Boxer Rebellion

Discussions on all aspects of the German Colonies and Overseas Expeditions. Hosted by Chris Dale.
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tigre
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 04 Aug 2019 15:47

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The 2nd Intervention: March on Beijing (August 4–14, 1900)

Foreign armies gathered in Tianjin to join in an unprecedented international alliance of rivals, having chosen a commander, Alfred von Waldersee, who was still far away in Germany. The troops departed under command of British General Gaselee.

The main force of the “Eight-Power Expeditionary Army” in fact included soldiers from only five nations (Germany sent a small force that turned back after the first battle, and Austria-Hungary and Italy sent only small forces). Most of the British forces were Indian troops. The total size was about 18,000 men, consisting of 8,000 Japanese; 4,300 Russian infantry, Cossacks, and artillery; 3,000 British infantry, cavalry, and artillery; 2,500 U.S. soldiers; and an 800-man French brigade from Indochina.

The military forces themselves took advantage of the expedition to show their discipline, weaponry, and modern leadership. On the other hand, the powers also used the war to reinforce national loyalties, stressing that different classes of the population all held a common patriotic interest in the protection of empire and the defeat of the Chinese. The armies of the French and British included large contingents from the colonies. Sikhs and Pathans from India and the French Zouaves conscripted from the French settlers in Algeria and Tunisia stand out because of their colorful uniforms.

The question of united command of the allied forces was a matter of controversy among the great powers. The Russians were unwilling
to place their troops under command of a British, Japanese, or American officer, whereas the Japanese refused to submit their troops to a Russian. Some of British statesmen didn’t recognize the need of a supreme commander at all. It was a matter of German honour to be in supreme command, and Wilhelm II wished to secure a universal consent with Waldersee’s appointment. At the same time, he hesitated to propose it on his own. Therefore he asked British government to suggestWaldersee’s appointment, but the British failed to approve this plan.

On 6 August Wilhelm II turned to Russia, and the Tsar complied but, Nicholas II suggested limiting Waldersee’s authority to the province of Zhili, while reserving Manchuria for Russia. On August 7, German Emperor informed Waldersee about his appointment. On August 9, 1900 the British cabinet finally consented with German proposal. However, Lord Salisbury succeeded in making the acceptance conditional. Other powers, including the French, approvedWaldersee’s appointment. On August 18, 1900 Alfred von Waldersee accepted Field Marshall’s baton from the hands of his Emperor at Kassel. He proceeded to Austria-Hungary and Italy, and on August 23, he left Naples on board of a steamer Sachsen. But at that time the fighting was already almost over.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
https://digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin ... MDLOG_0001
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.
https://picclick.de/Graf-Waldersee-Heim ... id=1&pid=1

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 18 Aug 2019 13:26

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The 2nd Intervention: March on Beijing (August 4–14, 1900)

The battle of Peitsang.

In opposition to the advance, it was estimated that between 10,000 and 12,000 Chinese troops entrenched themselves in Peitsang, about seven miles upstream from Tientsin and another line of defense in Yangtsun. Beyond that, the situation was unknown. But since the railway line had certainly been destroyed beyond the bridge over the Peiho River, the allies decided to take an alternative route from Yangtsun to Beijing instead of repeating the unfortunate advance of Admiral Seymour. They chose to follow the river north to Tungchow and then storm the capital from the east, using the river as the main line of communication with Tientsin. They reasoned that it would be more difficult for the Chinese to intercept the river, and that the troops would not be delayed or distracted by having to repair the railroad.

The relief expedition departed from Tientsin on the afternoon of August 4 and stopped at night at Arsenal Hsiku, which had previously been captured by Admiral Seymour's expedition. From there, the expedition planned to move along the river with the Japanese, British and Americans on the right (or south) shore of the Peiho River and the Russians on the left. The Japanese had recognized the Chinese position in Peitsang and had determined that they were taking hold in a line about three miles from the right bank to the west. An arsenal anchored the far-right flank of the Chinese forces, and the allies tried to wrap them there. To that end, the Japanese were to march at 01:00 on August 5, followed by the British and Americans in a march column. They would advance along a path around the Chinese flank, destroy the arsenal and then march to the river, which would lead the three armies to the south and attack the Chinese trenches from the rear. Meanwhile, a Japanese battery would suppress the advanced enemy south of Peitsang and occupy the attention of the troops in the trenches.

