1949, the secret war behind the founding ceremony
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In June 1949, Luo Ruiqing clearly felt the pressure increase.
One day in early June, Zhou Enlai summoned Luo Ruiqing to Beijing and told him in person that the central government wanted him to be the head of public security of the incoming Central People's Government.
Luo Ruiqing's identity at that time was director of the Political Department of the North China Military Region, political commissar of the 19th Corps, and first deputy secretary of the Taiyuan Front General Front Committee. He had just finished commanding the Taiyuan Campaign and was preparing to plunge into the next battle.
Hearing this appointment, Luo Ruiqing was actually reluctant to accept it - he wanted to go to the front to fight. Therefore, Luo Ruiqing recommended Li Kenong, then minister of the Central Social Department, to Zhou Enlai. But Zhou Enlai pushed him back with a word:
"Li Kenong has Li Kenong's arrangement, so you don't have to negotiate the price."
That evening, Mao Zedong summoned Luo Ruiqing again and again offered him to become minister of public security. Luo Ruiqing knew that the matter had come to this, and he could only put away his heart to go to the front line to fight. He accepted the appointment on the spot and assured Mao Zedong:
"Resolutely obey the decision of the central authorities! Be sure to be a good guard for the chairman and the head of the Central Committee! ”
But Mao Zedong waved his hand to deny his statement:
"You want to be a good guard of the nascent nation!"
Luo Ruiqing knew the weight of Mao Zedong's words, especially the four words "new country", which suddenly made him feel a heavy responsibility - he knew that there was a most important task at the moment:
Ensure the safety of the founding ceremony.
That is, in June 1949, the preparatory meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference decided that the founding ceremony of the People's Republic of China would be held on October 1, accompanied by a military parade and mass procession.
Zhou Enlai issued a "death order" for this reason: the all-round security of the founding ceremony must be guaranteed.
As the future minister of public security, Luo Ruiqing is the first person responsible.
Luo Ruiqing, a native of Nanchong, Sichuan, is a founding general. He has successively served as Minister of Public Security, Vice Premier of the State Council, Secretary-General of the Central Military Commission, Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, Secretary of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission, and Director of the Office of the National Defense Industry. They were treated unfairly during the Cultural Revolution. He died on August 3, 1978, at the age of 72.
The reason why Zhou Enlai wants to emphasize so much is indeed reasonable.
On January 31, 1949, the 250,000 Kuomintang defenders led by Fu Zuoyi withdrew from Beiping as agreed, the People's Liberation Army entered the city, and Beiping was peacefully liberated.
On January 31, 1949, the People's Liberation Army entered Peiping
But it was only the regular Kuomintang troops who withdrew from the city.
As the center of the Kuomintang government's rule in North China, Peiping has always been a city of storms and clouds, and a place of undercurrents. According to the materials available at that time, the total number of various enemies left by the Kuomintang in Beijing was close to 20,000.
And the first task received by these 20,000 "lurking" enemy agents is:
At all costs, sabotage the founding ceremony.
To this end, the CPC Central Committee specially transferred some units of the Fourth Field Army to the south, the Central Guard Regiment and the Beiping Picket Brigade to form a public security force to protect the security of Beiping, especially the security of the founding ceremony.
Luo Ruiqing, who felt a heavy responsibility because of the enemy's darkness, immediately formed a "plainclothes police brigade" of 600 people and spread it to all corners of Beiping City, trying to nip the enemy's sabotage in the bud.
With the efforts of all aspects of the public security forces, a group of long-planned sabotage actions organized by the Kuomintang underground secret agents began to slowly surface.
