As the summer heat approaches and wheat is harvested in my hometown, I am reminded of a martial arts fight that took place in a wheat field more than 50 years ago.
My hometown is Wanrong County in the southern part of Shanxi Province, which is known as Hedong in ancient times. It is adjacent to the Yellow River in the west and south, where Fen water joins the Yellow River, and used to produce wheat and cotton, which is one of the major birthplaces of the Chinese nation.
I was twelve or thirteen years old at the time, and I remember that the rebellion in Wanrong County was divided into two major factions, one referred to as the “three divisions” and the other referred to as the “Red League”. The two factions gradually developed from a big debate at the beginning to a vicious martial arts fight, and the “three divisions” were strong enough to occupy the county town of Xiedian, while the “Red League” retreated to the town of Ronghe in the west of the county (the former county town of Ronghe, Wanrong County was formed by the merger of Wanquan County and Ronghe County). The “three divisions” “will be the remaining courage to chase the poor enemy”, the organization of force to siege Ronghe town, “Red Union” is no match, from Ronghe town retreat. At this time, the martial arts fight, has been from the initial use of large swords and spears on the real firearms.
The “Red League” martial arts fighters from all counties in southern Jin gathered in the ancient city of Linfen. Linfen was originally the seat of the Jinan Special Administrative Office, which had jurisdiction over dozens of counties, but was later divided into two regions, Linfen and Yuncheng. The “three divisions” of the Jinan counties joined forces to surround Linfen, and the attackers and defenders formed a stalemate. The “Red League” in Linfen kept sending armed squads “behind enemy lines” to expand their influence by “sabotaging and disrupting”, and to develop their forces by recruiting people. The “three divisions” of the counties occupied the county towns and controlled the communes and brigades below them, closely defending them against the “Red League” armed squads.
My village, Dingfan, was ten miles away from Gaocun Commune. That night, a “Red League” martial arts squad passed by our village and called away a male member of the “Red League” who had a sectarian view. It is said that another person was about to be called away, but this person smelled a knock on the door and quickly ran away over the wall, not following the squad out, saving his life.
After the “Red League” martial arts squad left our village, they went up to Lone Mountain, which is more than 20 miles away from the village. Lone Mountain is an abrupt mountain in Wanrong County, 1411 meters above sea level, the peaks are overlapping, covered with pines, some scholars have confirmed that the Mian on the Mian Mountain where Jiezitui died is not Mian Mountain in Jiexiu, but this Lone Mountain.
Before that, there was a “Red Union” armed fighting squad came to the high village commune located on the highway line, high village, when they were not prepared, raided the commune organs compound, slept in the commune “three divisions” armed fighting personnel beat up, smashed a pass, but did not The “three divisions” took advantage of this to beat up the “three divisions”. The “three divisions” took this opportunity to make a big deal out of it, organizing cadres and people from all villages to visit the commune compound in Gao Village to expose and complain about the counter-revolutionary atrocities committed by the “Red League” squad.
My hometown Li Xinmin, who is a few years older than me, lives in North Xue Village, Gaocun Commune, Wanrong County, and graduated from Yanjing Middle School, which should be my senior. He wrote many books and articles in his spare time, and his writing was beautiful and vivid. According to his recollection, that night, the “Red Union” squad went up to Lushan, not far from Gao Village, and asked for food and drinks from the forestry staff, and finally fled to Chenzhuang in Linye County, south of Lushan. The group was surrounded by “three divisions” of armed combatants, and a vicious battle ensued.
The battle was fought, “Red Union” martial arts squad wanted to desperately highlight the siege, from Wanrong County, “three divisions” martial arts personnel gathered more and more. The “Red League” small detachment of personnel, coupled with the search for personnel along the way without weapons, without combat power, became a burden on them. It is said that when they broke out, a few people with light machine guns opened the way and had already killed out of the encirclement, turned their heads and found that the people following them had not been able to break out. These people are quite righteous, re-kill back to find people, and as a result, there are not a few people out.
The reason why they rushed out and returned was to rescue the village people they had searched for, thinking that if they were not rescued, they would not have the face to return to the village and see their relatives. This martial arts fight, only Feng village a village there are three or four people died, including my aunt’s father, who died in his thirties, leaving behind his wife and children. He told me that his aunt had been single since then and had raised several children to adulthood. The member of our village who was called away, also leaving his wife and children behind, somehow became the unjust soul of the martial arts.
