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  Quote Abyssmal Fiend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Europe and asia
    Posted: 14-Sep-2004 at 15:11

And of those 50,000 men, how many were slaves? 5,000+? Not exactly an astounding loss. How many Chinese died? Probally more, but god knows they breed so damned fast...


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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Sep-2004 at 15:41
These troops were the elite army led by Meng Ge himself. Xiang Yang's population isn't much over 150,000, the Mongol army that attacked it number some 300,000.
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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Sep-2004 at 07:39

Warhead,

Originally posted by warhead

"The 1574 attack on Manilla is actually just fine as an "indication"--as I already pointed out, Lim-Ah-Hong had some 4,000 men, all well armed.  Considering the fairly small numbers of Spanish present in the Philippines at that time, the victory of Juan de Salcedo was no small accomplishment (though the Spanish were backed by Pampangan mercs).  Also, the wako lack of cavalry wasn't an issue, since we don't hear too much about cavalry use in general in the Philippines at this time anyway. "

The point is wako isn't a regular army of imperial Japan and far from the quality of that of Toyotomi's army that displayed its fighting prowess in the Korean wars. It lack key element of organization, cavalry and artillery which is not difficult to beat head on.

Again, your assessment of the wako is inaccurate.  They clearly were very organized, as contemporary Spanish and Chinese observations reveal.  I already pointed out that the lack of cavalry wasn't an issue in the Philippines.  Even if it had been an issue, the manner in which the samurai used their cavalry probably would not have presented a problem for the Spanish--look at what Nobunaga did to the Takeda cavalry at Nagashino in 1575, and you'll note that the Spanish under Cordoba had executed similar carnage amongst French gendarmes at Cerignola, back in 1503.  As for artillery, what did the "regular army" samurai have that the wako didn't?  Both of them were supplied with superior European artillery from time to time.

Were the wako of the same caliber as Hideyoshi's Imjin War veterans?  I'd venture to say "No", but the Spanish colonial soldiers in the Philippines were likewise not on the same level as the crack troops in the Spanish Army of Flanders.  So, IMO it all evens out.

"As for the Ming Chinese defeating the wako "pretty easily", it's interesting to note that Ch'i Chi-Kuang implemented Army Reforms (like the establishment of the "Mandarin Duck" squad formation) in direct response to the wako threat, so the military capabilities of the latter could not have been negligable.  ""

The original Ming border squads were not imperial armies and their fighting capacity was very poor, even the imperial army at the time has denerated to such a level that mongols won frequent victories when raiding. Note that Wo Kou's attacks are raids not serious threats to ming border in any way. Qi Ji Guan is only a Cang Jun which is a small post and its quite possible that the emperor have never even herd of him until he defeated the Wo kou. And this is the Ming army of the mid 16 century, it will undergo a much increase in qualtity by the time of Zhang Ju Zheng.

Claiming that the wako attacks were "not serious threats" to the "Ming border in any way" ironically disregards the Ming military viewpoint on the issue.  In Late Imperial Chinese Armies 1520-1840, author Chris Peers pointed out:

"...by 1554 the wo-k'ou were stronger than ever, defeating several Ming armies on land, and threatening major coastal cities like Nanking and Hangchow."

"Perhaps you could elaborate on these three points?"

Certainly, The The major superiority of the Chinese crossbow over their western counterparts is its trigger mechanism, Dubs claimed the arrangement of the parts of this mechanism was almost as complicated as that of a modern rifle bolt, and could be reproduced only by very competent mechanics. Removal of the shafts allowed the the component pieces to drop out and although the mechanism was easy to reassemble, it may have taken more ingenuity than the huns possessed to reproduce the bronze casting. Later western devices were often unnecessarily complicated and with so many moving parts must have been prone to disorder. The Chinese lock, on the other hand, was fool proof in operation and it could not discharge itself because of water on the bearing surfaces,; its reliability was absolute, in fact the mechanism have litle changed since han times, many later dynasties in fact try to dig up lost mechanisms from the past and improve on them, in one instance, the Ming emperor, Zhong Yuan Zhang have duged up a Han crossbow and copied its mechanism.

Funny, I never saw the trigger mechanism on Western crossbows as being "unneccesarily complicated"--certainly, it doesn't have many parts--and it was used successfully for centuries.

 

This along with better manufactured bolts aloowed the Eastern crossbow to outrange, outpierce, and less mistakes than the western counterparts.

LOL--"outrange" and "outpierce" Western steel-staved crossbows of the 15th and 16th centuries?  Give me some figures on these Chinese crossbows (draw weight, effective range, etc)!

While on the side of tactical formation, the early troops of the central plain had developed the volley rotation shooting formation which only the 18th century European flintlock shooters mastered.

It depends on what your definition of "volley rotation" is.

Western gunners used the "countermarch"--a form of "volley rotation"--during the 16th century.

