China built a modern maritime armed force-- Beiyang Navy at the end of Qing Dynasty.
in the second half of the 19th century, China built a modern maritime armed force-the Beiyang Navy at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Although the process of building it was very difficult, it did not prevent the army from having the strength that ranked fourth in the world and first in Asia at that time.
this armed army, with the golden background and the dragon flag embroidered with the red sun pattern of Azure Dragon, once had the most advanced modern iron armor in the world at that time and gathered a large number of military elites educated by the Western navy.
depict Prince Alcohol inspecting the Bohai Wind Map of the Navy on "Haiyan" (1886)
. For this reason, in that era, as long as you saw this dragon flag from a distance on the sea, it was tantamount to seeing the confidence of the Chinese nation in self-reliance.
but in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, which was a great fight related to the fate of the nation, the Beiyang Navy was completely wiped out, and the dragon flag, which once stood proudly at the bow of the ship, also disappeared into the waves and disappeared without a trace.
what kind of necessity and ruthlessness does all this interpret? How did the high winds of history blow away the dragon flag? What forces drove the team off the right track and slid rapidly into the abyss of disaster?
Mr. Jiang Ming, a historian, uses 600000 words, 600000 historical pictures, and more than 1200 notes to fully and professionally show and analyze the panorama and details of the rise and fall of China's modern navy in 1861-1911 and 50 years in the book Fleet of the Dragon Flag: a History of Modern China.
this thoughtful work, whose research system spans the fields of historiography, military science, and warship science, is an indispensable classic for history and military enthusiasts with a professional foundation.
for public readers, it is also a highly readable work, which allows us to see the depths that can not be written in history textbooks, through the small details of some major events, and a deep understanding of some seemingly ironic or irrelevant issues.
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the navy has so much money that Cixi is jealous
in 1885, the war between China and France broke out. The Chinese sailors fought against the French navy in Majiang off the coast of Fujian, but because of the great disparity in strength, they were quickly defeated, suffered heavy losses, and failed to sink an enemy ship from beginning to end.
this failure greatly stimulated the Qing government. Li Hongzhang was appointed in the face of danger and built a powerful Beiyang navy in a short period of three years. This move has made China a naval power in Asia, and the Beiyang Navy has also become a "workplace" sought after by young people, and even the children of the eight banners have gone through the back door to ask to join the Beiyang Navy.
but it is easy to be a soldier, and it is not easy to be an officer. Also join the army, if you join the army, then as long as you have the courage and resourcefulness, even if you are illiterate, you may become a general according to your seniority and military merit. But not the navy.
the articles of the Association of the Beiyang Navy stipulate that if you want to serve in the navy, you must undergo professional study and training in the navy academy, and after graduation, you can become an officer of the navy. This is the first time in Chinese military history.
students of Tianjin Marine School read at their desks
under such strict requirements, the Beiyang Navy selected several excellent generals and paid them high salaries. The court poured a lot of financial resources into the development of the navy, and the navy had very sufficient funds.
in 1875 alone, the Qing government allocated 4 million taels of funds to the navy. It is mentioned in the Fleet of the Dragon Flag that from its establishment to its abolition, the Navy Yamen has raised more than 2000 million taels of funds for the navy of the whole country.
so much money has been missed by Cixi.
in 1886, Cixi wanted to repair the Garden of clear ripples, later the Summer Palace and needed a lot of money, but the Qing government's treasury was already very embarrassed, so Cixi came up with the idea of naval funds. she successively diverted as much as 7.5 million taels of silver from naval funds to build construction.
Summer Palace Shifang
therefore, historically, it is believed that the Summer Palace project hindered the development of the Beiyang Navy, which hurt the process of China's modernization.
foreigners also came to apply for the recruitment of the Chinese Navy
the Beiyang Navy at that time was well-known. It not only introduced a lot of Western equipment but also employed a group of foreign employees, which were called "foreigners" at that time.
among these foreigners are senior advisers, tactical and technical officers of warships, and engineers. Among these technical officials, the most famous is Hannagan, a German.
Hannagan was born in a military family, his grandfather and grandfather were both major generals, and he was awarded the rank of second lieutenant at the age of 19.
but Hannagan, who had a bad temper, was punished three times during his service in the German army and then transferred to the hardest field artillery regiment. However, he remained unrepentant, and his superiors rated him as "unskilled and unmotivated." once, after a drunken fight, he was removed from office by a military court and left Germany awkwardly and came to China.
Li Hongzhang agreed to hire him to supervise the construction of coastal forts and signed a seven-year employment contract with him. Unexpectedly, this young man, who was ignorant in Germany, changed his former lazy style and concentrated on professional technology after he came to China. In the past seven years, he presided over the design and supervision of the construction of seven forts, directed the construction of workers during the day, studied Chinese and professional books at night, mastered very strong professional knowledge, and made great contributions to the Beiyang Navy.
in addition, there is some foreign personnel who have also played a role in the foreign war of the Beiyang Navy. on September 17, 894, when the naval battle of Dadonggou broke out in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894, eight foreigners serving in the Beiyang Navy took part in the first naval battle between a steam engine and iron armored warships in the far East.
the war lasted more than five hours, and the "Dingyuan" ship, the flagship of the Beiyang Navy, was attacked by Japanese gunfire. Ding Ruchang, the governor of the Beiyang Navy, was seriously injured, and the foreigners were also injured to varying degrees. Some are blind, some eardrums are damaged, and some ears are deafened by the sound of gunfire, but they still stick to their posts and fight to the death against the enemy.
after the war, Li Hongzhang wrote in a memo asking for awards for these foreigners: "in this naval battle, a total of eight foreigners were on board, two were killed and four were injured. The foreigner, who served China with foreign officers and soldiers, risked his life to strive for the first place courageously. He was loyal to what he was doing and had a profound sense of righteousness, which was particularly rare compared with Chinese personnel. "
A famous writer in the Naval Academy
after the Sino-Japanese War, the Beiyang Navy was completely wiped out, Ding Ruchang committed suicide, the Weihai Naval School was disbanded, and the Tianjin Naval School was also destroyed by the eight-Power Allied Forces. Jiangnan Naval School was still maintained, but it was also made a mess.