 but joined the Kuomintang in 1920. He commanded a
division under Chang Fa-kuei
during the Northern Expedition of 1926-1928. When the Communist wing of the
Kuomintang at Wuhan broke with Chiang
Kai-shek, Ho sided
with the Communists, and he participated in the Nanchang insurrection of August
1927. He organized 2 Red Army in the Honan-Hupei border region in
1928-1935. When Mao's Kiangsi
Soviet collapsed in 1934, leading to the Long March, Ho joined his
force with 6 Red Army to form the western wing of the Long March. He
subsequently became commander of 120 Division,
which participated in the Hundred Regiments Offensive of 1940.
During the Pacific war, Ho's 120 Division grew steadily in strength as it infiltrated unoccupied areas behind Japanese lines. By the time the war ended, his division was allegedly the size of an army group and controlled much of northwest China. It protected the main Communist base areas during the subsequent civil war, serving essentially as a garrison and training command. Ho became one of the ten marshalls of the People's Liberation Army and a Politburo. However, Chou En-lai was unsuccessful at protecting him during the Cultural Revolution, and Ho died from deliberate medical malpractice in August 1967 while under house arrest.
Ho was a charismatic leader with an excellent memory who taught himself to read by memorizing entire texts.
||Born in Hunan province
||Commander, 2 Red Army
||Commander, 120 Division
Dupuy et.al. (1992)
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia (c) 2007-2008 by Kent G. Budge. Index