Battle of the Barrier
|Battle of the Barrier|
|Part of the First Opium War|
View of the barrier between Macau and China (published 1844)
|Commanders and leaders|
|380 troops||2,000 troops
|Casualties and losses|
|4 wounded||50–60 killed
The Battle of the Barrier was fought between British and Chinese forces at the boundary separating Macau from the Chinese mainland on 19 August 1840 during the First Opium War. Located in modern-day Portas do Cerco, Macau was connected to China by a narrow isthmus about 100 metres (330 ft) wide and 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) long. A wall called the Barrier was built across the isthmus in 1573, and it served as Macau's border.
At about noon on 19 August 1840, British corvettes, accompanied by the Louisa cutter and Enterprise steamer, having seamen and marines of the Druid with Bengal Volunteers on board, attacked the barrier. The vessels opened fire on a battery about 600 yards (550 m) away, which promptly returned fire. A British officer wrote, "The [Chinese] junks, which were aground in the inner harbour, were utterly useless, for none of their guns could be brought to bear, though several of the thirty-two pound shots of the ships found their way over the bank, much to the consternation of the occupants of the junks." In less than an hour, the batteries were silenced and the British forces landed. They consisted of a brigade of 380 men comprising 110 Royal Marines, 90 seamen from the Druid, and 180 troops from the Bengal Volunteers.
- Bingham 1843, pp. 400–401
- Bingham 1843, p. 397
- Hughes 1841, p. 354
- Bingham 1843, p. 395
- Garrett 2010, pp. 18–19
- Bingham 1843, p. 398
- Bingham 1843, p. 399
- Bingham, John Elliot (1843). Narrative of the Expedition to China (2nd ed.). Volume 1. London: Henry Colburn.
- The Chinese Repository. Volume 9. 1840. pp. 237–239.
- Garrett, Richard J. (2010). The Defences of Macau: Forts, Ships and Weapons Over 450 Years. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 9888028499.
- Hughes, Jeremiah (1841). Niles' National Register. Volume 59. Baltimore: Jeremiah Hughes.