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Weapons of Imjin War

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Topic: Weapons of Imjin War
Posted By: King Kang of Mu
Subject: Weapons of Imjin War
Date Posted: 27 Feb 2011 at 06:04
Well, this thread off of that Katana thread.  I'm just gonna qoute myself from that thread and continue on, if that is ok.
 
Originally posted by King Kang of Mu King Kang of Mu wrote:

 


I can see that at some situations, like in small space and short distance apart, a sword and the skill to use it could be more effective than a gun  but in general terms i have to say guns are more effective than any swords.

actually one of the best example would be actually Imjin War between Joseon Dynasty of Korea and Hideyosi era Japan.  Of course it wasn't guns vs Katana per se.  I would say perhaps by 15th century and onward Japanese Katanas were better than most of Korean swords if not even earlier.  It was Japanese matchlock vs Korean swords and bows.  I actually looked up to see what Western type of gun they modeled after but no success yet.   My guess would be Portuguese but i don't know. 

http://www.japanese-guns.com/ - http://www.japanese-guns.com/
 
above guns are modern day replicas by Japanese artisans I think.  and I think they are  Edo period models though, so the ones that used in Imjin War might be proto types of these. 
 
http://yisunsin.prkorea.com/battle3.htm - http://yisunsin.prkorea.com/battle3.htm
 
that site is actually Yi Sun Sin site so those three might be from Imjin War. 
 
 
Either way it wasn't Katanas that won the battles for Japanese on the land.  It was these muskets.  Josoen might have had a small experimental elite unit armed with Ming muskets but I think that was very rare if they even had it at all.   actually that might be a good thread, weapons of Imjin War by Japanese, Koreans and Chinese.   
 
 
actually i should have just Wikied  'Musketeer', It has a little section on Ming Dynasty muskets. 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musketeer#Musketeers_in_China - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musketeer#Musketeers_in_China
 

Musketeers in China

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ming_musketeers.jpg">
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ming_musketeers.jpg">
Musketeers in China from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ming_dynasty - Ming dynasty written by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiao_Yu - Jiao Yu ,14th century Ming Military leader

Muskets were used in China at least from the 14th Century. Musketeers were utilized in the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ming_dynasty - (1368–1644) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qing_Dynasty - (1644–1911). In Zhao Shizhen's book of 1598 AD, the Shenqipu, there were illustrations of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_people - riflemen with detailed illustrations of their muskets, alongside European musketeers with detailed illustrations of their muskets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musketeer#cite_note-needham_volume_5_part_7_447_454-0 - [1] There was also illustration and description of how the Chinese had adopted the Ottoman kneeling position in firing while favoring European-made rifles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musketeer#cite_note-needham_volume_5_part_7_449_452-1 - [2] The Chinese also built the first repeating fire-arm, several barrels behind a small wooden shield, the musketeer would turn the barrels and light each barrel with a slow match one by one. These weapons were most effective being fired from walls or high positions.

 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ming_matchlocks.jpg - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ming_matchlocks.jpg
 
 
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i actually just found another site that shows diagrams of Ming Dynasty muskets from 1598 just now!   Bingo!
 
it looks like a very interesting site, i'll just paste about that particular gun but i highly recommand to take a look for anyone who are interested in the subject. well i can't copy and paste the pictures but I will quote a few sentences.    but for the visual effect  click on the link.
 
 
 
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  http://chinese-gun.freewebspace.com/photo.html - http://chinese-gun.freewebspace.com/photo.html

......Picture of a Portuguese-style matchlock gun adopted by the Chinese military as rendered in General Qi Jiguang's military manual
"Ji Xiao Xin Shu", edition of 1588. This weapon was copied from Japanese pirates who in turn had earlier copied the design from the Portuguese. The Chinese Imperial Forces had embraced this weapon enthusiastically. In 1558, a total of 10,000 of such weapons were manufactured for the Chinese Imperial Army by Chinese gunsmiths......
 
......Pics from the Chinese musket manual "Magically Efficient Tools" of 1598, authored by Zhao Shizhen:
A) Turkish musket B) Western (Portuguese-style) musket C) Zhao Shizhen's self-developed breech-loading musket.
During his time, he had copied the Turkish musket, then devised a breech-loading model based on
the Turkish musket and commissioned the manufacture of both for the Ming Imperial Court.
This breech-loading musket is most likely the world's earliest type of breech-loading musket......
 
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I don't know if the Japanese muskets were necessarily better than the Ming's.  I could use Poirot, temujin or The Charioteer right about now.  Cry   I don't even know if there were much difference actually.   seems to me it's possible that both side had muskets based on Portuguese models?  anyone here know more about that?  But i can say the Japanese muskets left bigger imprints on the war than the Ming counterpart because it was used against Koreans who didn't have muskets.  other than Yi Sun Sin's turtleship, Japanese muskets must be the military weapon technology that affected war more than any thing else like Katana. 
 
well hopefully that got some interests and I will try to come back with more guns and swords and bows and other exotic weapons.....woooooo.....LOL


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Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

Milan Kundera



Replies:
Posted By: Kirghiz
Date Posted: 27 Feb 2011 at 11:42
Very interesting topic. Thank you for sharing the info.


Posted By: King Kang of Mu
Date Posted: 27 Feb 2011 at 13:54
Originally posted by Kirghiz Kirghiz wrote:

Very interesting topic. Thank you for sharing the info.
 
 
Thanks Krighiz.  Glad someone found it interesting....Smile
 
I know many of foreigners are familiar with Yi Sun Sin and his naval battles but I thought I would bring some attention on other aspects of the war little bit. 
 
 
I guess i should have started out with Wiki's main article on the War.  it's quite an extensive article, more than i thought it would be.   It has a part that shows two of my assumption were wrong, already.Confused
 
 
 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#Weapons - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_(1592%E2%80%931598)#Weapons
 
......Since its introduction by the Portuguese traders on the island of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanegashima - Tanegashima in 1543, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-hawley3-7-72 - [73] the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arquebus - arquebus had become widely used in Japan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-hawley6-73 - [74] While both Korea and China had also been introduced to firearms similar to the Portuguese http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arquebus - arquebus , most were older models. The Korean soldiers' small firearms was a handgun with simple mechanism either with gunstock or wooden shaft attached. When the Japanese diplomats presented the Yi Court arquebuses as gifts, the Korean scholar-official Yu Seong-ryong advocated the use of the new weapon but the Yi Court failed to realize its potency. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-turnbull36-48 - [49] In contrast, the Japanese often deployed the arquebus in combination with archery in war. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-SWOPE30-74 - [75] .....
.....

