Feng Yuxiang

Feng Yuxiang

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Feng Yuxiang was a warlord
Warlord
A warlord is a person with power who has both military and civil control over a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. The term can also mean one who espouses the ideal that war is necessary, and has the means and authority to engage in war...

 and leader in Republican China
History of the Republic of China
The History of the Republic of China begins after the Qing Dynasty in 1912, when the formation of the Republic of China put an end to over two thousand years of Imperial rule. The Qing Dynasty, also known as the Manchu Dynasty, ruled from 1644 to 1912...

. He was also known as the Christian General for his zeal to convert his troops and the Betrayal General for his penchant to break with the establishment. In 1911, he was an officer in the ranks of Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai was an important Chinese general and politician famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor of China, his autocratic rule as the second President of the Republic of China , and his short-lived...

's Beiyang Army
Beiyang Army
The Beiyang Army was a powerful, Western-style Chinese military force created by the Qing Dynasty government in the late 19th century. It was the centerpiece of a general reconstruction of China's military system. The Beiyang Army played a major role in Chinese politics for at least three decades...

 but joined forces with revolutionaries
Xinhai Revolution
The Xinhai Revolution or Hsinhai Revolution, also known as Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing , and established the Republic of China...

 against the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

. He rose to high rank within Wu Peifu
Wu Peifu
Wu Peifu or Wu P'ei-fu , was a major figure in the struggles between the warlords who dominated Republican China from 1916 to 1927.- Early career :...

's Zhili warlord faction but launched the Beijing coup
Beijing coup
The Beijing coup refers to the October 1924 coup d'etat by Feng Yuxiang against Chinese President Cao Kun, leader of the Zhili warlord faction. Feng called it the Capital Revolution . The coup occurred at a crucial moment in the Second Zhili–Fengtian War and allowed the pro-Japanese Fengtian...

 in 1924 that knocked Zhili out of power and brought Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese doctor, revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the "Father of the Nation" , a view agreed upon by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China...

 to Beijing. He joined the Nationalist Party (KMT)
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

, supported the Northern Expedition and became blood brothers with Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

, but resisted Chiang's consolidation on power in the Central Plains War
Central Plains War
Central Plains War was a civil war within the factionalised Kuomintang that broke out in 1930. It was fought between the forces of Chiang Kai-shek and the coalition of three military commanders who had previously allied with Chiang: Yan Xishan, Feng Yuxiang, and Li Zongren...

, and broke with Chiang again in resisting Japanese incursions in 1933. He spent his later years supporting the left-wing of the KMT
Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang
The Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang is one of eight registered minor political parties in the People's Republic of China....

 which cooperated with the Chinese Communists
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

.

Early life and career


As the son of an officer in the Qing
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 Imperial Army, Feng spent his youth immersed in the military life. He joined the Huai Army when he was just 14, as a deputy soldier (Fu Bing, 副兵), the lowest rank in the army who only received uniform and food, but no salary like regular soldiers. By the age of 16, Feng had proved himself and became a regular. Unlike other soldiers who gambled away their pay, Feng saved his salary and used a portion of it to help out other soldiers in need, especially those deputy soldiers (Fu Bing, 副兵), and hence he was popular among his fellow comrades-in-arms. Feng was hard working and motivated, and in 1902, he was reassigned to Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai was an important Chinese general and politician famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor of China, his autocratic rule as the second President of the Republic of China , and his short-lived...

's newly established Beiyang Army
Beiyang Army
The Beiyang Army was a powerful, Western-style Chinese military force created by the Qing Dynasty government in the late 19th century. It was the centerpiece of a general reconstruction of China's military system. The Beiyang Army played a major role in Chinese politics for at least three decades...

.

