Actions of the Chinese Nationalist Navy

Discussions on all aspects of China, from the beginning of the First Sino-Japanese War till the end of the Chinese Civil War. Hosted by YC Chen.
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Windward
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Post by Windward » 07 Aug 2007 21:07

Chinese seaplane tender "Zhen Hai"

former German transport ship, seized by China after WWI, became freighter "Hsiang Li". Purchased by Manchurian warlord Zhang Zuolin in 1923 together with another (Japan built) freighter "Guang Li", and converted to training ships. Hsiang Li renamed "Zhen Hai" and Guang Li as "Wei Hai".

2708 tons
1200 hps steam engine, coal
12 knts
4.7-in Armstrong naval gun x 2
3-in field gun x 4

converted into seaplane tender in 1924, carry two Schreck FBA-19 planes

scuttled in Tsingtao harbor on Dec 26 1937

sketch draw by Mr Zhang Qian (AHF member philodraco), permission to release


best
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Windward
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Post by Windward » 07 Aug 2007 21:10

Chinese cruiser Hai Chi

anchored in Nanking, 1935

just fleed from Cantonese Navy
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Windward
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Post by Windward » 07 Aug 2007 21:41

German built cruiser Hai Rong under refitting in the mid 1930s, Guangzhou. Two 40mm AA guns were mounted.

Ironically, right before it fires against Japanese, there were a fight between her (and her sister ship Hai Chou, by then belong to the "Central Navy") and another sister ship Hai Chen.

Hai Chen, and British built cruiser Hai Chi, were trying to defect Cantonese Navy in June 1935. Japanese consulate in Guangzhou tried to persuade them to join Manchukuo navy, but the proposal was refused.

Chiang Kai-shek can't control the navy and was hostile to the minister of navy, Chen Shaokuan. So Chiang told these two cruisers sail to Nanking, to build his own "Nationalist Navy". But Chen Shaokuan sent the newest cruiser Ning Hai, and three old cruisers Hai Rong, Hai Chou,Ying Rui and Yat Sen, to send these two cruisers to Shanghai under escort.

On June 21 1935, 9:00 am, the two Cantonese cruisers were detained by four "Central" cruisers near Hong Kong. Ning Hai fired several rounds, then the two cruisers withdrew to Hong Kong, followed by Ning Hai.

After several negotiations, Chen Shaokuan accepted Chiang Kai-shek's order that allow the two cruisers sail to Nanking, and withdrew his own cruisers. But rumors said the Chinese 1st and 2nd fleet (Central Navy) were gathering on the Yangtze River mouth to detain them, so Chiang sent several air force squadrons to escort them. These two cruisers arrived at Nanking on July 18, then formed the 3rd fleet. Their crews never met or say a word to Central Navy members onshore.

That's why Chen Shaokuan insisted that Hai Chi and Hai Chen must be scuttled too, when the Highest Military Committee told him to scuttle his ships to block Yangtze River in 1937.

Chinese Navy had a sad and shameful history.... :?
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Post by sjchan » 08 Aug 2007 03:58

>> you can check this article. It mentioned two naval battles in Humen. The forth Japanese ship, as mentioned in this article, >> might be transport ship 甘丸 (Ama Maru?)

Thanks for the link. The information provided by and large correponds to various Chinese accounts, and the author seemed to have checked Japanese records, so the detailed description of the battle seemed be to be a valid one (I am a bit wary of some on-line articles, particularly those without any citations or references). However Jerry indicated that Japanese records showed no battle losses. Perhaps from the Japanese perspective the surface action was between the 3 Japanese vessels and the two Chinese ships, and the damages suffered by the Ama Maru were due to the guns on the Humen forts and not considered part of the battle?

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Windward
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Post by Windward » 08 Aug 2007 13:21

sjchan wrote:Perhaps from the Japanese perspective the surface action was between the 3 Japanese vessels and the two Chinese ships, and the damages suffered by the Ama Maru were due to the guns on the Humen forts and not considered part of the battle?


perhaps. :)

Jerry Asher
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Post by Jerry Asher » 10 Aug 2007 03:51

Dear SJ and Windward;

Just returned from a vacation and delighted with your postings.

SJ a nice post by a participent.

Windward--Am unable to bring up "this article."

