lefttop righttop
leftborder rightborder
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
March 30, 2017, 12:54:15 AM

Login with username, password and session length
[Today at 12:47:06 AM]

[Today at 12:46:41 AM]

[Today at 12:37:50 AM]

[Today at 12:32:49 AM]

[Today at 12:28:43 AM]

[Today at 12:26:46 AM]

[Today at 12:23:58 AM]

[Today at 12:18:02 AM]

[Today at 12:14:47 AM]

[Today at 12:09:59 AM]
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down
Author Topic: 55 Days in Peking British Legation  (Read 6538 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Offline

Posts: 1060

« on: December 17, 2013, 01:35:14 PM »

 55 Days in Peking British Legation

More photos on the website in the gallery


Despite being heavy outnumbered, the foreign nationals in the legations quickly drew up plans for the defence of their compound. 8,000 bushels of new wheat recently brought from Human were found in a shop on the corner of legation street.

online photo sharing

The ministers elected the British Minister to take overall command of the available legation forces. Sir Claude Macdonald had started his career as a solder serving in Khartoum before eventually becoming a diplomat. His military background made him the natural choice for leadership of the legations. However, the forces available to him were limited. From the end of May 1900 until the 14th August, the garrison consisted of little more than 400 marine guards. There were 82 officers and men from Britain, 81 from Russia, 35 from Austria-Hungary, 48 Frenchman, 51 Germans, 53 Americans, 29 Italians and 25 Japanese. In addition, the North Cathedral (the ‘Peitang’) was protected by small force of 42 French and Italian marines along with 13 French fathers, 20 sisters and 3,200 Chinese converts. A group of civilian volunteers, calling themselves ‘Thornhill’s Roughs’ also served on the barricades.

adult photo sharing

Apart from rifles and personal firearms, the only major weaponry available was an Austrian Maxim gun, a British Nordenfelt gun, a 1-pdr quick-firing gun supplied by the Italian contingent and an American colt machine gun. On the 7th July an 1860 vintage British 3 inch calibre smoothbore gun was discovered in an old junk shop. The Italians provided a 1-pdr mount and the Russians supplied some shrapnel and common shell for ammunition that had initially been discarded down a well. The shells were recovered, dried and used as ammunition throughout the battle. Two American marines volunteered to fire the gun.

image hosting 10mb limit

From the outset of the battle, a major consideration was the difficulty of defending the large perimeter of the foreign compounds with the limited resources available. It was therefore decided to move all civilians (apart from the defenders of the Peitang Cathedral) into the British Legation, which was the largest and commanded a good field of fire for the defenders.

photo share

The British compound consisted of 3 acres and normally housed around 60 people. It became the central redoubt of the defence with loopholes, sandbagged emplacements on the walls and a barricade at the gateway with space for 900 combatants and civilians, along with sheep, horses and other animals that were gradually slaughtered as the food supply began to shrink.


 To improve the field of fire, Chinese houses around the Legation were burnt, along with the Belgian, Austrian, Dutch and Italian Legations which were deemed indefensible. For the first ten days following the start of the siege the Foreign Legation compound and Peitang Cathedral faced constant attacks from Boxer fanatics, whilst the Chinese government and its army stood on the sidelines.

photo storage

The walls of the Tarter City presented a constant problem for the besieged as it directly overlooked the Legation quarter and offered the Chinese an excellent sniping position. On June 23rd, American marines charged along part of the wall clearing the enemy almost as far as the burnt-out Ch’ien Men gate. The next day, the Americans started to construct a barricade but were forced to retreat. German defenders were also pushed back on the 1st July, but a precarious position on the wall was held. The defenders managed to maintain their positions between the Chien Men and Hatu Men gates throughout the siege.

windows screenshot

As the fighting continued it quickly became clear that the Imperial Army had now been committed to support the Boxers. A heavy bombardment continuously rained down on the Legation quarter, where living conditions began to grow steadily worse. ‘Bomb proofs’ were constructed as shelter from the incoming shelling. However, on the 14th July, the Chinese attached a sheet of paper to a bridge announcing in large letters by telescope that they had received orders to protect the foreign ministers.


 The Chinese had called a truce at the very moment that they could have taken the Legation Quarter. The garrison was losing men and ammunition at an alarming rate. It is likely that the Chinese were aware of the increasingly difficult situation inside in the foreign compound. Aware of the recent success of the allied relief forces on the coast, the Chinese decided to make friendly overtures. A small supply of melons, vegetables and other food was sent into the allied quarter. The truce allowed the besieged to replenish their food supplies and husband their remaining strength. More fruit was sent in on the 25th July by order of the Empress Dowager.

20mb image hosting

During the truce period the Chinese continued to build fortifications, including a six-foot barricade over a bridge at the foot of the Imperial City wall just north of the British Legation. The Chinese also continued mining operations in an attempt to undermine the foreign defences. On the 29th July fighting re-erupted as the Chinese attempted a final effort to break the morale of the defenders. Fortunately for the besieged, a letter arrived on the 2nd August from Lieutenant-Colonel J.S. Mallory of the 41st US infantry stating that a combined allied relief column of 10,000 men was on its way to Peking.

screen shot

During the latter part of the siege, the intensity of the fighting varied depending upon different parts of the perimeter. Those manning the Fu and opposite the Mongol Market, or on the West part of the wall held by the French were subject to steady Chinese rifle and artillery fire. By contrast, the German sector on the eastern part of the seemed to be much quieter. It was only during the final days of the siege that Chinese attacks became as intense as they had been in early July.