When the Japanese arrived in the Chinese arsenal, they discovered two factors that modified the attack plan. First, the land around the enemy trenches was too restricted for the three national contingents to concentrate there. Second, they found that the state of the enemy defenses was poor. The Japanese decided not to wait for the British and the Americans to complete their enveloping maneuver and instead attacked the arsenal immediately, easily destroying it. They continued the attack and began to take the Chinese out of the trenches, chasing them to the river. Around 05:00 hours, the Japanese commander sent a message to the British and Americans requesting that they stop their columns, turn north and attack through the Chinese position. While the British were preparing to comply, the Americans were forced to march south and west around them to get in position. By the time they began their attack, the Japanese had completely defeated the enemy and captured the entire Peitsang position. It was just as good that the fight was over; With three national contingents converging across restricted terrain under limited visibility, allied troops would probably have shot each other. At the end of the day, the allies camped in the village of Tao-Wa-She, just northwest of Peitsang.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
https://digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin ... MDLOG_0001
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 25 Aug 2019 16:28

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The 2nd Intervention: March on Beijing (August 4–14, 1900)

The battle of Yangtsun.

The remnants of the Peitsang defenders disappeared on the left bank of the Peiho River while the Allies consolidated their position on the night of August 5. The energetic Japanese under General Yamagutchi had erected a pontoon bridge over the river in Peitsang. After coordinating with Yamagutchi, the Americans crossed to the left bank and prepared to attack northward, oriented by the shattered railway line towards Yangtsun. The British, French and Russians also positioned themselves on the left bank and planned to move north along the river road that was parallel to the railway line. The Japanese remained on the right bank and had to circumvent the most difficult terrain while the Allies marched towards the enemy's main defense line.

Coalition forces moved at approximately 06:00 on August 6. The units on the left bank made contact with the enemy approximately one and a half miles south of Yangtsun, where the railway and the river path crossed the Peiho over a bridge. Here General Gaselee required that the Americans support the British attack. Under Gaselee's plan, the 14th Regiment would be deployed alongside the British west of the rail line. The 9th Regiment, the Light Battery, the Marines and a British cavalry troop would advance along the east side and provide support for the Gaselee attack. The Russians marched westward and to the British rear along the river. The plan was relatively simple, but this time the defenders were better positioned and more determined. As the Allies had demonstrated in Tientsin, a persistent lack of reconnaissance and detailed planning permeated the battle that followed.

The main elements of the Allied contingent made contact with the Chinese, estimated at 3,000 with four batteries, a mile and a half from the city. Allied vanguard elements pushed the Chinese back until they took position in prepared earthwork positions near the railroad bridge. Gaselee's main body crossed the Pei-ho River at dawn, moved away from the railway for a short distance and then stopped in sight of the Chinese fortifications to allow the rear guard to approach. The 14th American Infantry Regiment had come too late to participate in the assault on Tientsin, but now its 3rd Battalion was formed in two company columns, with the second column behind, and its right next to the railroad slope. The British Sikhs advanced and occupied a position to the left of the 14th, but the restrictive terrain caused their line to extend to the US formation, separating the 3rd and 2nd Battalions.

The 14th Infantry established a skirmish line at 10:00 am linked with the British and the Russians in the rear. Repeating the regulated exercise that led to the disaster for the 9th Infantry in Tientsin, Major Quinton, commanding the 3rd Battalion, advanced "in line" followed by the 2nd Battalion under the command of Captain Eastman. The Chinese opened fire on them with artillery while they were a mile and a half from the town. The regiment advanced less than 1,500 yards from the enemy and began receiving intense rifle fire.

They remained in this position for more than two hours, while Chaffee tried to place the Reilly Battery (Fifth Artillery) at a good firing point to support his attack. The battery was busy supporting the fighting on the other side of the railroad, but the Americans and the British showed impressive discipline and patience in waiting for artillery support before moving forward.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
https://digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin ... MDLOG_0001
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 01 Sep 2019 14:15

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The 2nd Intervention: March on Beijing (August 4–14, 1900)

The battle of Yangtsun.

On the east side of the railroad, the 9th Infantry, the US Marines and the Reilly's Battery set up a support attack to help the western side by attacking the villages in front of them, with a British cavalry squadron screening the advance. These troops had begun to move from their camp in Wang Chwang, on the outskirts of Peitsang, only at 04:30 in the morning. After crossing the river over a pontoon bridge, the 9th Infantry advanced parallel to the railroad for five miles before stopping to the right of the Reilly's Battery and 500 yards behind.

