Song Zheyuan

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Sòng Zhéyuán (宋哲元) (October 30, 1885-April 5, 1940) was a Chinese general during the Chinese Civil War and Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945).



Early life and education

Born in the Zhaohong Village, northwest of downtown area of Leling County, Shandong Province, China, he was educated under his uncle from his mother's side, a teacher of a traditional Confucian private school in Yanshan County. At the age of 20 (1904) he began studying in the military institute founded by Lu Jianzhang at Beijing and had since become Lu's favorite. In 1912 the troops of Lu and Feng Yuxiang, now subordinates of Yuan Shikai, were regrouped and Feng had then been Song's superior.

Military career

In 1917, a year after being appointed the head of 1st battalion of Feng's 2nd regiment, his battalion spearheaded the removal of Zhang Xun from his imperial restoration in 1917. As part of the Guominjun he became Governor of Jehol Province in 1926. Following the defeat of the Guominjun in the Anti–Fengtian War Feng Yuxiang participated in the Northern Expedition, Sòng assumed the Chairmanship of Shaanxi province in November 1927 and in April of the same year the head of 4th division under the II Corps of the National Revolutionary Army.

Switching sides to the Kuomintang after the abortive coup d'état in 1930 of Feng against Chiang Kai-shek, his troops were designated as the 29th Army and garrisoned in southern Shanxi province where he was responsible for the frontiers of the Rehe and Chahar provinces against the Japanese in Manchukuo.

Chair of Chahar province

Song was the chairman of Chahar province when Japan invaded the provinces in the end of year 1932. Though poorly equipped compared to the better armed Japanese, Song led the 29th army to resist the aggression in a war known as the Defense of the Great Wall (熱河長城之戰). Japanese troops then entered the suburbs of Beijing and Tianjin after the predictable victory. Song was relieved from his post but reinstalled as commander after the Ho-Umezu agreement.

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