Battle of Taku Forts (1858)

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First Battle of Taku Forts
Part of the Second Opium War
Taku Gun Platform.jpg
Gun battery of the Taku Forts.
Date May 20, 1858
Location Taku Forts, China
Result Anglo-French victory
United Kingdom United Kingdom
France France
 Qing Dynasty
Commanders and leaders
United Kingdom Rear Admiral Sir Michael Seymour unknown

The First Battle of Taku Forts was the first invasion of Anglo-French alliance taking the Taku Forts on May 20, 1858 during the Second Opium War.

The British and French sent a squadron of gunboats, under Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, to attack China's Taku Forts. The battle ended as an allied success. However the first phase of the Second Opium War would end with the Treaties of Tianjin and the forts were returned to the hands of the Qing Army, leading to the Second Battle of Taku Forts in 1859.


After the outbreak of the Second Opium War, the Anglo-French alliance captured the significant harbor of Canton during the Battle of Canton in 1857. The British commander Michael Seymour - hoping to force a settlement (the later treaty of Tianjin) - ordered an attack on the Taku Forts. Seymour selected the Taku forts as his target because they were the closer path to Peking.

Xianfeng Emperor received the news that Canton had been occupied on 27 January 1858.

Landing operation[edit]

Storming of the Taku Forts[edit]


See also[edit]



  • Bartlett, Beatrice S. Monarchs and Ministers: The Grand Council in Mid-Ch'ing China, 1723–1820. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991.
  • Ebrey, Patricia. Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.
  • Elliott, Mark C. "The Limits of Tartary: Manchuria in Imperial and National Geographies." Journal of Asian Studies 59 (2000): 603-46.
  • Faure, David. Emperor and Ancestor: State and Lineage in South China. 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°58′29.50″N 117°42′43.80″E / 38.9748611°N 117.7121667°E / 38.9748611; 117.7121667