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Admiral YI Sun Shin

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  Quote RollingWave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Admiral YI Sun Shin
    Posted: 12-Jul-2010 at 22:46
Originally posted by TranHungDao

Originally posted by Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner

If Korea has Ming's support there is no way Japan could have won, the resource and manpower of Ming is inexhaustable and even if ming is toppled by internal rebellion the Manchus would then help Korea since Japan would have been a threat.

I agree about the Chinese manpower advantage, but the ability of a Portugeuse squadron to counter or negate the Korean naval threat would have freed up the Japanese on land, and even if they still ultimately had to pull out, it would likely have lengthened the war.


Actually, the Ming were routed in Vietnam, just as the Qing were.   Both armies were about 200,000 vs Dai Viet's 100,000.  Western historians have observed from Chinese records that once China invaded Vietnam, sooner or later, they were vexed with the question of how to get out of Vietnam, because the war there was bankrupting the China.  (In both Japanese invasions of Korea, the Ming only sent about 100,000 to help the Koreans.  And they were effective!)

This is pretty faulty on several levels.
 
1. The total manpower send into korea in the first invasion by the Ming , if you count EVERYONE starting from the first small parties , was MAYBE close to 50,000 .
 
The Ming's local governor at Liao Dong authorized a small force of some 3,000 men under Zhu Chen Xun into Korea around July - August of 1592,  they were ill informed of the situation, and eventually was defeated badly at PyongYang in an attempt to retake the city and one of their generals Shi-Ru was killed in action. After this only a few hundred men was stationed with the Korean king at Uiji under Lo Shang Zhi, until the full expedition arrived, the administrator's letter suggest that he had around 36,000 men in Korea at that point, after this expedition under Li Ru Song and others retook PyongYang and Kaesong, they met stiff resistance at Seoul and entered into a stalemate mode, around this time 5,000 more men under Liu Ting arrived (they had traveled all the way from South Western China to get here) . inbetween this the Korean records noted a few other reinforcement of roughly 1000 men each, though the letters from the administrator Song Ying Chang does not seem to confirm this. adding this all up means that the total deployment was somehwere between 43,000 - 50,000 .
 
2. The second war saw a larger deployment, though it was reinforced in different stages. so due to obviously overlapping double counts it's hard to read into the total men power deployed, but at their height around September of 1598 they probably had some 75,000 - 80,000 men.  at the start of the war they had roughly 10,000 stationed in Korea, mostly at Namwon and Seoul ,  after that the Namwon garrison was largely lost, though the Ming forces was able to hold on to Seoul, by late 1597 they had reinforced back up to around the 40,000 range, and launched a counter offesnive on Ulsan, but that ended up badly. though how many Ming forces were actually killed remained murky. (probably 5k-8k) after this they made a large build up and launched a final large offensive starting from September of 98, at the point they probably had 75,000 + . so overall deployment might have been over 100k.
 
3. war is not just about manpower, it is also largely about logistics, and that was one of the primarly problems for both side in this conflict, the Japanese was getting cut off at sea thanks to Yi's effort and was badly harrased by insurgent koreans everywhere, so despite a large army they really couldn't go anywhere by the later months of 1592. on the other hand, th Ming also soon met with sever logistical problems after entering the war in earnest at 1593, as their letters noted how they couldn't even get salt, let alone rice and meat to their forces. they were citing terrible road conditions and an largely ineffective Korean government. (I can post out the original letter writings if you like) .  The Ming's manpower was also largely tied up against the Mongolian front,  and raising new armies is hardly something that can be done in a short span of time. (the two war both only lasted around 12 -18 months total. )
 
There was one additional potential source of army tha the Ming could have drawn from, but the Koreans were appalled by that proposition, which was to borrow forces from the Manchurian tribes , the Koreans have long suffered from raids from them however, and the prospect of them marching into Korea, even in times of desperation, is appalling.
 

