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Encyclopedia > Battle of Lake Poyang
Battle of Lake Poyang
Part of the fall of the Yuan Dynasty
Date August 30 - October 4, 1363
Location Lake Poyang, near Nanchang, China
Result Decisive Ming Victory, The strategic victory of Ming rebels
Combatants
Han rebel navy Ming rebel navy
Commanders
Chen Youliang Zhu Yuanzhang
Strength
650,000 200,000
Casualties
Chen Youliang and most of his army 1,346 dead 11,347 wounded

The naval battle of Lake Poyang (鄱陽湖之戰) took place 30 August - 4 October 1363 and was one of the final battles fought in the fall of China's Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. There were at this time a number of rebel groups who sought to topple the reigning dynasty; the three most powerful were called the Ming, the Han, and the Wu. The four successor Khanates of the Mongol Empire Capital Dadu Language(s) Mongolian Chinese Government Monarchy Emperor  - 1260-1294 Kublai Khan  - 1333-1370 Ukhaatu Khan History  - establishing the Yuan Dynasty 1271  - Fall of Dadu September 14, 1368 Population  - 1330 est. ... is the 242nd day of the year (243rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... October 4 is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Centuries: 13th century - 14th century - 15th century Decades: 1310s 1320s 1330s 1340s 1350s - 1360s - 1370s 1380s 1390s 1400s 1410s Years: 1358 1359 1360 1361 1362 - 1363 - 1364 1365 1366 1367 1368 See also: 1363 state leaders Events Magnus II, King of Sweden, is deposed by Albert of Mecklenburg. ... Lake Poyang, located in Jiangxi Province, is the largest freshwater lake in China. ... Nanchang (Chinese: 南昌; Hanyu Pinyin: ) is the capital of Jiangxi Province in southeastern China. ... Chén YÇ’uliàng (陳友諒, in Wade-Giles Chen Yu-liang) (1320 - August 23, 1363) was the founder of the rebel Dahan (大漢 Great Han) regime in late Yuan Dynasty in China. ... izzy lewis loves the weewee in her pooter. ... is the 242nd day of the year (243rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... October 4 is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Expansion of the Mongol Empire Another picture of Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire (Mongolian: Их Монгол Улс, literally meaning Greater Mongol Nation; 1206–1405) was the largest contiguous land empire in history, covering over 33 million km² [1] (12 million square miles) at its peak, with an estimated population of over 100 million... The four successor Khanates of the Mongol Empire Capital Dadu Language(s) Mongolian Chinese Government Monarchy Emperor  - 1260-1294 Kublai Khan  - 1333-1370 Ukhaatu Khan History  - establishing the Yuan Dynasty 1271  - Fall of Dadu September 14, 1368 Population  - 1330 est. ...


The navy of the Ming force, under Zhu Yuanzhang, met the Han navy, commanded by Chen Youliang, on Lake Poyang, China's largest freshwater lake. izzy lewis loves the weewee in her pooter. ... Chén Yǒuliàng (陳友諒, in Wade-Giles Chen Yu-liang) (1320 - August 23, 1363) was the founder of the rebel Dahan (大漢 Great Han) regime in late Yuan Dynasty in China. ... Lake Poyang, located in Jiangxi Province, is the largest freshwater lake in China. ...


This battle was the largest naval battle of the medieval age and, by some definitions, the largest naval battle in history. The question of the the largest naval battle in history is controversial, and depends on the definition of battle and the criteria used to assess the size, such as personnel, the number of ships, their tonnage, the area involved, and the duration. ...

Contents

Background

The battle of Lake Poyang began as an amphibious siege by the Han against the Ming-held town of Nanchang. The descriptions from the time seem to indicate the use of lou chuan (tower ships), which would have been essentially floating fortresses, very tall and strong, but also relatively slow, and requiring deep water in order to sail. Nanchang (Chinese: 南昌; Hanyu Pinyin: ) is the capital of Jiangxi Province in southeastern China. ... Lou chuan (tower ships) were a type of naval vessel used in China during the early Ming Dynasty. ...


Nanchang defended itself well against the siege, the city's tall walls rendering the chief strength of the tower ships to no advantage; the ground assault was repelled as well for some time. A Ming messenger managed to break through the Han fleet's blockade, getting out a call for help to Zhu Yuanzhang. The majority of the Ming forces, in particular its ships, was occupied at the time in fighting the Wu elsewhere, but Zhu nevertheless arrived with what force he could muster. These ships were, on average, smaller than the Han ships, which meant a disadvantage in pure size and strength, but also great advantages in speed, maneuverability, and viability in shallow waters. The summer sun had already caused the lake's water level to drop considerably, to the Ming's advantage. They sailed for nine days from Nanjing to Nanchang, capturing the town of Hukuo along the way on 25 August. “Nanking” redirects here. ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


By the time the Ming fleet arrived, Chen Youliang, the Han commander, realized that Nanchang was not going to surrender any time soon, and so he redirected his focus on defeating the arriving Ming fleet. Knowing that his own fleet was suited more for sieges than for naval combat, he hoped to finish the battle quickly, before the water levels sank any further.