The British cavalry came into contact with eight Chinese infantry companies, supported by three cannons in a town on their right. The Reilly's Battery was deployed on the east (right) side of the railroad to suppress the guns located northeast at 11:00 a.m. The battery opened fire 500 yards from the railroad and hit the town 2,400 yards away, setting it on fire. The battery continued to attack the Chinese north and east of their position while they were still visible. But the friendly infantry was too close (14th Infantry and the British Sikhs), so the battery retained the fire, supporting the fight to the right until it was ordered to move its fire.

The 9th was ordered to turn towards the village to the right of the Allied line. Once through the town, the regiment moved on through a cornfield to a second town, receiving fire from portable weapons and artillery. While the 9th extended to the right and the 14th was engaged to the left, the command and control system began to fail. The couriers brought conflicting orders to the 9th ordering it to storm the second village and simultaneously return to a water tower adjacent to the railroad on his left. The Unit Commander decided to continue towards the village where the assault stopped once the severely dehydrated soldiers discovered a functional well with drinking water. At 3:00 p.m., all the fire had ceased and the regiment moved to Yangtsun for half an hour, then to the railroad crossing to go to the camp for the night.

General Dorward, commanding the British, requested artillery support for the assault of the 14th Infantry and the Sikhs on the left, so the Reilly's Battery was ordered to move to the west side of the railroad. But in the confusion, a band of Chinese had hidden in the high corn directly in front of the new position of the battery. The gunners focused their attention on moving the Chinese away from their own position and provided little support for the developing attack on the left, where they had better visibility than any other artillery battery on the battlefield.

Meanwhile, west of the embankment, the 14th Regiment was enduring the worst of the fight. By the time the regiment made contact with the defenders in Yangtsun, the troops were exhausted from marching in extreme heat. The Americans advanced in an open formation to approximately one mile from the enemy when they were attacked by artillery. When they had approached less than 1,500 yards from the enemy, the Chinese opened fire. At this point on the battlefield, the attack front narrowed as the railroad and the river path converged towards the Yangtsun Bridge. As a result, British troops on the left began to overlap the American left, increasing confusion and the danger of fratricide. When the main units approached less than 300 yards from the enemy village, Daggett (US Commander) ordered the troops to stop and concentrate their rifle fire on the Chinese position. Once convinced that they had suppressed the enemy's fire, the colonel led a joint assault, British and American, that defeated the enemy.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
https://digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin ... MDLOG_0001
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 08 Sep 2019 12:44

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The 2nd Intervention: March on Beijing (August 4–14, 1900)

The battle of Yangtsun.

Unfortunately, the 14th infantry and British Sikhs began receiving artillery fire from three directions after they seized the village. The culprit was the Allied artillery installed in the rear, which could not identify its objectives, which resulted in almost thirty victims. Commanders believed that it was British or Russian artillery that had fired at US troops. The final verdict in official reports written a month after the fact said that the Russians had opened artillery fire against the town at the request of the British. The unfortunate results were attributed to the confusion resulting from the British measuring artillery adjustments in yards while Russian gunners calculated in meters. It is difficult to determine whether this theory was accurate or if it was an invention designed to protect British and American officers at the expense of Russians. However, the incident clearly indicated a lack of recognition, planning and coordination among the allies.

The Second Battalion of the 14th Infantry was also guilty of faulty identification. Immediately after occupying the village, some American soldiers of companies E and H joined their Chief on the railroad embankment on their right and shot at a group of Japanese with indeterminate results, an accusation almost certainly false. The 14th Infantry expelled the Chinese from the village at a cost of seven dead and fifty-seven wounded, most of them from the third battalion, which led the attack. The 9th Infantry advanced through the city on the east side losing six men from injuries.

The action of the day ended with the 9th Regiment advancing against slight opposition to the far north of Yangtsun and joining with the Japanese there. The few remaining enemies dispersed, leaving the allies alone with the intense heat to deal with. The combination of an exhausting march, heavy backpacks and water shortage was enough to stop the army's advance. Exhausted, the troops rested, buried their dead, evacuated the wounded by the river to Tientsin and waited for their commanders to decide the next move.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
https://digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin ... MDLOG_0001
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/british ... t9103.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 15 Sep 2019 13:10

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The 2nd Intervention: March on Beijing (August 4–14, 1900)

At the Gates.

