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He Bingyan
File:File: Hebingyan1955.jpg
Commander of the Chengdu Military Region

In office
May 1955 – 1 July 1960
Chairman Mao Zedong
Succeeded by Huang Xinting
Personal details
Born (1913-02-05)February 5, 1913
Yidu, Hubei Province, China
Died July 1, 1960(1960-07-01) (aged 47)
Chengdu, China
Military service
Nickname(s) “One-armed General”
Allegiance  China
Service/branch People's Liberation Army Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg People's Liberation Army
中國工農紅軍軍旗.svg Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army
Years of service 1930–1922
Rank PLAGeneral r.png General
Commands Commander of the Shenyang Military Region
Battles/wars Second Sino-Japanese War, Battle of Pingxingguan, Chinese Civil War, Korean War
Awards 中国人民解放军一级八一勋章的略章.png Order of Bayi (First Class)

中国人民解放军一级独立自由勋章的略章.png Order of Independence and Freedom (First Class)
中国人民解放军一级解放勋章的略章.PNG Order of Liberation (China) (First Class)

He Bingyan (Chinese: 贺炳炎; pinyin: Hè Bǐngyán; 5 February 1913 – 1 July 1960) was a general in the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China from Hubei. He was known as the “one-armed General (独臂将军)” for his injuries suffered during the Long March.[1]


Early life

He Bingyan was born into a widowed family. After his mother’s death, he changed his surname from “Hu” to “He”, the surname of his father.[2] As a youth, he did many odd jobs, including being a porter, tailor and blacksmith. In 1929, he followed his father and joined the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and was part of He Long’s security detail. He joined the Chinese Communist Party in June 1930. Upon graduation from the Hunan Hebei Red Army School in 1932, he was as the captain of an infantry brigade. He took part in the 4th Encirclement Campaign[3] and was commended as the “model brigade” for assisting the 8th Division to break out of the Nationalist encirclement in Jiangxi Soviet.

In October 1932, He Bingyan led the 3rd Red Army out of the Nationalist Encirclement. However, due to the internal “revisionist” purges in 1933, he was jailed for a brief amount of time before being released by He Long.[4] After his release, he was appointed as the Chief of the Recruit Brigade. In the same year, his father, He Xuewen died in battle at Hefeng County.

In November 1935, he was named as the Commander of the 5th Division in the 2nd Red Army to lead the forces in the Long March. During a battle in Suining County, He Bingyan was hit by a bullet in the arm and was amputated due to the lack of anesthetic.[5] After rendezvous with the main army forces, he was sent to Xi'an Guangren Hospital for treatment.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War

Following the outbreak of war, he 358th Brigade’s Commander, in the 120th Division in the Eighth Route Army, participating skirmishes in Shanxi. In December 1938, he served as a detachment leader in the 120th Division, actively working with Political Commissar Yu Qiuli to expand the army’s area area of influence across the northern banks of the Qing River. In winter, He Bingyan led a detachment into Jizhong and successively conducted battles in Lianzikou and Bei Biaoqiao, smashing the 3-way encirclement of the Japanese army.[2]

In 1940, He Bingyan was ordered to return to Jin Sui to participate in the Hundred Regiments Battle. He was subsequently appointed as the deputy commander of the 358th Brigade. He was then transferred to Yan’an for studies at Central Party School of the Communist Party of China.[2] In November 1944, he was ordered to incite and establish an anti-Japanese base in Honghu and serve as the commander of the 3rd Division of the New Fourth Army in, Hubei, Henan and Jiangxi provinces.[6]


  1. ""独臂将军"贺炳炎、余秋里曾如何带出"天下第一军"--党史频道-人民网". 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "开国上将纪念馆--中国共产党新闻--人民网". 
  3. "贺炳炎--中国共产党新闻--人民网". 
  4. 雷秀珍 (1991). 中国共产党党史人物介绍. 中国人民大学出版社. pp. 131. ISBN 978-7-300-01040-3. 
  5. 欧阳青 (2011). 大授衔:1955共和国将帅授衔档案. 北京: 长城出版社. pp. 362–363. ISBN 9787548300588. 
  6. 军事科学院军事图书馆 (2000). 中国人民解放军全史(中国人民解放军组织沿革和各级领导成员名录). 第十卷(下). 北京: 军事科学出版社. pp. 552. ISBN 7801373154. 

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