The bullet that hit him hit me, too

On a dark night in August 1967, in the trenches of the Panjiaping guesthouse guarded by the rebel “anti-end” in Chongqing, a machete-wielding assailant suddenly jumped to my side. In my panic, I shot him in the stomach while remembering his final look.

The bullet hit him as well as me. I had just turned 16.

The construction of machine tool factory in Yangjiaping was besieged

July 1967 was the hottest season in Chongqing. This year, even hotter than the heat is Chongqing “Cultural Revolution” fighting. In the voice of “to fight, not fighting”, “8·15” and “anti-end” – the two rebel groups in Chongqing, the cold weapon war of brazing steel hand-to-hand combat into a modern war of guns and guns, and even the use of tanks, anti-aircraft guns, landing ships and other modern weapons.

At this time, more than 20 Red Guards from Chongqing X Middle School, Red Guards from other schools, and anti-totalist workers of the machine tool factory were besieged in Yangjiaping Machine Tool Factory in Chongqing. More than 20 students in our school, there are high school students, junior high school students, there are boys, girls, separate to form a combat unit, three people form a combat group. In my group, there is a male student in senior three and a male student in the same class. I was the youngest. I had just turned sixteen.

Chongqing Yangjiaping construction machine tool plant, a production of China’s most advanced 5-6 rifles, machine guns of the national defense plant. The “August 15” faction in Chongqing, though powerful and occupying most of the city, had few guns, especially modern rifles. Chongqing “anti to the end” party although the site is narrow, but occupied a large number of inventory of five or six type rifles, machine guns in Chongqing construction machine tool plant. In order to change their inferior equipment, the “8·15” faction launched several battles successively in an attempt to occupy the construction machine tool plant, including the battle for the pool on the north plateau of the construction plant and the battle of Panjiaping.

The construction of the machine tool plant is a small area, with the territory of the “8·15” faction on the east, north and west, and the Yangtze River on the south. We were trapped in less than five kilometers of narrow strip – Yangjiaping Xiejiawan.

Just like a nightmare, one night to wake up, the roar of guns everywhere, yesterday was still in the school singing “learn from Lei Feng good example” “not selfish, dedicated to the benefit of others” we, today into a deadly war.

One evening, the headquarters informed us to collect our equipment: each of us had a set of blue overalls and a Type 5 or 6 rifle.

Guided by workers at the construction plant, we opened the once heavily guarded warehouse of finished guns, where there were rows and rows of wooden boxes packed with guns. Pushing open the crate, five – or six-style rifles, gleaming blue, appeared in front of us. Tear open the oil paper package, can smell a light smell of lubricating oil. They eagerly wiped the grease off the guns with strips of cloth and crackled with the bolts.

We’ve seen so many combat movies since we were young, and it’s in our bones that we want to fight. In the past, we only saw guns in the movies, today we really have, and is the most advanced type five or six rifles. In the past, a wooden gun can let us play with full of interest for half a day, today armed with live ammunition, a pledge to defend XXX, the liberation of the noble feeling arises spontaneously.

The feeling was sincere and expansive, so expansive that I forgot that I had just turned sixteen and that I was less than one meter six because of malnutrition. Most of my classmates chose automatic rifles, but I chose semi-automatic rifles, because the weight is relatively light.

We changed into dark blue overalls and looked all in good spirits. Cargo is a belted jacket style, strong and durable, although a little hot wearing the body, but very suitable for rolling.

One of the workers at the construction machine tool factory gave us a brief lecture on shooting, and we couldn’t wait to pick up our guns and shoot at the air and empty buildings. The shots were deafening.

“Attention! The leader gave the order, grand and solemn. We lined up neatly in two rows, with more than twenty pairs of eyes and bayonets on our guns, shining in the dark with determination and courage.

In this way, our group of uneven middle school students were armed into a fighting team, the oldest less than twenty, the youngest less than sixteen, tall short, fat thin. There is a junior high school girl, short and thin, less than 1.5 meters tall. We did not know that we were under siege on all sides, let alone that death and bloodshed were waiting for us. We were ignorant and curious.

(two) when I hold the shot after the students covered with blood, suddenly understand what is death

On the afternoon of the day after the firing, we received orders to hold the west substation position for the night. We got into position under the cover of darkness. It was a two-story building about two hundred metres from the opposing position. The trolley poles on both sides of the road were almost interrupted by gunfire and fell on the road in all directions, which reminded me of the scene of the movie “Battle of Stalingrad”. It can be seen that there had been fierce fighting here two days ago. Just like watching a movie, what we saw didn’t scare us.

