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Baoding Military Academy (Chinese: Chinese: 保定軍校) was a military academy based in Baoding, China, in the first two decades of the 20th century. For a time, it was the most important military academy in China, and its cadets played prominent roles in the political and military history of the Republic of China. The Baoding Military Academy closed in 1923, but served as a model for the Whampoa Military Academy, which was founded in Guangzhou in 1924. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, half of 300 divisions in China's armed forces were commanded by Whampoa graduates and one-third were Baoding cadets.

History[edit | edit source]

In 1902, Yuan Shikai, the Viceroy of Zhili Province and the Minister of Beiyang, founded an officer academy in Baoding, the capital of Zhili. Baoding was the headquarters for his New Army, which until 1901 was based in Xiaozhan, near Tianjin. The Boxer Protocol required the Qing government to demilitarize Tianjin and the New Army was relocated to Baoding. From 1902 to 1912, the officer academy in Baoding took on a number of different names, including the Beiyang Army Expedited Martial Studies Academy. The academy trained officers for the New Army, which was a significant factor in Yuan Shikai's rise to power at the end of the Qing dynasty and the pivotal role he played in the Xinhai Revolution. In 1912, after Yuan became the provisional president of the Republic of China, the academy was briefly moved to Beijing and became the Army Academy. In October 1912, the academy was relocated back to Baoding and formally became the Baoding Military Academy.

Prominent Graduates[edit | edit source]

Generalisso Chiang Kai-shek, who would later become president of the Republic of China, attended the academy in 1906 as a cadet in the overseas study preparatory class, prior to studying abroad in Japan. Prominent graduates of the 3rd class in 1916 include Bai Chongxi, Cai Tingkai, Huang Shaohong, Zhang Zhizhong and Xia Wei.[1]

Memorial[edit | edit source]

In 1993, a memorial and museum was built on the site of the academy in Baoding to commemorate the academy and the 11,000 cadets who studied there. In 2006, the memorial became a national-level historical site.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

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