The following day, 7 August, the allied commanders at Yangtsun convened a war council at the Russian headquarters of General Lineivitch. Throughout the campaign the allied officers opted to conduct the operation around a series of planning conferences rather than planning the entire campaign in detail from the start. Tactical coordination, as we have seen, emanated from on-the-spot cooperation, which produced mixed results.

The commanders decided to begin movement toward Peking the next day with fourteen thousand troops, following the Pei-ho River to Tungchow and then turning inland to Peking. The unknown condition of the legations and rivalry among Allied contingents to be the first to Peking ruled out any thought of delay. The final assault on Peking would show the Allies at their worst as partners, as each vied for the honor of entering the city first.

The German, Italian, Austrian, and French contingents elected to turn back for Tientsin, but since their numbers were few, the loss of actual combat power was negligible. The rest of the allies—the British, Japanese, Americans, and Russians—were determined to make the trip to Peking as rapidly as possible. The commanders agreed to march upriver to Tungchow, whereupon they would plan the final assault on the capital.

The first move, on 8 August, involved the various armies marshaling in the village of Tsai-Tsun, just north of Yangtsun. For the next five days, the chief enemy was the heat. The armies met only scattered resistance from Chinese Imperial troops, but the route of advance was
marked with groups of soldiers from each nation lying exhausted on the roadside as temperatures exceeded 100 degrees. Stragglers were directed to rejoin their units by nightfall each day.

The advancing polyglot army had a mixed record of behavior as it tramped through village after village. In general, the Americans and British were conciliatory and gentle with the indigenous population, while the other allies’ attitudes ranged from dismissive to brutal. Summary executions of anyone sporting the red sash of a Boxer were common, and looting accompanied the seizure of each village and town. Many Chinese citizens bolted at the first sign of the approaching foreigners, and not a few committed suicide rather than take a chance
on allied good will.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
https://digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin ... MDLOG_0001
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 22 Sep 2019 15:14

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The 2nd Intervention: March on Beijing (August 4–14, 1900)

At the Gates.

In early August, conditions in Peking/Beijing quickly worsened for people trapped in legations. The Chinese converts had the worst and were eating tree bark, seeds and occasionally a stray cat or dog. Westerners and Japanese enjoyed a more sophisticated diet of horse meat and the canned rations they could find. The illnesses spread rapidly, and the flow of victims in the makeshift field hospitals never diminished.

The question that weighed a lot remained: would anyone stay in Beijing to rescue? On August 8, General Gaselee had received a coded message from his compatriot Sir Claude MacDonald, but there was no guarantee that the Chinese could not try to kill foreigners as the aid expedition approached the capital. On August 10, General Gaselee sent a message indicating that the help column was finally on its way.

On the morning of August 12, Japanese forces arrived at the walled town of Tungchow and knocked down the door before the first lights. Once inside, they discovered that the Chinese had already left the town. The news circulated among the allied commanders, and the various national contingents converged on Tungchow to prepare for the final assault. Fortune finally smiled at the exhausted troops when the weather clouded over, providing some relief from the heat. The commanders gathered to consider their next move, but the Russian commander, General Lineivitch, insisted that his troops needed a full day to rest before continuing. The other commanders did not agree, and in the end they reached a compromise: they would use the next day to carry out a systematic reconnaissance of the walls and gates of Beijing in preparation for the final attack.

On August 13, new imperial troops entered the capital and began to position themselves closer to the legations. The fire of the rifles intensified, forcing some to remain lying down and motionless for hours. The Chinese artillery struck the defenses, impacting wall after wall, while the defenders struggled to reinforce their barricades. In the late afternoon, the Chinese made their last and strongest effort to enter the legations. The artillery on the Imperial City Wall hit the besieged allies until it was silenced by the response fire. The new imperial troops launched a determined attack from the Mongolian market in the southwest corner of the British legation. Violence broke out around the perimeter, and every man capable of holding a gun ran to shore up the defenses. It seemed that the end had finally come.

Suddenly, from the east came the distinctive thunder of the artillery. The Chinese attacks stopped, and both sides stopped so they could listen and evaluate this new situation. Soon there could be no doubt what they were hearing: the aid army was hitting the walls of Beijing.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.
That memorable campaign: American experiences in the China Relief Expedition during the 1900. Boxer Rebellion. Eric T. Smith

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 29 Sep 2019 13:21

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The 2nd Intervention: March on Beijing (August 4–14, 1900)

The final assault.

