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Admiral YI Sun Shin

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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Admiral YI Sun Shin
    Posted: 16-May-2007 at 10:25
Originally posted by Ptino

He was the creator of the turtle ships, the first metal ships in the world.
 
Koreans created the first "turtle ship", but the first ironclad ship (Which includes turtle ship) was created by Japanese. I am not sure what you mean by first "metal ship". Could you elaborate? I think first "metal ship" must have been made in the late Imperial Age where warships needed strong metal armor against the heavy gunpowder weapons.
     
   
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  Quote Ptino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2007 at 13:05
He was the creator of the turtle ships, the first metal ships in the world.
"This is Sparta!". - Leonidas 1 (300 movie)
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2007 at 22:12
Didn't think that before. Great info, thanks! I should think a bit more before I start talking...
     
   
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  Quote kevpkevp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2007 at 16:33
Originally posted by pekau

Don't know... Japan at first welcomed the foreign merchants... but because it began to threaten the power of Japanese merchants and their religion, trades were completely banned afterwards. Only few Dutch and Chinese traders were allowed to trade under careful watch in Nagasaki, and Joseon later on... but merchants trying to spy on Hideyoshi's health is highly unlikely. Possible, yes. But highly unlikely.
 
 
The European(largely Dutch) merchants were present in Japan during the time of Hideyoshi.  It was Ieyasu, who had taken the control of Japan after Hideyoshi's death, that banned the foreign merchants and persecuted the Christians.  In fact, prior to the war, Hideyoshi had attempted to purchase the Portugese battleships from the European merchants in Japan.
 
I doubt the Chinese merchants were TRYING to spy on Hideyoshi's health, but the health of such high ranking officer of the court was always an issue of interests for the merchants.  Especially back in the days, a life-threatening illness of the ruler of a nation was a huge economic issue.  Also, Hideyoshi was old enough to face death even in the age standard of the modern time.  So just the slightest hint of his illness would have, quietly but still widely, spread all over the nation.  The merchants, who would have had a keen interest in anything that might reasonably affect the national economy, would have never failed to pick up such information.
 
But then again, I am only suggesting this as a possibility.  There were other ways for the Ming court to get a hold of that information.
 
 
Originally posted by pekau

Though Yi Sunshin did the wonders, we must not overestimate him as well. It is true that he blockaded the supply and communication line... but it did not affected too much to the overall of Imjin War. Japanese simply pillaged the Joseon citizens for food, though now I think about it... maybe their gunpowder advantage may have disappeared because making gunpowder is quite difficult for common soldiers, and the mass production of gunpowders must be supplied from Japan... maybe that was one of the reason why they lost war?
 
Actually, his success had a lot to do with the overall result.  The Japan's beginning tactic was to capture the King and declare Joseon theirs.  The Japanese land army, who had run quite a distance to capture the Joseon King and his court, could not gain further ground due to the limited supply thanks to Admiral Yi's blockade.  Their supply line was already being stretched due to rise of citizen militias, but it was Admiral Yi's blockade that reduced their supply at the doorstep.
 
Like you have mentioned, the regular soldiers could not make gunpowders.  The gundpowder production technique was a trade secret that was kept on tight watch on national scale back then, so the invasion force did not have a gunpowder maker on their staff.  Also, bullets, replacement armaments such as guns and cannons, and fresh troops had to be supplied from the Japanese mainland.  Well, Admiral Yi put a stop to that.  In the first winter of the Imjin War, many Japanese soldiers died of coldness because the majority of them was not given suitable winter clothes, again thanks to the blockade.
 
Admiral Yi's blockade limited the options for the Japanese generals on land, and also increased the fear among the Japanese soldiers that they might not make home, which would have depleted their morals significantly, since the most of them were not professional soldiers.  They were drafted citizens who eventually wanted to go home.  The blocked path to their way back would have made the troops' morals to dip to the bottom of the barrel, and the Japanese generals would have had difficulties fighting battles with such troops.  On top of that, the limited supply of bullets and gunpowders forced the generals to pick their battles, and by the end of the War, they were pretty much stuck inside Busan and neighboring regions in fear of them running out of resources.  Had Admiral Yi failed to block the supply line from the mainland, the Japanese army would have had more strategic options, some of which might have brought down the entire nation of Joseon.
 
Also, the Admiral Yi's reputation even reached the ears of Hideyoshi, who had prompty ordered to avoid Yi's fleet as much as possible.  In such case, Japan could not send, not only the resources, but also the new troops to strengthen their dominance over the conquered regions, which further isolated the Japanese troops in Joseon.  The Admiral Yi's blockade, coupled with Japan's haste in chasing the King, left many Japanese soldiers alone in the hostile land(which they made even more hostile by pillaging it).
 