During the Xinhai Revolution
Xinhai Revolution
The Xinhai Revolution or Hsinhai Revolution, also known as Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing , and established the Republic of China...

 of 1911, Feng joined the Luanzhou Uprising against the Qing Court and supported the revolutionaries in the South. The Uprising was suppressed by the Beiyang Army and Feng was imprisoned by Yuan Shikai. In 1914, he regained military rank and spent the next four years defending Yuan's regime. In July 1914, as brigade commander, he participated in the suppression of the Bailang Peasant Uprising in Henan
Henan
Henan , is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "豫" , named after Yuzhou , a Han Dynasty state that included parts of Henan...

 and Shaanxi
Shaanxi
' is a province in the central part of Mainland China, and it includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province...

. During the National Protection War
National Protection War
The National Protection War , also known as the anti-Monarchy War, was a civil war that took place in China between 1915 and 1916. The cause of this war was Yuan Shikai's proclamation of himself as Emperor. Only three years earlier, the last Chinese dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, had been overthrown...

 of 1915-16, he was sent to Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 to fight the Anti-Yuan National Protection Army, but secretly communicated with revolution leader Cai E
Cai E
Cai E or Tsai Ao was a Chinese revolutionary leader and warlord. He was born Cai Genyin in Shaoyang, Hunan, and his courtesy name was Songpo...

. In April 1917, he was stripped of his military rank but still led his old troops in the campaign against Zhang Xun
Zhang Xun
Zhang Xun or Chang Hsün may refer to:*Zhang Xun , general serving under the warlord Yuan Shu during the late Han Dynasty*Zhang Xun , Tang Dynasty general involved in the Battle of Suiyang against An Lushan...

 and was restored to his rank. In February 1918, he was ordered to suppress the Constitutional Protection Movement, but proclaimed his support for peace talks in Hubei
Hubei
' Hupeh) is a province in Central China. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Lake Dongting...

 and was stripped of titles but permitted to stay in command of his forces. The capture of Changde
Changde
Changde is a city in the north of Hunan Province, China, with a population of 5,717,218 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 1,232,182 in the built up area made of 2 urban districts .-History:...

 in June earned him back his titles. By August 1921, he was promoted to command a division and was based in Shaanxi.

Conversion to Christianity


Feng, like many young officers, was involved in revolutionary activity and was nearly executed for treason. He later joined Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai was an important Chinese general and politician famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor of China, his autocratic rule as the second President of the Republic of China , and his short-lived...

's Beiyang Army
Beiyang Army
The Beiyang Army was a powerful, Western-style Chinese military force created by the Qing Dynasty government in the late 19th century. It was the centerpiece of a general reconstruction of China's military system. The Beiyang Army played a major role in Chinese politics for at least three decades...

 and converted to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 in 1914, being baptised into the Methodist Episcopal Church
Methodist Episcopal Church
The Methodist Episcopal Church, sometimes referred to as the M.E. Church, was a development of the first expression of Methodism in the United States. It officially began at the Baltimore Christmas Conference in 1784, with Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke as the first bishops. Through a series of...

.

Feng's career as a warlord began soon after the collapse of the Yuan Shikai government in 1916. Feng, however, distinguished himself from other regional militarists by governing his domains with a mixture of paternalistic Christian socialism
Christian socialism
Christian socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist and who see these two philosophies as being interrelated. This category can include Liberation theology and the doctrine of the social gospel...

and military discipline. He forbade prostitution, gambling and the sale of opium and morphia. From 1919, he was known as the 'Christian General'.

In 1923, British Protestant Christian missionary Marshall B. Broomhall said of him:
The contrast between Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

's Ironsides
Ironside (cavalry)
The Ironsides were troopers in the Parliamentarian cavalry formed by English political leader Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century, during the English Civil War. The name came from "Old Ironsides", one of Cromwell's nicknames...

 and Charles's Cavaliers is not more striking than that which exists in China to-day between the godly and well-disciplined troops of General Feng and the normal type of man who in that land goes by the name of soldier... While it is too much to say that there are no good soldiers in China outside of General Feng's army, it is none the less true that the people generally are as fearful of the presence of troops as of brigand bands.


