Into the "Pingxingguan Battle Assault Company"——

Find the key to victory

  Our reporter Tan Liangqing Special correspondent Marine correspondent Zhan Lihong

  It became famous during the First World War, and it is most appropriate to describe the "Pingxingguan War Assault Company".

  83 years ago, the entire Chinese nation and even the world’s anti-fascist front remembered the Pingxingguan victory and the "Pingxingguan war assault company."

  At that time, British journalist James Bertrand commented in the Daily Herald: “A part of the offensive Japanese troops suffered a disastrous defeat at Pingxingguan. It was a kind of sports warfare on the mountain, and it launched a new situation in China's war of resistance!”

  In 1952, China issued a set of stamps. One of them was printed with the scene of the Eighth Route Army triumphantly in front of Pingxing Pass. This is a battlefield photo taken by photographer Sha Fei.

  Through this photo, we can vaguely see the young army back then. Except for the stories of a few legendary heroes that have been passed down to this day, the names of many warriors have been lost in the long river of history.

Picture ①: In the sun, the flag of "Pingxingguan Battle Assault Company" was flying in the wind.

  After the battle, where did this unit go? What did you do again?

  Today, we walked into the "Pingxingguan War Assault Company" to look for the footprints of that unit.

  Since the Nanchang Uprising fired the "first shot", this unit has gone through the 25,000-mile Long March, the War of Resistance against Japan, the War of Liberation and the Korean War.

  Today, this company has been transferred to a brigade of the 79th Army of the Army, combined with the third battalion and nine companies. On October 1, 2019, at the 70th anniversary of the National Day military parade, this battle flag once again appeared in Tiananmen Square.

  Looking at the company's 90-year history of ups and downs, its history can be summed up in one sentence: from victory to victory.

  Why can we go from victory to victory? Where is the key to victory?

  Looking for the answer in time memory, you will see a capitalized "warrior".

Picture ②: The banner of honor soaked in the blood of revolutionary martyrs.

A well-known legend, a little-known sacrifice

  For Jiulian, July 24, this day was a bit more lively than the New Year.

  On this day, it was the 56th "Lianqing" in which the company was awarded the title of "Ninth Red Company for Studying Chairman Mao's Works" by the Ministry of National Defense.

  In previous years, the company had a meal. Everyone gathered in the honor room to review the history of the company together. Veterans will also express their blessings via telephone or video.

  This year's "Lianqing", they spent on the training ground. After a brief meeting, the officers and soldiers continued to engage in training.

  On the battlefield, the company's officers and soldiers lined up. Behind them are several new armored vehicles. The red battle flag of "Pingxingguan vs. Assault Company" is hunting in the wind.

  "There are many memorial days in the history of the company, and each one is sacred to us. Behind them are the dedication and sacrifice of our ancestors." Instructor Liu Tiancheng said solemnly.

  At this moment, standing on the battlefield, watching the "Pingxingguan Battle Assault Company" flag flutter in the wind, Liu Tiancheng truly felt the weight of history.

  Speaking of the "Pingxingguan Great Victory", for most young people today, what they understand is only the standard summary written in the textbooks-the first victory of the Eighth Route Army to resist Japan, breaking the myth of "invincibility" by the Japanese army. But as the instructor of this company, Liu Tiancheng understood that the victory in 1937 was hard-won--

  After the "July 7 Incident", the Japanese invaders launched a frantic attack on North China. Thousands of people from the 21st Brigade of the Sakagaki Division and the squadron, from the Lingqiu to the flat Kansai.

  The 2nd Battalion, 5th Company of the 685th Regiment of the 115th Division of the Eighth Route Army, as the "Assault Company", was ordered to ambush the leading Japanese troops in the highlands north of Guangou.

  In early autumn, it rained all night. Finally, at dawn, the Japanese entered an ambush. Upon receiving the order to "start the attack", the company commander Zeng Xiansheng, nicknamed "Mengzi", led the entire company to charge.

  Blood, stumps, shouts... The brutality of hand-to-hand combat is far beyond people's imagination. According to the "History of the Hamada United Team" published in Japan in 1973, "More than 100 cars were burnt down...There were countless dead people such as Xinzhuang Zhongzuo on the highway, and the charred corpses lying in the cab. It was so miserable that one could not bear to see. "

  At the end of the battle, there were only more than 30 people left in the 160 company. Zeng Xiansheng, who stabbed more than 10 enemies to death on his own, was brave enough to die. At the time of the sacrifice, he covered his wound, still glaring, staring at the enemy who had died under his sword.

  This gaze, lives toward death.

