Hai An

The Hai An was one of the largest warships built in China before the 1930s, and was a three-masted steam frigate that had a rather undistinguished career.

She was built at the Kiangnan dockyard, and was launched in 1872. Her sister ship, the Yu-yuen, followed in 1873. Both ships were three-masted frigates, with a single funnel and a top speed of 12 knots. They carried a mixed armament, with two 9in muzzle loading guns carried on the upper deck and either twenty-four 70pdrs or twenty-five 56pdr Krupp guns carried in a traditional broadside position on the main deck.

The two ships were the largest warships to be built in China until the cruiser Ping Hai in the 1930s, but by the time they were launched they were already out of date. In addition they were built form inferior pine, and were said to have begun decaying very soon after being built. Although they were considered to be attractive looking ships they weren't very seaworthy.

After she entered service the Hai An was used as a training vessel. During the undeclared war against France of 1884 she was moved to Shanghai for possible use as a blockship. She was filled with stones and anchored close to the bar of the Whangpoo River. The French decided not to risk an attack on Shanghai, where the numerous foreign concessions made fighting difficult. After the end of the fighting the Hai An was towed back to her normal base, suggesting that she was already effectively unseaworthy. Her eventual fate is unclear, but she was probably scrapped a few years after the confrontation with the French.



Top Speed






Armaments as built

Two 9in guns
Twenty four 70pdr guns

Armament after refit

Two 8.2in Krupp guns
Four 5.9in and twenty 4.7in Krupp guns

Crew complement



24 May 1872

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 June 2013), Hai An , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hai_an.html

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