Biography in English

Hsueh Yueh (17 December 1896-), Nationalist military commander who was known for his pursuit of the Communist Long March forces in 1935 and for his brilliant defense of Changsha (1939; and Ch'angte (1943; against the Japanese. He served as governor of Hunan (1939-45) and Kwangtung (1949).

Lochang hsien, Kwangtung, was the birthplace of Hsueh Yueh. In 1907, at the age of 11, he went to Canton and enrolled at the Whampoa Military Primary School, where his schoolmates included Teng Yen-ta and Yeh T'ing. He was graduated from the school in 1910. During this period, Chu Chih-hsin (q.v.) and other T'ungmeng-hui revolutionaries were planning and preparing revolutionary uprisings in the area, and Hsueh became active in the T'ung-meng-hui when he was still at school.

In 1914 Hsueh went to Wuchang and enrolled at the Army Second Preparatory School. He spent two years at the school and six months in the army before entering the sixth class of the Paoting Military Academy in 1916. He left the academy in 1918 to join the Yuan-Min Yueh-chün [Kwangtung army to assist Fukien], commanded by Ch'en Chiung-ming (q.v.). Hsueh served as a staff officer under Teng K'eng (q.v.). In August 1920, when the Yuan-Min Yueh-chün marched back to Kwangtung to oust the Kwangsi militarists, he became a company commander, with the rank of major. In 1921 Teng K'eng was ordered to organize a garrison regiment to guard Sun Yat-sen's presidential headquarters. Hsueh Yueh, Yeh T'ing, and Chang Fa-k'uei commanded the three battalions comprising this regiment, with Ch'en Ko-yu in over-all command. On 16 June 1922, when Ch'en Chiung-ming's troops besieged the presidential headquarters, the stubborn resistance of Hsueh Yueh, Yeh T'ing, and their men enabled Sun Yat-sen and his wife to escape safely to a gunboat in the Pearl River. After arriving in Shanghai, Sun issued an order naming Hsü Ch'ung-chih (q.v.) commander in chief of the East Route Anti-Rebel Army, with Chiang Kai-shek as chief of staff. Hsueh became a staff officer in this army. He was promoted to regimental commander in 1923, after Ch'en Chiung-ming had been driven from Canton.

The National Government established in Canton in 1925, after the death of Sun Yat-sen, reorganized the Kuomintang armed forces in Kwangtung as the National Revolutionary Army, with Chiang Kai-shek as commander of the First Army. Hsueh Yueh commanded a regiment in the First Army, and during the second eastern expedition of October 1925 he also served as vice commander of the 14th Division. His courage and ability were rewarded when, in the spring of 1926, he was made vice commander of the 1st Division and commander of its 3rd Regiment, with the rank of major general. When the Northern Expedition was launched in the summer of 1926, Hsueh's forces first served as a general reserve. In September, his men were ordered from Hunan into Kiangsi,where they defeated Sun Ch'uan-fang (q.v.) and continued their advance into Chekiang. On 20 March 1927 they participated in the occupation of Shanghai.

At this point, Hsueh Yueh and Pai Ch'ung-hsi (q.v.), then commander in chief of the vanguard force on the Shanghai front, had a difference of opinion which led to Hsueh's resignation. Hsueh returned to Canton, and at the invitation of Li Chi-shen (q.v.) he became commander of Li's newly organized 2nd Division. In October 1927 Chang Fa-k'uei (q.v.) brought his Fourth Army back to Canton and issued a message opposing the authorities at Nanking. Li Chi-shen left Canton, and Chang became chairman of the military committee. He reorganized the armies in Kwangtung, and Hsueh's division became the 1st Model Division of the Fourth Army. In December 1927 the Chinese Communists staged the Canton Commune (see Chang Hsueh Yueh [154] T'ai-lei), and Hsueh's division helped to suppress the uprising. Chang Fa-k'uei was relieved of his duties after this incident, and Miao Pei-nan became commander of the Fourth Army, with Hsueh as his deputy. In January 1928 the army battled its former companion unit, the Eleventh Army, commanded by Ch'en Ming-shu. On 9 January, Chiang Kai-shek ordered the hostilities to cease. The Fourth Army was ordered to proceed north, and it contributed to the capture of Peking and Tientsin. In July, the reduction of the National Revolutionary Army was discussed, and the Fourth Army set an example by requesting to be reorganized first. Hsueh declined an offer to serve as chief of staff of the new 4th Division and returned to Kowloon.

