Marshal He Long Long March Leaders
Marshal He Long

Born in 1896 in the mountains of Hunan, He Long began his revolutionary career by attacking a government tax assessor with a butcher cleaver. The attack on a salt tax office destroyed the tax office, resulted in some guns being captured and the beheading of the tax collector. In 1923, he was the commander of the Nationalist Twentieth Army. He joined the Communist ranks in 1926. After he joined the Communist, Chiang Kai-Shek never stopped trying to get him back to the KMT. Failing that, Chiang killed 100 of He Long's (pronounced Ho Lowng) relatives including three sisters and his brother.

He was a flamboyant, mustachioed, outgoing man, unable to walk down the street without attracting a crowd, and he was a fine orator. He was a fine general. He fought in the Long March, the Japanese War, and the Civil War. A handsome thirty-six year old in 1934, he was the commander of the Red Second Army. He Long told his troops they must rely on three things: their feet, their mouths, and their guns, meaning they must always keep on the move, use propaganda to win over the masses, and guns to hold off the enemy.

At the founding ceremony of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949, He was on the review stand with Chairman Mao. After the Japanese surrender, He became one of the Ten Chinese Marshals in 1955. He Long was the Secretary of the Department of Sports in the late 1950's and helped China win their first gold medal.

In the Cultural Revolution posters went up denouncing He as a "Robber and Warlord." His fall was swift. He Long would have been an insurmountable obstacle in Lin Biao's assumption of power in the Army. So, Lin Biao framed He Long.

Lin Biao and Jiang Qing (Mao's third wife), decided that He would be too difficult to "struggle" against so they decided on a "Medical Solution." On June 8th, 1969 He was taken to the hospital. Six hours later, He was dead. He Long had suffered with diabetes for many years and was on insulin. His condition had become critical. Doctors halted the insulin and gave him massive doses of glucose injections --a sure process of medical murder. He Long was a "great revolutionary soldier, one of the founders and creators of the Red Army. He fought vigorously and endured many hardships," said his comrade and fellow soldier Xiao Ke.

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Marshal He Long