He was reputed to have liked baptizing
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 his troops with water from a fire hose
Fire hose
A fire hose is a high-pressure hose used to carry water or other fire retardant to a fire to extinguish it. Outdoors, it is attached either to a fire engine or a fire hydrant. Indoors, it can be permanently attached to a building's standpipe or plumbing system...

. But no such incident is mentioned in Sheriden's detailed biography, or in Broomhall's account. Both Broomhall and Sheriden say that baptism was taken very seriously and that not all of Feng's troops were baptised.

Rise



In the early 1920s, Feng rose to prominence in the Zhili clique of warlords, named so because their base of power was centred around Zhili
Zhili
Zhílì was a northern province in China from the Ming Dynasty until the province was dissolved in 1928 during the Republic of China era.-History:...

. This Zhili Clique defeated the Fengtian clique
Fengtian clique
The Fengtian Clique was one of several mutually hostile cliques or factions that split from the Beiyang Clique in the Republic of China's warlord era. It was named for Fengtian Province and led by Zhang Zuolin...

, headed by Zhang Zuolin
Zhang Zuolin
Zhang Zuolin was the warlord of Manchuria from 1916 to 1928 . He successfully invaded China proper in October 1924 in the Second Zhili-Fengtian War. He gained control of Peking, including China's internationally recognized government, in April 1926...

, father of Zhang Xueliang
Zhang Xueliang
Zhang Xueliang or Chang Hsüeh-liang , occasionally called Peter Hsueh Liang Chang in English, nicknamed the Young Marshal , was the effective ruler of Manchuria and much of North China after the assassination of his father, Zhang Zuolin, by the Japanese on 4 June 1928...

, in the First Zhili-Fengtian War
First Zhili-Fengtian War
The First Zhili–Fengtian War was a 1922 conflict in the Republic of China's Warlord Era between the Zhili and Fengtian cliques for control of Beijing. The war led to the defeat of the Fengtian clique and the fall of its leader, Zhang Zuolin, from the coalition Zhili-Fengtian government in Beijing...

 in 1922. It was at this time that Feng also began to move closer to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

.

Within the Zhili clique, Feng was demoted by Wu Peifu
Wu Peifu
Wu Peifu or Wu P'ei-fu , was a major figure in the struggles between the warlords who dominated Republican China from 1916 to 1927.- Early career :...

 and sent to guard the southern suburbs of Beijing. In 1923 Feng was inspired by Sun Yat-sen and secreted plotted with Hu Jingyi and Xue Yue
Xue Yue
Xue Yue was a Chinese Nationalist military general, nicknamed by Claire Lee Chennault of the Flying Tigers as the Patton of Asia.-Early Life and Career:...

 to overthrow Wu Peifu
Wu Peifu
Wu Peifu or Wu P'ei-fu , was a major figure in the struggles between the warlords who dominated Republican China from 1916 to 1927.- Early career :...

 and Cao Kun
Cao Kun
|-...

 who controlled the Beiyang Government
Beiyang Government
The Beiyang government or warlord government collectively refers to a series of military regimes that ruled from Beijing from 1912 to 1928 at Zhongnanhai. It was internationally recognized as the legitimate Government of the Republic of China. The name comes from the Beiyang Army which dominated...

. When the Second Zhili-Fengtian War
Second Zhili-Fengtian War
The Second Zhili–Fengtian War of 1924 was a conflict between the Japanese-backed Fengtian clique based in Manchuria, and the more liberal Zhili clique controlling Beijing and backed by Anglo-American business interests...

 of 1924, Feng was in charge of defending Rehe
Rehe
Rehe , also known as Jehol, is a defunct Chinese Special administrative district and later province.-Administration:Rehe was located north of the Great Wall, west of Manchuria, and east of Mongolia. The capital of Rehe was the city of Chengde. The second largest city in the province was Chaoyang,...