The Japanese successively defeated the Korean armies with a combination of muskets, spears and swords. While muskets were superior to Korean bows in terms of penetration, the former lacked the range, accuracy, and fire rate of the latter. Numerous battle accounts from the Annal of Joseon dynasty and various essays, diaries of Korean officials and commanders show that musket alone couldn't ensure victory. By employing both musket and arme blanche ("cold steel", swords, lances, spears, and the like), the Japanese were able to achieve success during the early phase of war. Indeed, the ferocious charge of Japanese troops with spears and swords were often more decisive than muskets. This is because the Koreans, while resisted fairly decently in ranged combat by employing small firearms and bows, were poorly trained in close combat, and also because of the lack of battlefield experience and discipline. This made Korean soldiers unable to hold line in front of charging Japanese.

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I don't think I was completely off by saying the Koreans didn't have any guns other than few elite units and japanses muskets effected the war more than any other weapons other than Yi Sun Sin's turtleships, but it seems to me now that I was over emphasizing it little bit.....Embarrassed
 
 this part on cavalry comparisons are quite interesting also.
 
 
 
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from same wiki article....

The Koreans actively deployed their cavalry divisions in action, however they often suffered significant disadvantages. The terrain was often mountainous, lacking both the flat plains suitable for cavalry charges and the grass essential in feeding the horses. In addition, the Japanese use of the arquebus at long range and in concentrated volleys negated effective cavalry tactics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-SWOPE38-77 - [78] The Korean cavalrymen's primary weapons were bows, with swords and lances holding only subsidiary position. Most of the cavalry action for the Koreans took place in the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chungju - Battle of Chungju at the beginning of the war where they were outnumbered and wiped out by the Japanese infantry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-SWOPE28-79 - [80] Although the Japanese divisions also fielded cavalry (they, however, dismounted when engaged in action, acting more like mounted infantry) and occasionally specialized firearms were used on horseback, though most cavalrymen preferred the conventional http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yari - yari (spear), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-SWOPE24-80 - [81] their use was reduced by increasing logistical difficulties and the increasing use of firearms by the Koreans and Chinese. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-tiger12JIUASS-81 - [82]

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Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

Milan Kundera


Posted By: King Kang of Mu
Date Posted: 27 Feb 2011 at 18:26
a quick update....

I was having a conversation about this a former member whose name  I won't reveal but let's just say he was a Good German.    Anyway, he said he noticed that some of the pictures suggest that the Ming also used the "Jezail" (often with that bipod) that was commonplace in the Muslim world. 

So I was thinking he must be looking at this one


Originally posted by King Kang of Mu King Kang of Mu wrote:


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

.
http://chinese-gun.freewebspace.com/photo.html - http://chinese-gun.freewebspace.com/photo.html (click for pics)

.....Pics from the Chinese musket manual "Magically Efficient Tools" of 1598, authored by Zhao Shizhen:
A) Turkish musket B) Western (Portuguese-style) musket C) Zhao Shizhen's self-developed breech-loading musket.
During his time, he had copied the Turkish musket, then devised a breech-loading model based on
the Turkish musket and commissioned the manufacture of both for the Ming Imperial Court.
This breech-loading musket is most likely the world's earliest type of breech-loading musket......
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


So I mentioned that Ming may have adopted Ottoman positioning(like kneeling) and formation for their Portuguese modeled muskets.  then he replied that the bipod seems to originate from Iran and doesn't even think Ottomans adopted it.  But the countries heavily influenced by Persian culture (those in India or Turkestan) clearly have adopted it. 

well that is something I can not prove or disapprove at this point but I thought I would bring it up.  but it is interesting in comparison to what is being said in  Question: Is there a Bizantine heritage in Turkey? thread.


http://www.allempires.net/forum/question-is-there-a-bizantine-heritage-in-turkey_topic126303_page1.html - http://www.allempires.net/forum/question-is-there-a-bizantine-heritage-in-turkey_topic126303_page1.html  
 
 
p.s.  oh i forgot.... I was gonna put up a Jezail picture too.
 
 
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jezail.jpg - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jezail.jpg   
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jezail - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jezail


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Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

Milan Kundera


Posted By: Frederick Roger
Date Posted: 27 Feb 2011 at 19:58
Thank you for calling my attention to this topic, King. I'm afraid it is not my area of expertise, although one might provide some more insight regarding the "Portuguese conection" when it comes to weaponry in that side of the world. 
 
Portuguese influence in weapon design? Perhaps, but in the case of Japan the manufacture was completely local - there are no records of Portuguese selling rifles in Japan. There is, however, proof of them introducing them in the country upon their arrival in Tanegashima in 1543, leaving a couple as a gift to the local daimyo Tokitaka, and provinding instructions on how to build them, after which they would return to sell raw materials, especially iron and saltpeter from China. Indeed one could consider it a perfect example of early globalization: Portuguese merchants selling Chinese raw materials to Japan to build weapons probably based on Northern European designs (since, if I recall correctly, the Portuguese got a lot of their arquebuses at their Antwerp outpost). Approve 


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 27 Feb 2011 at 20:38
Of course there is influence. The Japanese COPIED the weapons of the Portuguese.


Posted By: Frederick Roger
Date Posted: 27 Feb 2011 at 21:14
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Of course there is influence. The Japanese COPIED the weapons of the Portuguese.
 
Not the only thing they copied, for that matter. After all, it is considered the most portuguese-influenced country outside the lusophone world.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 28 Feb 2011 at 00:44
Indeed, Asia copied many things from the Europeans, and Portuguese in particular. For instance, Chinese copied the full mechanical Western Clock from the West because theirs own technicians didn't developed it.


Posted By: King Kang of Mu
Date Posted: 28 Feb 2011 at 03:51
True true, pinguin.   but there are also many things West adopted from East too, before we get into a pissing contest which is not my intention at all.  if so I'll be outbumbered by how many here? Big smile  but i see your point of course. 
 
I was interested in this Portuguese connection as an example of early globalization like Frederick Roger pointed out.  Thanks for puuting it that way.  Many of you know about how China and japan got opened up to the West, or how West opened them up depends on the perspective.  But  Korea remained as Hermit Kingdom until well into 19th century.  But the effects of early globalization was already affecting their lives in indirect way through military technology in regional war.    
 


-------------
Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

Milan Kundera


Posted By: King Kang of Mu
Date Posted: 28 Feb 2011 at 04:52
Ok I'm gonna talk about some other weapons too.  the turtleship would be next logical choice, but while we are at it I thought I would stay on the land little longer. 
 
