In the Spring Festival of 2019, in an ordinary house in Jinan, Shandong, 55-year-old Xu Jian burned incense and paper for his ancestors according to customs to pay tribute to his grandfather Xu Guozhang.
Xu Guozhang, a general of the Sichuan Army, was born in 1898 in Chengdu, Sichuan. In his early years, he joined the Sichuan Army. After the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, Xu Guozhang served as the commander of the 25th Regiment of the 9th Brigade of the 3rd Division. Later, he went out to Sichuan with the 29th Group Army to resist the Japanese and served as the brigade commander of the 483rd Brigade of the 67th Army.
Spreading out the map, the fingertips started from Sichuan and crossed all the way through Huangmei, Edong, Jingshan, Zhongshan, Dahongshan... This was the route of Xu Guozhang's battle.
In June 1938, the Japanese army invading China traced the Yangtze River to the west of the Yangtze River, with more than 250,000 troops, more than 120 ships of various types and more than 300 aircraft, and divided troops from the north and south of the Yangtze River into Wuhan. The Chinese army, centered on Wuhan and the surrounding areas, launched a large-scale battle against the Japanese invading forces. The Battle of Wuhan was the longest, largest, longest-lasting and of great significance since the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. With great sacrifices, the Chinese army bought time for a large number of factories and people to move westward, forcing the Japanese army to change from strategic offensive to strategic stalemate due to the lengthening of the front line and the limitation of national strength, and the dream of "quick battle and quick decision" was completely shattered.
Xu Guozhang led his troops to participate in the Battle of Huang (Mei) Guang (Ji) and was ordered to block the Japanese army south of Huang Mei and hold their positions for a month. In October, Xu Guozhang led his troops to cover the transfer of the main force in the theater and severely damaged the Japanese army in the Battle of shangba River in eastern Hubei. In the autumn of the same year, Xu Guozhang led his troops into Jingshan, Zhongshan, Dahongshan and other places, and fought against the Japanese army many times. In 1941, he was promoted to deputy commander of the 150th Division of the 67th Army, and the following year he was promoted to division commander.
In November 1943, in order to contain our counterattack in western Yunnan, the Japanese invading Japanese army dispatched more than 100,000 people and more than 130 aircraft to carry out fierce bombardment of the Changde defenders, and cast poison gas bombs and incendiary bombs, launching countless white-bladed charges. The 57th Division fought hard with the enemy for 16 days and nights, with more than 9,000 officers and men in the division, and less than 100 survivors!
Xu Guozhang led the 150th Division in an ambush and captured a military leather bag containing a military map of one in 50,000. The map shows that the Japanese army is about to launch a new offensive, and its main attack arrow is directed at Changde! This provides important information for war preparations.
By late November, the Japanese had approached Changde and Taoyuan from the northwest and northeast. The task of blocking the enemy forces in the northwest fell to the shoulders of the 29th Army. Xu Guozhang's 150th Division was ordered to occupy Sun Mountain north of Changde. As long as the Sun Mountain and the neighboring Taifu Mountain were occupied, the Japanese army could not gain a foothold in Changde.
Previously, the 150th Division had been blocking the enemy on the front line of Nanxian and Anxiang for more than 20 days, and had already suffered heavy casualties. When they reached the shore of Lishui, the enemy on the front of Tsu City on the right had crossed the Lishui River and intercepted the 150th Division! Xu Guozhang immediately made a decision, divided his troops and advanced quickly, and led the soldiers of the division headquarters and two companies to follow suit. Unexpectedly, after the Japanese army learned that the front was the headquarters of the 150th Division, it quickly inserted itself between the main force of the division and the division headquarters, and attacked the enemy who was chasing after the tail on both sides. Xu Guozhang led his troops and fought and walked, retreating to the town of Xiashi, which was about ten kilometers west of Changde. The enemy pursued the town on three sides at dusk.
The town is built next to the river, facing the enemy on three sides and facing the river on the other. At the last moment, Xu Guozhang ordered the destruction of the radio and the code, and all the divisional personnel raised their guns to the battlefield. After a shell exploded, Xu Guozhang fell to the ground... The officers and men mistakenly thought that the division commander was dead, and asked two fishermen to drive the "body" of the division commander to the south bank in a boat.
The next morning, Commander Xu gradually woke up and asked about it, only to learn that the city had been occupied by the enemy and that he had been carried across the south bank after being wounded. Xu Guozhang, who was dying, suddenly struggled and said loudly intermittently, "I... I'm a soldier and should... Die on the battlefield! You carried me across the river, and you hurt me!" The sky was not yet bright, a gunshot rang out, and Xu Guozhang committed suicide with the pistol of the guard. He was later promoted to lieutenant general by the Nationalist government.
After Xu Guozhang's martyrdom, his body was sent back to his hometown of Chengdu, where the sculptor Liu Kaiqu commemorated his statue, standing with the statues of Liu Xiang, Li Jiayu and Wang Mingzhang in Chengdu's Shaocheng Park, known as the Statue of the Four Generals.
"I went out of Sichuan to resist the war, and I have promised the country!" This is what Xu Guozhang said to his family before he left for the Anti-Japanese War, when he left Sichuan, his son was only 7 years old and had never seen his father again.
Li JiYun, Emperor Zongzhang. Zhang is a sacred ceremonial instrument for the Chinese nation to send its soul. The soul of the Chinese nation has never bowed its head. (Xinhua News Agency, Chengdu, February 25, reporter Xie Ling)