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Thursday, 2 June 2016

A MANCHU ARMY FOR THE OPIUM AND TAI PING WARS

This is about my Manchu Ching Dynasty Army.  It has been a long time in the making and soon it will see table top action against the Tai Ping and oppose the British as part of a three side campaign. As armies go it is going to struggle to win as it lacks both firepower and high quality melee troops.  It is though an interesting army and a colourful one and will be more so once flags are added.  



There were three parts to the army the Manchu Banner Men who could turn up as cavalry or infantry, the Chinese Green Standard troops who were all infantry and the Mongol cavalry who the British called Tatars.  The Banner Men varied in quality but could on occasion put up a good fight.  The Chinese infantry were quick to run away but equally fast to rally and they would tenaciously defend fieldworks.  


The Mongols were brave and excellent horsemen but their hit and run style ran into trouble against superior fire power.



As far as armament went each unit had a mixture of melee weapons and either matchlock muskets or composite bows the latter being the exclusive preserve of the Manchu and Mongols.

Ingenious weapons like stink pots that released a choking smoke to confound the enemy were also deployed. Rockets were also used but not with much effect.

Much use was made of Jingals or Gingals a light gun carried and crewed by two men that could be very effective at close range although not at longer ranges.


Tiger Men were skilled and well-motivated skirmishers who often supported by Jingals would attempt to disrupt the enemy.

There was also effective artillery which lacking in mobility was often deployed to cover an area of the battlefield, occasionally from concealment, in anticipation of an enemy move.  These are the masked batteries much discussed by the British in the Opium Wars.



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