My source is Sensho Shosho, "Naval Operations in the China Theatre--if Ama Maru not part of Navy, it could be easily overlooked by Navy writers. Ama Maru is new to me can you provide review?

Data on Zhen hai and disputes over cruisers is absolutely pathfinding

What does "permission to release mean'? Can I copy? Use for illustration with credit?

Warmest regards to all--Jerry Asher

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Post by sjchan » 12 Aug 2007 14:30

The link seems to be working, but Chinese articles are routinely copied or even plagiarized so there are plenty of other copies if the link does not work.

In fact, a quick search on the net yielded an even more detailed article from which part of the article referred to in the original link might have been based on. Detailed citation is, as usual, not included, so it is not easy to validate the information. Anyhow, I have extracted some further information regarding the battle of Humen particularly regarding how the transport ship 甘丸 was damaged.

After the 海周 and 肇和 were damaged and put out of action, the甘丸 moved up to Fort Humen and proceeded to load Japanese forces into small vessels to land and capture the fort.

Note the甘丸 was originally a steamer for the Kansai Steamer Company and (石川重工制造,关西汽船公司班轮) with a displacement of 2450 tons and was converted by the IJN to be a transport vessel in 1937. It was sunk in the Marianas by US submarines in 1943.

The Japanese knew full well the maximum range of the Chinese guns at Fort Humen was only about 12 km, and the heaviest guns were normally sited at Fort 威远 in the rear. So the 甘丸 started its transfer operations some 15km from the fort, which should be out of range for the Chinese guns. They were therefore shocked to find shell bursts all around the ship. It turned out the commander of the fort, Vice Admiral Chen, had a few tricks up his sleeves. He knew full well the weakness of his guns, but he had carefully switched the largest guns at the front line Fort Tachiao. Moreover, based on the advice of a gunnery expert, he made some adjustments (including reducing the weight of the shells) so that his guns now had a range of 15 km. He kept this secret to himself such that even his commander did not know about it, and he had thus far refrained from using his biggest guns in various actions against Japanese naval vessels. Normally guns firing at extreme range would have only limited accuracy, particularly for moving targets, but the Japanese had actually weighed anchor since they thought they are out of range. As a result several hits were scored on the ship. The 甘丸 quickly lifted anchored and escaped.

The Chinese now sent 4 torpedo boats (of 1907 vintage) after the damaged vessel. Although their torpedoes all missed (according to the Japanese; the Chinese claimed a hit), it was enough to convince the Yubari and the destroyers Hayate and Oite to leave the damaged Chinese vessels alone and came to the aid of the 甘丸. The Chinese boats all escaped due to their superior speed. Finally Chinese planes showed up and the Japanese force decided to call it a day.

Incidentally, the Chinese claimed to have scored a hit on the Yubari. Japanese record showed no casualties, and the reason was that the shell that hit the Yubari was a dud that merely dented the smokestack and then fell harmlessly into the sea.

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Post by Jerry Asher » 12 Aug 2007 15:44

Thank you SJ:

We've come a great way since we started.

Your post illustrates the weakness of my sources. Written some time ago and with its own omissions. Worse yet I have been tied to this single Japanese language source, which is very good, but of course can be improved. And because they were only indirectly linked to the navy of the Republic of China, gaping holes in the Guondong and Qingdao Squadrons still remain. I'm sure that in Japanese someone has done something regarding operations on the Yangzi, "Creek warfare, " and I wouldn't be surprised if Poyang Lake and Dongting Lakes shipping isn't better recorded than I previously seen data on.

Again many thanks for sharing.--Jerry Asher

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Post by philodraco » 13 Aug 2007 07:29

Jerry Asher wrote:Dear SJ and Windward;

Just returned from a vacation and delighted with your postings.

SJ a nice post by a participent.

Windward--Am unable to bring up "this article."

My source is Sensho Shosho, "Naval Operations in the China Theatre--if Ama Maru not part of Navy, it could be easily overlooked by Navy writers. Ama Maru is new to me can you provide review?

Data on Zhen hai and disputes over cruisers is absolutely pathfinding

What does "permission to release mean'? Can I copy? Use for illustration with credit?

