French Aérostiers Section of the China Expedition (00-01)
France sent a military ballooning unit to Peking, via Taku and Tientsin. The section was led by Capitaine Lindecker, who also had the priviledge of riding in the balloon to take aerial photographs. The pictures on this page are from a souvenir album made for him by the Aérostiers section.
Capitaine Charles-Henri Lindecker, born in Chaumont, France, in 1867, was the son of a baker. He attended the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique, and focused his military career on military ballooning. He was the commander of the Aerostiers/Military balloon section of the French campaign in China of 1900, during the period known as the Boxer Rebellion. Capitaine Lindecker was said to have been "alone in the world, to see Peking from a balloon". He died at the onset of World War I, killed by a guard at Epinal on 16 November 1914. A street in Chaumont bears his name.
Above: Left: At the Tientsin Walls, Right: the French Quarter in Tientsin from the balloon.
Left: Lieutenant-Colonel Marchand [famous for his role as commander of the French forces during the Fashoda incident] in the balloon, in Tientsin.
Right: From Tientsin to Peking
Above: Left: Beitang Cathedral from the balloon. Right: Return from Peking on 1 December 1900.
Left: Beihai Park