Ma Zhongying

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Ma Zhongying
Ma Zhongying.jpg
Ma Zhongying
Nickname(s)Ga Ssu-ling ("Baby General" or "Little Commander")[1] or "Big Horse"[2]
Born馬仲英 1910
Linxia County, Gansu
DiedAfter 1936
AllegianceFlag of the Republic of China Republic of China
Years of service1929-34
RankGeneral
Unit36th Division (National Revolutionary Army)
Commands heldChief of the 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army)
Battles/warsCentral Plains War, Kumul Rebellion, First Battle of Urumqi (1933), Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang, Battle of Kashgar (1934)
Flag of Twelve Rays Sun in Blue Sky. It was used by Hui warlords who allied themselves with Kuomintang Nanjing and Chiang Kai-shek.

Ma Zhongying, also Ma Chung-ying (simplified Chinese: 马仲英; traditional Chinese: 馬仲英; pinyin: Mǎ Zhòngyīng; Wade–Giles: Ma Chung-ying, Xiao'erjing: ﻣَﺎ ﺟْﻮ ىٍ‎ ; c. 1910 – after 1936) was a Hui Chinese Muslim warlord during the Warlord era of China. His birth name was Ma Buying (simplified Chinese: 马步英; traditional Chinese: 馬步英; pinyin: Mǎ Bùyīng; Wade–Giles: Ma Pu-ying).[3] Ma was a warlord of Gansu province in China during the 1930s. His alliance with the Kuomintang (KMT) brought his predominantly Chinese Muslim troops under the control of the KMT as the 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army); Zhongying was its commander. He was ordered to overthrow Jin Shuren, the governor of Xinjiang. After several victories over provincial and White Russian forces, he attempted to expand his territory into southern Xinjiang by launching campaigns from his power base in Gansu, but was stopped by Xinjiang warlord Sheng Shicai in 1934.[4]

The rise of Ma Zhongying[edit]

Ma Zhongying joined a Muslim militia in 1924 when he was 14 years old.[1] He was involved in the rebellion against Feng Yuxiang's Guominjun forces in Gansu, and even fought against his own relatives, including his great-uncle warlord Ma Lin, who had continued to serve the Guominjun.

Ma Zhongying seized Hezhou and vanquished the forces of Ma Lin, who had been sent to recapture Hezhou from him. However, he was relieved by his commander—who was also his uncle—Ma Ku-chang, for acting without orders to take Hezhou.[5] Ma Zhongying seized Gansu's capital from the Guominjun in April 1929 but was eventually defeated and expelled by them.[6]

Hui Muslims belonging to the Xidaotang sect and Tibetans in Taozhou were attacked by Ma Zhongying and his own Hui Muslim soldiers, causing an exodus of panicked Xidaotang Hui Muslims.[7]

Ma Zhongying's 1928 revolt led to a blaze that destroyed the Multicolored Mosque[8]

He attended the Whampoa Military Academy in Nanjing in 1929.[9][10][11]

Gen. Ma Zhongying.

Xinjiang during the 1930s[edit]

"He was like the rider on the pale horse, which appeared when the fourth seal was broken: 'And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with the sword, and with hunger and death, and with the beasts of the earth.'"
Sven Hedin on Ma Zhongying[12]

Yulbars Khan asked for Ma Zhongying's help in overthrowing Gov. Jin Shuren after Jin abolished the Kumul Khanate and set off the Kumul Rebellion. Ma fought in Xinjiang for a while, was wounded and returned to Gansu where he forced Mildred Cable, Francesca and Eva French to tend to his wounds. He returned to Xinjiang in the summer of 1933.[13]

Ma and the 36th Division fought the forces of Gov. Jin and the White Russians in the Kumul Rebellion. The KMT wanted Jin removed since he had signed without its approval an arms treaty with the Soviet Union.[14][15]

Ma's military actions were carried out by Hui officers and included atrocities toward Han and Uyghur civilians in Xinjiang during the fighting. Also, local Han and Uyghur were conscripted in his forces and sent to the front lines where they were subjected to heavy enemy cannon fire. The Soviets and Sheng Shicai claimed that Ma was being supported by the Japanese and using captured Japanese officers serving with his army. Despite this, Ma officially proclaimed his allegiance to the Chinese government in Nanjing.

Due to his severe abuse and brutality, the Turkis (Uyghurs) and Han Chinese hated the Hui officer Ma Zhongying had placed in charge of Barkul,[16] Western traveller Peter Fleming reported that in 1935 Xinjiang was the only Chinese territory where Japanese agents were not active.[17]

After originally fighting against Ma Zhongying, Han Chinese Gen. Zhang Peiyuan and his Han Ili army defected to Ma Zhongying's side to fight against the provincial government and the Russians. Ma Zhongying then fought against the Russians in the Soviet invasion of Xinjiang.

Gen. Ma Zhongying, KMT 36th Division Chief. He is wearing a Kuomintang armband like many of his troops did.

