The Battle of Fatshan Creek

By James A. Boutilier, published November 1981


The Anglo-Chinese War of 1839–42 failed to persuade the Chinese to grant commercial access to ports agreed by the Treaty of Nanking. Murder of a French missionary led to the outbreak of war between Britain and China. British warships assaulted the forts and fought with well-armed junks in the maze of channels in the Canton River delta. At the Battle of Fatshan Creek, Keppel’s gunboats and the marines put ashore suffered heavy losses. But Chinese losses did not lead to any political advantage.

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Filed under: Opium Wars | Pacific
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Strategy & Diplomacy

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