Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Homer Lea

Homer Lea , was an an author of works on geopolitics, and became military advisory and general in the army of Sun Yat-sen.

Early life

Born in Denver, Colorado to Alfred E. and Hersa A. Lea, his father served with the 3rd Colorado Cavalry during the . His mother died before his third birthday, 13 August 1879. Alfred is listed in the Jackson County, Missouri 1850 census, Washington Township, with the entire family being born in Tenessee.

His grandfather, Dr. Pleasant John Graves Lea , is the namesake for Lee's Summit, Missouri, although the name became spelled with an "e" instead of "a" because a stone culvert next to the Missouri Pacific Railroad station was set this way.

Homer was born healthy, but after suffering a drop to a hearthstone as a baby, he became a , standing only with a weight under . He attended Los Angeles High School and even accompanied friends on camping trips in the San Bernardino Mountains, in spite of his physical hindrances. Lea aspired to be a great soldier and somehow managed to get an appointment to , though he was soon dismissed for health reasons. He was later admitted to Stanford University, where in addition to military history and politics, he became enamored with China and .


At 23, with the Boxer Rebellion underway in China, Lea decided to travel to the Far East and offer his services to Kang Youwei, a former prime minister of China who was attempting to restore power to the confined Guangxu Emperor. Lea convinced Kang to make him a lieutenant general and give him command of a small volunteer force. Lea's first command was not very successful as Kang's power and support was rapidly destroyed, but he did make it to Beijing in time to ride through the city with the international force that liberated it from the Boxers. Lea offered pursuit of the retreating , but his rag-tag soldiers were no match for the Imperial forces and he was repulsed. Without any support after Kang's fall, Lea fled to Hong Kong and then Japan, where he met Sun Yat-sen.

Sun was intrigued by the diminutive foreigner and saw his natural flair and western background could be useful in building support for the republican movement. He therefore dispatched Lea along with Prince Ch'i-ch'ao to the United States to raise funds. Lea returned to China in 1904 at the head of the Second Army Division, but this military campaign was unsuccessful and he was forced to return to the United States for health reasons.


Once in the U.S., Homer Lea was instrumental in training the , using American soldiers as instructors. Lea was also an author of two works on geopolitics: ''The Valor of Ignorance'' predicted the rise of Japanese militarist aggression and a in the , while ''The Day of the Saxon'', commissioned by Field Marshal Lord , predicted the rise of a greater based on national supremacy and ethnic purity. Neither of these books sold particularly well in America, but ''The Valor of Ignorance'' sold 84,000 copies in Japan and impressed both General Adna Chaffee and General Douglas MacArthur, who tried unsuccessfully to make it compulsory reading at West Point. The books both contained a ring of truth about future events, but entrenched in America were not about to have their views challenged by a young, unknown upstart, and he was effectively ignored. His books remain little known today, as his theories were not particularly revolutionary; other geopoliticians could also see the same forces converging, but the public did not want to hear about it. Lea also planned to write a third book called ''The Swarming of the Slav'' predicting a Russian move to dominate Europe, but he died before he could complete it.

When Sun Yat-sen succeeded in making China a republic in 1911-1912, he made Lea a full general and his chief of staff. A stroke several months later, however, forced him to give up these positions and retire to the United States, where he died at age 35, in .


Works by

* 1908: ''The Vermilion Pencil: A Romance of China''. - New York: McClure. -
::Reprinted 2003. - Stirling: Read Around Asia. - ISBN 9780954545000
* 1909: ''The Valour of Ignorance''. - London, New York: Harper and Brothers. -
::Reprinted 1942. - ISBN 1931541663
* 1912: ''The Day of the Saxon''. - Harper and Brothers. -
::Reprinted 1942. ISBN 1932512020

Works about

*Anschel, Eugene, . - ''Homer Lea, Sun Yat-Sen, and the Chinese Revolution''. - Praeger Pubs. ISBN 0030000637
*Alexander, Tom, . - "The Amazing Prophecies of 'General' Homer Lea". - ''Smithsonian''. - p.102.

Lei Zhenchun

Lei Zhenchun was a Chinese general and Minister of war of the Republic of China in July 1917.