After the capture of Tungchow, the Allied commanders convened their last war council to determine how they would fight to get to Peking/Beijing. The Russians pressed for a day off before continuing, but it was not granted. Instead, the decision was to perform a three-phase operation. On August 13, each nation was to send armed reconnaissance parties to investigate Chinese defenses around each of the key gates on the east side of the city and establish attack positions. The next day, commanders were to gather their main troops and prepare for the assault. Finally, on August 15, the allies would carry out a simultaneous assault on the city.

To overload defenders and minimize the risk of fratricide, each national contingent was assigned a separate gate. The Russians were to attack the Tungchihmen Gate in the northeast corner of the city. This would take them to the Tartar City, near the old Russian church and at striking distance of the American Presbyterian church. They could also threaten the Imperial City. The Japanese were assigned the Chihuamen Gate, which would take them to the center of Tartar City, near the East Cathedral, the London Mission and the Tsungli Yamen. The Americans had to point to the Tungpienmen Gate located near the angle where the Chinese City and the Tartar City were located. This gate was the closest to the Legation District and could offer the fastest opportunity to rescue besieged defenders. Finally, the British were to attack the Shawomen Gate, which would take them to the Chinese city, far from any possibility of support from the other armies. His would be a risky attack, but it could lead to the opportunity to sneak or cross the Tartar Wall directly into the Legation District.

However, the attack did not go as planned. The friction and confusion of coalition operations had existed throughout the campaign, but now a new ingredient militated against effective teamwork: national ambitions. General Lineivitch, the Russian commanding general, could do nothing to increase the size of his force, but in the middle of the night of August 13, he decided to try to outdo his allies.

The Russian reconnaissance discovered that the defenses around the Tungpienmen Gate, originally assigned to the Americans, were light and not prepared for combat. Lineivitch took the initiative and ordered his subordinate, General Vasselievsky, to probe the gate and secure it. Instead, Vasselievski led a large-scale attack, seized the guardhouse, dispersed the defenders and opened a hole in the door. The initiative of the Russians could have been commendable if, together with their preventive attack, they had notified the other allies of their intentions. Instead, they seemed to follow the lowest wishes and tried to enter the city for themselves. The other allies learned hours after what had happened, and the effect was a precipitous race by the other armies. Unfortunately for the Russians, their attack stalled almost immediately, and Chinese snipers on the Tartar Wall immobilized them, stopping their assault.

Meanwhile, General Gaselee's British soldiers moved as planned towards Shawomen Gate. With a pair of guns, they destroyed the defenses and dispersed the Chinese. Gaselee's troops arrived in the city and advanced rapidly against minimal resistance. As he had anticipated, the general was able to quickly cut a path to the gate, through which the Imperial Canal flowed from the Legation District. Before long, Sikhs and Rajputs (Indian regiments) entered the British complex and were the first to be received by grateful defenders. A few hidden Chinese continued to attack the legations and allied relief columns that converged there, but most of the imperial troops, along with government officials and ordinary citizens, fled the city.

The Americans, still ignorant of the improvised actions of General Lineivitch, advanced to the Tungpienmen Gate and found the Russians trapped by Chinese fire from the east wall of the Tartar City and the adjacent Fox Tower. Colonel Daggett, commanding the 14th Regiment, asked for a volunteer to climb the wall overlooking the ruined door. The bugler Calvin P. Titus, of Company E, stepped forward and shouted, "I will try, sir!" The short, stocky man climbed the wall unarmed and discovered that the enemy had fled. He planted the stars and stripes on the wall and pointed to his companions; American soldiers soon crowded into the wall. Titus won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his feat, along with an appointment for West Point.

Captain Reilly's light battery maneuvered through the narrow alleys beyond the door, found a place to get into position and began an effective bombing that helped sweep the Chinese from the walls. After clearing the walls surrounding the door, the 14th Regiment led a devastating advance, block by block, through the city to the legations. Behind them, the 9th Regiment followed and supported their attack. Convinced that he had enough combat power to move towards legations, Chaffee ordered the Marines to secure the trains. Without realizing that the British had already reached the goal, the Americans marched triumphantly to the compound. The Russians entered the Legation District about an hour later than the Americans.