Seeing those uncovered attempted cases, Luo Ruiqing felt both relieved and afraid:
On September 14, the Peking Asia Hotel (now Qianmen Jianguo Hotel), which was responsible for receiving representatives from all parties attending the founding ceremony, caught a vegetable farmer who had come to deliver vegetables. At that time, he had been allowed to go, but because a sentry found that the vegetable farmer's arms exposed when he raised his hand to wipe his sweat were very white and tender, he was suspicious, and after interrogation, this vegetable farmer was Wu Ruijin, a Kuomintang agent lurking in Peiping, who was carrying a time bomb and preparing to blow up the Asian Hotel;
In late September, Liu Shuohu, platoon commander of the Second Regiment of the First Public Security Division, was patrolling in plainclothes when he found a "Pegasus" brand cigarette butt on the ground, and because this cigarette could not be smoked by anyone at that time, Liu Shuohu squatted for five days and caught a man who was drawing a map at the time, and after examination was Wang Yicai, a hidden Kuomintang agent, whose purpose in drawing the map was to prepare to explode Mao Zedong's convoy on October 1;
On September 30, Mao Zedong's guard An Kewen and a few guards were on a routine patrol on the upper floor of Tiananmen Square, smelling a choking smell of gunpowder and quickly searched along the smell, and found an explosive bag hidden on the city tower, and a fuse of tens of meters was placed under the city wall under the city root, and the lead had been ignited at that time.
Similar cases have been solved in a number of cases. A few months before the National Day, the public security team led by Luo Ruiqing carried out a dragnet cleanup of every street and hutong in Beipingcheng, capturing more than 3,000 Kuomintang hidden agents of various kinds, and seizing a large number of guns and ammunition.
Although the prevention work has done its best, Luo Ruiqing's heart is still very unsteady:
"Dark arrows" can be cleaned up, but what if the Kuomintang puts "open guns"?
In the month before the founding ceremony, Nie Rongzhen couldn't sleep well almost every night.
Before June 1949, Nie Rongzhen was the deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and the commander of the North China Military Region and the Pingjin Garrison. But after the preparatory meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in June, he added another title that made him feel the most stressed:
Commander-in-chief of the military parade at the founding ceremony.
This appointment was unanimously made by Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Zhu De. They believe that this position is none other than Nie Rongzhen.
Why? A very important reason is that Nie Rongzhen has always paid great attention to the military appearance and discipline of the troops since he started by himself. The officers and men of the troops under his command, even if their uniforms are old, are always clean and tidy.
Nie Rongzhen is a native of Jiangjin, Chongqing. Founding Marshal. He has successively served as secretary general of the Central Military Commission and acting chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, vice chairman of the National Defense Commission, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, vice premier of the State Council, director of the State Science and Technology Commission, and director of the National Defense Science and Technology Commission.
But what made Nie Rongzhen feel the most pressure was not the military posture drill of the parade.
Of course, as the first military parade of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese People's Liberation Army must show its military appearance and military posture under the gaze of the whole country and even the world, and the pressure is not small. Nie Rongzhen himself proposed:
"What if the war horse falls? What if the armored car does not move? Isn't the whole parade out of order? ”
However, after all, these possibilities can be minimized through various rehearsals and measures.
What made Nie Rongzhen feel the most stressed was something that seemed uncontrollable.
On September 2, 1949, only a month after leaving the National Congress ceremony, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi and other central leaders finally decided to set the parade in Tiananmen Square.
Before that, there is another candidate: Xiyuan Airport.
On March 23, 1949, the organs of the CPC Central Committee and the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army moved from Xibaipo to Beiping. On March 25, a grand military parade was held at Peiping Xiyuan Airport.
These two candidate sites have their pros and cons:
Xiyuan Airport has successfully held military parades before, but it is located in the suburbs, and the people visiting the parade are inaccessible, and the conditions for the parade are relatively simple.
Tiananmen Square is located in the center of Peiping, with excellent transportation and complete facilities, but Chang'an Avenue is relatively narrow, and the number of parade troops that can be carried out at the same time is limited.
The most important point is that Tiananmen Square is located in a bustling commercial area, when hundreds of thousands of people gather again, and if Kuomintang planes come to bomb, it will be quite difficult to evacuate. The evacuation of Xiyuan Airport is relatively convenient.
The Kuomintang Air Force is going to bomb Tiananmen Square at the founding ceremony?
This seemingly bizarre thing proved to be almost a sure thing because of various conclusive intelligence reports.
It is said that he even got Chiang Kai-shek's original words:
"You must have heard the explosion in Tiananmen Square on October 1."
This was the one thing Nie Rongzhen felt most stressed about.
Nie Rongzhen's concern, of course, is also justified.
On the afternoon of May 4, 1949, six Kuomintang Air Force B-24 bombers took off from Qingdao and raided the sky over Beiping Nanyuan Airport, dropping a total of 30 bombs, causing the PLA to lose 4 aircraft, kill and wound 24 people, and blow up 196 houses.
