Difference between revisions of "Wei-Hai-Wei"

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[[Category:China Station]]
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[[Category:Wei-Hai-Wei]]
[[Category:Royal Navy Bases in East Asia]]
 

Latest revision as of 11:12, 17 June 2021

HM Naval Base, Wei-Hai-Wei
HMS Tamar
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1898–1940
CountryBritish Weihaiwei Flag 1898–1930.png British Weihaiwei
AllegianceFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Part ofChina Station
Garrison/HQRN Base, Wei-Hai-Wei

Weihaiwei was a naval base and area command under British rule from 1 July 1898, under lease agreement with the Chinese Qing Empire, until 1930, with 'Port Edward' (Weihaiwei city) serving as the capital. A Royal Navy base was built on Liugong Island. It resides on the tip of a peninsula jutting out toward the Korean Peninsula.

History

Ships of the British China Squadron in harbour, Weihaiwei c.1902-1903.

The port of Weihaiwei served as the base for the Chinese Beiyang Fleet (Northern Seas Fleet), founded in 1871 during the later years of the Qing dynasty in China. In 1895, Japanese land and sea forces captured the port in the Battle of Weihaiwei, the last major battle of the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895. The Japanese withdrew in 1898.

After Russian Empire leased Port Arthurfrom China for 25 years in March 1898, the United Kingdom pressured the Chinese government into leasing Weihaiwei, with the terms of the treaty stating that it would remain in force for as long as the Russians were allowed to occupy Port Arthur. The British fleet took possession and raised its flag on 24 May 1898.

The British used the port primarily as a summer anchorage for the Royal Navy's China Station and as a health resort. It also served as an occasional port of call for Royal Navy vessels in the Far East (very much secondary to using Hong Kong in southern China). Other than for military matters, local administration remained under Chinese control, and the port itself remained a free port until 1923.

At the start of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) the British Commander-in-Chief, China Station was initially ordered by the Admiralty to withdraw his ships from Weihaiwei to avoid Britain being drawn into the conflict. However, fearing that the Imperial Russian Navy might use Weihaiwei as a safe haven, the Japanese government successfully pressured the British to return their fleet. During the war, correspondents covering the conflict used the port as a telegraph- and radio-transmission station; it also served as a source of contraband shipping for blockade-runners bringing supplies into Port Arthur.

After the Japanese victory over Russia in 1905, Japan took possession of Port Arthur. Britain extended its lease over Weihaiwei until 1930; A decision was made in 1930 to return Weihaiwei territory to China but Britain retained the right to use the base at Liu Kung Tao and a garrison at Tientsin for a further ten years until 1940.

Naval HQ

Location Map of Weihaiwai.

Naval Executive Officer, Wei-hai-Wei (1909-24)

  1. Acting Commander Albert E. House, 6 December, 1909 – July, 1919.[1]
  2. Commander Ernest Stevenson, 31 March, 1920 – June, 1924.[2]

King's Harbour Master, Wei-hai-Wei (1909-24)

  1. Acting Commander Albert E. House, 6 December, 1909 – July, 1919.[3]
  2. Commander Ernest Stevenson, 31 March, 1920 – 7 November, 1922.

Associated Naval Establishments

Royal Navy Sick Quarters, Wei-Hai-Wei

Medical Officer-in-Charge, Wei-Hai-Wei (1937-40)

  1. Surgeon Commander, Arnold Ashworth Pomfret, 18 October, 1937 - 1940.[4]

Wei Hai Wei Dockyard

References

  1. Admiralty, British (July 1919). "Other Senior Naval Officers or Officers in Charge at Ports Abroad". The Navy List. London, England.: H.M.S.O. p. 700.
  2. Admiralty, British (January 1923). "Flag Officers in Commission". The Navy List. London, England.: H.M.S.O. p. 698.
  3. Admiralty, British (July 1919). "Other Senior Naval Officers or Officers in Charge at Ports Abroad". The Navy List. London, England.: H.M.S.O. p. 700.
  4. Admiralty, British (Dec 1940). "Flag Officers in Commission". The Navy List. London, England.: H.M.S.O. p. 874.