U.S.S.R. and communism historical discussion.
[ Active ]
[ Login ]
Log-in to remove these advertisements.

Chinese Naval Battles(Civil War and later)(re-done)

Soviet cogitations: 324
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 19 Mar 2011, 16:03
The PLAN, People’s Liberation Army Navy. The Naval fleet of China has been of the most active and probably the most ever successful communist navy in the World by sheer number of victories and losses. While suffering some losses, the PLAN won the majority of all the naval battles and naval clashes of its history.
Chinese naval force showed an aggressive style of direct attacks in many surface battles, often against bigger and more armed units and often claiming the victory. Much the naval fighting against the Kuomintang during the Civil War saw a progressive use of different naval tactics: old Chinese junks armed with ground artillery, small Japanese boats converted in gunboats and finally WW2 soviet-era boats and tactics. The last stage of naval warfare against Kuomintang involved the very last effective use of motor torpedo boats in naval warfare.

Considering that this kind of warfare was collection of battles and incidents often with months if not years of pause from each intense battle, the People’s Liberation Army Navy had time to invent improve and work new strategies. It was rare a communist navy to show the Ingenuity and the resourcefulness of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, with integration of old technology, asymmetric warfare and the most updated modern updates strategies of the time often combined together. There are reasons to believe that a key success of the Navy was a firm report and relationship with the Politburo and the political commissars but also a loose hand in leaving the naval commander to envision strategies and battle choices.

From 1950’s to 1970’s, the main enemy was the Kuomintang one-party regime, constantly led by the military dictator Chiang Kai-Shek, escaped in Taiwan Island.
Interestingly, the United States failed to back successfully the Kuomintang in this struggle, being absorbed first by the Korean War and later by the Vietnam War.
Nowadays it’s considered a “frozen-conflict”, while most of nations and the same United Nations recognize the People’s Republic of China as sole representative of Chinese people, technically the Taiwan’s administration is considered a rebellious province.

A rather obscure (due lack of sources) but unique time of the PLAN was the suppression of Kuomintang-related “pirates” (technically “privateers” but by same admission of western sources no more than naval bandits loosely controlled by Kuomintang). While it is difficult to find details of such actions, the sheer number of incident and pirate/privateers ships sunk make this campaign one of the larger ever faced by a communist navy!

Another peculiarity of the PLAN, extremely rare among Communist Navies, and experienced (on minor degree) only by other Asian communist nations, was the willingness to engage in aggressive close-quarter ship-to-ship fighting, with usage of light weapons. In multiple encounters, PLAN vessels attacked larger and more armed enemy vessels winning the encounters thanks surprise factor, use of light weapons, aiming at the forecastle (to kill or wounds the commanding officers of the enemy ship) and throwing the enemy in confusion for use of bold (bordering with reckless!) action. These tactics worked since the first fights against Koumingtang in ‘50s to the naval battle against South Vietnam in 1974.

The People’s Republic of China is currently one of the four existing declared communist nations (in addition to Vietnam, Laos, Cuba) and one of the multiple socialist-oriented declared nation, following its own path of mixed economy under control of the Communist Party. The Article also include the most recent episodes of naval success against piracy in Somalia and could include future actions. By current days (2018), the People’s Liberation Army Navy is a recognized naval power in rapid expansion, rivalling with historical post-Cold War blue-waters navies (United States and Russia) in terms of sheer numbers of advanced destroyers, frigates, submarines, nuclear-powered vessels, aircraft carriers and capabilities of world-wide operations.

NOTE on nomenclature!
A number of modern-day western sources wrongly use the false naval prefix “CNS” for the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
While few communist nations and some socialist nations indeed used naval prefix before the ship name, this is not true for the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
Interestingly neither the Soviet Navy followed the “naval prefix” rule.

Sources: Photo material coming from sites Data from certain ships from
Data for naval warfare from Chinese Wikipedia and related articles on Chinese web.


21 March 1927
Battle of Nanking.
During the battle of Nanking for the first time, revolutionary forces within the Kuomintang army rebelled and controlled briefly the important city on the river while western navies helped the Kuomintang bombing communist positions. Chinese revolutionaries managed to prepare for battle a little tug used as gunboat that tried to attack but with no results.
However, the coastal artillery damaged the American destroyer USS William B. Preston (one hit of 76mm) and sniper fire from shore killed one American and one British sailor.
The fate of the little armed tug is unclear: probably it was abandoned/grounded without contact with enemy.

USS William B. Preston of Clemson class.


July 1947
The first proper naval vessel of the communist China (and the very first loss) was the ex-LCT type landing craft Heyong. Recovered, because accidentally stranded on river in northern Jiangsu province. Interestingly, the vessel acquired with subterfuge (PLA officers posing as enemy) and secret collaboration of the sailors

December 1947
The very first battle, fought against local pirates.
The Heyong landing craft led two sailboats in Sheyang River estuary, hunting for two pirate sailboats.
One boat escaped, but the communist vessels focused on the larger pirate boat: a gunnery fight begun and followed with a ramming and boarding attack performed by 8 sailors.
After cutting off the sail of the boats, the sailors captured the pirates: the prize included robbed gold, 1 small gun and 10 rifles.
Pirates later revealed to be men of a local gang lord (an unaffiliated bandit).

April 1948
The story of the very first communist Chinese warship ends when two Kuomintang fighter-bombers surprised on sea the landing craft Heyong.
After some resistance (with 20mm), the Heyong sunk with 3 KIA (including political officer) and other crewmembers wounded.

Photo of sister-ship Hechun in 1947. Interestingly, Kuomintang integrated another LCT of same class and assigned it the same name Heyong, their sources unaware of the activity of the original one.


25 February 1949
The only cruiser of the Kuomintang navy, the ROCS Chung King, defected after a mutiny. It is interesting that the ship was the former British cruiser HMS Aurora (bearing the same name of the famous Russian cruiser Aurora). The cruiser was renamed Tchoung King (actually bearing the same name but differently Romanized).

25 March 1949
PLAN cruiser Tchoung King sunk by Kuomintang air bombers in harbor, after days of hunt (the Kuomintang was reasonably intentioned to sink the defected ship due her value). The cruiser later recovered with the help of Soviets. Did not returned in service, stripped of weapons, and used only as accommodation and warehouse ship.

Cruiser was former Arethusa-class light cruiser. Photo of ship while in Nationalist service.

20-21 April 1949
Yangze Incident
The British sloop HMS Amethyst came under fire from People’s Liberation Army ground artillery in Yangze River. The British Navy was not engaged in the conflict, but friendly to Kuomintang.The ship received up to 50 hits, with extensive damages and temporally grounded.
British destroyer HMS Consort and sloop HMS Black Swan tried to tow the ship, but failed: Consort suffered multiple hits,
The following day, the Amethyst regained the ability to sail but constant fire from PLA ground batteries trapped her. The British sent the heavy cruiser HMS London, alongside with the HMS Black Swan, for a second attempt. Ground batteries did not hold fire and engaged the ships, causing damage to both and forcing them to retreat. People’s Liberation Army suffered 252 killed after the British ships’ fire; British suffered 46 killed and 64 injured (most of them on Amethyst).
Eventually negotiations for the release of the ship (and crew) failed to solve the situation with People’s Republic of China refusing to recognize the previous Chinese treaties of free sailing. The battle was the only direct naval clash between People’s Liberation Army and a western nation during the civil war.

HMS Amethyst was a Black Swan class sloop.

25 April 1949
Kuomintang gunboat ROCS Hai Hsing sunk by People’s Liberation Army in Yangze River (few details about the action, but apparently due ground artillery). Raised by PLAN and re-commissioned with the old name Yung Chi

Chinese gunboat built in 1916, similar of Yung Feng class.