This air attack also proved that the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force at that time was still in its infancy, and the air defense system in Peiping was not perfect, and it was difficult to warn and prevent air attacks by the Kuomintang Air Force.
What if the founding ceremony was bombed by the Kuomintang Air Force?
To this end, Nie Rongzhen and the relevant departments racked their brains and tried to think of two methods first.
First, put the time of the founding ceremony until 3 p.m.
Generally speaking, ceremonies and military parades in various countries are held in the morning, but Nie Rongzhen proposed to put it in the afternoon, also out of helplessness:
The bomber used by the Kuomintang Air Force for air raids was an American-made B-24 bomber with a speed of 488 kilometers per hour and a maximum range of 3,380 kilometers. The Kuomintang Air Force airfield in the Zhoushan Islands of Zhejiang Province at the time was 1,230 kilometers from Beijing, and it took about three hours for the B-24 to fly over Peiping.
However, one of the biggest problems with the B-24 is "night blindness." Once it gets dark, the B-24's flight and takeoff and landing pose significant safety risks.
Therefore, if the founding ceremony is held at 3 p.m., even if the B-24 bomber group of the Kuomintang Air Force will fly over Peiping by then, it will face major safety risks when they return, which will make the Kuomintang Air Force fearful.
However, this can only be said to be a link in "prevention", once the Kuomintang Air Force really flies over Peiping, what to do?
The military parade of the founding ceremony of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949 was the only military parade held in the afternoon in the past of the People's Republic of China.
As a result, there was a second measure: to allow PLA fighters participating in the parade to be "bombed" for review.
In the history of military parades around the world, it is unheard of for the air force to "carry a bomb" into battle, but in order to prevent air strikes by the Kuomintang air force, it is also a helpless move.
According to the deployment, of the 17 planes flying over Tiananmen Square at the parade, four will carry live ammunition: two are American P51 Mustang fighters and two are British Mosquito bombers. The four aircraft will each be armed with several 12.7mm machine guns, each carrying 1,800 rounds of machine gun ammunition.
In the event of encountering the Kuomintang Air Force on the day of the parade, the four fighters participating in the parade will be directly in the air to intercept the battle.
It is worth mentioning that Yan Lei and Zhao Dahai, who flew the P-51 Mustang fighter, and Deng Zhongqing and Wang Yuke, the pilots of the Mosquito bomber, all four came from the Kuomintang Air Force - either developed underground communists or insurgents.
On an important occasion such as the founding ceremony, handing over four fighters with bombs to four former Kuomintang Air Force pilots also requires sufficient courage and mind.
At 10 a.m. on October 1, 1949, Xinhua Radio in Beijing (changed from "Peiping" to "Beijing" after September 27) broadcast a message to the world:
"The inauguration ceremony of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China will be held at 3 p.m. today in Beijing's Tiananmen Square."
The Central People's Government only issued an official announcement five hours in advance, also out of the need for security protection.
At 3 p.m., on the upper floor of Tiananmen Square, Lin Boqu, secretary general of the Central People's Government Committee, announced the start of the ceremony, after which Mao Zedong solemnly declared to the world:
"The Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China was established today!"
In the melody of the "March of the Volunteers", Mao Zedong pressed the electric button, and the first five-star red flag of New China was raised. The audience stood solemnly and saluted the national flag. On the square, fifty-four salutes rang out in unison, and twenty-eight were fired.
Mao Zedong was speaking at the founding ceremony
When the crowd in the square was excited, Luo Ruiqing's pressure also reached its peak - this is the most critical moment to review the results of security work in months. No prepared and unexpected episodes can happen.
In the middle of the ceremony, Luo Ruiqing received a call from the security staff: a woman wanted to forcibly break in through the entrance of the Working People's Cultural Palace that led directly to the Tiananmen observation platform, but she did not have any documents, just said, "I am the director of the Zhongnanhai office, I want to go to the chairman!" ”
After Luo Ruiqing learned the identity of the woman, he still resolutely answered four words:
"Do things by the rules!"
The woman who was still blocked from the door in the end was named Jiang Qing.
Zhu De was the commander-in-chief of the parade at the founding ceremony
And at this moment, the pressure is not less than Luo Ruiqing, it is Nie Rongzhen, the commander-in-chief of the parade.
