Thursday, 12 March 2009

55 Days at Sea: Part 2

Historically, of course, naval operations during the Boxer Rebellion were limited to the taking of the Taku Forts, and some small scale interceptions of Chinese shipping, but I felt that with all the competing and vested interests of the various Great Powers in the area, it would not take much in a 'What if?' scenario for them all to be at each other's throats. The Japanese and Russians after all, were to go to war only five years later, using some of the same ships that were present in 1900, and it doesn't take much to stoke up enmity between the British, French and Germans at the best of times! Throw into the mix some Boxer suicide commandos on Junks, and you have a powderkeg waiting to go up... 

Having pulled together the various sources, I came up with the following list of vessels that were present off China at the time of the Boxer Rebellion:

Great Britain:
HMS Algerine, Fame, Whiting, Pigmy, Spray, Alacrity, Barfleur, Centurion, Aurora, Orlando, Endymion, Terrible

France: D'Entrecasteaux, Descartes, Pascal, Lion

Germany: Kaiserin Augusta, Hansa, Hertha, Gefion, Iltis

Russia: Sissoi Veliki, Navarin, Rossiya, Korietz, Gaidamak, Bobre, Gilyak

Japanese: Tokiwa, Kasagi, Suma, Atago

Austro-Hungary: Kaiserin und Konigin Maria Theresa, Kaiserin Elisabeth, Zenta, Aspern

Italy: Calabria, Elba

U.S.A.: Oregon, Newark, Monocacy

China: Most of her fleets had been sunk or captured in the recent Sino-Japanese War, although there were four modern German built torpedo boat destroyers of the Hai-Hola class docked upstream of the Taku Forts,  as well as some other ships under refurbishment or construction; The Russian diagram I linked to in my previous post also puts the protected cruiser Hai-Yung on the scene, although this could have been a Japanese ship by then. Not forgetting the ubiquitous Kwantung Trading Junks waiting to be commandeered by the Boxers...

Next Post: Choosing and painting the vessels from Navwar.

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