The Memorial Hall of the Original Site of the Red Fourth Front Army Headquarter in Tongjiang County of Bazhong City
After the Nanchang Uprising 南昌起义 in 1927, the CCP started to intensify its ambitions to found a standing army, which later became known as the Red Army 红军. Since October 1930, the GMD government under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek 蒋介石 (1887-1975) launched five major offensives against the CCP Soviet base in Jiangxi Province 江西省 (Schmidt-Glintzer 2008: 202). During that campaign, the Red Army distinguished itself in guerrilla warfare and established new combat units. During this period the Red Fourth Front Army 红四方面军 was founded in 1931. With its military strength of 30.000 soldiers, it represented the second strongest combat force of the young Red Army (Ouyang 2013: 4). From December 1932 to spring 1935, the Red Fourth Front Army established its headquarter in Tongjiang County, which belongs to today’s Bazhong City 巴中市, located in Sichuan Province 四川省. As stated on the website “Sichuan wenming wang”, the Red Fourth Front Army was able to secure several victories against the GMD in Bazhong and therefore, the self-praise on the website holds, contributed in an outstanding way to the glorious history of the Communist Party.
Occupying an area of about 784 square meters, the construction of the current Memorial was completed in 2005. Its major buildings imitate the elegant and simple architecture of the Ming- and Qing-Dynasties. As part of the Memorial is also a building of wooden structure, where the political department 政治部 of the Red Fourth Front Army was located (Yi qi zhui ji). As stated on the website “Wutongzhi”, the site has been well preserved and the Sichuan-Shaanxi Revolutionary Base was considered as the second-largest revolutionary base at the time. According to the website Yi qi zhui ji , the Sichuan-Shaanxi Revolutionary Base Military History Exhibition Hall 川陕革命根据 地军史陈列馆 was established at the site in 1982. Seven years later, the museum was renamed as The Original Site and Exhibition Hall of the Red Fourth Front Army General Headquarter 红四方面军总指挥部旧址陈列馆 and in 1993, an inscription written by the former CCP chairman Jiang Zemin 江泽民 (born 1926) was attached at the entrance.
As Tony Saich has argued, the Fourth Front Army functioned as a model for other Red Army forces, who were supposed to learn from its “heroism and excellent fighting skills” (Saich 1996: 681). Due to this function as a military role model, it is understandable why the site in Tongjiang county of Bazhong City was added to the second list of Bases for Patriotic Education 爱国主义教育基地 in 2001.
Ouyang Min 欧阳敏 (2013): Bashan hongqi hong si fangmian jun chuan shaan jishi 巴山红旗 红四方面军川陕纪实 (The Red Flag over Ba Mountain – The Documentary of the Red Fourth Front Army at Sichuan and Shaanxi). Chengdu 成都: Sichuan People’s Publishing House.
Saich, Tony (1996): The rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party.Armonk: An East Gate Book.
Schmidt-Glintzer, Helwig (2008): Kleine Geschichte Chinas. München: C.H. Beck.
“Sichuan wenminwang“: http://www.scwmw.cn/topic/2016/hjcz/bz/hsjzhb/
“Yi qi zhui ji“: https://www.iwenbo.fun/museum/4385.html
List of Pictures:
Featured Image: “中国工农红军军旗“ (source: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD%E5%B7%A5%E5%86%9C%E7%BA%A2%E5%86%9B%E7%AC%AC%E5%9B%9B%E6%96%B9%E9%9D%A2%E5%86%9B#/media/File:%E4%B8%AD%E5%9C%8B%E5%B7%A5%E8%BE%B2%E7%B4%85%E8%BB%8D%E8%BB%8D%E6%97%97.svg, author: PhiLiP).