View Full Version : Imjin War: Korea, China, and Japan
Imjin War 1592-1598
Korea: 40,000 Korean Army,
(at the beginning)
at least 22,600 Korean volunteers and insurgents
Ming-China: 1st.(1592–1593) ~150,000
Japan: 1st.(1592–1593) ~160,000
"A common Korean soldier wore a heavy vest (usually black) over his normal white clothes.[verification needed] A strictly ceremonial felt hat gave some limited protection as well. This uniform allowed easy movement and speed but no protection against bullets and arrows, and little against swords. Korean soldiers often used a short spear called dangpa-chang as their main weapon.
A Japanese foot soldier wore iron or leather chest plate and/or chainmail over his chest, arms, and legs. Shin guards added protection to the lower legs and feet. A round conical hat was worn by the Japanese, usually painted with an insignia of a samurai's crest. Shoes were not usually worn among the foot soldiers.
A Chinese Ming dynasty soldier wore a steel helmet and brigandine armor which covered his chest and arms, and hung over his legs."
I'll provide pics of the armors if I can find them from other sites.
Some other the websites maybe can help:
Chinese history forums is a great website.
Here's another: http://forums.samurai-archives.com/index.php
A lot of the Wiki info need to be taken with a giant grain of salt, I'm readnig the records of the chief administrator of the Ming during their first operation in 93, he stated that he crossed into Korea (in late december of 92, though that's the lunar calender so using modern calender it's more like late Janurary 1593) with only 36,000 men. seeing that he's the guy that was in charge of all the logistical operation I'm pretty sure his numbers are closer to reality than anyone else. they recieved very little reinforcement during that span and they're planned force was suppose to be 50K anyway (they went in with only 36k because they wanted to strike at Pyong Yang in the winter and couldn't wait for the rest of the troops to march across China)
Also, the army of the Josen dynasty almost completely disentergrated within two months of the first war, although many of them did end up as part of the insurgency anyway. (called the righteous armies). the Josen dynasty simply wasn't prepared for war and the Japanese force was basically unhindered in their early operations (they took basically every major cities in 2 months, 2 months! that's about the time it takes to march from Bushan to the Yalu river with a pre-modern army)
The key issue in this war was that the Josen army was so useless that it allowed the Japanese to basically take all of Korea in a few months, but that overstretched them, they had a pretty large army (actual once landed on Korea was roughly 160K ) but spread out across the whole area. But their navy keep getting beat by Yi and his ships, so resupplying from Kyushu became problematic, this combined with the large number of local insurgents raiding their logistic routs made it hazardous to supply their line... which was made even worse by the fact that the supply line is stretched very very far.
Obviously the further north they go the more problem they have, hence the troops in North Korea were in the most vunerable spot. this was when the Ming forces entered the war, so they had an easy time beating up on the Japanese force they first encoutner, indeed they retook Pyong Yong (which was guarded by a whole army, roughly 18K force) in one single day direct assault. which by pre modern (or even modern) seige standards is absurd. an army with only a 1:2 odds can't even hold a major walled city for one day? The Japanese troops were already badly undersupplied at that point and the Ming brought on overwhelming firepower and also left an escape root for the Japanese, they took the escape rout (and was ambushed as they went out) they took pretty heavy casaulties but still manage to kept the army intact.
Afterward though, as the Japanese lines began to contract the Ming forces became cautious and moved slowly, they ran into a pretty serious skrimish encounter about 20 days after Pyong Yang, mostly because false report on the Korean side (a continouation of trend that would presist during most of the war) lead the Ming to believe that the Japanese had retreated from Seoul and it was now an empty city , so the General in charge took most of his main commanders and their immediate retinues and charged south (this was basically their elite cavalry force, 2000 strong) , only to run strait into a Japanese army of 15K (who wasn't expecting them either.) the ensuing battle was indecisive as both sides were surprised but the Ming's retinue forces suffered pretty heavy casaulties.
Still, by March they were able to retake Seoul, though not in a direct assault, they were able to find one of the main Japanese grain stash in he area and burned it down, putting the Japanese force in the area in trouble of supplies.
After this it's basically a stalemate and they soon entered negotiation.
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