 from the Fengtian clique. He switched sides, seized the capital in the Beijing Coup
Beijing coup
The Beijing coup refers to the October 1924 coup d'etat by Feng Yuxiang against Chinese President Cao Kun, leader of the Zhili warlord faction. Feng called it the Capital Revolution . The coup occurred at a crucial moment in the Second Zhili–Fengtian War and allowed the pro-Japanese Fengtian...

 on October 23, 1924. This turnabout prompted Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

 warlord Zhang Zongchang
Zhang Zongchang
Zhang Zongchang , nicknamed the "Dogmeat General" and "72-Cannon Chang" , was a Chinese warlord in Shandong in the early 20th century...

 to join Fengtian
Fengtian
Fengtian is:* The name of an old prefecture under which Shenyang city was administered. Abolished in 1910.* The former name of Liaoning province from 1907 to 1929. Under the Manchukuo regime, the name was revived, but was again abolished in 1945....

 in decisively defeating Zhili forces. Feng's coup brought far-reaching political changes in China. Feng imprisoned Zhili-leader and president Cao Kun, installed the more liberal Huang Fu
Huang Fu
Huáng Fú was a general and politician in early republican China. He was born in Hangzhou.-Biography:Huang studied at Zhejiang Military College and Qiushi Academy , later went to Japan. Huang came in contact with the Revolutionary Alliance while studying in a military academy in the Empire of Japan...

, evicted the Last Emperor from the Forbidden City
Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum...

, and invited Sun Yat-sen to Beijing to resurrect the Republican government and reunify the country. Sun came to Beijing, despite illness and died there in April 1925.

Feng renamed his army the Guominjun
Guominjun
The Guominjun , a.k.a Nationalist Army, KMC, or Northwest Army , refers to the military faction founded by Feng Yuxiang, Hu Jingyi and Sun Yue during China's Warlord Era. It was formed when Feng betrayed the Zhili clique during the Second Zhili-Fengtian War with the Fengtian clique in 1924...

or the National People's Army. To counter pressure from the Zhili and Fengtian factions, he invited Duan Qirui
Duan Qirui
Duan Qirui was a Chinese warlord and politician, commander in the Beiyang Army, and the Provisional Chief Executive of Republic of China from November 24, 1924 to April 20, 1926. He was arguably the most powerful man in China from 1916 to 1920.- Early life :Born in Hefei as Duan Qirui , his...

 to take on the presidency, but was still defeated by a Zhili-Fengtian alliance in the Anti-Fengtian War
Anti-Fengtian War
The Anti-Fengtian War was the last major civil war within the Republic of China's northern Beiyang government prior to the Northern Expedition. It lasted from November 1925 to April 1926 and was waged by the Guominjun against the Fengtian clique and their Zhili clique allies...

 in January 1926. He lost control of Beijing, and retreated to Zhangjiakou
Zhangjiakou
Zhangjiakou, also known also by several other names, is a prefecture-level city in northwestern Hebei province of North China, adjacent to Beijing to the southeast. Its administrative area has a population of 4.35 million, and covers...

 where his army became known as the Northwest Army. In August, he went to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and returned in September, whereupon he joined the Nationalist Party
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

. Feng threw his support behind the Nationalists in the Northern Expedition and merged his Guominjun with the National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
The National Revolutionary Army , pre-1928 sometimes shortened to 革命軍 or Revolutionary Army and between 1928-1947 as 國軍 or National Army was the Military Arm of the Kuomintang from 1925 until 1947, as well as the national army of the Republic of China during the KMT's period of party rule...

.

In April 1926, Sun Yat-sen's successor, Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

, launched the Northern Expedition from Guangzhou
Guangzhou
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

 against the northern warlords. The Nationalists vanquished the Zhili faction in the south and Feng asserted control over much of north-central China. Zhang Zuolin was forced to withdraw Fengtian forces back to Manchuria.

In October 1928, Feng Yuxiang was apppointed as Vice President of the Executive Yuan
Executive Yuan
The Executive Yuan is the executive branch of the government of the Republic of China , commonly known as "Taiwan".-Organization and structure:...

 and War Minister of the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 by President Chiang Kai-shek.