So if Japanese had these superior weapons on the land, how did the Koreans fight back?  well they didn't fight back much actually least in the beginning.  by the end of 16th century, Joseon was already going into its 3rd century, pretty secure in northern borders due to good relation with Ming and Ming suppressing other northern tribal power bases.  well, they were considerably weaker while Ming was strong.  But when you don't have external threats you have to fight corruption and schism internally, almost a nature of any statehood.  They didn't see japan as a threat because they thought Japan was weak due to own civil wars.    But it seems to me that those long civil wars eventually improved their weapons technology and their soldiers were much more ready through long and hard civil wars.   This is bit off the topic and the period, but when i watched Last Samurai, I was contemplating what was the historical meaning of Tom Cruise's role other than just another Dances of Wolves or Avatar character?   What I saw was a Civil War veteran who is going through some sort of post traumatic depression from the war, rehired by the gov't to sell weapons Japan that is developed or purchased through their own Civil War, like Howitzer guns that is no longer in use to Japan.  Perhaps that is a limited interpretation but that element was there.  A standing army is alway dangerous to anyone.    And perhaps that element had played role in Imjin War also.  After Hideyosi  united Japan, he had to keep these Samurais working which means fighting.  Of course I'm not suggesting that was the only reason Hideyosi invaded Korea.  He clearly showed his continental ambition.  But that does not mean his domestic needs didn't play a role behind that ambition. 
 
here is few interesting excerpts from same wiki article.  this section deals with diplomatic relations between two leading up to the war.
 
 
 
 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#Diplomatic_dealings_between_Japan_and_Korea - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#Diplomatic_dealings_between_Japan_and_Korea
 
 

On April 1590, the Korean ambassadors including Hwang Yun-gil, Kim Saung-il and others http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-Joongang112-47 - [48] left for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto - Kyoto , where they waited for two months while Hideyoshi was finishing his campaign against the Odawara and the Hōjō clans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-turnbull36-48 - [49] Upon his return, they exchanged ceremonial gifts with and delivered King Seonjo's letter to Hideyoshi. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-turnbull36-48 - [49] Hideyoshi assumed that the Koreans had come to pay homage as a tributary to Japan, but the Koreans still refused. For this reason the ambassadors were not given the formal treatment that was due in handling diplomatic matters; at last, the Korean ambassadors asked that Hideyoshi write a reply to the Korean king, for which they waited 20 days at the port of Sakai. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-turnbull36-37-49 - [50] The letter, redrafted as requested by the ambassadors on the ground that it was too discourteous, invited Korea to submit to Japan and join the war against China. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-Jones242-45 - [46] Upon the ambassadors' return, the Yi Court held serious discussions concerning Japan's invitation; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-Jones242-3-50 - [51] while http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hwang_Yun-gil - Hwang Yun-gil reported to the Yi Court conflicting estimates of Japanese military strength and intentions and pressed that a war was coming, Kim Saung-il claimed that Hideyoshi's saying was nothing but a bluff. Moreover, most of the estimates considered the Japanese to be incompetent. Some, including King Seonjo, argued that Ming should be informed about the dealings with Japan, as failure to do so could make Ming suspect Korea's allegiance, but the Yi Court finally concluded to wait further until the appropriate course of action became definite. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-turnbull38-51 - [52]

Hideyoshi initiated his diplomacy with Korea. The Joseon Court approached Japan as a country inferior to Korea accordingly within the Chinese tributary system, and it evaluated Hideyoshi's invasions to be no better than the common http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wokou - wakō , Japanese pirate raids. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-SWOPE760-761-52 - [53] The Yi Court handed to Shigenobu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-Hulbert-40 - [41] and Genso, Hideyoshi's third embassy, King Seonjo's letter rebuking Hideyoshi for challenging the Chinese tributary system; Hideyoshi replied with a disrespectful letter, but, since it was not presented in person as expected by custom, the Yi Court ignored it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_%281592%E2%80%931598%29#cite_note-Jones243-53 - [54] After the denial of his second request, Hideyoshi launched his armies against Korea in 1592. There were internal oppositions to the invasion within Japan's government; among them, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokugawa_Ieyasu - Tokugawa Ieyasu , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konishi_Yukinaga - Konishi Yukinaga and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C5%8D_Yosh*toshi - Sō Yosh*toshi who tried to arbitrate between Hideyoshi and the Joseon court.[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed - citation needed ]

 


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Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

Milan Kundera


Posted By: Shingen The Ruler
Date Posted: 28 Feb 2011 at 21:16
Hey King, new member hereSmile! Here are some of the weapons used in the Imjin War.

Here are some Korean swords from the Imjin period:



Types of Korean polearms:




The famous Hwacha (fire arrow launchers)



Fire arrows for above launcher:



Korean Cannons deployed during the Imjin War:

Heaven Cannon

Earth Cannon:

Black Cannon

Yellow Cannon


Ming handheld version of the Hwacha
























Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2011 at 00:07
Originally posted by King Kang of Mu King Kang of Mu wrote:

True true, pinguin.   but there are also many things West adopted from East too, before we get into a pissing contest which is not my intention at all.  if so I'll be outbumbered by how many here? Big smile  but i see your point of course. 


Nobody denies Chinese invented thousand of things.  However, by the time the Europeans reached East Asia in the 16th century, the Chinese had pass its time of glory already. Let me be clear:

(1) East Asians didn't invent the European style musket at all. Japanese COPIED it from the Europeans.

(2) East Asians didn't invent the full-mechanical clock at all (they have some mechanical cleypsidras). That was an European invention introduced in China by them.

(3) East Asians didn't invent Calculus or Analytical geometry: an European invention once again.

(4) East Asians didn't invented de Codex. They had rolls very late in history. The Codex was European once again. Wink

(5) Since contact at 16th century, Chinese were very interested in western gear.


Posted By: King Kang of Mu
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2011 at 00:37
Originally posted by Shingen The Ruler Shingen The Ruler wrote:

Hey King, new member hereSmile! Here are some of the weapons used in the Imjin War.

Here are some Korean swords from the Imjin period:



awesome!   Thanks Shingen!   these are the kind of contributions that i was looking for, not to mention it fits perfects into the flow of the thread.   Welcome to the forum again, Shingen!Hug

I was about to move onto Hwacha next.  "well, hwacha all know about it?", gosh i've been saving that....Big smile

Originally posted by Shingen The Ruler Shingen The Ruler wrote:


The famous Hwacha (fire arrow launchers)



Fire arrows for above launcher:



Korean Cannons deployed during the Imjin War:







I need to restrain myself on embedding too many youtubes, but this one is so cool about Hwacha that I can't resist.  I believe it was one of the popular Mythbusters episode and many of might have seen it already but.....



here is another clip from History Channel clip talking about both Chinese and Korean rocket technology.  i'll just link this one.

