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New 1st Army was reputed as the most elite Chinese military unit of the Kuomintang. Nicknamed the "1st [Best] Army Under the Heaven" during the Chinese Civil War, it caused the most Japanese Army casualties during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945).

New 1st Army
Parade of US equipped Chinese Army in India.jpg
Parade of US equipped Chinese Army in India.
Country Republic of China
Allegiance Republic of China
TypeField Army
SizeNew 38th Division
New 22nd Division
New 30th Division
Part ofNational Revolutionary Army
Nickname(s)1st Army Under the Heaven
EquipmentM1911 pistol
M1A1 Thompson submachine gun
M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun
M116 howitzer
M2 mortar
M1 mortar
M2 4.2-inch mortar
M1 carbine
M1917 Enfield
M1917 Browning machine gun
Qiu Qingquan
Cheng Tung-kuo
Sun Li-jen
Pan Yukun


Formed from the X Force, particularly the New 38th Division, the New 1st Army was among the top five nationalist crack units.[citation needed] The other four included the New 6th Army, the Reorganized 11th Division (army-sized, formerly known as the 18th Army and later reverted to its original designation), the Reorganized 74th Division (army sized, formerly known as the 74th Army), and the 5th Army.[citation needed]

After the New 38th Division under Sun Li-jen and New 22nd Division under Liao Yao-hsiang retreated to India from Burma in the first phase of the Burma Campaign, the two divisions obtained American equipment and training at Ramgarh, India.[citation needed] There the New 1st Army was formed in February 1943 with the three divisions: the New 38th, the New 22nd and the New 30th.[citation needed] Lieutenant-General Qiu Qingquan was appointed its commander, but was soon replaced by Lieutenant-General Cheng Tung-kuo.[citation needed]Sun Li-jen served as the deputy commander but took over tactical command at the beginning of the second phase of the Burma Campaign. In May 1944, Sun was promoted its commander.[citation needed]

During the Chinese Civil War, the New 1st Army was deployed in northeast China to fight against Communist Party of China military units under Lin Biao. It saw much success in the early battles.[1] However, after some time, Sun was dismissed as commander after offending important members of the KMT, including his superior, Chiang Kai-shek's favorite Lieutenant-General Du Yuming. Sun was replaced by Lieutenant-General Pan Yukun on 26 April 1947. Most officers above battalion level were also dismissed.[citation needed] This dealt a huge blow to the New 1st army and it began to suffer heavy losses.[citation needed] The N1A saw its last action in the effort to relieve the KMT-controlled city of Jinzhou in late October 1948 as part of General Liao Yao-hsiang's 9th Army Corps.[citation needed] The entire army was wiped out.[citation needed] General Pan barely escaped with his life.[citation needed] The commanders of the three divisions (New 30th, 50th and Provisional 53rd) were either captured or surrendered.[citation needed] Due to this army's group uneasy history with both the KMT and communist party of China, its successes are rarely talked about both on the China and Taiwan.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 莊, 慕. "再談孫立人-1984的回顧". Retrieved 2011-01-16.

External linksEdit