image hosting sites

 On the 13th August the Chinese launched six separate attacks on the western part of the compound. The attacks were repulsed with the help of the Nordenfelt and Maxim guns. On the 14th August, Indian troops from the British army finally entered Peking. They were the first units of the allied relief expedition to arrive. American, Russian, Japanese and Italians troops all arrived on the 14th lifting the siege. The French were delayed by a day as a result of increased Chinese resistance.

print screen

The besieged in the Legation quarter had sustained a robust defence during the 55 days since July. Thanks in part to the well constructed barricades and defences, casualties had been surprisingly low. The civilian volunteers had lost 67 killed or died from wounds and 167 wounded.

print screen windows

The eight nation marine force had lost four officers and 40 men killed with nine officers and 136 men wounded. This represents roughly a third of the serviceman available at the beginning of the siege. Of the 42 Italian and French sailors who had helped to defend the Cathedral, six Italians and four Frenchman (along with their officer) were killed as well as a one officer and 11 men wounded.

screen shot on pc

The Victorian Outpost

Its a new gaming place in Grimsby with new terrain and new scenery, lots of respect for all wargamers and is the best place to game in town.

Anybody who wishes to visit the venue to arrange a game then  just pm me and lets roll those dice.

Supporting Adventurer

Offline Offline

Age: 37
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 1641

« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 01:56:42 PM »

Outstanding, sir. Absolutely awesome! Shocked Love

gamer Mac
Supporting Adventurer
galactic brain

Offline Offline

Age: 50
Location: Scotland
Posts: 4973

« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 03:32:09 PM »

Stunning everthing Love Love Love Love Love

mad scientist

Offline Offline

Location: Breizh / Brittany
Posts: 974

« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2013, 07:00:48 PM »

Excellent...  Shocked Hypno

Traveler Man

Offline Offline

Posts: 1335

« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2013, 09:53:53 PM »

Occasionally a post will come along on here which just takes my breath away. This is such a one. It's phenomenal! Congratulations! Shocked Love

"It's amusing, it's amazing, and it's never twice the same: It's the salt of true adventure, and the glamour of the game."

Talbot Mundy, The Ivory Trail.



Offline Offline

Age: 63
Location: A minute ago I was in....
Posts: 1236

« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2013, 10:30:49 PM »

Simply lost for words. Stunnning doesn't even come close.

Panic, Chaos and Disorder. My job here is done

A rising star in the hierarchy of Hell.

Offline Offline

Age: 52
Location: New York NY
Posts: 1836

« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2013, 10:39:02 PM »

This is wonderful makes me fell like I'm watching the Charlton Heston/David Niven movies of the same name!

galactic brain

Offline Offline

Age: 33
Location: Las Vegas NV
Posts: 6041

« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2013, 10:39:52 PM »

Oh that's pretty cool

"Peace" is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.

- Anonymous
mad scientist

Offline Offline

Location: Breizh / Brittany
Posts: 974

« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2013, 11:58:37 PM »

Oh that's pretty cool

 Smiley  Ooooh that's what you say if English is your first language.  I never got it, I always try to find something else for congratulations  Laugh Cheesy

Anyway... YES: "that's pretty coooool!"

(er... I'm glad you don't hear my poor English accent).
mad scientist

"Hawkaaaaaaa!" "Pardon?"

Offline Offline

Location: Up the road a bit.
Posts: 648

« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2013, 12:06:32 AM »

Just brilliant! Outstanding work!  Shocked Shocked Shocked

"Sir, we are surrounded!"
"Excellent! Now we can attack in any direction!"
War In 15MM

Online Online

Posts: 1622

« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2013, 12:18:21 AM »

That is great stuff.  Love it!  Richard

Offline Offline

Age: 40
Location: Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Posts: 72

« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2013, 12:51:38 AM »

 Shocked Shocked Shocked.....Incredible Sir!!!
Galloping Major
scatterbrained genius

Offline Offline

Location: East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Posts: 2034

« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2013, 07:20:20 AM »

Brilliant stuff  Shocked Cool


Supporting Adventurer
scatterbrained genius

Our Man on Guam Watchman in the East

Offline Offline

Age: N/A
Location: Guam
Posts: 2116

« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2013, 07:25:04 AM »

Thanks, made my day!


Offline Offline

Age: 49
Location: Australia
Posts: 8

« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2013, 01:34:11 PM »

Truelly brillant terrain is stunning. I would love to have played in such a awesome game table as this
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
Jump to:  

Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
55 Days at Peking - Some inspiration for the Boxer Rebellion. Colonial Adventures Brian Smaller 4 1419 Last post February 12, 2013, 12:31:04 PM
by Patrice
55 Days in Peking Colonial Adventures « 1 2 » alcal 26 5023 Last post April 18, 2013, 08:13:11 PM
by jems
British Legation wall Boxer Rebellion Workbench nevermore 6 1646 Last post July 26, 2013, 07:57:05 PM
by Andrew May
55 Days in Peking British Legation PT 2 Colonial Adventures « 1 2 » nevermore 15 6089 Last post March 03, 2014, 01:25:43 AM
by warburton
55 days in peking - my project Colonial Adventures « 1 2 3 » miltiades 35 5939 Last post March 11, 2017, 10:39:58 AM
by DintheDin

Lead Adventure Forum Support:
please read first

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Waltz design by IchBin
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
leftbottomborder   rightbottomborder