Ancient Chinese and Korean rocket technology demonstrated

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO6I5OZpRDI&feature=related - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO6I5OZpRDI&feature=related  

it shows that Chinese also also had wheel barrel style arrow launchers not just hand held ones.  those hand held ones at the bottom of your post were more like medieval RPG or stinger missiles allowing mobility for the user.   But the big difference I noticed between Korean version and Chinese version of Hwacha, or Huo Che (since the name is just different pronunciation of same Hanzi letters) is that Chinese version had back legs which keeps the projectile level to the ground and therefore shorter range.  It would be more effective against charging enemies from flat or higher defensive position in shorter range.  by taking out the back legs, Koreans could tilt it up to 45 degree angle which to maximized the range.    I know they also had to come up with their own gun power because Ming was guarding the secret formula from Koreans.  Whether Korean made any improvement compared to Ming formula which I highly doubt, or just how they are comparable I do not know.

there was actually a recent Korean movie about that subject, Shingijeon or the Divine Weapon.   cool movie if anyone is interested in the subject, but if you are looking for historical accuracy, very few movies with historical subject rarely lives up to the expectation.   This film is bit anti-Chinese for my taste also but the movie is about military tech and struggle for sovereignty, so it is understandable for the time period. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Divine_Weapon - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Divine_Weapon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpibBU1K7GM&feature=related - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpibBU1K7GM&feature=related


and here are few more articles and links on both Chinese and Korean rocket tech,



on Chinese rocket arrows- Hou Jian
http://www.grandhistorian.com/chinesesiegewarfare/siegeweapons-earlyrockets.html - http://www.grandhistorian.com/chinesesiegewarfare/siegeweapons-earlyrockets.html

As the direct ancestors of the modern ballistic missiles and space shuttle booster rockets, these early rockets set the stage for a whole new area in science, giving rise to and ushering in the modern age of rocketry.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
on Hou Che/Hwacha 
http://www.grandhistorian.com/chinesesiegewarfare/siegeweapons-huoche.html - http://www.grandhistorian.com/chinesesiegewarfare/siegeweapons-huoche.html
 


Illustration of a Battery of Huo Che from the WuBei Zhi

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-------------
Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

Milan Kundera


Posted By: Shingen The Ruler
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2011 at 00:51
Thanks for the welcome, King.

One weapon that's along the lines of the hwacha that I've always been fascinated with was a sort of time-delayed explosive. It was called pg yok chinch ollae in Korean.  I don't have too much info on the weapon, but it was either shot from a cannon or mortar and utilized a 2-fuse system. The second (firing) fuse would light upon impact and detonate a few seconds later. It was used most effectively during the Siege of Kyongju.


Posted By: King Kang of Mu
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2011 at 00:53
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by King Kang of Mu King Kang of Mu wrote:

True true, pinguin.   but there are also many things West adopted from East too, before we get into a pissing contest which is not my intention at all.  if so I'll be outbumbered by how many here? Big smile  but i see your point of course. 


Nobody denies Chinese invented thousand of things.  However, by the time the Europeans reached East Asia in the 16th century, the Chinese had pass its time of glory already. Let me be clear:

(1) East Asians didn't invent the European style musket at all. Japanese COPIED it from the Europeans.

(2) East Asians didn't invent the full-mechanical clock at all (they have some mechanical cleypsidras). That was an European invention introduced in China by them.

(3) East Asians didn't invent Calculus or Analytical geometry: an European invention once again.

(4) East Asians didn't invented de Codex. They had rolls very late in history. The Codex was European once again. Wink

(5) Since contact at 16th century, Chinese were very interested in western gear.
 
Cool thanks for sharing.  Some of them I knew, some of them I didn't.  Still I think none of those directly related Imjin War like the Japanese or Ming muskets.  and if you just wanted reiterate the point you made previously, I didn't think it was needed because no one disputed your point.  So if you wish to keep talking about same point that you already made then please open a proper thread for it.   if you need me to admit that the East Asian just dog eating monkeys that civilized by the Europeans, fine they are, and can we move on for the sake of this thread?Big smile 


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Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

Milan Kundera


Posted By: King Kang of Mu
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2011 at 01:35
Originally posted by Shingen The Ruler Shingen The Ruler wrote:

Thanks for the welcome, King.

One weapon that's along the lines of the hwacha that I've always been fascinated with was a sort of time-delayed explosive. It was called pg yok chinch ollae in Korean.  I don't have too much info on the weapon, but it was either shot from a cannon or mortar and utilized a 2-fuse system. The second (firing) fuse would light upon impact and detonate a few seconds later. It was used most effectively during the Siege of Kyongju.
 
 
Is it Siege of Kyongju(or Gyeongju in Revised Romanization), or Siege of Haengju?   or even Jinju?   I do know Haengju and Jinju were two of the biggest early big seige battles.  And I do know for sure that Hwacha was very effective in Haengju.   I know it's confusing.  'Ju' means regional capital city, so there are many Korean city names end with 'Ju'. 
 
here is a brief wiki quote but i have run now.....will be back soon.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Haengju - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Haengju
 

While the Japanese soldiers struggled to breach the earthen walls and the wooden paliside,,

While the Japanese soldiers struggled to breach the earthen walls and the wooden paliside,, the Koreans hurled boulders and tree trunks from their defensive positions, and fired arrows, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arquebuse - arquebuses , mortars, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hwacha - hwachas into the massed ranks of the attacking Japanese. Although the Japanese overran the first line of defense, they failed to break through further defenses. A total of nine repeated assaults were ordered against the Korean positions.

 
 


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Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

Milan Kundera


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2011 at 02:20
Originally posted by King Kang of Mu King Kang of Mu wrote:

...    if you need me to admit that the East Asian just dog eating monkeys that civilized by the Europeans, fine they are, and can we move on for the sake of this thread?Big smile 


I never said so. I admire Korean invention of mobile type, just to show an example of theirs creativity. East Asians had extraordinary civilizations, but the fact is civilizations aren't static. They go up and then back down, and then up once again. People tends to forget it. Today East Asia is rising once again, during the early Modern times, East Asia was declining from a Golden age that span from Roman times to the Middle Ages. That was all my point, things go up and down.

By the way, Americans and British still don't realize civilizations go up and down Wink


Posted By: King Kang of Mu
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2011 at 03:06
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by King Kang of Mu King Kang of Mu wrote:

...    if you need me to admit that the East Asian just dog eating monkeys that civilized by the Europeans, fine they are, and can we move on for the sake of this thread?Big smile 


I never said so. I admire Korean invention of mobile type, just to show an example of theirs creativity. East Asians had extraordinary civilizations, but the fact is civilizations aren't static. They go up and then back down, and then up once again. People tends to forget it. Today East Asia is rising once again, during the early Modern times, East Asia was declining from a Golden age that span from Roman times to the Middle Ages. That was all my point, things go up and down.

