Xu Guang Qi's De Sheng Bing (得勝兵) — part 4

Bu-level Formations
Most of the Bu (部) formations were simply multiple Shao (哨) formations assembled together, as such, Xu Guang Qi (徐光啟) only discussed some of the formations in detail. A Bu consisted of five Shao plus nineteen support personnels (on top of what Shao already had), led by a Qian Zong (千總).

Fang Bu (方部, square battalion)
Ming Dynasty Square Defensive Formation
Layout of a Fang Bu, from 'Xuan Lian Tiao Ge (《選練条格》)'. Note: Empty circles represent Wu, circles with black dots represent platoon leaders and four porters, double circles represent company leader with four support personnels, and the bolded double circle with black dot represents battalion leader.
Fang Bu was the square formation for Bu-level tactical unit. It could be formed from Fang Wu (方伍), Yuan Yang Wu (鴛鴦伍) or Yi Zi Ping Wu (一字平伍).

Every troops in the formation was standing five chi apart from his comrades. The formation occupied a space of one hundred twenty by one hundred twenty chi, although this number could be adjusted as the battalion would not always be at its full strength.


Yuan Bu (圓部, round battalion)
Ming Chinese Large Circle Formation
Layout of a Yuan Bu, from 'Xuan Lian Tiao Ge (《選練条格》)'.
Yuan Bu was the circle formation for Bu-level tactical unit and the upscaled version of Yuan Shao (圓哨).

Every troops in the formation was standing four chi apart from his comrades. The formation had a circumference of five hundred and seventy-six chi and diameter of one hundred and eighty-four chi. Like its square counterpart, it could be adjusted when the battalion was not at its full strength.


Qu Bu (曲部, crooked battalion)
Layout of a Qu Bu, from 'Xuan Lian Tiao Ge (《選練条格》)'.
Qu Bu was the crooked formation for Bu-level tactical unit. Unlike its smaller cousins, Qu Bu could be formed from Yuan Yang Wu in addition of previous sub-unit formations.

Like all crooked formations, it did not occupy a fixed area.


Zhi Bu (直部, straight battalion)
Zhi Bu was the straight formation for Bu-level tactical unit. It was assembled from several Zhi Shao (直哨), either in one large column, line formation, or two-by-two square (consisted of only four Shao).

Xu Guang Qi did not provide illustration for this formation.


Rui Bu (銳部, sharp battalion)
Ming Dynasty Large Diamond Formation
Layout of a Rui Bu, from 'Xuan Lian Tiao Ge (《選練条格》)'.
Rui Bu was the rhombic formation for Bu-level tactical unit. It was formed by two Rui Shao (銳哨) in Fen He Shi (分合勢) as vanguard and rearguard, two Shao in Yuan Yang Wu facing left and right directions, and one Shao along with porters and battalion leader at the centre of the formation.

Like other Bu-level formations, Rui Bu formation could be adapted according to its current strength. If formed with only two Shao, the middle part was omitted.



Other blog posts in my De Sheng Bing series:
Xu Guang Qi's De Sheng Bing — part 1
Xu Guang Qi's De Sheng Bing — part 2
Xu Guang Qi's De Sheng Bing — part 3-1
Xu Guang Qi's De Sheng Bing — part 3-2
Xu Guang Qi's De Sheng Bing — part 4
Xu Guang Qi's De Sheng Bing — part 5

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