Military Wiki
12th Group Army
Active 1949–2017
Country China
Part of Nanjing Military Region
Garrison/HQ Xuzhou, Jiangsu

The 12th (Group) Army was one of the three group armies of the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Nanjing Military Region.[1]

It was disbanded and redesignated in mid 2017 as the 71st Group Army.[2]


The origin of the 12th Army lies in the surrender of the 74th Division of the Chinese Nationalist National Revolutionary Army, as well as with the sixth column of the Second Field Army.

Civil War

On 9 February 1949, the 34th, 35th and the 36th Divisions were incorporated into the Twelfth Army.[3] On 29 November 1949, Chongqing was captured and later the Battle of Chengdu was fought.[4]

Korean War

In December 1950, the 12th Army entered the Korean War. The People's Republic of China's (PRC) 31st Division of the 11th Army was incorporated into the 12th Army. The 11th Army returned to China in 1954.[citation needed]

Late-20th century

From August 1, 1983, the 2nd Tank Division was attached to the 12th Army Corps.[5]

In 1985, the 12th Army was re-formed as a Group Army. It was incorporated into the "60 June 179" division. The re-organization also involved the 2nd Tank Division and an artillery brigade.[citation needed]

In May 1989, the 12th Army's 34th, 36th and 110th Divisions, Artillery Brigade, and Anti-Aircraft Battalion were deployed to Beijing to enforce martial law and suppress the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.[6]

In 1998, the first 34th division of the 12th Army was re-deployed as a motorised infantry brigade (divorced from the 2nd tank division). The 35th division was moved to the Jiangsu military region. At a later stage, the 36th and the 179th divisions were motorised.[citation needed]

In 2002 Blasko wrote that the army comprised the:[7]

The army was disbanded in 2017 and replaced by the new 71st Group Army.


  1. Staff (2000–2012). "Nanjing Military Region Nanjing Military Area Command". Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  2. "PLA Orbat reform update (Jun 2017)". 
  3. In accordance with the Regulation of the Redesignations of All Organizations and Units of the Army, issued by Central Military Commission on November 1, 1948.
  4. Sohu (2 November 2005). "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}" (in Chinese)., Yingpu. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  5. 坦克第2师历史,
  6. Based on Wu Renhua's study. (Chinese)Wu Renhua, "进京的戒严部队和进京路线" 《1989天安门事件二十周年祭》系列之十二 Accessed 29 June 2013
  7. Dennis J. Blasko. "PLA Ground Forces: Moving Toward a Smaller, More Rapidly Deployable, Modern Combined Arms Force" The People's Liberation Army as Organization: Reference Volume v1.0, James C. Mulvenon and Andrew N. D. Yang eds. (Santa Monico: RAND; 2002), 334.

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