? April 1949
Kuomintang gunboat ROCS Yung Sui sunk by People’s Liberation Army in Yangze River (few details about the action, but apparently due ground artillery). Raised by PLAN and re-commissioned.

Chinese gunboat built in 1929, improvement of Hsien Ning class: strong weapons (including one 152mm and one 120mm)

In 1949 (unclear month)
Kuomintang gunboats ROCS Wen Hsing and ROCS Yun Hsing lost, probably due coastal artillery. Wen Hsing raised by PLAN and re-commissioned.
Sometimes rated as “Custom cruiser”, they were more like revenue cutters (340 tons, 1 – 2 guns of 40mm).

By the end of April, multiple units of the Kuomintang Navy passed to PLAN (including some landing ships, escort ships, gunboats etc.), including some former American vessels.

28 April 1949
PLAN escort ship Shian, sunk by Kuomintang aircraft near Yaniji.

Former Japanese escort-ship CD-85, of type-C class. Photo of sister-ship Shengyang, who defected to communists.

1 May 1949
An uncommon case of failed mutiny occurred on Kuomintang patrol ship Yun Hsiang: 3 communist sailors attempted to take control of the ship after killing the commander, but the attempt failed: they were later gassed alive into a cabin of the ship. Kuomintang will rename the ship Wei Yuan to honor the commander.
Yun Hsiang, later Wei Yuan, was former USS PCE-842 (patrol ship similar to Admirable class minesweeper).

Yun Hsiang, later Wei Yuan, was former USS PCE-869 (patrol ship similar to Admirable class minesweeper).

12 May – 2 June 1949
When the Kuomintang lost the battle for Shanghai, People’s Liberation Army ground artillery damaged at least seven Kuomintang vessels while eleven other vessels were seized in harbor.

30 July 1949
The British sloop HMS Amethyst, trapped by People’s Liberation Army batteries’ fire since April, escaped during the night exploiting the passage of the Kuomintang ferry Kiang Ling, that was targeted and sunk by communist shelling with many victims while HMS Amethyst fled.

24 September 1949
PLAN gunboat An Tung sunk by Kuomintang plane at Wuhu.

Ex-Japanese Ataka

25 October 1949
During the Battle of Guningtou (also known as Battle of Kinmen), PLAN used up 200 different crafts to carry an amphibious attack against the island.
Most of the crafts were fishing junks, unarmed, powered by sail and some only capable to carry 5 to 10 men.
The battle turned a defeat for the People’s Liberation Army, and the entire group of 200 landing crafts stranded by the tide or trapped by anti-landing obstacles.
Troops disembarked and quickly left the landing area, leaving the crafts effectively undefended.
Kuomintang wasted no time and destroyed the flotilla with grenades, flame-throwers and setting fire. Additionally the Kuomintang landing ship Zhong Rong opened fire with 40mm and 20mm.
The action cannot be classified as the (only) lost “naval battle” of PLAN because by its own nature was not a naval battle at all.
The battle was the first significant victory for the Kuomintang, halting the long series of victories on the mainland and helping securing the independence of Taiwan.
On the other side, PLAN learned many lessons from this defeat.

Landing ship Zhong Rong (also numbered LST-210) is sometimes spelled “Chung Lung”. She was former American LST-574.

5 March 1950
Battle of Hainan Island
The first proper naval battle, and the first Chinese communist naval victory.
Hainan is a large Chinese island near Vietnam, during the war it was of extreme importance because the Kuomintang aimed to hold her as a second Taiwan.
A fleet of 14 Kuomintang warships, helped by some dozens of smaller boats, sailed to defend her waters.
Like the previous Battle of Guningtou, the PLAN employed only former fishing junks, but some of them armed with mountain guns for self-defense.
The landing fleet was composed of 2130 naval units (only a fraction included larger junks armed with guns).
When the Kuomintang flagship, the escort destroyer Tai Ping, attempted to engage the landing units, a naval battle erupted.
A close-range fight erupted when Tai Ping approached junks (believing they were unarmed) just to receive surprise fire from the mountain guns hidden onboard the Junks.
The escort destroyer ROCS Tai Ping suffered heavy damages and forced to retreat. Among casualties there was fleet commander Wang Enhua, died of wounds. Details of the following action are unclear: Kuomintang found in disadvantage when their anti-armor piercing shells proved unable to explode against the light wooden crafts, piercing the hulls (and thus causing heavy damages to a number of them) but without scoring sinking while, the communist mountain guns caused more damages to multiple vessels. Additionally, close-range fight prevented the Kuomintang to aim correctly the guns on smaller vessels.
In the end, the PLAN forces successfully accomplished the amphibious landing and by 1st May the Kuomintang resistance into the island was over.
The battle was also significant being a victory of old-style Chinese junks against modern western-built metal warships.
Other western sources still point that an unidentified number of PLAN junks were lost during the Hainan operation for all causes, but the outcome of the fighting is not questioned.

Photo of communists just before embarking.

25 May 1950
Battle of Wanshan Archipelago
Another naval battle that saw a number of interesting events.
Kuomintang attempted to prevent the communist take-over of the islands with a naval force including the escort destroyer ROCS Tai Ho, the minesweeper ROCS Yong Ning, ROCS Yong Ding, ROCS Yong Kang and the landing ship ROCS Zhong Hai and some auxiliary units.
For the first time, PLAN employed proper modern ships, even if inferior to the enemy.
The largest warship was the landing ship Gui Shan (spearheading the main landing force) a former LCI American craft.
The main escort force were five small auxiliary gunboats:
Xia Feng (translated “Pioneer”) (the larger one, Japanese built, 130tons with 1 gun of 37mm and other weapons),
Jie Fang (translated “Liberation”) (29 tons, 1 gun of 25mm, 2 machine guns of 12.5mm, 1 recoilless gun)(She was a former American LCC craft),
Fen Dou (translated “Struggle”) (80 tons),
Lao Dong and Quian Jin (translated “Work” and “Vanguard”), (sister-ships, ex-Japanese, 25tons, 1 gun of 25mm and 2 machine guns of 12.5mm).
The communist commander was Captain Lin Wenhu, a former Kuomintang officer who defected and joined the PLAN.
Just before dawn, the gunboat Jie Fang was engaged in an extremely bold action: alone, she approached the enemy flotilla and opened fire on the anchored ships at close-range. The main deck of escort destroyer ROCS Tai Ho (flagship) was hit, killing and wounding a number of officers (including the fleet’s commander, Qi Hongzhang, who lost an arm), causing further chaos among the Kuomintang. Sometimes it’s reported that one ship was sunk but this is not true, instead the minesweeper ROCS Yong Ding and ROCS Yong Kang suffered damage, while the landing ship ROCS Zhong Hai had a fire onboard. Jie Fang paid a price for this success: suffered heavy damages, but did no sunk. Of the 19 crewmembers, 3 died and 13 suffered wounds.

Photo of Tai Ho was ex-USS Thomas escort destroyer of Cannon-class. Yong Ding and Yong Kang were minesweepers ex-USS Lucid and USS-Elusive of Admirable-class. Zhong Hai (also numbered LST-201) was former American LST-755.
Two photos of Communist gunboat Jie Fang, the boat achieved a remarkable success.
The action successfully took the attention of the enemy, because the Kuomintang were lured to chase the retreating gunboat and the main landing group could approach the coast.
During this action, gunboat Quian Jin intercepted the Kuomintang auxiliary gunboat n°25, that was then engaged also by gunboat Xia Feng: n°25 was captured (later sent drifting to the sea because took water from damage), 2 sailors killed and 7 captured.
A second Kuomintang auxiliary gunboat, n°26 attacked the Fen Dou, but suffered quickly a direct hit in the oil depot and exploded taking the lives of the 10 crewmembers.
Communist gunboat Xia Feng.
Communist gunboat Fen Dou.
The amphibious assault was carried on, even if the first and largest unit, the Gui Shan (Gui Shan was a former American LCI landing ship, her exact original identity is unclear (units received different names, not all clearly recorded)), was hit the enemy warships who realized their mistake and gave up the chase of Jie Fang: barrels of diesel exploded engulfing the ship in fire: there were many casualties, however a bridgehead was secured. Kuomintang restrained for further attacks and retreated to tends the wounded (including their commander). Later the Kuomintang Navy attempted a blockade to prevent further sea re-supply, including a large operation on 27 June, but without other naval contacts and the Archipelago was secured by People’ Liberation Army. The action of gunboat Jie Fang’s crew was largely praised by communist side and the ship was preserved as memorial.