And the variety of the Crossbow of the Chinese version such as the repeater gave it far more variety and advantage.

The much-vaunted Chinese repeating crossbow was of comparatively limited application.  It's design suggests that it was more applicaple to defending fortifications, as opposed to field use, and I must wonder about the accuracy of a weapon that used flightless bolts.

"The luxury of historical hindsight can be distorting, leading some of us to make claims of victories achieved with "relative ease", that may or may not reflect the reality of the situations being discussed."

There is nothing that I disagreed about this statement, so whats your point?

You say you don't disagree with my statement, and yet it was you who spoke of the Mongols defeating the Europeans with "relative ease".

My point is that you utilized some facts to make some pretty broad (and rather warped) declarations, which are not reflective of reality.  You said,

The various cities of Jin and Song held much larger mongol armies for a much long time inflicting heavy casualties on them.

The fact remains that China was conquered by the Mongols.  Western Europe was not.

You then went on to say:

 Europe is the furthest conquest of the mongols, yet it was still conquered with such little troops and relative ease on the battle field.

This nonsense about defeating the Europeans with "relative ease on the battlefield" is what I was specifically talking about, in regards to my "historical hindsight" comment.  I already pointed out that Prince Batu himself appeared to have felt otherwise. 

As for the standard belief that the Mongols would have smashed the rest of Western Europe, it's ultimately a moot point, because they chose not to attempt it.  In fact, Erik Hildinger offered some worthwhile observations in his excellent Warriors of the Steppe--A Military History of Central Asia, 500 B.C. To 1700 A.D.:

"Still, despite the evident superiority of the steppe warrior over most of his settled adversaries, Europe, at least, never suffered actual conquest from the steppe.  The Mongols, it seems, might have done this except for their internal political troubles.  But the steppe warrior was a product of his environment, shaped by it and therefore suited to it.  It follows, then, that he was limited by it.  Consider that a steppe army needs a great number of horse, at least two and more commonly three for every man.  An army might easily have a hundred thousand horses as well as herds of cattle or flocks of sheep to feed the men, and these animals need a great deal of grass.  In Hungary, where the steppe extends into Europe, there may be enough, but farther west there may not.  Cerrtainly a horde could feed its animals from granaries instead, but after conquest it would be difficult to maintain the number of horses to which they were accustomed.

This is not to say that the conquest of Europe in the thirteenth century was not eminently possible, only that it may have presented more difficulties than are generally recognized.  Aside from its geoprgaphic location, which, from the Mongol perspective, was on the remote fringe of the Eurasian landmass, Europe also had many mountain ranges, forests, valleys and rivers, all of which tended to restrict somewhat the movement of cavalry armies.  Medieval Europe was also more commonly furnished with castles and walled cities than were the other areas the Mongols roamed: Asia and the Middle East.  This was the result of the more general militarization of European society compared with those elsewhere.

Even though the steppe warriors as a group were better fighters than the individualistic and honor-obsessed knights of medieval Europe, the latter might still have appeared as dangerous foes, particularly when they operated from castles in hilly and forested terrain.  So while the Mongols had shown themselves more than capable of dealing with any of these obstacles, the combination of them may have rendered Europe less attractive as a target.  One may suppose that when Batu no longer had the support of Karakorum (and its imperial tumens) he must have judged the conquest of Europe, like the reoccupation of Hungary, too risky."

Batu's reservations were hinted at when Mongol parties were ambushed by Austrian troops under Duke Frederick.  The successful defense of Szkesfehrvr by the Italian mercs was doubtlessly noted as well.

And the next time a cavalry-based army of horse-archers tried to penetrate that deep into Western Europe, they were wiped out (the Turkish akincis in the Vienna Woods, in 1532).

Peace,

David

 



Edited by Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner
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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Sep-2004 at 11:27

"Again, your assessment of the wako is inaccurate.  They clearly were very organized, as contemporary Spanish and Chinese observations reveal."

 

Do point out which chinese source claim they are very organized if you didn't assume that up.

 

"  I already pointed out that the lack of cavalry wasn't an issue in the Philippines.  Even if it had been an issue, the manner in which the samurai used their cavalry probably would not have presented a problem for the Spanish--look at what Nobunaga did to the Takeda cavalry at Nagashino in 1575, and you'll note that the Spanish under Cordoba had executed similar carnage amongst French gendarmes at Cerignola, back in 1503.  As for artillery, what did the "regular army" samurai have that the wako didn't?  Both of them were supplied with superior European artillery from time to time."

 

Volley rotation fire is som,ething that the Wou kou didn't use.

 

"Were the wako of the same caliber as Hideyoshi's Imjin War veterans?  I'd venture to say "No", but the Spanish colonial soldiers in the Philippines were likewise not on the same level as the crack troops in the Spanish Army of Flanders.  So, IMO it all evens out."

