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Su Yu file photo [19683]

Su Yu

Given NameYu
Born10 Aug 1907
Died5 Feb 1984


ww2dbaseSu Yu was born into a family of Dong ethnicity in Hunan Province, China in 1907 as the third of six children. His parents, Su Zhouheng and Liang Manmei, were farmers. He had his initial education with the village tutor in 1913, followed by formal elementary education starting in 1918. In the mid-1920s, the poor behavior exhibited by the Beiyang troops in his home province made an early impression on him that was unfavorable toward established authority. In Jan 1924, he ran away from home, and in the following year he enrolled himself in the Hunan Provincial 2nd Normal School at Changde in northwestern Hunan. He was exposed to communism while at the Hunan Provincial 2nd Normal School. He joined the Communist Youth League in Nov 1926 and the Communist Party in 1927. Later in 1927, Chinese Nationalist Party began a purge against Communist Party members, and the Communist principal of the Hunan Provincial 2nd Normal School was arrested. Su and fellow students were hurriedly evacuated, and by Aug he would be a cadet with a training unit within the Communist 24th Division, starting his military career. In the 1920s and 1930s, he saw action in various engagements between the Communists and the Nationalists. In May 1933, while fighting under the Jiangxi Soviet banner, he was seriously wounded in the left arm; although not debilitating, this wound would trouble him for the rest of his life. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, he held various posts within the New 4th Army, a nominally Nationalist formation that was manned by all Communist personnel. During the war, his troops fought both the Japanese invaders as well as the Nationalist troops, famously taking part in the Battle of Huangqiao whose news was suppressed by both sides because the Communists and the Nationalists were nominally on the same side in the war. Su married Chu Qing in Feb 1941; they would have two sons and a daughter. Between 5 and 7 Mar 1944, he led contingents of the New 4th Army in an attack on forward elements of Japanese 64th and 65th Divisions in the Huaiyin area of Jiangsu Province in coastal China, achieving a victory that killed 441 Japanese troops and captured 24 prisoners of war; troops under Su's command only suffered 53 dead and 185 wounded. Although only a small victory, it was said that it was this particular battle that allowed Mao to consider Su for generalship. After the end of WW2, as the Chinese Civil War resumed, he became one of Mao Zedong's most trusted military commanders, seeing successes in the Central Jiangsu campaign, the Menglianggu campaign, and the Huaihai campaign. In Oct 1951, during the annual national celebration ceremony, Mao asked of his ethnicity, and he claimed to be of the majority Han ethnicity, which was false. He was made the Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army in the 1950s. Su passed away in Beijing in 1984. His memoirs were published in Nov 1988.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jun 2014

Su Yu Interactive Map

Su Yu Timeline

10 Aug 1907 Su Yu was born in Fulong Village, Huitong County, Hunan Province, China.
8 Jan 1924 Su Yu ran away from home.
5 Feb 1984 Su Yu passed away in Beijing, China.


Portrait of Su Yu, 1937-1938Chen Yi and Su Yu in Jiangsu Province, China, mid-1940
See all 8 photographs of Su Yu

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Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Huangqiao

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