By the way, Americans and British still don't realize civilizations go up and down Wink


Sorry pinguin, that was bit of preemptive attack by me.   I felt bad right after and added big smiley at the end.  Big smile 

it's just that when i'm dealing with Korean-Japanese history, i need extra concentration not to get biased.   so i was being short fused on hat i felt as a distraction at the time.  I hope you understand.  Thanks for explaining yourself to me more.Smile

and as for the American the British......yes there are some arrogance and (willful) ignorance that comes with any almost any empire in history.   But just like I would hate it if someone else described Koreans in that board brush stroke like i did sarcastically on my last post, so I wouldn't stand for any other group of people being described in such generalization.  And I'm sure you would feel the same if someone else did the same talking about Chileans or South Americans.  We all know there are plenty of humble and intelligent Americans and British just as much as Koreans or Chileans, starting with you and me, baby!   Big smile


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Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

Milan Kundera


Posted By: Shingen The Ruler
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2011 at 03:41
Originally posted by King Kang of Mu King Kang of Mu wrote:

Originally posted by Shingen The Ruler Shingen The Ruler wrote:

Thanks for the welcome, King.

One weapon that's along the lines of the hwacha that I've always been fascinated with was a sort of time-delayed explosive. It was called pg yok chinch ollae in Korean.  I don't have too much info on the weapon, but it was either shot from a cannon or mortar and utilized a 2-fuse system. The second (firing) fuse would light upon impact and detonate a few seconds later. It was used most effectively during the Siege of Kyongju.
 
 
Is it Siege of Kyongju(or Gyeongju in Revised Romanization), or Siege of Haengju?   or even Jinju?   I do know Haengju and Jinju were two of the biggest early big seige battles.  And I do know for sure that Hwacha was very effective in Haengju.   I know it's confusing.  'Ju' means regional capital city, so there are many Korean city names end with 'Ju'. 
 
here is a brief wiki quote but i have run now.....will be back soon.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Haengju - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Haengju
 

While the Japanese soldiers struggled to breach the earthen walls and the wooden paliside,,

While the Japanese soldiers struggled to breach the earthen walls and the wooden paliside,, the Koreans hurled boulders and tree trunks from their defensive positions, and fired arrows, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arquebuse - - hwachas into the massed ranks of the attacking Japanese. Although the Japanese overran the first line of defense, they failed to break through further defenses. A total of nine repeated assaults were ordered against the Korean positions.

 
 


Sorry about that. It's Kyongju. It was actually already in the hands of the Japanese at the time the weapon was used. Guerrilla forces under Pak Chin were attempting to retake Kyongju in September 1592.


Posted By: King Kang of Mu
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2011 at 04:16
Originally posted by Shingen The Ruler Shingen The Ruler wrote:

Sorry about that. It's Kyongju. It was actually already in the hands of the Japanese at the time the weapon was used. Guerrilla forces under Pak Chin were attempting to retake Kyongju in September 1592.
 
 
awesome, thanks.  thanks for clarifying that for me.  I thought I could just wing this thread with few pics and wiki, I'm gonna actually have to dust up old text book.Embarrassed   I'm not familar with Siege of Kyongju at all or i forgot.  thanks a ton again.   looks like this could turn out to be good thread because of you joining us.  Clap


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Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

Milan Kundera


Posted By: King Kang of Mu
Date Posted: 05 Mar 2011 at 10:09
a quick on some more Ming muskets and canons pics.  I had a little chat with Poirot....


A small bronze cannon dated to the Ming Dynasty, on display at Beijing's http://wapedia.mobi/en/Capital_Museum - Capital Museum
http://wapedia.mobi/en/Huolongjing - http://wapedia.mobi/en/Huolongjing
 
Suenaga facing Mongol arrows and gunpowder bombs during the http://wapedia.mobi/en/Mongol_invasions_of_Japan - Mongol invasions of Japan in 1281 AD, painting dated to 1293 AD.
That one is not from Ming but still cool painting. Smile (too bad uploading them didn't work)
both pics from
http://wapedia.mobi/en/Huolongjing - http://wapedia.mobi/en/Huolongjing
 
 
 
 
  next one is even older....just consider them protypes of Ming hand held canons
The Earliest Gunpowder Weapons in History Seen On www.coolpicturegallery.net
China (Dunhuang) / Earliest Firelance, 10th century
Digital Scan / Historic Painting � http://www.themcs.org/weaponry/cannon/cannon.htm - Medieval Combat Society
http://www.coolpicturegallery.net/2010/02/earliest-gunpowder-weapons-in-history.html - http://www.coolpicturegallery.net/2010/02/earliest-gunpowder-weapons-in-history.html   

 
 
 
next are from CHF thread Poirot was involved in about Ming rocket arrows.  too bad they didn't link the original sources....





Posted Image
They think this one is from Song dynasty

 and some a picture of Korean rocket arrows
Posted Image
 CHF thread these are from   http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/index.php?%2Ftopic%2F32533-the-ming-dynasty-rocket-arrows%2F - http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/index.php?%2Ftopic%2F32533-the-ming-dynasty-rocket-arrows%2F

Posted Image
http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/index.php?%2Ftopic%2F24255-ming-dynasty-firearms%2F - http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/index.php?%2Ftopic%2F24255-ming-dynasty-firearms%2F
 
These are called Huo Chong it literally means 'fire gun'.  Supposely used by Ming army.  And I think I remember these from old Korean history drama about the war, skinner more portable versions of earlier hand held  canons?




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Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

Milan Kundera


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 05 Mar 2011 at 22:26
My only reading on the Imjin Wars has been Stephen Trumbull's Samurai Invasion which I though did a decent job. As for firearms, Trumbull mentions the Koreans as not having such, and when told that the Japanese did, the future commander of the Korean armies in the field replied: "So what? They can't hit anything with them." Ironically enough, he himself was killed by a shot from a Japanese arquebus. From what I remember:

Hideyoshi's intent for waging war on China was to enable his conquest of India. Thus China was viewed as a base from which India would be conquered. And Korea was seen as a mere bump in the road to China.  Obviously, this error in judgment was Hideyoshi's.

The quick Japanese conquest was due not to any failure of Korean arms, but rather serious flaws in the Korean command structure. First, the King's policy was to keep all generals in his capital (Seoul), where he could keep an eye on them. This meant that a general sent out to command his troops in combat was likely seeing them for the first time. Doubly important, they were seeing him for the first time. Compare this to the feudal Japanese Army, where lords and his vassals were leading men intimately know to them, with long years of civil strife behind them. Second, the King was quick to panic, and more interested in saving his own skin that in defending his nation. And finally, internal Korean politicking and rumor mongering was rife, leading to confusion and uncertainty in the Korean high command. The king accepted the reports he wanted to hear, without verifying their truth. Thus Admiral Yi was so easily disgraced by rival generals who sent heads from his battles back to the King with fictitious reports of victories.