The Japanese contingent had more difficulties than the others. Equipped only with light artillery, Yamagutchi's troops knocked on Chihuamen's door all day on August 14. Its engineers complemented the bombing with multiple attempts to detonate charges, and about ten to twenty of them were killed by Chinese snipers. They finally managed to blow the door around 21:00 hours and immediately charged the city, reaching the legations later that night.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.
That memorable campaign: American experiences in the China Relief Expedition during the 1900. Boxer Rebellion. Eric T. Smith

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 06 Oct 2019 12:12

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The 2nd Intervention: March on Beijing (August 4–14, 1900)

The final assault.

In total, the besieged defenders inside Peking/Beijing suffered sixty-six dead and 150 wounded, in addition to the countless Chinese converts killed, wounded and sick. The latter group suffered unimaginable horrors, both from the attacks of their countrymen and the negligence caused by the racism of their European allies. Chinese Christian children endured the worst part of the difficulties, many of them died due to lack of food or illness. Like foreigners, they were deeply grateful for the arrival of the help column.

Early the next morning, Empress Dowager Tsu Hsi and her entourage fled the city, disguised as peasants and in the company of a mixed band of demoralized imperial troops. By the time the allies thought about approaching the legendary Forbidden City, there was no authority or responsible there. The allies, ignorant of the desperation of the court, watched their attack on the Imperial City with fear because they assumed it would be well defended. However they were surprised, satisfied, but a little disappointed to see that the Empress's troops had fled.

General Chaffee began cleaning the pockets of snipers firing from the Imperial City. The operation to break the defenses there caused slight casualties, but the loss of Captain Reilly was painful for the Americans. Throughout the campaign in China, the dashing artillery officer maneuvered his light battery with great skill and energy. He was standing next to Chaffee directing fire at the enemy doors just before 9:00 on August 15 when he was hit in the mouth and killed instantly.

Enraged by the derogatory performance of his former allies, Chaffee was mounting an American unilateral assault against the Imperial City when the Allied commanders insisted on another war council. Reluctantly, the general ordered his troops to withdraw, but the next day, August 16, the Allied commanders agreed to occupy the Imperial City. The city of Peking/Beijing was secured and quickly submitted to martial law by victorious allies. Legations had been saved, to the surprise of the rest of the world. The widow empress's government had fled. What remained was the business of recovering from the brief war and deciding on the fate of China.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.
That memorable campaign: American experiences in the China Relief Expedition during the 1900. Boxer Rebellion. Eric T. Smith

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 13 Oct 2019 14:04

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The 2nd Intervention: March on Beijing (August 4–14, 1900)

Of course, the German forces were not idle. On August 5, 1900, two German troop companies under the command of Kapitänleutnant Philipp took part in the Allied assault on a Chinese position in Beicang / Peitsang. The lack of German participation in the advance over Peking had been caused in part by the assumption that the Allied force would advance only to Yangtsun. On August 9, 1900, 200 German sailors led by Captain Pohl joined forces with Austro-Hungarian and Italian detachments, with a total of 30 men each, and began their advance from Tientsin to Peking along the railway. The next day, Wilhelm II ordered all available sailors to disembark and advance to Peking.

The Austro-Hungarians were delayed for a while, but all parts of the expedition arrived in Yangtsun on August 11 and guarded the town for a day against possible Chinese attacks, even though Chinese forces had been repeatedly defeated by the Allied force, great Chinese contingents continued to fight and interrupt the rearguard of foreign armies. On August 12, a new force of 100 Germans reached the Pohl column. While the Allied armies entered Peking on August 14, Pohl's mixed force arrived in the city of Madou, just in time to repel a Chinese attack on US troops guarding the city. Only on August 18, Pohl's forces arrived in Peking after a dangerous journey. Another 1,200 Germans entered the Chinese capital on August 23, 1900.

The fight in Peking was fierce until the last moment. In early August, Yuxian's troops from Shanxi arrived in the capital; and they were well equipped and led by a determined general. On August 12, the general arrived at the barricades and encouraged his troops; and was killed by Mr. Bismarck, a German maritime customs service official who had volunteered to defend the legations. The last of the German victims was killed on August 14: a previously wounded soldier who was killed an hour after his release from the hospital. Throughout the siege, German casualties were among the highest. According to H. B. Morse, 13 Germans were killed and 16 injured. Winterhalder claims that there were 12 Germans dead and 15 injured. The difference between these sources can be explained by the fact that the Winterhalder table counts civilian victims separately. The Germans had the highest number of deaths among all the defenders of the legation district. The number of victims could have been even greater, but the medical staff present spared no effort. Among his most praised members was Dr. Welde of the German legation. On September 21, 1900, Wilhelm II awarded medals to all German defenders besieged in Peking; Soden was awarded the highest military order "Pour le Mérite".

