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Xue Yue ( ; pinyin: Xuē Yuè) (December 26, 1896May 3, 1998) was one of Nationalist China's best generals. Nicknamed by General Claire Chennault of Flying Tigers fame as the Patton of Asia. Born to a Hakka peasant family in Lechang, Guangdongmarker, Xue joined the Chinese army in 1914, at the age of 18. When Chiang Kai-shek formed the Whampoa Military Academymarker years later, Xue was one of the graduates. After Chiang purged the communists during the Northern Expedition, Xue's army chased the Communists 12,000 miles by foot and nearly annihilated them, forcing them to the Long March. For these accomplishments, Chiang Kai-shek hailed him as "a true example of an officer."

After the Xian incident, however, Xue's loyalty was in doubt after he offered to personally arrest Chiang Kai-shek and hand him over to the Communists if Chiang refused to fight the Japanese immediately. Although he immediately reconciled with Chiang Kai-shek, his relations with the KMT were strained throughout the Sino-Japanese War. Xue commanded the 19th Army Group that fought the Battle of Shanghai. Later, during the Campaign of Northern and Eastern Honan 1938 (January-June 1938) he commanded the Eastern Honan Army.

Xue was also involved in the defense of greater Wuhan, commanding the 1st Army Corps. In the mountains northwest of Wuhan, Xue succeeded in nearly destroying the entire 106th division of the imperial Japanese army. During the battle, most of the Japanese officers were killed and the Japanese had to air-drop 300 officers by parachutes into the battlefield. Xue Yue was also responsible for the victories of the 9th Front, in the Second and Third Battle for Changsha. His forces of the 9th Front was also also victorious at the Battle of Changde but were defeated in the Fourth Battle of Changsha.

During World War II, KMT and General Stilwell opposed to providing him and his men ammunition to fight the Japanese due to the rampant corruption in the KMT. Chennault, however, supplied Xue with weapons to the dismay of Stilwell. Xue's 9th Front was also responsible for protecting Chennault's air fields. Chennault and Xue became sworn brothers and remained close friends until Chennault's death in 1958.

After WWII, Xue's relation with Chiang suffered a further blow when Xue refused to be abide by Chiang Ching-kuo's financial/economical reform. Xue refused to exchange his gold for the Gold Yuan paper currency as mandated by law. When Huang Shaoxiong informed Xue that this was illegal, Xue responded that he and his subordinates' gold was paid in blood and he would personally shoot Chiang Ching-kuo if he attempted to arrest him. In the end, Xue and his subordinates managed to keep most of their gold. When Chiang Kai-shek retreated to Taiwan in 1949, Xue was put in charge of defending Hainanmarker island. Unfortunately, the victorious Red Army was too much for the demoralized Nationalist Forces. Xue left for Taiwan after the defense of Hainan Island collapsed. He was semi-retired and served as a nominal adviser to the army in Taiwan. He lived until 1998 to the age of 101. He led Chiang's Funeral in 1976. Over all, he was one of the most accomplished and respected military leaders from Whampoa Military Academy.


  1. Wuhan, 1938, Stephen R. MacKinnon, Robert Capa, p27, accessed July 2009

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