 
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  Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2010 at 11:18
History_wiz, If you want a good study of the Imjin Wars, I would strongly recommend Stephen Turnbull's "Samurai Invasion", in which Admiral Yi figures prominently. His Turtle Ship was not an "Ironclad", and indeed, the spikes on the deck cover were meant to repell Samurai boarders, thereby forcing the Japanese to find another tactic other than their formidable boarding party. The matchlock rifles were know to the Koreans, but discounted by the first Korean general to take to the field as "Irrelevant, since they can't hit anything with them". (He was killed by one). The Korean ship mounted naval artillery out-ranged the Japanese ship-mounted guns, and Yi developed the tactic of standing out of range to destroy the Japanese ships by fire. Also, the Korean compound bow outranged the Samurai longbow. Still, Korea almost lost the war, thanks to an inept command system by which generals were kept in Seoul until they were finally given command, thereby forcing generals to go into battle with troops they had never commanded, and troops to serve under generals who were unknown to them.
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  Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2010 at 11:25
As for Admiral Yi being greater than Nelson, understand that Nelson actually knew how to sail ships on distant seas, and was a master navigator. Yi was neither. Yet Yi was a model of ethical values and was totally committed to his country, something that many of his superiors lacked. Within the Korean military system of the 16th Century, Yi was both a model and a giant among his peers, something that excited great envy among his enemies. He would be better compared to Spain's 'Cid Campeador', Rodrigo de Bivar. The only real talent he had in common with Nelson was that of a naval tactical innovator. 
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  Quote Tiger of Kai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2010 at 14:06
Originally posted by lirelou

History_wiz, If you want a good study of the Imjin Wars, I would strongly recommend Stephen Turnbull's "Samurai Invasion", in which Admiral Yi figures prominently. His Turtle Ship was not an "Ironclad", and indeed, the spikes on the deck cover were meant to repell Samurai boarders, thereby forcing the Japanese to find another tactic other than their formidable boarding party. The matchlock rifles were know to the Koreans, but discounted by the first Korean general to take to the field as "Irrelevant, since they can't hit anything with them". (He was killed by one). The Korean ship mounted naval artillery out-ranged the Japanese ship-mounted guns, and Yi developed the tactic of standing out of range to destroy the Japanese ships by fire. Also, the Korean compound bow outranged the Samurai longbow. Still, Korea almost lost the war, thanks to an inept command system by which generals were kept in Seoul until they were finally given command, thereby forcing generals to go into battle with troops they had never commanded, and troops to serve under generals who were unknown to them.


Turnbull's work is decent, but it tends to focus on the Japanese side a bit. Much like Kenny Swope's work focuses on the Ming waaayyyy too much. For the discussion of the Imjin War I would highly recommend Samuel Hawley's work.

I like what you mentioned about the Korean command structure, however. To say they were inept is definitely putting it mildly.
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  Quote RollingWave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2010 at 18:44
Originally posted by lirelou

As for Admiral Yi being greater than Nelson, understand that Nelson actually knew how to sail ships on distant seas, and was a master navigator. Yi was neither. Yet Yi was a model of ethical values and was totally committed to his country, something that many of his superiors lacked. Within the Korean military system of the 16th Century, Yi was both a model and a giant among his peers, something that excited great envy among his enemies. He would be better compared to Spain's 'Cid Campeador', Rodrigo de Bivar. The only real talent he had in common with Nelson was that of a naval tactical innovator. 
 
That is not technically true, Yi didn't sail to distant seas, but all signs point to him being a geniues navigator,  as he basically read the currents perfectly in every battle, causing the Japanese forces to be rowing against strong currents in their attempt to approach the Korean ships (his amazing victory at the Battle of Myeongnyang was probably the best example) , and even when the Japanese did have favorable currents  Yi played it against them (see battle of Hansando, where it appeared that the Japanese tried to use favaorable currents to rush into the Korean fleet, but the Korean fleet manuvered aside and fliped the table against them)
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  Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jul-2010 at 06:01
RollingWave, Reading coastal currents and sailing the high seas are two different skills, and as regards the former, I would suggest the Yi was intelligent enough to listen to the experienced coastal sailors in his crews. (Which I presume he did, and in itself is a mark of genius that was not common among Korean generals of the period.) Nelson was no fluke, and his navigational experience rested upon a long tradition of English high seas sailing. Korea had no such experience at the time, and indeed, their Navy was merely the coastal hugging version of the Army. Had Yi lived, and had Korea found a King interested in maritime trade overseas, that might have changed. Remember that the Choseon dynasty was so conservative in thought that even King Sajeong's Han Gul alphabet remained unused until the late 19th Century.
 