By early 1929, Feng grew dissatisfied with Chiang Kai-shek's KMT regime in Nanjing. He joined Yan Xishan
Yan Xishan
Yan Xishan, was a Chinese warlord who served in the government of the Republic of China. Yan effectively controlled the province of Shanxi from the 1911 Xinhai Revolution to the 1949 Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War...

 and Li Zongren
Li Zongren
Li Zongren or Li Tsung-jen , courtesy name Delin , was a prominent Guangxi warlord and Kuomintang military commander during the Northern Expedition, Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War...

 to challenge Chiang's supremacy. He was defeated by Chiang in the Central Plains War
Central Plains War
Central Plains War was a civil war within the factionalised Kuomintang that broke out in 1930. It was fought between the forces of Chiang Kai-shek and the coalition of three military commanders who had previously allied with Chiang: Yan Xishan, Feng Yuxiang, and Li Zongren...

.

The Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 incited anti Yan Xishan
Yan Xishan
Yan Xishan, was a Chinese warlord who served in the government of the Republic of China. Yan effectively controlled the province of Shanxi from the 1911 Xinhai Revolution to the 1949 Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War...

 and Feng Yuxiang sentiments among Chinese Muslims
Hui people
The Hui people are an ethnic group in China, defined as Chinese speaking people descended from foreign Muslims. They are typically distinguished by their practice of Islam, however some also practice other religions, and many are direct descendants of Silk Road travelers.In modern People's...

 and Mongols, encouraging for them to topple their rule.

Out of power


Stripped of his military power, Feng spent the early 1930s criticizing Chiang's failure to resist Japanese aggression. On May 26, 1933, Feng Yuxiang became commander-in-chief of the Chahar People's Anti-Japanese Army
Chahar People's Anti-Japanese Army
The Chahar People's Anti-Japanese Army consisted mostly of former Northwestern Army units under Feng Yuxiang, troops from Fang Zhenwu's Resisting Japan and Saving China Army, remnants of the provincial forces from Jehol, Anti-Japanese volunteers from Manchuria and local forces from Chahar and Suiyuan...

 Alliance, with Ji Hongchang
Ji Hongchang
Ji Hongchang, was a Chinese general and patriot.-Biography:Ji Hongchang was born in 1895, in Fugou, Henan province of China. He started his military career in 1913 under the leadership of Gen. Feng Yuxiang. He was the commander of the 22nd Army when he was nominated as Ningxia chairman...

 and Fang Zhenwu
Fang Zhenwu
Fang Zhenwu was a Chinese military officer in the early twentieth century.-Biography:Fang was born in 1885 in Shou County, Lu'an, Anhui province, in the Empire of China. He took part in the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and joined the revolutionary New Army in Shanghai...

 as frontline commander. With a strength claimed by Feng to be over 100,000 men, Ji Hongchang's army pushed against Duolun
Duolun
Dolon Nor , is a town and the county seat of Duolun County, Xilin Gol League in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous region, China. It is of historical importance because the remnants of Xanadu, the summer capital of Kubilai Khan and the following Mongol emperors of the Yuan Dynasty , are located some 17...

, and by July 1933, drove the Japanese and Manchukuo
Manchukuo
Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...

an troops out of Chahar
Chahar (province)
Chahar , also known as Chaha'er, Chakhar, or Qahar, was a province of China in existence from 1912 to 1936, mostly covering territory in what is part of eastern Inner Mongolia. It was named after the Chahar Mongolians....

 Province. By late July, Feng Yuxiang and Ji Hongchang established, at Zhangjiakou
Zhangjiakou
Zhangjiakou, also known also by several other names, is a prefecture-level city in northwestern Hebei province of North China, adjacent to Beijing to the southeast. Its administrative area has a population of 4.35 million, and covers...

