Whampoa Military Academy
2014-March-20 Source: Newsgd.com
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The Cradle for Contemporary Chinese Military Commanders

It is the former site of Guangdong Army and Navy College, the first military school in modern times of China.

It was the original location of the first ground officer academy in the history of modern China. It bore witness to the great efforts that Dr. Sun Yatsen (1866.11.12-1925.03.12), the pioneer of the China’s democratic revolution, made to revitalize the country.

It oversaw the momentous circumstance under which the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang Party joined hands in close cooperation. At the school, thousands of ambitious young people devoted their lives to the country’s revolution and made remarkable contributions to the revitalization of China. The academy fostered several hundred commanders, who made significant sacrifices in the cause of the revolution during those turbulent times. All adhered to the school motto of “Camaraderie (literally' Fraternity, Dexterity, Sincerity).”

In 1924, the ground officer academy was established the Cheung Chau Island within the territory of Guangzhou. It changed its name several names, but the academy was best known as “Whampoa Military Academy”. The academy now is no longer located in Guangzhou proper, but its original site still attracts many visitors who wish to experience its spirit.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen was premier of the academy and Chiang Kai-Shek (1887.10.31-1975.4.5) was the commandant. Liao Zhongkai (1877-1925) served as a Kuomintang-Communist Party representative. The school has grown to encompass many departments, including a commandant’s office, the instructor general’s office, a political department, a professors’ department, a management department, a military supplies department, and a medical department. The school learnt from the experiences of military counterparts in the former Soviet Union, and many famous commanders of the Soviet Union had served as military advisors to the academy.

In the spring of 1924, the academy started to enroll students. More than 1200 students applied - more than triple the expected number. As a result, the experimental committee of the school felt compelled to issue a public statement via the Citizen's Daily newspaper on April 7. The statement declared that the school rejected all recommendations, and insisted on recruiting students according to their exam results. Eventually, the academy admitted 350 students, with 120 candidates on the waiting list for admission. The opening ceremony took place on June 16. Hu Tsung-nan (1896-1962), who was later to become a renowned commander, was barred from participating in the exam because he was shorter than 1.6 meters. Hu asked the officer: “Why can I not take part in the democratic revolution ? It is duty of every young man. What’s wrong with being short? How about Napoléon? ” Hu’s outburst was overheard by a shocked Liao Zhongkai in the next room. Liao gave the green light for Hu to participate in the exam. Hu was later recruited as a candidate on the waiting list for admission.

In August 1924, the second semester started, and the academy opened another four sections, dedicated to engineering, artillery and military police. In addition, the academy also built branches in many places including Wuhan. The Wuhan branch was the only one to admit female students. Among them was Zhao Yiman (1905-1936), who went on to become commissar of the No.2 Division of the No.3 Troupe of the Northeast China Anti-Japanese United Army.

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Editor: Olivia
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