Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Whampoa


bhchao

Recommended Posts

Whatever the differences the PRC and ROC may have, they share one commonality. Many prestigious generals of the KMT and Communist party graduated from the famed Whampoa Military Academy at Guangzhou.

Founded by Dr. Sun Yat-sen on June 16, 1924, the original location at Changzhou Island in Guangzhou was just one of three locations throughout the academy’s history. The academy moved to Nanjing and finally to Chengdu, the last Nationalist stronghold on the mainland to fall to the Communists.

Famous Nationalist alumni from Whampoa include generals 杜聿明 (Du Yuming), 陳誠 (Chen Cheng) and 李宗仁 (Li Zongren), the commander who lured the Japanese into a trap at Taierzhuang.

Famous Communist alumni from Whampoa include Lin Biao, Peng Dehuai (commander of Chinese forces in the Korean War), and Chen Geng, the general who saved Chiang Kaishek’s life on the battlefield in 1925 during a campaign against the Guangdong warlord 陳炯明 (Chen Jiongming). This act by Chen Geng saved him later on when Chiang turned against the Communists in 1927. During the mass executions of the Communists, Chen was caught by a KMT agent. Despite Chiang’s no mercy policy against the Communists, he allowed Chen to flee Nanjing for the Communist side!

The most famous CCP alumni from Whampoa, Zhou Enlai, was once the academy’s political director.

Some statistics on Whampoa:

From 1924 to 1949, the academy produced a total of more than 30,000 graduates.

The first generations of Whampoa cadets, about 8,107 people, studied in Guangzhou.

Later generations, about 25,000 graduates, studied in Nanjing and Chengdu.

Just last year both China and Taiwan celebrated the 80th anniversary of the founding of Whampoa. Today there are alumni on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and overseas.

In 2002, PRC announced that it will turn the academy’s Guangzhou locale into a tourist attraction by 2006.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Actually there are summer camps in Huang Pu (Whampoa) which recruits High School students from HK to experience a brief military life there!

I read somewhere that the campus was actually abandoned for a long time and it was only renovated about 4 or 5 years ago.

And correct me if I were wrong:

(1) After the 1927 purge of Communist cadres from KMT, Chiang Kai Shek actually shut down the Guangzhou campus since it was the hotbed of Communism. And the military academy in Nanking was just called "Nanking Central Military Academy".

(2) Actually the only HuangPu military academy that still graduates students every year is the school at Feng Shan, Taiwan. Ironically when President Chen saluted the graduates last year, Chen still told them to inherit the HuangPu spirit! So actually the HuangPu Military Academy has never ceased to exist (of course it depends on your political view).

(3) When the HuangPu military academy was first established in 1924, what it could only provide was merely crash courses. Due to the urgency of demand for military personnel for imminent military campaigns, the cadres could only go thru rudimentary training. And they graduated within 3-months' time. Moreover, the only weapons the school was equipped with were the 3,000 rifles provided by USSR.

(4) From Day 1, the academy was already in political rife. Two student societies which leaned towards right and left respectively, were openly in feud. Moreover, the choice of Chiang Kai Shek as its principal and Zhou En Lai as its political adviser looked like an act of Sun to deliberately adopt a balance of power (Sun sounded like Mao in this aspect). In fact, Chiang was caught in total surpise in his Zhejiang hometown when he got the assignment letter from Sun (Chiang was not given any post in the just convened KMT party conference in Guangzhou 1923 while ironically Mao was given).

(5) HuangPu was not the first western style military school founded in China. The first one should be the 保定 military school founded by Yuan Shih Kai in Tientsin in 1900s.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a photo of opening day at Whampoa. Madame Sun Yat-sen is to the left of Dr. Sun. whampoa.jpg

When the HuangPu military academy was first established in 1924, what it could only provide was merely crash courses. Due to the urgency of demand for military personnel for imminent military campaigns, the cadres could only go thru rudimentary training. And they graduated within 3-months' time.

I believe you are right. The cadres had to fight and study at the same time. The curriculum placed too much emphasis on politics courses rather than real, practical military training. General Li Zongren complained himself.

