Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Boys and Girls II. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

Here are two rebellions - - in the not so distant past of China, one of which was perhaps a result of a "gender imbalance". Many more young men than women of the same age. Dissension and a rebellious spirit led to outright warfare.

Warfare on an almost unimaginable and horrific scale.

[throughout the long history of China there have been many rebellions against the central authority, whoever that authority may be. These examples are from the 1800's and are only indicative of WHAT HAS, AND WHAT CAN occur in China!!]

(1) "The Nien Rebellion (Chinese: 捻軍起義)was an epic armed uprising that took place in northern China from 1851 to 1868, contemporaneously with Taiping Rebellion (1851-1864) in South China. The rebellion failed to topple the Qing dynasty, but caused immense economic devastation and loss of life that became one of the major long-term factors in the collapse of the Qing regime."

This war was in part a result of gender imbalance!!??

"In Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population, Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer suggest that the rebellion [Nien] was fueled, at least in part, by decades of female infanticide caused by the floods and economic misery, leading to a large population of frustrated young men without any women to marry, perhaps as many as 25 percent of all young men in the area being in this category of 'bare branches' [young men that cannot begat themselves and perpetuate the familial name. Traditionally a big no-no in China!!]."

The rebellious Nien forces WERE NOT simple peasants armed with hoes and mattocks. Well armed, organized, and primarily cavalry units, able to out-pace the infantry of the central authority [Qing rule]!!

"the fast-moving Nien cavalry, well-trained and fully equipped with modern firearms, had cut the lines of communication between Beijing and the Qing armies fighting the Taiping rebels in the south. Qing forces were badly overstretched as rebellions broke out across China, allowing the Nien armies to conquer large tracts of land and gain control over economically vital areas."

(2) Taiping Rebellion.

One of the MOST lethal BUT least appreciated conflicts in all of history??

The statistics of dead, the size of the opposing battlefield forces, the length of the "war" in both the cases of the Nien and Taiping rebellions is just amazing. Even for China, the number of dead was staggering.

Some interesting aspects of the Taiping army:

"there were separate army units consisting of women only"

"At the Third Battle of Nanking in 1864, more than 100,000 were killed in three days."

The rebellion's army was its key strength. It was marked by a high level of discipline and fanaticism . . . The large numbers of women serving in the Taiping Heavenly Army also distinguished it from 19th century armies. Combat was always bloody and extremely brutal, with little artillery but huge forces equipped with small arms. By 1856, the Taiping armies numbered just over 1 million . . . Estimates of the overall size of the Taiping Heavenly Army varied from 1,000,000 to 3,000,000.

Warfare in China has ALWAYS been conducted on the gigantic scale?! Enormous armies going at one another with gusto, casualties are expected to be, and usually are, of a Biblical scale!?




Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home