Battle of Penghu

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This article is about the Qing conquest of Taiwan. For the war between the Ming and the Dutch on Penghu in the 1620s, see Sino–Dutch conflicts.
Battle of Penghu
Date 1683
Location Penghu, Taiwan
Result Decisive Qing victory
Capitulation of Kingdom of Tungning to the Qing Empire
Belligerents
Flag of the Qing dynasty (1889-1912).svg Qing Dynasty Kingdom of Tungning
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Qing dynasty (1889-1912).svg Shi Lang Liu Guoxuan
Strength
600+ ships 60,000 soldiers 200+ ships 20,000 soldiers
Casualties and losses
5,000 soldiers 12,000 soldiers (10,000 sailor and 2,000 marine)

The Battle of Penghu (Chinese: 澎湖) of 1683 was where the admiral Shi Lang of Qing attacked the fleet of Kingdom of Tungning in Penghu. Both parties possessed more than 200 warships each. Liu Guoxuan (劉國軒) was outmaneuvered by Shi Lang, whose forces outnumbered him three to one. Liu surrendered when his flagship ran out of ammunition and fled to Taiwan. The loss of Penghu resulted in Zheng Keshuang's surrender to the Qing.

Prelude[edit]

By 1683, Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty had stopped all attempts at negotiation with Taiwan. He sent Admiral Shi Lang with a force of nearly 100,000 men and 600 warships to invade the island. Shi Lang attempted to attack Penghu before a major hurricane would strike but was driven back by Liu Guoxuan. After the hurricane, Shi Lang regrouped his forces and was ready to strike again.

Battle[edit]

Shi Lang divided his force into several smaller fleets. Most of them were sent to attack Liu and his Penghu Defense fleet. However a small detachment was sent to go around the battle and land directly on the island where Liu's base was located. However Liu was prepared for this and positioned archers and cannons on the beaches, followed by troops to stop the Qing advance.

A few days before the battle, Shi Lang had bought cannons from the Dutch and so his ships were better armed. During the battle, the Qing fleets smashed into Liu's force and broke up his formation. The defenders still fought bravely. The Qing ships were larger, better armed, and had more ammunition and within an hour, most of the Tungning ships were at the bottom of the ocean. However the remaining ships continued to fight.

In the end, the Tungning ships ran out of ammunition but hand to hand combat still continued. When his flagship and commander Liu ran out of ammunition, the remaining ships surrendered, some of them burning for three day and nights. Many generals and soldiers refused to surrender but rather chose to drown as a show of loyalty to the former Ming dynasty, thus ending the battle.

Land battle[edit]

As the battle at sea raged on, almost 60,000 Qing soldiers rushed ashore under the cover of cannon fire. The defenders used their cannons and arrows to stop the Qing forces but there were simply too many. Led by several skilled generals, the Qing forces broke through Liu's defenses and attacked his base. The victorious Qing forces burnt it down and raised the Qing flag on the highest flagpole.

Aftermath[edit]

After surrendering, Liu was about to commit suicide, but he was stopped by Shi Lang. They had a brief talk about the battle and Liu was released. With the destruction of Liu's fleet, Penghu surrendered and Tungning soldiers deserted in droves. It became obvious to the court on Taiwan that they were now defenseless. A few days later, Zheng Keshuang and his court formally surrendered to the Qing Empire, ending the Tungning kingdom.

Coordinates: 23°23′24″N 119°31′48″E / 23.3900°N 119.5300°E / 23.3900; 119.5300