Li Chi-chun

Li Chi-chun, , a Chinese general from the beginning of the Republic of China, leader of a Japanese puppet force in southeast Manchukuo from 1933 -1935.

Li Chi-chun, born in Hubei in 1875, became a general after serving in the Republican Army during the Xinhai Revolution. During the Warlord Era little is known of his activities. In early 1933, following the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria and the establishment of Manchukuo Li appeared in southeast Liaoning province at the head of several thousand men calling themselves the "National Salvation Army", and flying the old five-barred flag of the Chinese Republic.

At first, Li's force was fighting the Anti-Japanese guerrillas, despite their claim to be ready to fight the Japanese. They then served with the Manchukuoan forces in the Japanese Operation Nekka in 1933. After that they began to make trouble in the disputed area between Manchukuo and northern China with the intent to establish an "independent" government there with the help of the Japanese, and they captured some small towns. However with the Tanggu Truce, and the establishment of the demilitarized zone, Li's army, now about 10,000 strong, was no longer wanted. The Japanese disbanded it, with only 2,000 of its men being recruited to serve in the demilitarized zone's Peace Preservation Corps.

General Li, disappeared. Reports at the time believed him to have retired to the Japanese Concession in Tianjin.

*Jowett, Phillip J., Rays of the Rising Sun Vol 1., Helion & Co. Ltd. 2004.

Tang Juwu

Tang Juwu, Tang Chu-wu,ε”θšδΊ”,, Chinese officer, general of one of the Anti-Japanese Volunteer Armies resisting the pacification of Manchukuo.

Tang Chu-wu joined the 27th Guard Brigade at the age of seventeen. While serving with the Northeastern Army Sixth Infantry Division he was sent to officer training in May 1926, graduating the following year. Tang Ju-wu had been the commander of the 1st Regiment of the eastern frontier defence force., that was disbanded and interned by the Japanese during the early days of the invasion of Manchuria.

He grieved over the loss of his homeland and the humiliation of his countrymen, after his regiment was disarmed and interned without struggle by the Japanese. Tang Juwu escaped and then cut one of his fingers and wrote eight Chinese characters meaning "Kill the enemy, punish the traitors, save our country and love our people."

After escaping internment, the Northeast National Salvation Society appointed Tang as commander and helped him get in touch with smaller forces which others were organising in eastern Liaoning province. Tang also made use of his extensive personal contacts with police chiefs, officials, local gentry militias and the leaders of the semi-clandestine Big Swords Society. Tang Juwu accepted any recruits who were willing to fight against the invaders including bandits. He was able to develop the Northeast People's Anti-Japanese Volunteer Army with some 10,000 troops under his command.

In May of 1932, Tang Juwu judged that the time was ripe for his army to go on the offensive. Tang's army, now 20,000 men surrounded the Japanese Tunghua garrison. In reaction the Japanese police and detachments of the Manchukuoan Army attempted to relieve the siege in the First Tungpientao Clearance. The Japanese were unable to defeat Tang and his force threatened the region to the east of the important city of and communications with Korea. Based in the Tonghua area, his army fought, with the Japanese Kwantung Army stationed in Shenyang and the Manchukuon army of South Liaoning province. Although all major cities had been lost, the volunteer armies gained a new lease of life during the summer of 1932 and reached their greatest strength.

On Oct 11th 1932, in the Second Tungpientao Subjugation Operation, two Japanese cavalry brigades, one mixed brigade, and 7 Manchukuo puppet brigades attacked Tang Juwu's forces in Tonghua & Hengren area. The threat of Japanese aerial bombardment of Tonghua forced Tang to withdraw from it in order to save the civilian population. After the defection of the Manchukuoan 37th Route commander Wang Yongcheng, Tang Juwu was able to break through the Japanese encirclement to the west and escape. On October 16th, the Japanese took over Tonghua, and on the 17th, Hengren, with a casualties of 500 men. Tang and the remainder of his force eventually were forced to flee into Rehe.

When the battle of Rehe broke out early in 1933, he was made head of the Northeast Anti-Japanese Volunteer 3rd Corps. Unable to stand idle against the Japanese following the Tanggu Truce Tang joined the Chahar People's Anti-Japanese Army in May 1933. He was later taken back by the Nationalist army and given command of a Regiment as part of Chiang Kai-shek's efforts to disperse the Anti Japanese Army and avoid war with the Japanese. After the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War he was assigned to operate behind the Japanese lines as a guerilla commander. He was killed in action in Hebei on May 18, 1939.

