Foreign Veteran Remembers WWII, Chinese Civil War

Foreign+Veteran+Remembers+WWII%2C+Chinese+Civil+War

Mr. 唐孔武, born in 1919 in Hunan, China, served in World War II and the Chinese Civil War.  He enlisted in the National Revolutionary Army (the Chinese army) in 1942 because there was “no other choice, especially during World War II.”  The Japanese were taking over Chinese land; many civilians were brutally murdered.   

While fighting in World War II, Mr. 唐孔武 was always in constant combat zones.  Because China lacked many technical advancements with weapons, it was difficult for the Chinese to fight the Japanese. He fought in India and various places in China.  He remembers when he went to India to fight, he travelled by plane for the first time and says, “I felt like puking the entire time because the planes at the time were not comfortable.” When he was in India, he and his troop mates helped England and the United States keep Japan out of India.  (At that time, Japan had already invaded Myanmar and were pushing toward India, an important colony of England at the time).  He remembers when he was in a certain battle between two sergeants and was attacked by rapid fire.  唐孔武 managed to hide, but the sergeants next to him were not as lucky.  One was killed and the other wounded.

Army

After World War II was over,  唐孔武 was pulled into another war: the Chinese Civil War.  (The war was the National Revolutionary Army against the Communist Army).  The National Revolutionary Army fought until they were defeated.  The los of this war, he feels, was no surprise because all the troops were already exhausted from fighting in World War II.   He quickly fled to Taiwan after the defeat because if he stayed, he would have been executed by the Communists for fighting against them.   

During his time in war, he was unable to keep in contact with family members because the army was too busy, too tired, and “were lucky to be even alive.”  With the war raging throughout China, it was also difficult for letters to go through.  Adjusting to Taiwan wasn’t too difficult because Taiwan had many Chinese immigrants escaping China. Mr. 唐孔武 was not happy with the defeat because much of the land his family owned was taken away forever.

 

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Mr.唐孔武 says that Mao Zedong wasn’t a good leader for China.  (Mr. 唐孔武 went to the same school as Mao, and though Mao graduated much earlier, he says that there were rumors of Mao stealing fellow students’ clothing, wearing them until they smelled, and then returning them).

Mr. 唐孔武 served about 30 years with the National Revolutionary Army and in Taiwan’s military and taught at a military school in Taiwan. The highest position Mr.  唐孔武 had in his career was Lieutenant Colonel.

*This interview was translated from Mandarin Chinese.