Battle of Chapu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Battle of Chapoo)
Jump to: navigation, search
Battle of Chapu
Part of the First Opium War
Capture of Chapoo.jpg
Map of the battle
Date 18 May 1842
Location Zhapu, Zhejiang, China
Coordinates: 30°36′22″N 121°5′46″E / 30.60611°N 121.09611°E / 30.60611; 121.09611
Result British victory

 United Kingdom

Qing China
Commanders and leaders
Hugh Gough
William Parker
8 ships[1]
2,220 land troops[2]
8,000–10,000 troops[3]
Casualties and losses
13 killed[4]
42 wounded[4]
1,200–1,500 casualties[4]
14 junks captured[5]
Battle of Chapu
Traditional Chinese 乍浦
Simplified Chinese 乍浦

The Battle of Chapu, Chapoo, or Zhapu (18 May 1842) was fought between British and Qing forces at Zhapu (then romanized as "Chapoo" or "Chapu") on the northern shore of Hangzhou Bay during the First Opium War.


Before the attack, the British commander, Major General Hugh Gough divided his forces into three: a column of infantry on the left (863 men) and right (969 men), with artillery in the centre. Gough accompanied the right column, which landed first on May 16. The remaining troops moved round to the rear of the enemy thereby cutting their communications with Zhapu. Meanwhile, the accompanying steamers began a bombardment of the city's defences. In Gough's own words: "The enemy were completely taken by surprise; as usual, they were unprepared for anything except a frontal attack. They gave way on all sides and took to flight, with the exception of a body of some 300 Tartar troops who seized a small joss-house, and held it with indomitable pluck and perseverance."[6] Multiple assaults proved necessary to capture the joss-house with casualties suffered on both sides; eventually it fell and after each of the gates had been captured, the city fell to the British.


The British did not remain in Zhapu long. They captured the city's ordnance and destroyed its arsenals before moving on to attack Wusong.[7]

Hailing, the Manchu commander at Zhenjiang, received the report of Zhapu's surrender on June 18.[8] Mass suicide was committed by the Manchus[where?] while the Han Chinese discussed the situation with the British.[4] When hostilities[which?] ceased, Chinese official Yilibu returned sixteen kidnapped British soldiers to Gough in "recognition of his courtesy in releasing the Chinese captured at Chapoo".[clarification needed]




  1. ^ Bulletins of State Intelligence 1842, pp. 918–920
  2. ^ Rait 1903, p. 263
  3. ^ Bulletins of State Intelligence 1842, p. 916
  4. ^ a b c d Rait 1903, p. 265
  5. ^ Bulletins of State Intelligence 1842, p. 918
  6. ^ Rait 1903, p. 264
  7. ^ Rait 1903, p. 266
  8. ^ Elliott, Mark (June 1990). "Bannerman and Townsman: Ethnic Tension in Nineteenth-Century Jiangnan". Late Imperial China 11 (1): 51.