Warmest regards to all--Jerry Asher


You can use this image as you like. anyway after I draw it, I found something wrong about it, the ensign in this image is not correct, the five-colour flag was Peking govenment's national flag and it should be Jack correctly.
Image

And Ensign of her should be red with bluesky whitesun just like the National govenment's national flag after 1928, this naval ensign had been used during 1913-1928
Image

sjchan
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Re: Some Chinese site about the Chinese Navy

Post by sjchan » 04 Sep 2007 16:09

asiaticus wrote:Here is the Chinese Warship museum site.

http://vm.rdb.nthu.edu.tw/cwm/ming/index.html

Shows photos of many of the period ships and their history. In Chinese so have your on line translator handy if you dont read it. :^)


This link does not seem to be working any more. There is another one here

http://www.yaox.com/cwm/

Wonder whether they are similar or not. Anyhow in this virtual museum there are different 'rooms' corresponding to different fleets or periods in the development of the Chinese navy.

Lots of images of ships here, including some that are less common.

For instance, there is a 'room' for the Puppet Chinese Navy:

http://60.250.180.26/ming/ming_9.html

The torpedo boats under the Central Fleet are here:

http://60.250.180.26/ming/ming_8.html

And some of the gunboats of the Central Fleet:

http://60.250.180.26/ming/2409.html

nuyt
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Post by nuyt » 05 Sep 2007 22:34

That's the website I was looking for.
Somewhere on it there is an armament page that mentions the HIH 15cm and 75mm AA

This one maybe?
75公釐單裝高砲四門
http://60.250.180.26/ming/2407.html

And this:
75公釐/40倍徑高射砲(荷製克虜伯式)

from:
http://60.250.180.26/weapon/wp1/wp1.html

sjchan
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Post by sjchan » 06 Sep 2007 09:21

Yes I noted that it referenced the HIH guns which I browsed through the Web site; unfortunately there was no further information. I think it is fairly certain that the Yat Sen had the HIH guns so it confirms what we know already, but so far I have not been able to find defnitive information on whether any other ships had these guns.

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Windward
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Post by Windward » 06 Sep 2007 18:28

well, according to a memoir wrote by 叶在馥 Ye Zaifu, a famous Chinese ship designer who worked in Kiangnan Dock between 1917 and 1937, the sloop Yat Sen's main guns were bought from Japan. And more important, they were IJN's used guns and not in good condition.

In his memoir, Mr Ye mentioned a name, 李世甲 Li Shijia, by then rear admiral, director of general staffs of ministry of navy, and naval inspector to Kiangnan Dock (who later in charge of the purchasing of cruiser Ninghai and building of Pinghai). According to Mr Ye's article, during Yat Sen's construction, Li Shijia took bribe from Japanese so that he agreed to order some retired IJN guns.

However, the sloop Yat Sen only has one 140mm aft main gun, that might was purchased from Japan. It's very possible that its 152mm main gun and several 75mm AA guns came from HIH.

I strongly doubt how much bribe could Li get for purchasing only one 140mm gun. :wink:

Image
Ye Zaifu (1888-1957)
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Windward
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Post by Windward » 06 Sep 2007 18:42

this blog contains some rare pictures of Chinese navy. the website doesn't allow directly quote its pictures, so I upload them here with brief footnotes

"Yat Sen 01" shows its status in the early 1930s.

"Yat Sen 02" shows its status before Japanese salvage work. It collapsed in shallow water near Jiang Yin. Three days before its sunk, Yat Sen became flagship of Chinese navy, for the former flagship Pinghai was sunk by Japanese.

"Yat Sen 03" shows its status after WW2. Japanese added an aft deck as living quarter when using it as training vessel Atada. Before return it to China in 1946, Japanese installed some luxury decoration parts and furniture removed from the scrapped training ship Yakumo.

This picture shows its final status when serving in ROC navy. It sold to scrapper for NT$ 2.6 million on Dec 31 1959

regards
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Windward
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Post by Windward » 06 Sep 2007 18:59

some other interesting pictures from that blog

The author of this blog is a Chinese IT engineer, works for an Amrican company, married a Japanese wife and lives in Japan. He wrote some interesting articles and essays, get well popular in China, especially on interenet, and has a lot of fans. He got these precious photos from a retired clerk of Harima Shipbuilding, who travelled to China several times during WW2.

regards

Jasen
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