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 Stories about the diving squadron of Naval Unit 4005 of the Chinese People's Liberation Army

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Long Live the Revolutionary Spirit of Fearing Neither Hardship Nor Death!

—Stories about the diving squadron of Naval Unit 4005 of the Chinese People's Liberation Army

Source: Peking Review, No. 36, September 3, 1969
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org


    THE diving squadron of Naval Unit 4005 of the Chinese People's Liberation Army is a heroic unit armed with Mao Tsetung Thought. Members of the unit always study and apply Chairman Mao's "three constantly read articles" in a living way, using them to guide their advance. They rely on the revolutionary spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death to surmount every difficulty. Braving the winds and waves and fighting through thick and thin, they have made tremendous contributions In the great struggle in defence of the motherland and in socialist construction.

If One Fears Hardship, One Will Not Make Revolution; When One Makes Revolution, One Must Not Fear Hardship

  Throughout the year the divers work under water and have to overcome many unbelievable hardships. In winter, defying the severe cold, dozens of degrees below zero, they work under the ice. In summer, they work in pressurized diving outfits and several suits of heavy knitwear, soaked with sweat. Air is precious to one working under water. Because of the swift, powerful current and the complicated geological conditions, great effort has to be exerted in making every motion.
  But should you chat with comrades of the diving squadron, you would always hear this gallant statement: "Working under water is indeed a hard job, but we are Chairman Mao's revolutionary fighters. If we fear hardship, we won't make revolution; since we do make revolution, we must not fear hardship!"
  This high morale, this proletarian revolutionary outlook on hardship and comfort, is a great spiritual force of the comrades of the diving squadron in defeating all difficulties and hardships. It is the rich result of their living study and application of Mao Tsetung Thought and of arming themselves with the "three constantly read articles."
  The proletarian revolutionary outlook on hardship and comfort cannot be developed overnight. Many of the new fighters who recently joined the squadron had never endured hardships. They considered diving interesting when they first faced the boundless ocean.
But after they became divers, great changes took place in their lives. In the past, when a mighty storm roared, they ran for shelter. Now, the fiercer the storm, the more the need to go to sea. While at sea, their boat was usually tossed about like a gourd on the water, and they sometimes had no hot food or water to drink. .. . After some time, the concept of "hardship" gradually crept into their mind.
  The first test faced by the divers was how to cope with the problem of "hardship."
  One winter, the diving squadron went to a deep-sea area to investigate underwater obstacles. This particular place is a notoriously treacherous water course, and is described in these terms: "When there is no wind, waves are three feet high; when the wind blows, waves rise as high as the skies." During the night, an 8-force wind suddenly blew up. Roaring waves rushed like small mountains towards the bow of the diving squadron's boat. Tossed about like a kite without a string, the boat was in danger of wrecking on a reef at any time. At this critical moment, squadron leader Chang Shu-lin, on duty at the steering wheel, shouted: "Advance full speed against the wind!" Although the comrades were dripping wet and some of them became seasick and vomited a dozen times, they stuck to their fighting posts and recited Chairman Mao's teaching: "Be resolute, fear no sacrifice and surmount every difficulty to win victory."
  After an intense battle lasting half the night, they were finally out of danger. By dawn, from bow to stern, the boat was covered with ice. Even the eyebrows of the comrades were covered with frost. They broke into laughter as they looked at each other, all "men of ice." Hsia Chung-hua, a signalman, is a city educated youth who faced this test soon after he joined the navy. The freezing cold had caused the skin to peel off his finger, so he used his arm instead to give the signal light. When the squadron leader asked him with concern, "Hard going, eh?" he nodded "yes," but immediately shook his head in disagreement.
  In making revolution, one must be ready to bear hardships. It is the greatest comfort and happiness for a proletarian revolutionary fighter to bear hardships for the revolution and for the masses of working people in China and the world over. It is through the revolutionary practice of fighting despite hardships that many of the comrades of the diving squadron have tasted such great comfort and happiness and gradually fostered the proletarian revolutionary outlook on hardship and comfort.
  "We will go wherever we are needed and settle down wherever the conditions are hard!" is the common fighting slogan of the diving squadron. Over the past ten years, in line with our great leader Chairman Mao's teachings, they have retained and developed the fine style of hard struggle characteristic of the proletarian revolutionary fighters. Regarding hardship as comfort and glory, they have fought throughout the years at the forefront, overcoming many difficulties. With flying colours they have fulfilled every militant task assigned them.

If One Fears Death, One Won't Make Revolution; When One Makes Revolution, One Must Not Fear Death

  A diver encounters many dangers under water. There are obstacles of all kinds to be dealt with in the darkness at the bottom of the sea. If a diver is not very careful, his oxygen line may be impaired or his diving suit pierced. If he does not control the exhaust valve properly, his diving suit will inflate and he will float like a balloon, endangering his life.
  How to look upon life and death is another severe test for divers.
  In the past, influenced by the bourgeois reactionary military line pushed by the counter-revolutionary revisionists Peng Teh-huai and Lo Jui-ching, our diving squadron mechanically adopted the methods used by the Soviet revisionists. When the new recruits arrived, they were told time and again about the importance of the communication cable which was described as the "divers' lifeline." In addition, many rules and regulations were laid down, forbidding divings of one kind or another. Thus, the revisionist "philosophy of survival" was being spread frantically.
Later, in line with Vice-Chairman Lin Piao's instructions on giving prominence to politics, the Party branch of the diving squadron organized the cadres and fighters to study and apply the "three constantly read articles" in a living way. The branch specified that Serve the People was to be the first lesson for the new recruits.