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.
That memorable campaign: American experiences in the China Relief Expedition during the 1900. Boxer Rebellion. Eric T. Smith
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/british ... t9103.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 20 Oct 2019 16:06

Hello to all :D; more........................

Subsequent operations.

After the fall of Peking, the widow empress, the emperor of Guangxu and numerous dignitaries fled the Forbidden City. They were accompanied by Dong Fuxiang and his army; and finally they arrived at the city of Xian in the province of Shaanxi, almost 1,000 km from Peking. Ketteler's murderer, En Hai, made a fatal mistake when he tried to sell the silver watches he had stolen. The Japanese troops captured him and then handed him over to the Germans. En Hai's defense was based on the fact that he was simply following orders. The Germans were not impressed by such a defense and sentenced the murderer to death. Ketteler's body was found on August 16 in a coffin near Hatamen Street, without mutilating; shortly after he was buried with all the honors.

On August 16, Peking was divided into occupation zones according to the intervening powers: Russia, United Kingdom, France, United States, Japan and Germany. The German zone was located in the northwestern part of the Chinese city. The Forbidden City was not divided, but on August 28 a fraction of the Allied forces paraded through this sacred ground in China. The Germans were less represented than other nations. 800 Russians, 800 Japanese, 400 Americans, 400 Britons, 400 French, 250 Germans, 60 Austro-Hungarians and 60 Italians participated in the event. At that time the rivalry between the great powers began again.

While the allies waited for the arrival of the Commander of the International Relief Expedition, Field Marshal Alfred von Waldersee, carried out operations against alleged Boxer Bastions in the vicinity of Peking and Tientsin. On August 19, Lieutenant Colonel Theodore J. Wint, commander of the 6th Cavalry stationed in Tientsin, directed a recognition against the suspicion of Boxer's activity at the request of Brigadier General Dorward, who was in charge of the communications line between the city and Taku. Several miles west of Tientsin, the mounted patrol was attacked, initiating a prolonged shooting that took place during the morning hours.

American tactics consisted of deploying dismounted forces on lines designed to achieve superiority of fire over the enemy, contain the enemy's maneuver and attempt to determine the exact dispositions of the enemy. The terrain was dominated by cornfields and small ravines that hindered visibility for both sides. Once the commanders on the ground sensed a slackening in the enemy’s fire, they sought permission to finish them off. The skirmish ended with the American cavalry carrying out a mounted charge that dispersed the enemy. Wint's force suffered six wounded and claimed that about 300–500 of the enemy were killed from an estimated 5,000–7,000 engaged.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.
That memorable campaign: American experiences in the China Relief Expedition during the 1900. Boxer Rebellion. Eric T. Smith
https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com ... 891512.JPG

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 03 Nov 2019 13:05

Hello to all :D; more........................

Subsequent operations.

On September 3, Lieutenant B. B. Hyer, Sixth Cavalry, led a troop of sixty-three men to a village twenty-four miles from Peking to ensure the delivery of sheep to the capital. Upon arriving at the village of Sha-ho, he learned that the Chinese had not been able to displace the animals due to the presence of 500 imperial troops in a nearby village, Chang Ping Chow. Hyer led his men discreetly through the cornfields the next morning, and they were able to surprise and defeat the enemy detachment, killing twenty-five and destroying a large quantity of weapons. The remaining enemy withdrew westward.

Similar operations took place throughout September, but generally involved no more than a few troops, and most resulted in the routing or withdrawal of Chinese forces. Both the Boxer militia and the imperial troops were still active, but with each subsequent confrontation, their determination was diminishing. US casualties remained insignificant, and operations succeeded in securing communications lines and suppressing enemy activity.

However, an operation during this period did not work so well. From September 17 to 18, Brigadier General James H. Wilson, who had previously served with General Sherman on his march through Georgia and who had arrived in China to serve as Chaffee's second-in-command, led an operation that captured Worldwide attention. Wilson commanded a combined Anglo-American force whose mission was to attack hostile Chinese west of Peking near the Hun-Ho River. General Gaselee and Sir Claude MacDonald accompanied the operation, and Brigadier General E. H. Barrow, chief of staff of Gaselee, led the British troops under Wilson's general supervision.