Koreans have since proven their genius in industry and boat-building. They don't need to puff up Admiral Yi's reputation with hyperbole. It suffices that at one of the darkest periods in Korean history, he was the light that rallied and inspired the Korean people.  
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  Quote SNK_1408 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2010 at 03:51
Originally posted by lirelou

.... Remember that the Choseon dynasty was so conservative in thought that even King Sajeong's Han Gul alphabet remained unused until the late 19th Century.
 
...


You sounded like you knows Korean language pretty well, tell me something that I don't know.
It was used but not extensively, commonly used by commoners and women up until late 19th century. Then after Korean Empire, republic government adopted usage of full Korean alphabet. Btw, Koreans still use Hanja in their written medias such as newspapers and books/government documents. I'll bet average Koreans knows more about Chinese characters than Vietnamese.

Hanja learning was compulsory up until early days of 1980s at elementary-high school, then as more younger generations went to overseas for education at aboard, usage of Hanja became pointless as they started using English and other foreign languages, also during Japanese occupation period 1910~1945, Korean were influenced by imported Japanese words. However usage of Japanese words have been discouraged by both North & South Korean education boards for "nationalism" purpose. From early 1990s, Korean government started ambitious plan for re-introducing native Korean words. There is even TV program that teaches how to use 'native words' over loan words.

Koreans today extensively uses three words: Hanja words, Korean words and English words. Either one of them would help to communicate with Koreans without much problem except for English words are not used extensively.
Many words like School, government, bank are mostly loan words from Hanja, where was newer words like computer, television, video, camcorder, camera, program etc.. are used as original sound just like English. Korean words are usually used at expressive words, color, sound, number, directions, commonly used daily words such as greetings, swearing words etc..


Edited by SNK_1408 - 25-Aug-2010 at 04:26
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  Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2010 at 12:16
SNK, in reference to: "I'll bet average Koreans knows more about Chinese characters than Vietnamese."

That is certainly true of my generation (60 plus). Korean education up until very recently still stressed learning a certain number of Hanju characters, and many businesses in Seoul still put up signs in both Han Gul and Hanju or classical Chinese.  But then, Korea's historical relationship with China differs fro that of Vietnam. The Chinese have never considered Korea as part of China, except to demand that Korea accept its roll as a vassal state (or more correctly, the Korean King acknowledge his position as a vassal of the Chinese Emperor), whereas the Chinese view Vietnam as a Chinese state (Nam Viet) that broke away from the Empire. You will find Chinese and Chinese-based (Chu Nom) characters in use among the Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian clergy in Vietnam, but not among the general public, primarily due to Ho Chi Minh's decision to make the Quoc Ngu mandatory. As for the words themselves, the majority of words in both Korean and Vietnamese have Chinese roots, much as ost English words have Latin roots..

I am aware of the Goguryo issue, and my comment about China above refers to Shilla and Choseon periods. 
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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2010 at 12:01
Originally posted by lirelou


That is certainly true of my generation (60 plus). Korean education up until very recently still stressed learning a certain number of Hanju characters, and many businesses in Seoul still put up signs in both Han Gul and Hanju or classical Chinese. 
 
A re-emphasis on classical Chinese characters could return as China's economic and political strength grows.  
 
 One thing that I have noticed is that China does not promote Mandarin in the same way France does French.  For example, the French fund schools, trade organzations, educational programs and cultural exchanges in an effort to encourage use of French, even in countries where the language has declined.


Edited by Cryptic - 26-Aug-2010 at 12:07
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