17 June 1950
Close Tanzishan Island, PLAN auxiliary gunboats Gu Tian, Wei Gang and Che Qiao seized two barges on sea. Landed troops on the island, captured another couple of vessels.

10 July 1950
PLAN small gunboats n°3 and n°103 (former Japanese riverine gunboat of “25-t” type) were on patrol at Dachen Island when they separated and n°3 alone encountered a larger unidentified Kuomintang auxiliary gunboat. During the unequal one-to-one fight, small gunboat n°3 sunk. 12 KIA, 5 survivors. Some Chinese sources mistakenly identify the unit lost as n°103 (likely due similar number), but she did not took part at the encounter and saw action two days later.

12 July 1950
Battle of Pishan Island
PLAN small gunboats n°103, n°104 and n°107 (under leadership of captain Zhang Jialin), attacked a group of Kuomintang warships during the operation to conquer the Island.
Kuomintang possessed the larger auxiliary gunboats Hai Ying, Xin Bao Shun, Jing Zhong-1 and Jing Zhong-2 (all Japanese-built vessels of 150tons).
During the attack, gunboat Jing Zhong-1 encircled and surrendered after the loss of the captain (Li Xibeng), gunboat Xin Bao Shun trapped inside the harbor (while the other ships escaped) and engaged in a fierce fire-fighting: eventually she was rammed by n°107 on the stern suffering heavy damages and being immobilized before sinking due combined gunfire. PLAN sailors also performed a boarding action capturing part of the crew after inflicting further damages with hand-grenades. In addition, three sailing vessels, trapped into the harbor captured. Overall, the Kuomintang lost 50 estimated killed and 100 prisoners, while on PLAN gunboats there were 10 wounded.
Some sources mistakenly claim also the sinking of both Hai Ying and Jing Zhong-2.
A group of 30 communist junks landed troops that captured the island.

9 August 1950
During the amphibious landing and following battle of Nanpeng Island, People’s Liberation Army forces seized a motorized vessel and twenty junks in harbor (there was no naval clash).

15 December 1950
During the aftermath of the landing operations in Zhoushan Island (close Nanzhao mountain), there was a clash between a Kuomintang minesweeper (Admirable class) with the PLAN auxiliary gunboat Zuyni (AKL-type converted vessel) escorting three landing ships and smaller crafts. No reported hits on both sides.

On the very same day, but operating in another area of landing for the operations in Zhoushan Island, PLAN small gunboats n°221 and n°222 destroyed on sea a small convoy of five sailing boats and another boat suffered damages, killing on sea 70 men (apparently the boats were crowded with soldiers).

23 June 1951
Battle of Taimen
The battle begun as a reaction of the PLAN to a series of harassment raids made by Kuomintang in Sanman Bay on fishing boats.
PLAN small gunboats n°411, n°413, n°414 (former n°107, led by captain Zhang Jilian) and n°416 taking part at the battle were part of the “25-t” class and received an upgrade with replacement of light weapons with heavier Soviet-made 25mm. The PLAN formation spread wide and this proved to be a mistake because n°414 ended approaching alone a formation of four Kuomintang auxiliary armed sailboats (two of them larger, 150tons), who were going to chase three PLAN transport boats. At first the n°414 managed to pass for a friendly Kuomintang vessel just to attack the enemy and throwing them in confusion and making them flee. n°414 focused her fire on a 150-tons armed vessel, inflicting damages, but after a while the enemy realized it was just a single PLAN vessel chasing them. n°414 found herself surrounded, suffered heavy damages and 6 WIA, but was saved by the arrival of n°411, n°413 and n°416: collectively they sunk a 100-tons armed vessel and chased away the rest of the group. Kuomintang reportedly lost 30 KIA and 20 WIA.
Interestingly, some PLAN sources believe the enemies engaged were privateers, so their combat record is unlikely to appear in Taiwan’s historiography.

Gunboats were actually former Japanese riverine launches (“25-t” type after the displacement, or 1164-go class after the lead-ship) built for service in China.

During early ‘50s, the Kuomintang fully endorsed private activity of piracy aimed to harass the naval economy of communist china.
Kuomintang defined such operations as carried on by local “Naval Chinese guerrilla” while it is clear ships (often former fishing junks) and sailors hailed from Kuomintang -controlled islands. The People’s Republic of China defined such actions as nothing more than piracy. Technically speaking, they can be considered “privateer” activity (private piracy endorsed and sponsored by a political-war faction). However, it is clear they operated with poor control from Taiwan’s authority.
Current western literature fully utilize the term “pirates” to describe them, the article will follow a mixed classification (but keeping them apart from the modern-day anti-piracy operations in Somalia).

During three years of active peak (1950-1953) over 90 naval incidents reported (ships attacked, damaged, sunk, seized, or temporary hold until ransom is paid).
Two-third of them involved British merchants: despite ideological differences, the British authorities from Hong Kong engaged in trades with mainland China and the Kuomintang aimed to disrupt this trade. Significantly, the Kuomintang demanded pirates to seize merchants and sail them to Taiwan, however in many cases they contended to seize the cargo and leave the ships or demand ransoms to the merchants and allowing the ships to sail away once it was quickly paid.

Among the most interesting incidents, the grotesque incident of Panamanian merchant Taluei: pirates “contended” to plunder the cargo, but the weight was excessive and the pirate junk sunk as consequence!
Another grotesque incident occurred on 11 February 1951 when pirates seized the British merchant Wing Sang. The ship was not involved with trade with mainland China, but with the same Kuomintang! To demonstrate their “distance” with the pirates, Kuomintang executed the pirate captain (ironically for once pirates returned to Taiwan with the prize!). On the same day, Kuomintang Navy temporarily seized a Norwegian merchant (see: following entry “Kuomintang Blockade”)
One of the final and significant cause of friction between pirates and Kuomintang was the seizure of British merchant “Admiral Hardy” on 8 September 1952: pirates immediately released her once crew paid a ransom. This made clear to Kuomintang the gaps in their strategy and it was then abandoned.

People’s Liberation Army anti-pirate operations claimed up 52 pirate ships sunk or seized (over 600 pirates killed).
While numbers are high, they appears realistic due the sheer number of pirates: overall, this could represent the highest number of surface victories scored by a communist navy in warfare! (Similar numbers occurred only with the Soviet operations in Manchuria 1945, but mostly seizures of the local fleet that made no real resistance).

NOTE: considering Taiwan had no desire to make plain the connection with pirates, there is no documents on their side assessing single episodes. Communist data are equally rare, fragmented and sometimes missing clear details as exact dates.

1951 - 1954
Kuomintang Blockade
Kuomintang Navy attempted to impose a Blockade on mainland China: ships seized included the Polish tanker Praca, the Polish cargo President Gottwald and the Soviet tanker Tuapse. In all cases, the seizures backfired with political repercussions. A similar incident occurred with the Norwegian-owned merchant Hoi Houw (cargo of medicines) released after 9 days on 11 February 1951.
NOTE: by own nature, these seizures are not successes due political repercussion.

