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The Age of Sa Zhenbing Collection

The Age of Sa Zhenbing Collection

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"In the era of steam and armor, the Chinese Navy experienced several ups and downs, but each period of loss was followed by a new upsurge. This collection provides insights into this period of the country's naval history from different perspectives, touching upon important milestones in the biography of a famous admiral of the time, Sa Zhenbing."

The overall collection comprises five sub-collections. Each sub-collection grants 24-hours Premium Account. The reward for obtaining all 20 items is the Unique Commander Sa Zhenbing. Items may be bought for 4 duplicates.

Sub Collections

Admiral's Path

  Admiral's Path  

Future naval commander and statesman Sa Zhenbing was born in 1859 in the seaside city of Fuzhou in Fujian Province, which has long been renowned for its mountains and dense forests. The life of the famous admiral always remained closely connected with his home city. To begin with, his journey as a sailor started there. Then decades later, in the 1920s, after completing his active service in the navy, Sa Zhenbing became governor of Fujian Province for several years, where he is fondly remembered. Finally, his life's journey ended in Fuzhou, where he died at the age of 93.

Fuzhou Naval Arsenal

In the middle of the 19th century, the city of Fuzhou became one of the Chinese Empire's centers of creation for a modern steam fleet. With the participation of French engineers and naval officers, a shipyard with many workshops and a factory for the production of metal structures were built there in the 1860s. A naval academy was also founded to train officers of the future navy, and young Sa Zhenbing was among the first of its students. In 1875, two years after graduating from the academy, he made a training voyage on the newest steam corvette Yangwu, built shortly before that at the Fuzhou shipyard.

Royal Naval College, Greenwich

In 1877, several of the most promising graduates of the Fuzhou Academy, including Sa Zhenbing, were sent to study in the nation of the self-proclaimed \"rulers of the waves\"—Great Britain. In addition to their courses at the famous Royal Naval College in Greenwich, young Chinese officers also served on ships of the British Navy. Sa Zhenbing familiarized himself with the latest achievements in shipbuilding on HMS Monarch, the first British seagoing ironclad warship to carry her guns in turrets.


When the First Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1894, Sa Zhenbing was the youngest ship commander of the Beiyang Fleet, the main naval force of the Imperial Government. In 1905, Admiral Sa Zhenbing was the man who finally succeeded in uniting the disparate provincial flotillas into a single Chinese fleet. In 1911, he assumed the post of Navy Minister of the Imperial Government in Beijing, and after the revolution of 1911–1912, he held this post twice more, already as part of the Republic's government. In 1920, he also headed the Beijing cabinet of ministers for some time.


Completing this sub-collection provides the following reward:
icon_reward_wows_premium.png +24 hours Warships Premium time.

Shining Stars

  Shining Stars  
Order of the Precious Brilliant Golden Grain

The Order of the Precious Brilliant Golden Grain was established in the early years of the Republic and was awarded to both military and civil servants for outstanding merit. The central part of the badge was a star with rays of republican colors decorated with pearls and the image of grain ears on white enamel.

Order of Wen-Hu

The Order of Wen-Hu was established in 1912 and was awarded to military personnel of the army and navy for special merits. Admiral Sa Zhenbing was among the first to be awarded this highest-class order. The order's badge was a star with rays of the republican colors, decorated with an enamel medallion depicting a striped tiger from which the reward got its name.

Order of the Double Dragon

The Order of the Double Dragon was established in 1882 and became the first Western-style award in Imperial China. The main purpose of the order was to expand the capabilities of Chinese diplomacy in the international arena. For a long time, the order was awarded exclusively to foreigners—it was not until 1908 that subjects of the emperor could also receive this award. The order had five classes, some of which had additional gradations. In 1897, a large breast star reminiscent of the traditional European orders of the time appeared among the badges of the order.

Order of Saint Michael and Saint George

In October 1909, Admiral Sa Zhenbing departed for Europe to study shipbuilding trends and place orders for the Chinese Navy. His mission saw him visit Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and the Russian Empire, carefully inspecting the latest shipyards and ships. The following year, the admiral visited the United States and Japan for the same purpose. His trip resulted in the placement of an order for three training cruisers from the U.K. and the U.S., as well as several destroyers from Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. During his visit to Great Britain, Admiral Sa Zhenbing was awarded the title of Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.


Completing this sub-collection provides the following reward:
icon_reward_wows_premium.png +24 hours Warships Premium time.

Armor Age

  Armor Age  
1913 Destroyer Project

The need to replenish the fleet with the latest ships was one of the many problems the young Republic of China faced at the dawn of its existence. As early as 1913, contracts were signed with German and Austro-Hungarian shipyards for the construction of several fast cruisers and destroyers. The latter ones, ordered from AG Vulcan Stettin in Germany, were supposed to be ships with a displacement of about 1,000 tons and capable of speeds up to 32 knots. However, the outbreak of World War I prevented these orders from being fulfilled. In 1914, six V-25 class destroyers, almost identical in characteristics to the Chinese project, joined the Imperial German Navy.

Project T.306

In 1929, the British company Thornycroft & Co., which had vast experience building destroyers for the navies of many countries, developed a series of "flotilla leader" projects and offered them to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, and the Republic of China. Project T.306, which was offered to China, was a powerful and fast ship that was similar in layout and architecture to British destroyer leaders. She was armed with five 120 mm guns and two triple-tube torpedo launchers and could speed up to 37 knots.

