180th Division (People's Republic of China)
The 180th Division was a military formation of the
People's Volunteer Army(Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) or Chinese Communist Forces (CCF)) during the Korean Warwith a standard strength of approximately 10,000 men. It was a component of the 60th Army.
During what the Chinese call the 5th campaign (22 April,1951- 10 June,1951), the CPV suffered its largest loss: the 180th Division of the 60th Army was totally destroyed. Roughly 3,000 men escaped earlier (including the division commander and other high ranking officers), but the majority of the division were killed or captured. During the final days of the 5th campaign, the main body of the 180th Division was encircled during a UN counterattack, and after days of hard fighting, the division is fragmented,and regiments flee in all directions. Soldiers either desert or are abandoned bytheir officers during failed attempts to wage guerilla warfare without support from locals. Finally, out of ammunition and food, some five thousand soldiers are captured. The division commander and other officers who escaped were subsequently investigated and demoted back in China. [ [http://www.centurychina.com/history/faq4.shtml#17 Korean War FAQ, from CenturyChina.com] ] [ [http://www.aiipowmia.com/inter1/in102900china.html Chinese Question Role in Korean War, from POW-MIA InterNetwork] ]
Most of those captured from the 180th Division are sent to Koje Island, 25 miles southwest of Pusan, including the Division Commissar Pei Shan. While there, a war breaks out amongst the Chinese prisoners along party lines. Supporters of Nationalist China openly slaughter prisoners who refuse to go to Taiwan, while Communist sympathizers hang one of their own in secret for betraying the identity of Commissar Pei to the Americans during an interrogation session. Those who decide to return back to China after the war, are ultimately regarded as disgraceful cowards who have betrayed the Communist Party and their country by not fighting to their last breath. Each soldier is expelled from the Chinese Communist Party, given a dishonorable discharge, and either jailed or sent to labor-reform camps. [ [http://www.hrichina.org/public/PDFs/CRF.1.2005/1.2005CulturalReviews.pdf Cultural Reviews, The Lament of a Chinese POW] ]
The current status of the unit is unknown.
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