10 Maréchaux de Chine

9. Nie Rongzhen

    Nie Rongzhen(December 29, 1899 - May 14, 1992) was a Chinese Communist military leader.
    Nie was born in Jiangjin county in Sichuan, near Chongqing, the cosmopolitan and well-educated son of a wealthy family. In 1920 Nie joined the group of Chinese students in France on a work-study program, where he studied engineering and became a protégé of Zhou Enlai. Zhou recruited him in 1921 when Nie was performing technical-scientific studies in Belgium, and he joined the Communist Party in 1923. A graduate of the Soviet Red Army Military College and Whampoa Academy, Nie spent his early career first as a political officer in Whampoa's Political Department, where Zhou served as Director, and in the Chinese Red Army, but in the late 1930s he was given a field command close to Yen Hsi-shan's Shanxi stronghold. In the Chinese Civil War he commanded the North China Army Group that defeated Fu Tso-yi's forces near Beijing. During the Korean War, Nie took part in high command decision making, military operations planning, and shared responsibility for war mobilization. Nie was made a Marshal of the PLA in 1955 and later ran the Chinese Nuclear Weapons program.
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