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Old April 13th, 2015, 03:41 PM   #41

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Originally Posted by heavenlykaghan View Post
We are not talking about general melee in relatively open terrains where pole arms were more decisive, but after formations break and also confrontation in rugged terrains where formation were often not properly maintained and hand to hand combat were fought, and in such areas, it appears the average Samurai was the better warrior.
Wasn't it translated as "soft" sword, not "short" sword?
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Old April 13th, 2015, 06:38 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by HackneyedScribe View Post
Now that is just dishonest selective quoting, because the very NEXT sentence from the same source says:
And what? I did not quote the following sentence because it refers to the low number of personnel, but not to the number of artillery.

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Originally Posted by HackneyedScribe View Post
Zimu cannon had both a wheeled carriage and a barrel peg in the form of a swivel. You are switching topic by switching time periods in order so that Europeans come out on top, even though no one claimed otherwise.

Click the image to open in full size.
Wrong on both accounts. This feeble wheeled carriage is rather a tea-cart, I am obviously referring to the kind of carriage of a pair of spoked wheels which made military history and became universal in warfare in Europe right through to the late 19th century. These carriages were used as early as the Italian campaign by the French in 1498 and by the Burgundians, I believe, even decades before: Naples - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Only these carriages allowed for a mobile field artillery, which could be swiftly deployed in battle, and the Chinese did not have it until introduced by some Europeans, I assume.
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Old April 13th, 2015, 06:48 PM   #43

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Originally Posted by Aetius View Post
And what? I did not quote the following sentence because it refers to the low number of personnel, but not to the number of artillery.
The fact of the matter is the author quoted the number of ARTILLERY personnel to reveal that the Russian artillery regiment was indeed small in comparison, yet you decided to purposely ignore that and post only the sentence beforehand about an ambassador claiming the numbers of Russian artillery, something the author found questionable at best. You are completely using sources out of context. Plus, the part you deigned to neglect from quoting ALSO spoke of the MUCH lower number of artillery, so read your own sources. What you said and quoted was this:

"The Austrian ambassador, Hans Kobenzl von Prosseg, claimed that by 1576, Ivan had more than 2,000 artillery pieces...By 1600, Muscovy is said to have had 3,500 cannons, and by the late 1600s, from 4,000 to 5,000 pieces.

Source: The Military Revolution in Russia, 1550-1682, 2004, p. 22
"

Going by your ratio of 1:1000, the Russian army of this period would have been between 2 and 5 million men strong....

Yet in the VERY NEXT SENTENCE from your own source, it says:


"
However, in the 1660s Kotshikhin wrote that there were only "about six hundred artillerymen and harquebusiers and masters of various kinds in Moscow, in addition to the provinces", far too few to man the 4,000 or 5,000 cannons in Russia's arsenals. He later wrote that the Tasar's Regiment had some 200 artilery "pieces of various kinds," while the other regiments, including the strel'tsy regiments, had 50 to 80 pieces each. Fortresses and fortified monasteries were likewise equipped with cannons as needed. While it was true, as Hellie noted, that by the second half of the sixteenth century "RUssian military successes... can be attributed in large part to the skillful use of artillery", it must be added that many of the pieces in stock were older pieces; an inventory of the arsenal at Smlensk in the mid-seventeenth century listed artillery pieces from the reign of Ivan III, two hundred years ealier. Such large numbers of cannons were apparently quite obsolete by 1700, when almost the entire (modern) artillery park was lost at Narva....." (The use of "regiment" here is a larger division than the one I used, as in your source Russia only had a total of five regiments as opposed to 33)

Even discounting your selective quoting, heavenlykaghans quote is applies as a general rule to all of Europe. Giving an example of one specific place in Europe where it is an exception rather than the rule is not even close to a rebuttal.

You were caught in a lie, and you gibberish to cover up that lie. Nice try.