In those days, the village men, women, and children talked about the incident day and night, and of course, the horror of the fight loomed large in the surrounding villages. Li Xinmin, who had indirectly witnessed the martial arts struggle, wrote an article on the Internet called “The Sound of Gunfire in the Lone Mountain Forest”, which vividly describes what he saw and heard. The following is a selection of the article, which will help readers to understand more about the martial arts incident in Chenzhuang.
I was so scared that I ran home from the forestry field.
During that time, our faction had the upper hand, and the other organization only had a small number of strong soldiers living in Linfen city.
The ten or so people who came to the forestry field were the ones who broke out from Linfen city. All of them were loaded with bullets, hung long and short, all of them were strong and strong, all of them were swords and guns masters.
After they broke out of the siege in the middle of the night, they hijacked a broken truck halfway and drove to the vicinity of Lone Mountain, abandoning the truck and hiding in the grass and trees at the bottom of the mountain. After starving for a day and a night, they dared to show themselves in the woodland at dusk.
When the group entered, they killed two wolf dogs that were eating the food supply, and then fired warning shots. It was time to start the meal, scaring hundreds of workers in the forestry field to hold their heads and scurry, and some wanted to escape over the wall. I have some experience in the field, rushed to stop a few workers to go over the wall, said that if people find someone jumping the wall, they think you are a tip-off, a bullet over, we are fine but looking for the next thing.
We were all crowded into the dining room, and one of us, probably the head, gave us a lecture. He told us that the revolution was at a low ebb and that we should recognize the situation, stick to the truth and support justice. They wanted to borrow ten sacks of flour from the forest and to deploy forty civilian workers to help them carry it to the top of the mountain. They stressed again and again that they were borrowing, not taking, and that they had IOUs to prove that when the revolution succeeded, they would double the amount.
These people all wore sunglasses and masks, so it was impossible to see their faces. I kept my head down for fear that someone would recognize me. The good thing is that they didn’t, but the bad thing is that they were selected to carry the face of the forty people.
This has to think of slipping miles! If not, I’m afraid I won’t be able to leave. I’m not afraid of carrying the noodles, but I’m afraid of being taken in. I took the opportunity to go to the toilet and prepared to escape over the wall. I didn’t realize that there were already seven or eight people in the toilet who were eager to try. The dirt wall of the toilet was not high, so I was able to jump up and down, but the wall was weak, and my hands could not pick it up. All jumping, can not pass, do not know to help each other. I do not know them, it is too late to help them. I over the bouncing power came in handy, I came to a dragon walk, leopard climbing, the left foot stomping on the wall, the right leg across, three or two seconds will leap over.
Saying that other people are trying to get money and lose their lives, in fact, often more than their own money and lose their lives, I almost got under this.
After I jumped from the wall to the field, I should have fled the scene, but I could not lose my bicycle and bunk roll, and slipped along the wall to the dormitory area, launched the car, bundled the bunk before leaving.
Although the dormitory area and the field is not in a compound, but also only a wall, in case the gang found, life are lost in the place, but also talk about what car bedding.
The result is still “just in case”, just when I went out to step on the bike, less than a foot from the front wheel of the bike, a few bullets “poof poof” landed. People who have participated in the battle know that the bullet “chirp chirp” words, that is still very high and far, if it is “poof poof”, right in front of the heel, see the fear of people! That is a downhill section of the road, usually do not have to pedal also have to pinch the gate. I really can’t recall if I squeezed the brake at that time, downhill when the car did not pedal, anyway, I was a long way away.
I didn’t slow down even though I was well out of range. It was dark, I had to hurry, I had to go to the commune first to inform my sister. I am not in the same faction as my sister, but the group is in the same faction as my sister, I have to let her avoid suspicion, it is best to take her home.
The nights nearing the wheat harvest are generally quiet. Preparing for the hard summer harvest, people rested early and hardly saw any pedestrians walking on the road. The high yellow wheat field has become a barrier for wild animals to hide and is often infested with coyotes. The wolves on the mountain do not eat people, but the wolves under the mountain eat everything! I was not afraid of wolves, but I was more afraid of running into ambush soldiers of the armed forces. The wind was still blowing, but I was soaked to the skin, and I could feel the cold sweat flowing down my chest and back. Just shaved bald head has not yet grown, hair is also in the “miso” straight mellow.