11-12 October 1952
During the amphibious landing and following battle of Nanri Island, Kuomintang successfully defeated the People’s Liberation Army, only to abandon the island shortly later due orders. There are little details, but it appears that PLAN made the first use of Soviet-made motor torpedo boats: during the action, Kuomintang claim to have sunk 3 motor torpedo boats and 3 junks (not confirmed by PLAN). There was no involvement of Kuomintang vessels, so losses were probably caused by artillery fire and aircrafts, still their identity (and confirmation) is not clear. If confirmed, boats were certainly Soviet-built project 123K.

20 October 1952
Kuomintang re-captured Nanpeng Island (poorly defended), and the People’s Liberation Army organized a counter-attack.
People’s Liberation Army used junks to land their forces, without naval opposition and reconquered the island.

29 May 1953
People’s Liberation Army launched an amphibious landing at Dalushan islands, while two gunboats escorted the landing junks and bombed the enemy ground forces. Kuomintang were defeated, there was no naval fight but two junks seized in harbor. Seizures achieved by patrol boats n°513, n°514, n°515 and n°516 (all Type53 class).

24 June 1953
While supporting a successful landing operation, PLAN patrol boats n°513, n°514, n°515 and n°516 (all Type53 class) briefly skirmished with Kuomintang frigate Hui Yang. PLAN also employed the gunboat Zunyi (former American AKL cargo) and the corvette Linyi (originally a Flower-class British corvette): both ships only made ground shelling.

Ex-Japanese frigate Hatsuyume. Photo of sister-ship Japanese frigate Momo in 1944.

16-18 July 1953
Kuomintang tried to re-capture the Dongshan island, engaging 12 warships and 30 motorized junks.
Three large landing ships hit by mortar fire: shells failed to penetrate the ships, but detonated ammunition and triggered explosions sinking them in the main harbor.
The wrecks blocked the way to the other landing ships (carrying heavy weapons), forcing the Kuomintang to land men from the junks without heavy guns and ammunition carried on the blocked landing ships. After days of heavy battle, People’s Liberation Army won.
It is not exactly clear the kind of vessels lost by Kuomintang: probably they were converted ferries/transport because no former American landing ship was known to have been lost during this battle.

9 September 1953
A fight between Hong Kong patrol boat ML-1323 against an unidentified gunboat: she suffered damages and casualties (7 killed) but managed to sail back to port.
While Hong Kong sources identify the attacker as a “communist gunboat”, there is no trace of this by PLAN. It is possible it was a genuine incident (communist China still valued trading with Hong Kong) or more likely a misidentification of a Kuomintang or a pirate/privateer vessel or either a “false-flag” accident committed to blame the PLAN.

18 March 1954
PLAN gunboat Xingguo (former American AKL cargo) and the Yen An (pre-war Chinese ship) attempted an ambush against enemy warships in Sanmen Bay alongside the submarine chasers n°610 (unclear class, possibly she was an ex-Soviet project122a), n°612, n°614 and n°615 (last three were all ex-Soviet project122bis) and patrol boats n°505 and n°508 (Type53). PLAN units engaged a mixed-group of Kuomintang ships led by escort destroyer ROCS Tai Ping, ROCS Tai Hu, ROCS Tai Ho, submarine chasers and minesweepers. The fight broke-off with the air strike of enemy P-47 fighter-bombers that inflicted damages on n°612 and n°505 (overall 3 KIA, 5 WIA). While Yen An claimed one hit on an enemy minesweeper, it is confirmed escort destroyer ROCS Tai Ping suffered one hit.

Photo of gunboat Yen An in 1947. She was one pre-war Chinese ship, she scored one of the rare gunnery hits during one WW2-style duels!

15 May 1954
The first of series of naval clashes occurred during the Dongji Islands campaign occurred on day 15.
PLAN gunboats Ruijin and Xingguo engaged the Kuomintang escort destroyers ROCS Tai Kang, ROCS Tai Ho, minesweepers ROCS Yong Kang, ROCS Yong Shun, ROCS Yong Ding and submarine chaser ROCS Tuo Jiang. ROCS Tai Kang was the first one to open fire (toward Xingguo) but also the one that received greater damage: one direct 76mm hit demolished the front gun.
The hit confirmed by enemy source while their claim to have “set afire” the PLAN gunboats is baseless considering they continued to operate. Interestingly the Kuomintang commander claimed he was forced to retreat after heavy coastal artillery shelling, but there was no PLA’s ground artillery involved in the action (it is possible the enemy overestimated the incoming fire).

Photo of ROCS Tai Kang, ex- USS Wyffels, and sister-ship of ROCS Tai Ping

16 May 1954
The second and largest naval clash during the Dongji Islands campaign begun when the stronger PLAN group led by gunboat Nanchang (ex-Japanese Uji) followed by corvettes Guangzhou (ex- HMS Nunnery Castle), Kaifeng (ex-British Flower class) and escort ship Changsha (ex-Japanese D class vessel) attempted to lure the enemy using Kaifeng as bait. The corvette successfully lured the escort destroyer ROCS Tai Ho that soon targeted by the other units (except Chongsha that experienced troubles at the main gun). ROCS Tai Ho suffered a direct hit (likely by Guangzhou or Nanchang) and retreated. While successfully chasing away the enemy, PLAN regret the outcome of the fight as a big missed opportunity (of 149 shells of 130mm and 100mm only 1 scored hit).

Model of corvette Guangzhou. She received Soviet-made 130mm guns, turning her into a hybrid vessel for firepower. Chinese source assign her the scored hit, but technically is shared with gunboat Nanchang.

17 May 1954
On the third day of operations at Dongji Islands, PLAN gunboat Ruijin and Xingguo briefly engaged an unidentified unit (claimed damaged) and seized a junk. On a separate incident, gunboat Nanchang, corvettes Guangzhou, Kaifeng and escort ship Changsha engaged another unidentified ship, sunk a junk and seized a second junk.

Photo of Japanese gunboat Hashidate, sister-ship of Uji (took by PLAN and become Nanchang). She was the largest warship in action during the Dongji Islands campaign alongside Guangzhou. She also received new Soviet-made 130mm guns before the action.

18 May 1954
PLAN gunboat Ruijin (a former American AKL-class light cargo) was sunk by Kuomintang P-47 fighters. 56 KIA, 40 WIA.
Sister-ship Xingguo also attacked but suffered no damage. The loss of Ruijin was the heaviest loss suffered during at the Dongji Islands, which nevertheless ended in a victory.

19 September 1954
PLAN patrol boats n°531, n°532 and n°533 (all Type53) suffered an air raid in harbor by P-47 enemy fighters.
During the attack, n°532 sunk while both n°531 and n°533 suffered damages. 14 KIA, 12 WIA.

14 November 1954
First significant action and one of the most important victories of the PLAN motor torpedo boats.
The Kuomintang escort destroyer ROCS Tai Ping, (the former American USS Decker) that already fought in the Battle of Hainan, was ambushed, torpedoed and sunk by the four motor torpedo boats n°155, n°156, n°157 and n°158 near the Dachen islands (at least 1 hit, of 8 torpedoes launched). There were 23 killed. It was the most significant Kuomintang warship sunk by PLAN. It was a pre-planned attack, directly aiming to boost morale.

Tai Ping was former USS Decker of Evarts class.

PLAN motor torpedo boats were Soviet project 123K.

10 January 1955
The first successful attack by People’s Liberation Army Air Force on naval target occurred, in preparation of the battle at Yijiangshan islands.
A group of Il-10 and Tu-2 bombers managed to sink the landing ship ROCS Zhong Quan, while escort destroyer ROCS Tai Ho and the repair-ship ROCS Heng Shan were damaged.
Tank landing ship Zhong Quan (also numbered LST-221) was former American LST-640.