Ting Chao

Ting Chao or Ding Chao was a General, known for his defense of Harbin during the Invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and 1932.

Following the Invasion of Manchuria by the Imperial Japanese Army and the capture of Liaoning and Jilin . Hostilities did not commence in the Harbin area until the end of January 1932 when General Ting Chao resolved to defend the northern metropolis, a key hub of rail and riverine communication, against the approach first of General Xi Qia's "New Kirin" Army and then Japanese troops. He appealed to the city's Chinese residents to join his Jilin Self-Defence Army made of railway garrison troops and other regulars in battle against the Japanese.

Later after Ting Chao's beaten forces retired from Harbin to the northeast down the Sungari River, they joined the Lower Sungari garrison of Gen. Li Du as the nucleus of armed opposition in the north. After his retreat from Harbin he was made Chairman of the Government of Jilin Province and opposed the new puppet government of Manchukuo in their of the .

Wang Fengge

Wang Fengge (1895-1937)was born in Tonghua, Jilin, China. In 1914 Wang Fengge graduated from the Donghua normal school, and had studied traditional martial arts as a young man. In 1922 he was made a company commander in a brigade of the Northeast Army. In 1926 he retired from the army, going into business, and became involved in the Big Swords Society.

After the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, he raised a volunteer force by linking up with other citizens in the and Ji'an areas during late 1931 and announced the establishment of his army in March 1932.

In April, 1932 Tang Juwu revolted in Huanren, establishing the Liaoning Self-Defense Corps. Wang Fengge's unit and other groups of Big Swords became part of Tang Juwu's force. On May 7, 1932, Wang led his force and with Commander Fang Chun of the Huinan anti- Japanese force jointly attacked and occupied the Liuho county seat, and proclaimed the revolt against Japan in a circular telegram. Wang's unit of 1,000 men, suddenly increased to 5,000, and he organized them into six brigades.

By the end of February 1933, most of the large volunteer armies had fled to the Soviet Union, from where they were eventually repatriated. However Wang did not flee and fought on in a guerrilla unit, and continued to harass the Japanese and Manchukuoan forces for many years in Liaoning. Wang Fengge was captured in 1937 after a three day battle and was then executed, along with his wife and child.



Wang Sheng (Taiwan General)

Wang Sheng was a general in the Republic of China Army, head of the General Political Warfare College and a close confidant to President Chiang Ching-kuo. He divorced his childhood wife and married Hu Hsiang-li in 1945, who bore three sons and two daughters..

Mainland life

Wang Sheng, born Wang Shiu-chieh on October 15, 1915, was the son of a rich Hakka land-owning family in Longnan County, Jiangxi, on the Guangdong border. He received an elementary education at Chih-liang Elementary School and then worked as a clerk in his brother’s traditional medicine store. After a return to formal study at Nanfang Institute of Chinese Literature, , Wang joined the Righteous Warriors Communist Suppression Squad, a militia mopping up after the remaining forces left behind by the Chinese Communist Party as it embarked on its Long March.

Wang subsequently joined the 12th Jiangxi Security Protection Regiment, in 1936, as a clerk. After a year, he was transferred to the training battalion of the 6th Strong Youth Training Regiment, which was directly under the leadership of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s son, Chiang Ching-kuo. CCK, as he later became known, had just returned from a decade in the Soviet Union, during which time he reportedly joined the communist party and then became disillusioned with it. Wang became aide de camp to a regimental commander working directly under CCK, but there is no indication the two men met at that time.

After a brief period of combat and further self-education, he entered Class 16 of the Jiangxi Third Branch of the Central Military Academy in February 1939. It was at this time that Wang joined the Kuomintang , and after graduating first in his class, he was sent to the Three Principles of the People Youth Corps Training Course, run directly by CCK. Again, Wang graduated at the top of his class, and was chosen to work for Chiang Ching-kuo, which he did for the next 50 years.