The academy did produce an elite group of KMT officers and soldiers called the Whampoa Clique. Most of the troops in the Battle of Shanghai were Chiang's best trained (German trained) soldiers led by Whampoa Clique officers. Up to 500,000 of these soldiers and officers were sent to Shanghai to fight the Japanese. Chiang thought that the Japanese advance can be seriously thwarted by waging a determined all-out battle at Shanghai.

Most of these Whampoa Clique alumni were wiped out by the massive Japanese firepower.

From Day 1, the academy was already in political rife. Two student societies which leaned towards right and left respectively, were openly in feud. Moreover, the choice of Chiang Kai Shek as its principal and Zhou En Lai as its political adviser looked like an act of Sun to deliberately adopt a balance of power

So technically I assume that Zhou Enlai and other CCP alumni from Huang Pu were still part of the KMT until the purge in 1927.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be slightly off topic, but I find it strange that Stalin supported the KMT government and gave it constant backing even though the KMT's ideology ran contrary to his own.

KMT's ideology was a mix of Confucianism and fascism, which is the opposite of communism. KMT troops were often trained by German advisers and expertise. Germany was an ideological foe of the Soviet Union at that time.

Furthermore Whampoa was established with Soviet backing. Even after Zhang Xueliang kidnapped Chiang and forced him to reverse course, Stalin instructed the Communists to rally behind the Nationalist government because he probably thought the KMT was better able to deal with the Japanese at that time.

If the Japanese were not tied down in China during WWII, it might have had serious repercussions on the Allied war effort in Europe. The Japanese would have been allowed to harass and wage war on the Soviet Union on its eastern frontier. The worst thing Stalin wanted was a two front war which Germany was facing.

So my hypothesis is that Stalin's backing of KMT has to do with preventing this scenario from happening.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bhchao:

The questions you raised may need a volume of books to answer :lol:

But how could USSR avoid two-front war during WWII?

The anwer is very simple -- neither the Nazis trusted Japan nor did Japan trust the Nazis even though they were both the Axis Power.

What time did Hilter wage "Operation Barbarossa"? June 1941.

What time did Japan sign the non-aggression treaty with USSR? April 1941.

In fact, just days before the invasion was launched, Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka was in Berlin. But Hilter, Goering, Geobbel,......practically nobody in Nazi's high echelon told Matsuoka about the imminent invasion.

Even on the eve of the invasion, Japan still shipped wartime material via the Trans-Siberian Railway to Germany.

Of course, that did not mean Stalin was not afraid. In fact, Stalin was totally panicked about such possiblity.

Link to post
Share on other sites

bhchao:

I think the official explanation for Stalin's leaning towards the KMT was that China the KMT was a 'bourgeous' movement, hence more progressive than the feudal structures still prevalent in China. I think both Stalin and Mao recognized that the chinese proletariat was much too weak to start a communist revolution. The conclusions they drew were differnet, though...

The actual reason might have more to do with realpolitik. Stalin had already exchanged the idea of a world revolution with the 'socialism in one country' theory, so having good relations with non-communist countries was perfectly in order as long as they were beneficial to the Soviet Union. However, initially the only western country with good relations to the Soviet Union was Germany (where several communist uprisings had already been violently suppressed). Actually, the winners of WWI were thouroughly shocked when Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Rapallo treaty in 1922.

Relations declined after Hitler took power in 1933 (rather due to German actions thon due to Soviet ones, though), but in August 1939 Stalin agreed with Hitler on dividing Poland, Finland and the Baltic states among themselves.

So - my guess is that Stalin did not care much about ideological foes, as long as they could be useful for him.

Ian:

It started even earlier: The non-aggresion treaty between Germany and the USSR was signed in Moscow on August 23rd, 1939, in the midst of the final Khalkhyn Gol battle. Certainly that did not go down too well with Japan either.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bhchao:

Stalin did not offer KMT complete backing. In fact, USSR had almost completely broken any kind of contact with KMT between the years 1927-1936.

