“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Love it When You Learn Something – Mengjiang

Posted: August 2nd, 2009 | No Comments »

flagAs mentioned the other day in a post I’m reading James Palmer’s interesting biography of Baron Ungern-Sternberg, The Bloody White Baron, and his times in Mongolia. It’s an extremely good read and I’ll try and write a fuller review soon.  However, I love it when you learn about something new you didn’t know before and should have. In this case Palmer has educated me about Mengjiang – which despite having written often on this blog and in books about Japanese involvment with Chinese warlords in northern China and the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (the lands of Manchruia annexed by Japan from China in 1931 and then controlled by them by nominally ruled by the puppet boy emperor Pu Yi) I’d never heard of really. So a very brief and sketchy, unnuanced bit about Mengjiang.

DemchugdongrubMengjiang was somewhat similar to Manchukuo and was a Mongolian border land that came under Japanese control – to match Manchukuo they named it Menguguo (land of the Mongols Japanified sort of) and gave it a flag.  It consisted of a capital in Kalgan (now Zhangjiakou)  and the former Chinese provinces of Chahar and Suiyuan (map below). The titular leader was a Mongolian Demchugdongrub (left – 1902-1966) who saw himself as a Pan-Mongolist while others naturally saw him as a traitor and Japanese puppet. In 1941 control of Mengjiang was transferred to Wang Jing-wei, the Japanese puppet would-be ruler of China.

225px-Capitulation_of_Japanese_forcesThe Soviet Union’s swift move across Mongolia and Manchuria in 1945 saw Mengjiang cease to exist (left – Sovs mopping up Japanese troops in Manchuria in ’45). Demchugdongrub ended up in Peking after the war under the control of the KMT and then after the communist takeover went back to Mongolia where he was first welcomed, then arrested and placed under house arrest. He died in 1966.


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