There was a reason Xerxes abandoned his Greece campaign after loss at Salamis, even though he still had a massive land army.  Such a large oversea campaign cannot be maintained without a steady naval support.  Well, Admiral Yi took that away from Japanese.  Only reason the Japan could maintain their assault on Korea for so long is because their land assault in the beginning had successfully broke Joseon's land army into pieces.  But the Admiral Yi's success stopped Japan's advance, and bought Joseon long enough time to recover and strike back.  Once Joseon started to strike back, and after Ming joined the fight, the Japanese force could not keep on fighting with its full might again thanks to Admiral Yi.
 
So there is a reason why people think that the Admiral Yi basicall won the war for us.
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2007 at 12:21

Got it.

     
   
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  Quote Hellios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2007 at 23:47
Originally posted by Easternknight

whats a good name [serious] for a Korean History Forum other then Korean History forum and would members on here like to be mods [points to Pekau and Ju-mong] :D
Originally posted by pekau

I don't know if I deserve to be a mod, due to my age, lack of knowledge and habit of presenting ideas without reference... but I could try if you don't have enough people. My biggest concern is that I hate to ban people. I don't have the heart to do it..
I will let you know if I can think of the name... By the way, why start Korean forum? Are you Korean as well or...?
Originally posted by Easternknight

You didn't know I was Korean?....... :(
well, im looking toward a small solid community to begin so I need to have people who know their stuff and can be relied on as I expect most members will be uh, "noobs" in regards to Korean History. Since your fairly balanced and still very knowldegedmejbahjble [I can't spell] and I would love for you and people like you to be MODs [Age doesn't matter as long as your mature {general statment} so yeah.] If you can't ban someone just tell me and I'll ban them XD
 
Easternknight & pekau, can you please discuss starting your forum by PM? Smile  Thanks.
 
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  Quote Easternknight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2007 at 21:45
You didn't know I was Korean?....... :(
 
well, im looking toward a small solid community to begin so I need to have people who know their stuff and can be relied on as I expect most members will be uh, "noobs" in regards to Korean History.
 
Since your fairly balanced and still very knowldegedmejbahjble
[I can't spell] and I would love for you and people like you to be MODs [Age doesn't matter as long as your mature {general statment} so yeah.]
 
If you can't ban someone just tell me and I'll ban them XD
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2007 at 21:06
I don't know if I deserve to be a mod, due to my age, lack of knowledge and habit of presenting ideas without reference... but I could try if you don't have enough people. My biggest concern is that I hate to ban people. I don't have the heart to do it..Pinch
 
I will let you know if I can think of the name...
 
By the way, why start Korean forum? Are you Korean as well or...?
     
   
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  Quote Easternknight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2007 at 20:45
whats a good name [serious] for a Korean History Forum other then Korean History forum and would members on here like to be mods [points to Pekau and Ju-mong] :D
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2007 at 18:26
Don't know... Japan at first welcomed the foreign merchants... but because it began to threaten the power of Japanese merchants and their religion, trades were completely banned afterwards. Only few Dutch and Chinese traders were allowed to trade under careful watch in Nagasaki, and Joseon later on... but merchants trying to spy on Hideyoshi's health is highly unlikely. Possible, yes. But highly unlikely.
 
Though Yi Sunshin did the wonders, we must not overestimate him as well. It is true that he blockaded the supply and communication line... but it did not affected too much to the overall of Imjin War. Japanese simply pillaged the Joseon citizens for food, though now I think about it... maybe their gunpowder advantage may have disappeared because making gunpowder is quite difficult for common soldiers, and the mass production of gunpowders must be supplied from Japan... maybe that was one of the reason why they lost war?
 
Japanese invaders fought quite effectively, but they were eventually pushed back by the Joseon resistance. Ming's influence was quite limited, though some say otherwise. We can all agree (I hope) that Ming's navy did very little to the Imjin War (If they did anything, that is). First invading force underestimated the Japanese army, which was destoryed on the first battle... and the second reinforcement did not do much either. I think the best think Ming did to Joseon in Imjin War is advance cannons. It is true that Japanese had cannons as well... but Mings had more, and with better quality and range. Furthermore, I have a feeling that their cannon and gundpowder supply was less frequent due to Yi Sunshin's naval blockade...
     
