Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Pre-Dreadnought Photos: Part 11

Having recently made some new acquisitions, I'd thought I'd share a final instalment of Pre-Dred views relating to what got me started on those little 1/3000th ships, namely vessels from the Boxer Rebellion Naval Project.

Above you can see a contemporary French postcard that for me, brilliantly encapsulates the rapacious and unbridled expansionist policies of the assembled Powers.
From left to right we see Italy, Britain, Japan, Russia, Germany, France and the U.S.A. dancing around the body politic that was China in 1900.

The caption reads: 'Then, one more vigorous push and the Colossus was in pieces....".

This was produced by the Kunzli Brothers of Paris, and reveals some of the disquiet felt even then at the rather undignified scramble for the remnants of Qing China; of course the depredations of the Boxers, particularly amongst the Chinese Christian communities and latterly the foreign residents had to be answered, but it was the rewards of the potential 'pieces' that were the main motivation for intervention....

I note that one more tiny homuncular figure is holding the hand of Uncle Sam at the end, but is obscured - I suppose the artist couldn't think of a suitable caricature for Austro-Hungary!

Putting the politics aside, then, let's have a look at some lovely ships!
first up, the Italian Cruiser, the Lombardia:

Launched in 1890, she and her sisters provided Italy with a useful class of Protected Cruisers, small but perfectly formed!

The British, of course, went for a rather more full-on approach, here with the Armoured Cruiser the HMS Powerful, who along with her sister ship, Terrible, provided landing parties in China, as well as later and more famously, in the Relief of Ladysmith during the Boer War:

Also from the China Squadron of the RN, we have the Battleship the Barfleur:

Built especially with a shallower draught to be better able to cope with the estuaries of the region.

Moving over the Channel, as it were, we have what I think is the French Cruiser the D'Entrecasteaux, although it is a bit difficult to be sure from this angle:

Finally, we have a view of a participant in the storming of the Taku Forts, the old French gunboat, the Lion:

I particularly like the old Muzzle-Loading gun at the bow, with its funky wrap-around shield:

There'll be some more Pre-Dred stuff to come in the future, as well as some views of a different type of conflict altogether, that I've been gathering as background for yet another project!


  1. Very nice - those French ships are just so nifty (and a bit bizarre)!

  2. Kingani, Mangani and Hedwig von Wissmann Gun boats used in the battle for Tangakinia any ideas if pictures still remain?
    Also was on a german site with google translate,
    about the royal impereal navys?
    saw that one of the ships deployed to affrica was an old Ottoman Armored ship flying the flag of hungaria as part of the eight nations aligace. Would love to see more on it.

  3. Hi there - don't know much about that period - for what it's worth, found an interesting article in the New York Times archive:


    Page four mentions the German ships; might be worth tracking down the book the article comes from.

    A further snippet:


    Certainly, I haven't seen any photos of the vessels involved.

    Not sure about the Ottoman/Austro-Hungarian ironclad - very interesting....