In February 1930, after the Fourth Army had been restored to its original size and designation, Hsueh returned to duty as commander of its 35th Division and participated in an unsuccessful campaign against Ch'en Chi-t'ang and Chiang Kuang-nai (qq.v.). He then retreated to Kwangsi. In May, Chang Fa-k'uei and Li Tsung-jen (q.v.), supporting the Yen-Feng coalition in the north, marched into Hunan. After the rearguard had been held back at Hengyang and Chiyang, Hsueh proposed that they proceed to Kiangsi and then to Chekiang. However, he was overruled by the other generals, who marched southward to defeat in a brutal battle near Henyang with the forces of Chiang Kuang-nai and Tsai T'ing-k'ai (q.v.). The remnants of the Fourth Army retreated to Kweilin. On 14 July, Li Tsung-jen appointed Hsueh Yueh commander of the 10th Division of the Fourth Army.

After the Yunnan Army entered Kwangsi in October 1930, Hsueh's division went to fight it. He was wounded on 25 October and gave up command of his division on 15 December to become head of the Central Military Academy branch at Liuchow. When the Canton secessionist movement took form in May 1931, Hsueh resigned and went to live in Kowloon.

Hsueh remained inactive until May 1933, when he was summoned by Chiang Kai-shek to take command of the Fifth Army. In the autumn of 1933 he became director general of the Sixth Route of the northern front in the fifth anti-Communist campaign. His forces included the Fourth Army, commanded by Wu Ch'i-hui, and his task was to advance on the Communist armies in Kiangsi. In March 1934 the Nationalist forces launched their campaign. Hsueh led his men in many battles against such formidable opponents as Lin Piao and P'eng Te-huai (qq.v.).

In October 1934 the C^hinese Communists, unable to withstand the onslaughts of the Nationalists any longer, broke through the encircling blockades and began their Long March westward. Hsueh was assigned to pursue the Communists, and he followed them into Hunan, passed through Kwangsi, and went on to Kweichow. His was the first Nationalist force to enter Kweichow province since the establishment of the National Government in Nanking in 1927.

On 7 January 1935 the Chinese Clommunists captured Tsunyi and threatened the provincial capital of Kweiyang. Hsueh and his Fourth Army rushed to the outskirts of Kweiyang on 8 January and saved the city from occupation. Because Chiang Kai-shek feared that the Communists would use Tsunyi as a base, he ordered the armies in Szechwan and Kweichow to recapture the city. On 12 March, the Fourth Army and a Szechwanese force recaptured Tsunyi. The Communist forces then entered Yunnan.

The support of the Yunnanese governor Lung Yun (q.v.) was essential to the continued pursuit of the Communists; accordingly, Chiang Kai-shek named Lung commander in chief of the Second Route Army and appointed Hsueh director general of operations in the front of the Second Route Army, with control of all other units in Kweichow and Yunnan. Hsueh's army entered Yunnan and established front-line headquarters in Kunming on 4 May 1935. The Communists, on learning of his position, turned north toward Szechwan. Hsueh continued to pursue them.

On 11 July 1935 Chiang Kai-shek, during a meeting at Chengtu, pointed out that Hsueh's forces had pursued the enemy on foot over difficult terrain for more than 20,000 li, an unprecedented feat. After reaching Chengtu, Hsueh's forces proceeded northward in August. On new orders from Chiang, he moved most of his forces to Nanch'ung in September while the rest pushed forward to Wutu to complete the encirclement of the north Szechwan-south Shensi area.

