Biography in English

Ku Chu-t'ung (9 January 1893-), Kuomintang military leader whose many important posts included : commander of the Third War Area (1937-45), commander in chief of the Chinese Nationalist army (1946-47; 1949), chief of general staff in the ministry of national defense (1948-49). In Taiwan, he became secretary general of the National Defense Council in 1959 and deputy secretary general of the National Security Council in 1967.

A native of Kiangsu province, Ku Chu-t'ung was born into a gentry family in Lienshui hsien. At the age of six, he began to study the Chinese classics under the guidance of a paternal uncle. He entered the Lienshui Higher Primary School in 1908 and studied there for two years before being selected for the fifth class of the Kiangsu Army Primary School at Nanking. The school temporarily closed after the Wuchang revolt of October 1911, and Ku joined the republican forces, serving as a platoon commander in the 34th Regiment of the 9th Division, stationed at Hsuchow. He returned to school in 1912, and he joined the Kuomintang later that year.

After graduation in 1913, Ku participated in the so-called second revolution as a staff officer in the Nanking defense headquarters. When the second revolution ended with the fall of Nanking on 1 September 1913 to Peiyang troops led by Chang Hsün (q.v.), Ku fled to Shanghai, where he continued to work for the overthrow of Yuan Shih-k'ai. In 1914 he went to Wuchang when southern graduates of army primary schools were called upon to enter the Hupeh Second Army Preparatory School. Because close restrictions were placed on all cadets after Yuan Shih-k'ai launched his monarchical movement in 1915, Ku left Wuchang and did not return to school until June 1916, when Yuan died. After graduation in December 1916, he enrolled at the Paoting Military Academy as a member of the sixth class, infantry division. In the spring of 1 9 1 9, having completed his military education, he returned to active service as a company commander in central China.

Late in 1921 Ku Chu-t'ung went to Kweilin and joined the Second Kwangtung Army as an adjutant in the headquarters of Hsü Ch'ungchih (q.v.). He was assigned to the officers training corps as district corps commander. He soon came to know Chiang Kai-shek, who was drafting plans for Sun Yat-sen's proposed northern expedition, and the two men became friends. In 1922 Ku took part in the Kwangsi campaign and in the Fukien campaign which culminated in the capture of Foochow on 12 October. When Chiang Kai-shek was appointed chief of staff of Hsü Ch'ung-chih's army on 20 October, he immediately recommended Ku's promotion to chief adjutant.

In June 1924 Ku Chu-t'ung became an instructor in military tactics at the W'hampoa Military Academy. Chiang Kai-shek soon promoted him to director of administration and gave him command of the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Training Regiment. In March 1925 Ku led his cadet troops on the first expedition against Ch'en Chiung-ming (q.v.).

When the National Revolutionary Army was organized in August 1925, Ku Chu-t'ung was designated chief of staff of the 2nd Regiment in the 1st Division of the First Army, which was commanded by Ho Ying-ch'in (q.v.). After participating in the second eastern expedition in October, Ku rose to become deputy commander of the 3rd Division of the First Army. During the Northern Expedition, Ku was promoted to commander of the 3rd Division after the capture of Foochow late in 1926 and to commander of the Ninth Army, comprising the 3rd, 14th, and 21st divisions, in October 1927. He was named to the Military Affairs Commission at the end of 1927. In the military reorganization that followed the completion of the Northern Expedition in 1928, the Ninth Army was redesignated the 2nd Division and was stationed at Pengpu, with Ku still in command. He participated in the 1929 campaign against the Kwangsi forces in Hupeh and became commander of the First Army in October of that year. In 1930 he led his army in battle against the northern coalition forces of Feng Yü-hsiang and Yen Hsi-shan (qq.v.). From the end of May until September, he engaged in a hard-fought campaign on the Honan front. After the northern coalition collapsed in the autumn of 1930, he occupied Loyang and became director of Chiang Kaishek's headquarters there. At the end of the year, he was made director of the T'ungkuan headquarters, with the mission of containing Feng Yü-hsiang's remnant forces in northwest China.

In July 1931 Ku was appointed commander of the National Government Guards Army at Nanking. This crack force was beginning to receive modern training from the officers of the German military advisory group in China, and Ku assumed his new duties enthusiastically. Before long, however, Ku was sent into the field again, this time to battle Shih Yu-shan in Hopei. He led the Second Group Army, which was composed of the Guards Army and other forces, into Hopei in July and easily quelled Shih's revolt.

At the Fourth National Congress of the Kuomintang, held in December 1931, Ku was elected to the Central Executive Committee. He held membership in this body until 1950. Also in December 1931, he was appointed governor of Kiangsu. He was removed from this post on 3 October 1933 after having caused the execution of several Chinese journalists. Three weeks later, he was appointed commander in chief of the northern route forces in the fifth so-called bandit suppression campaign against the Chinese Communists in Kiangsi. After the Communists broke through the NationaUst encirclement in October 1934 to begin their Long March to Shensi, Ku was named pacification commissioner of Kiangsi and deputy minister of war for political affairs in December. • In 1935 and 1936 Ku worked to increase National Government control of Kweichow, Szechwan, and Sikang. He was appointed pacification commissioner of Kweichow in April 1935. Under his supervision, the Kweichow military forces were transferred to other provinces and the provincial government was reorganized. He then carried out a similar reorganization in Szechwan, where he became director of the Chungking headquarters of the Military Affairs Commission in November. On 2 August 1936 he was given the concurrent post of governor of Kweichow.