 

This evens out nothing, it just means the comparison is invalid.

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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Sep-2004 at 11:31

"Claiming that the wako attacks were "not serious threats" to the "Ming border in any way" ironically disregards the Ming military viewpoint on the issue.  In Late Imperial Chinese Armies 1520-1840, author Chris Peers pointed out:

"...by 1554 the wo-k'ou were stronger than ever, defeating several Ming armies on land, and threatening major coastal cities like Nanking and Hangchow.""

 

No, absolutely not, your claim is incorrect in all sense, the Wou kou is a pest not a threat, the Ming army that sent against it were small detachments of mere thousands and hundreds, the Wou kou band mostly number a few hundred to a few thousand. Those pitty battles you bring up are small scale skirmishes, to say that they actually prove anything is ridiculous.

 

"LOL--"outrange" and "outpierce" Western steel-staved crossbows of the 15th and 16th centuries?  Give me some figures on these Chinese crossbows (draw weight, effective range, etc)!"

 

No, This whole thread is about the 13th century if you haven't noticed this whole time, yes there aren't record of draw weight, but the range is 500 yards while tha tof the arbalest is roughly 350 in average.

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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Sep-2004 at 11:32

 

"Western gunners used the "countermarch"--a form of "volley rotation"--during the 16th century."

 

We are talking about the 13th century for your information.

 

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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Sep-2004 at 14:04

"The much-vaunted Chinese repeating crossbow was of comparatively limited application.  It's design suggests that it was more applicaple to defending fortifications, as opposed to field use, and I must wonder about the accuracy of a weapon that used flightless bolts."

 

On the contrast, the repeater was used against large field infantry in which the bolts would do large casualtie.

 

You say you don't disagree with my statement, and yet it was you who spoke of the Mongols defeating the Europeans with "relative ease".

My point is that you utilized some facts to make some pretty broad (and rather warped) declarations, which are not reflective of reality.  You said,

 

 

"You say you don't disagree with my statement, and yet it was you who spoke of the Mongols defeating the Europeans with "relative ease"."

 

Considering the amount of troops deployed in proportion to the total number of the mongol empire as well as the distance covered it was relatively easy.

"My point is that you utilized some facts to make some pretty broad (and rather warped) declarations, which are not reflective of reality."

 

The reality is very clearly reflected in the secret history, mongols hardly consider Europe a marjor campaign, the secret mostly mention capaigns against other steppe empires as well as those that are in China, only a few sentences are dedicated to the European campaign and there were no details on the battle, the feud of the generals were more important, the mongols never did use much of its stregth in the campgain against Russia thus the relative ease.

 

 

 

"The fact remains that China was conquered by the Mongols.  Western Europe was not."

 

Considering western Europe is never invaded, this comparsion like your other pet arguments are invalid.

The only fact that clearly remains is the fact that those parts of Europe that they did invade, they did it with roughly 100,000 troops in only a few years, while they took far longer and employed far more troops not to mention far less distance in their campaign against China.

You then went on to say:

 

"This nonsense about defeating the Europeans with "relative ease on the battlefield" is what I was specifically talking about, in regards to my "historical hindsight" comment.  I already pointed out that Prince Batu himself appeared to have felt otherwise.  "

 

Prince Batu's troops are only but a fraction of the Mongol army. Relative ease is comparison with other conquests which you consider Europe just as difficult which is obviously wrong.

 

 

"As for the standard belief that the Mongols would have smashed the rest of Western Europe, it's ultimately a moot point, because they chose not to attempt it.  In fact, Erik Hildinger offered some worthwhile observations in his excellent Warriors of the Steppe--A Military History of Central Asia, 500 B.C. To 1700 A.D.:"

 

I never disagreed with the fact that mongols could not take western Europe, in fact I'm always with the argument that they can't,. but only because of the vast distance and terrain they have to pass through, nothing to do with any superiority in European military.

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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Sep-2004 at 20:27
LOL I don't understand why we're talking about Mongols here, unless we're comparing the Mongols vs. Europeans, which we're not - am I correct? The Mongols took much longer to conquer China because it was more structurally formidible. The Russian states all fell one by one and the Hungarians were nearly neutralized in one battle. The Chinese empires were much more populated, resourceful and their key cities held off much longer than usual against the Mongols. The battles the Mongols fought in China were very large scale compared to the two in europe but had less relative effect. If you look at all the Mongols' campaigns, their victories were more because of political organization, rather than how well-equipt their enemies were. The khwarezmian empire was very highly populated and could field massive armies, but was conquered with extreme ease.

Still, I'm not sure if we're arguing about equitpment, training, technology, etc...


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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 08:29

Warhead,

Originally posted by warhead

"The much-vaunted Chinese repeating crossbow was of comparatively limited application.  It's design suggests that it was more applicaple to defending fortifications, as opposed to field use, and I must wonder about the accuracy of a weapon that used flightless bolts."

