Military Wiki
수원 화성 홍이포.jpg
Hongyipao displayed at Hwaseong Fortress
Type Smoothbore muzzle-loading cannon
Place of origin  Portugal
Service history
In service Early 17th – late 19th centuries
Used by  Ming dynasty
 Joseon dynasty
 Qing dynasty
Wars Manchu conquest of China
French campaign against Korea (1866)
United States expedition to Korea
Ganghwa Island incident
Production history
Produced 17th to 19th centuries
Weight 1800 kg
Length 2.15 m

Caliber 12 cm
Barrels 1
Effective range 700 m
Maximum range 2-5 km

The hongyipao (Chinese: 紅夷炮; pinyin: hóngyípào; literally: "red barbarian cannon"; Hangul: 홍이포; RR: hong-ipo) was a smoothbore muzzle-loading cannon introduced to China and Korea from the Portuguese colony of Macau in the early 17th century. The term "red barbarian cannon" derives from the weapons' supposed Dutch origins, as the Dutch were called "red haired barbarians" in China. However, the cannons were originally produced by the Portuguese at Macau, with the exception of two cannons dredged up from a Dutch ship in 1621. After the Ming dynasty suffered a series of defeats against the Manchus, they contacted the Portuguese to have iron cannons made for them. Attempts were made to bring Portuguese gunners to the north as well, but they were repeatedly turned away because Chinese officials harbored suspicions against them.[1]

Several of the officials who supported the use of the new technology were Christians, among them Xu Guangqi (a convert of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci), and Sun Yuanhua, the governor of Shandong. The Chongzhen Emperor asked a German Jesuit, Father Johann Adam Schall von Bell, to establish a foundry in Beijing to cast the new cannons. The first pieces produced there could throw a forty pound shot. In 1623 some hongyipao were deployed to China's northern frontier at Sun Yuanhua's request under generals such as Sun Chengzong and Yuan Chonghuan.[2] They were used to repel Nurhaci at the Battle of Ningyuan in 1626.[3] After the Manchus captured a Ming artillery unit at Yongping in 1629, they too began production of the hongyipao. The Manchus, under Nurhaci's son Hong Taiji, used these cannons along with the "generalissimo" cannons (also of European design) to great effect at the Battle of Dalinghe in 1631.[4]

See also


  1. Chase 2003, p. 168.
  2. Wakeman Jr. 1985, pp. 76-77.
  3. Chase 2003, p. 169.
  4. Wakeman Jr. 1985, pp. 170-194.


External links

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