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Tang Zhengzai (唐正才, 1816–1863, born in Xian de Qiyang Hunan) was an eminent navy leader during the Taiping Rebellion, known during his tenure as the King of Sail (杭王). He led the Taiping fleet in many battles, nearly destroying the Xiang Army. He trained other naval officers, including Li Ronfar and Li Xiucheng. Tang was killed in action in 1863.

Tang Zhengzai employed wooden bridges similar in design to the Bailey bridge later developed by Donald Bailey.[citation needed]


In the a battle near occupied Nanjing on March 10, 1853, Tang commanded the first offensive, successfully cutting off every river pass that could reinforce Nanjing. In 1854, at Lake Dongting, Tang's fleet surrounded the Xiang Army's fleet and destroyed much of it. Tang's fleet later transported 30,000 of Shi Dakai's troops along the Yangtze River in a swift surprise attack.

In 1857, Tang's fleet moved to Wuhu, between Wuhan and Nanjing; it remained there to defend the location until 1861, when a Xiang counterattack forced Tang to retreat to Nanjing.

In 1863, he was killed in action – shot by the Huai Army in Wuxi.

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