Coastal vessel, Manchurian gunboat armed with Japanese destroyer guns
A river gunboat built for the Manchukuo puppet state, it was an improved version of an earlier gunboat class, and was built in sections in Japan before being transferred to Harbin for completion. Ding Bian (alternatively romanized Ting Pien), its sister Qin Ren, and the preceding Shun Tian and Yang Min were equipped with relatively powerful weaponry, comparable to larger river monitors, and were the most powerful ships operating in the Songhua River.
It was commissioned in 1935 and served in the Manchu River Defence Fleet (or “Jiangshang Army”), patrolling the Songhua river. In 1944, the 120mm guns were dismantled and transferred to Anshan for air defence, though the navy put mock wooden barrels on the ships to give the illusion they still had their guns. During the Manchurian campaign, parts of the Manchu River Fleet revolted, executed any Japanese personnel, and surrendered to the Soviet forces. Ding Bian and the rest of the fleet were recalled to Harbin where they donned the “Blue Sky with a White Sun” Republican flag, and were then captured by the advancing Soviets. Some of the ships were commissioned into the Soviet Amur River Fleet with Ding Bian being renamed “KL-58” and fitted with Soviet weapons. It was later scrapped in the 1950s or 60s.
1x2 120mm 10th year
1x1 120mm 10th year
2x1 70mm/12 mortar
3x2 13.2mm Type 93 MGs
290 tons full
Propulsion: 2 diesel engines, 800 hp, driving 2 shafts
Speed: 13 knots (24.1 km/h)
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Gogin, I. (2022). Fighting ships of World War Two 1937 - 1945. Volume IX. Asia, Africa, Latin America. (p. 36). Kindle Edition.
Jowett, P. S. (2011). Rays of the Rising Sun. Armed Forces of Japan’s Asian Allies, 1931–45. Volume 1: China and Manchukuo. (p. 265). Kindle Edition.