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Battle of Langfang
Part of Seymour Expedition
Date June 18, 1900
Location Langfang, China
Result Chinese victory[1] Failure of expedition[2]
Belligerents
 United Kingdom
 German Empire
 Russia
 France
 United States
 Japan
 Kingdom of Italy
 Austria-Hungary
Qing Dynasty Imperial China
Righteous Harmony Society
Commanders and leaders
United Kingdom Edward Seymour
German Empire Captain von Usedom
Qing Dynasty Dong Fuxiang
Qing Dynasty Ma Fulu
Qing Dynasty Ma Fuxiang
Qing DynastyMa Haiyan[3]
Qing Dynasty Yao Wang
Ni Zanqing
Strength
United Kingdom 916
German Empire 540
Russia 312
France 158
United States 112
Japan 54
Kingdom of Italy 40
Austria-Hungary 25
2,157 total
5,000 Muslim Kansu Braves
Boxers
Casualties and losses
7 dead, 57 wounded estimated at 200 Kansu Braves, 200 Boxers (around 400 total)

The Battle of Langfang was a battle in the Seymour Expedition during the Boxer Rebellion involving Chinese imperial troops, the Chinese Muslim Kansu Braves and Boxers ambushing and defeating the Eight-Nation Alliance expeditionary army on its way to Beijing, forcing the Alliance forces to retreat back to Tianjin. The Alliance force at Langfang consisted of Germans.[4]

The Battle[edit | edit source]

Gen. Dong Fuxiang, along with his Chinese Muslim Braves, prepared to ambush the invading western army. The Muslim Gen. Ma Fuxiang and his brother Gen. Ma Fulu personally planned and led the attack, with a pincer movement around the Eight Nation Alliance force.[5] On June 18 Dong Fuxiang's troops, stationed at Hunting Park in southern Beijing, attacked at multiple points including LangFang. The forces included 5000 cavalrymen, armed with modern rifles.[6][7] They led a force of Hui Muslims, Dongxiang Muslims, and Baoan Muslims in the ambush at Langfang with Ma Fulu personally leading a cavalry charge, cutting down enemy troops with his sword.[8] The Boxers and Dong Fuxiang's army worked together in the joint ambush with the Boxers relentlessly assaulting the Allies head on with human wave attacks displaying "no fear of death" and engaging the Allies in melee combat and putting the Allied troops under severe mental stress by mimicking vigorous gunfire with firecrackers. The Allies however suffered most of their losses at the hands of General Dong's troops, who used their expertise and persistence to engage in "bold and persistent" assaults on the Alliance forces, as remembered by the German Captain Usedom and the right wing of the Germans was almost at the point of collapse under the attack until they were rescued from Langfang by French and British troops, and the Allies then retreated from Langfang in trains full of bullet holes.[9] The foreign troops, especially the Germans, fought off the attack, killing 400 at a loss of seven dead and 57 wounded. The Kansu Braves lost 200 and the Boxers another 200. The Boxers directly and relentlessly charged the allies during the attack, which unnerved them. The need to care for the wounded, a lack of supplies and the likelihood of additional Chinese attacks resulted in Seymour and his officers deciding to retreat to Tientsin.[10][11] The unexpected attack on Seymour by the Chinese army was prompted by an allied European and Japanese attack on the Dagu Forts two days previously. As a result of the attack in Dagu, the Chinese government had decided to resist Seymour's army and kill or expel all foreigners in northern China.[12]

During one of the battles at Langfang, Boxers armed with swords and spears charged the British and Americans, who were armed with guns. At point-blank range one British soldier had to fire four bullets into a Boxer before he stopped, and American Capt. Bowman McCalla reported that single rifle shots were not enough: multiple rifle shots were needed to halt a Boxer.[13]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Paul A. Cohen (1997). History in three keys: the boxers as event, experience, and myth. Columbia University Press. p. 428. ISBN 0-231-10651-3. http://books.google.com/books?id=ky4_whmgIZcC&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=sugiyama+akira+dong+fuxiang&source=bl&ots=DJ_eyI4SkK&sig=ZNU7_UaWGErXr28OtdKkxtUw4SA&hl=en&ei=q0-QTMu9AsOC8gbSk_ydDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CC0Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=dong%20fuxiang%20major%20victory%20seymour%20tianjin&f=false. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  2. Jaques, Tony (2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: F-O. Volume 2 of Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A Guide to 8,500 Battles from Antiquity Through the Twenty-first Century. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 568. ISBN 0313335389. http://books.google.com/books?id=Dh6jydKXikoC&pg=PA568&dq=battle+of+langfang&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SsNPVLSyH6HB8QHt94G4DA&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=battle%20of%20langfang&f=false. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  3. 民国少数民族将军(组图)2 - 360Doc个人图书馆
  4. Leonhard, Robert R (2011). "The China Relief Expedition Joint Coalition Warfare in China Summer 1900" (PDF). The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. p. 12. http://www.jhuapl.edu/ourwork/nsa/papers/China%20ReliefSm.pdf. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  5. "马福祥" (in Chinese). China LX Net. http://www.chinalxnet.com/content/2009-03/15/content_4778_2.htm. .
  6. Arthur Henderson Smith (1901). China in Convulsion. 2. FH Revell. p. 441. http://books.google.com/?id=WmAuAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA452-IA1&dq=tung+fu-hsiang+japanese+bodyguard&q=tung%20fu%20hsiang%20regular%20troops%20rifles. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  7. Сергей Леонидович Тихвинский (1983) (in Russian). Модерн хисторий оф Чина. Progress Publishers. p. 397. http://books.google.com/books?id=sZdCAAAAYAAJ&q=of+Dong+Fuxiang+attacked+Langfang+station,+encircling+Admiral+Seymour's+detachment.+The+ensuing+battle,+in+which+some+2000+Boxers+and+Dong's+soldiers+were+engaged,+lasted+for+over+two+hours.+Together+with+a+Boxer+attack+on+Yangcun&dq=of+Dong+Fuxiang+attacked+Langfang+station,+encircling+Admiral+Seymour's+detachment.+The+ensuing+battle,+in+which+some+2000+Boxers+and+Dong's+soldiers+were+engaged,+lasted+for+over+two+hours.+Together+with+a+Boxer+attack+on+Yangcun&hl=en&ei=rQe2TPa-CcKC8gbX64yJDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAA. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  8. 抗击八国联军的清军将领——马福禄 - 360Doc个人图书馆
  9. Lanxin, Xiang (2014). The Origins of the Boxer War: A Multinational Study. Routledge. p. 264. ISBN 1136865896. http://books.google.com/books?id=ECbKAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA264&lpg=PA264&dq=battle+of+langfang&source=bl&ots=Kb0V9p-_N1&sig=_d6tVhiTjMEm8xrKAixQFai4Vlg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=iRtSVN6yAY-UsQTKxIHoBg&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=battle%20of%20langfang&f=false. 
  10. Davids, p. 107.
  11. Bacon, Admiral RH The Life of John Rushworth, Lord Jellicoe. London: Cassell, 1936, p. 108
  12. Davids, p. 83; Fleming p. 103
  13. Robert B. Edgerton (1997). Warriors of the Rising Sun: A History of the Japanese Military. WW Norton & Co. p. 72. ISBN 0-393-04085-2. http://books.google.com/books?id=wkHyjjbv-yEC&pg=PA70&dq=sugiyama+akira&hl=en&ei=h_3_TLrBCIP88Aar4rnzBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDUQ6AEwBDgK#v=onepage&q=boxers%20large%20swords%20spears%20hard%20to%20stop%20pistol&f=false. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 

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