The Mauser Pistol Used by Zhu De in "August 1" Nanchang Uprising

Date: 1927    Length: 26.3cm    Caliber: 7.63mm    Material: steel, wood   

Rated as National First-class Heritage

In March 1956, the PLA Political Academy held a flag presentation and opening ceremony. Soon afterwards, a nice-lookingMauser pistol appeared inthe Academy’s military history showroom. Numbered 592032, it is a Mauser police pistol made in Germany, with a 7.63-mm caliber and a magazine for 10 bullets. The pistol began to enter China in bulk after WWI; just between the 1920s and 1930s alone, as many as hundreds of thousands of the pistols were used by the Chinese military. Among so many of them, this is unusual. After the founding of theMilitary Museumof the Chinese People's Revolution in 1959, the pistol was handed over to the Museum and displayed as the first-class cultural heritage.
This is the "Pistol of Zhu De" talked about bytens of thousands of people, engraved with such wording as "Commemoration of Nanchang Uprising" and “For Zhu De’s Personal Use".
Many people asked, "Is it the gun that made the first shot against the KMT reactionaries in the history of Chinese revolution?" In fact, "the first shot" symbolizes the Nanchang Uprising that ushered in a new course of the Chinese revolution rather than indicates the very first shot of a gun. Actually, this gun indeed witnessed the first shot.
In July 1927, after the failure in the Great Revolution,the CPC Central Committee decided to launch the Nanchang Uprising andAutumn Harvest Uprisingat Hunan, Hubei, Guangdong and Jiangxi,in order to save the Chinese revolution. To lead the Nanchang Uprising, the Front Enemy Committeewas set up with Zhou Enlai as the secretary. Zhu De, then in Wuhan, was familiar with the situation in Jiangxi; he was ordered to go to Nanchang to prepare for the armed uprising. At that time, Zhu De had this pistol with him.
After arriving at Nanchang, Zhu De tried to win over some officers in Nanchang, took diverse means to know about the troops stationed in Nanchang and its surrounding areas, and carefully drew out the map of Nanchang City with the military strongholds marked. After Zhou Enlai secretly arrived in Nanchang and settled in Zhu De’s apartment, Zhu De made a detailed report on the situation about our troops and the enemy in Nanchang.
On the eve of the uprising, Zhu De, according to the plan, threw a banquet at Jiabin Building to “entertain” the two regiment commanders of the troops in Nanchang. After the banquet, Zhu De invited them to play cards round after round, in order to keep them there. After 9 o’clock that evening, an adjutant of the garrison came to report that a deputy battalion commander of He Long’s troops told him that the Communist Party would launch an uprising. At the news the two regiment commanders left immediately. Zhu De also lost no time to rush to the uprising commander He Long to inform him about the traitor, and the Front Enemy Committee immediately decided to launch the uprisingtwo days in advance. To distinguish themselves, the rebel army wear a red tie around the neck anda white towel on the left arm. Zhu De also tied a red ribbon to the Mauser pistol and made for the military post of the military education group of the Third Army of the National Revolutionary Army under his leadership.
On the bright early morning of August 1, the Communist Party of China made the first shot of armed reaction against the KMT reactionaries in Nanchang. Withthe Mauser pistol, Zhu De, according to the order of the Front Enemy Committee, led the military education group to kill the enemy around the post. After several hours of fierce fighting, all the rebellion troops completed their respective tasks and achieved final success. The red flag fluttered in Nanchang City. Later, the uprising force was reorganized as the Second Front Army of the National Revolutionary Army which led three armies, and Zhu De was deputy commander of the Ninth Army and soon promoted to be commander. The Nanchang Uprisingushered in a new era in the history of the Chinese Communist Party. Thus August 1 thus was designated as the Founding Day of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
After the Nanchang Uprising, Zhu De etched in his pistol the meaningful words "Commemoration of Nanchang Uprising" and “For Zhu De’s Personal Use"to mark those days and nights in the uprising. When people stopped in the front of the pistol, they would feel as if they heard the first shot in Nanchang at the dawn of the day, and saw the red flag flying in Nanchang City after the white terror dissipated.

Copyright: The Military Museum of The Chinese People’s Revolution

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