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The Forgotten Story of How British Redcoats Took on Japanese Samurai

Mar 18, 2024
The hi

story

of the British Empire saw its famous red-clad soldiers become famous throughout the world. Let's face it, they fought everyone from those damn American Splitters settlers to the Zulus to the Russian cacs. Few types of historical soldiers have left us such a strong cultural legacy. something as visual as the red coat, but there's one that gives old Tommy Atkins some room for his money. Yes, this guy, the Japanese

samurai

, you might be surprised to know that these two iconic warriors actually fought against each other in the heyday of the Victorian era. tuned in to find out how they came to fight with bayet against Katana and who emerged victorious.
the forgotten story of how british redcoats took on japanese samurai
It's a fascinating

story

and one that also includes the first American to receive the Victoria Cross before we get caught up, although I want to quickly say a special thanks to historian and friend of the show Josh Pro who researched and co-wrote this episode. You can find a link to his YouTube channel below and also to his book about this conflict. Japan had always been an enigma to the Western powers, it was a place of mystery that had been closed to the rest of the world for hundreds of years it opened it opened in the mid-19th century Japan was being pressured to open its ports to trade between 1853 and 1854 the strength of European warships and the example that had been set for China in the Opium Wars was sufficient to finally obtain concessions from the Japanese government and in 1858 Lord Elgen of Great Britain was finally able to negotiate the first Anglo trade treaty. -Japanese, which ultimately helped pave the way. for foreign merchants to do business with Japan Britain's first general council in Japan was a man called Sir Ruford.
the forgotten story of how british redcoats took on japanese samurai

More Interesting Facts About,

the forgotten story of how british redcoats took on japanese samurai...

Alock was seduced by the temporal capsu that was the end of the Edo period and it is a complicated period, so let me try to explain briefly. Foreign influence Since the early 17th century, Japan had been ruled by a dynasty of men who held the title of Shogun, which was like the emperor's very general. The Shogun had come from the house of Tokugawa and ruled from a city called Ido, which is the current city. Tokyo since the 17th century, for the intervening three centuries, the great piece, as it was known, had seen a distinct Japanese culture flourish, including, of course, those distinctive

samurai

warriors, these heavily armed men were imposing warriors who, between At first, samurai were a curiosity to Europeans and Americans, but after only five years of foreign intervention things began to change.
the forgotten story of how british redcoats took on japanese samurai
Japan soon began to suffer its own political turmoil. Foreigners were now seen as part of the problem and there was growing animosity towards them throughout the country. 186 A succession of samurai attacks were recorded against the legation staff of various nations, culminating in the assault on the British alliance at the Toeni temple in July 1861. The attack was unsuccessful due to the bravery of the guards, including locally recruited Japanese warriors who were themselves samurai although, although several personnel were injured just over a year later, there was another assassination attempt targeting acting console lieutenant Colonel St John Neil, two centuries of the Royal Marine Light Infantry were killed by a renegade samurai named Itai Gumpe who was mortally wounded by a pistol shot fired by a marine corporal named Crimp, then committed suicide.
the forgotten story of how british redcoats took on japanese samurai
This was the first recorded time that British soldiers faced a Japanese opponent in combat. Lessons were learned from this and from then on British personnel always carried pistols wherever they went. In September of the same year, several travelers were attacked on the highway near Yokohama, one of them named Charles Lennox Richardson foolishly approached the sedan chair or Nory man of a local bigwig who were known as daos due to the rules in Japan in the At the moment when the guards were almost forced to respond violently, Richardson was killed and his two male companions were seriously injured.
The only woman present. Mrs. Borale, frightened to death, managed to escape on her runaway horse. War was narrowly avoided when the shogun's government agreed. to pay compensation and the blame fell on Dao himself, who came from a region known as Satsuma. To be fair, Britain did not want a war with Japan, they did not want a repeat of the Opium Wars, which had been costly only to the merchants. They were eager for a war with the Japanese. War is very good for business. It was estimated that a war in Japan would require at least 12,000 infantry and more than £100,000 a month in expenses, which was a lot of money in those late days.
For security reasons, a considerable British force was now deployed in Japan, consisting of companies of the 20th and 99th Infantry Regiments, the Royal Marine Light Infantry, the Royal Artillery, and the Beluchi Regiment of the indian army. By the way guys, I just want to interrupt for 2 minutes to ask you to share this video with anyone you think might be interested and also to subscribe to my mailing list at the Redcoat History.com newsletter. When you do you will receive a free ebook about the Battle of Isand Lana and you will receive a monthly email from me with interesting links and stories about military history, alright guys let's get back to the story now that things have started to come to a head , those previous attacks I talked about, the British demanded that the Dao be punished, regardless of the ongoing political situation.
The turmoil meant that the Japanese government was not really in a position to punish him, leading to the bombing of Kashima, Satsuma's capital, in 1863. Admiral Augustus Leopold Cooper, an experienced officer who had served in both the Opium Wars and In the Typing Rebellion, a squadron of Britain's Chinese Fleet entered the bay and attempted to blockade the fort, Satsuma Shaw batteries manned by Samurai Gunners opened fire. A curious fact is that that day one of the Samurai Gunners was the future Admiral Togo, who became commander in chief. of the Japanese Navy during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5, Japanese gunners managed to seriously damage the British flagship HMS Eur Alis.
I think that's how they say it and they kill their two most senior officers while they were talking to Cooper, but the British broadsides did it. They eventually silenced those shore batteries and burned most of the city, but no landing party was sent ashore, the Japanese guns were not attacked, and Admiral Cooper departed, leaving things largely unfinished. An interesting side note is that one account from the time says that the Yalis band during the bombardment was playing oh dear, what could be the problem, oh dear, so things were far from over between the British and the Japanese, those

