14 May 2018

Du Zhan Qian Li Che (獨戰千里車)

Ming Chinese gun wagon
A badly drawn illustration of Du Zhan Qian Li Che, from 'Wu Bian Qian Ji (《武編前集》)'.
Du Zhan Qian Li Che (獨戰千里車, lit. 'Wagon that can fight alone for a thousand li') is a six-wheeled gun wagon designed to combat Wokou and Mongol raiders alike. Unlike most other Ming war carts and wagons, it is not designed to form a wagon fort, but rather to operate alone or in small groups.

Du Zhan Qian Li Che features a rather odd wheel configuration. It has two pairs of wheels like s normal wagon, but also has one extra front wheel and one extra rear wheel, which allow it to traverse rough terrains such as narrow path and log bridge. Its fully enclosed body is made of wooden frame covered in protective leather screens measuring five chi tall by five chi wide, and is equipped numerous gun loops on all sides. The wagon can be further equipped with spikes and hooks mounted around its chassis, as well as two small cannons at its front and rear for additional firepower.

It should be noted that the source of locomotive power of this wagon is not explained. The name implies that this wagon is pushed by its passengers from the inside, although it should be possible to equip the wagon with yoke and shafts so that it can be pulled by draught animals.


  1. I'm guessing this thing doesnt turn well.

    1. Yeah, I guess so too, unless there are some yet unexplained front-axle or front wheel modifications to allow it turning.

      Otherwise, maybe the passengers can simply lift the wagon up and change direction manually? Given that it is designed to traverse log bridge, it shouldn't be too heavy.

  2. Hello, talking about wokou, I was wondering if they had some sort of base like island like in the careebean, or if there had camps in Japan? Do you know the answer of this question

    1. Known Wokou stemmed from Tsushima Island, Matsura-gun, Satsuma, Kyushu, Iki Island, and Gotō Islands, to name but a few, but I think Tsushima Island and Gotō Islands fit more closely to your "base" description.

      In China, the most prominent one was Shuangyu port.


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