We covered all the Windows on the second floor with soggy quilts, the trench equivalent of a sandbag bunker, and mounted our guns on the quilts. Thus our position was put in place.

This night, the weather is very hot, surrounding silent, occasionally can hear far away scattered gunfire sound, remind you that Chongqing is in a state of war. We were upstairs, talking quietly, and the boys were smoking their allotted Pegasus cigarettes. No sleep. This is our first combat assignment, our first combat experience. No one is afraid, and from time to time there are people out of the window to look at the lonely stars.

Waking in a daze after a long night, I slowly made my way to the window, intending to look outside without scruple.

Bang – a huge gunshot, in front of a group of firelight, I instinctively squatted down, saw the left window of XXX students, fell on the floor, no call, no moan. For a moment the floor was covered with his blood, which seemed to pour out rather than out.

All the people are muddled, do not know the bullet from where to fly, (later just know, the other side has a veteran sniper) also can not find the location of the bullet, estimated to be the head, panic we use gauze to his head the whole package up. There are no doctors, no medical help, and our knowledge of war comes only from movies.

As the car carrying the victim lurched toward the hospital by the Yangtze River, I held him in my arms, his eyes wide open, not breathing. In the early morning of July, a cool breeze blew from the river, I felt his cooling body gradually, and I could not help shaking all over.

In the open field outside the hospital, I saw a vast expanse of white, each piece of white cloth wrapped in a dead man, most of whom had fallen in the battle for the pool a few days earlier. The morning mist by the river drifted slowly over a large white cloth, sometimes thick, sometimes thin, sometimes covered, sometimes visible, and it was hard to tell how many bodies were lying here. The air was filled with the sickening smell of decaying bodies, a smell you had never smelled before and would never forget. All was quiet except for the merciless lapping of the Yangtze River on the bank and its sobs. It was then that I learned the cruelty of fighting and what death was.

We left the position at daybreak, all of us depressed and listless, not at all excited as we had been the night before.

In the dark night, we encountered a carefully planned night attack on our position at Panjiaping

Since that horrible night, we no longer publicize, hide in the station every day in the house, bored to kill time. Terror and death make us nervous all the time. In spite of these circumstances, no one complained of homesickness, and no one fled (besieged and impossible). We strong support the courage, adhere to the belief – we are defending XXX, we will win.

Finally, the second combat order came – change the Panjiaping hostel position. There are three nights and two days.

Panjiaping Guest House was the most luxurious guest house in Chongqing at that time, specially for the reception of senior leading cadres. It is the commanding height of the construction plant and Chongqing Medical College. If we guard Panjiaping, we will guard the construction plant. As a result, there have been several fierce battles between the two factions here, with heavy casualties.

It was night, and we moved into a replacement position. The position, high on a hillside, had been a trench used by the militia for drills. The trench was not wide enough for only one man. At the end of the trench was a round millstone, which was said to have been used by the militia during drills to mount machine guns. Why I especially remember the millstone, because it, I avoided a disaster.

That night, there was no fighting.

The next day there was no fighting all day.

On the third night, which was the last night of our garrison, we finished our work and withdrew at daylight.

The night is very dark, starry sky, most of the students are hiding behind the trench under the hillside rest, trench only left a female student guard. A 5-6 heavy machine gun was set up on her guard position.

Late in the night, a fire broke out in the houses of the opposite position. The fire raged so violently that the sky became red with its light. Our bare position was visible and bare in the firelight as by day. Half an hour later, a barrage of anti-aircraft machine guns began pouring down on our position, shooting like a meteor shower across the night sky. We hid behind the trench, as if we were watching fireworks on Lantern Festival. For half an hour there was intense firing from long range. The gunfire gradually died down and the fire was still bright.

Suddenly, the female students on guard saw a figure running in front of the position. She shouted — password! The running crowd threw themselves down. Flustered, she opened the side of the five or six type heavy machine gun, Tu Tu Tu Tu Tu Tu – a series of shots, no target. Because the machine gun had not been disarmed from its locator, hundreds of rounds were fired from a box, all in one spot. Overpowered by heavy machine-gun fire, the raiders lurked below the slopes of our position.

