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Old February 18th, 2012, 05:00 AM   #41
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The Qin bronze shield is actually quite small, about the size of a buckler barely covering your fist. This is because the shield is a miniaturized replica. A real "gourd-shaped" shield would be much bigger than a buckler, but smaller than a hoplon. I would say it's around the size of a phalangite's shield. Real gourd-shaped shields also weren't made of bronze. The replica is made of bronze because the entire chariot replica that the shield was found in is made of bronze. Chances are actual shields were mostly wood, while good ones had coatings of lacquer. Its small size convinces me that the shield is very offensive oriented. The curved sides allow the shield bearer to hook enemy weapons. When the shield is used to hit an opponent, the tip allows the entire mass of the shield to be concentrated at a single point. The vertical shield grip also confirms this. Of course, this is just personal speculation. Ancient Chinese texts do not go into detail about these matters.

Size comparison of a Han terracotta soldiers with gourd-shaped shields:
Click the image to open in full size.

The "gourd-shaped" shield was probably used only for defence, not for attack.

There was indeed a type of Han shield which could hook enemy halberds, but it was not the "gourd-shaped" shield that you mentioned. In fact, it was called "Gou Xiang" (鈎鑲).

Gou Xiang was a small shield with two long hooks. Here is a picture of Gou Xiang:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 08:03 AM   #42

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The "gourd-shaped" shield was probably used only for defence, not for attack.
Do you have any evidence for that statement? Creating gourd-shaped shields costs more money than simple shields. I doubt the government would be willing to create tens of thousands of fancy shields with curved edges unless if there was a reason for it.

Quote:
There was indeed a type of Han shield which could hook enemy halberds, but it was not the "gourd-shaped" shield that you mentioned. In fact, it was called "Gou Xiang" (鈎鑲).

Gou Xiang was a small shield with two long hooks. Here is a picture of Gou Xiang:
I don't think the Gou Xiang was used for battle purposes. Han mural battle depictions only show Gou Xiang when the depiction shows house soldiers fighting other house soldiers or mythical beasts, with house soldiers wearing incredibly long robes unsuited for combat. This gives me the impression that it was a dueling shield. Battle depictions of Han soldiers fighting nomads show significantly larger shields. Neverthess, the Gou Xiang was a quite nasty implement. A punch from that shield would leave more than a bruise.

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; February 18th, 2012 at 08:34 AM.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 01:12 PM   #43

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The "gourd-shaped" shield was probably used only for defence, not for attack.

There was indeed a type of Han shield which could hook enemy halberds, but it was not the "gourd-shaped" shield that you mentioned. In fact, it was called "Gou Xiang" (鈎鑲).

Gou Xiang was a small shield with two long hooks. Here is a picture of Gou Xiang:

Click the image to open in full size.

I don't believe there is such a thing as a purely defensive shield. Even a pavise that was meant to plant on the ground was used to attack from. Any shield held in the hand was used offensively as much as the other weapon used in conjunction. Only a "common fencer" would use the shield to just block blows with. The shield is for binding and striking just as much as the sword.

This is an awesome thread.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 08:07 AM   #44
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I think that I have already given enough information about ancient Chinese defence weapons, now let's move on to the siege weapons.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 08:39 AM   #45
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This weapon was called "Shen Huo Fei Ya", literally means "Divine Fire Flying Crow". It's a siege rocket. It was made of bamboo battens or reeds weaved into a crow-shaped basket. The ancient Chinese would put gunpowder inside this bird-shaped basket, and then they would cover this basket with tissue papers. Finally, they would attach two pairs of rocket arrows to each side of this bird-shaped rocket. A fuse would connect the rockets with the gunpowder inside the basket. When ignited, the Divine Fire Flying Crow would fly towards the enemy buildings. The range of this primitive rocket was about 300 metres.

The primary purpose of this rocket was arson. Most ancient Chinese buildings were made of wood, so when this rocket landed on a building, it would burn down the wooden building.