Ning Hai

Small cruisers Ning Hai and Ping Hai were laid down in 1931 with the participation of Japanese specialists—the first in Japan, the second in Shanghai. These small and relatively slow ships, which in many ways were similar to the Japanese Katori-class training cruisers, were nevertheless well armed: Six 140 mm guns in three turrets were supplemented by several anti-aircraft guns and two twin-tube 533 mm torpedo launchers. Ning Hai also carried a reconnaissance seaplane. Both cruisers were lost in 1937 during the defense of Nanjing, but they were later raised from the bottom, rebuilt, and commissioned into the Imperial Japanese Navy.


In early 1948, a veteran of the Mediterranean War joined the Republic of China Navy—British light cruiser Aurora, renamed Chungking. Commissioned in 1937, the cruiser underwent several upgrades in wartime. She was armed with several artillery systems of great interest to the Chinese fleet, which was making efforts to be reborn from the ashes once again.


Completing this sub-collection provides the following reward:
icon_reward_wows_premium.png +24 hours Warships Premium time.

Twentieth Century

  Twentieth Century  

Akizuki-class destroyers occupied a special place in the history of this ship type in the Japanese Navy due to their purpose of escorting and providing anti-aircraft cover for aircraft carrier forces. In August 1948, one of them, former Yoizuki, was transferred to China. Even partially disarmed, the destroyer, renamed Fenyang, significantly strengthened the Republic's Navy. In 1949, a project of returning the \"native\" weapons to the ship was considered—dual-purpose 100 mm mounts, a 610 mm torpedo launcher, and twenty U.S.-made AA guns would have made the destroyer one of the strongest representatives of this type in the region.


A Project 7 destroyer named Rekordny became part of the Soviet Pacific Fleet in 1941. In 1949–1952, the ship underwent a major overhaul and modernization, and in 1955, she was transferred to the People's Navy of China. For a long time, the destroyer, which was named Anshan, remained one of the most modern and powerful ships in the PRC fleet. In the early 1970s, the ship underwent another upgrade, which focused on replacing the torpedo tubes with rocket launchers. Finally, in 1992, the veteran destroyer anchored in the port of Qingdao as a museum ship.


The lead destroyer of the Benson class entered service with the U.S. Navy in 1940. For nearly all of World War II, the ship served in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, and she was put into reserve in 1946. In February 1954, together with her sistership Hilary P. Jones, the destroyer was transferred to the Republic of China Navy, where she served for another 20 years under the name of Loyang. She was replaced in 1974 by USS Taussig, an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer that inherited the Loyang name.


U.S. Navy destroyer Haynsworth joined the fight against Japan in the Pacific only six months after she had been commissioned. She participated in a number of operations, including a raid on Tokyo Bay and the Battle of Okinawa, and also survived a kamikaze attack. In January 1970, after a quarter of a century of active service, she was transferred to the Republic of China Navy and received the name of Yueyang. During a series of upgrades in the 1970s and 1980s, the ship's powerful AA and ASW capabilities were further enhanced by mounting rocket launchers. The destroyer ended her 55-year career at the end of the 20th century after being decommissioned in 1999.


Completing this sub-collection provides the following reward:
icon_reward_wows_premium.png +24 hours Warships Premium time.

New Era Fleet

  New Era Fleet  
Ironclad Dingyuan

The Chinese fleet was actively replenished with modern ships in the 1880s. These included two turret ironclads, Dingyuan and Zhenyuan, which were laid down in 1881 and 1882 at the AG Vulcan Stettin shipyard in Germany. With a displacement of almost 8,000 tons and armed with 305 mm Krupp guns, they became the largest and most powerful warships among the fleets of Asian countries when entering service in 1883–1884. Dingyuan was the flagship of the Chinese fleet in the war with Japan and sank at the Battle of Weihaiwei in 1895.

Cruiser Chaoyong

Small cruisers Chaoyong and Yangwei, laid down in January 1880 at the Newcastle upon Tyne shipyard in Great Britain, were among the first ships to be built as part of the Imperial Chinese Fleet renewal program in the 1880s. Both ships developed good speed for their size and were armed with powerful 254 mm guns manufactured by the British company Armstrong. Both Chaoyong and Yangwei sank in a battle against Japanese ships in September 1894 at the mouth of the Yalu River.

Cruiser Laiyuan

In the mid-1880s, there was a dispute among naval engineers around the world about what to give preference to when building new ships—armor or speed? Protected cruisers were gaining popularity; they were relatively fast but lacked an armor belt. On the other hand, slower but better-protected armored ships also had plenty of supporters. Cautious China decided to test both schemes in practice and ordered two protected cruisers in Great Britain and two armored cruisers in Germany in 1885. The latter were Laiyuan and Jingyuan, protected by side armor up to 240 mm thick and armed with Krupp 210 mm main battery guns.

Cruiser Hai Chi

The order of two cruisers from the British company Armstrong in September 1896 was intended to make up for the losses that the fleet had suffered during the war that had just ended with Japan. Hai Chi and Hai Tien, the names given to these two ships, were classic Elswick protected cruisers — they were fast, had a displacement of 4,000 tons, and were armed with modern rapid-firing artillery. Sa Zhenbing was the commander of Hai Chi, which was commissioned in 1899. The cruiser's long and eventful service ended in 1937 when her hull and artillery were used to create defensive structures against the advancing Japanese forces.


Completing this sub-collection provides the following reward:
icon_reward_wows_premium.png +24 hours Warships Premium time.

Overall Rewards

Completing the entire collection provides the following rewards:

Icon Details
Commander-bg-unique.pngSa_Zhenbing.pngCommander-overlay.png Sa Zhenbing commander (10 points), trained for
icon_default_cruiser_elite.png I Chengan.
icon_achievement_FILLALBUM_PA_SAZHENBING_COMPLETED.png Achievement "The Age of Sa Zhenbing".