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Ili National Army was an army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army that consisted originally of six regiments: Suidun Infantry Regiment, Ghulja Regiment, Kensai Regiment, Ghulja Reserve Regiment, Kazakh Cavalry Regiment, Dungan Regiment, Artillery Subdivision, Sibo Subdivision, Mongol Subdivision. Last two subdivisions were later reformed to regiments. Motorized part of army consisted of one artillery subdivision with 12 cannons, two armoured vehicles and twp tanks. All regiments were armed by mostly German weapons, provided by the Soviet Union by order of Joseph Stalin, command personnel was trained in the Soviet Union. Rebel aviation included 42 airplanes, captured in Ghulja Kuomintang air base and repaired by Soviet military personnel.[1] On December 20, 1949 the Ili National Army joined the People's Liberation Army of China as Sinkiang 5th Army Corps of PLA, but then was reformed, its Divisions were transferred to the newly created Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps of PLA with all weapons of Divisions having been seized. Later these National Divisions were disbanded, most of its personnel had been imprisoned, executed or fled to the USSR.

According to M. Kutlukov, during September, 1945, the Ili National Army had gained decisive victories over Kuomintang troops in Jungaria, where two just new-formed full-sized Kuomintang Divisions of Nationalist Second Army (around 25,000 troops), armed with American weapons, were trapped and fully annihilated (except of surrendered 6,000 soldiers and officers, including 7 generals), in battles in the highly fortified Wusu-Shihezi district, thanks to the mass heroism of soldiers and officers of National Army, experience of numerous Soviet military personnel and advisers, participated directly in the military operations, employment of heavy artillery fire and aerial bombings ( by rebel aviation) of Kuomintang positions in the strategic oil rich district.

Ili National Army was formed on April 8, 1945. In November 11, 1946 the Ili National Army was renamed as the East Turkestan National Army which had increased in size massively, according the US embassy official estimates in Ürümqi, by late 1946 the East Turkestan National Army's man power consisted of 350,000 -400,000 troops, with 80,000 cavalry.


  1. "National Liberation Movement (1944-1949) in Sinkiang as part of People's Revolution in China." M. Kutlukov, Tashkent, 1958, Academy of Sciences of USSR

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