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Fall of the Qing Dynasty

Fall of the Qing Dynasty

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Project Blog by warhammergrimace Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

The plan is to build a Qing army that covers the period from 1800 to 1911, and then into the Warlord Period. It will include background material on the various conflicts during this time that will include the Opium Wars, Sino-Japanese war, Boxer Rebellion and the end of the South China Seas pirates. I'll be looking at army building, terrain and painting tutorials. This will be a mixture of articles and video.

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Some built Qing troops

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Some built Qing troops
Some built Qing troops

The next image is of some Warlord period troops kit bashed using parts from the Wargames Atlantic WW1 Germans and heads from the Chinese Boxers set.

Some built Qing troops

Boxer Rebellion

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The Boxer Rebellion occurred between 1900 and ended in September 1901. The rebellion was mainly contained to Northern China, and the most notable event of the rebellion was the siege of the International Legation in Beijing.

The uprising originally started as an attempt to destroy the Qing government and drive out western influence. Members of the Chinese government managed to persuade the leadership of the Boxer movement that their struggle wasn’t against the Qing Dynasty but foreigners, and that they should focus their attacks on the foreigners.

Boxer Rebellion

The Boxers was a secret society known as the Righteous and Harmonious Fist. They were nick named the boxers by the west because of the martial art training members carried out. They carried out attacks on western targets that included businessmen, missionaries and Chinese who had converted to Christianity. They particularly target the Christian converts because they felt the converts were disregarding traditional Chinese ceremonies and family life. These attack against the converts and western folk were often very violent and brutal. Several churches and foreign owned residences were burnt down, with many Christian converts killed.

The Chinese government tried to distance itself from the rebellion, but the Empress Dowager was secretly encouraging the Boxer uprising. On June 18th she declared that all foreigners should be killed. As a result of this a German minister was murdered, along with further attacks against high profile westerners.

Boxer Rebellion

Some local governors started to recruit boxers into the local militia units. With many officials believing that the boxers would be impervious to western bullets because of the martial art training. Qing officials continued to encourage the uprising, even after western officials protested to the Empress. By May 1900 there were several bands of boxers roaming the countryside near Beijing causing all sorts of problems.

In June a relief force of 2,100 troops from several countries was sent from Tianjin to relieve those in Beijing. The Empress ordered Imperial soldiers to blockade the relief force and forced them to return to Tianjin.  Several foreign ministers and their families along with Chinese Christians were trapped in the International Legation and a Roman Catholic Church in Beijing.

Boxer Rebellion

Though the Empress had ordered all foreigners to be killed, several officials ignored the order. For instance, the Imperial Viceroy for the Central Yangtze River valley and Southern China ignored the orders and chose to suppress anti-foreign attacks. By doing this they helped to establish the myth that the rebellion wasn’t being fueled by the Chinese government and the ruling Qing Dynasty.

On June 17th foreign powers managed to capture the Dagu forts on the coast and were able to reestablish links from Tianjin to Beijing. This allowed them to assemble a force of 19,000 soldiers from a wide variety of countries that included, UK, USA and Japan. On August 4th, 1900, the international force captured Beijing and in turn relieved those besieged in the international legation.

Boxer Rebellion

On June 18th June Empress Dowager orders that all foreigners should be killed, as a result of this the German Minister was killed. It also led to other foreign ministers and their families along with Chinese Christians to be being besieged in the legation quarters. At the same time several Catholic churches were also under besiege. An Imperial Viceroy of the Central Yangtze River valley and Southern China decided to ignore the order and started to suppress the anti-foreign attacks in the region. By doing this he helped the myth that the rebellion wasn’t being fueled by the Chinese government.

In August an international force of 19000 soldiers from various countries was assembled and moved towards Beijing. On August 4th, 1900, the force finally captured Beijing and relieved those being besieged in the legation. Foreign troops then went onto loot the city and Empress Dowager along her entourage fled to Xian. A few of the Imperial Princes stayed and began negotiations with the foreign delegation.

Boxer Rebellion

The Boxer Rebellion is a good conflict for a skirmish campaign as there’s several factions, which includes the Boxers, the Imperial Chinese and the foreign military. The Imperial Chinese “Qing” can be used to fight both the Boxers and the Foreigners. You also have the opportunity to recreate the siege of the legation in Beijing or create a siege on a smaller scale in another part of China at a Church for instance.

There are several miniatures available for this period that includes Wargames Foundry as well as new plastic Boxers coming from Wargames Atlantic.

Chinese Boxers Unboxing

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Building a Qing Army

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The plan is to build a Chinese Qing army using the Wargames Atlantic Chinese Boxers. These are primarily designed for the Boxer Rebellion, but can be used for all conflicts between 1800 -1911.

Building a Qing Army

Though for any army’s before 1896, you won’t be able to use the Mauser C96 Broom handle pistol, you’ll have to find a suitable replacement.

Mauser C96Mauser C96

Also most of the rifles on the sprues won’t be suitable for any conflicts before 1860, you’ll have to find more suitable period muskets. I plan to look at the Afghan Warriors by Wargames Atlantic for suitable musket weapons.

Afghan Warriors Afghan Warriors

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