What do Koreans think of Mongols

AUTHOR: Sofian Al-Lahham

Mongol invasion


A legend has it Tan gun a demigod 2333 BC BC on the Korean peninsula in the north the empire Choson established.

However, this legend certainly cannot explain the founding of the Korean nation. You still don't know for sure, but the fact is that the island was first settled by Mongolian tribes in the Bronze Age around 1000 BC. Took place. 4th century BC Then the first forms of states emerged. At that time there was the realm called Ko-Choson or Alt-Chosen, which was currently the most powerful.

Ko-Choson had become so powerful in the meantime that even the great China had slowly felt harassed. 109 BC The Chinese Emperor Han Wuti decided to put an end to the alleged threat from the Korean Empire by launching an invasion of Alt-Chosen. 110 BC The empire was destroyed, but that was not enough for the emperor and he had four large bases built on the northern half to keep control.

But a century later a new empire came into being called Koguryo, which was very belligerent, brave and aggressive. Koguryo distributed 313n. Finally the Chinese from their last base Nangnang or in Chinese Lo-lang. Koguryo was ruled by numerous kings. The empire expanded in all directions, reaching deep into Manchuria and the southern regions. Koguryo conquered many neighboring tribes, including the Paekche Empire (which existed 18 BC - 660 AD) south of the Han River, which arose near present-day Seoul, was attacked. But Paekche fled to the south where it rebuilt. In the 4th century, Paekche has become a civilized state with a flourishing culture that traded a lot with Japan, which is how Buddhism came to Japan. But there was still one empire, Shilla (57 BC-668 AD), it was the most distant empire from China and also the weakest of them all. But to change that, the empire entered into an alliance with the T’ang empire in China in the mid-6th century. The Korean island was united for the first time in 668 AD. But the last warriors of the Koguryo Empire managed to hit the T’ang soldiers back in Manchuria. These last survivors of Koguryo then founded a new state called Parhae in the north of the Korean island.

For a very long time the kingdom of Shilla, as well as the kingdom in the north of Parhae, lived in peace and prosperity.

Incursion of the Mongols into the Korean Peninsula:

The lasting peace in the kingdom of Parhae should no longer last and be broken by a Mongolian tribe to the Kithans. They conquered the empire in 926. The nobility of the Parhae empire fled south to Koryo, which had submitted to the Shilla empire. But the Parhae culture could not assert itself there and went under. In 1231 several Mongol tribes invaded Korea together and in 1259 completely conquered Koryo. Under Mongolian rule, the Korean kings resumed their rulership role.

One year after the conquest of Koryo’s, the grandson of Genghis Khan’s "Kublai" became a barge. He recognized the advantage of using the Korean peninsula as a springboard for the conquest of Japan. So Kublai Kahn sent a messenger to Japan in 1266, but he was unable to carry out his assignment due to a storm and returned. Some time later, the Mongols sent messengers again, but they did not reach their destination until 1268 and conveyed the message to the Japanese to submit to Mongolian rule. This clear message was reason enough for the Japanese, who naturally did not want to hand over their country to the Mongols without a fight, to organize the defense of the island. All western Japan warlords were also prepared for a possible attack by the Mongols. In 1268, Kublai Kahn Koryo ordered 1,000 ships to be built and 10,000 Korean soldiers to be mobilized. Since the Mongols are a steppe people and did not know anything about seafaring, the Koreans were very important to them in this respect as well.

