Minquan file photo [30870]


BuilderJiangnan Arsenal
Laid Down16 Jan 1929
Launched21 Sep 1929
Commissioned1 Apr 1930
Displacement540 tons full
Length170 feet
Beam30 feet
Draft8 feet
MachineryTwo boilers, two steam turbines
Power Output2,400 shaft horsepower
Speed17 knots
Armament1x120mm forward gun, 1x105mm aft gun, 1x57mm anti-aircraft gun, 1x20mm machine gun


ww2dbaseGunboat Minquan was designed to counter the Japanese Seta-class gunboat as its hypothetical opponent. Although her primary function was a river vessel, she was designed so that she could operate in shallow coastal waters. The designers also gave her a command room meant for Army-Navy coordination, thus making her a joint command ship should such a need ever arise. She was commissioned into service in Apr 1930. When WW2 began in 1937, she came under Japanese aerial attack several times, but to the credit of commanding officer Liu Huanqian she was able to skillfully evade all bombs targeting her. After the fall of the Chinese capital of Nanjing, Minquan was moved upstream toward Chongqing. At Dongting Lake, she claimed one Japanese aircraft shot down. After arriving at Chongqing, she initially served as an anti-aircraft vessel, and later her weapons were removed and transferred to the Army while she served as a training vessel for the nearly non-existent Chinese Navy, it having been decimated in the very first phase of the war. At the war's end, Minquan represented the second largest vessel of the Navy. After the war, she was the flagship of the Yangtze River Defensive Fleet headquartered in Hankou, Hubei Province, China. During the resumed Chinese Civil War, she successively fled west as the communists advanced, finally becoming captured by communist forces in Chongqing in Dec 1949.

ww2dbaseUnder communist control, Minquan was renamed Changjiang (ie. "Yangtze") and was assigned to the 7th Fleet of the Eastern Military Region. Shortly after, she was reassigned to the Wusong Independent Marine Police District. In Oct 1961, she received the hull number 227. Between Apr and Sep 1966, she was modernized. All existing weapons were removed, replaced by two dual 37-millimeter guns and four dual 25-millimeter guns. At the same time, her powerplant was also upgraded to diesel engines. In Feb 1968, she received the new hull number of 53-219. Later in the same year, she was decommissioned from service. The communist government established a museum dedicated to Changjiang at the naval base in Shanghai, and in 1978 the gunboat was placed there, becoming Communist China's first naval museum ship. In Jul 1981, Changjiang was scrapped at the museum site.

Last Major Revision: Mar 2021

Minquan Interactive Map

Minquan Operational Timeline

16 Jan 1929 The keel of Minquan was laid down at the Jiangnan Arsenal in Shanghai, China.
21 Sep 1929 Minquan was launched at the Jiangnan Arsenal in Shanghai, China.
25 Jan 1930 Minquan began trials off of Shanghai, China.
1 Apr 1930 Minquan was commissioned into service.
1 Dec 1949 Minquan and four other vessels were captured by communist forces at Chongqing, China.
19 Feb 1953 Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong inspected Changjiang and gave an anti-imperialism speech.
24 Feb 1953 Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, Eastern Military Region commanding officer Chen Yi, and Chief of Staff Zhang Aiping inspected Changjiang.
14 Feb 1968 Changjiang received a new hull number of 53-219.
1 Aug 1978 Changjiang became a museum ship.


Drawing of Chinese Navy river gunboat Minquan, date unknownMinquan, date unknownMinquan, date unknownMinquan, date unknown
See all 6 photographs of Minquan

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Drawing of Chinese Navy river gunboat Minquan, date unknown
See all 6 photographs of Minquan

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