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Kansu Braves
Active 1895-1901
Country China
Allegiance Qing dynasty
Branch New Army
Type Division
Size 10,000
Garrison/HQ Gansu, then Beijing
Nickname(s) Kansu Braves
Equipment Krupp artillery, swords, Mauser rifles, halberds
Engagements Dungan Revolt (1895)
Boxer Rebellion
Siege of the International Legations (Boxer Rebellion)
Battle of Peking
Commanders
Ceremonial chief Dong Fuxiang
Notable
commanders
Ma Fuxiang, Ma Fulu, Ma Fuxing

The Kansu Braves (Chinese: Chinese: 甘军) were a unit of 10,000 Chinese Muslim troops from Kansu (now Gansu) who were transferred to the Beijing metropolitan area in 1898. They were stationed there and took part in the Boxer Rebellion. They were commanded by the General Dong Fuxiang.

Organization[edit | edit source]

They were organized into eight battalions of infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, two brigades of artillery, and one company of engineers.[1] They also had modernized weaponry.[2]

Chinese Muslim troops from Gansu of the Qing imperial army serving under General Dong Fuxiang; they were also known as the "Kansu braves" or "Gansu Braves".

General Dong Fuxiang

Combat[edit | edit source]

Dong was extremely anti-foreign, and gave full support to Cixi and the Boxers. General Dong committed his Muslim troops to join the Boxers to attack the 8 nation alliance. They were put into the rear division, and attacked the legations relentlessly. They were dubbed as the "10,000 Islamic rabble" by westerners.[3][4][5] They were also known for their intolerance towards the Opium trade. A Japanese chancellor, Sugiyama Akira, and several Westerners were shot to death by the Muslim braves.[6][7][8] It was reported that the Muslim troops were going to wipe out the foreigners to return a golden age for China, and the Muslims repeatedly attacked foreign churches, railways, and legations, before hostilities even started.[9] The Muslim troops were armed with modern repeater rifles and artillery, and reportedly enthusiastic about going on the offensive and killing foreigners.

The German diplomat in Beijing Clemens von Ketteler killed a Chinese civilian unconnected to the Boxers, for no apparent reason.[10] In response, thousands of Chinese Muslim Kansu Braves under General Dong Fuxiang of the Imperial Army and Boxers went on a violent riot against the westerners.[11]

The Muslim troops had Mauser guns, and used scarlet and black banners.[12] [13]

Another Muslim general, Ma Anliang, Tongling of Ho-Chou joined the Kansu braves in fighting the foreigners.[14][15] Ma Anliang would go on to be an important Chinese warlord in the Ma clique during the Warlord Era.

Dong Fuxiang's soldiers were posted in Hunting park in Beijing's south, attacked Lang Fang on June 18. They were made out of 5,000 cavalry with the most modern repeating rifles.[16]

Battle summary[edit | edit source]

The Muslim troops led by Dong Fuxiang defeated the hastily assembled Seymour Expedition of the 8 nation alliance at the Battle of Langfang on June 18. The Chinese won a major victory, and forced Seymour to retreat back to Tianjin with heavy casualties by June 26.[17] Langfang was the only battle the Muslim troops did outside of Beijing, with the rest of their fighting being directed against the foreigners in the Beijing Legations.

After Langfang, Dong Fuxiang's troops only participated in battles inside of Beijing.[18]

Summary of battles of General Dong Fuxiang: Ts'ai Ts'un, July 24; Ho Hsi Wu, July 25; An P'ing, July 26; Ma T'ou, July 27.[19]

6,000 of the Muslim troops under Dong Fuxiang and 20,000 Boxers repulsed a relief column, driving them to Huang Ts'un.[20] The Muslims camped outside the temples of Heaven and Agriculture.[21]

Notable people[edit | edit source]

List of people who served in the Kansu Braves

General Ma Fuxiang

Commander Ma Fuxing

Assassination of Sugiyama Akira[edit | edit source]