The combined force left Lu-kou-chiao village early on September 17 and marched north to the base of a mountain west of Pa-ta-chow temples. The White Pagoda, a 1,000-year-old structure, was the most prominent building dominating the town, which the Boxers were supposedly using as a base. At 06:00 hours, British and American forces were climbing the cliffs in order to flank the Boxer detachment. According to the official report of the Americans, the British were ordered to continue north and close the only possible withdrawal route, but they did not do so in time. The British reports concluded the opposite: it was the Americans who had to close the path of withdrawal. There was a shooting, but before the main US force could close the target, the Boxers had escaped north through the open passage. General Wilson considered the mission a success.

With the operation over, Brigadier General Barrow approached Wilson and told him that Sir Claude wanted to set fire to the town and the pagodas in retaliation for the destruction of Western property by the Boxers in peking. Wilson refused to have anything to do with what he considered pointless violence, and insisted that such an action would not take place under his command. Although the two allies remained cordial, the British allowed the Americans to leave for Peking, after which they destroyed the town and the pagodas. When word spread about the destruction of such an ancient landmark, there was general outrage. Wilson argued that he had opposed it, but it was some time before he could clarify the charges against him. General Barrow, in turn, protested because it was at MacDonald's insistence that the structure was destroyed, but he also suffered popular disapproval. The flow of public opinion had swung against such acts of revenge, and subsequent operations were carried out under increasing restrictions.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.
That memorable campaign: American experiences in the China Relief Expedition during the 1900. Boxer Rebellion. Eric T. Smith

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

khyrzton
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Joined: 04 Nov 2019 01:02
Location: Toronto

Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by khyrzton » 04 Nov 2019 01:11

Hi,

Would anyone have Advice on where to find a list of German soldiers sent? My great grandfather was there and I am hoping to find more information on him. Such as dates enlisted.

Thank you for any help.

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tigre
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Re: Boxer Rebellion

Post by tigre » 10 Nov 2019 13:32

Hello to all :D; more........................

Subsequent operations.

The rivalry between the great powers spoiled Waldersee’s command. On 18 September the German commander reached Hongkong, embarked on board of German armoured cruiser Hertha, and proceeded to the north. On 21 September he arrived to Shanghai and met Minister Mumm; on 27 September he reached Tianjin. On 17 October Waldersee entered Beijing and enjoyed a spectacular parade of the allied forces inside theWinter Palace. In the same palace he also set up his headquarters. Fedor von Rauch from Waldersee’s entourage listed members of the staff. Waldersee’s staff was overwhelmingly German, and this fact undoubtedly contributed to its efficiency.

Aside from auxiliary personnel and of Waldersee himself there were 38 officers altogether; with the exception of 8 foreign attachés all of them were Germans (*). There was one genuine Hun in Waldersee’s staff: Captain von Etzel from the General Staff. Major General von Gayl held the crucial post of Oberquartiermeister. Waldersee’s chief of staff was Major General Karl Julius Gross von Schwarzhoff. Colonel Yorck von Wartenburg was a noted historian.

Among notable German commanders outside the staff of the allied forces was Major Erich von Falkenhayn, who had been between 1899 and 1903 working as a military instructor to Chinese army and later became one of the most notable German commanders during the First World War. On Waldersee’s request Falkenhayn became German representative in the Tianjin Provisional Government, an autonomous body in charge of the city, composed from foreign officers. General Lothar von Trotha led a brigade; four years later he distinguished himself by slaughtering Herero rebels in German Southwest Africa.

Directing an international force was an enormous problem. The presence of large contingents from various countries led to frictions and renewal of national animosity. Initially good relations between Waldersee and French commanders have slightly worsened. Despite this fact, the relationship between German and French soldiers was generally good, much better than between the French and the British. Even during the closing phase of the campaign the Germans were often fraternizing with unruly French troops.168 Waldersee enjoyed much less respect than a “Weltmarschall” would deserve.

(*) Waldersee’s own memoires enumerate the number of members of staff: 38 officers and clerks, 30 NCO’s and 146 soldiers.

Sources: https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/box ... say01.html
Tientsin China in 1900. Glen Shagren Utah State University
The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900.
That memorable campaign: American experiences in the China Relief Expedition during the 1900. Boxer Rebellion. Eric T. Smith

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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