Arms and Tactics of the Taiping Rebellion

Aug 2016
977
US&A
The Taiping rebellion seems to have occurred at a time when firearms were just beginning to replace other weapons in China.

I have heard the Heavenly Kingdom would pay exorbitant sums for Western firearms. Though they seem to have been defeated because they refused to honor ridiculous trade agreements the Qing had been forced into via the Opium Wars. Thereby making themselves a target of various European mercenary groups.

What sort of weapons and tactics did both sides use?
 

Haakbus

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
3,778
United States
The Taiping rebellion seems to have occurred at a time when firearms were just beginning to replace other weapons in China.

I have heard the Heavenly Kingdom would pay exorbitant sums for Western firearms. Though they seem to have been defeated because they refused to honor ridiculous trade agreements the Qing had been forced into via the Opium Wars. Thereby making themselves a target of various European mercenary groups.

What sort of weapons and tactics did both sides use?
Firearms had long been common (600+ years?) in China at this point. Muskets had also been popular since the mid 1500s at least. I don't know the numbers, but they were used alongside bows and crossbows still in the 1800s.
 
Sep 2017
757
United States
From some very crude and speedy research, it seems like it would fit under a "pike-and-shotte" esque kind of warfare.

Couldn't find anything on the role/equipment of cavalry yet.
 
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May 2017
1,155
France
I have studied in the archives of Vincennes the asian campaigns of the famous Batallions of Light Infantry of Africa,the "Bat d Af",troops composed with military convicts:China,Cochinchina,Japon,Tonkin,Formosa,Pekin etc....
In China (1862-1864) they participated to the "Tai Pings" war against the troops of Hong Tsiou Quann,under the leadership of he admiral Protet.The Tai Pings were very numerous but organized like bands of children,attacking and shouting in deep lines bad armed, but running back in a terrible confusion at the firs fires.The losses were enormous...
Their crowds, completely desorganized,were armed with bids,swords,firecrackers,darts,some muskets and sometimes a medieval gun.....in clear,nothing.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,984
Sydney
While trafficking Opium with the Taiping was not encouraged by the Hong Kong authorities , they were very opposed to firearms smuggling
in spite of Hong Xiuquan various effort to have good relations with Britain ,
the official line was always to recognize Beijing as the legitimate government
only being outwardly polite when his forces were close
not allowing his forces to have modern firearms was probably Britain best help it could provide
there were several free companies such as the ever victorious army , led by Western mercenaries and equipping their men with modern weapons
they fought for the government ,
after the fall of Nankin , the Imperial court had to allow chinese Han to set up non Mandchu armies ,
the equipment was usually bad , canons rare , few Arquebusses and fewer flintlocks

Weapons of The Taiping Army and the Qing forcesThe Taiping Rebellion 1850-1871 Tai Ping Tian Guo

 
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