When riding to the entrance of the commune, I found that the roll of bedding had rolled off the hanger and rolled to one side, and the quilt was worn off by the gravel road, into a few pieces.
In the years of turmoil, the commune’s gate was closed before 10 o’clock. It took half a day of knocking to get the door open. The old man at the concierge only opened the door a crack, he knew me, heard I wanted to see my sister, whispered to me that my sister was still imprisoned, I’m afraid I could not see. The previous section came back from Linfen, a few people, to the commune to scratch a little. Your sister has long since stopped participating in factional activities, but people still suspect her of being an outreach, so her actions are restrained.
The more this happens, the more necessary it is to see your sister. I asked the old man to tell the martial arts team stationed in the commune that I was in the same faction as them and wanted to see my sister to talk about some family matters.
The old man came back not long after he ran away, saying that the attitude of the fighting team was very firm, no matter who it was, no matter what, could not see. I had no choice but to tell the old man in a whisper what happened on the mountain, begging him to let me in first, I looked for their theory. The old man is a good man, the past and sister also get along well, he hesitated a moment, urged me, the mountain situation first do not talk to them, and let me go in.
I walked straight into the team room of the martial arts squad with guns hanging on the wall. A man who might be the captain was about to criticize the old man, and when he saw that many of them greeted me, he took his words back.
I lied that the old man was sick and had come to call my sister back. Others also spoke for me, saying that since I had come at night, I must be very sick, so let go back for a while.
The captain said, see a little can, release people have to go through the county headquarters, he did not dare to take the decision.
I gave the captain a half-day high hat also did not resist the matter. The guy did not say much, but the idea of the top true, said nothing can.
I finally said, then you ask the headquarters. He said that the phone line was cut by the group down from Linfen, has not been repaired.
I can only see, just see, listen to the sister’s opinion before saying.
Sister’s office and bedroom door is not guarded, and the door is not padlocked, but only to restrict him not to go out of the commune’s door.
I felt sad about this, and when I entered the door, I only shouted “sister” and choked up. My sister took my hand: “You ……” can not say anything.
There is no electricity in the room, and no lights, siblings holding hands and crying for a while, sister said: “I’m fine, do not feel bad, so late, you came to do?”
I then told her what had happened in the woodland and asked her to find a way to get out of this wrong place.
After hearing me out, my sister said, “The more the situation, the more I can’t leave. It’s just as well that they have me under guard, so whatever happens has nothing to do with me. No fear, the gang will never hurt me when they come, don’t worry. I am now in the safest position, leaving the commune is not safe. Thanks to you and I are not a point of view, otherwise, you see me tonight, it is inevitable that people will say that you are tipped off, I am the inside hook out.”
I thought my sister had a point and got up to leave.
My sister said it was too late, let the correspondent give me a room, and then leave in the morning.
I didn’t dare to say that I hadn’t eaten this afternoon, just that I wasn’t afraid and I wanted to go back in the evening.
When I saw that I couldn’t stay at the commune, my sister said that I should go as soon as possible and repeatedly told me that it was already late, so I should ride slowly and in the middle of the road. If you meet wolves, don’t stop; if you meet people, throw the car and run, don’t fight with them. I nodded my head one by one and agreed. She was still not sure, she also put the light on and searched my whole body, and found no knife before letting me leave.
I all went out, my sister called me back again. Under the light, she has seen my single clothes are wet, but also had to let me put on her cotton shoulders can not, and to give me the reverse set, but also from behind to me to button also buckle, said so ride the heart of the mouth is not cold. I really suspect that my sister’s brain is stimulated. I said I was too hot to ride, she said it would be cooler after a while. I said her shoulder is too small, set on the uncomfortable, she told me to put it aside. I was so angry that I said to her, “What are you doing? You are torturing me!”
Later, I realized that my sister was afraid that I would run into a wolf. She was convinced that her brother’s face could withstand wolves’ scratching, but she was only afraid that his internal organs would be shaved by wolves. The reason for not stating this is that she was afraid that she would be unfortunately right.
