Deng Shichang

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Deng Shichang
鄧世昌
DengXiChang CHN.png
Captain Deng Shichang
Born 1849
Guangdong Province, China
Died 17 September 1894
Korea Bay, Yellow Sea
Allegiance Flag of the Qing dynasty Qing dynasty
Service/branch Beiyang Fleet
Years of service 1874 -1895
Rank Captain
Battles/wars First Sino-Japanese War
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Deng.

Deng Shichang (simplified Chinese: 邓世昌; traditional Chinese: 鄧世昌; pinyin: Dèng Shìchāng; Wade–Giles: Teng Shih-Ch'ang; Jyutping: Dang6 Sai3 Cheung1 courtesy name Zhengqing (正卿).) (1849 - 17 September 1894) was a career military officer in the late Qing dynasty military of China.

Biography[edit]

Deng was a native of what is now part of Panyu District in Guangdong Province, China. He was one of the first generation of modern naval officers trained in China, having entered the Fujian Naval Academy (船政學堂) in Mawei, Fujian in 1867 where the French military advisor Prosper Giquel had constructed the Foochow Arsenal and where he caught the attention of Shen Baozhen by graduating with honors in 1874. Deng was sent to the Pescadores and to Keelung in Taiwan on graduation, to reinforce the defenses of those areas after the Taiwan Expedition of 1874 by Japan.

He gradually rose through the ranks, transferred to the Beiyang Fleet in 1880 and was assigned command of the cruiser Zhiyuen in 1887.

During the First Sino-Japanese War, in the Battle of the Yalu River on 17 September 1894. Early in the battle, he moved aggressively against the Japanese command vessel Saikyō Maru, inflicting considerable damage on it, and coming under counterattack by the Japanese flying squadron led by Admiral Tsuboi Kōzō (Yoshino, Takachiho, Akitsushima, and Naniwa). The Japanese cruisers circled Zhiyuan, firing at a more rapid pace and scoring more hits than the poorly trained Chinese gunners with their obsolete cannon. Deng Shichang ordered Zhiyuan to close on Naniwa to ram, but was hit in the bow by a shell fired from either Naniwa or Takachiho at 1550 hours on 17 September 1894, which caused a massive explosion, after which Zhiyuan rapidly sank. Some 245 officers and crewmen went down with the ship, including Deng, who according to Chinese accounts, refused rescue.

The Qing government eulogized Deng after the battle, granting him a posthumous peerage title, and giving large grants of gold and silver to his mother and widow.

In 1996, the People's Liberation Army Navy named a naval training ship as Shichang in remembrance of him. His birthplace has also been preserved as a memorial museum.

References[edit]

  • Hummel, Arthur William, ed. Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1644–1912). 2 vols. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1943.
  • Paine, S.C.M. The Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895: Perception, Power, and Primacy, 2003, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA, 412 pp. ISBN 0-521-61745-6