As for weapons, in addition to the contributions made by others above, the Korean weapons had two principal advantages. First, Korean naval artillery outranged that of the Japanese. And, the Korean curved bow outranged the Samurai long bow.

As for the Turtle ships, they were not the world's first ironclads or modern ships. But then the Japanese Army that Yi was fighting was not the Imperial Japanese Army of the 19th Century. It was a feudal army whose 'divisions' were hardly the uniformly organized and armed battalions, regiments, and divisions of the IJA. They were well organized fighting bands, whose principle means of attack was to close with and destroy their enemies in hand to hand combat. By such means did one attain glory in feudal Japan. And the Samurai were to be found in the thick of the fighting. Yi noted this, and realized that the key to victory over the Japanese was to identify and kill their leaders, as doing so spread panic and shame among their followers. Thus his naval tactics were based upon standing off of the Japanese far enough to be out of range of their cannon, while raking their ships with his own. Then relying upon his archers to rain arrows upon the enemy ships, while the turtle ships got close enough to attack and board the Japanese commander's flag ship. Thus the spikes on the top deck, which were meant to defeat the inevitable Japanese boarding while the Turtle ship crews and parties directed their efforts against the senior Samurai and his primary subordinates.

Anyway, that's my recollection of Turnbull's book.




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Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 06 Mar 2011 at 00:12
First of all, thanks to King Kang for starting this interesting thread. Thumbs Up
 
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

My only reading on the Imjin Wars has been Stephen Trumbull's Samurai Invasion which I though did a decent job.
 
Turnbull's work is considered kind of biased towards Japanese. I would recommend an excellent piece by by Samuel Hawley "The Imjin War."

Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

The quick Japanese conquest was due not to any failure of Korean arms, but rather serious flaws in the Korean command structure.
 
I think it's both. Japanese possession of firearms gave them a huge edge over Koreans. Korean army was complitely unprepared for the new tactics that Japanese had to offer. For centuries Koreans were primarily trained for horseback warfare against northern nomadic barbarian tribes like Mongols and Jurchens. So, bow and horse riding was considered the most important part of military training. That failed complitely when faced with the volley of fire coming from Japanese musketeres. Basically, Japanese were shooting down waves of Korean cavalry and then their own cavalry was finishing the job. Koreans, however, started to produce their own firearms later during the war and were quite succesful in a number of important behind the walls defensive battles against Japanese. Japanese, however, still had advantage both against Koreans and Chinese in open field encounters. Also Japanese infantry cold steel arms were superior to the arms of Korean infantry that generally didn't have armour and was armed with a relatively short (compare to Japanese pikes) war tridents that worked quite bad in close encounters with Japanese katanas and polearms.
 
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:


As for weapons, in addition to the contributions made by others above, the Korean weapons had two principal advantages. First, Korean naval artillery outranged that of the Japanese. And, the Korean curved bow outranged the Samurai long bow.

Those were the primarily advantages that allowed Koreand to decimate Japanese naval forces.

Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

As for the Turtle ships, they were not the world's first ironclads or modern ships.
 
The turtle ships were fantastic creation of the genius of Yi Sunshin. However, during the whole war Koreans only had a few of those and most of the fighting was done by standard Korean "non-turtle" ships.


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Σαρμάτ



Posted By: Shingen The Ruler
Date Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 16:17
^^Yeah, if you can get your hands on Hawley's book I highly recommend. The only problem is that it's VERY expensive.

Turnbull's work is ok in terms of the Imjin War, but as you said, it's very Japan-centric. Much like Kenny Swope's work is completely China-centric. If you can't get Hawley's book, you could always read Turnbull and Swope and establish your own "middle ground" between the two.LOL


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 20:19
Sarmat, I agree that Turnbull's Samurai Invasion is Japan-centric as Shingen notes, something natural for an author who is far more knowledgeable of Japan than Korea. It does not follow, however, that his book is biased in favor of the Japanese. I heard that argument from several Koreans, who finally admitted that they had not read the book, and indeed had no plans to read it based upon its title alone. Simply put, they viewed the term 'Samurai' as indicating a bias for the Japanese. In fact, Turnbull is at pains to emphasize that the Japanese started the war, and he explains that the Samurai treated the Koreans no different than they did their own people, which was shockingly brutal. This included beheading them for the very slightest offenses, even when the victims had committed such only at the order of the same Samurai exacting the punishsment. All to save the Samurai lord's 'face'.  Reading between the lines, it was obvious that for all its faults, Choeson Korean commoners were better treated by their Yangbang than Japanese commoners were by their Samurai lords.

Did you perhaps mean that Turnbull's work was overly Japanese-centric rather than 'biased' in favor of the Japanese?

As for the turtle ships, they only needed a few, given that their purpose was to close with and damage the Japanese commander's ship to the point where they were sure he had been killed. 


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Posted By: RollingWave
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 10:53
A few general note.
 
the Ming did have Arbeques / Muskets but did not deploy them much in the Imjin war as far as I can tell from reading primary materials. They were called "Bird Guns" either because they were accurate enough to shoot birds or because the firing mechanism sort of resembles a bird beak.
 
Either way,  the main Chinese gun-powder weapons were rocket-arrows and smaller anti personal cannons / bombards, and this.
 
 
This is called a "3 eye gun" Korea also used something similar though mostly after the war. it was basically an improved version of the old hand cannons, being able to fire multiple rounds (seperately or at the same time) and then be used as a mace in melee.
 
The Ming's gunpowder weapons clearly outranged the Japanese by a pretty large margin but lacked the same cordinated concentrated punch that the Japanese Teppo brought.  Also the general problem with rocket arrow is that they were one shot and gone and required considerable logistics to keep supplied, the Ming in the first war used a lot of them in their successful retake of PyongYang, but only used them sparingly later on.
 
The Chinese cannons were generally similar to that of the Koreans (obviously there's quiet a bit of cross technology between the two), the most common onces are probably these.
 
The Chinese call this the Crouching Tiger cannon, it was usually very small, most were around 30 kg or so in weight, they could be carried and operated by just 1 men but usually were done so by 2-3 , they could be carried strait on horse backs and on ppl's back if need be. They needed to be pegged down or will be blow off the ground by their own blast. 
 
In short it's more like modern day mortars, meant for infantry support and good mobility. not something to crush giant walls.
 
Most Ming cannons follow this theme, as the Ming's enemy were almost never those hiding behind thick walls but mobile enemies in the steppes or other remote regions. thus their fire arms almost always stressed mobility and versitality above all else.
 
Here's another very common one, though this one did not exist in Korea, but was actually known by the Japanese to some extend.
 
 
It's the Portugese designed Breech loading cannons, the Chinese called it "Franchy" (the machine of the Franks) .  The Ming adopted it in mass as it fit their theme well, it was generally smallish (50-80 kg)  but can fire at a very rapid rate (much faster than arquebus.)
 