The Divine Fire Flying Crow was used during Ming Dynasty.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 11:05 AM   #46

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This weapon was called "Shen Huo Fei Ya", literally means "Divine Fire Flying Crow". It's a siege rocket. It was made of bamboo battens or reeds weaved into a crow-shaped basket. The ancient Chinese would put gunpowder inside this bird-shaped basket, and then they would cover this basket with tissue papers. Finally, they would attach two pairs of rocket arrows to each side of this bird-shaped rocket. A fuse would connect the rockets with the gunpowder inside the basket. When ignited, the Divine Fire Flying Crow would fly towards the enemy buildings. The range of this primitive rocket was about 300 metres.

The primary purpose of this rocket was arson. Most ancient Chinese buildings were made of wood, so when this rocket landed on a building, it would burn down the wooden building.

The Divine Fire Flying Crow was used during Ming Dynasty.
OMG I saw this in AoE III!!!!!!! *spazz*
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 03:11 PM   #47
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Reconnoitre is important both in modern and in ancient warfares. Before a siege begins, generals need to know the terrains around the enemy city and the structures inside the city.

In ancient times, there were no radars and no planes, so it seemed that ancient people didn't have any tools for reconnoitre. Well, that's not true, because the ancient Chinese came up with this bizarre-looking cart, and it was specifically designed for reconnoitre.

This cart was called "Chao Che", literally means "Nest Cart". It was a huge eight-wheeled cart mounted with two tall wooden poles. A small wooden house was attached between the poles, and it served as a belvedere. A pulley would pull the house up and down. The house could contain two soldiers, and these soldiers would hide in this house to observe the situation inside the enemy city, hence this reconnoitre cart had to be taller than the walls of ancient Chinese cities.

This kind of reconnoitre cart probably appeared during Tang Dynasty.

Last edited by purakjelia; February 23rd, 2012 at 03:18 PM.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 04:01 PM   #48
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Click the image to open in full size.

Siege rockets were commonly used by the armies of Ming Dynasty. The most famous one was called "Nest of Bees". It could launch 32 rocket-propelled arrows at the same time.

The "Rampaging Leopards" was a bigger version of the Nest of Bees, and it could launch 40 rocket-propelled arrows simultaneously.

The picture above is the Nest of Bees, and the picture below is the Rampaging Leopards.

The picture of the Rampaging Leopards came from the Ming Dynasty military manual Wu Bei Zhi.

Last edited by purakjelia; February 24th, 2012 at 05:01 PM.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #49
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Here is a Ming Dynasty rocket wheelbarrow. It's similar to the Korean Hwacha.

It's a wheelbarrow mounted with several rocket launchers that are capable to launch dozens of rocket-propelled arrows.

There are also two handcannons and two spears on this wheelbarrow. After launching the rocket arrows, the soldiers who pull this wheelbarrow would use those handcannons and spears to defend themselves.

Last edited by purakjelia; February 24th, 2012 at 05:37 PM.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 05:01 PM   #50

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Quote:
Originally Posted by purakjelia View Post
Click the image to open in full size.


Reconnoitre is important both in modern and in ancient warfares. Before a siege begins, generals need to know the terrains around the enemy city and the structures inside the city.

In ancient times, there were no radars and no planes, so it seemed that ancient people didn't have any tools for reconnoitre. Well, that's not true, because the ancient Chinese came up with this bizarre-looking cart, and it was specifically designed for reconnoitre.

This cart was called "Chao Che", literally means "Nest Cart". It was a huge eight-wheeled cart mounted with two tall wooden poles. A small wooden house was attached between the poles, and it served as a belvedere. A pulley would pull the house up and down. The house could contain two soldiers, and these soldiers would hide in this house to observe the situation inside the enemy city, hence this reconnoitre cart had to be taller than the walls of ancient Chinese cities.

This kind of reconnoitre cart probably appeared during Tang Dynasty.
I wonder how effective this was. It looks like a big target for fire arrows, and I would imagine that a lot of men and horses had to pull this around, making them vulnerable.
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