  Zeng Xiansheng saw the enemy, saw death, and at the same time saw the hope ignited in the eyes of the hundreds of millions of people behind him. What flickered in his eyes was the dawn of victory.

  After the war, the company was awarded the honorary title of "Pingxingguan Battle Assault Company".

  83 years later, in the Pingxingguan Martyrs Cemetery, white tombs and monuments stand quietly. Here, 264 martyrs who died during the Battle of Pingxingguan are buried.

  A well-known legend, a little-known sacrifice.

  Many people think that history is very far away, but in the hearts of the officers and soldiers of the "Pingxingguan Battle Assault Company", the collision of blood and fire is close at hand.

  In the honor room, every recruit will listen to the veterans telling the bloody scenes in history before the battle flag of the "Pingxingguan Battle Assault Company". Zeng Xiansheng's gaze is forever engraved in history, and it is also printed in the hearts of every soldier in the company.

  In 2015, at the military parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, the company soldier Zhou Yujian accepted the inspection of the motherland and the people.

  "The'Pingxingguan Battle Assault Company' has more than 300 heroes and models. I stand first in the first row." Zhou Yujian had a firm gaze as he walked through Tiananmen Square.

  At this moment, countless people are watching the square on the TV screen. One of them came from the bank of the Mudanjiang River more than 1,000 kilometers away. When the company's banner appeared, Xu Qiang, the fourth-level sergeant commander, burst into tears.

  Xu Qiang is now discharged from the army. In that military parade, in addition to the "Pingxingguan Battle Assault Company" hero and model unit, he still remembered the veteran unit of the Anti-Japanese War that slowly passed by Tiananmen Square.

  In the square team, dozens of veterans were gray-haired and full of medals on their chests. The eldest of them was 102 years old. Some old people shed tears in silence. Behind these tears is a little-known sacrifice——

  "Eyes are full of wounded. At that time, the medical conditions were poor, there was no anesthetic, and no plasma. Many soldiers died of pain on the simple operating table..." Liu Bohua, a veteran of the Anti-Japanese War, couldn't forget the scene of the rescue of his comrades in the Pingxingguan battle.

  At that time, Liu Bohua served as the nursing squad leader in the 685 regiment of the "Pingxingguan Battle Assault Company". In the battle, he led the whole class of more than 20 soldiers, down the wounded from the battlefield.

  At that time, Liu Bohua had just turned 18 years old. In that battle, many Eighth Route Army soldiers similar to his age and even younger than him died at Pingxingguan.

  The Pingxingguan battle is always worth remembering, not only because of that victory, but also because the banner of victory was soaked with the blood of the ancestors.

Picture ③: The ancestors of Jiu Lian fought hand-to-hand with the Japanese army.

From victory to victory, running for the people

  "In memory of the dead, bless Tangshan."

  July 28 is the 44th anniversary of the Tangshan earthquake. Those black and white photos in the earthquake that year appeared on the Internet again, leaving people in sad memories.

  Seeing these photos, "Post-00" soldier Li Kangning couldn't help but think of a bugle——

  The sky is gloomy in the winter afternoon. Li Kangning was taken to the company honor room by the instructor. Just one year after coming to the company, he had to talk to the instructor so solemnly, this young man felt a little nervous. Unexpectedly, the instructor gave him a bugle before he spoke.

  "People remember us because of the Pingxing Pass, but our company has not only fought this battle." The instructor told him, "Resisting U.S. Aid Korea, Tangshan Earthquake, Daxinganling fire fighting... stepping out of the Pingxing Pass, we acted as the main attack company and the assault company, and it sounded. More than 3,000 Chargers! The bugle that the ancestors blew on the front line of the Tangshan earthquake relief work is still in the collection of the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution."

  That was the first time Li Kangning touched the bugle. When he took over the bugle, his heart was heavy. He understands that this bugle means not only history, but also mission.

  "The Charge is the most difficult trumpet to play. In order to play it well, I practiced hard for a month." Li Kangning's training site was beside a lotus pond. In the twelfth lunar month of winter, at a glance, the whole pond is only bare ice.

  Here, Li Kangning blew the Charge for the first time. Since then, he often imagined himself blowing the Charge on the battlefield.

  More than 3,000 Chargers, with a range of hundreds of thousands of kilometers. If the company’s footprints are marked on the map, the densely packed dots and lines will be dazzling.

  You can always see this company in the places where the people need it most. For this, Ren Mengyu, a recruit who has been in the company for less than a year, has his own experience.