On the contrast, the repeater was used against large field infantry in which the bolts would do large casualtie.

Have you ever seen one of these things in action?  I have.

In Mike Loades' video, Archery--Its History and Forms, a demo with the Chinese repeating crossbow is given.  The design of this weapon is undeniably ingenious, but it is also not without its faults.  I suggested that it was probably better for defense of fortifications because the balance is well forward (with the magazine in the front), and so one could rest it on a wall.  When not resting it on a wall or similar surface, one must brace the end of the stock on the hip, which certainly doesn't lend itself to accurate shooting.  Add to that the problem of the flightless bolts, and I think you see what I'm getting at.

Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey gives an effective range for this weapon at about 80 yards, which certainly isn't neglible, but I still personally have my reservations about the weapon overall.

"You say you don't disagree with my statement, and yet it was you who spoke of the Mongols defeating the Europeans with 'relative ease'.

My point is that you utilized some facts to make some pretty broad (and rather warped) declarations, which are not reflective of reality." 

Considering the amount of troops deployed in proportion to the total number of the mongol empire as well as the distance covered it was relatively easy.

LOL--whatever, bro.

"My point is that you utilized some facts to make some pretty broad (and rather warped) declarations, which are not reflective of reality."

 

The reality is very clearly reflected in the secret history, mongols hardly consider Europe a marjor campaign, the secret mostly mention capaigns against other steppe empires as well as those that are in China, only a few sentences are dedicated to the European campaign and there were no details on the battle, the feud of the generals were more important, the mongols never did use much of its stregth in the campgain against Russia thus the relative ease.

Since "there were no details", how can we ascertain what the Mongols really thought?  Again, I lean towards the opinion of Prince Batu, a Mongol commander who was actually there.  James Chambers elaborated on this situation at Mohi in The Devil's Horsemen:

"The Mongols surrounded the camp, but Batu was despondent.  The second bridge had taken longer than expected to build and the delay had cost him terrible casualties for which he blamed Subedei.  He was no longer confident that his exhausted soldiers were strong enough to storm the camp or hold their own if the Hungarians came out again, and he wanted to play safe and retreat."

Batu's doubts were also indicated by Subedei's valiant reply:

"Subedei, however, had more faith in his soldiers and their trust in him was absolute.  'If the princes wish to retreat they may do so,' he said, 'but for my part I am resolved not to return until I have reached Pest and the Danube.'"

 

"The fact remains that China was conquered by the Mongols.  Western Europe was not."

Considering western Europe is never invaded, this comparsion like your other pet arguments are invalid.

It's not invalid, nor is it a "pet argument".

You attempted to suggest that the Chinese gave the Mongols a harder time than the Europeans did, as if you were inferring some sort of Chinese superiority there (and if I misunderstood you, I apologize).  I simply pointed out the obvious--China was conquered, and Europe was not--so how can you make such declarations in the first place? 

The only fact that clearly remains is the fact that those parts of Europe that they did invade, they did it with roughly 100,000 troops in only a few years, while they took far longer and employed far more troops not to mention far less distance in their campaign against China.

And how many troops did the Mongols have to deal with in the Chinese campaigns?

You then went on to say:

"This nonsense about defeating the Europeans with "relative ease on the battlefield" is what I was specifically talking about, in regards to my "historical hindsight" comment.  I already pointed out that Prince Batu himself appeared to have felt otherwise.  "

Prince Batu's troops are only but a fraction of the Mongol army. Relative ease is comparison with other conquests which you consider Europe just as difficult which is obviously wrong.

Batu's force was one of the main forces that fought in the European campaign, so I don't see what your argument is here.

"As for the standard belief that the Mongols would have smashed the rest of Western Europe, it's ultimately a moot point, because they chose not to attempt it.  In fact, Erik Hildinger offered some worthwhile observations in his excellent Warriors of the Steppe--A Military History of Central Asia, 500 B.C. To 1700 A.D.:"

I never disagreed with the fact that mongols could not take western Europe, in fact I'm always with the argument that they can't,. but only because of the vast distance and terrain they have to pass through, nothing to do with any superiority in European military.

 

Then perhaps you need to reassess the situation, since the "terrain" the Mongols had "to pass through" and the "European military" are inseparable parts of the same equation.  What did the Mongols dislike in general?  Close combat at HTH.  That was precisely what the European aristocratic warrior class specialized in.  Supporting footsoldiers provided a missile element with crossbows, that was better suited to the defensive, "static warfare" common amongst settled peoples--ie., farmer-soldiers and the like.  Both of those elements could have been used to good effect in the "terrain" of Europe you speak of.  The Mongols experienced comparatively small demonstrations of these things at Szkesfehrvr and in Austria, and the Ottoman Turks received a full-blown education on the subject in 1532.

