Zhu De was a Chinese general, warlord, politician, revolutionary, and one of the pioneers of the Communist Party of China. Born poor in 1886 in Sichuan, Zhu was adopted by an uncle at age nine. After his time at the academy, he joined a rebel army and it was after this period that he adopted communism. He ascended through the ranks of the Red Army as it closed in on securing the nation, by the time China was under Maos control, Zhu was a high-ranking official within the Communist Party of China. He served as Commander-in-Chief during the Second Sino-Japanese War, in 1955, Zhu became one of the Ten Marshals of the Peoples Liberation Army, of which he is regarded as the principal founder. Zhu remained a prominent political figure until his death in 1976, as the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress from 1975 to 1976, Zhu was the head of state of the Peoples Republic of China. Zhu was born on December 18,1886, to a tenant farmers family in Hung, a town in Yilong County. Of the fifteen children born to the only eight survived. His family relocated to Sichuan during the migration from Hunan province and his origins are often given as Hakka, but Agnes Smedleys biography of him says his people came from Guangdong and speaks of Hakka as merely associates of his. She also says that older generations of his family had spoken the Kwangtung dialect (which would be close to, and that his generation also spoke the Szechwan dialect, Sichuanese, a distinct regional variant of Southwest Mandarin that is unintelligible to other speakers of Standard Chinese. In spite of the poverty, by pooling resources, Zhu was chosen to be sent to a regional private school in 1892. At age nine, Zhu was adopted by his prosperous uncle, before the suspension of imperial examinations in 1906, he attained the rank of Xiucai, which allowed him to qualify as a civil servant. He enrolled in a Sichuan high school around 1907, and graduated in 1908, subsequently, he returned to Yilongs primary school as a gym instructor. There, he joined the Beiyang Army and the Tongmenghui secret political society and it was at the Yunnan Military Academy in Kunming, that Zhu first met Cai E. He taught at the Academy after his graduation in July 1911, siding with the revolutionary forces after the Chinese Revolution, he joined Brigadier Cai E in the October 1911 expeditionary force that marched on Qing forces in Sichuan. He served as a commander in the campaign to unseat Yuan Shikai in 1915-16. When Cai became governor of Sichuan after Yuans death in June 1916, following the death of his mentor Cai E and of his first wife, Zhu developed a severe opium habit that afflicted him until 1922, when he underwent treatment in Shanghai. His troops continued to him, and so he consolidated his forces to become a warlord
Marshal Zhu De (1955)
Zhu De on horseback.
Zhu De in 1916.
Zhu (second from right) photographed with Mao, Zhou Enlai (second from left) and Bo Gu (left).