Modern History of Chengde
Zhao Zixin says that the Zhao family of the Dashdawa Mongols guarded the Summer Capital during the Qing dynasty, but their duty came to an end abruptly at the collapse of the Qing. Since there was no more income, his grandparents turned to herding a few sheep and cows. They could barely make ends meet as there was not enough land. During the Second World War, Chengde was occupied by the Japanese, but there were only a battalion of about 100 Japanese soldiers in Chengde. Zhao recalls that the Japanese did not harm the locals, but they suffered in the hands of what he calls Erguizi (二鬼子), a nickname for Korean soldiers in the Japanese army. The locals called them Hengkeng (横啃), literally meaning ‘gnawing at corn horizontally’. He also says that the Japanese first tested the Mongols but found they did not have any military skills. In 1945, the Soviet red army came to Chengde. He says that the yellow-haired and blue-eyed soldiers were mostly officers, but the black-haired solders appeared to be Mongolians. The black-haired soldiers were very undisciplined, liked to drink, and were often beaten by yellow haired soldiers.