, the "Committee for Recovering the four provinces of the Northeast". Chiang Kai-shek, fearing that Communists had taken control of the Anti-Japanese Allied Army, launched a concerted siege of the army with 60,000 men. Surrounded by Chiang Kai-shek and the Japanese, Feng Yuxiang resigned his post, and retired to Tai'an
Tai'an
Tai'an is a prefecture-level city in western Shandong province, People's Republic of China.Centered around Mount Tai, the city borders the provincial capital of Jinan to the north, Laiwu to the northeast, Zibo to the east, Linyi to the southeast, Liaocheng to the extreme west and Jining to the south...

 in Shandong Province.

Later years



Between 1935 and 1945, Feng Yuxiang supported the KMT and held various positions in the Nationalist army and government. In October 1935, Chiang invited him to Nanjing to serve as the vice-president of the National Military Council
National Military Council
The command of the Chinese National Revolutionary Army was directed by the National Military Council , chaired by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II...

. He held the nominal position until 1938 and remained a member of the Council until 1945. During the Xian Incident, when Chiang Kai-Shek was held prisoner by rebellious warlords, he immediately called for Chiang's release. After the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

 began in 1937 he was Commander in Chief of the 6th War Area.

After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, he traveled to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 where he was an outspoken critic of the Chiang regime and of Truman administration’s support for it. While there he came to General Stilwell's house in California, as he admired Stilwell. Tuchman tells the story (Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-1945, pp. 82–3): "a few days after her husband's death, Mrs. Stilwell was upstairs at her home in Carmel when a visitor was announced with some confusion as 'the Christian.' Mystified, she went down to find in the hall the huge figure and cannonball head of Feng Yu-hsiang, who said, 'I have come to mourn with you for Shih Ti-wei, my friend.'"

Although he was never a Communist, he was close to them in his final years.

According to descendants whose father was raised as a young boy by Feng Yu-hsiang in his household, and was inspired by the elder Feng's example of service to country and countrymen to join and serve in the military, Feng Yu-hsiang also visited and lived for several months in Berkeley, California during his stay as visiting scholar.

He died in a shipboard fire on the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 while en route to the Soviet Union in 1948, along with one of his daughters. Some believe he was murdered; others deny it.

The same descendants also learned from their father that many believed Feng was murdered by political adversary/ies; and that those who knew details of the shipboard fire and its circumstances had reported that Feng and his daughter perished in the middle of night behind their cabin door(s) that had been locked from the outside.

The Chinese Communists classified Feng as a 'good warlord,' and his remains were buried with honors in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in 1953, at the sacred mountain T'ai Shan
Mount Tai
Mount Tai is a mountain of historical and cultural significance located north of the city of Tai'an, in Shandong province, People's Republic of China. The tallest peak is the Jade Emperor Peak , which is commonly reported as tall, but is described by the PRC government as .Mount Tai is one of the...

 in Shandong. His tomb is located immediately to the east of Tianwai Village square (36°12′25.86"N 117°6′7.95"E). His widow Lu Te-chiuan was Minister of Public Health in the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

.

Generals of the "Feng Clique"


Many of Feng Yuxiang's former subordinates joined or merged into KMT's National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
The National Revolutionary Army , pre-1928 sometimes shortened to 革命軍 or Revolutionary Army and between 1928-1947 as 國軍 or National Army was the Military Arm of the Kuomintang from 1925 until 1947, as well as the national army of the Republic of China during the KMT's period of party rule...

 and fought with distinction in the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

. They include Song Zheyuan
Song Zheyuan
Sòng Zhéyuán was a Chinese general during the Chinese Civil War and Sino-Japanese War .- Early life and education :...

, Tong Linge
Tong Linge
Tong Linge or Tung Ling-ko , was the Manchu ethnicity Chinese Deputy Commander of 29th Corps or 29th Route Army in 1937 during the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and Battle of Beiping-Tianjin....

, Zhao Dengyu
Zhao Dengyu
Zhao Dengyu or Chao Teng-yu was a Chinese general, distinguished for his service at the beginning of theSecond Sino-Japanese War....

