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24 July, 2015 00:00 00 AM

Memory of Mt. Songshan

Lang Jingjing and Li Shaoming
Memory of Mt. Songshan
The Chinese Expeditionary Force sculpture ware launched in 2013 in Longling county at the site of Battle of Songshan Mountain. Sculptor Li Chunhua created 402 sculptures including infantry and artillery troops. Photo by Liu Jianhua

The memory of a mountain is to be cherished by our nation. The memory of Songshan Mountain in western Yunnan’s Longling County can be traced back to a horrific battle over 70 years ago. In June 1944, the Chinese Expeditionary Force launched a counter-offensive against Japanese troops who had been occupying Songshan Mountain for two years. When the battle was over three months later, more than 1,200 Japanese troops were killed, 7,700 soldiers and officers of the Chinese Expeditionary Force became casualties and the Yunnan-Myanmar Road resumed transportation of materials for Chinese people’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, effectively reversing the situation in western Yunnan.

On July 5, 2015, the all-media interviewing group of Yunnan Daily Press Group left the county seat of Longling in search of the footprints of martyrs that lost their lives in the Songshan battle. We came to Songshan Mountain in a drizzle. In front of the pine forest quietly stood the Memorial Cemetery for officers and soldiers of the 103rd Division of the 8th Army who fell in the Songshan battle. The two banyan trees at one side were still covered with bullet holes, but they were nonetheless heavily fruiting with tender buds growing off of the branches. It was a voiceless reminder of the horrifying battle more than 70 years ago.

In 1942, the Chinese Expeditionary Force lost their first battle in Myanmar, and Japanese troops began to eye Kunming. The Chinese Expeditionary Force destroyed Huitong Bridge, keeping the enemy on the west bank of Nujiang River. However, the China-Myanmar Road, a crucial route for transportation of materials for Chinese people’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, was also cut off. In order to recover the China-Myanmar Road, the Chinese Expeditionary Force waged a counter-offensive against the Japanese troops entrenched in Songshan Mountain in June 1944.

The Japanese troops built more than 40 small and large blockhouses at Gunlongpo, Dayakou, Zigaodi, and four other strongholds. On the periphery was a web of interconnected trenches. The Chinese Expeditionary Force fought a desperate fight. They shot upwards, bombed with fighter planes and were even engaged in a hand-to-hand combat with the enemy at the main stronghold at Zigaodi, the highest peak of Songshan Mountain.

In the end, the Chinese Expeditionary Force, working day and night, dug two tunnels under the main stronghold and loaded three tons of explosives, which were detonated and sent the Japanese stronghold flying into the air. The Chinese troops thus seized Zigaodi and won a decisive victory.

After the fierce battle, Songshan Mountain was covered with blood, flesh, and bodies. All the plants and trees were burnt to ashes, and the earth was literally scorched. Over the past 70 years, towering trees have again grown up from the blood-soaked soil. People say the pine trees here are tall and upright, just like the spirits of martyrs.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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