On that same day, PLAN motor torpedo boat n°102 torpedoed and sunk the Kuomintang submarine chaser ROCS Dong Ting near the Dachen islands. The sinking was the result of an accidental meeting, the motor torpedo boat separated from her main group after technical failures.
Dong Ting, sometimes spelled Tung Ting (also reported with a second name Lin Jiang, however many sources list the first name) was ex- USS PGM-13.

20 January 1955
Battle of Yijianghsan Islands
An amphibious attack on 18 January included 70 landing vessels (including junks) escorted by 40 units including motor torpedo boats. Ten boats were armed with ground-to-ground rockets and bombed enemy position. The ground battle resulted in a communist victory and takeover of the islands.
The victory was achieved by a well-planned coordination of ground, naval and aerial power.
On 20 January, there was the only Kuomintang attempt to attack the PLAN units: motor torpedo boats n°159, n°150, n°175 and n°178 attacked, torpedoed and sunk the submarine chaser ROCS Yin Jiang (claim of the single hit assigned to n°159). Many sources wrongly list also the ROCS Dong Ting as lost on this battle but was actually sunk ten days earlier.

Yin Jiang, sometimes spelled Ying Chiang (also it carried a previous name: Bao Ying) was ex- USS PGM-20.

21 January 1955
The Kuomintang fighter-bomber P-47 (43 Sq, serial n°209, pilot KIA) shot down by naval anti-aircraft fire according the same Taiwan’s sources. So far, there is no direct Chinese available data with direct claim about this incident in internet open-source articles.

19 January – 26 February 1955
The campaign for the Dachen archipelago begun with aerial bombing, followed by Kuomintang decision to retreat from the islands without fight.

18 February 1955
A short naval engagement between 4 Kuomintang escort destroyers and a naval force of 4 patrol boats (n°547, n°548, n°549 and n°550) of Type53 escorting a group of landing crafts. Despite enjoying absolute naval superiority, the enemy failed to destroy the small convoy, causing only 3 WIA, and suffering 1 KIA and 3 WIA. PLAN also claim patrol boats n°547 and n°547 shot down a F-84 but this is unconfirmed.

20 February 1955
The Kuomintang fighter-bomber P-47N (3 Sq, serial n°142, pilot KIA) shot down by naval anti-aircraft fire according the same Taiwan’s sources. So far, there is no direct Chinese available data with direct claim about this incident in internet open-source articles.

3 December 1955
A raid of Kuomintang F-84 fighter-bombers damaged the small merchants Ronghe and Zhenxing (overall 3 KIA and 3 WIA).

19 December 1955
PLAN patrol boat n°535 (type53) sunk after hits by Kuomintang F-84 fighter-bombers (17 KIA, 7 WIA).
Anti-aircraft defense claimed one plane shot down (of the attacking group of 10) but this is denied.

From 14 August to 10 October 1958
In different raids, the Kuomintang air force claimed to have sunk three “gunboats” and damaged other six. Unconfirmed by PLAN sources.

24 August 1958
First Battle of Jinmen Island
During the military confrontation around Jinmen Island, a first convoy battle occurred. Kuomintang engaged as escort ships the patrol ship ROCS Wei Yuan , leading the submarine chasers ROCS Tou Jiang and ROCS Xiang Jiang. They were escorting the transport ship Tai Sheng and the landing ships ROCS Zhong Hai and ROCS Mei Song.
PLAN forces attacked the convoy with 4 motor torpedo boats and 6 patrol boats.
The transport ship Tai Sheng was torpedoed and sunk by motor torpedo boats n°103, n°105, n°175, n°178, n°180 and n°184 with the loss of 200 soldiers (two torpedo hits). Later the landing ship ROCS Zhong Hai was damaged (PLAN claim one torpedo hit, Kuomintang believe by coastal artillery), during the fight PLAN lost the motor torpedo boat n°175 (4 killed, 3 captured). Kuomintang made an overestimated claim of up to 7 PLAN boats sunk.
The battle was a clear PLAN victory with the bloody loss of an important Kuomintang target.

Zhong Hai (also numbered LST-201) was former American LST-755. She already took part at battle of Wonshan Archipelago.

2 September 1958
Second Battle of Jinmen Island
A second convoy battle saw again the same previous Kuomintang escort ships (with only one replaced): flagship was patrol ship ROCS Wei Yuan , leading the submarine chasers ROCS Tou Jiang and ROCS Liu Jiang. Their mission was to escort the landing ship ROCS Mei Jian.
The convoy was attacked by six PLAN motor torpedo boats, n°103, n°105, n°174, n°177, n°178 and n°180 and the three patrol boats n°556, n°557 and n°558 (all type55A).
Torpedo attack was a failure and patrol ship ROCS Wei Yuan sunk with gunfire n°174 and n°180.
While the transport successfully accomplished the mission, the three PLAN patrol boats attacked the submarine chaser ROCS Tou Jiang: n°558 scored at least two direct hits and caused heavy damages. The submarine chaser did not sunk, however needed towing and never repaired: decommissioned two months later and scrapped in 1964. Kuomintang suffered 11 killed and 25 wounded. Differently from what reported by some sources, Wei Yuan was not damaged in action (while even some western sources claim otherwise).
Both sides claimed victory: Kuomintang say to have successfully protected the target; PLAN claim to have established a blockade. Both sides made overestimation of enemy losses (Kuomintang claimed up 12 PLAN ships lost, but that was a mistake). Both sides made high praises and awarded the two best units in action: Wei Yuan and n°558.

Tou Jiang, sometimes spelled Tou Kiang, was ex- USS PC-1247.

PLAN patrol boats were Chinese versions of Soviet project 183 FAC(T). They were armed with 37mm.

8 September 1958
Kuomintang landing ship ROCS Mei Le, carrying ammunition to Jinmen island, sunk by People’s Liberation Army ground artillery (with explosion due cargo). The ship carried also soldiers and 91 died.

Photo of the wreck. Mei Le, also numbered LSM-342, was former USS LSM-157 medium landing ship.

19 September 1958
PLAN patrol boats, including n°507 and n°527 (Type53) had a skirmish with a unidentified Kuomintang submarine chaser (one of the standard American PC-class), and later n°556 and n°558 (both Type55A) joined the chase but the submarine chaser reached Jinmen island (claim of damages inflicted on the Kuomintang is unconfirmed by enemy). Patrol boat n°507 suffered 2 hits, and the naval command criticized the failed mission (other two patrol boats did not coordinate well and could not engage).

29 September 1958
The only anti-air victory fully confirmed by both sides occurred when patrol boats n°507 and n°527 (both (Type53) opened fire against a C-46 transport plane, bringing it down. 2 airmen were captured by n°527, and eventually released on 30 June 1949.

Photo of a Type53 boat. Split in different series and sub-classes, armed with 25mm (opposed to the 37mm of Type55A and the larger Type062).

3 August 1959
According Taiwanese sources, the Kuomintang destroyer ROCS Tan Yang engaged in combat two PLAN “patrol ships” or “corvettes” (old sources even stated “cruisers”!!) allegedly sinking one and damaging the second. There are no reported losses matching this claim, and it is while it is possible a skirmish occurred with limited to absent results, it is also possible the whole event is a fabricated story for propaganda purpose.
ROCS Tan Yang was former Japanese destroyer Yukikaze of Kagero class. Received new American-made weapons in 1953.

2 February 1959
PLAN patrol boats n°565, n°566 and n°567 (all Type055A) engaged the Kuomintang auxiliary gunboat n°63, sinking her in a quick gunfire. (NOTE: Some sources wrongly state “n°62”).
Enemy suffered 11 KIA and 12 POW. Larger Kuomintang ship attempted to sail in rescue of the gunboat, but did not arrive in time.