redcoats

and those samurai were still going to have the opportunity to face bayet against gatana in September.
In 1864 an international fstill met in Yokohama and sailed towards the Shimonoseki Strait, which had been closed to foreign shipping by the Dao of Chos. 14 warships from Great Britain, France, Holland and the United States were to set sail for the domain of Chos and demand its opening. Negotiations to cross the Strait or destroy its forts and cannons failed and both sides prepared for a fight. Admiral Cooper was once a small backup charge and as ships approached he bombarded the Japanese shore batteries, then the Naval Brigade and Royal Marine Battalion with French and Dutch sailors. and the marines, 1,300 men in total, were landed ashore with the objective of destroying all Japanese fortifications.
The British interpreter Ernest sat, remembered the mission and watched the Blue Jackets compete with each other to seize the batteries, he said as if he were having a picnic all the men for himself while the rest marched along the line of batteries dismounted the cannons burned the wagons and blew up the loaders good boys there was no significant opposition until the British began to reach the beach and suddenly they found themselves under intense musket and artillery fire according to Colonel Sutter or possibly Suther from the enemy groups of the Royal Marines had shown themselves among the trees on either side of the valley making open fire with field and mountain pieces and musketry which they withdrew out of sight into the valley each time my men advanced.
Determined to hold the forts on both sides of the valley and occupy the men in dismantling the cannons, destroying the wagons and blowing up the magazines, Sutter and Alexander were assisted by the Navy, while Satow remembers that the Dutch ship Medusa approached and dropped some projectiles. between them, as HMS Persus Amsterdam and HMS Arus fired over the hill from their station before Tanara, this calmed the zeal of our warring enemies for a time, the Japanese defenders were now driven into a shadow at the end of a wooded valley . Captain Alexander and Colonel Sut met to discuss strategy.
Where are these men who are bothering us? I have enough men to take any battery. He asked the marine. Alexander outlined what he knew and shouted. Alright. I'll take the left side of the valley and you take the right. The Marines in their red jackets and the Navy in their blue ones competed against each other for the glory of being first against the Japanese. No way, it's fine. I just like to look good for you. You look well. Thank you. Satow remembered. The sailors keep running and now they stop. aim at an enemy from behind one of the pine trees that lined the edge of the road and then continue without order or discipline some of them wasted their ammunition on imaginary enemies on the slopes captain Alexander of the yalis fell and broke his ankle he was taken to the rear guard by a man named Seaman Cely, who was already wounded meanwhile the colored group was almost destroyed in the course of the fighting.
It was a tough old fight, but the two NCOs guarding the flag