During the Sian Incident of December 1936 {see Chiang Kai-shek) Ku went to Nanking to confer with Ho Ying-ch'in about launching an attack on Sian and prepared to serve under Ho as deputy commander of the so-called anti-rebel forces. The crisis ended with the release of Chiang Kai-shek on 25 December. In the northwest, however, the Manchurian forces and troops commanded by Yang Hu-ch'eng (q.v.) refused to support National Government policies. Accordingly, Ku Chu-t'ung was sent to the northwest in January 1937 as director of Chiang Kai-shek's Sian headquarters and commander in chief of five group armies. After holding unsuccessful negotiations with the dissidents at Loyang, Ku moved to T'ungkuan and ordered his troops to prepare for battle. On 29 January, Yang and the Manchurian commanders indicated their willingness to compromise. They agreed to troop reorganization, and Yang decided to take a trip abroad. Accordingly, Ku Chu-t'ung led his forces into Sian on 8 February 1937 and began the work of reorganizing the northwestern forces. After the Sino-Japanese war began in July 1937, Ku was appointed commander in chief of the Ninth Group Army. He became deputy commander, under Chiang Kai-shek, of the Third War Area in August. Its headquarters, established at Soochow, was assigned responsibility for directing operations on the Woosung- Shanghai front. The Chinese managed to resist all attacks in that area until 5 November, when the Japanese outflanked them by making a successful landing in Hangchow bay. Three weeks later, Ku was appointed governor of Kiangsu, a post he held until 1939. When the war area system was reorganized after the 12 December 1937 evacuation of Nanking, he was designated commanding officer of the Third War Area, then composed of southern Kiangsu, southern Anhwei, northeastern Kiangsi, Chekiang, and Fukien. He held this post throughout the remainder of the war. His problems in administering the area were complicated by the presence of the New Fourth Army, led by the Communists Yeh T'ing and Hsiang Ying (qq.v.). Friction between Nationalist and Communist units in the Third War Area finally resulted in the so-called New Fourth Army Incident. In January 1941 New Fourth Army units and Nationalist troops came into conffict at Maolin in southern Anhwei. The ensuing battle (6-14 January) ended in disaster for the Communists: Hsiang Ying was killed; Yeh T'ing was captured and imprisoned; and Communist military influence was virtually eliminated from the areas south of the Yangtze for the remainder of the war.

In the autumn of 1945 Ku Chu-t'ung accepted the surrender of Japanese forces in the Third War Area. When the war area administrations were abolished in January 1946, he became pacification commissioner at Hsuchow, with responsibility for Shantung, Kiangsu, Honan, and Anhwei. He assumed new duties on 18 May as commander in chief of the Chinese army. On 14 September, he assumed the concurrent post of pacification commissioner at Chengchow in an effort to strengthen Nationalist defenses against the operations of the Communist Liu Po-ch'eng (q.v.). Ku undertook a campaign against the Communists in Shantung in 1947 and succeeded in restoring much of the province to Nationalist control. In May 1948 he became chief of general staff* in the ministry of national defense, serving under Ho Yingch'in. Although he worked hard to turn the tide of the civil war, the Communists continued to advance and Nationalist military positions continued to disintegrate.

When Nanking fell to the Communists on 22 April 1949, Ku flew to Shanghai and resumed the post of commander in chief of the Nationalist army. He went to Canton and continued to be active in military planning. On 14 October, he flew to Taipei to confer with Chiang Kai-shek. The Nationalists abandoned Canton on 15 October and moved the remnant National Government to Chungking. After meeting with Chiang Kai-shek, Ku flew to Chungking to direct military operations in southwest China.

On 7 December 1949 the Executive Yuan of the National Government confirmed Ku's status as commanding oflficer in southwest China and designated Hu Tsung-nan as his deputy. At about the same time, Chang Ch'ün (q.v.) went to Kunming to try to dissuade Lu Han (q.v.), who controlled Yunnan, from declaring allegiance to the Communists. Ku Chu-t'ung took action against the forces of Liu Wen-hui (q.v.) in the immediate vicinity of Chengtu and provided a shield for the officials of the National Government as they prepared to depart for Taiwan. On 10 December, at Ku's urging, Chiang Kai-shek went to Taiwan. W'hen Lu Han declared allegiance to the Communists on 1 1 December, Ku made an unsuccessful attempt to block his action. At this point, Ku was unable to provide any effective defense against the rapidly advancing Communist forces. On 25 December, he flew from Szechwan to Hainan Island. After making a brief trip to Taiwan, he flew to Yunnan on 13 January 1950 in a desperate but unsuccessful effort to rescue the remnants of the Nationalist Eighth and Twenty-sixth armies.

When Chiang Kai-shek resumed the presidency of the Republic of China in Taiwan on 1 March 1950, Ku Chu-t'ung became deputy director of the military strategy advisory committee in the presidential office. In July 1959 he was appointed secretary general of the National Defense Council. When that body was superseded by the National Security Council in January 1967, he became deputy secretary general of the new organ, serving under Huang Shao-ku (q.v.).

Biography in Chinese


















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