Peace,

David



Edited by Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner
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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 08:41

Warhead,

Originally posted by warhead

 

"Western gunners used the "countermarch"--a form of "volley rotation"--during the 16th century."

 

We are talking about the 13th century for your information.

 

 

Allow me to refresh you memory...

You originally claimed,

While on the side of tactical formation, the early troops of the central plain had developed the volley rotation shooting formation which only the 18th century European flintlock shooters mastered.

I, in turn, simply corrected you, by mentioning that Europeans had developed effective "volley rotation shooting" well before the 18th century.

 

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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 09:16

Warhead,

Originally posted by warhead

"Again, your assessment of the wako is inaccurate.  They clearly were very organized, as contemporary Spanish and Chinese observations reveal."

 

Do point out which chinese source claim they are very organized if you didn't assume that up.

The following comes from Peers' Late Imperial Chinese Armies 1520-1840, and he uses Ch'i Chi-Kuang as a source:

"At first the pirates were better disciplined than the government troops and frequently outmanoeuvred them, but when possible they preferred to stand on the defensive.  Ch'i Chi-kuang noted that 'the pirates always manage to sit on the heights waiting for us.  Usually they hold on until evening, when our soldiers become tired.  Then they dash out... They adorn their helmets with coloured strings and animal horns of metallic colours and ghostly shapes to frighten our soldiers.'"

Peers also noted that the wako were well-drilled in Japanese swordplay:

"A distinctive feature of the wo-k'ou themselves was the Japanese swordplay employed by some of their infantry--both Japanese and Chinese who had learned their methods.  They raised and lowered their swords in unison, signalled by officers with folding fans, and wielded them so swiftly that an enemy 'could see only the flash of the weapon, not the man.'"

And, for folks who were (according to you) not very organized or disciplined, it is curious to note that Ch'i Chi-kuang went to considerable lengths to actually learn sword technique from the wako:

"Swordfighting stances from the 1588 edition of Chinese General Qi Jiguang 's Ji Xiao Xin Shu. General Ji inflicted a great defeat on the Japanese pirates in 1561 at Taizhou, capturing the leader and 1900 pows. These techniques were obtained after interrogating (ie torturing) the pirates."

So, the wako made a thoroughly systematic use of their weapons.

The entire article can be found here:

http://www.sevenstarstrading.com/article/2hand/ming.html

I find it a bit amusing how you accuse me of "assuming" things, when it appears that YOU are assuming that pirates can't fight as an organized force.  The wako in the 16th century clearly did--again, their attack on Manilla in 1574 was originally thought to have been an incursion by a Portuguese force.  If you want more examples of organized pirates, all you have to do is look at the North African corsairs from the same century.  In fact, Sulleyman employed one of these mere "pirates"--Khzir-ed-Din Barbarossa--to reorganize the entire Ottoman Navy!  The best Muslim commander at Lepanto, Ulich Ali, was likewise a corsair.

"  I already pointed out that the lack of cavalry wasn't an issue in the Philippines.  Even if it had been an issue, the manner in which the samurai used their cavalry probably would not have presented a problem for the Spanish--look at what Nobunaga did to the Takeda cavalry at Nagashino in 1575, and you'll note that the Spanish under Cordoba had executed similar carnage amongst French gendarmes at Cerignola, back in 1503.  As for artillery, what did the "regular army" samurai have that the wako didn't?  Both of them were supplied with superior European artillery from time to time."

Volley rotation fire is som,ething that the Wou kou didn't use.

How do you know that?

"Were the wako of the same caliber as Hideyoshi's Imjin War veterans?  I'd venture to say "No", but the Spanish colonial soldiers in the Philippines were likewise not on the same level as the crack troops in the Spanish Army of Flanders.  So, IMO it all evens out."

This evens out nothing, it just means the comparison is invalid.

Hardly "invalid" my friend.

My comparison shows that well-equipped European and Asian warriors--who were both very experienced in the specific theatre they operated in--faced each other, and, in this particular case, the Europeans won.  It doesn't mean that the Japanese or Chinese didn't know how to fight--on the contrary, the Spanish had nothing but praise for the martial capabilities of the wako.

And I can post those accounts too, if you wish.

Peace,

David



Edited by Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner
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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 09:52

Warhead,

Originally posted by warhead

"Claiming that the wako attacks were "not serious threats" to the "Ming border in any way" ironically disregards the Ming military viewpoint on the issue.  In Late Imperial Chinese Armies 1520-1840, author Chris Peers pointed out:

"...by 1554 the wo-k'ou were stronger than ever, defeating several Ming armies on land, and threatening major coastal cities like Nanking and Hangchow.""