Personal character[edit]

Ma used the KMT Blue Sky with a White Sun banners and armbands in his military actions. He himself wore a KMT armband and a 36th Division uniform to show that he was a legitimate representative of the Chinese government.[18] His troops sang Chinese Muslim marching songs. He himself had a harmonium (pump organ) with him, and spent hours playing Muslim hymns on it. He carried Mauser pistols and liked to quote as his models Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Hindenburg and Zuo Zongtang.[19]

"He was a silly boy. He went mad. He murdered everyone."
Rewi Alley on Ma Zhongying[12]

Downfall[edit]

Sven Hedin's truck caravan encountered Ma's forces while he and his 36th Division were retreating south from the Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang. While Sven was detained by Ma, he met Gen. Ma Hushan and Kemal Kaya Effendi. Ma's adjutant claimed to Hedin that Ma had the entire region of Tien-shan-nan-lu (southern Xinjiang) under his control and Sven could pass through safely without any trouble. Hedin did not believe this assertion.[20] Some of Ma's Tungan (Chinese-speaking Muslim) troops attacked Hedin's expedition by shooting at their vehicles.[21]

In April 1934, after his forces had stormed Kashgar during the Battle of Kashgar (1934), Ma Zhongying himself arrived in the city and gave a speech at Id Kah Mosque, telling the Uyghurs to be loyal to the Chinese Kuomintang government at Nanjing.[22][23][24]

"Ma denounced Sheng Shicai as a Soviet puppet, and reaffirmed his allegiance to the Chinese government of Nanjing".[25]

During the Soviet invasion of Xinjiang Ma Zhongying played a major role in fighting the invaders but his troops had to withdraw again and again. The last defense line was set up around Khotan, from where he was generally believed to have fled to Soviet territory and was not seen again in Xinjiang.

Vladimir Petrov, a Soviet NKVD agent posted in Yarkand in 1937, gives a different version of Ma Zhongying's disappearance. In his memoir Empire of Fear,[26] published in 1956 after defection to the West, Petrov describes how Ma was lured from Khotan onto a plane he believed was a Kuomintang flight, but was in fact staffed by Soviet agents who abducted him first to Yarkand NKVD headquarters, where he was forced to issue false orders to his own remnant troops in Khotan that would lead to their defeat, then flown on to Moscow where his fate was not known. There was no voluntary flight to the Soviet Union.

The book "Who's Who in China" erroneously claimed that Ma Zhongying came back from the Soviet Union in 1934 to Tianjin, China, and was residing there that year.[27][28]

British telegrams from India in 1937 said that Tungans like Ma Zhongying and Ma Hushan had reached an agreement with the Soviets, whom they had fought before, that since the Japanese had begun full-scale warfare with China, the Tungans, led by Ma Zhongying and Ma Hushan, would help Chinese forces battle Japan, and that Ma Zhongying and Ma Hushan would return to Gansu, Ma Zhongying being sent back to Gansu by the Soviets, who had been keeping him in Russia.[29][30]

Aftermath[edit]

In 1936 Zhang Guotao's forces crossed the Yellow River in an attempt to expand the Communist base into Xinjiang and make a direct connection with the USSR. Some sources allege that Ma Zhongying enlisted in the Red Army and became a high-ranking special adviser to the proposed Soviet force that was planning to take action, according to Zhang Guotao's forces. Ma Zhongying's tasks were, reportedly, to advise the Soviets on the situation in Xinjiang and to help them negotiate with his cousins Ma Bufang, Ma Hongbin and their families so that these warlords would not hinder Zhang Guotao's forces. However, the Soviet plan did not materialize because Zhang Guotao's communist force was met by a coalition of 100,000 troops assembled by Chiang Kai-Shek from the forces of Ma Bufang's Kuomintang Army from Qinghai, a remnant of Ma Zhongying's forces from Gansu and Ma Hongkui and Ma Hongbin troops from Ningxia. The combined force annihilated Guotao's army. Guotao's own 21,000-man Fourth Red Army collapsed first, followed by Mao Zedong's 8,000-man First Red Army. Not one Chinese communist soldier reached Xinjiang alive.

Sheng Shicai sent requests to the Soviets to turn him in, but they refused.[31]

Nothing more was heard from Ma Zhongying after 1936. There are at least five stories of Ma's end:

