20 June 2022

Ming Chinese cavalry tactics — Part 2

In my previous blog post, I briefly touched some of the tactics used by Ming cavalry against their nomadic enemies. In this one, I will delve deeper and discuss a formation used in Dao Chao (搗巢) operation, or more specifically, the formation used during the return trip of such an operation.

Jiao Lu Chao Chu Bing Zhen (剿虜巢出兵陣, lit. 'Barbarian nest suppression mobilisation formation')

Drawing of Jiao Lu Chu Bing Zhen Tu, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.

24 May 2022

Infantry formations of the Imjin War — Part 1

Zhejiang infantry formation

『遂命諸技, 一時呈技, 隊長在前, 橙牌居次, 砲手又居次, 筤筅、長搶、三枝搶, 又次次居之, 迭相進退, 左旋右抽, 各臻其妙。』
"(He) then ordered various branches to perform (their) skills together, captain at the front, (rattan) shields formed the next rank, gunners formed the rank after next, and Lang Xian, pikes, tridents formed subsequent ranks. Then (they) arrayed in intervals (and) advanced and retreated by turn, spun left and drawn right, each had its own ingeniousness."
Korean description of Ming infantry formation under Chen Yin (陳寅) during a military demonstration.

『南兵每隊原有銅鍋外,每名椰瓢一箇,每隊斧二把,鎬頭一把。除銃兵牌手原有腰刀外,其筅、鎗、鎲手各要快利腰刀一把,不拘一式。狼筅鎲兵各帶火箭十枝。』
“Beside the copper pot originally given to every Southern troop squad, every (soldier) (should be given) a coconut ladle, every squad (should be given) two axes (and) one pickaxe. Beside the swords originally owned by gunners and shieldbearers, every other Lang Xian, pike, and Tang Pa troop should be given a sharp sword, irrespective of the types (of swords). Every Lang Xian and Tang Pa troop (should) carry ten rockets.”
— Excerpt of Jing Lue Fu Guo Yao Bian (《經略復國要編》), detailing various equipment provided to Ming Southern troops during the first invasion.

Conjectured Imjin War-era Ming Southern infantry formation. This image is cropped, edited and pieced together from various Ming military treatises and training manuals by myself.

13 May 2022

Fei Qiang (飛鎗) and Fei Jian (飛箭)

Chinese tension springald
Drawing of Fei Qiang (left) and Fei Jian (right), from 'Shou Yu Quan Shu (《守圉全書》)'.

Random Quotes & Trivia

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