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Old August 12th, 2017, 03:37 AM   #1
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How did the Mongols defeat Song Dynasty guns?


This might be a stupid question.

The Song Dynasty had the first guns, albeit very primitive ones.

Were these guns just not powerful enough to repel the Mongols? Because the
Mongols had no such gunpowder weapons until they got them from the Song Chinese.

These were hand cannons.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 05:44 AM   #2

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A common tactic of Mongol attacks was to force Chinese captives to walk ahead of the Mongol army. This way, the initial shots from Chinese artillery would kill the captives and allow the Mongol army to advance close enough to use their own artillery. Much of the Mongol artillery during the taking of China was made by Chinese engineers, who were captured and forced to produce weapons that the Mongols could use, and some was taken from captured cities. I'm not sure how effective those Song dynasty guns were, but it's possible that the Mongols got some to use against the Chinese.

Last edited by Jake10; August 12th, 2017 at 06:00 AM.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 06:53 AM   #3

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Early hand cannons were of limited range, and even poorer accuracy and firing rate. Arrows were probably more effective, and the Mongols had these en masse.

The Chinese probably didn't have enough of them to be able to fire mass volleys (and volley fire hadn't been invented yet).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heilongjiang_hand_cannon
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Old August 12th, 2017, 07:55 AM   #4

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Basically these gunpowder weapons were to primitive to create a decisive edge. Also, the Mongols may not have had acess to some chinese technology during the conquest of the southern Song, but they had already captured the Jin dynasty in the north and thus had access to han seige engineers and a lot of chinese technology at that time.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 08:08 AM   #5
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Even 17th century arquebuses were no match for nomadic cavalry, let alone 13th century firearms.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 03:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlykaghan View Post
Even 17th century arquebuses were no match for nomadic cavalry, let alone 13th century firearms.
That's interesting. Can you give examples of when nomadic cavalry defeated 17th century arquebuses?
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Old August 12th, 2017, 03:35 PM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerjohn1324 View Post
That's interesting. Can you give examples of when nomadic cavalry defeated 17th century arquebuses?
He may be referring to the Manchu conquest of the Ming Dynasty. Though in that case, the Manchus did adopt firearm units fairly quickly to supplement their main force of horse archers. They also ended up haveing better firearms than the Ming did.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 04:12 PM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Keen Edge View Post
He may be referring to the Manchu conquest of the Ming Dynasty. Though in that case, the Manchus did adopt firearm units fairly quickly to supplement their main force of horse archers. They also ended up haveing better firearms than the Ming did.
But the Manchu were not nomads. Their ancestors may have been, but they practised a sedentary lifestyle.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 04:35 PM   #9
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Mounted archery held it's own until the invention of the breech loaders.

The Comanche got rid of their muskets and pistols and went back their old weapons. They were still running off Texas Rangers in the 19th century.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 04:36 PM   #10

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The Mongols didn't learn about gunpowder from the Sung. The Jin had it too and used explosives and fire-lances extensively during the Mongol invasions. Some have even argued that the Mongols already knew about gunpowder before the conquest of Jin (maybe they faced it in Xi Xia or learned about it from defectors), and made limited use of it themselves, but this can't be definitively proven. In any case they would've definitely had fire-lances and bombs by the time the invasion of Sung began because they would've inherited the Jin's arsenal.

Last edited by stevapalooza; August 12th, 2017 at 04:52 PM.
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