  • Ma was killed in a crash prior to World War II.
  • Ma was executed after being taken to Moscow in 1936.
  • Ma was imprisoned at a labor camp and later executed during the Great Purge of the Army in 1937–1938.
  • Some writers, such as Red Army Gen. Konstantin Rokossovsky, allege that Ma was first arrested during the Great Purge but was later released and participated in the Great Patriotic War.
  • According to Sheng Shicai's memoir, Sinkiang: Pawn or Pivot? (Michigan University Press, 1958) Ma, together with all his staff, was executed in Moscow on orders of Joseph Stalin during the summer or spring of 1937.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Andrew D.W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: A Political History of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 52. ISBN 0-521-25514-7.
  2. ^ Hedin, Sven, The Flight of Big Horse, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1936.
  3. ^ James A. Millward (2007). Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang. Columbia University Press. p. 193. ISBN 0-231-13924-1. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  4. ^ Who's Who in China; Biographies of Chinese Leaders. Shanghai: THE CHINA WEEKLY REVIEW. 1936. p. 184. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  5. ^ Andrew D.W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: A Political Jistory of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 334. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  6. ^ Association for Asian Studies. Southeast Conference (1979). Annals, Volumes 1-5. The Conference. p. 51. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  7. ^ Jonathan Neaman Lipman (1 July 1998). Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China. University of Washington Press. pp. 196–197. ISBN 978-0-295-80055-4.
  8. ^ Michael Dillon (1999). China's Muslim Hui Community: Migration, Settlement and Sects. Psychology Press. pp. 119–. ISBN 978-0-7007-1026-3.
  9. ^ James A. Millward (2007). Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-231-13924-3.
  10. ^ Michael Dillon (1999). China's Muslim Hui Community: Migration, Settlement and Sects. Surrey: Curzon Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-7007-1026-3.
  11. ^ Christian Tyler (2003). Wild West China: the taming of Xinjiang. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-8135-3533-3.
  12. ^ a b Andrew D.W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: A {olitical History of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 97. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  13. ^ Ji, Xiaofeng; Shen, Youyi; 末次研究所; Suetsugu Kenkyūjo; 厦門大學. 圖書館 (1998). Zhonghua Minguo shi shi liao wai bian: qian Riben Mozi yan jiu suo qing bao zi liao : Ying wen shi liao. 25 (reprint ed.). kuang-hsi shih fan ta hsüeh chʻu pan she. p. 278.
  14. ^ Andrew D.W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: A Political History of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. pp. 98, 106. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  15. ^ Ai-ch'ên Wu, Aichen Wu (1940). Turkistan tumult. Methuen: Methuen. pp. 71, 232. ISBN 978-0-19-583839-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  16. ^ Sven Anders Hedin (1936). The Flight of "Big Horse": The Trail of War in Central Asia. Dutton. p. 38.
  17. ^ Peter Fleming (1999). News from Tartary: A Journey from Peking to Kashmir. Evanston Illinois: Northwestern University Press. p. 262. ISBN 0-8101-6071-4.
  18. ^ Andrew D.W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: A Political History of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 108. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  19. ^ Christian Tyler (2004). Wild West China: the taming of Xinjiang. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. p. 109. ISBN 0-8135-3533-6. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  20. ^ Sven Anders Hedin (1936). The flight of "Big Horse": The Trail of War in Central Asia. E. P. Dutton and co., inc. p. 84. Retrieved 18 Jan 2012. amusing to listen to his outspoken but untruthful conversation... he said ...The whole country in that quarter, Tien-shan-nan-lu, acknowledged the rule of General Ma Chung-yin. General Ma Yung-chu had ten thousand cavalry under his orders, and the total strength of the Tungan cavalry was twice that number
  21. ^ Sven Anders Hedin (1940). The Wandering Lake. Routledge. p. 24. Retrieved 18 Jan 2012. their object had been to cut us off. A month had not passed since our motor convoy had been cut off by Tungan cavalry, who had fired on it with their carbines. Were we now to be stopped and fired at on the river, too? They might be marauders from Big Horse's broken army, out looting, and
  22. ^ S. Frederick Starr (2004). Xinjiang: China's Muslim Borderland. M.E. Sharpe. p. 79. ISBN 0-7656-1318-2. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  23. ^ James A. Millward (2007). Eurasian Crossroads: A Jistory of Xinjiang. Columbia University Press. p. 200. ISBN 0-231-13924-1. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  24. ^ Andrew D.W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: A Political Jistory of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 124. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  25. ^ Andrew D.W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: A Political Jistory of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 124. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  26. ^ Petrov, Vladimir and Evdokia (1956). Empire of Fear. London: Andre Deutsch. pp. 62, 63.
  27. ^ China weekly review (1936). Who's who in China, Volume 3, Part 2. China weekly review. p. 184. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
  28. ^ Who's Who in China (Biographies of Chinese). Volume 4 of Who's who in China. 1973. p. 184. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
  29. ^ The Silk Road. Taylor & Francis. 1973. p. 308. Retrieved 18 Jan 2012. Sino-Japanese hostilities,. . . and the Tungan military leaders. . . are now preparing to support the Chinese forces. . .General Ma Chung-yin. . . is proceeding to Kansu to assist the Chinese . . .His half-brother, General Ma Ho-san, who recently fled to Calbutta when the Tungan rebellion collapsed, has also been invited to assist the Chinese. His departure for Kansu is regarded as a certainty. . .The other Tungan general who is mentioned in the telegram from Delhi, the cavalry commander Ma Ho-san, who is not Ma Chung-yin's brother, though probably a relative, is also mentioned in Big Horse's Flight.
  30. ^ Sven Hedin (2009). The Silk Road: Ten Thousand Miles Through Central Asia (reprint, illustrated ed.). I. B. Tauris. p. 308. ISBN 1-84511-898-7. Retrieved 18 Jan 2012. The other Tungan general who is mentioned in the telegram from Delhi, the cavalry commander Ma Ho-san, who is not Ma Chung-yin's brother, though probably a relative, is also mentioned in Big Horse's Flight.
  31. ^ Gasanli 2016, p. 70.

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