Sugiyama Akira, the Japanese chancellor to the legations, left to go to the railway to meet the Allied forces of the Seymour Expedition. The Kansu Muslim troops seized him from his cart, hacked him into multiple pieces, decapitating him, leaving his mutilated body and severed genitals and head.[22][23] They also carved his heart out and sent it to Dong Fuxiang.[24] The Kansu Braves used swords to perform the "dissection". It was reported that, earlier in the day, the Kansu braves were aggravated by Italian troops with whom they almost had a clash, and were eager to attack foreigners.[25]

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Hui people

References[edit | edit source]

  •  This article incorporates text from Encyclopædia of religion and ethics, Volume 8, by James Hastings, John Alexander Selbie, Louis Herbert Gray, a publication from 1916 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from China in convulsion, Volume 2, by Arthur Henderson Smith, a publication from 1901 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from Diary of the siege of the Peking legations, June to August, 1900, by William Meyrick Hewlett, a publication from 1900 now in the public domain in the United States.
  1. Peter Harrington, Michael Perry (2001). Peking 1900: the Boxer rebellion. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 1-84176-181-8. http://books.google.com/books?id=xxE6rybpvHQC&pg=PA25&dq=kansu+braves&cd=1#v=onepage&q=kansu%20braves&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  2. Patrick Taveirne (2004). Han-Mongol encounters and missionary endeavors: a history of Scheut in Ordos (Hetao) 1874–1911. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press. p. 514. ISBN 90-5867-365-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=z2japTNPRNAC&pg=PA514&dq=dong+fuxiang+catholic&hl=en&ei=L36STIy8BcL6lwep_4WpCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=dong%20fuxiang%20catholic&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  3. Lynn E. Bodin (1979). The Boxer Rebellion. Osprey Publishing. p. 26. ISBN 0-85045-335-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=2YleP1OP4HsC&pg=PA26&dq=kansu+braves+rabble&cd=1#v=onepage&q=kansu%20braves%20rabble&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  4. B. L. Putnam Weale (2006). Indiscreet Letters from Peking. Echo Library. p. 10. ISBN 1-4068-3421-1. http://books.google.com/books?id=aaA8ht_sDZwC&pg=PA10&dq=kansu+braves+r&cd=3#v=onepage&q=mohammedan%20braves&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  5. Ronald Acott Hall (1966). Eminent authorities on China. Chʼeng Wen. pp. 275. http://books.google.com/books?cd=1&id=zUxUAAAAMAAJ&dq=kansu+braves+r&q=braves. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  6. Kansu Soldiers (Tung Fu Hsiang's)
  7. Kansu Braves
  8. Clark, Kenneth G.. "THE BOXER UPRISING 1899–1900.". http://www.russojapanesewar.com/boxers.html. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  9. Ching-shan, Jan Julius Lodewijk Duyvendak (1976). The diary of His Excellency Ching-shan: being a Chinese account of the Boxer troubles. University Publications of America. p. 14. ISBN 0-89093-074-0. http://books.google.com/books?lr=&cd=19&id=6WsKAQAAIAAJ&dq=kansu+braves&q=killed+a+foreign. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  10. Robert B. Edgerton (1997). Warriors of the rising sun: a history of the Japanese military. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 70. ISBN 0-393-04085-2. http://books.google.com/books?id=wkHyjjbv-yEC&pg=PA70&dq=sugiyama+akira&hl=en&ei=h_3_TLrBCIP88Aar4rnzBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDUQ6AEwBDgK#v=onepage&q=von%20ketteler%20shot%20boy%20death&f=false. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  11. Sterling Seagrave, Peggy Seagrave (1992). Dragon lady: the life and legend of the last empress of China. Knopf. p. 320. http://books.google.com/books?id=tURwAAAAMAAJ&q=kansu+braves+baron+von&dq=kansu+braves+baron+von&hl=en&ei=7EXMTJWzI4T7lwfQ8ZmtBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CEYQ6AEwBg. