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0285 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 285 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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participated in the revolt. And six thousand innocent human beings lay among the ruins.

The position of the rebels became untenable; but they held on for another day around the city before flying to the mountains from the ruins of the flourishing suburb.

In the course of the spring Urumchi was once more besieged; and this time the city was completely cut off. Without the help of the Russian emigrants Urumchi would have been taken, and transformed to a shambles. Thanks to their better organization, their soldierly spirit and their bravery, they had won victories that had aroused the astonishment of the Chinese authorities, but not their gratitude. CHIN'S judgement was darkened by suspicion and envy. When the Russians called for purposeful fighting that would force a quick issue and lead to an effective pursuit, CHIN turned a deaf ear. He deliberately armed the Russians defectively. They were given no horses, and when they refused to go forward on foot they got emaciated hacks. And when the emigrants — who were themselves not exactly God's best children — finally did get these hacks they were given no saddles.

The bitterness of the Russians grew, for after all, they were sent to the most dangerous posts. CHIN himself never ventured outside his yamen. But now his stubbornness had taken him too far. The higher Chinese threw in their lot with the Russians and resolved to overthrow CHIN, a resolve in which they were encouraged by a message from the rebels in which the latter expressed their willingness to cease hostilities if CHIN disappeared.

On receiving a written request to stand down he asked for three days to think the matter over. After the lapse of this period a deputation of Russians betook themselves on April 11th, 1933, to CHIN'S yamen. But they were not admitted. The following day they returned in greater numbers. When they demanded to be admitted, the guards, who had been reinforced, slammed the gates to. But not before about seventy Russians had forced their way into the outer courtyard. The guards began to shoot and several of the Russians fell.

There was now no further need of an audience. The position was sufficiently clear. Horsemen flew to the regiment of five hundred men that was kept in readiness in the town. Without delay they stormed the yamen against CHIN'S bodyguard, that outnumbered them by two to one. Sheltered by the darkness and disguised as a simple soldier, CHIN managed to escape through a back door and with a handful of mounted followers to withdraw from the game. His brother and a couple of other high officers were captured and executed. After severe fighting against odds the Russians were finally victorious. They had now gained their point: CHIN'S downfall and the overthrow of his government.

A meeting was convened at which the old Minister of Education, Lm WEN-LUNG, was appointed temporary civil governor; and on April 14th General SHENG SHIH-TS'AI was appointed tuj5an or military governor of Sinkiang.