The Arquebus of the time was not a clearly decisively better weapon to the continetal composite recurve bows, it packed a stronger punch to be sure, but was generally shorter ranged and slower reload. The Japanese' real advantage over the Koreans were their Ashigaru formations, which was basically a large pike square, the Koreans military were not use to this sort of war, they had small caste based military mostly to deal with Manchurian raids, the nature of those were generally cavalry skrimishes. either with heavy melee weapon or bow. When the war began they hastily called up their reserve infantris which hasn't seen action in centuries, most of them collapsed before they even engaged in a serious fight. 
 
The Ming and Japanese only engaged in two battle during the entire war that was sort of a significant field battle over the 8 year span, but in both cases it was not a true show down battle, the first was semi-accidental battle where the Japanese surprised a smaller group of Chinese cavalries that eventually fought their way out of the mess (but took significant casualties) the second was again a smaller group of Chinese cavalries beating back the vanguard of a large Japanese force but eventually pulled back again. In both case what was clear was the the Ming had a lot more cavalries then the Japanese. as in both engagement the Ming army was basically 100% cavalry in the thousands .
 
Most of the war was fought over siege.  There was only reall one siege where the attackers won without overwhelming odds decsively, and that was the Siege of PyongYang where roughly 30-40k Ming / Korean forces crushed the 10-20k Japanese defendered out of PyongYang in a single day assault.  Every other siege was either the attackers winning with overwhelming numbers (mostly Japanese overwhelming Korean and occasionally Ming garrisons).  or the defenders winning (mostly Japanese beating back committed assaults from the Ming).
 
As for why the Koreans can do damage to the Japanese in smaller fighting, the answer is fairly obvious, the Japanese for one thing, were still too few to control the country side, their patrol and logistic crews were often very undermanned, and their strengths (pike formation and arquebus volly and experience in cordinated fighting) were both significantly reduced without large numbers.
 
Another thing of note, Japanese were significantly smaller than Korean / Northern Chinese, the Average Samurai was probably at least 5cm shorter than their warrior class counter part on the other side, the Ashigarus even more.  (it's mostly a diet issue) . so in individual fighting they were usually actually at an disadvantage. One can also look at the typical melee weapon of warriors of the two side and see this problem, the Chinese higher ranking warriors were typically armed with heavy glaive like weapons usually weighing 15-20kg (some records says crazy # like 64 kg), the Koreans often used large flails, in short, both were designed to fight againts heavily armoured opponents , which most likely mean they were heavily armored as well.  The Japanese Katana is a cool sword and all, but it was not meant to be used against heavily armored foe, nor were their more common battle field weapons, the yari. (spear). 
 
Of course, armor and size is hardly everything, well organized mass is usually far more useful then great individual warriors, which the early man handling of the Korean forces by the Japanese easily showed, even when the Korean threw their well trained / experienced northern guard cavalries at the Japanese they were crushed after their initial charge (which did inflict significant damage) when they spread out they were easily annihilated by the well disciplined Japanese.
 
Like Wise, the most successful Korean gureilla groups were actually their monks, they were not heavily armoured or really even that much trained in martial arts, all they were was disciplined from their religious life and order. and yet they were able to fight toe to toe with Japanese forces on more than a few occasion. including the Siege of PyongYang where they were part of the force that took one of the most well defended positions.
 
 
Anyway, I'm fairly well versed in the Imjin war, espeically the events of early 93 during the Ming's succesful expedition, I have read many of the primary sources on this subject from the Chinese and Korean side. so I can hopefully answer some of the questions here.


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 17:03
Rolling wave, I am impressed. A truly great post.  However, one small note of my own.

In re: "In short it's more like modern day mortars, meant for infantry support and good mobility. not something to crush giant walls."

Actually, I think you'll find that it was meant to play the same roll as the modern day machinegun. I.e., while single shot, loaded up with all sorts of metal and rock bits for firing into masses of enemy. Although it could be loaded up with a single ball and placed on an incline to reach over a wall, the round itself would be too small, and there would be no way of adjusting the fire to place it 'on target'. The modern mortar, while bearing a resemblance to the siege mortars of the 19th Century, evolved during the First World War as a means of giving infantry commanders a means of tactical fire support, concurrent with the development of the field telephone and, by WWII, tactical radio communications for passing adjustment instructions. If you look at the infantry doctrine for the use and emplacement of automatic weapons, I think you will see what this small cannon was used for. (Or, watch the final battle portrayed in Gerard Depardieu's "Cyrano", whose military advisor obviously knew his (or her) stuff.
 


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Posted By: RollingWave
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2011 at 03:20
true, you can use that interpertation as well, in short it was meant to be infantry group fire support, as you pointed out there was usually two ways of using them .
 
1. stuffing it with with man light metal balls / rocks and fire a grap shot like effect.
 
2. stuffing it with a single ball to be used as more accurate long range attack.
 
 
In field battle terms, the Ming army were generally seperated into region. the forces of different regions operated with different styles.
 
The vast majority of the Ming army were Northern troops. stationed on the Great Wall region against the Mongols for obvious reasons.  Their tactics and training generally mimicked that of their foe more or less.  aka their well trained warriors would be capable horse archers / heavy cavalries.  and even their lesser men usually acted as light cavalries. These were also the most common troops in Korea during the war especially early on. They suffer many of the similar problems as the Korean military in the sense that their style of warfare matched up poorly against the Japanese style, but with much greater number and experience and also the support of other troops and more gunpowder weapons these deficiency were usually not as problematic.
 
The other very significant troops were called Southern troops, though many were stationed in the Northern frontier as well, what they were was a new breed of troops developed by Qi Ji Guang during the previous decades when China had problems with Pirates (some were Japanese Ronins, and many were armed with Japanese equipment.). It was a primarily infantry based style of warfare, it stressed small group infantry tactic and can also utilized into larger formation. it was the most compatible style against the Japanese and they were generally considered the elite units in the war.
 
The 3rd more common group were those from South Western China, they were also mostly infantry fighters use to terrain fightings.  though they often struggled in Korea because they were unuse to taking walls.
 
By the final offensive in 98, the Ming raised a rather large new army to try and finish off the Japanese once and for all, however most of them were raised hastily without much training / experience and were generally terrible.


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2011 at 04:08
Rolling wave, while I may have said it could be used two ways, but its most likely use was in the close range shotgun cannon mode. By the way, your posts, along with King Kang and Shingen's have done a really great job here. The Imjin War deserves more study in the West, and your contributions have added a lot of value to this site. Kudos to the three of you.

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Posted By: Shingen The Ruler
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2011 at 14:57
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Rolling wave, while I may have said it could be used two ways, but its most likely use was in the close range shotgun cannon mode. By the way, your posts, along with King Kang and Shingen's have done a really great job here. The Imjin War deserves more study in the West, and your contributions have added a lot of value to this site. Kudos to the three of you.