As I mentioned in other chapters, my sister and I were adopted from the Wang family to the Li family by the same mother. My sister was eleven years older than me, and my elder sister was like my mother, who was the director of the Women’s Federation in the commune at that time.
After I escaped from the forest, I heard that the group offered to have dinner at the forest. It was the time to start the meal, the field director which has not allowed the reason.
The cooks were too short-sighted and hid all the things they could eat when the group gave us a lecture.
The group went to the cookhouse and did not see anything to eat. Knowing that the cooks were up to no good, it was too late to take it into account and immediately gathered the forty people who had been extracted and went up the mountain carrying the noodles.
One of the workers later told me that after I escaped, he made up for my shortage. The whole group did not eat, and went up the mountain with hungry stomach. Not to mention the four people taking turns carrying a bag of noodles, empty walking also panting and sweating, two legs also seems not their own.
After holding out to the “Golden Temple”, the people carrying the noodles refused to leave. Let the group scold, sitting on the ground is not moving. The dark days, a dozen or so people in the mountains to monitor dozens of people, not an easy task, and do not dare too forced.
The martial arts team stationed in the county, our faction, had gotten the news when the group entered the woodland. When the group headed for the mountain, the mountain was surrounded on all sides, and thousands of martial arts fighters were already moving.
The Golden Temple was the camping ground of the woodland, with a pot stove for cooking. However, before a pot of bread was steamed, torches were seen approaching all around, and the people on the mountain had to break out hungry.
It is impossible to investigate how the hungry “brave” people, who had not eaten all day and night, broke out of the siege, and how they ran for dozens of miles after coming down from the mountain, hiding in the wheat fields of Chenzhuang.
The next day there was the “famous” “fight on Chenzhuang”.
The county’s armed forces sent out eight big trucks, and only eight big trucks, full of men with loaded guns, searching along the way and searching from place to place. The loud speakers kept shouting, propagating the policy of leniency and persuading the surrender of arms.
When the group reached the boundary of Chenzhuang, two hares came out of the wheat field, and someone on the truck fired. The people hiding in the wheat field thought their target was exposed, so they fired back.
On the one hand, there were many people in the open, and they were all concentrated in the high trunk of the car. The other side, with fewer men, was in the shadows, and was scattered and hidden.
Of course, the battle ended when the men hiding in the wheat field were all dead.
The larger group actually had more dead and wounded.
When cleaning up the battlefield, I saw that the people who died in the wheat field chewed a large pile of wheat ears around each of them, and there were people who held different views and were moved by them.
No one dared to collect their bodies, the people had to throw all the bodies into a large manure pit in order to harvest wheat. They did not fill in the soil to bury them, waiting for their relatives to come to claim them after the wind and waves have calmed down.
The fourth day after running back from the forest, brother-in-law placed me in Yanjing herbal wholesale station to work.
On the first day of work, I caught up with the master to go to Chen Zhuang to identify the body. The master’s brother was also in the Linfen martial arts team, and he was worried that there was his brother among them.
Of course I couldn’t avoid it.
I used my bicycle to carry the worried master and rushed to the Chen Zhuang field.
The ten or so people thrown in the pit, almost all of them crawling there, dead bodies pillowing each other, had to turn over to be identified. Originally the master turned the head I turned over, but the master’s hands trembled to turn over, we had to switch over. The corpse has decayed, we wore gas masks, the smell does not rush people. Flies are indescribable, flying up to cover the sky, falling down densely, hitting the body, such as rain.
Turned over half a day, can not say that the labor and no work, looking forward to is the labor and no work.
A small martial arts fight, 20 to 30 people died, the injured countless.
What exactly is this mile? We can’t rule out the possibility that some of these people had a political agenda, but we are sure that most of them were driven by a belief and obsessed by an understanding. To die in a war that was neither the war against Japan nor the war of liberation, let alone the war against the U.S. and the U.S., is beyond description. “Sacrifice” is certainly not worthy, and “killed in action” is even more inappropriate. When people mentioned them later, they could only say that they were “killed during the Cultural Revolution”.
People can not only create happiness, but also create misfortune.
Death is a tragedy! Whose fault is it?
