Chinese cruiser Jiyuan

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Career (China) Beiyang Navy Ensign
Name: Jiyuan
Builder: Stettiner AG Vulcan, Stettin, Germany
Laid down: 31 January 1880
Launched: 2 November 1883
Completed: 1885
Commissioned: 11 June 1885
Fate: Prize of war to Japan, 16 March 1895
Career (Japan) Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Saien
Acquired: 16 March 1895
Fate: Mined off Port Arthur, 30 November 1904
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,440 long tons (2,479 t)
Length: 75 m (246 ft 1 in) w/l
Beam: 10.5 m (34 ft 5 in)
Draught: 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)
Propulsion: 2-shaft reciprocating triple expansion steam engine, 2,800 shp
2 boilers
230 tons coal
Speed: 15 knots (17 mph; 28 km/h)
Complement: 180
Armament: • 2 × 210 mm (8 in) guns
• 1 × 150 mm (6 in) gun
• 4 × 75 mm (3 in) guns
• 6 × 47 mm (2 in) guns
• 4 × 380 mm (15 in) torpedo tubes
Armour: Deck: 75 mm (3 in)
Turret: 50 mm (2 in)

The Jiyuan (Chinese:), sometimes translated as Chiyuan, was a cruiser in the Chinese Beiyang fleet of the Qing government. It was originally ordered as the third vessel in the Dingyuan class of battleships, but as the necessary funds could not be raised and the order was changed to a smaller armoured deck cruiser. The shipbuilder was AG Vulcan Stettin, in Stettin, Germany. Obsolete transliterations of its Chinese name in some western sources include Tche-Yuen, and Tsi-yuan.


The Jiyuan is said to be the first armoured deck cruiser built by Germany. From its completion, there were many critics about its performance. Some sources claim that it was modeled after the British HMS Hotspur, but this claim has never been verified.

Sir Robert Hart promoter on behalf of the British shipbuilding industry strongly lobbied the Qing court higher officials, and the Chinese purchaser Li Fengbao (李鳳苞) (Chinese Ambassador to Germany) had to resign before the ship was finally completely.


Originally scheduled to be delivered 1884, due to the Sino-French War completion was postponed to 1885. The Jiyuan took part in the Battle of Pungdo and Battle of the Yalu River (1894) in First Sino-Japanese War. Without achieving any military success, it ran down another Chinese cruiser Yangwei during the battle. Later, it was captured by the Imperial Japanese Army after the Battle of Weihaiwei as a prize of war. The Imperial Japanese Navy later commissioned it into Japanese service (keeping the same Chinese character name, 济远) as the Saien

See also

External links

ru:Цзиюань (крейсер) zh:济远舰