After several years in Southern Jiangxi administration, Wang was sent to Chongqing for further training and to attend the San Min Zhuyi Youth Corps’ 1st National Congress, in 1943. At the congress, CCK emerged from his post-Russian shadow and took leading roles in the half-million strong parallel youth organization. After the congress, Wang was sent back to Jiangxi as the third ranking leader of the provincial Youth Corps. In 1944, he entered the first class of the Central Cadre Academy Research Division, a type of political graduate school; one of his classmates was future Premier Li Huan. However, military set-backs shortened the students’ studies.

Desperate for more soldiers, the party in late 1944 created a youth militia, and made 35-year-old Lieutenant General Chiang Ching-kuo its Political Department Director. Lieutenant Colonel Wang was sent to the South-east Branch as political officer of the training base for the 208th and 209th Divisions. (While Wang was at this assignment, a young communist named Jiang Zemin was arrested, and later released by his unit. In 1989, Jiang became General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

At the end of the War Against Japan, Wang was in charge of the 1st Section of the 31st Corps Political Department, a logical progression when his 208th and 209th Divisions were reorganized into the corps-level unit. From November 1945 to June 1946, Wang was with his units on garrison duty in Hangzhou. He was then reassigned to the seemingly low position of Director of Student Affairs at Chia-hsing Youth Middle School, a specially established training and education institution for demobilized soldiers of the Youth Army. He was, however, still directly under the orders of Chiang Ching-kuo..

A year later, in July 1947, CCK tapped Col. Wang as an inspector in the Ministry of National Defense Bureau of Preparatory Cadres, a revamped Youth Army demobilization organization. Ironically, the transfer coincided with a general mobilization to staff the newly erupting civil war. As needs changed, Wang was tasked as Deputy Section Chief in the KMT Youth Department, his first party assignment. He was nominally based in Nanjing, but travelled to universities across Nationalist-held territory.


In mid-1948, inflation reached such a rate that wheelbarrows full of bank notes were insufficient to keep pace with price changes The government replaced the worthless ''fabi'' with a new, gold-backed ''Chin-yuan Chuan'' at a rate of three million to one. Simultaneously, hording and speculation were banned. Chiang Ching-kuo was assigned to implement this financial revolution at the Shanghai branch of the Economic Supervisors’ Office, and immediately sent for Col. Wang.

Wang Sheng brought the 6th Suppression and Reconstruction Brigade to Shanghai, and CCK began offering rewards for information on those not complying with the new laws. The unit comprised only 100 junior officers, and was later supplemented by seven other similar units, all under now-Major General Wang’s authority. He then established a 30,000-strong Greater Shanghai Youth Service Corps to patrol the streets, enforcing the financial regulations.

CCK and General Wang needed credibility, and fast. They found it by moving against high-profile figures, under the protection of the Chiang family name. Among those arrested were Tu Wei-ping, the son of “Big Ears” Tu Yue-sheng, the senior-most Green Gang triad boss; “Rice Tiger” Wan Mou-lin, a close associate of Tu; and the managers of several industrial establishments owned by former prime minister TV Soong. Ultimately, the effort failed and the regulations were lifted by end-October and hyperinflation returned with a vengeance.

In the chaos of late 1948 and early 1949, Gen. Wang took command of the Jiangxi 3rd Political Work Brigade and became Jiangxi Province KMT Secretary. After barely a month in Nanchang, he was ordered to Ganzhou, then Nanjing and Guangzhou. As Guangzhou became untenable, Wang's unit retreated into Chongqing, Sichuan Province; said to have been the last unit to leave Guangzhou for Chongqing. In November 1949, President Chiang Kai-Shek flew from Taiwan to Chongqing, to personally supervise the defense of Sichuan. That gave Wang an occasion to meet the President. Still, despite the Chiang's presence, Chongqing fell to the Communists in the same November, the KMT government retreating to Chengdu. On December 10, the President flew from Chengdu back to Taiwan. Wang hoped to stay in Sichuan and to lead guerilla fighting; but on Chiang's orders, he also left Chengdu, arriving to Taiwan by the way of Hainan. His subordinates stayed behind in Sichuan; many of them made it to Taiwan much later, via Burma.


The Taiwan Wang arrived at in 1950 was the new home for over one million refugees, including many of the very elite of Republican society, government and business. It was also a place emerging from 50 years of mostly benevolent Japanese colonial rule, and one where thousands had been slaughtered by the new Nationalist occupiers only three years earlier in the bloody 2-28 purge.