While the founding ceremony was underway, Nie Rongzhen paid attention to the reports of air defense sirens along the way from Zhejiang to Beijing, and the reports he received were:
No traces of enemy aircraft were found.
At 4:35 p.m., the aerial parade of the founding ceremony began.
At that time, almost all of the belongings of the People's Liberation Army Air Force - 17 planes of various types flew over Tiananmen Square in a neat formation, and the 300,000 people from all walks of life on the square cheered.
After passing through Tiananmen Square (of which the P51 Mustang passed twice), two P51 Mustang fighters and two Mosquito fighters immediately rose to an altitude of more than 3,500 meters and hovered over the outlying areas of Tongxian, Daxing and Liangxiang in southeast Beijing. And the anti-aircraft artillery positions around Beijing are also in full swing.
At that time, because the People's Liberation Army's air force could only piece together a total of 17 aircraft to participate in the parade (including transport aircraft and trainer aircraft), Zhou Enlai had no choice but to come up with an idea: 9 P51 "Mustang" fighters flew for the first time, and then "turned around" and followed the queue behind to fly again. So at that time, many people thought that there were 26 warplanes flying over Tiananmen Square that day.
Time passes minute by minute.
The weather over Beijing was clear, and there was no shadow of the Kuomintang Air Force from beginning to end.
Could it be that Chiang Kai-shek gave up?
At noon on October 1, 1949, Chen Jitang Mansion, No. 32, Meihua Village, Dongshan, Guangzhou.
After the defeat of the Kuomintang troops to Guangzhou, it became Chiang Kai-shek's residence.
On this day, Chiang Kai-shek paced back and forth in the mansion, fidgeting.
Every once in a while, the phone in the room rings. It was from Zhou Zhirou, commander of the Kuomintang Air Force:
"Headmaster, if we don't give the order to take off, our plane won't arrive on time!"
Zhou Zhirou constantly urged Chiang Kai-shek on the phone, but Chiang Kai-shek was never able to make up his mind.
Sending the Air Force to bomb Tiananmen Square on the day of the founding ceremony was Chiang Kai-shek's own idea, and he personally arranged it for Zhou Zhirou. To this end, Zhou Zhirou also made careful arrangements and planning.
But at the last moment, Chiang Kai-shek himself hesitated.
The objective facts are actually in front of him, and Chiang Kai-shek himself knows it in his heart:
Bombing Tiananmen Square, what can you get except for a breath of evil?
Will it be possible to regain the world? What if the Forbidden City, which is adjacent to Tiananmen Square, is also blown up? What will the Americans think of this operation? The most important thing is, how will hundreds of millions of ordinary people in China view you Chiang Kai-shek from now on?
Zhou Zhirou urged the phone to ring for the last time.
Chiang Kai-shek picked up the microphone and said four words:
Zhou Zhirou on the other end of the phone couldn't believe it:
"Headmaster! Please think again! We are well prepared! Definitely gets the job done! ”
Chiang Kai-shek repeated again and hung up the phone.
Outside the window, the midday sun in Guangzhou is dazzling, and the day has just passed halfway.
But Chiang Kai-shek himself knew that an old era had passed.
After retreating to Taiwan, he went to Chiang Kai-shek
The main reference sources of this article:
1. "Secret Guard Operations Behind the Scenes of the Founding Ceremony-Interview with Wu Lie, Former Advisor of the Beijing Military Region" (Sun Guo, "Party History Bocai (Documentary)", Issue 01, 2005)
2. "The Secret Guard of the Founding Ceremony" (Yao Yuan, "Inheritance", Issue 19, 2009)
3. "Defending the Founding Ceremony" (Mu Yumin, "Archives Spring and Autumn", Issue 10, 2009)
4. "The Eagle Spreads Its Wings - Deciphering the Story Behind the Flight Parade at the Founding Ceremony" (Zhang Ziying, Anhui Literature, Issue 10, 2017)
5. "Why Chiang Kai-shek Gave Up the Air Raid on Tiananmen Square and the Founding Ceremony" (Hu Da, Literature and History Expo, No. 10, 2004)
6. "Do you know the details behind the founding ceremony?" (WeChat public account "Communist Youth League Central Committee", September 16, 2019)