Battle of Baitag Bogd

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Battle of Baitag Bogd
Part of Ili Rebellion
Date 1946–1948
Location Beitashan, Xinjiang, Mongolia
44°00′43″N 89°35′31″E / 44.012081°N 89.591916°E / 44.012081; 89.591916
Result Return to status quo ante bellum[1]
Republic of China (1912–1949) Republic of China  Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Mongolian People's Republic Mongolian People's Republic
Commanders and leaders
Republic of China (1912–1949) Chiang Kai-shek
Republic of China (1912–1949) Zhang Zhizhong
Republic of China (1912–1949) Ma Chengxiang
Republic of China (1912–1949) Ma Xizhen
Republic of China (1912–1949) Han Youwen
Republic of China (1912–1949) Ospan Batyr
Soviet Union Joseph Stalin
Mongolian People's Republic Khorloogiin Choibalsan

National Revolutionary Army
700 Troops of the 14th Tungan (Chinese Muslim) Cavalry regiment

Turkic Kazakh forces

Soviet Air Forces

Mongolian People's Army
Casualties and losses
unknown unknown
Beitashan is located in China
Location within China

The Beitashan Incident or Battle of Baitag Bogd Mountain (Mongolian: Байтаг богдын тулгарал; Chinese: 北塔山事件; pinyin: Běitǎshān shìjiàn; Wade–Giles: Pei-ta-shan shih-chien; alternatively Baitak Bogdo incident)[2] was a border conflict between the Republic of China, the Mongolian People's Republic, and the Soviet Union. The Mongolian People's Republic became involved in a border dispute with the Republic of China, as a Chinese Muslim Hui cavalry regiment was sent by the Chinese government to attack Mongol and Soviet positions.[3]

There had always been a Xinjiang police station manned by a Chinese police force with Chinese sentry posts before and after 1945.[4][5]

As Commander of the First Cavalry Division, Salar Muslim Maj. Gen. Han Youwen was sent to Beitashan by the Kuomintang military command to reinforce Hui Muslim Gen. Ma Xizhen with a company of troops, approximately three months before the fighting broke out.[6] At Beitashan, Han Youwen was in command of all Muslim cavalry defending against Soviet and Mongol forces.[7] Han said "that he believed the border should be about 40 miles to the north of the mountains" to A. Doak Barnett, an American reporter.[1]

Chinese Muslim and Turkic Kazakh forces working for the Chinese Kuomintang battled Soviet and Mongol troops. In June 1947 the Mongols and the Soviets launched an attack against the Kazakhs, driving them back to the Chinese side. However, fighting continued for another year, 13 clashes taking place between 5 June 1947 and July 1948.[1]

Mongolia invaded Xinjiang with the intention of assisting Li Rihan, the pro-Soviet Special Commissioner, in gaining control of Xinjiang, over Special Commissioner Us Man (Osman) who was pro-ROC. The Chinese defence ministry spokesman announced that Outer Mongolian soldiers were captured at Pei-ta-shan, and stated that troops[clarification needed] were resisting near Pei-ta-shan.[8]

Elite Qinghai Chinese Muslim cavalry were sent by the Chinese Kuomintang to destroy the Mongols and the Soviets in 1947.[9][10]

In early June 1947 Pei-ta-shan was re-taken by Chinese troops, who continued to fight against Soviet and Mongolian bomber planes; China's Legislative Yuan demanded stronger policies against the Soviet Union in response to the Mongol invasion.[11] The bombs started dropping from Mongol and Soviet planes on 5 June.[12]

Republic of China forces took eight Outer Mongolian troops prisoner while 30 horses and two Republic of China soldiers died in a bombing.[13] The Republic of China issued a protest against the border attack by the Mongols and Soviets.[14] The Republic of China accused Soviet planes of being involved in the attack.[15] The American Ambassador to China branded the Outer Mongolian state as a tool and arm of the Soviet Union.[16] The Soviets were aiming their intervention against the Kazakhs.[17] Chinese Gen. Sung displayed captured Soviet-style Mongolian military headgear and a Soviet map to the American ambassador.[18] The Soviet Tass news agency claimed that Mongolian officers were gruesomely murdered and mutilated.[19] Douglas Mackiernan was sent to Peitashan on June 19, 1947.[20] The Mongolians possessed Russian weapons which were seized from Russian troops in battle.[21] The Kazakhs were suffering from a dearth of edible supplies.[22] The entire Peitashan was threatened by Outer Mongol occupation according to Kazakh leader Osman.[23]

Chinese Gen. Ma Xizhen and Kazakh Osman Batur fought against the Mongol troops and airplanes throughout June as fierce fighting erupted.[24] The MPR used a battalion-size force and had Soviet air support in June 1947.[25] The Mongolians repeatedly probed the Chinese lines.[26][27]

The border constantly shifted around the area. In January 1948 seven hundred Chinese cavalry crossed the border into Khobdo and battled Mongolian border posts.[28] Osman continued to fight against the Uyghur forces of the Yili regime in north Ashan after being defeated by the Soviet forces.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Forbes (1986), p. 215
  2. ^ Howard L. Boorman; Richard C. Howard; Joseph K. H. Cheng (1967). Biographical Dictionary of Republican China. Columbia University Press. pp. 47–. ISBN 978-0-231-08957-9. 
  3. ^ Chang (1954)
  4. ^ Wu (1967), p. 233
  5. ^ Perkins (1947), p. 563
  6. ^ Wang (1999a), p. 274
  7. ^ Morrison (1949)
  8. ^ "Political Implications in Mongolian Invasion of N. China Province". The Canberra Times. 13 June 1947. 
  9. ^ Forbes (1986), p. 214
  10. ^ Dickens, Mark. "The Soviets in Xinjiang 1911-1949". Oxus Communications. Archived from the original on 23 October 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2008. 
  11. ^ "Chinese troops recapture Pei-ta-shan". The Canberra Times. 13 June 1947. 
  12. ^ Lin (2010), p. 107
  13. ^ Perkins (1947), p. 557
  14. ^ Perkins (1947), p. 558
  15. ^ Perkins (1947), p. 559
  16. ^ Perkins (1947), pp. 560, 564
  17. ^ Perkins (1947), pp. 557, 561
  18. ^ Perkins (1947), p. 562
  19. ^ Perkins (1947), p. 566
  20. ^ Perkins (1947), pp. 566–567
  21. ^ Perkins (1947), p. 567
  22. ^ Perkins (1947), p. 568
  23. ^ Perkins (1947), p. 569
  24. ^ Wang (1999b), p. 87
  25. ^ Liu (2006), p. 380
  26. ^ "CHINA: Encirclement". TIME magazine. 6 October 1947. 
  27. ^ "A Letter From The Publisher, Oct. 20, 1947". TIME magazine. 20 October 1947. 
  28. ^ Lin (2010), p. 108
  29. ^ Wang (1999a), pp. 275, 301, 302