took

it. by Midshipman Duncan Gordon the boys were hit others were even hit with arrows that the Japanese were shooting despite this intense fire the marines and naval personnel managed to overrun the Japanese positions the Japanese defenders fled satow wrote that when they were a few hundred away meters away with a Loud cheer from the entire leading company they rushed towards the next company as it continued to advance, returning enemy fire that continued from the part of the moat and the top of an 8-foot wall on the front side of the Palisade.
Our men were never controlled and the Russians. They rushed over the wall and won The Stockade for their courage. Under Fire Boy, afteru captain Thomas Price and Henry Cely, who you will remember helped evacuate the wounded captain from the ship, were awarded the Victoria Cross. Interesting fact. Henry Cely was, in fact, a Yankee. of our Over the Pond cousins ​​and he was the first American in history to receive the Victoria Cross. Can you see that his superior officers mentioned Cely as wounded while he scouted the position before the attack and then kept his place in the ranks during it?
According to his own account, he even rescued one of his officers as discussed and evacuated him to the rear. He said in his own words. I just picked him up like I had a lot of bags of tatters in the Hawk County Saga and pretty soon he was out of Harm's Way, the captain and I, he was a good guy as a captain and I never thought about getting him away from the rebel bullets of course , I was not far behind, except in terms of being at the head of the company. After the captain was injured, there were others who knew more and I about being the boss.
I love that story, brilliant. I wish I could have done it with an American accent, but as regulars of this show will know that accents are not my strong point, Admiral Cooper was satisfied. that they had done the job well this time and that there would be no signs of failure like in Kagoshima. The straits were reopened to foreign shipping and, as with Satsuma, the Chu now also became clients of the Europeans after the British had lost eight. men killed and 48 wounded, while Japanese losses were never really known despite Cooper's satisfaction. Parament in London was unhappy that the British consuls were ordering unauthorized bombings of foreign cities and would soon order Sir Rood to return to Britain, but there was now a growing rivalry between the Shogun on the one hand and the Emperor's loyalists on the other. that they would rule Japan due to the growing rivalry between the shogun's faction and that of the emperor in the development of the power struggle over who would rule Japan and the obvious superiority in European weaponry of the Japanese.
The focus on expelling foreigners began to diminish, there were still angry individuals who

took

up the fight on their own,desperate to get rid of these damned foreigners, an example was shimu SEI, a ronin or masterless samurai, masterless samurai who sought to test his convictions. and worth killing stray Europeans in November 1864 and another man attacked and killed two officers of the British 20th Regiment near Kamakura. No one knows for sure exactly what happened since only the bodies were discovered, but a Times report describes devastating injuries. a quote the neck of the former Baldwin half cut and his cheek cut the arm and cervical vertebrae of the last cut in two or three different places and his body disfigured all over with cuts The murder was evidently the work of some of the armed Bravos whom the daos keep in their service for the purposes of violence and murder, obviously referring to the samurai this time, although the Japanese government decided to make an example of the SII, they captured him and executed him.
Any further potential for war with Japan was reduced when the so-called Bosin or Bin War broke out between supporters of the Shogun and the Emperor. This critical struggle restored imperial rule. This war largely bypassed foreigners although there was a skirmish in the city. of guinea pig in which the Company of the 9th Foot and a force The US Marines expelled from Bizen some Japanese regular troops who had opened fire on the European diplomats. The Japanese were chased by the Redcoats and US Marines, plus some armed civilians, to a stream where SATA recorded that at the first volley on our side the enemy turned. to a field next to the road and they shot at us from under a bench, when we returned fire they all fled, we chased them from time to time shooting at one or another who had failed to infiltrate, but finally they headed for the hills and disappeared completely surprisingly, no casualties were mentioned except a few wounded civilians and a cabin boy, in March 1868 there was a very dramatic incident which finally demonstrated the superiority of British pistols over samurai swords when a British delegation returned to Ido to meet with the emperor.
They were attacked by Consul Harry Parks and a detachment. of the 9th Infantry Regiment turned a corner as two swordsmen attempted to run to either side of the column, slashing rapidly and ridiculously as they went, one of the attackers was stopped by a Japanese officer who slashed the attacker and decapitated him, however , good job. The other samurai managed to wound Parks' horse, wounded several of the mounted escorts, and threw himself against the cloth of the red coats in the hope of impaling them. He continued running and swinging his katana hoping to kill as many

redcoats

as possible.
Ernest Satau was a witness. In almost everything it seems written that he threw himself at them, cutting a man in the head and inflicting a serious wound on him, but here his career came to an end because one of the soldiers stuck out his foot and made him stumble and the others stabbed him. baize. against him, but even this did not stop him, they were tough, the wounded samurai pounced on him, crouched like a tiger and swung his sword with incredible speed, but he had not counted on the exceptional skills of one of the British there, Alanon Mitford, was a member of the Liation staff and lived to tell the tale, said that I knew enough about Japanese swordsmanship to be aware that it was useless to try to avoid his blow, so I ran under his guard and I ripped the bleeding sword from his grasp.
I handed him over to the men of the ninth but he managed to slip away from them and bolt down a hallway toward a patio. The wounded samurai was then cornered by another officer who was shot with a pistol and taken prisoner. The incident was good for Parks because it allowed him to negotiate from a position of strength with the new regime. The reforms introduced by the Wizard Emperor swept away the traditions of the ancient samurai warrior class before more violence could break out between the samurai and the red coat. It had been an exciting and exotic time for the British Redcoats deployed to Japan, although the fighting never developed into a full scale war, we saw the two classes of warriors face each other and much mutual respect developed, in fact, The Japanese and the British were allies until World War II.
We'll be back next week with another incredible story from British military history, so please comment, subscribe and share this film and podcast with anyone you think might be interested.

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