1 March 1960
PLAN patrol boats n°565, n°566 and n°567 (all Type055A) engaged the Kuomintang auxiliary gunboat Yuanzheng n°517, sinking her in a quick gunfire. Enemy suffered 12 KIA and 10 POW. This very same group of patrol boats scored a nearly identical success the previous year!

21 October 1962
The Kuomintang infiltration ship Leping that transferred agents on the sailboat M-1545F (55tons), to land agents but the whole plan known in advance.
Three agents disembarked quickly killed on the beach while multiple PLAN units trapped the sailboat. Among the many units, patrol boats n°504 (Type53) and n°587 (Type062) get in contact with the enemy boat, engaged in firefight and sunk her.

25 November 1962
PLAN patrol boat n°547 (a type53), n°567 (Type55A) and n°577 (Type062) intercepted and sunk with gunfire the Kuomintang infiltration ship Xijin n°8
The enemy suffered 26 POW.

5 December 1962
PLAN patrol boats n°508 and n°518 (both Type53) intercepted and sunk with gunfire the Kuomintang infiltration ship Xiangshun n°1
The enemy suffered 33 KIA (including ten desenbarked special forces) and 6 POW. A sister-ship, Xiangshun n°2 sailed back due technical problems before the PLAN attack and avoided destruction.

18 November 1963
PLAN patrol boats n°508 and n°518 (both Type53) intercepted and seized the Kuomintang spy-ship T-3166M.
Enemy vessel forced to sail to port, while n°517 and n°527 joined the group (also Type53)

1 May 1964
The Kuomintang sent two group of assault boats (“Hai Lang” series, only 4tons, but carrying 1 recoilless gun or 1 rocket launcher and machineguns): n°101, n°104, n°107, n°109 to attack shipping close Changbiao Island, and n°102, n°106 and n°108 to attack eventual PLAN escort. The whole strategy was a clear attempt to mimic the PLAN light crafts strategies, but ended in a failure (technically al boats were part of the Intelligence, not the Navy). Multiple PLAN patrol boats pre-alerted and the first ones to contact the enemy were n°544 and n°546 (both type53): they attacked, hit and captured the assault boat n°104 while the other three of the group escaped. The group was further chased by the patrol boats n°572, n°576 and n°577 (all type062): apparently, n°572 alone managed to sink both n°107 and n°109, while n°101 escaped thanks the arrival of destroyer ROCS Tan Yang (n°577 briefly opened fire against the larger ship). Enemy human losses were 8 KIA and 4 POW (no PLAN losses).

Photo of the seized assault boat. Ironically, each attempt Kuomintang Navy to adapt new tactics (in this case light assault boats) ended with PLAN adapting in advance. Both types of standard PLAN patrol boats scored successes on this battle.

1 June 1964
PLAN sources report about a skirmish against Kuomintang vessels, with no result.

8 July 1964
The Kuomintang dispatched the infiltration ships Man Qingshèng and Man Qingsheng (NOTE: transliteration almost identical except for accent in “shèng”) carrying 51 special forces to infiltrate the mainland. PLAN sent the escort ship Changsha (Japanese “D” class, from WW2) and minesweepers Changxindian and Shajiadian (both type6610, already on sea for minesweeping patrol) to intercept two enemy vessels, later augmented by frigate Hengyang and minor units. In the end it was frigate Hengyang (Type01) to intercept first the enemy, attacking Man Qingshèng until she raised white flag and surrendered (damage was too heavy however, and she sunk while in tow). Minesweeper Shajiadian (type6605) found Man Qingsheng, attacking the ship with gunfire and sinking her.
As aftermath of the action, the enemy suffered 80 POW.

Photo of sister-ship Chengdu (Type01), the class was a Chinese copy of Soviet project50. The victory is remarkable because for once, it was (relatively) large ships of the PLAN to engage Kuomintang (including a frigate).

12 July 1964
A second notable incident included the two infiltration ships Dajin n°1 and Dajin n°2 (both 150tons) carrying 45 special forces (in addition to the combined crew of 29 sailors. The landing in Guangxi was cancelled and during the voyage back they passed close to Hainan Island where the PLAN submarine chasers n°272 and n°274 (both type6604) intercepted them. Both infiltration ships sunk after gunfire, with 14 KIA (including the major He Guanzhen) and took 60 POW. PLAN units suffered 4 WIA during the battle.

Photo of sister-ship n°253. Submarine chaser n°274 involved, 10 years later, in the very same Battle of the Xisha Islands.

1 May 1965
Battle of Dongying
Kuomintang submarine chaser ROCS Dong Jiang engaged in battle 4 PLAN patrol boats s: n°574, n°575, n°576 and n°577 (not 8 as stated by Kuomintang).
Most of western sources wrongly classify the Kuomintang ship as a “destroyer”: actually, she was one of the many former US submarine chaser.
ROCS Dong Jiang suffered 7 dead and 43 wounded (19 seriously), while PLAN suffered heavy damages on patrol boat n°575 (no human losses), that was forced to be towed by n°577, that received less damage (also the two PLAN boats collided in action). Once again, both sides overestimated the results: Kuomintang claimed up to 4 sinking, but indeed only n°575 and n°577 were directly engaged in battle.

ROCS Dong Jiang PC-119 (ex USS Placerville PC-1087). The patrol boats were Chinese project 062.

6 August 1965
Battle of Dongshan (also known as “8.6 Naval Battle”)
Kuomintang sent patrol ship ROCS Jian Men and submarine chaser ROCS Zhang Jiang on intelligence mission and landing of agents. PLAN (after radar alarm) dispatched a group of 6 motor torpedo boats (n°123, n°131, n°132, n°133, n°134, n°135) all of the new projec183 design. There was also a second group of five motor torpedo boats (n°119, n°120, n°121, n°122, n°136) and 4 patrol boats: n°588, n°598, n°601 and n°611(all Type062). For the first time, PLAN introduced the project 183 class motor torpedo boats in combat. The first group of PLAN motor torpedo boats at first failed to intercept the enemy, and patrol boats engaged first: after a prolonged fight, ROCS Zhang Jiang was hit and sunk by the patrol boat n°611 (took some damage, awarded for the action) while patrol boat n°601 suffered more heavy damage (captain killed). Eventually, ROCS Jian Men was at first damaged by the patrol boat and then located by motor torpedo boats and was torpedoed and sent to the bottom (10 torpedoes launched with 3 hits, main credit given to n°119 that was awarded, two attacking boats suffered slight damage). The outcome of the battle was a decisive communist victory. Mao Zedong personally congratulated with the crewmembers. Kuomintang suffered 197 killed (including 22 officers), 33 prisoners and only 1 survivor (an agent, recovered by foreign merchant); PLAN suffered 4 killed and 28 wounded.
Once again, Kuomintang attempted to cover-up the failure claimed up 3 units sunk, but this time the result was too much clear and the admiral Liu Guang Kai was forced to resign. Decisive for the PLAN victory was the effective use of coastal radar to detect the enemy in time.

ROCS Zhang Jiang was former American submarine chaser PC-1232 (photo during American service).

Patrol boat n°611 was a Type062 patrol boat, currently preserved as museum-ship. The class, smaller and faster than the opponents, outclassed the enemy being a next-generation (Cold War era) compared to the WW2-era units of the enemy.

ROCS Jian Men was former American minesweeper USS Toucan of Auk-class. Larger than the more common Admirable class. Sometimes the ship is spelled Chien Men.

PLAN introduced the new motor torpedo boats in battle. Photo of a Soviet project183 boat.

