China

Perspectives on Early Ming Military History II

China Wars 27 Min Read

Ming artillerymen. How many gunners did Yongle send to Đại Việt? There are no detailed records, but we can make an estimate, based on the fact that a decree of Hongwu stipulated that ten percent of Ming infantry units be gun units. Given that the Ming invasion force numbered 215,000, most of which were infantry, we can guess that there…

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China 11 Min Read

Major military engagements of the Taiping Rebellion

The Xiang Army recapturing Jinling, a suburb of the Taiping capital, July 19, 1864. The Taiping Rebellion devastated the landscape of southern China, causing widespread bloodshed and famine. Detail from The suppression of the Taiping Rebellion. Imperial troops during the Taiping Rebellion, China the wounded musketman is a Taiping rebel.…

China 6 Min Read

THE TAIPING REBELLION

The Xiang Army recapturing Jinling, a suburb of the Taiping capital, July 19, 1864 Taiping soldiers, male and female, outside Shanghai The Taiping “Rebellion” (1851–64), or “Revolution,” was a religious-based domestic uprising with ethnic—Han versus Manchu—overtones. Fought mainly with traditional Chinese weapons and tactics, it corresponded and overlapped with the…

Battle China 6 Min Read

Battle of Talas River – Redux

In 751 a Tang (T’ang) dynasty army commanded by Gao Xianzhi (Kao Hsien-chih), military governor of Anxi (An-hsi) in the Western Regions, met an Arab army in battle at Talas River near Samarkand. The Chinese were defeated. Although this was not a major military confrontation, it had great consequences. Tang…

China 23 Min Read

Imperial China: War and the Military I

There was a persistent military, cultural, and political conflict between various nomadic and semi-nomadic groups living in the steppe, and the sedentary, agricultural Chinese for most of imperial Chinese history. Steppe people were dependent upon their horses, which they used to drive their herds from pasture to pasture as the…

China 16 Min Read

Imperial China: War and the Military II

The Opium War between Great Britain and Qing dynasty China began because the Chinese prohibited the sale of opium by foreign, mostly British, merchants. European demand for Chinese goods—silk, porcelain, and tea—which had begun in the seventeenth century increased dramatically in the eighteenth century. The British came to dominate this…

British China Piracy 26 Min Read

THE DEMISE OF JOLLY ROGER I

The Suppression of Piracy in the East Indies and the South China Sea, 1855–69 As trade between Europe and the Far East developed, so did piracy, on a scale that dwarfed the activities of the Caribbean buccaneers of the previous century. It has been suggested that the pirates of the…

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Weaponry in the Chinese Civil War

The Gongchen tank displayed at the Beijing Military Museum. The Gongchen is the Chinese designation…

Chinese Invention – Ship’s Rudder

Han Dynasty: circa 202 BC – 220 AD Chinese naval developments occurred far earlier than…

War Junks

There are many types of sea-going Chinese Junks. They usually have a high stern and…

The Chinese War Junk I

Junk is a type of ancient Chinese sailing ship that is still in use today.…