Biography in English

T'ang En-po (20 September 1899-29 June 1954), staff officer in the National Revolutionary Army who served during the Sino-Japanese war in such capacities as commander of the Thirty-first Army Group and deputy commander of the First War Area. In 1945 he supervised the Nationalist takeover of Shanghai and the repatriation of Japanese troops and civilians. Four years later, he supervised the Nationalist evacuation of Shanghai. He administered a defeat to the Chinese Communists in the defense of Quemoy in October 1949.

T'angts'unchen, a village formed by the T'ang clan in Wuyihsien, Chekiang, was the birthplace of T'ang En-po. His father, T'ang Te-ts'ai, was an upright and strong-willed peasant. After receiving a primary education at the Wuyi Primary School, T'ang En-po went to Chinhua in 1916 and enrolled at the Seventh Provincial Middle School. He later transferred to a private physical culture school at Hangchow, from which he was graduated in 1920. On his way home in 1920 he learned that the father of a friend was involved in litigation with a notorious local bully, and he stopped to observe the hsien court proceedings. When it appeared that his friend's father was about to be sent to prison, T'ang threw a large rock, which struck the judge. The hsien government issued an order for T'ang's arrest, and he ran away to join the Chekiang Army for Aid to Fukien as a platoon commander.

T'ang's first venture into military life ended disastrously with the rout of the Chekiang forces. Soon afterwards, he encountered a fellow provincial named T'ung, who was looking for a paid companion to study with him in Japan. T'ang accepted the position and accompanied T'ung to Japan in the spring of 1921. Upon arrival in Tokyo, T'ang began to study the Japanese language in hopes of entering the Shikan Gakko [military academy]. However, he soon learned that a recommendation by a warlord or high official was essential for admission. Because he lacked such a document, he entered the law department of Meiji University in March 1922 to study political economy. When T'ung left Japan to return to China, he gave T'ang a gift of money, which T'ang used to open a Chinese restaurant. T'ang's interest was not in law. In May 1924 he abandoned his studies, closed his restaurant, and went to Shanghai.

After spending several months traveling from Shanghai to Hangchow, to Iwu, to Shanghai, and to Japan, T'ang En-po returned to China again in March 1925 and obtained a letter of recommendation to the Shikan Gakko from Lu Kung-wang, a former military governor of Chekiang. It now remained for T'ang to raise funds for this educational venture. He applied to Ch'en Yi (q.v.), who had been graduated from the Shikan Gakko in 1907 and who was serving under Sun Ch'uan-fang (q.v.) as commander of the Chekiang 1st Division. Although Ch'en had never met T'ang, he immediately granted him sufficient funds for enrollment in the eighteenth class at the Shikan Gakko.

By the time T'ang En-po completed his training and returned to China in the summer of 1927, Ch'en Yi had allied himself with Chiang Kai-shek. Accordingly, T'ang became a staff officer in the National Revolutionary Army. Late in 1928 T'ang received command of the cadet corps of the Central Military Academy's sixth class. He compiled a manual on training infantry companies which was of sufficient merit to bring him to the attention ofChiang Kai-shek. T'ang soon received an appointment as commander of the 1st Training Division, in which capacity he participated in the campaign against the so-called northern coalition of Feng Yühsiang and Yen Hsi-shan (qq.v.) in 1930. He then became deputy commander of the 4th Division, and in 1931 he received command of the 89th Division. For the next few years he served under Chiang Ting-wen (q.v.), taking part in the action against the Fukien rebels (see Ch'en Ming-shu; Ts'ai T'ing-k'ai) and in the socalled bandit suppression campaigns against the Chinese Communists. After the Communists made the Long March, he was promoted to command of the Thirteenth Army and was transferred to Shensi late in 1935 as director of the north Shensi bandit-suppression and rehabilitation office. In November 1936 he aided Fu Tso-yi (q.v.) in the capture of Pailingmiao from Te Wang (Demchukdonggrub, q.v.).

With the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war in July 1937, T'ang En-po joined with Fu Tso-yi and Liu Ju-ming in the attempt to defend Suiyuan and Chahar. The Japanese, wishing to command the vital northwest China plateau, made a strong drive and overwhelmed that sector with the aid of a combined Manchoukuo-Mongol force. At the beginning of September, T'ang's forces were ordered to proceed to the Hopei-Honan border area for regrouping and expansion into the Twentieth Army Group. T'ang was made commander of the new unit, which was composed of the Thirteenth Army, the Fifty-second Army of Kuan Lin-cheng, and the Eighty-first Army of Wang Chung-lien. Because of Japanese attacks, the organization of the new unit had to be completed at Pohsien in northern Anhwei. The Twentieth Army Group thus came under the over-all command of Li Tsung-jen (q.v.), who headed the Fifth War Area. In March 1938 T'ang's forces were among those which participated in the famous battle of Taierhchuang. Then, on 24 May, T'ang was appointed commander in chief of the Second Army Group and was charged with directing military operations in the Kweiteh sector of the First War Area, under the direction of Hsueh Yueh (q.v.). The Japanese forces, clearly aiming at the capture of Chengchow, continued their westward advance. Kweiteh fell on 28 May, and Kaifeng was occupied a week later. To check the enemy offensive, the Chinese breached the Yellow River dikes at Huang-tao-k'ou and flooded the area. T'ang then assumed direction of the Chang Tzu-chung Army Group and other units for the defense of the railway lines south of Chengchow The Japanese, however, changed direction and moved up the Yangtze toward Wuhan.

