Tsing Tao (Qing Dao 青島) is famous for its German beer, the Tsingtao lager [left]. The Germans invaded this beautiful city in ShanTung (山東) on Nov 20, 1897, under the guise of a military exercise. They occupied strategic locations and trained their guns on the Qing army gun batteries and menacingly at the military headquarters. And the high official in charge of defending the city was none other than General Zhang Gao-Yuan章高元總兵 - of the Battle of Fisherman's Wharf fame.
A brief biography of General Zhang states:
"章高元，字鼎臣，安徽合肥人。早年入淮軍，隸劉銘傳部，參加鎮壓太平軍和捻軍起義，累遷至副將擢總兵，賜號奇車巴圖魯。後隨劉銘傳戍守台灣，“平日認真操練，臨敵尤能奮不顧身”。一八八四年，法軍入侵台灣，章高元奉劉銘傳之命，往援滬尾(今淡水)。在基隆 [註: 應為基隆及淡水] 戰役中奮勇作戰，榮立戰功，更勇號年昌阿巴圖魯，擢登萊青鎮總兵，駐守山東半島。"
Essentially, Zhang was from An-Huei, a member of the Huai Army and a trusted lieutenant of Liu Ming Ch'uan. During the Sino-French war, he was ordered by Liu to come from the mainland to defend Northern Taiwan. He was dispatched posthaste to Danshui, from Keelung, when the French intention of attacking Danshui became clear. At the Battle of Fisherman's Wharf, in a pincer movement, his infantrymen together with those commanded by Sun Kai-Hua defeated the 5 Fusilier Marin companies. He was later promoted and sent to Tsing Tao to be the commander of the regional Qing Army. In the battle field, his nickname was 章迂子 or Foolish Zhang because he often braved flying bullets and personally led hand to hand combats. He had distinguished himself in several battles in Liáodōng Peninsula during the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-5.
When the Germans came calling, Zhang frantically telegraphed the General Headquarters in HeBei and ShanTung for instructions and was ordered absolutely not to fight back, citing "敵情雖橫,清廷決不動兵". On Nov 25, he was captured by the Germans. After the almost routine signing of treaties in that humiliating era, the Qing Court ceded Tsing Tao and 膠州灣Jiaozhou Bay to the Germans who then proceeded to transform the city into a German one (the colonial rule lasted until 1914). This had included the building of a beer brewery which is now the supplier of the world-renowned Tsing Tao Beer.
After the release, Zhang was so anguished by his being held back unable to fight off the invaders for even once that he became stone-deaf. He refused (or avoided) further assignments and died in Nanking in 1900 at age 71.
The photo here is Zhang Gao-Yuan's headquarters in Tsing Tao, taken shortly after it was occupied by the Germans. It shows German soldiers posing at its front entrance.