- Second Zhili–Fengtian War
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict= Second Zhili-Fengtian War
Warlord eraof Republican China
date= September to November 1924
result=Fengtian Clique Victory
The Second Zhili-Fengtian War (zh-cp|c=第二次直奉戰爭|p=Dì'èrcì Zhífèng Zhànzhēng) was a 1924 conflict in the
Republic of China's Warlord erabetween the Zhili and Fengtian cliques for control of Beijing.
By the summer of 1924, the Zhili clique, led by President
Cao Kun, controlled China proper and its internationally recognized Beiyang government. Most military analysts believed it was a matter of time before they reunited China militarily.
The cause of the conflict was over the control of
Shanghai, China's biggest city and port. It was legally a part of Jiangsuprovince, under the control of Zhili general Qi Xieyuan. However the city was being managed as part of Zhejiang, the last province under the control of the dying Anhui clique(Anhui held Shandongwas obliged to be neutral, see Shandong Problem). In September, fighting broke out as Zhejiang refused to cede administration of the city. Zhang Zuolin and Sun Yatsenpledged to defend Zhejiang, expanding the conflict to the far north and south.
Within days, Zhang led his army to
Manchuria's borders to engage the army of Wu Peifu, the Zhili clique's greatest strategist. Sun Yatsen personally led his army north but a rebellion broke out in Guangzhouby the Canton Merchant Corpsand Chen Jiongming's loyalists. Sun was forced to turn back to put down the rebels. This was also the first major conflict by the cadets and new officers of the Whampoa Military Academy. Meanwhile, Zhejiang and Shanghai rapidly fell to the armies of Sun Chuanfang.
October 23, Feng Yuxiangbetrayed the Zhili clique by mounting the Beijing coupagainst President Cao. Wu became enraged and pulled his army away from the front to rescue Beijing. Zhang saw an opening and pursued Wu, landing a decisive victory near Tianjin. Wu escaped to central China where Sun Chuanfang protected him from further Fengtian incursions. Cao was deposed as president and would be under house arrest for the next two year. By November, the war effectively ended with the Zhili clique losing all of its northern provinces to Zhang Zuolin and Feng Yuxiang's Guominjun, though fighting still continued well into 1925 when a joint Anhui-Fengtian expedition briefly retook Jiangsu and Shanghai in January. Without backup, Qi Xieyuan resigned and fled to Japan but transferred his armies to Sun Chuanfang. Sun then launched a counterattack and drove Zhang Zongchangout. Duan gave Shandong, the last Anhui held province, to Zhang as a token to their alliance. More damaging was that the myth of Zhili invincibility was shattered.
provisional governmentled by the Anhui clique's Duan Qiruiwas created to balance the interests of Feng and Zhang. Sun Yatsen was invited north to discuss reunification but the talks failed due to his death from cancer. The strong differences between Feng and Zhang would cause both to solicit their recent enemies as allies. In November 1925, the Zhili clique threw their support behind Zhang in revenge for Feng's betrayal. Feng then managed the defection by Guo Songlingfrom the Fengtian clique, sparking the Anti-Fengtian Warthat would last until April 1926, leading to the collapse of the provisional government.
First Zhili-Fengtian War
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