From 1939 to 1942 T'ang En-po served in the Hupeh-Honan region as commander of the Thirty-first Group Army. After the so-called New Fourth Army Incident ofJanuary 1941 (see Hsiang Ying; Yeh T'ing), he was given the concurrent, post ofchairman of the committee for the Shantung-Kiangsu-Honan-Anhwei border area, charged with developing Nationalist guerrilla bases in competition with Chinese Communist efforts along the same lines. In 1942 he received the title of commander in chief of that border area. Later that year, he became deputy commander, under Chiang Ting-wen (q.v.), of the First War Area. His forces in Honan were shattered in April 1944, when the Japanese launched the massive operation known as Ichi-go, designed to cut China in two by attacking southward across the Yellow River into Honan. After the Honan debacle, T'ang was ordered to proceed with his remnant forces to Kweichow. In December, he was appointed commander in chief of the Kweichow-Kwangsi- Hunan border area. His old friend Ho Yingch'in (q.v.) gave him a new assignment in February 1945 as commander of the Third Front Army, composed of 14 Americanequipped divisions. From May to August of that year, he cooperated with the Second Front Army of Chang Fa-k'uei (q.v.) in a drive into Kwangsi. The Chinese recaptured Kweilin on 28 July.

At war's end, T'ang En-po was given the task of disarming the Japanese forces in the Nanking-Shanghai area. When he finished in mid-October, he was made responsible for the repatriation of Japanese troops and civilians through the port of Shanghai. By April 1946 about 80 percent of the more than 850,000 Japanese gathered at Shanghai had been repatriated. Throughout this operation, he attempted to put into practice Chiang Kaishek's announced policy of "returning good for evil" in dealing with the Japanese. In a farewell address to 20 high-ranking officers of the Japanese Thirteenth Army, he said : "China and Japan occupy the opposite shores of the same sea and mutually support each other. Their peoples are of the same race ; the languages are the same. Joined they can both survive; asunder they must both perish. Eight years of bloody warfare have brought grievous wounds to both. Recalling past sufferings we brothers should hold our heads and weep bitterly. Today we cast aside our arms and send you gentlemen home. Some other time we shall welcome your return holding jade and brocades in our arms." In April 1946 T'ang En-po was appointed commander in chief of the Nanking-Shanghai garrison headquarters and commander of the First Pacification Area, with headquarters at Wusih. In July, as the civil war with the Chinese Communists resumed, he became deputy commander in chief of the Chinese army and garrison commander of the Nanking metropolitan area. He retained these posts until the spring of 1948, when he was made pacification commissioner at Chuchow. When it became apparent that the Communists would emerge victorious from the struggle, Chiang Kai-shek made preparations for retreat to Taiwan, and he appointed T'ang commander in chief of the Nanking-Shanghai-Hangchow area, the emergency exit to Taiwan. After Chiang's retirement from the presidency, T'ang facilitated the removal of funds, troops, and supplies to the island. About this time, his old benefactor Ch'en Yi, now governor of Chekiang, transmitted to T'ang an invitation to surrender to the People's Liberation Army. T'ang reported this offer to Chiang Kai-shek—not to acting President Li Tsung-jen—and arrested Ch'en at Shanghai in February. Ch'en Yi was taken to Taiwan later that year and was executed in June 1950.

With the crossing of the Yangtze by the People's Liberation Army in April and the occupation of Hangchow and Shanghai in May, T'ang En-po took up a position at Amoy as pacification commissioner. The battle for Amoy began in the last week of September. On 17 October, the day Swatow fell, T'ang withdrew his men from Amoy to the offshore island of Quemoy, where he administered a defeat to the Communist forces on 24 October. T'ang then left Quemoy for Taipei on 29 October. Accompanying him was Japanese Lieutenant General Nemoto, who had assisted him at Amoy and Quemoy. At Taipei, T'ang became a strategy adviser to Chiang Kai-shek, but he held no substantive posts. He went to Japan for treatment of a stomach ailment in January 1953 and returned to Taiwan in July after being entertained royally in Japan by many who remembered his kind treatment of Japanese soldiers and civilians in 1945. In May 1954 he went to Japan again and underwent an operation at the Keio University hospital, but to no avail. T'ang En-po died at Tokyo on 29 June 1954.

Biography in Chinese



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