By the end of the 19th Century, all of the major colonial powers were busy attempting to stake their claims to various parts of China. In 1899 the Chinese populous rose up against these foreigners in a wave of violence that became known as the Boxer rebellion.
The \'Boxers\' were members of secret Chinese societies whose strange martial arts looked vaguely like boxing to westerners. However, unlike boxing, these martial arts included mystical components such as swallowing charms. The Boxers claimed that once someone was initiated into the society they would be immune from bullets, and they proved this by firing guns loaded with blanks at their own members. Unfortunately, as the violence escalated and soldiers from the western powers got involved, this bullet immunity was quickly disproved.
This conflict also produced one history's most cosmopolitan artillery pieces. In 1900, the Boxers had besieged the foriegn embassies within the city of Peking, which forced a number soldiers from various countries to work together. During the siege, a group of Christian Chinese workers who were also under threat, discovered an old British cannon. The cannon was cleaned up and mounted on a gun carriage provided by the Italians. For ammunition, the Russians managed to find some otherwise useless artillery ammunition that was broken down and reworked to fire from the cannon. This jury-rigged gun was then manned by the US Marines who used it to great effect throughout the remainder of the siege.
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