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  12. Peter Fleming (1990). The Siege at Peking: The Boxer Rebellion (illustrated ed.). Dorset Press. p. 98. ISBN 0-88029-462-0. http://books.google.com/books?ei=0_YMT9_rGurh0QG2xqGVBg&id=pHrZAAAAMAAJ&dq=Tung+Fu-hsiang%27s+Moslem+cavalry%2C+flaunting+banners+of+scarlet+and+black+but+armed+with+modern+Mausers%2C+were+however+treated+with+great+respect.+They+had+taken+a%27+leading+part+in+anti-foreign+incidents+two+years+earlier%2C+and+when+on+17+June%2C+after+a+stone-throwing+incident%2C+a+detachment+of+them+was+dired+on+by+the+Germans%2C+Sir+Claude+MacDonald+sent+a+tactful+reproof+to+Baron+Von+Ketteler%2C+urging+strict+precautions+against+all+acts+of+provocation%3B+%27When+our+own+troops+arrive+we+may+with+safety+assume+a+different+tone%2C+but+it+is+hardly+wise+now.%27&q=moslem+cavalry+banners+scarlet+black+armed+mausers+stone-throwing+germans. Retrieved 1-9-2011. "Tung Fu-hsiang's Moslem cavalry, flaunting banners of scarlet and black but armed with modern Mausers, were however treated with great respect. They had taken a' leading part in anti-foreign incidents two years earlier, and when on 17 June, after a stone-throwing incident, a detachment of them was fired on by the Germans, Sir Claude MacDonald sent a tactful reproof to Baron Von Ketteler, urging strict precautions against all acts of provocation; 'When our own troops arrive we may with safety assume a different tone, but it is hardly wise now." 
  13. Peter Fleming (1959). The Siege at Peking. NEW YORK 49 East 33rd Street, New York 16, N.Y: HARPER & BROTHERS. p. 98. "Tung Fu-hsiang's Moslem cavalry, flaunting banners of scarlet and black but armed with modern Mausers, were however treated with great respect. They had taken a' leading part in anti-foreign incidents two years earlier, and when on 17 June, after a stone-throwing incident, a detachment of them was dired on by the Germans, Sir Claude MacDonald sent a tactful reproof to Baron Von Ketteler, urging strict precautions against all acts of provocation; 'When our own troops arrive we may with safety assume a different tone, but it is hardly wise now.'" 
  14. James Hastings, John Alexander Selbie, Louis Herbert Gray (1916). Encyclopædia of religion and ethics, Volume 8. EDINBURGH: T. & T. Clark. p. 893. http://books.google.com/books?id=eEwTAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA893&dq=ma+fu+hsiang+mongol&hl=en&ei=9g-sTLCLLsH78AaKw9CBCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CFUQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=henchmen%20ma%20an%20liang%20tongling%20of%20ho%20chou&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. (Original from Harvard University)
  15. M. Th. Houtsma, A. J. Wensinck (1993). E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam 1913-1936. Stanford BRILL. p. 850. ISBN 90-04-09796-1. http://books.google.com/books?id=rezD7rvuf9YC&pg=PA850&lpg=PA850&dq=ma+fu-hsiang&source=bl&ots=DXkl1IbFV2&sig=0WAFe8G6PxzD5t2PBulETB8HgRo&hl=en&ei=m3gzTOrKKMKblgeO9MTECw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CDAQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=ma%20fu-hsiang&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  16. Arthur Henderson Smith (1901). China in convulsion, Volume 2. Albany, N. Y.: F. H. Revell Co.. p. 441. http://books.google.com/books?id=WmAuAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA452-IA1&dq=tung+fu-hsiang+japanese+bodyguard&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q=tung%20fu%20hsiang%20regular%20troops%20rifles&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. (Original from Harvard University)