13 November 1965
Battle of Chongwu (also known as “Battle of Wuqiu”)
After the defeat during the previous Battle of Dongshan, Kuomintang attempted to lure PLAN in combat to avenge the previous loss.
Once again they dispatched two ships: the patrol ship ROCS Shan Hai (often wrongly reported with the previous name Yung Tai) and the minesweeper ROCS Lin Huai (often wrongly reported with the previous name Yong Chang). PLAN was not took by surprise and dispatched four different group of units: patrol boats n°588 (flagship) and n°589, patrol boats n°573 and n°579 (to attack Shan Hai) and patrol boats n°576 and n°577 (to attack Lin Huai) all Type062. Last group included motor torpedo boats n°124, n°126, n°131, n°132, n°145 and n°152 (there were other units on sea, from both side, that did not took part at the battle) all projec183 design. The plan was to make the patrol boats act as diversion to allow the motor torpedo boats’ attack, however the m.t.b (like occurred in the previous battle) at first failed to make a successful maneuver.
Kuomintang exploited this mistake and minesweeper Lin Huai fought against n°573, n°576 and n°579, damaged the patrol boats n°573 and n°579 (light damages) and inflicting casualties. ROCS Lin Huai herself however suffered damage and was then subjected to the launch of multiple torpedoes with n°145 scoring one hit (awarded for the action), finally during the last stage of the action both n°588 and n°589 scored multiple and decisive direct hits with 37mm and with the 75mm recoilless gun (n°588 was awarded). The ship grounded herself on Magong Island (damage suffered was too heavy for repair). ROCS Shan Hai, fled from battle (commander was later reprimanded for cowardice), after having suffered some damage by gunfire, ship was not repaired (despite damage being moderate)
What was meant to be a revenge by Kuomintang turned in another bloody defeat: 82 sailors were killed and 9 took prisoners. PLAN suffered 2 killed and 14 wounded. Once again, Kuomintang tried to partially cover the defeat claiming up to 4 PLAN boats sunk: both the Kuomintang ship’s commanders were pointed as responsible for escaping from battle (even if the fault on the defeat was actually poor intelligence and battle-planning). Like the previous battle, coastal radar allowed the PLAN to detect the enemy in time and organize a battle plan.

ROCS Lin Huai (formerly Yong Chang) was ex-American minesweeper USS Refresh, of Admirable-class

ROCS Shan Hai (formerly Yung Tai) was ex- American USS PCE-867 (similar to Admirable class)

Photo of n°588. Chinese project 062 (early variants).

29 May 1967
PLAN sources report about a skirmish against Kuomintang vessels, with no result.
Last edited by 1redItalian on 19 Mar 2011, 23:51, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 832
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Jan 2008, 19:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 19 Mar 2011, 16:48
19 January 1974
Battle of Xisha Island...

What are your thoughts on China's seizure of those islands from South Vietnam in 1974? The US had already withdrew its' forces in 1973, and the South regime was already near collapse, and the US made no attempt to intervene. So was the PRC really seizing the islands from the South or from the future united Vietnam?
Kamran Heiss
Soviet cogitations: 324
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 19 Mar 2011, 23:51
19 January 1974
Battle of Xisha Islands
During the Vietnam War, People’s Republic of China provided help and support to North Vietnam, despite the neighbor communist nation was closer to Soviet Union.
A single naval battle occurred between the South Vietnamese navy and the Chinese Navy around the contested Xisha (Paracel) Islands in the South China Sea.
Naval presence from both side in this disputed archipelago triggered the main clash.
South Vietnamese enjoyed superiority of size and weapon: 3 frigates (RVNS Ly Thuong Kiet, RVNS Tran Khanh Du and RVNS Tranh Binh Trong) and one corvette (RVNS Nhut Tao).
Chinese engaged in battle only two submarine chasers (n°271 and n°274) of type6604 (clone of Soviet project-122bis) and two minesweepers (n°389 and n°396) of type010.
NOTE: Interestingly, most of western sources wrongly report that submarine chasers were the most powerful Type037, but this is denied by photographic evidence.
The battle was fierce and at close quarter: Chinese ships took advantage because the Vietnamese could aim less correctly their more powerful guns.
All the ships engaged suffered hits. Among the Chinese units, submarine chaser n°274 was heavily damaged (Vietnamese believed her sunk) and withdrawn leaving behind thick smoke, minesweeper n°389 suffered heavy damages too and was grounded to evade loss (ship was recovered). Also submarine chaser n°271 and n°396 suffered light damage. 18 Chinese sailors died.
South Vietnam’s ship suffered worse damages: frigate RVNS Ly Thoung Kiet suffered heavy damage from friendly fire hit from RVNS Tran Binh Trong, the latter, alongside RVNS Tran Khanh Du suffered light damage by Chinese fire. The worst blow suffered by Vietnamese was the loss of the corvette RVNS Nhat Tao: she suffered multiple hits and sunk. Vietnamese claimed that the ship was hit by anti-ship missile, but actually they only witnessed anti-tank rockets fired by the crew of minesweeper n°389. Vietnamese suffered heavy human losses: 53 killed (including the commander of Nhat Tao) and 14 wounded.
Vietnamese retreated, while Chinese sent other two submarine chasers (n°281 and n°282) that could not engage the enemy.
After the naval clash, Chinese landed and took all the South Vietnam’s controlled islands of the Archipelago (during the landing they took 48 prisoners, including one American advisor).
North Vietnam’s reaction was quiet, without openly supporting the Chinese view. Today Vietnam claim the Islands as part of their territory (and such dispute is still unsolved).

RVNS Tran Binh Trong was former USS Castle Rock seaplane-tender of Barnegat-class later converted in coast guard cutter.

RVNS Ly Thuong Kiet was former USS Chincoteague seaplane-tender of Barnegat-class later converted in coast guard cutter.

RVNS Tran Khanh Du was former USS Forster escort destroyer of Edsall-class. By the years of Vietnam War, she was properly converted and rate as frigate

RVNS Nhut Tao (also spelled Nhat Tao) was ex- USS Serene of Admirable-class.
Photo of n°274
Photo of n°274 after the battle.
Chinese submarine chasers were type6604, a copy of old Soviet project122bis
Photo of n°389 grounded Chinese minesweepers were type010: a copy of Soviet project 254M. Western translation wrongly report n°396 as grounded.

8 January 1979
Reports concerning the seizure of three Vietnamese patrol boats (24 alleged POW) captured by a Chinese landing ship supported by an armed barge (on unclear date) are currently unconfirmed.
This event can be related with the contact between Vietnamese patrol boats and a Chinese motor barge (40 tons) entering Vietnamese waters and soon joined by two Chinese warship: this event however, reported by Soviet sources on 8 January, led to no seizures or losses.

End of February 1979
Vietnamese patrol boat n°17 (or T-17? Unclear class) shelled, damaged and seized a Chinese fishing junk (4 POWs).

14 March 1988
Battle of Nansha Islands
Spratley Archipelago include islands contested by different nations, including China and Vietnam (the dispute is still unsolved).
Growing tensions in 1988 culminated in Vietnamese operations that involved the landing ship HQ-505 and the armed transport HQ-604 and HQ-605.
Chinese units were more powerful: frigates Nanchong (065 class), Xiangtan (053H1 class) and Yingtan (053K class).
The conflict included hand-to-hand clashes between marines over contested flags on the reefs, resulting in the naval fight with overwhelming Chinese superiority.
Frigate Nanchong shelled and sunk HQ-604, a couple of hours later Xiangtan sunk the HQ-605.
Finally frigate Yingtan focused her fire on the transport ship HQ-505, that retreated after suffering damages even if Vietnamese sources state the ship was intentionally grounded to prevent a Chinese landing. After the battle, Vietnamese tried to recover HQ-505 but she sunk before reaching the port.
Details of the battle are disputed todays. Vietnamese claims that many of their victims (64 killed) occurred when Chinese warships strafed the marines on the reef. Chinese reported just one wounded. As consequence of this engagement, China took control of the reef.