 

No, absolutely not, your claim is incorrect in all sense, the Wou kou is a pest not a threat, the Ming army that sent against it were small detachments of mere thousands and hundreds, the Wou kou band mostly number a few hundred to a few thousand. Those pitty battles you bring up are small scale skirmishes, to say that they actually prove anything is ridiculous.

For a group of mere "pests" they seem to have had a fairly profound impact on the Ming.

Ch'i Chi-kuang's "Mandarin Duck" squad formation was implemented as a direct result of dealing with the wako.

Japanese swordfighting techniques were incorporated into Chinese fencing systems, as a direct result of dealing with the wako.  These are documented in Chi-kuang's treatise, the Ji Xiao Xin Shu.

 

 

"LOL--"outrange" and "outpierce" Western steel-staved crossbows of the 15th and 16th centuries?  Give me some figures on these Chinese crossbows (draw weight, effective range, etc)!"

 

No, This whole thread is about the 13th century if you haven't noticed this whole time, yes there aren't record of draw weight, but the range is 500 yards while tha tof the arbalest is roughly 350 in average.

 

Warhead, we've been dealing with both the 13th century and the 16th century--you should have been more specific in your claims regarding these Chinese crossbows.

Now, let's take a look at those figures...

You claim a range of 500 yards for the Chinese crossbow in question.  I would not consider this an effective range, but if you can provide sources confirming that this was a range actually used in battle, that would be great.

Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey, who's classic text, The Crossbow, remains a standard on the subject, makes no mention of Chinese crossbows with a range of 500 yards.  And yet, he was familiar with these weapons.

The fact is that no small arms--whether hand bows, crossbows, or early firearms--were used at such long ranges.  The Turks were famous for launching light flight arrows from their composite bows some 600-800 yards, but this should not be confused with arrows used in war.  The famous English veteran of the Low Countries Wars, Roger Williams, observed that the heavy Spanish-style musket could "spoil" a man or horse from a full 600 yards away, but the chances of actually hitting something from that distance was minimal.

Peace,

David

 

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I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 10:11

"Have you ever seen one of these things in action?  I have.

In Mike Loades' video, Archery--Its History and Forms, a demo with the Chinese repeating crossbow is given.  The design of this weapon is undeniably ingenious, but it is also not without its faults.  I suggested that it was probably better for defense of fortifications because the balance is well forward (with the magazine in the front), and so one could rest it on a wall.  When not resting it on a wall or similar surface, one must brace the end of the stock on the hip, which certainly doesn't lend itself to accurate shooting.  Add to that the problem of the flightless bolts, and I think you see what I'm getting at."

 

Its used for both, and its clearly documented to be used against massed infantries.

"Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey gives an effective range for this weapon at about 80 yards, which certainly isn't neglible, but I still personally have my reservations about the weapon overall."

 

The maximum range is near 200 yards.

 

"LOL--whatever, bro."

 

Whatever what? Finish the reply.

 

"Since "there were no details", how can we ascertain what the Mongols really thought?  Again, I lean towards the opinion of Prince Batu, a Mongol commander who was actually there.  James Chambers elaborated on this situation at Mohi in The Devil's Horsemen:"

 

I didn't say it was easy, I said it was relatively easy in comparison with its other conquests simply by thelittle importance but into the whole campaign in the record.

 

"It's not invalid, nor is it a "pet argument".

You attempted to suggest that the Chinese gave the Mongols a harder time than the Europeans did, as if you were inferring some sort of Chinese superiority there (and if I misunderstood you, I apologize).  I simply pointed out the obvious--China was conquered, and Europe was not--so how can you make such declarations in the first place? "

 

Its very invalid, China did give mongols a harder time inflicting more casualtie on them and taking longer and more troops to conquer. are you denying that? Europe was not conquered because its never invaded, and I was talking about the parts of Europe that was invaded, why did you jump to western europe?

 

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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 10:15

"And how many troops did the Mongols have to deal with in the Chinese campaigns?"

 

300,000 mongol troops and nearly as much auxiliars from North China, Korea and central asia.

 

"Batu's force was one of the main forces that fought in the European campaign, so I don't see what your argument is here."

 

My point is that its but a fraction of the major force of mongols.

 

"Then perhaps you need to reassess the situation, since the "terrain" the Mongols had "to pass through" and the "European military" are inseparable parts of the same equation.  What did the Mongols dislike in general? "

 

I'm not even talking about western europe, why did you start talking about it? All the argument here is about eastern Europe, since you said they were just as difficult to conquer as others, and I pointed out it wasn't which is a fact.

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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 10:29

"I, in turn, simply corrected you, by mentioning that Europeans had developed effective "volley rotation shooting" well before the 18th century."

 

I know they had volley rotation in the 16th century created by William, you haven't noticed the term "mastered" have you?

 

 

"'the pirates always manage to sit on the heights waiting for us.  Usually they hold on until evening, when our soldiers become tired.  Then they dash out... They adorn their helmets with coloured strings and animal horns of metallic colours and ghostly shapes to frighten our soldiers.'"