, Sun Lianzhong
Sun Lianzhong
Sun Lianzhong Sun Lianzhong Sun Lianzhong (Traditional Chinese: 孫連仲 ; Simplified Chinese: 孙连仲 ; pinyin: Sun Lianzhong; Wade-Giles: Sun Lian-chung (1893–1990) General during the Warlord Era, Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War...

, Liu Ruming
Liu Ruming
Liu Ruming, Liu Ju-ming, 刘汝明, Chinese general during the Warlord Era, Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War.- Overview :...

, Feng Zhian, Yang Hucheng
Yang Hucheng
Yang Hucheng was a Chinese warlord during the Warlord Era of Republican China and Kuomintang general during the Chinese Civil War....

, Ji Hongchang
Ji Hongchang
Ji Hongchang, was a Chinese general and patriot.-Biography:Ji Hongchang was born in 1895, in Fugou, Henan province of China. He started his military career in 1913 under the leadership of Gen. Feng Yuxiang. He was the commander of the 22nd Army when he was nominated as Ningxia chairman...

, and Zhang Zizhong
Zhang Zizhong
Zhāng Zìzhōng was a Chinese general of the National Revolutionary Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Born in Linqing in Shandong province, he was the highest-ranked officer and the only Army group commander of the NRA to die in the war...

. Notable exceptions were Sun Liangcheng and Qin Dechun who collaborated with Japanese.

See also

  • Warlord era
    Warlord era
    The Chinese Warlord Era was the period in the history of the Republic of China, from 1916 to 1928, when the country was divided among military cliques, a division that continued until the fall of the Nationalist government in the mainland China regions of Sichuan, Shanxi, Qinghai, Ningxia,...

  • Central Plains War
    Central Plains War
    Central Plains War was a civil war within the factionalised Kuomintang that broke out in 1930. It was fought between the forces of Chiang Kai-shek and the coalition of three military commanders who had previously allied with Chiang: Yan Xishan, Feng Yuxiang, and Li Zongren...

  • History of the Republic of China
    History of the Republic of China
    The History of the Republic of China begins after the Qing Dynasty in 1912, when the formation of the Republic of China put an end to over two thousand years of Imperial rule. The Qing Dynasty, also known as the Manchu Dynasty, ruled from 1644 to 1912...

  • National Revolutionary Army
    National Revolutionary Army
    The National Revolutionary Army , pre-1928 sometimes shortened to 革命軍 or Revolutionary Army and between 1928-1947 as 國軍 or National Army was the Military Arm of the Kuomintang from 1925 until 1947, as well as the national army of the Republic of China during the KMT's period of party rule...

  • Second Sino-Japanese War
    Second Sino-Japanese War
    The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

  • Actions in Inner Mongolia (1933–1936)

Further reading

  • Broomhall, Marshall (Marshall Broomhall
    Marshall Broomhall
    Marshall B. Broomhall , was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China with the China Inland Mission. He also authored many books on the subject of Chinese missionary work. He was the most famous son of the anti-opium trade activist and General Secretary of the C.I.M...

    ); Marshall Feng: A Good Soldier of Jesus Christ; London: China Inland Mission
    China Inland Mission
    OMF International is an interdenominational Protestant Christian missionary society, founded in Britain by Hudson Taylor on 25 June 1865.-Overview:...

     and Religious Tract Society
    Religious Tract Society
    The Religious Tract Society, founded 1799, 56 Paternoster Row and 65 St. Paul's Chuchyard, was the original name of a major British publisher of Christian literature intended initially for evangelism, and including literature aimed at children, women, and the poor.The RTS is also notable for being...

    , 1923.
  • Goforth, Jonathan; Chinese Christian general: Feng Yu Hsiang
  • Sheridan, James E. Chinese Warlord: The Career of Feng Yu-hsiang. Stanford University 1966.
  • United Press, Christian General Feng Charges British Caused Rioting, Evening Independent, July 15, 1925 (Statement of General Feng to the United Press on the Shanghai and Canton riots)

External links