Photo of Chinese frigate Yingtan (leadship of the 053 family series), now preserved as museum
Nanchang was part of the Chinese 065 class, an adaptation of the Soviet project 50.
HQ-505 was former American LST-509.


9 April 2017
Chinese frigate Yulin intercepted the Tuvalese-flagged bulk-carrier OS-35 (35362 GRT) previously seized by Somal pirates: a squad of 16 soldiers boarded the ship to liberate the crewmembers. 3 pirated captured, 2 escaped.
Photo of frigate "Yulin", part of Type054A class frigates.

15 April 2017
Chinese frigate Hengyang intercepted the Panamas tanker Alheera (6519 GRT) previously seized by Somaly pirates: the ship was boarded and liberated, 2 pirates killed, 1 wounded and 6 escaped.
Photo of frigate "Hengyang ", part of Type054A class frigates.
Soviet cogitations: 25
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Apr 2014, 19:04
Post 14 Apr 2014, 18:34
Comrades! I would like to ask for your assistance. Namely I am urgently looking for the details of the sinking of the Nationalist destroyer Taiping as well as other Nationalist naval craft by Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) motor torpedo boats. I have heard among other things that when the Taiping was sunk her commanding officer or some other high ranking Nationalist naval officer was taken prisoner. Certainly this sinking had some coverage in contemporary source. It is also hard to imagine that those who achieved such a feat remained anonymous.
As far as other PLAN torpedo boat actions are concerned I would kindly request details of the sinking of the submarine chasers Tung Ting and Ying Chiang as well as the supply ship Taisheng .
The info provided thus far in the first post is very interesting and detailed yet I still would like to ask for more details concerning the said victories of PLAN motor torpedo boats. Thank you in advance.
Soviet cogitations: 324
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 15 Apr 2014, 14:18
First of all this page will have a little overhaul as other pages (but mainly grammar)

Tung Ting was former PGM-13 (former PC-1089): an american submarine chaser
Ying Chiang was probably of same class, harder to identify her because chinese names can have different transliterations

I've nothing else about Taiping for now sadly, apart she was the former American escort destroyer DE47 Decker.

At the time, it was said there were 40 MIA, later lowered to 23 KIA:

Certainly this sinking had some coverage in contemporary source. It is also hard to imagine that those who achieved such a feat remained anonymous.

I guess it's not that hard to imagine, think about it:
1) Western sources of the time weren't much eager (and neither are now) to tell about a naval warfere campaign with a number of "reds" successes, especially if the whole conflict ended with the exile of Nationalists in Taiwan and the Communist rule on the continent.

2) It's easy to say that (as in Soviet Union), in China there were troubled times later and not much time&efforts about investigating specific naval battle (apart giving generic praises). If such works are currently done, they lay deep into chinese forums and sites (hard to explore for users not able to read chinese).

Just think that most of the Soviet Union naval war history surfaced mostly after 1989.
Soviet cogitations: 25
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Apr 2014, 19:04
Post 15 Apr 2014, 18:29
Thank you for your effort & info.
Soviet cogitations: 324
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 16 Apr 2014, 17:25
No problem, and contributions are ever welcome, i've made some widespread corrections now and some few adds.
Soviet cogitations: 324
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 17 Apr 2014, 13:45
Jianmen also transliterated "Chien Men" (victim of MTBs in 1965) , it's former USS Toucan
She was a former Auk class minesweeper.
Soviet cogitations: 324
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 19 Jun 2016, 16:45
BIG UPDATE: Many events fixed and corrected (some in english-translated sources are full of mistakes!). Added multiple photos.
If you notice grammar mistakes or photos giving broken link, please report it.
Soviet cogitations: 324
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 24 Jun 2016, 13:38
NOTE: picture problem fixed.
Soviet cogitations: 324
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 10 Apr 2017, 09:52
UPDATE: added events in 1949 concerning the Yangze Incident (entry for 20-21 April 1949 and then 30 July 1949).
Soviet cogitations: 324
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 08 Dec 2017, 12:38
UPDATE: added 2 victories scored by the Chinese Navy in 2017 during Anti-piracy operations in Somalia.
Soviet cogitations: 324
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 08 Dec 2018, 20:33
1) Extended and reworked intro
2) Properly fixed the naming convention: use of the term "PLAN" rather than "communist" (note: it is NOT a proper naval previx as used in western ("HMS" or "USS"!). The obsolete term "Nationalist" replaced with the proper term "Kuomintang" (its ships however had a US-inspired style proper naval prefix "ROCS").
3) Loss of PLAN gunboat An tung on 24/Sept/49 (not reported by sources like Navypedia, but confirmed by Chinese).
4) Two extra victories on 17/Jun/50: barges seized
5) Extra victory on 10/Jul/50: sinking
6) Battle of Pishan Island, another victory
7) Battle of Taimen, another victory
8 ) Inserted information about Kuomintang-led sea piracy in early '50s
9) Inserted mysterious incident with Hong Kong patrol boat (9/Sept/53)
10) Inserted the two known anti-aircraft successes scored by PLAN ships (January-February 1955)
11) Loss of ROCS Tou Jiang (Second Battle of Jinmen Island) was effectively a full victory (vessel not repaired)
12) Inserted poorly detailed destruction of enemy landing ships on 11 July 1964
Soviet cogitations: 324
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 31 Jan 2019, 13:42
When you think to have finally settled on a semi-conclusive place, and you keep finding gold-mines in the Chinese sites xD

IMPORTANT EXTRA EVENTS especially for 1954 and 1958-1960!

1) 1947/1948 inserted activity (1 victory, and eventual loss) of first proper chinese communist ship.
2) 10/Jul/50 fixed the description of clash. It was one PLAN gunboat sunk in action, not a victory. Confusion on chinese sources over identity.
3) 15/Dec/50 skirmish, followed by destruction of small Kuomintang convoy of escaping boats
4) 29/May/53, two previously reported seizures now assigned to patrol boats
5) 24/Jun/53 inserted interesting skirmish with medium-size units (corvette and frigate)
6) 18/March/54 fight between medium-sized unit result in a gunnery hit on Kuomintang destroyer!
7) 15/May/54 another direct gunnery hit on enemy destroyer
16/May/54 third and final direct gunnery hit on enemy destroyer
9) 17/May/54 final operations of Dongji Islands campaign, with 1 junk sunk and 2 seized.
10)19/Sept/54 loss of one PLAN patrol boat by enemy aircraft
11)18/Feb/55 details over the skirmish
12)19/Dec/55 loss of one PLAN patrol boat by enemy aircraft
13)19/Sept/58 skirmish with one PLAN unit damaged
14)29/Sept/58 anti-air victory on C-46 transport plane
15) 2/Feb/59 sinking of Kuomintang aux. gunboat
16) 1/March/60 sinking of Kuomintang aux. gunboat
17) 21/Oct/62 sinking of Kuomintang infiltration boat
18) 25/Nov/62 sinking of Kuomintang infiltration ship
19) 5/Dec/62 sinking of Kuomintang infiltration ship
20) 18/Nov/63 seizure of Kuomintang spy-ship
21) 1/May/64 sinking of two Kuomintang assault boats and capture of third one.
22) 8/July/64 sinking of two Kuomintang infiltration ships. Victory scored by light frigate!!
23) 12/Jul/64 sinking of two Kuomintang infiltration ships
24) Important change for the Battle of Dongshan (6/Aug/65). All PLAN patrol boats were Type062, including the n°611 (preserved as memorial)

Personal/fun note:

I almost hope to stop discovering of new PLAN wreacking havoc on the Kuo because i would really love to re-work some Soviet WW2 pages!!
Alternative Display:
Mobile view
More Forums: The History Forum. The UK Politics Forum.
© 2000- Privacy.