Brief Introduction to the Campaign
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Brief Introduction to the Huaihai Campaign
Xuzhou was situated in the bordering area of four provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong, Henan and Anhui. It was a communication hub for the two railways of Jinpu and Longhai, an important military base for the Kuomintang Army to consolidate the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River. It was also the largest central city in the battlefield of the Huaihai Campaign. During the period of the campaign, in the vast area centering around Xuzhou, the KMT Army concentrated the six corps commanded respectively by Qiu Qingquan, Li Mi, Huang Baitao, Sun Yuanliang, Li Yannian and Liu Ruming, the troops in the 1st Pacification Zone and 3rd Pacification Zone, plus reinforced Huang Wei Corps later, amounting to 800,000 troops in the seven main corps and the two pacification zones. Under the command of Liu Zhi, Commander-in-chief of ¡°Bandit Suppression¡± Headquarters in Xuzhou and Du Yuming, Vice Commander-in-chief, with the guideline of ¡°the defense of the Huaihe River goes first before of the Yangtze River¡±, the KMT troops were in offensive defense and ready for decisive battle with the PLA. In order to annihilate the main force of KMT Army locally in the north of the Yangtze River, the PLA concentrated the troops of 16 columns plus an army in East China Field Army, and 7 columns in Central Plains Army, plus local armed forces, amounting to 600,000 troops. On November 6, 1948, the large-scale Huaihai Campaign was launched in the vast area of about 80,000 square kilometers, from Haizhou in the east to Shangqiu in the west, from Lincheng in the north to the Huaihe River in the south. The whole campaign was divided into three phases.

The First Phase----- Encircling and Annihilating Huang Baitao¡¯s Corps, Isolating Xuzhou
After the campaign was launched, according to the instructions of the Central Military Commission to annihilate Huang Baitao Corps first, the East China Field Army marched southward with the spearhead pointing directly to Huang Baitao Corps. At that time, Huang Baitao¡¯s Corps was under orders to be drawing back from Xin¡¯an Town to Xuzhou. The East China Field Army concentrated troops of 14 columns to bravely chase, intercept, and outflank this enemy. On November 8, three and half divisions of 3rd Pacification Zone of Kuomintang Army garrisoning Jiawang started an uprising on the battlefield. Our troops promptly passed through the defense area of this force and directly thrust into Longhai Railway, and directly severed the retreat route of Huang Baitao¡¯s Corps. On November 11, Huang Baitao¡¯s Corps was besieged at Nianzhuangwei. In the meanwhile, the Central Plains Field Army had been deployed fully in the west of Xuzhou and annihilated 181st Division first, then captured Suxian County, separating Xuzhou from Bengbu. The two field armies coordinated closely and encircled Xuzhou strategically. In order to ensure the complete annihilation of Huang Baitao¡¯s Corps, our troops firmly blocked the reinforcement from Qiu Qingquan¡¯s Corps and Li Mi¡¯s Corps in Xuzhou. Fierce fighting on the battlefield of Nianzhuang lasted till November 22. Huang Baitao¡¯s Corps was annihilated completely and Commander Huang Baitao got killed. This phase created favorable conditions for the campaign to develop smoothly.

The Second Phase--- Surrounding and Annihilating Huang Wei¡¯s Corps, Encircling Du Yuming Group
After Huang Baitao¡¯s Corps was annihilated, in order to save the losing battle, Jiang Jieshi urgently ordered Huang Wei¡¯s Corps and Kuomintang Army in Xuzhou and Bengbu to join forces so as to get through the communications line between Xuzhou and Bengbu. Judging the hour and sizing up the situation, the Central Military Commission decided to annihilate Huang Wei¡¯s Corps that was advancing rashly as an isolated force. Our troops adopted the operational principles of blocking the enemy in the south and the north and surrounding and annihilating the enemy in the middle. On November 25, Huang Wei¡¯s Corps was besieged at Shuangduiji. The enemy in Xuzhou and Bengbu advanced slowly due to our tenacious interception. Thereby the Kuomintang Army¡¯s plan of attack from south and north and joining forces was smashed thoroughly. The enemy in Xuzhou was forced to abandon the city and withdrew to the west. The East China Field Army immediately launched the pursuit from the whole line. On December 4, three Corps of Qiu Qingquan, Li Mi and Sun Yuanliang under command of Du Yuming were besieged in the region of Chenguanzhuang. On December 6, the East China Field Army launched the general attack against Huang Wei¡¯s Corps and fully annihilated these enemy troops till December 15. Commander Huang Wei was captured. This phase laid a firm foundation for winning the complete victory in the Huaihai Campaign.

The Third Phase---Rest and Recuperation in Battlefield and Annihilating Du Yuming Group Completely
After Huang Wei¡¯s Corps was annihilated, Du Yuming Group in the region of Chenguanzhuang was besieged ring upon ring by the PLA and fell into the dead end thoroughly. In order to operate in coordination with the Pingjin Campaign, our troops had a 20-day rest and recuperation in the battlefield. On January 6, 1949, the East China Field Army eventually launched the general attack against Du Yuming Group that refused to surrender. On January 10, Du Yuming Group was annihilated completely and Du Yuming, Vice Commander-in-chief of the ¡°Bandit Suppression¡± Headquarters in Xuzhou, was captured. Qiu Qingquan, Commander of the 2nd Corps got killed. Li Mi, Commander of the 13th Corps and Sun Yuanliang, Commander of the 16th Corps secretly fled in disguise. Thereby the large-scale Huaihai Campaign that experienced bloody, fierce battles in three phases and 66 days ended victoriously. In this campaign, the PLA altogether annihilated 555,000 Kuomintang troops, including an Advance Command Post of the ¡°Bandit Suppression¡± Headquarters, 5 headquarters of corps, 1 headquarters for the pacification zone, 22 headquarters of army and 56 divisions in full. The victory of the Huaihai Campaign, together with the victories of the Liaoshen Campaign and the Pingjin Campaign, shook the rule of the Kuomintang government from the root and greatly accelerated the victorious course in the War of Liberation, which laid a victorious foundation for the PLA to cross the Yangtze River, directly attack Nanjing, sweep across the south of the Yangtze River, and finally liberate the whole China.