  17. Paul A. Cohen (1997). History in three keys: the Boxers as event, experience, and myth. Columbia University Press. p. 49. ISBN 0-231-10651-3. http://books.google.com/books?id=ky4_whmgIZcC&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=sugiyama+akira+dong+fuxiang&source=bl&ots=DJ_eyI4SkK&sig=ZNU7_UaWGErXr28OtdKkxtUw4SA&hl=en&ei=q0-QTMu9AsOC8gbSk_ydDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CC0Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=dong%20fuxiang%20major%20victory%20seymour%20tianjin&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  18. Jane E. Elliott (2002). Some did it for civilisation, some did it for their country: a revised view of the Boxer war. Chinese University Press. p. 498. ISBN 962-996-066-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=wWvl9O4Gn1UC&pg=PA498&dq=ma+fuxiang+defence&hl=en&ei=MiGVTK5Pw9-WB4D6yKoK&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CD4Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=ma%20fuxiang%20defence&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  19. Arthur Henderson Smith (1901). China in convulsion, Volume 2. F. H. Revell Co.. p. 393. http://books.google.com/books?id=WmAuAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA393&lpg=PA393&dq=tung+fu-hsiang+japanese+bodyguard&source=bl&ots=05AV8spOjY&sig=x0w-8HKbJeR71LELCTyWN0WNcng&hl=en&ei=jAg2TIL3DYKClAeS-L3SBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=snippet&q=tung%20fu%20hsiang%20battle&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  20. William Meyrick Hewlett (1900). Diary of the siege of the Peking legations, June to August, 1900. 28, LITTLE QUEEN STREET, HIGH HOLBORN, LONDON, W.C.: Pub. for the editors of the "Harrovian," by F. W. Provost. p. 10. http://books.google.com/books?id=3gQWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA10&dq=tung+fu-hsiang+sir+shots&hl=en&ei=1E0qTKXFEoLGlQeguJj7Aw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=tung%20fu-hsiang%20sir%20shots&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. (Original from Harvard University)
  21. Bertram L. Simpson (2001). Indiscreet Letters from Peking: Being the Notes of an Eye-witness. Adegi Graphics LLC. p. 22. ISBN 1-4021-9488-9. http://books.google.com/books?id=0Yu9Tf5leGgC&pg=PA22&dq=kansu+braves+tea+tung&hl=en&ei=uk0qTPrwCoKglAfShM3DAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=kansu%20braves%20tea%20tung&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  22. Robert B. Edgerton (1997). Warriors of the rising sun: a history of the Japanese military. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 70. ISBN 0-393-04085-2. http://books.google.com/books?id=wkHyjjbv-yEC&pg=PA70&dq=sugiyama+akira+genitals&hl=en&ei=hw8ATcHnKMGblgfhkvTdCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=sugiyama%20akira%20genitals&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  23. Lancelot Giles, Leslie Ronald Marchant (1970). The siege of the Peking legations: a diary. University of Western Australia Press. p. 181. http://books.google.com/books?id=yo0CAAAAMAAJ&q=sugiyama+akira+kansu&dq=sugiyama+akira+kansu&hl=en&ei=xBMATf7lAoKdlge4qtSLCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  24. Larry Clinton Thompson (2009). William Scott Ament and the Boxer Rebellion: heroism, hubris and the "ideal missionary". McFarland. p. 52. ISBN 0-7864-4008-2. http://books.google.com/books?id=5K9BN96p1hcC&pg=PA52&dq=sugiyama+akira+heart&hl=en&ei=qQ8ATeTwI4KglAe4zN2xCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDoQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=sugiyama%20akira%20heart&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  25. Lanxin Xiang (2003). The origins of the Boxer War: a multinational study. Psychology Press. p. 252. ISBN 0-7007-1563-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=lAxresT12ogC&dq=yangcun+dong+fuxiang&q=instrument#v=onepage&q=dissect%20his%20body%20with%20swords&f=false. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 

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