Three years later, the big barge was almost world ruler. Now he could turn his attention to Japan. In the same year, 1271, in the southernmost point of the island on Kyuschu, the latter had all the lands prepared for the attack. Kublai gave Japan a few more opportunities to comply, but all were refused. In 1272 an ambassador was sent again with a letter containing:

“I pray that from now on we will be able to form friendship through conversation and mutual exchange. Our wise men of the past saw the sea as part of their home. If we don't travel to other countries, how are we supposed to expand our homeland? Who likes using military power? "

But this time the ambassador was expelled. Now the big barge was at the end of his patience and there was apparently only the military route for him. In October 1274 Kublai's army set sail. This consisted of 15,000 Mongolian soldiers, 5,000 others composed of the North Chinese and Jurchen Tatars as well as 8,000 Korean and 6,400 seamen. As according to plan, the ships landed in Tsushima and Iki, which were captured after a very short time. The fleet then reached Imatzu where a bridgehead was formed. Here the city of Hakata was taken. Now the two opposing armies faced each other in Kyushu. But the approximately 8,000 samurais did not manage to push back the Mongols. They began to expand their posts on the spot. The Japanese, who retreated in a fortification in Mizuki, mobilized and started another attack on the threatening army of the enemy. But when the Japanese army arrived on the beach there was nothing to be seen of an opposing army.

Allegedly the fleet was destroyed by a storm but you don't really know that, there are also many other statements, but nobody can really say what happened to the ship fleet. But it also means that the Mongols first wanted to observe the tactics and techniques of the Japanese and then come back with more experience about their opponents. But Japan was happy to have been redeemed from its opponent in 1274.

But for fear of an invasion, the bay of Hakata was fortified by building a stone wall around it and once again preparing all warlords throughout West Japan for an invasion of the Mongols. During this time Kublai Kahn was busy with the conquest of southern China until 1279.

II invasion:

But after the Mongols conquered the Song Empire of China, the barge actually prepared a second invasion of Japan. His plan was that this time two fleets, a Korean one with 900 ships and 42,000 men and a Song fleet with 3,500 ships and 160,000 men meeting in Iki, attacked Japan together. In 1281 the fleets were ordered to sail.

But due to the death of a general of the Song fleet, the latter was delayed and the Korean-Mongolian who did not want to wait attacked Hakata Bay in the 6th month alone. But to no avail, so they occupied Shiga Island. However, they did not succeed in building a permanent bridgehead there and were thus out of Shiga by the middle of the month.

expelled. The Japanese had an army of 100,000 samurais in the north of Kyushu and 20,000 soldiers in the south of Honshu. The ships of the Korean-Mongolian fleet were repeatedly attacked at night by small, agile Japanese ships, but the enemy anticipated such attempts and equipped his ships with powerful chains on the Buk with which the small ships could be badly damaged or even crushed. The Mongolian army then launched some attacks on a fortified town, but they were able to withstand. So the fleet withdrew to Iki and waited for the Chinese fleet to arrive. In the 7th month, the two fleets joined forces in Hirado and attacked Hakat Bay together.

Now the Japanese were facing a decisive battle in Nakagawa. But a very large part of the fleet was hit by a mighty storm and sank when it was on its way to battle. It is said that the Mongolian army lost 70% to 90% of their men. Now the Japanese did not wait any longer and immediately afterwards attacked what was left of the weakened fleet and slaughtered all Mongols, Koreans and northern Chinese, except for the Song Chinese who enslaved them.

In 1284 Kublai Kahn again sent diplomats to Japan, but they were immediately executed. Kublai Kahn, who now had to deal with problems inside the empire, had no more time for Japan and now discarded his plans for invasion. The big barge died in 1294. However, the state of defense was not remedied until 1312.

Koryo managed to free himself from the Mongols in 1354.

Development and aftermath of the invasions:

During the occupation of Koryo, the Mongols brought their ponies to Koryo and crossed them with horses on Jeju, a small island in Korea, in order to optimize the horses' characteristics.

The development of the katana also coincided with the invasion of Japan.

It is said that it was specially developed to defeat the Mongols.

Japanese warfare also changed, which initially consisted of every samurai introducing himself and challenging a warrior from the opposing army to a duel. This was the disaster for the Japanese in the fight with the Mongols, because they shot the Japanese with poisoned arrows and defeated them with their notorious fighting techniques.