As part of an attempt to establish a Szechwan- Yunnan-Kweichow border area, Communist forces occupied Jungcheng on 23 November 1935 and attempted to move east to Chengtu and south to meet the forces of Ho Lung (q.v.). Szechwanese troops were unable to stop this advance, and Hsueh Yueh was ordered to come to their aid. He sent some of his men to defend Chengtu and led the rest to victory at Jungcheng on 15 December. On 14 February 1936 he recaptured Tienchuan from the Communists, a victory which assured the safety of Chengtu and Chungking. Hsueh spent part of 1936 planning the construction of a Szechwan-Sikang highway to facilitate military operations. He then was ordered to lead his men to Kweichow, and in May 1937 he became governor of that province. When the Sino-Japanese war broke out in July, he was appointed deputy commander of the Third Reserve Army. After repeated appeals to be sent to the front, he received command of the Nineteenth Group Army in September. After the Shanghai, Nanking, and Hangchow areas had been lost and evacuated, he was appointed director general of the vanguard forces in the Third War Area, two of his tasks being the defense of southern Anhwei and the reorganization of defeated troops. In May 1938 he was sent to Honan, where he directed the battle at Lanfeng and dealt a severe blow to the Japanese. He then served briefly as commander in chief on the front lines of the First W ar Area. On 4 June he sent troops to breach the Yellow River dikes at Huang-taok'ou ; the resulting floods checked the Japanese advance westward. On 10 June, Hsueh relinquished his duties in the First War Area and went to Kiangsi to help defend ^Vuhan. Although his troops fought well, the Japanese captured Wuhan on 25 October.

On 12 November 1938 Chang Chih-chung (q.v.), the governor of Hunan, caused Changsha to be set ablaze after hearing a false report that the Japanese were approaching the city. -Chiang Kai-shek then ordered Hsueh Yueh to take control of the Ninth War Area, with headquarters at Changsha. In April 1939 he also was appointed governor of Hunan. He successfully repulsed major Japanese attacks on Changsha in September 1939, September 1941, and December 1941, thereby increasing his military renown. In November 1943 the Japanese launched an offensive against Ch'angte. Although this city was part of the Sixth War Area and thus was out of Hsueh's military jurisdiction, it was part of Hunan, and thus was his responsibility as governor. He rushed his forces to the area and forced the Japanese to withdraw. General Claire Chennault later praised Hsueh's handling of this engagement and administration of the Ninth W'ar Area in ]'ay of a Fighter, stating that Hsueh was superior to General Stilwell both in strategy and in the direction of combat operations. Despite Hsueh's eff'orts, the Japanese captured Changsha on 18 June 1944 and Hengyang on 8 August. In May 1946, less than a year after the war had ended, Hsueh was appointed head of the Hsuchow pacification bureau, succeeding Ku Chu-t'ung (q.v.). Hsuchow faced increasing threats from Communist forces under Ch'en Yi and Liu Po-ch'eng (qq.v.). Within nine months Hsueh Yueh had destroyed Ch'en Yi's base at Linyi, Shantung, and had forced him to retreat into the mountains. Liu Po-ch'eng was driven back across the Yellow River. Before Hsueh could complete the restoration of Shantung, he was relieved of his post for political reasons and was succeeded by Ku Chu-t'ung. Hsueh then became personal chief of staff' to Chiang Kai-shek. Early in 1949 Hsueh Yueh was appointed governor of Kwangtung in the hope that he could preserve the area as a Nationalist base. However, the situation was beyond his control, and Kwangtung fell to the Chinese Communists in October 1949. Hsueh then went to Taiwan, where he became a member of Chiang Kai-shek's strategic advisory council. In 1958 he was appointed to the Executive Yuan as minister without portfolio. He was generally regarded as the senior Cantonese general in Taiwan.

Biography in Chinese


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