SEPTEMBER 27 1955 - 5PM - Poster

Date: 1955 - 1955

75cm x 50cm. Framed poster consisting of ten rows of nine headshots, the photographs in the bottom rows are slightly larger than in other rows. There is one photograph left blank, in the bottom right; the Tibetan origin of the leader may have logistically prevented the receipt of his photograph in time for printing.

Printed to commemorate the 27 September, 1955 ceremony held by the State Council to award the PLA’s General Category military ranks. This poster lists the leaders newly named Lieutenant Generals. At the ceremony, Premier Zhou Enlai awarded certificates of appointment to the military ranks. This ceremony coincided with one taking place in Huairen Hall in Zhonnanhai when Mao Zedong personally handed certificates of appointment to the ten leaders in the Marshal Category. The formation of rankings were part of the reorganisation of the PLA taking place in the 1950s as they sought to advance from a peasant army to a modern military force. This included the formation of thirteen military regions and the system of military ranks, all approved by Mao Zedong. The assignment of military rankings in the style of the Soviet military was met with criticism from those who did not want to be aligned with the Soviet Union and who felt that the hierarchical rankings defied the egalitarian foundations of the PLA. Marshal Lin Biao was one of the system’s detractors, criticising it as part of the “Soviet revisionist military structure”. He abolished the rankings in 1966. -Li, Xiaobing, “A History of the Modern Chinese Army”


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