Living Revolution | People's Liberation Army
A Heroic Company Armed with Mao Tse-tung's Thought
China Pictorial 1966.8. p.10
Comrade Lin Piao said in his famous Long Live the Victory of People's War! : "Owing to the application of Comrade Mao Tse-tung's line on army building, there has prevailed in our army at all times a high level of proletarian political consciousness, an atmosphere of keenness to study the thought of Mao Tse-tung, an excellent morale, a solid unity and a deep hatred for the enemy, and thus a gigantic moral force has been brought into being. In battle it has feared neither hardships nor death, it has been able to charge or hold its ground as the conditions require. One man can play the role of several, dozens or even hundreds, and miracles can be performed."
On the eve of "August 1" Army Day, we visited a unit of the Chinese People's Liberation Army called the " Steel Red Second Company", which has a long history. From all we saw and heard during our stay, and from our personal experience, we felt keenly that this company matched the description given by Comrade Lin Piao.
When the company was first organized, Comrade Lin Piao was appointed commander, It played a heroic part in the Nanchang Uprising on August 1, 1927, which was led by the Communist Party of China. In April, 1928, the armies of the Nanchang Uprising came to the Chingkang Mountains, China's first red revolutionary base built up personally by Comrade Mao Tse-tung, and joined forces with the armies of the Autumn Harvest Uprising under the command of Comrade Mao Tse-tung. They were merged to form the Fourth Army of the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army.
Then, under the personal direction of Comrade Mao Tsetung, the company set up a Party branch, instituted political work, put into effect the three cardinal democracies in political, economic and military affairs, gave the first lessons teaching the men to "fight for the workers and peasants", and set the three tasks of fighting, production and mass work. Thus, the second company became a new-type people's army unit. It fought heroically in the counter-campaigns against "encirclement and suppression". During the world-famous 25,000-li Long March, the second company was always in the lead, forcing the Wukiang River, capturing Luting Bridge, crossing the Snow Mountains and passing through the grasslands.
Wherever they went they spread revolutionary truth and sparks of the revolution among the masses of people. The company was therefore given the honoured title of "All-Round Model Company". During the first period of the War of Resistance Against Japan, the company took part in the famous Pinghsingkuan Campaign. After that, it went deep into the enemy rear to arouse and arm the masses and to kindle the flames of guerrilla war far and wide. In the winter of 1948, in the intense fight to encircle and annihilate the main force of the Kuomintang army (i.e., the army of Liao Yao-hsiang) in the Liaohsi-Shenyang Campaign, the second company repelled dozens of fierce enemy onslaughts and blocked solid the passage which was to have been used by the enemy to effect a break-through. After the campaign, the honoured title of "Steel Red Second Company" was conferred on it and from its ranks emerged 167 heroes and model fighters during the three years of the War of Liberation.
In turning over the pages of the glorious fighting history of the second company, one is moved to accord it the highest of praise: It is Mao Tse-tung's thought that has given this unit its unconquerable fighting power!
These veterans of the war years have been succeeded by group after group of young soldiers who, like their forbears, are intelligent and brave, with an irrepressible fighting will. They are carrying on and developing the tradition of the Chingkang Mountains. Raising high the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung's thought, they are building the army by placing proletarian politics in the forefront to increase the fighting power of the armed forces. These young soldiers remember well the teaching of Comrade Lin Piao, "In its fighting a people's army does not rely solely on weapons and technique, it relies mainly on politics, on the proletarian revolutionary consciousness and courage of the commanders and fighters, on the support and backing of the masses." "The best weapon is not an aeroplane, cannon, tank or atom bomb; it is Mao Tse-tung's thought. The greatest fighting power is man armed with Mao Tse-tung's thought, is courage and fearlessness of death."
Imbued with deep proletarian feelings, the cadres and soldiers of the second company study Chairman Mao's works every day. Chairman Mao's Serve the People, In Memory of Norman Bethune and The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains have enabled the young soldiers to cultivate the outlook of serving the Chinese people and people all over the world with heart and soul. They cherish the revolutionary interests of the Chinese people and people the world over, and assume the burden of the Chinese revolution and the world revolution. They are determined to devote themselves to the final burial of imperialism and to the liberation of the oppressed and exploited people. See how these young soldiers express it: "Keep the people in your heart forever and always keep the revolution in mind. Then you'll be able to cast away all thoughts of personal gain and loss, conquer any kind of difficulty or hardship, challenge ogres of all descriptions, dare to take risks and defy dangers."
In the squads, platoons and the company, records are kept which tell about the bitter, pre-liberation history of the soldiers' families, and about the sufferings of the oppressed and exploited people the world over. Profound class hatred inspires the soldiers with revolutionary fervour. Their hatred for the enemy is concentrated in the muzzles of their guns and they take the drill ground for the battlefield and the target for the real enemy. They practise hard for the people and for the revolution, maintaining their enthusiasm throughout all kinds of adverse weather. Training in perilous mountains and rapid rivers cannot dampen their enthusiasm. Many of them have become "sharp-shooters", "iron feet", "tigers in the forest" and "tough back-bones".
The company has always persisted in the democratic tradition of the people's army, developing widely the three cardinal democracies in political, economic and military affairs. The cadres are modest in listening to the opinions of the soldiers and follow the mass line, while the soldiers consciously observe discipline and are resolute in obeying orders. Everything is done well, quickly and through collective efforts. The cadres and soldiers work closely together, sharing joys and sorrows, and showing consideration for each other. The atmosphere in the company is one of profound class brotherhood and proletarian class feeling.
Keeping in mind Chairman Mao's teachings about respect and concern for the people, the company maintains the closest of ties with them. With their belongings on their backs and carrying their own provisions, the soldiers go to the people's communes to stay, eating, living and working with the members. They help the members study Chairman Mao's works, and spread Mao Tse-tung's thought. They help the people in spring ploughing and autumn harvesting, summer hoeing and winter storing. They train the people's militia and propagate Chairman Mao's thought on people's war. The second company has become near and dear to the commune members. Their relation with the masses of the people is like one between fish and water.
Since these young soldiers have the interests of the people at heart they have taken over from their revolutionary forerunners the task of acting as a "production unit as well as an army". They Open Up waste-land, till the fields, grow vegetables and raise pigs to lighten the people of their burden and to develop industriousness, which is the true mark of the labouring people. In 1965, they produced over 58,000 jin of vegetables, over 3,500 jin of pork and close to 3,000 jin of grain.
At present, the great nation-wide proletarian cultural revolution is surging with strength and vitality. In this great revolutionary torrent, the Red Second Company, raising high the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung's thought, rose with a bound, charged heroically ahead, just as in the old days on the battle field when attacking and seizing enemy positions. Using Mao Tse-tung's thought, the sharpest and most powerful weapon, they fired fiercely at the anti-Party and antisocialist black line, swept away all monsters and demons and severely criticized all the old ideology and culture and all the old customs and habits, which, fostered by the exploiting classes, have poisoned the minds of the people for thousands of years. In this unprecedented, soul-touching, great proletarian cultural revolution, they creatively study and apply Mao Tse-tung's thought to temper themselves to be ever more proletarian and ever more militant.
No matter how desperate a last-ditch struggle im perialism, modern revisionism and all reactionaries put up, and no matter how sinister an attack the anti-Party and anti-socialist elements launch, the fighters, armed with Mao Tse-tung's thought, are afraid of nothing. They are determined to "do away with all pests! Our force is irresistible."
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