  Not long ago, the Wangjiaba Gate, the "first gate of the Huai River in a thousand miles," in Fuyang, Anhui, discharged floods, and the river rushed out. Tianji Town, Funan County, not far from here, is Ren Mengyu's hometown.

  Watching the TV news, those camouflage-colored figures fighting on the front line of the flood, Ren Mengyu remembered the photo of the company fighting the flood——

  The photo shows the scene of company officers and soldiers standing by the Moonpao Reservoir during the devastating flood in 1998.

  That summer, the company rushed to the front line of the Nenjiang River to fight the flood. Along the way, large tracts of farmland were submerged in water, and only scattered treetops and roofs could be seen. This scene is very similar to the scene in today's TV news.

  Ren Mengyu is 18 years old this year and is ready to go to the front line. He said: "Many ancestors were even younger than me when they sacrificed."

  The 93-year continuous history has written the long journey of this army from victory to victory. The officers and soldiers of the company ran north and south of the motherland and never retreated. Because behind them are hundreds of millions of people. They used actions to interpret the meaning of "people's soldiers".

Picture ④: After the transformation, the officers and soldiers of the Ninth Company drove a new type of chariot on the training ground. This group of photos is provided by Zhan Lihong

Find the key to victory from the big knife of the year

  The spring breeze is warm and the sun is shining. Through the periscope of the new tank, Shangshining Xiaolin saw the car passing by. He joked with his comrades: "Speak out, everyone doesn't believe me, I don't have a driver's license yet!"

  In April this year, Ning Xiaolin drove a new type of chariot to the field for training. In front of him, dozens of buttons of different colors are dazzling. Now, he can operate these buttons with his eyes closed.

  At this time, it was only a year since the company changed its outfit.

  "The mission on our shoulders forced us to speed up our journey," said company commander Wang Changxi. "From 2017 to 2020, we have undergone two transformations in three years, and we have taken an unprecedented test of the times."

  At the beginning of the transition, more than 90% of the company's officers and soldiers involved post adjustments and professional exchanges. This team that came out of victory encountered a setback at the beginning of the reform-the first professional assessment in the battalion, the professional performance of the three major crews, the company commander, the gun commander, and the driver, was not ideal.

  When the officers and soldiers were confused, a transfer report appeared on the table of the company's chief officer.

  "I am getting older and must adapt to the new equipment ahead of time. I can't hold back the company," said Ning Xiaolin, the old squad leader. "Our company has a saying, "Raise honor above your head and step on difficulties under your feet." Long Zeng Xiansheng fought against the Japanese army with a big knife, relying on this blood."

  The Eighth Route Army suffered a lot from the equipment gap on the anti-Japanese battlefield. According to statistics, the Japanese army produced more than 6 million bayonets in World War II, while a division of the Eighth Route Army had only a few hundred bayonets. According to Japanese records, the broadswords used by the Eighth Route Army soldiers at that time were tens of centimeters shorter than the 38-type rifles equipped with bayonets in the Japanese Army, and they were easier to roll.

  Fight against the brave and win. This gap of tens of centimeters was filled with blood by the Eighth Route Army soldiers.

  At that time, the veteran of the 115th Division was only 14 years old. Many small soldiers like him are not even as high as the 38-style rifle equipped with bayonet. Under such circumstances, the officers and soldiers of the Eighth Route Army fought to the end, using broad swords to cut a blood path for the Chinese nation.

  In the gloomy dark night of the Chinese land, the victory under the flat type closed shining with unparalleled light. Since then, the assault spirit of "fighting and attacking the enemy first" has been carved into the bones of the officers and soldiers of the Ninth Company.

  Now, with more advanced equipment, the "enemy formation" placed in front of the officers and soldiers of the Jiu Company has not disappeared.

  There is a card on the bedside of the soldier Lu Shibin with a motto: "The power of the ship is on the sail, and the power of the man is on the heart."

  Facing the changing times, the officers and soldiers used the assault spirit condensed on the "big sword" to solve the problem. If the equipment is not in place, they will modify their own training simulation equipment; the pace of transformation is fast, everyone will work overtime to learn new knowledge...

  The ambition to fall into the battlefield, the achievement of a viable division. Not long ago, the brigade organized a competition. The commander Lu Dongpeng and the driver Yang Meng wanted to win the first place in the brigade. This achievement was earned by their sweat.

  From victory to victory. The big sword will roll the blade, but the assault spirit gathered on the blade will not.

  In the honor room, the battle flag of the "Pingxingguan War Assault Company" was quietly hung. The battle flag was speechless, but told every group of officers and soldiers with blood and history--

  When you become true fighters, you become the key to victory.

  Layout design: Liang Chen