But undeniably the Soviets gave strong backing to KMT's China after the rapproachement in 1936. After Germany ceased to provide military supply to China, the Soviets provided the bulk. In fact, the Soviets constituted about half of the pilots in China's fighter jets betweeen 1936-1939. In many cities like Hankow, there were graves of Soviet pilots from downed planes.

But we usually mentioned about the Flying Tiger and seldom about the role of Soviet pilots in China in early WWII.

During the Xian Incident in 1936, of course Stalin supported Chiang. Why? Very simple. In 1936, CCP only got about thousands of hard core army in Yenan after the Long March. How could Stalin rely solely on CCP to fight Japan?

But Stalin's policy was no different from the previous Czars towards China during that period. Though Stalin supported Chiang, he neutralized Chinese influence in the frontiers -- Mongolia and Xinjiang -- and put them under his orbit of influence.

So it looks contradictory that Stalin sent his pilots to aid China to fight Japan, seized China's frontier lands, signed a non-aggression treaty with Japan and let Japan ship wartime materiel to Germany via the Trans-Siberian Railway concurrently.

But that is the shrewdness of Stalin!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Stalin probably didn't need Chiang or Mao to prevent the Japanese from encroaching on Soviet territory. Zhukov had already done that at Khalkhyn Gol (which Yan mentioned). Although it certainly was in his best interests to keep the Japanese busy by giving his backing to Chiang in WWII.

I guess Stalin's realpolitik was very much like Kissinger's realpolitik in the 1970's. Notice that Nixon, a staunch lifetime anti-communist, would exploit the bitter split between the Soviet Union and China by using the opportunity to start relations with the latter, based on Kissinger's urging.

Ian, but why would Stalin let Japan supply his enemy Germany with raw materials? Allowing an enemy to supply another enemy of his?

Link to post
Share on other sites

bhchao:

but why would Stalin let Japan supply his enemy Germany with raw materials? Allowing an enemy to supply another enemy of his?

Germany and the Soviet Union officially were no enemies from 1939 to 1941. The Soviet union actually supplied Germany with raw materials during that time - until June 21st, 1941. Don't know if and which japanese materials were transitted through the USSR, though. Tungsten maybe?

Ian:

he neutralized Chinese influence in the frontiers -- Mongolia and Xinjiang -- and put them under his orbit of influence
I think Mongolia had been under very strong Russian influence since 1924 - and Chinese influence had already been neutralized in 1921 (although 'pro-chinese activities' continued to be used as a pretext for purging internal opposition for some years).
Link to post
Share on other sites

Bhchao:

Before June 1941, Stalin and Hilter were buddies.

They jointly conquered and divided Poland in half in 1939, and Stalin did his own part of invasion into Finland in 1940.

Essentially there was no difference between them during that period.

But when they broke up, of course their rivalry was deeper than with the western countries.

During Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi Army executed the party commissars first among all Soviet POWs.

And of course when Stalin had the chance to seek revenge, he was ruthless. Numerous German girls were raped by the Red Army soldiers.

Why did the Nazis and Soviets hate each other to the gut?

I am also perplexed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks yan and Ian. The reason why Soviets and Nazis hated each other was probably because of Hitler's extermination campaign against the Bolsheviks, and Nazi atrocities against civilians and military personnel during Operation Barbarossa. Not only did the Nazis execute Soviet POWs, they deliberately starved them to death.

The Soviets were equally brutal and did the same to Nazi POWs and German civilians.

Also a Soviet POW was 10 times more likely to die in a Nazi concentration camp than a British, American, or Canadian POW. The Nazis treated British, American, and Canadian POWs quite well when compared to their treatment of Soviet POWs.

Among all WWII combatants, the Soviet Union and China had the highest civilian casualties. I think the Soviets had about 17 million civilian casualties and China had around 11 million civilian casualties.

And of course when Stalin had the chance to seek revenge, he was ruthless. Numerous German girls were raped by the Red Army soldiers.

As far as rape is concerned, the Soviets and the Japanese were the biggest perpetrators of it in WWII. The Soviet army even raped Afghan women during their 10 year occupation of Afghanistan.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...