Second Opium War

The Second Opium War (Chinese: 第二次鴉片戰爭; pinyin: Dì'èrcì Yāpiàn Zhànzhēng), also known as the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China,[4] was a war pitting the British Empire and the French Empire against the Qing dynasty of China that lasted from 1856 to 1860.

Second Opium War
Part of the Opium Wars

Palikao's bridge, on the evening of the battle of Palikao, by Émile Bayard
Date8 October 1856 – 24 October 1860 (4 years, 2 weeks, 2 days)

Franco-British victory


Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutters Island ceded to United Kingdom as part of Hong Kong

Outer Manchuria ceded to Russian Empire
 British Empire
French Empire
United States
Qing dynasty
Commanders and leaders

(Eight Banners and Green Standard Army)
Casualties and losses

 United Kingdom

  • 134 killed, 642 wounded
  • 3 gunboats sunk, 3 gunboats grounded
  • 1 launch destroyed
  • 1 gunboat damaged


  • 25+ killed, 146+ wounded

 United States

  • 11 killed, 23 wounded
  • 2 sloops damaged
  • 1 launch damaged

Qing Dynasty

  • 2100–2801 killed and wounded
  • 2100 captured
  • 10+ forts captured
  • 736 guns and artillery pieces captured
  • 99-109+ war junks captured or destroyed
1 The U.S. was officially neutral, but later aided the British in the Battle of the Barrier Forts (1856) and the Battle of Taku Forts (1859).[3]

It was the second major war in the Opium Wars, fought over issues relating to the exportation of opium to China, and resulted in a second defeat for the Qing dynasty. The agreements of the Convention of Peking led to the ceding of Kowloon Peninsula as part of Hong Kong.