The battle

The Ming fleet divided itself into eleven squadrons, with their heavier ships at the center; a number of their warriors disembarked to bolster the Nanchang garrison. Following the Ming arrival, both fleets dropped anchor for the night. The fighting would commence the following morning, on 30 August. is the 242nd day of the year (243rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The core of the Ming fleet made a frontal assault on the Han ships, while some of the other squadrons moved to positions from which they could launch trebuchets, fire ships, and other explosives and the like. Though they managed to set more than twenty Han ships alight, their own flagship was set aflame by the Han. Zhu Yuanzhang rushed to extinguish the flames as the Han fleet concentrated all their attacks on his ship; the situation quickly grew worse for Zhu as the ship hit a sandbar and stuck. The Han circled around and continued to attack with arrows and flame. However, the Ming fleet quickly came to the rescue of their commander, the waves created by their very movement shaking the flagship free. Trebuchet at Château des Baux, France. ... This article is not about the fireboats that fight fire Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 1588-08-08 by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, painted 1796, depicts Drakes fire ship attack on the Spanish Armada. ...


The lighter, smaller Ming ships would become grounded several times more during the battle, due to their attempts to encircle the Han ships and to board their enemies' ships; the Han intentionally kept to the deeper waters and made no attempts of boarding attacks. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


That night the Ming ships would be sent downstream a short ways for repairs and regrouping. Zhu's plan had failed, but the battle was not over yet. The following day, the Ming discovered that the Han had rearranged their fleet into a solid line of heavy tower ships, with their smaller ships skirting the edges of the formation; their ships were tied together by chains.


The main action of that day (31 August) would involve the creation and launching of fire ships by the Ming. Small rafts and fishing boats were loaded up with bales of straw and gunpowder, set aflame, and launched toward the enemy fleet. Dummies with armor and weapons were placed on the fireships as well, to aid in confusing and tricking the enemy. Due to a favorable wind, and the tight formation of the Han fleet, the fire ships were very successful, and many Han ships were either destroyed or suffered extensive damage. is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


After spending more than a full day repairing their ships, both fleets returned to battle on 2 September, two days later. Seeing the consequences of a tight formation, Chen Youliang tried a more open formation this day. But this only allowed the Ming to execute the grappling and boarding attacks they intended originally. September 2 is the 245th day of the year (246th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


News came to Zhu Yuanzhang around this time that his ground forces had relieved Nanchang from the siege. The Ming fleet began to retreat to the mouths of the Yangtze and Gan Rivers, their defeat of the Han being all but complete. However, rather than retreating entirely, the Ming fleet remained there for a month, blockading and watching the Han fleet. Neither commander wanted a war of attrition, and so there was little or no combat action for a month. The Yangtze River or Chang Jiang (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), or Drichu in Tibetan (Tibetan: འབ; Wylie: bri chu) is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world, after the Nile in Africa, and the Amazon in South America. ... The Gan River (Chinese: 赣江; pinyin: ) of southern China travels 885 km north through Jiangxi before flowing into Lake Poyang and thence into the Yangtze River. ...


On 4 October the final elements of the battle played out. The Ming employed fire ships once again, and at one point in the conflict Chen Youliang suffered an arrow through his skull and died. The Han surrendered shortly afterwards. October 4 is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Aftermath

Chen Youliang was succeeded by his son, Chen Li (陳理), who was lost to Zhu.


The Ming victory here would cement their position as the leading rebel group, and the one that would take command when the Yuan Dynasty fell. When this came to fruition five years later, Zhu Yuanzhang would become the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. For the volcano in Indonesia, see Emperor of China (volcano). ... Ming China under the Yongle Emperor Capital Nanjing (1368-1421) Beijing (1421-1644) Language(s) Chinese Government Monarchy Emperor  - 1368-1398 Hongwu Emperor  - 1627-1644 Chongzhen Emperor History  - Established in Nanjing January 23, 1368  - Fall of Beijing 1644  - End of the Southern Ming April, 1662 Population  - 1393 est. ...


See also

There was archieve dating back very early about the ancient navy of China. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...

References

  • Turnbull, Stephen (2002). 'Fighting Ships of the Far East (1): China and Southeast Asia 202 BC - AD 1419.' Oxford: Osprey Publishing.

 
 

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