   
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  Quote kevpkevp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2007 at 15:53
I do not know how they got that particular information, but it is a known fact that the Ming got many information from the merchants.  Throughout the Imjin Wars many Ming merchants still did a lot of business with Japan, and probably picked up a lot of information.
Also, some European merchants did business with both Ming and Japan, so they could have relayed that information, too.  Joseon, who was in an absolute hostile relation with Japan at the time(well, obviously!), also didn't really have any reliable spy network like Japan did on Joseon.  So it is more likely that Ming found out about Hideyoshi's failing health before Joseon did.
Another reason why they held off fighting could be that they were also waiting the Japanese army to use up all its supply, since their supply route was limited, thanks again to Admiral Yi.
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2007 at 13:17

No disagreement here, kevpkevp. I totally agree with you. Though I never heard anything about Ming's navy... but that seems logical.

Just out of question, do you have any idea how Ming found out about Hideyoshi' failing health?

     
   
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  Quote kevpkevp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Mar-2007 at 00:14

This feels like beating a dead horse, but I had to add and make some corrections.

1.  Ming, at least not until the end of the war, were never a major factor.
 
Ming's first batch of troop was only 5,000, and was eventually beaten.  As some has pointed out here, the Imjin War was a secondary importance to Ming.  In fact, the Ming Emperor was actually suspicious that the Korean Royal Court was in cahoot with Japan all along.  An understandable mistake since Ming had gotten into war at all fronts at the time, but still a mistake nonetheless.
 
When it was obvious that Korea was really in dire need of help, the Emperor's order was not to defeat Japanese, but make a treaty with them, even at an expense of Korea.  At one point, a peace treaty which would have yielded half of the Korean pennisula to Japan was drafted between the Chinese and Japanese.  It only didn't go through because Hideyoshi also demanded one of Chinese princesses to be sent as his concubine.
 
The Chinese army didn't fare that well against Japanese, nor did it really try.  During the 2nd invasion, when China finally sent the new troops after a long delay, it had gotten an information about Hideyoshi's failing health, and decided to wait till his death.  A smart move, no doubt.  It is too bad that they not only let Korean populace suffer raids and pillaging by Japanese, very often they themselves were also doing the exactly the same thing.
 
Ming's navy was even doing less.  Chen Lin's fleet joined the war AFTER the famous(?) 13-vs-133 Myeongnyang Battle, and participated in only 2 actual naval battles, one being the Noryang Battle, the last battle of the Imjin War.  In fact, Admiral Yi died during the attempt to rescue Chen Lin, who got himself in danger by going in too deep.
 
So to say that the Ming's military force was a major factor in the Imjin War would be an overstatement .
 
 
2.  Portugese ships would not have helped Japan greatly in the Imjin War.
 
The reason Panoksun was so effective during the war was its level bottom.  The Korean coasts are riddled with rocks and high tides.  The Portugese ships with its round body were excellent in open sea, would have lost their mobility along the Korean coast.  Despite their expertise on sailing, the Japanese sailors would have had difficulties balancing such tall ships constantly being hit by high tides in the Korean seas, especially after shooting a barage of cannon fires.  No doubt the Portugese ships were superior in size and speed in comparison to Japanese battleships used at the time, but they were still designed to sail a long distance in an open sea.  Facing Admiral Yi's Panoksun in high tides with rocks around, the Japanese navy would have been marginally improved by using the Portugese ships.
 
Also, many people don't seem to realize is that the defeat of Spanish Armada by the British navy happened only 5 years earlier than the Imjin War.  The use of cannons in a naval battle was not exactly an old news in Europe, but both the guns and the tactics used at the time were not really superior to Admiral Yi's.
 
 
3.  Japanese navy also employed cannons.
 
Not many in this forum seem to realize, but Japanese used cannons too.  Their army used cannons as a siege weapon on land, so to think the navy didn't put the two and two together would be an oversight.  Japanese battleships were actually equipped with cannons, and some of the guns were imported from Europe and China.  The rest was their own version of the imported design.  Some of them were even more powerful than the half of Yi's guns.
 
The problem was, as mentioned as above, that the southern Korean coast was constantly hit by high tides with rocks abound.  The smaller Japanese ships could not keep their balance after shooting with such powerful force.  Obviously the accuracy suffered, not like the Joseon navy, whose panoksun held its place firmly even after a heavy shooting.  Therefore, many times the Japanese naval officers just never bothered with the cannons.
 
