The Boxer Rebellion: Bluejackets and Marines in China, 1900–1901
Emily Abdow, 2023
Available for free in the following format: 508-compliant PDF (6.4 MB)
In the summer of 1900, foreign diplomats living in Beijing’s Legation Quarter were besieged by Chinese imperial soldiers and “Boxers,” members of a secret society determined to rid China of foreign influence. Defending the Legation Quarter was a small international guard that included 56 American sailors and marines. To survive, the Americans communicated with their foreign allies via hand signals, improvised as food supplies and artillery dwindled, and fought fiercely despite nearly impossible odds. But they could not hold out forever. Relief of the Legation Quarter required additional U.S. sailors, marines, and soldiers to join an international coalition and face the significantly larger force of imperial soldiers and Boxers. The conflict was the U.S. military’s first taste of coalition warfare on a global stage and its first time meeting China on the battlefield. This monograph tracks the critical role of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in the defense of the Legation Quarter and in the campaign that led to its relief.