Pingjin Campaign , known as the Battle of Pingjin to the Nationalist Government, was part of the three major campaigns launched by the People's Liberation Army during the late stage of the Chinese Civil War. It began on November 29 1948, and ended on January 31 1949, lasted a total of 64 days.

Background[edit | edit source]

The Nationalist Government abandoned Chengde, Baoding, Shanhai Pass and Qinhuangdao to retreat to Beiping and Tianjin on November 1948. They stationed six armies with eighteen divisions in Beiping, five armies with sixteen divisions in Tianjin and one army with eight divisions in Zhangjiakou, preparing to retreat further to the Huahai battlefield or west back to the Inner Mongolia region when the situation turns worse.

At the same time, the People's Liberation Army Northeast Field Army led by Lin Biao and Luo Ronghuan entered Shanhai Pass immediately after the Liaoshen Campaign was over. Combining with the two army groups in North China Military Region, the Communist had a total of 1,000,000 men. They followed the Chinese Communist Central Military Committee's principle and encircled the Nationalist forces in the North China Plain.

Course of campaign[edit | edit source]

The course of Pingjin Campaign are divided into three stages:

First stage[edit | edit source]

The campaign began on November 29 1948, when the People's Liberation Army attacked Zhangjiakou, which changed the deployment of Nationalist Army as they sent the moblilized 35th Army to reinforce Zhangjiakou. The People's Liberation Army turned to struck Miyun shortly after, threaterning the city of Beiping. The Nationalists, being caught on surprise, shifted three armies in Tianjin to Beiping to improve the defense of the city, and ordered 35th Army to return to Beiping. However, the 35th Army was cut off in Xinbaoan in the middle of their way. By now the People's Liberation Army have cut off the connection between Peking and Tianjian in half, and accomplished the encirclement against the above areas, which cut off the retreat routes for the Nationalists to west and south.

Second stage[edit | edit source]

After the 35th Army was encircled in Xinbaoan, the Nationalist troops in west of Peking launched desperate attack to west, hoping to remove the Communist encirclement on the 35th Army. But while in action, the Nationalist reinforcements were encircled as well. The 16th Army and five divisions from the 104th Army were all destroyed. The People's Liberation Army then launched Xinbaoan Campaign shortly after, captured the city the very next day and destroyed the 35th Army. On the 23rd, the Communist destroyed majority of 50,000 Nationalist forces that sallied out in northeast of Zhangjiakou.

Beginning in January 2 1949, the People's Liberation Army gathered up their offensive forces around Tianjin. The final attack was launched on January 14, and after 29 hours of intense action, the defenders 62nd Army and 86th Army, total up to ten divisions of 130,000 men were completely wiped out. The Tianjin garrison commander Chen Changjie was captured.

The Nationalist 17th Army Group and five divisions from the 87th Army in Tangu retreated on January 17 via ocean.

Final stage[edit | edit source]

File:PLA Enters Peking.jpg

People's Liberation Army enters Peking

After Tianjin had been captured by the Communists, the Nationalist defenders in Beiping were in a hopeless situation. Under immense pressure, Fu Zuoyi decided to negotiate with the People's Liberation Army for a peaceful settlement for the city. The 260,000 troops inside the city began to exit the city to the People's Liberation Army for reorganization. On January 31, the People's Liberation Army entered Beiping to take over. The Pingjin Campaign was over. Beiping, soon to be the capital of the new People's Republic of China, was renamed Beijing.

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