The Hundred Regiments Offensive Memorial
During the first three years of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), the Japanese invading army conquered a large part of Northern China.
In 1940, a military campaign was initiated by Zhu De 朱德 (1886-1976) and Peng Dehuai 彭德怀 (1898-1974), who later became PLA marshals of the People’s Republic of China, to stop the ongoing advance of Japanese troops in this area. From 20. August to 5. December, 105 regiments of the Eighth Route Army 八路军 attacked the Japanese forces and started to destroy traffic facilities, especially railroads, controlled by the Japanese army (Wang 1989: 69). Due to the large number of combat units fighting in this campaign, it was entitled the “Hundred Regiments Offensive 百团大战“. Tony Saich argues that this battle seemed to have strengthened China’s ambition to fight against the Japanese Empire, since “the victory of the ‘100 Regiments’ Campaign has inspired the armed forces and the people in the country” (Saich 1996: 942).
In 1987, the “Hundred Regiments Offensive Monuments 百团大战纪念碑” were established at Shinao Mountain 狮脑山 near Yangquan City 阳泉市, Shanxi Province 山西省.
According to the People’s Daily 人民日报, the major monument is a 40-meter-high white marble pyramid, which is decorated with inscriptions of the two party leaders Peng Zhen 彭真 (1902-1997) and Bo Yibo 薄一波 (1908-2007) as well as the PLA marshal Xu Xiangqian 徐向前 (1901-1990). Other memorial objects include a copper relief portraying fighting scenes of the campaign (People’s Daily 1987) and several auxiliary monuments and inscription sites. In 1995, a memorial hall dedicated to the 100 Regiment Offensive was built. As stated on the website “Yi qi zhui ji”, it was newly built in 2010 and offers three main exhibitions, namely “Assembling 集结”, “Attack 破袭” and “Victory 胜利”. Here, the military history of the offensive and its relevance for war against the Japanese invaders is portrayed. Besides the large number of historical objects and photos, the museum offers light and sound effects and a model made with sand and stone to convey a vivid impression of the battle that was fought at Shinao Mountain (Yi qi zhui ji).
In 1997, the site was added to the first list of Bases for Patriotic Education 爱国主义教育基地. Given that the “100 Regiments Offensive” notably contributed to the expansion of the Eighth Route Army and therefore anticipated the development of the People’s Liberation Army as a whole, it is not surprising that the Memorial was announced as a site of (military) education.
Jin Chunming 金春明 (1981): Baituan Dazhan 百团大战 (The 100 Regiments Offensive). Nanning 南宁: Guangxi People`s Printing House.
Ma Jinxing 马晋兴 and Cheng Guanglong 程光龙 (07.07.1987): “Batuan Dazhan jinianbei zai Yangquan luocheng 百团大战纪念碑在阳泉落成 (The Hundred Regiments Offensive Monument at Yangquan is completed)”. In: People’s Daily 人民日报.
Saich, Tony (1996): The rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party. Armonk: An East Gate Book.
Wang Zhengzhu 王政柱 (1989): Baituan Dazhan shimo 百团大战始末 (The whole story of the 100 Regiments Offensive “. Guangzhou 广州: Guangdong People’s Printing House.
Website Yi qi zhui ji: https://www.iwenbo.fun/museum/397.html
List of Pictures:
Featured Image: “来自新华网《军事天地》http://news.xinhuanet.com/mil/2005-05/23/xinsrc_0220502231051265124455.jpg 照片拍摄的中国抗日战争时期八路军攻占娘子关的场景。摄于1940年。 来源：延安《新中华报》 发布日期：1940年8月25日” (source: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%99%BE%E5%9B%A2%E5%A4%A7%E6%88%98#/media/File:Hundred_Regiments_Offensive_1940.jpg, author: The original uploader was Refrain at Chinese Wikipedia.