We, who were resting behind the trenches, heard the shots, and jumped into the trenches and took our positions. My position is next to that millstone. I could hear the thump of my heart. Though the firing had ceased, no one dared to put his head out to see what lay ahead of the position, to know how many of the enemy’s men were there, and where they lay. All we had to do was squat in the trenches with our guns in our arms and wait quietly.

Swish — several grenades, flaming with sparks, were thrown into our trench, and one landed right next to me. I turned and ran. I had just reached the other side of the millstone when, boom, the grenade exploded. Panic, panic, I jumped over the trench and ran to the back of the line. I felt pain in my right arm, blood and a strong smell of gunpowder.

After a few moments of concentration, I felt all right, and then I found my gun lying in the trench in a panic.

How to do? Go back for the gun and get scared. Not looking back? I felt humiliated when I lost my gun.

Braving myself, I rolled back into the trenches and returned to my fighting position. I reached for my gun. The wooden handle had been broken by a grenade, and there was only half of it. The barrel was still working. I was glad that, had it not been for the shelter of the millstone, I might have been half blown up as well as my gun. No one knew that I had just dropped my gun and fled. No one knew that I had quietly returned to my combat position.

I squatted down in the trenches with my rifle half hilt in my arms. I saw the other students all guarding their positions. The firelight reflected a pair of terrified eyes.

Suddenly, from both sides of me jumped two attackers with machetes on their backs at the same time, the one on the left next to me. He might have been a little confused, turned around and smiled at me, unsuspecting. It dawned on me that he was the enemy! Without thinking twice, I didn’t dare shoot him in the chest, so I pulled the trigger in his stomach. At the same time, the classmate on my right also fired, striking the attacker on my right.

As I pulled the trigger, I remembered his last look. It was a baby face as young as I was, and he was still smiling at me…

At the sound of the gunfire, the other raiders down the hill knew we were on guard, and left our two companions and retreated quietly.

The attacker on my right was shot dead by a classmate and died on the spot. The attacker I shot in the stomach groaned, “Help me, buddy. Help me, buddy.” We dragged him behind the trenches and interrogated him about the organization. He said XX Corps. No one to save him, everyone busy to save their injured classmates. By morning there was probably too much bleeding and no moaning.

As a result of the attack, one of my classmates was shot in the head by an anti-aircraft machine gun and died in hospital. The female students on guard were hit by grenades in the head, escape less than, seriously injured.

This is a carefully designed attack, the procedure is meticulous, non-professional military personnel can not carry out. First, set the house on fire and light up our position so that we are in the light and the raiders are in the dark. Then anti-aircraft machine guns fired at our positions from a long range, opening the way for a surprise attack. When detected by us, the attackers lay dormant, threw grenades at our trenches, and when the grenades exploded, they attacked. Perhaps it was because of the darkness and the difficult terrain that the two attackers ran into our trench and lost their heads, and that was what happened.

(four) the fierce death and the abundant vitality of nature here form a strong contrast

When the fighting was over, we went back to the Panjiaping Guest House to see the place of blood and fire again.

Entering the park, as far as the eye can see, the former high-grade and mysterious guesthouse building is covered with gun scars, large holes, and the black window glass is broken, like the eyes of the dead. Ficus Virens is tall and wide in the courtyard, blocking the hot sun in August, making the park look more sinister. The path was winding, and the roadside shrubs unpruned, luxuriant and disorderly. As we walked slowly along the trail of litter and leaves, the dead silence of the yard was broken by the shrieking of cicadas and twittering birds in the trees.

All of a sudden, we stand at the pace of the eyes of the green lawn, printed with a lot of human body print – it is killed on the lawn, because no one collects the body, a long time, the corpse decay, grass in the corpse oppression under the decay and death, forming a person at the moment of the print. In this green lawn, there was a scene of machine gun charge. The fierce death and the exuberant vitality of nature form a strong contrast here, making people shudder. We no longer had the courage to move forward in the face of the body prints strewn across the lawn, afraid to return to our position, afraid to face the innocent lives that had fallen before us that night.

More than 50 years have passed, I have never forgotten that night of blood and fire, the grenade with sparks, the rifle with its handle broken by the blast, the smiling face of a baby similar to my age……

I pulled the trigger, and the sinful bullet hit him, as well as me.

With this article, I remember the young life lost, forgive my innocence and sin.