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Admiral Shao-Kuan and His Gong`s


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Admiral Shao-Kuan had a brilliant career.

He started to served in Qing Navy!

Then was National Revolutionary Army, Nationalist China Navy, Taiwan...

Another photo from 30s.

Different times - different awards ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...

He'd certainly have been popular with the ladies in 1923. Later photos show him grumpier with less hair ...

Chen Shaokuan (1889-1969) was born in coastal Fujian province and followed his father in joining the Qing navy. He served in the Republican navy rising to the rank of Rear Admiral when he joined the Northern Expedition. He was Admiral of the Fleet when Japan invaded China in 1937 and Chen fought a desperate rearguard action against overwhelming enemy forces. He was sacked by Chiang Kai-shek during the Civil War for refusing to attack the Communists and he joined the new Communist government.

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He died at the age of 80 of cancer in 1969. Here is his full biography taken from the World War 2 database (www.ww2db.com)

Chen Shaokuan was born in Chengmen Village, Min County, Fujian Province, China in 1889. His father was originally a carpenter, but joined the Qing Dynasty Navy as a ordinary seaman, thus introducing him to the life at sea. At the age of 17, he attended the Jiangnan Naval Academy in Nanjing, China, graduating at the age of 20, and served aboard training cruiser Tongji. In 1910, he served as an ensign aboard training cruiser Jingqing. By 1914, he had already risen to the rank of lieutenant commander, serving with the headquarters of the navy of the newly formed Republic of China. In 1915, he was promoted to the rank of commander and was assigned to the vessel Zhaohe. In 1916, he visited the United States and Europe, and observed combat aboard British warships. In 1918, he served in France, Italy, and the United Kingdom as a naval attaché. From 1919, he supervised various Chinese seafaring and naval student groups in Paris, France and in London, England, United Kingdom. In 1921, he returned to China and took command of training cruiser Tongji. In 1923, he was named the commanding officer of light cruiser Yingrui. In 1926, he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral and was named the commanding officer of the 2nd Fleet. In Oct 1926, he declared allegiance to the forces aligned with the Nanjing-based government, seeing action in the subsequent months against varoius warlord factions within China during the Northern Expedition; he was named the head of the newly reorganized Navy Department, but he would fail to unify all naval forces which were operating independently under various warlords. In 1928, he submitted a request for 20,000,000 Yuan for the construction of China's first aircraft carrier; in 1930, he submitted a plan for the future expansion of the Chinese Navy, which in his vision would possess one aircraft carrier, two heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, 28 destroyers, 24 submarines, and 106 smaller vessels including gunboats, minesweepers, submarine tenders, and torpedo boats. He would never see enough funding to build such a large navy. In 1930, after several years of being second in command at the Navy Department, he returned to its leadership once again, while also being named the chief of the Jiangnan Dock & Engineering Works in Shanghai, China. In 1932, he was promoted to the rank of admiral and was inducted into the Nationalist Party Central Committee. Around this time, he reorganized the naval academy in Fujian Province, graduating many officers each year, some of whom educated by British naval officers hired to teach at the academy; he also secured funding for some of the graduates to study abroad with European navies. In 1934, he hired several Japanese naval officers to teach at the academy, which brought suspicion from some of his subordinates, as Japan had repeatedly violated Chinese sovereignty since 1931; this incidently nearly drove him to resign from his post, but ultimately he would return to office. In 1935, he was promoted to the rank of fleet admiral. In Apr 1937, he attended King George VI's coronation ceremony in the United Kingdom, followed by an inspection of the German Navy. Upon hearing the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, he rushed back to China. Chen devised a plan in which the mouth of the Yangtze River north of Shanghai would be blocked from Japanese use in an attempt to protect the capital city of Nanjing up river; the plan delayed the Japanese naval movement up river, but ultimately, as Shanghai fell, this tactic meant little; the resulting Battle of Jiangyin also saw the sinking of several Chinese cruisers, which were the main battle force of the Chinese Navy. In 1938, he was named the supreme commander of the Chinese Navy. As the coastal region fell under Japanese control, the Chinese Navy's importance decreased dramatically, and thus his influence as well; until 1946, he served as the superintendent of a private technical school as his naval duties lessened. In May 1945, he attended the United Nations conference in San Francisco, California, United States and affixed his signature on the charter document. On 9 Sep 1945, he attended the Japanese surrender ceremony at Nanjing. After WW2, the civil war between the Nationalist and Communist factions in China resumed; when ordered by Chiang Kaishek to attack communist positions in Shandong Province, Chen disobeyed, citing the the navy had not yet recovered from the war with Japan. This led to Chen being relieved of his duties. In 1949, when the Nationalist government relocated to Taiwan as defeat neared, Chiang extended the invitation for Chen to join him in Taiwan, but Chen refused, instead defecting to the newly established Communist government, serving in the Fujian Province government as well as being a member of the Central Committee. He passed away from stomach cancer in 1969

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I wouldn't be surprise if he was persuaded by communist spies to join their side as this happened to many top commanders and were later given top positions in the PRC government for leaving the ROC. Usually if you stayed and did not let them know you wanted to join until after the war was over, lets just say you "learned" new stuff for awhile and became an ordinary citizen with nothing.

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  • 8 years later...
On 10/10/2020 at 10:19, CN Naval Historian said:

I doubt Admiral Chen was popular with the ladies, as he was a eunuch.

Interesting indeed.  At that relatively late date in China's history, eunuch's were still being 'produced'? 

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On 15/10/2020 at 20:22, peter monahan said:

Interesting indeed.  At that relatively late date in China's history, eunuch's were still being 'produced'? 

I wanted to speak a language that was forbidden on the forum, but I refused (to tell him) the last eunuch in China. The Qing Dynasty ended its rule the day after he was operated on. This is a sad story. I was laughing

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5 hours ago, 1812 Overture said:

I wanted to speak a language that was forbidden on the forum, but I refused (to tell him) the last eunuch in China. The Qing Dynasty ended its rule the day after he was operated on. This is a sad story. I was laughing

Wow.  Not the kind of 'last' anyone would personally want to claim. :(

 

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