Peers also noted that the wako were well-drilled in Japanese swordplay:

"A distinctive feature of the wo-k'ou themselves was the Japanese swordplay employed by some of their infantry--both Japanese and Chinese who had learned their methods.  They raised and lowered their swords in unison, signalled by officers with folding fans, and wielded them so swiftly that an enemy 'could see only the flash of the weapon, not the man.'"

And, for folks who were (according to you) not very organized or disciplined, it is curious to note that Ch'i Chi-kuang went to considerable lengths to actually learn sword technique from the wako:

"Swordfighting stances from the 1588 edition of Chinese General Qi Jiguang 's Ji Xiao Xin Shu. General Ji inflicted a great defeat on the Japanese pirates in 1561 at Taizhou, capturing the leader and 1900 pows. These techniques were obtained after interrogating (ie torturing) the pirates.""

 

I'm sorry but you have said nothing about the organization of the Wo Kou, disicpline and training doesn't equal organization, or is that what your definition of organization is?

 

 

"How do you know that?"

 

They don't appear in sources. ITs EXPLICITLY  mentioned that their primary weapons are swords and ARCHERY or else Qi Ji guan would not use shields against them.

 

"Hardly "invalid" my friend.

My comparison shows that well-equipped European and Asian warriors--who were both very experienced in the specific theatre they operated in--faced each other, and, in this particular case, the Europeans won.  It doesn't mean that the Japanese or Chinese didn't know how to fight--on the contrary, the Spanish had nothing but praise for the martial capabilities of the wako."

 

No its invalid because you are comparing two armies of secondary qualities and assuming that top notch troops will have the same result without any reason such assumption is invalid.

 

"For a group of mere "pests" they seem to have had a fairly profound impact on the Ming.

Ch'i Chi-kuang's "Mandarin Duck" squad formation was implemented as a direct result of dealing with the wako.

Japanese swordfighting techniques were incorporated into Chinese fencing systems, as a direct result of dealing with the wako.  These are documented in Chi-kuang's treatise, the Ji Xiao Xin Shu."

 

My point is simply to prove your wrong about them been a threat. And you've competely failed to understand the situation, the Wo kou never fought large imperial armies of the capital, what they faced was merely small coastal contingents, the small continents used the typical ming spear on wooden shafts, such formation are only effective when mass employed on large battlefields, in which the skirmishes against the wo kou wasn't. Because these small skirmishes usually only envolve several hundred people, the battle goes larely to hand to hand to hand in which the ming staff is at a disadvantage. coupled with the fact that none of the ming troops possess any powerful artillery(which is one of the advantage of ming against Hedioshi's troops). Thats why Qi Ji guan adopted the bamboo spear to trap enemy's swords as well as adopting Wo kou sword technique to fight them on their own ground. Such weapon are NOT employed on large battlefield as with the case of the Korean war, powerful artillery and chainmailed cavalry were the standard troops in that war because they are imperial troops, the Wo kou raids faced none of these, its the coastal guards that use their own weapons to fight the wo kou. And Qi ji guan just adopted something useful.

 

 

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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 10:32

"You claim a range of 500 yards for the Chinese crossbow in question.  I would not consider this an effective range, but if you can provide sources confirming that this was a range actually used in battle, that would be great."

 

Its not the effective range, The effective range is 350 yards. But the arbalest's effective range is also considerably lower.

 

 

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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 10:42

Warhead,

Originally posted by warhead

"Have you ever seen one of these things in action?  I have.

In Mike Loades' video, Archery--Its History and Forms, a demo with the Chinese repeating crossbow is given.  The design of this weapon is undeniably ingenious, but it is also not without its faults.  I suggested that it was probably better for defense of fortifications because the balance is well forward (with the magazine in the front), and so one could rest it on a wall.  When not resting it on a wall or similar surface, one must brace the end of the stock on the hip, which certainly doesn't lend itself to accurate shooting.  Add to that the problem of the flightless bolts, and I think you see what I'm getting at."

 

Its used for both, and its clearly documented to be used against massed infantries.

That's fine--but again, the shooting-from-the-hip thing has its limitations.

"Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey gives an effective range for this weapon at about 80 yards, which certainly isn't neglible, but I still personally have my reservations about the weapon overall."

 

The maximum range is near 200 yards.

Maximum range is largely irrelevant.  See my post above regarding the Spanish musket and Turkish bows.

 

"LOL--whatever, bro."

 

Whatever what? Finish the reply.

We just seem to have a different view on the issue.  I try to see these things from the perspective of the men who did the fighting, so expressions like "relatively easy", etc., just don't work IMO.

