Battle of Ürümqi (1933–1934)

The Second Battle of Ürümqi (Chinese: 第二次迪化之戰) was a conflict in the winter of 1933–1934 at Ürümqi, between the provincial forces of Sheng Shicai and the alliance of the Chinese Muslim Gen. Ma Zhongying and Han Chinese Gen. Zhang Peiyuan.[1][2] Zhang seized the road between Tacheng and the capital.[3] Sheng Shicai commanded Manchurian troops and a unit of White Russian soldiers, led by Col. Pappengut.[4][5] The Kuomintang Republic of China government had secretly incited Zhang and Ma to overthrow Sheng—even as they prepared to swear him in as governor of Xinjiang—because of his ties to the Soviet Union. Chinese Nationalist leader Gen. Chiang Kai-shek sent Luo Wen'gan to Xinjiang, where he met with Ma Zhongying and Zhang Peiyuan and urged them to destroy Sheng.[6]

Second Battle of Ürümqi
Part of the Kumul Rebellion
DateDecember 1933 – January 1934
Result Provincial government victory

Republic of China (1912–1949) Republic of China

Taiwan Xinjiang Provincial government
Commanders and leaders
Republic of China (1912–1949) Ma Zhongying
Republic of China (1912–1949) Zhang Peiyuan
Sheng Shicai
Russian Empire Colonel Pappengut
10,000 Chinese Muslim troops and 3,000 Han Chinese troops Thousands of Manchurian (North East Salvation Army) and White Russian troops
Casualties and losses

Ma and Zhang's Han Chinese and Chinese Muslim forces had almost defeated Sheng when he requested help from the Soviet Union. This led to the Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang and Ma Zhongying's retreat after the Battle of Tutung.

At this point Chiang Kai-shek himself was personally prepared to enter the battle, with over 150,000 troops and 15 million yuan ready to assist Ma in driving out Sheng Shicai. However, he was told that it would be impossible to guarantee the troops adequate food, water, fuel and other supplies, so Chiang cancelled the expedition. Sheng commented, "Chiang Kai-shek does not like my policies but he cannot do anything to me. I am too far away from his reach."[7]


  1. ^ 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. 238. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  2. ^ Pʻing Cheng (1989). Xinjiang: the land and the people. New World Press. p. 54. ISBN 7-80005-078-5. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  3. ^ Taylor & Francis (1967). China and the Soviet Union. p. 257. ISBN 9780804605151. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  4. ^ 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. 119. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  5. ^ Peter Fleming (1999). News from Tartary: A Journey from Peking to Kashmir. Evanston Illinois: Northwestern University Press. p. 251. ISBN 0-8101-6071-4.
  6. ^ Hsiao-ting Lin (2010). Modern China's Ethnic Frontiers: A Journey to the West. Taylor & Francis. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-415-58264-3. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  7. ^ Jeremy Brown, Paul Pickowicz (2007). Dilemmas of victory: the early years of the People's Republic of China. Harvard University Press. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-674-02616-2. Retrieved 2010-06-28.