Aww shucks! Thanks for the kind words!

I know RW from other forums, and since my area of expertise is on the Japanese side, I have gleamed an obscene amount of info from him. Definitely worth picking his brain.LOL


Posted By: RollingWave
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2011 at 08:28

Here's a list of major land battles in the first Imjin war and it's general description sorted by date.

 
1592
 
4/14-15  Bushan : The begining of the invasion so the Japanese overwhelm the Korean garrison at Bushan and it's nearby garrisons with relative ease though the garrison at Dongnae managed to last around half a day of fierce fighting.
 
4/28 ChungJu : The hastily assembled Korean army met the Japanese spearhead at the fields of Chungju, they attempted a cavalry charge but was foiled and badly defeated in the insueing battle. this Loss cuase the total collapse of the Korean defenses as many assembling forces were still enroute around the country but after this defeat most fell apart and never again massed into true army and the Korean court fled north upon news of this defeat.
 
After this essentially saw the complete collapse of the Korean defense as Seoul and PyongYang were both taken literrally without a fight.  though trouble also began for the Japanese as their lines were now stretched and resistent forces are rising everywhere, more over their navies began to get crushed by Yi Sun Shin.
 
7:? :  Haejungchang the Northern most Japanese army met against the Elite border troops of the Korean army (and basically the only remaining Korean regular army), this time the Korean cavalry did succeed in their charge but were driven back in the insuing melee and then defeated by a night attack.
 
7/17 PyongYang: The first Ming army attempts to retake Korea, at the point the Chinese were still rather confused on what happened and were also preoccupied with Rebellions elsehwere, the end result was them sending what was a small army of 5000 men under a minor general into Korea, he managed to get to PyongYang and even surprised the garrison there but were eventually defeated in the enusing stree battle  . his second in command was killed by arbeques.
 
10/5-10/10 Jinju: The South Western Province of Jelloa remained untaken and was also the base of Yi Sun Sin's navy, the Japanese attempt to take the province in October was foiled at Jinju on a very close call, the defenders were almost overwhelmed after 5 days and their commander was killed by a gunshot, however a small relieve army under a cleaver Korean insurgent leader tricked the Japanese into believing that he was actually a large relieve army and they decided to give up the siege.
 
 
 
1593
 
1/08  PyongYang : A full Ming army finally arrives in Korea and marched strait for PyongYang, where their superior firepower overwhelmed the Japanese force in a single day and retook the Northen Capital.
 
1/27  Byeokjegwan :After retaking Pyongyang and the major city of Kaesong the Ming forces marched towards Seoul, by then they were quite (over)confident and what happened was either some bad intellgence or bad judgement on the Ming commander part that made him decided to run ahead with just his elite cavalries to Seoul which he assumed / heard is in the process of being abandoned by the Japanese.
 
However that was not the case and instead he ran into a huge Japanese army around Byeokjegwan, he managed to fight his way out but took considerable losses.
 
 
 
This was basically the end of the first war, after this the Ming troops managed to retake Seoul without a serious fight (due to the Japanese running out of food for their large garrison.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Posted By: RollingWave
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2011 at 08:34
Also, here's a picture of the administrative division of Korea during that time, it was divided into 8 provinces which should give you a better idea .
 
 
Of these 8, only Jeolla was largely untaken (though Koreans also still held most of Pyonsan despite losing PyongYang) during the first war, the second war was mostly contained within Gyeongsang .


Posted By: RollingWave
Date Posted: 20 Oct 2011 at 07:28
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:


The quick Japanese conquest was due not to any failure of Korean arms, but rather serious flaws in the Korean command structure. First, the King's policy was to keep all generals in his capital (Seoul), where he could keep an eye on them. This meant that a general sent out to command his troops in combat was likely seeing them for the first time. Doubly important, they were seeing him for the first time. Compare this to the feudal Japanese Army, where lords and his vassals were leading men intimately know to them, with long years of civil strife behind them. Second, the King was quick to panic, and more interested in saving his own skin that in defending his nation. And finally, internal Korean politicking and rumor mongering was rife, leading to confusion and uncertainty in the Korean high command. The king accepted the reports he wanted to hear, without verifying their truth. Thus Admiral Yi was so easily disgraced by rival generals who sent heads from his battles back to the King with fictitious reports of victories.
 
This is the negative way to look at it yes, but the postive was that this system allowed for a longer stable politics with much less risk of internal rebellion, the Yi dynasty lasted for another wooping 300 years after this war.  (they had already esbatlished for close to 200 years by this time). This was basically the conclusion China came to as well, that most regime are more at risk from being taken out interally than externally. Thus keeping a tight lid on your own military at the expense of their capability was generally worth it.
 

Quote
As for the Turtle ships, they were not the world's first ironclads or modern ships. But then the Japanese Army that Yi was fighting was not the Imperial Japanese Army of the 19th Century. It was a feudal army whose 'divisions' were hardly the uniformly organized and armed battalions, regiments, and divisions of the IJA. They were well organized fighting bands, whose principle means of attack was to close with and destroy their enemies in hand to hand combat. By such means did one attain glory in feudal Japan. And the Samurai were to be found in the thick of the fighting. Yi noted this, and realized that the key to victory over the Japanese was to identify and kill their leaders, as doing so spread panic and shame among their followers. Thus his naval tactics were based upon standing off of the Japanese far enough to be out of range of their cannon, while raking their ships with his own. Then relying upon his archers to rain arrows upon the enemy ships, while the turtle ships got close enough to attack and board the Japanese commander's flag ship. Thus the spikes on the top deck, which were meant to defeat the inevitable Japanese boarding while the Turtle ship crews and parties directed their efforts against the senior Samurai and his primary subordinates.

Anyway, that's my recollection of Turnbull's book.
 
This is the general popular thesis, though it may not be totally correct, the Japanese were fairly pragmatic folks and the navy operators were usually not full Samurais anyway. so the whole concept that they were preferring boarding attack by choice is rather questionable. (for example in one of the well noted naval battles between the Oda and the Mori the Mori were said to have used many exploding bombs and fire arrows)  It should be noted that the drawings of Turtle boats we see today come from very late 18th century, there's a very real chance that is more fantasy than reality.and that the real "Turtle Boats" were simply more heavily reinforced version of the common Korean Panokeseon.
 
I've seen analysist that think that it's simply a combination of superior ship designs and Yi's superior knowledge of the local currents that resulted in the extremely lopsided results of the naval combat in this war. For one thing, almost all the Japanese battleships were not sail based, but completely oar powered. while the Panokeseon was both. obviously giving the Korean commander a signficant tactical edge IF he can exploit it properly



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