From Li Xinmin’s recollections, we can see that he and his sister were sisters, but they never had the same sectarian views. In the “Cultural Revolution”, fathers and sons, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters with different political views were everywhere, arguing with each other and getting into a foul relationship, which young people nowadays can hardly imagine. At that time, Li Xinmin’s sister was a commune clerk in Gaocun, and the last time the “Red League” team “raided” the commune, his sister was said to have been the “inside man” who provided the team with the commune’s The armed fortification map, Li Xinmin said in the article that his sister was imprisoned for review refers to this incident.
I once joined the Mao Zedong Thought Propaganda Team of our village school to perform in Gaocun and took some time to wander around the commune, but there were armed fighters standing guard at the gate who did not let me in.
The two factions in Linfen fought against each other until the summer of 1969, causing the people in the city and outside the city to live in disorder and interrupting the transportation of the South Tongpu Railway, which had a very bad social impact.
Suddenly, in late July 1969, a plane hovered over Linfen and people looked up to see snowy leaflets falling from the plane with the “Communist Party of China Central Committee’s Announcement”, which was instructed by the great leader Chairman Mao to “do as he said”, asking the two factions to stop the martial arts fight immediately. It was issued on July 23, and was called the “July 23rd” bulletin. As the leaflets were scattered, heavily armed PLA troops went to Linfen city and outside to collect weapons and ammunition and disperse the fighters from both sides, the curtain came down on the long-lasting martial fighting between the two factions.
People were happy to praise: the great leader Chairman Mao is wise and great, such a big martial arts incident, his old man on the paper lightly draw a circle, to stop, Chairman Mao is really God!
In the following days, a big truck of Wanrong County with a big loudspeaker supported by Jiefang brand roamed around every village every day, repeatedly playing the “July 23” bulletin, asking those who had participated in martial arts to take the initiative to go to the County Armed Forces Department to surrender their private weapons and ammunition, and to accept the organizational inventory.
A member of our village held the view of the “Red League” and ran away to Linfen City with the “Red League” early on. He escaped, but his family suffered. After a while, the “three divisions” of the commune arrested his wife and interrogated her husband about his whereabouts; sometimes his house was suddenly surrounded in the middle of the night, with black guns sticking out of the windows, asking him if he had returned. Legend has it that this man was a small leader of the martial arts struggle and carried a pistol with him. After the martial arts fight in Linfen, he returned home and at night, his house was filled with men, women and children, and I ran to join in the fun.
I heard this man say that once the PLA troops came, the two factions of people put down their weapons. A team of people disobeyed the order and tried to carry weapons out of the city, the PLA soldiers fired a gun into the air and scared them to surrender their weapons. This community member had been a brigade cadre, quite capable, see people amiable, somehow involved in factionalism and martial arts fighting. The good thing is that he did not commit any crime in the martial arts fight, so he went home and was fine.
The impact of the martial arts fight in Linfen was so bad that on August 23, 1969, the Shanxi Provincial Revolutionary Committee issued an “Emergency Notice on the Further Implementation of the “July 23″ Communiqué”, which said, “The Communist Party of China Central Committee’s Communiqué, personally approved by the Great Leader Chairman Mao, was issued Since the issuance of the “July 23” Circular, the province has made rapid progress in collecting weapons in Taiyuan, Jinzhong and southern Jinan areas, the martial arts struggle has been stopped, people have returned to their units one after another, social order has become more and more stable, the antagonism between the two factions has been gradually eliminated, and the revolutionary situation in the province has become better and better. However, a very small number of bad people mixed into the mass organizations of various factions, not willing to their defeat, continue to use bourgeois factionalism, hoodwink, incite some of the masses to hide, transfer weapons, or hostage some of the masses to escape and roam, and some continue to incite, threaten a part of the outgoing personnel not to return to their own units. In order to further implement the ‘July 23’ proclamation, severely combat the criminal activities of a small group of class enemies and bad leaders, protect the interests of the masses, consolidate and develop the victories already achieved, and strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat, the following urgent circular order is hereby issued …… “
The Chen Zhuang martial fighting incident is just a small wave of the martial fighting in Linfen, Pingyao, and Southeast Jinjiang in Shanxi Province, which was widely known at that time in Wanrong County, Linyi County and Yuncheng area and Linfen area. I don’t know if there is a complete official historical record, I don’t know if the original records can be accessed in the local archives, I don’t know if the local history office will record a sum, thank you brother Li Xinmin for leaving us an extremely precious page.