• Les troupes d’élite muselmanes de la dernière impératrice de Chine

    Pourquoi cette histoire de 1900 ? Je m’intéresse au comportement du diplomate allemand von Ketteler. C’est est un exemple pour la pire manière de gérer une crise. Ce fait divers tiré de l’histoire de la rébellion des boxeurs nous montre que l’appartenance religieuse des protagonistes ne joue un rôle qu’une fois l’escalation d’un conflit est assez avancée.

    Kansu Braves
    During the Battle of Peking (1900) at Zhengyang Gate the Muslim troops engaged in a fierce battle against the Alliance forces.

    The role the Muslim troops played in the war incurred anger from the westerners towards them.

    As the Imperial court evacuated to Xi’an in Shaanxi province after Beijing fell to the Alliance, the court gave signals that it would continue the war with Dong Fuxiang “opposing Court von Waldersee tooth and nail”, and the court promoted Dong to Commander-in-chief.

    The Muslim troops were described as “the bravest of the brave, the most fanatical of fanatics : and that is why the defence of the Emperor’s city had been entrusted to them.”

    Clemens von Ketteler

    On June 17 the Chinese Muslim Kansu Braves attacked Ketteler and his German Marines at the Legations. After stones were hurled at the Germans by the Chinese Muslims, Ketteler told his men to shoot back at the Muslim troops.

    The Muslim troops were feared by the westerners, so the British minister Sir Claude Macdonald warned that “When our own troops arrive we may with safety assume a different tone, but it is hardly wise now.” He thus warned Ketteler about his shooting incident with the Muslim army.

    Ketteler brutally attacked a Chinese civilian for no known reason, and beat a boy who was with him after taking him to the Legations. Ketteler then murdered the boy by shooting him. 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. The Kansu braves and Boxers then attacked and killed Chinese Christians around the legations in revenge for foreign attacks on Chinese. Angry at the Chinese Christians for collaborating with foreigners who were murdering Chinese, the Boxers burned some of them alive and attacked and ransacked their property.

    55 days at Peking

    12:12 Charlton Heston : _We’re almost in Pekin, capital city of China. This is a nation and a highly cultivated civilisation. Don’t get the idea that you are any better than these people simply because they can’t speak english. Your words of chinese will go a long way. Repeat after me : The word for yes is shit !
    Troopers :
    Shit !_
    C.H. : _The word for no is bullshit !
    Troopers :
    Bullshit !
    C.H. : _Remember, it’s just the same as anywhere else inthe world.



    The Muslim troops led by Dong Fuxiang defeated the hastily assembled Seymour Expedition of the 8 nation alliance at the Battle of Langfang on 18 June. The Chinese won a major victory, and forced Seymour to retreat back to Tianjin with heavy casualties by 26 June. Langfang was the only battle the Muslim troops did outside of Beijing. After Langfang, Dong Fuxiang’s troops only participated in battles inside of Beijing.

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

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


    The German Kaiser Wilhelm II was so alarmed by the Chinese Muslim troops that he requested the Caliph Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire to find a way to stop the Muslim troops from fighting. The Caliph agreed to the Kaiser’s request and sent Enver Pasha (not the future Young Turk leader) to China in 1901, but the rebellion was over by that time. Because the Ottomans were not in a position to create a rift with the European nations, and to assist ties with Germany, an order imploring Chinese Muslims to avoid assisting the Boxers was issued by the Ottoman Khalifa and reprinted in Egyptian and Indian Muslim newspapers in spite of the fact that the predicament the British found themselves in the Boxer Rebellion was gratifying to Indian Muslims and Egyptians.

    Les articles dans Wikipedia en anglais sont très complets et contiennent une grande quantité de notes bibliographiques et références.

    Sources supplémentaires :

    Digital Resources for Sinologists 1.0, Part I : An Introduction to Chinese Electronic Dictionaries and Criteria for Their Evaluation

    Lookup Chinese, Pinyin or English

    汉典 zdic.net

    Han Yu Da Ci Dian 漢語大詞典
    disponible en CD-ROM

    The electronic version of the 12-volume printed Han yu da ci dian, a comprehensive Chinese language dictionary. It contains over 18,000 Chinese characters with pronunciation in Mandarin, 336,000 compound words, 23,000 idioms, 500,000 definitions and 861,000 citations. About 20 different searching methods are available in the database. Each entry includes phonetic notation, radicals, stroke count, and stroke order. Sentence examples of previous usage go back through all eras of Chinese texts, providing a great tool for studying both modern and classical Chinese.


    #Chine #Allemagne #impérialisme #histoire