 

"Since "there were no details", how can we ascertain what the Mongols really thought?  Again, I lean towards the opinion of Prince Batu, a Mongol commander who was actually there.  James Chambers elaborated on this situation at Mohi in The Devil's Horsemen:"

 

I didn't say it was easy, I said it was relatively easy in comparison with its other conquests simply by thelittle importance but into the whole campaign in the record.

See above.

 

"It's not invalid, nor is it a "pet argument".

You attempted to suggest that the Chinese gave the Mongols a harder time than the Europeans did, as if you were inferring some sort of Chinese superiority there (and if I misunderstood you, I apologize).  I simply pointed out the obvious--China was conquered, and Europe was not--so how can you make such declarations in the first place? "

 

Its very invalid, China did give mongols a harder time inflicting more casualtie on them and taking longer and more troops to conquer. are you denying that?

It's a far larger amount of territory to conquer, and using that to attempt to criticize European fighting prowess is pretty weak.

I had said,  "Well, I don't know if historical Mongols--like Prince Batu--would have agreed with your assessment there.  Batu became pretty nervous when dealing with the Hungarian knights at HTH range at the Battle of Mohi,  before Subotai came up.

And, they must have had at least some appreciation for European military prowess, as they hired knights and crossbowmen from time to time.  In fact, the unpleasant Mongol experience with Italian mercenary crossbowmen was very manifest at the siege of Szkesfehrvr (Stuhlweissenburg), which the Mongols abandoned after a spirited defense by the Italians.  Even Friar Carpini commented that the Mongols "feared" the crossbow."

And you replied,

Most of the crossbowmen that mongols employed are Chinese not Europeans. The Song crossbowmen had better trigger mechanism design and training along with formation. The various cities of Jin and Song held much larger mongol armies for a much long time inflicting heavy casualties on them. Europe is the furthest conquest of the mongols, yet it was still conquered with such little troops and relative ease on the battle field.

 I was speaking specifically about European military capability there, and it appeared you were offering a retort to that.  That's what led to our Mongol debate.

 

 

Europe was not conquered because its never invaded, and I was talking about the parts of Europe that was invaded, why did you jump to western europe?

Because it's a part of Europe, and because the Mongols did have some experience (both good and bad) in dealing with Western Europeans--Templars, Italian infantry mercs, etc. 

Peace,

David

 

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I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 10:47
Originally posted by warhead

"You claim a range of 500 yards for the Chinese crossbow in question.  I would not consider this an effective range, but if you can provide sources confirming that this was a range actually used in battle, that would be great."

 

Its not the effective range, The effective range is 350 yards. But the arbalest's effective range is also considerably lower.

 

 

 

Sources?

"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,

I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 11:06

"Maximum range is largely irrelevant.  See my post above regarding the Spanish musket and Turkish bows."

 

The problem is the repeater is not designed for power. The purpose is to have enourmous amount of arrows reigning down to find opens and since its covered with poison a slight pierce would be fatal.

 

"It's a far larger amount of territory to conquer, and using that to attempt to criticize European fighting prowess is pretty weak."

 

No on the contrast china proper is not as large as eastern europe during this time. The territorial extend of china proper is roughly 16 million sq miles, Eastern Europe's extend is over 2 million sq miles.

I had said,  "Well, I don't know if historical Mongols--like Prince Batu--would have agreed with your assessment there.  Batu became pretty nervous when dealing with the Hungarian knights at HTH range at the Battle of Mohi,  before Subotai came up.

And, they must have had at least some appreciation for European military prowess, as they hired knights and crossbowmen from time to time.  In fact, the unpleasant Mongol experience with Italian mercenary crossbowmen was very manifest at the siege of Szkesfehrvr (Stuhlweissenburg), which the Mongols abandoned after a spirited defense by the Italians.  Even Friar Carpini commented that the Mongols "feared" the crossbow."

 

"And you replied,

Quote:
Most of the crossbowmen that mongols employed are Chinese not Europeans. The Song crossbowmen had better trigger mechanism design and training along with formation. The various cities of Jin and Song held much larger mongol armies for a much long time inflicting heavy casualties on them. Europe is the furthest conquest of the mongols, yet it was still conquered with such little troops and relative ease on the battle field.

 I was speaking specifically about European military capability there, and it appeared you were offering a retort to that.  That's what led to our Mongol debate."

 

I did say those, and they are facts(with the exception of misunderstanding of the term "relative ease". Nothing I'm trying to prove.

 

"Because it's a part of Europe, and because the Mongols did have some experience (both good and bad) in dealing with Western Europeans--Templars, Italian infantry mercs, etc. "

 

Well, i was talking about the part of Europe that mongols did fight and conquer.

 

"Sources?"

 

Needham's science and civilization in China volume 5, part 6, section 30

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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 11:07

"roughly 16 million sq miles, Eastern Europe's extend is over 2 million sq miles."

 

Typo: 1.6 million sq miles

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