After arriving in Taiwan in 1949, CCK established a Political Action Committee in Kaohsiung with General P’eng Meng-ch’i and Air Force Commander Chou Chih-jou . Much of the responsibility for the committee’s work, however, was delegated to Wang Sheng, intelligence chief Mao Jen-feng and others . This would have put Wang at the center of the mass purges that resulted in up to 10,000 arrests and as many as a thousand executions during 1949-50.

Gen. Peng deserves special mention. Known as the Butcher of Kaohsiung, Peng oversaw the reestablishment of control over the city, through the use of military force, after reinforcements arrived from the mainland. The association with CCK and General Peng would have had a very important influence on Wang's public reputation.

In the following year or so, numerous high-ranking officials were accused of being communists, and executed. Among these were an Army deputy chief of staff and his wife; the head of conscription; a vice minister of national defense; and the commander of the 70th Division.

In Taiwan, Wang established the precursor to the General Political Warfare College, the elite training school for army and party cadres. Nominally second in charge in the civil-military programs, welfare and services section of CCK’s cadre system, Wang’s main task was laying the foundation for the Chinese Youth Anti-Communist League, or China Youth Corps as it was renamed.. His mentor, Chiang Ching-kuo, was in 1952 named to the reformed KMT politburo and proceeded to take on a series of both military and economic responsibilities directly related to the future of Taiwan. Wang himself was nominated for the Central Committee in 1957, but gave up his seat to a more senior military officer, and as first alternate, joined the CC in May 1959.

Col. Wang spent most of the later 1950s and 1960s training army political cadres in the General Political Warfare College, a position that allowed him to develop a teacher relationship with rising officers throughout the armed forces. All units from company level up were to have a political officer, and those above company level were trained at Wang’s ''Fu Hsing Kang'' College in Taipei. In 1953, he was named Assistant Commandant and in January 1954 was restored to the rank of Major General. By the end of 1955, Wang was Commandant, and 40 years of age.

In 1960, Maj. Gen. Wang was transferred to the post of Deputy Director of the General Political Warfare Department , and about a year later in mid-1961 was promoted to Lieutenant General and Executive Deputy Director. He remained in the post, until being promoted to Director in April 1975, the same month in which Chiang Kai-shek passed away.

General Wang served as Director of the General Political Warfare Department of the ROC Armed Forces from 1975 to 1983.

Domestic enemies

Opposition to the ruling KMT turned violent in the 1970s. Bombings in Tainan and Taipei targeted the American presence on the island in 1970 and 1971, although casualities were light. Explosives also knocked out electric power in the southern part of the island in early 1976. The campaign then escalated toward assissination when letter bombs were sent to Governor Hsieh Tung-min , former Governor Huang Chieh and KMT Organization Department Director Li Huan, who later became KMT Secretary-General and Premier. Governor Hsieh lost his right arm and an eye in the attacks, whereas the others escaped injury. in 1980, bombs at the Los Angeles homes of General Wang's second son, Wang Pu-tien and the son of Kaohsiung Mayor Wang Yu-yueng detonated, killing Mayor Wang's brother-in-law.

In the Spring of 1977, KMT rising star Hsu Hsin-liang published a mildly critical memoir of his years in the provincial National Assembly, to raise support for his campaign for the seat of Taoyuan County Magistrate. When the KMT failed to nominate him, he ran as an independent, and was expelled from the party. In the run-up to the election, Gen. Wang undertook a campaign criticizing local literati as leftist..

Election irregularities in Chungli County that year led to violence, creating the pretext for a crack-down on dissent and, simultaneously, solidifying the foundations of the opposition political network known as the ''Tangwai'', or “those outside the party.” One year laer, amid a very tight domestic political environment, the United States switched its formal diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.


Toward the end of his tenure, as President Chiang Ching-kuo's health was failing, General Wang travelled to the US. The trip, to discuss succession plans and possibly win backing for his own candidacy, has been described as either "secretive" or unauthorized. It also marked the end of Wang's special role in Taiwan politics. That CCK was getting potential successors out of the way was confirmed by his posting his own son, Chang Hsiao-wu, to Singapore.