If your idea of the Imjin naval battles were the Joseon ships firing their mighty cannons while the burnt Japanese ships sank, you are mistaken.  The military technology at the time, both in East Asia and Europe, was not advanced enough to produce cannonballs exploding after impact.  So one or two hit by cannons wouldn't really sink a ship.  Only after a repeated hit by flying metal balls, a ship would sustain enough damage to sink.  The typical naval battles of the Imjin War were basically how many times the Joseon cannons could hit Japanese fleet before the Japanese bullets could take down Admiral Yi's crew.  If it was as easy as people make it sound like, even Won Gyun, that jealous fool who framed Yi, would have succeeded instead of having the entire navy decimated.
 
 
4.  Long before Admiral Yi, Japanese soldiers were raiding and pillaging Joseon villages.
 
One guy had an audacity to claim that it was actually Admiral Yi who forced the Japanese army to plunder the Korean popularce.  NOT TRUE!  One thing to remember is, Japan wasn't really unified before Hideyoshi, and until then their military policy always had been "to the winner goes the spoil."  There were so many factions vying for power that the ownership of some regions had been passed around like a hot potato.  In case that they could not maintain the newly won region, it was a normal practice to plunder for whatever available as a reward to the soldiers.  Wealth, women, you name it.
 
Naturally, Japanese army followed its long tradition without haste.  People were being killed, and cities were burnt.  In fact, there were some European merchants present in the Japanese-occupied Busan for the sole purpose of slave trading.  Besides, the Japanese army could survive the first winter in Korea thanks to the Korean provisions abandoned by the Korean King as he fled to north.  They didn't pillage because they had to.  They did it because that was how they executed a war.  Things were going so badly for Koreans that even the Buddist monks grabbed weapons to fight Japanese.  The Buddist monks!!
 
 
5.  Admiral Yi, although he was the Supreme Naval Commander, did not have command of Joseon's entire navy.
 
A common mistake, even by Koreans.  Joseon was divided into 8 provinces, each with its own provincial navy, usually split into two sections.  The most southern provinces, Kyungsang and Cholla(Yi's original location), had the bigger navy, while the other 5 only had a handful of battleships.  Admiral Yi, at his highest position, was given command of the only three, Kyungsang, Cholla, and Chungcheong.
 
Of all three, the Kyungsang navy, which was the biggest with over 100 ships, had already been wiped out on the day of invasion.  By whom, you ask?  Again, that fool Won Gyun, who actually had to burn down all his ships in fear of the Japanese using them.  Why, you ask?  Because the guy was too drunk to notice the 1000 Japanese ships until they actually reached the harbor.  He escaped with only two ships.
 
Fortunately, the Cholla province, which initially got run over by Japanese army who were in hurry to chase the King, held its own defense of the southern coastal regions thanks to the rise of citizen militias.  The same thing for the Chungcheong province, yet neither regions really had enough resources to aid Admiral Yi.  Despite his high rank, the only practical command he had was that of Cholla provincial navy.
 
The other 5 provicial navies, although each of them were not much, all together they could have greatly helped Admiral Yi's effort.  Yet the jealous and paranoid King feared that the Japanese might reach him by sea without them guarding him, nor did he want to give Admiral Yi that much power.  Unbelievable, but true.
 
 
6.  Admiral Yi not only had to fend for himself, but had to feed the Royal Court, AND Ming's navy.
 
At this time Admiral Yi's headquarter was cut off from the Royal Court's help, but apparently not from its hand asking for aid.  A Joseon commander usually is given a right to collect tax or resources from surrounding villages.  Admiral Yi, who never really had any access other than his own Cholla province, usually had to divide the limited provision between his navy and the King's court.  How he saved up enough to build his navy's strength from 50 something to over 200 despite all this, I'll never know.
 
When Chen Lin joined him, he was also ordered to feed Ming's navy too, although Ming's soldiers never really found it too much trouble to just take it from Korean citizens by force.  The biggest enemy of Joseon navy was not Japanese, but the hunger resulted from the King's court and Ming's navy sucking on their already limited supply.  Yet the Admiral Yi never lost his control over his soldiers, nor their respect for him.
 
 
So forgive me if I think the Admiral Yi is the greatest naval commander in the history of mankind over Nelson, Drake, and whomever you can think of.  Big%20smile


Edited by kevpkevp - 09-Mar-2007 at 00:21
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  Quote Easternknight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2007 at 21:22
there was a small mentioning of it on Wikipedia.
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  Quote Easternknight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2007 at 21:19
sorry, what I meant to say was I did do some searching and I found Japanese Sites with Tekkosen as a name but had nothing to do with the Ship.
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2007 at 21:18
Originally posted by Easternknight

Originally posted by pekau

I am not sure what source I can give that is in English. Surf the internet, I guess. I can tell you that Tekkosen had little, if any, influence over the Joeson's turtle ship. Tekkosen was considered only a prototype, and they were mostly used as decoration. Many of them were burned or destoryed when Hideyoshi died and chaos ensued in Japan. After all, Joseon Dynasty did not had any reliable information about Japan. The Koreans viewed Japan as barbaric nation. Their military was predicted to be inferior and less organized, though their prediction went disasterous as the Japan's armies landed in Pusan.
 
