Yangtze River Gunboats 1900-49


written by Angus Konstam

illustrated by Tony Bryan

This book is number 181 in Osprey’s ‘New Vanguard’ series.

The Yangtze River is described by many as China’s ‘Golden Waterway.’

This book is about the River Gunboat Era in China from 1900-1949. It covers most of the Western powers that maintained a naval presence there, concentrating on Britain and the US. The author describes these nations various types of gunboats that were utilized for safeguarding their national interests, protecting traders and missionaries, patrolling Chinese rivers for pirates and battling whatever conflicts arose.

The author discusses the early years patrolling the Great Yangtze River from 1858 to 1899; the gunboats heyday 1900 to 1920; followed by the years of turmoil 1921 to 1930; and how the river became a battleground for ten years, including the famous Japanese bombing of the USS Panay in 1937; and then the Yangtze incident involving the escape of HMS Amethyst from Communist forces in 1949, which marked the end of the Gunboat Era. He also briefly discusses the design and deployments of the following Navies: the Royal, US, Imperial Japanese, Imperial German, French and Regia Marina (Royal Italian Navy).

The information contained on these 48 pages is concise, but the illustrations, photographs and charts make up for its brevity.

Paperback: $17.95 US; $19.95 CAN