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Battle of Yenangyaung Victory Memorial Unveiled


Battle of Yenangyaung Victory Memorial Unveiled

Sources: All Taipei Newspapers

January 15, 2013

70 years ago, the Chinese Expeditionary Force, with a strength of less than a regiment, smashed Japan’s 33th Division, rescuing 7,000 British troops from enemy encirclement while also freeing about 500 POWs, including American missionaries, news reporters from several countries, and women. On January 13, a stone plate commemorating the victory was unveiled at High Ground 501, the site of the fiercest fighting of the battle. More than 60 persons witnessed the unveiling of the memorial, including then Liu Wei-ming, Regiment Commander Liu Fang-wu’s son, Li Yukun, a surviving veteran who saw action in the Battle of Yenangyaung, the descendents of famous generals during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

The 113th Regiment of the New 38th Division under the Chinese Expeditionary Force was outnumbered, 7 to 1, in the Battle of Yenangyaung, but successfully rescued the encircled British troops. This was the first time that China defeated Japanese forces outside its borders since the Ching Dynasty. The victory in the Battle of Yenangyaung spurred the Chinese to resist Japanese aggression, enhanced the morale of the Chinese Armed Forces, and led the Allied Powers to reevaluate China’s strength.

Before the 50th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Yenangyaung, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited the US in 1992. She used the occasion to meet with Gen. Liu Fang-wu, who was then in retirement in the US with his sons. Margaret Thatcher especially thanked Gen. Liu (Liu had been a colonel and a regiment commander during the Battle of Yenangyaung), for rescuing the British troops.

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