Also, Tekkosen was designed as moving fortress, as I have mentioned before. Yi Sinshin's turtle ship was designed for speed and mobility rather than perfect defense. Yi Sunshin avoided close combats as much as possible, for Koreans were outnumbered and were inferior to well trained samurais... Its Attack was, ironically, superior than Tekkosen... since turtle ships' main cannons were adopted from Ming Dyansty. (Chinese still had best cannons at that time with better range.
 
I did do some searching however all of the Japanese sites I saw had nothing to do with the Ship. Also wasn't the whole point of the spikes on the Turtle-ships was so that the Japanese couldn't board?
 
Sorry, I don't understand your first sentence. Elaborate, perhaps?
 
I meant to say that the Turtle ship's defense was weaker since Tekkosen could handle cannon attacks. Turtle ship's defense was soley to prevent enemy infantry to overboard. This usually did not happen, since Yi Sunshin made sure that Korean warships never got too close to Japanese ships. He could not afford to lose a single ship, considering Japan's numerical advantage.
     
   
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  Quote Easternknight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2007 at 20:43
Originally posted by pekau

I am not sure what source I can give that is in English. Surf the internet, I guess. I can tell you that Tekkosen had little, if any, influence over the Joeson's turtle ship. Tekkosen was considered only a prototype, and they were mostly used as decoration. Many of them were burned or destoryed when Hideyoshi died and chaos ensued in Japan. After all, Joseon Dynasty did not had any reliable information about Japan. The Koreans viewed Japan as barbaric nation. Their military was predicted to be inferior and less organized, though their prediction went disasterous as the Japan's armies landed in Pusan.
 
Also, Tekkosen was designed as moving fortress, as I have mentioned before. Yi Sinshin's turtle ship was designed for speed and mobility rather than perfect defense. Yi Sunshin avoided close combats as much as possible, for Koreans were outnumbered and were inferior to well trained samurais... Its Attack was, ironically, superior than Tekkosen... since turtle ships' main cannons were adopted from Ming Dyansty. (Chinese still had best cannons at that time with better range.
 
I did do some searching however all of the Japanese sites I saw had nothing to do with the Ship. Also wasn't the whole point of the spikes on the Turtle-ships was so that the Japanese couldn't board?
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2007 at 19:21
I am not sure what source I can give that is in English. Surf the internet, I guess. I can tell you that Tekkosen had little, if any, influence over the Joeson's turtle ship. Tekkosen was considered only a prototype, and they were mostly used as decoration. Many of them were burned or destoryed when Hideyoshi died and chaos ensued in Japan. After all, Joseon Dynasty did not had any reliable information about Japan. The Koreans viewed Japan as barbaric nation. Their military was predicted to be inferior and less organized, though their prediction went disasterous as the Japan's armies landed in Pusan.
 
Also, Tekkosen was designed as moving fortress, as I have mentioned before. Yi Sinshin's turtle ship was designed for speed and mobility rather than perfect defense. Yi Sunshin avoided close combats as much as possible, for Koreans were outnumbered and were inferior to well trained samurais... Its Attack was, ironically, superior than Tekkosen... since turtle ships' main cannons were adopted from Ming Dyansty. (Chinese still had best cannons at that time with better range.
     
   
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  Quote Easternknight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2007 at 18:42

Cool. do you have non-Japanese Sources regarding the Tekkosen I want to do more research. did it influence Admiral Yi's Turtle boats?

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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2007 at 01:30

I don't exactly recall when the Japanese first produced it, but they seemed to have developed Tekkosen (鉄甲船) that was made... oh what the heck. middle of the 16th century. Give or take. (Note that it was before Joseon's turtle ship was produced.) It had cannons on each side of the ship and some huge rifle-like small cannon to counter enemy infantry that that are fairly close. Very few were produced, for they were still prototypes... but they successfully blockaded the Mōri clan its impact caused the clan to make peace treaty with Japan's most powerful man, Hideyoshi.

It should be noted that they were meant for coastal or other relatively calm water, for the ships should really be called fortified ships (My opinion, nothing offensive, I hope). It was heavy and was slow, but its defense and attack was superb compared to normal Panokseon.
 
 
     
   
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