At the same time, it held a series of mass debates on how to look upon life and death, constantly criticizing and eliminating the pernicious influence of the revisionist "philosophy of survival." The men armed themselves with invincible Mao Tsetung Thought, took the three glorious images cited in the "three constantly read articles" as the examples to follow. They have gradually established the proletarian revolutionary outlook on life and death. After studying these articles, a fighter wrote in his notebook the following impression: "If one fears death, one won't make revolution; when one makes revolution, one must not fear death!" This has become the militant pledge of all the comrades in the diving squadron.
  Chou Wen-pin, a Communist and activist in the study of Chairman Mao's works, was swept several metres away by the onslaught of a sudden swift current as he was fixing a float to a sunken boat. Straining himself, he immediately grasped the steel plate of the boat to counter the current. However, the shackle of a steel cable pierced his diving suit and the water poured in. Should he ascend or continue working? At this crucial juncture, Chairman Mao's great teaching "This army has an indomitable spirit and is determined to vanquish all enemies and never to yield" rang in his ears. By then, the water inside his diving suit had risen well above his chest, but instead of showing fear or turning pale, he persisted in fulfilling his tasks. But after too much water had penetrated, he was no longer in a position to float to the surface. Tugging hard, the comrades finally pulled him out of water. As they watched the water pour out of his diving suit, they chided him gently:   "Why didn't you immediately come out of the water after your diving suit was pierced? What a dangerous situation!" Chou Wen-pin replied with a smile: "In making revolution, how can I fear danger!"
  "We know full well that there is danger on our road of advance but the greater the danger, the firmer our determination to march forward!" Such is the fighting style of the proletarian revolutionary fighters. Through practice in struggle the comrades came to recognize this truth: In making revolution one must risk some danger. One cannot demand a "guarantee" before he starts making revolution. The proletarian revolution is a great, arduous cause unparalleled in the history of mankind. How can we expect to reach communism peacefully and safely without risking a bit of danger or sacrifice?
  In erecting one of the piers for the Yangtse River Bridge at Nanking, it became necessary to dive to the bottom of the Yangtse to get data about its complicated geological strata at a certain point. No one had any experience of working at such a depth, and the new Chinese-made diving outfit had yet to be tested in practice. The first person to undertake this job faced risks. It called for a revolutionary pioneering spirit and the revolutionary spirit of daring to make sacrifices. Three comrades of the squadron accepted this glorious task, to work in co-operation with worker comrades. Before starting on their mission, the three fighters, sitting on the river bank facing the busy work-site, once again studied Chairman Mao's Serve the People. "If anything happens to me," each told the others, "find the cause, sum up the experience, and carry on!"
  Then one of the fighters, in his brand-new Chinese diving outfit, plunged swiftly into the river, silently reciting "serve the people" as he went deeper and deeper. At 40-50 metres, he felt cold all over. The comrades above quoted to him Chairman Mao's teaching: "Be resolute, fear no sacrifice and surmount every difficulty to win victory." This instantly filled him with warmth. He dived straight to the bottom where he worked tenaciously for several hours. The work was victoriously completed, opening the way for the sinking of the pier.

The Red Sun in Our Hearts Lights Up the Fathomless Sea

  People filled with bourgeois ideas will never understand one question: What is the source of the revolutionary drive of these P.L.A. divers, who care neither for fame nor gain, who ask for no reward and seek no personal comforts?
  Comrades of the squadron have a ringing answer: "It comes from neither heaven nor earth, but entirely from the 'three constantly read articles'!" These three brilliant articles are the inexhaustible source of their strength. Chairman Mao's great thinking on serving the people "wholly" and "entirely" nurtures the comrades in their growth, and the glorious images of Chang Szu-teh, Norman Bethune and the Foolish Old Man are ever before them in their advance. They use these articles at all times as weapons to remould their ideology, and "wholly" and "entirely" is their yardstick in forging the revolutionary spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death. Thus they keep on ascending the heights of proletarian ideology.
  Underwater work is usually done singly, with no one in sight. In these circumstances, to work with all one has, "wholly" and "entirely," or to work carelessly and half-heartedly depends entirely on how much conscious revolutionary spirit a proletarian revolutionary fighter possesses. Once, in salvaging a sunken boat, Sui Chuan-hsiang, a Communist Party member and detachment leader, went under water to find out how badly the keel was damaged. He found the huge stern of the ship standing upright in the water, at a 70-degree angle to the sea bottom, forming a huge yawning abyss. Groping from port to starboard, Sui discovered that the bilge keel was broken. Orders came from above for him to go up. But he asked himself: Am I serving the people "wholly" and "entirely" without even having found out the state of the main keel? He decided to enter the abyss and investigate the situation of the main keel. All this time, the upright stern, buffeted by swift currents, rocked dangerously and was in constant danger of crashing down to the bottom of the sea.
  There is a Chinese saying: "How can you catch tiger cubs without entering the tiger's lair?" Sui Chuan-hsiang courageously entered the "tiger's lair," made his way to the bottom of the boat and found out how the main keel was buried in the mud and sand. As he was about to surface, he caught himself up, thinking: This still isn't serving the people "wholly" and "entirely," because I haven't yet determined whether the main keel is broken or not. By this time, the stern was shaking wildly with a great rumbling noise and the situation was becoming critical. Dauntless, Sui Chuan-hsiang groped his way to the main keel, pushed his arm into the mud and felt the keel carefully. This enabled him to assess the situation "wholly" and "entirely." Only then did he go up. A few minutes after he left the yawning abyss and surfaced, there was a thunderous crash as the upright stern smashed to the bottom of the sea.
  With the red sun shining in our hearts, all the fathomless sea is lit up. Nurtured by the sunshine of great Mao Tsetung Thought, the heroic P.L.A. divers ax*e pushing forward on the broad road of continuing the revolution.
  

  
  
  

 
 
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