Quote:
Wrong on both accounts. This feeble wheeled carriage is rather a tea-cart, I am obviously referring to the kind of carriage of a pair of spoked wheels which made military history and became universal in warfare in Europe right through to the late 19th century. These carriages were used as early as the Italian campaign by the French in 1498 and by the Burgundians, I believe, even decades before: Naples - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Only these carriages allowed for a mobile field artillery, which could be swiftly deployed in battle, and the Chinese did not have it until introduced by some Europeans, I assume.
As usual you interpret things completely out of context to fit your ends. The Zimu cannon only weighed little more than 100 lbs. It didn't need big carriages, and in fact giant carriages designed to carry cannons of thousands of lbs would have only got in the way. Wheeled carriage size should rise proportionally to the weight of the cannon. If we are speaking of giant wheeled carriages, the Chinese had been doing that for ballistas ever since the time of Mozi, and they did the same for giant cannons as well. It's amazing that you wouldn't know that simple fact despite on arguing and arguing about how crappy the Chinese were:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

In fact cannons on carriages were described as far back as the Huolongjing during the beginning of the Ming dynasty. A snippet from it says, and I quote:

"This is cast from bronze, and measures 1 ft 8 in. in length, with a diameter of 5 in. Gupowder is pressed down to fill six tengths of the barrel; then two-tenths of the barrel is filled with fine earth which is packed in very gently. Then two or three pint measures of iron balls (enclosed in a bag) are put in. The cannon is fastened with iron hoops to a four-wheeled carriage, and a wooden shield is placed in front so that the enemy does not know of its presence; then this is removed before the cannon is fired. The shots go with a force (that destroys things along their path) like the breaking of dried twigs"
-Translation from Needham

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; April 13th, 2015 at 07:12 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2015, 07:11 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by heavenlykaghan View Post
The figures for Ming cannons on a warship directly comes from the early 17th century source Wu Beizhi: “过海防船器械,佛郎机二十门、碗口铳十门、鸟铳一百门、袖铳六十门、藤牌二百面、长枪六十枝、镖枪一千枝 、铁甲一百副、盔一百顶、腰刀三百把。”
The problem with much of your number juggling is you are relying too much and too uncritically on the paper strengthes purported by a single or a few authors, and treat them like gospel. This is not history, but credulity. Your evidence basis is much too narrow.

Also, you work with a lot of simplistic, false premises like that the mere number of cannon is indicative of the firepower or that artillery did not develop much between 1500 and 1800. It did, just not in China.

You don't seem to understand my line of reasoning that we do not even need to discuss en detail about Chinese gunpowder warfare being anywhere near to the European one because the former lacks certain basic technologies which are fundamental for its performance.

Please do read this passage again:

You don't even seem to understand my line of reasoning that we do not even need to discuss about Chinese gunpowder warfare being anywhere near to the European one because the former lacks certain basic technologies which are fundamental for its performance:

  • The absence of the multi-decked broadside alone meant that Chinese junks could not have been remotely as powerful because to equipp their ships with as much and heavy artillery as the Europeans would have made them completely unseaworthy vessels.
  • The absence of carriages and pegs alone meant that the Chinese could not have a field artillery remotely as mobile as the Europeans.
  • The absence of certain characteristics in Chinese fortifications alone meant that Chinese siege guns must have been much less powerful than the European ones because otherwise we would have witnessed adaptative changes along the line of the trace italienne.

However, since you will probably rant on in the same way anyway, let me close this thread with a summarizing quote:

Quote:
By the end of the 16th century European heavy artillery was considered so superior to indigenous types that the latter had almost disappeared except for the defence of city walls, where their mobility and rate of fire were less important than in the open field.

During the T'ien-ch'i reign (1621-27) sacrifices were offered to the great fo-lang-chi cannon [an Iberian breech-loader type] as though they were gods.

Europeans themselves were generally recognized as the experts in the use of artillery, and the Ming frequently sought European help in the wars against the Manchus. When, in 1621, three Portuguese guns manned by African slaves arrived on the Manchu front, they were credited with beating off the enemy virtually unassisted.

It was mainly because of their ability to cast cannon that a succession of Jesuit missionaries was permitted to reside in Peking. The first of these was Matteo Ricci, who arrived in 1602 and was soon coerced into producing guns for the Ming, as was his successor, Adam Schall, in 1642.

Conservatism and xenophobia led some to oppose the adoption of new foreign weapons. As late as 1642 Liu Tsung-chou was advising the emperor against relying on firearms, on the grounds that the T'ang and Sung dynasties had managed without them. In fact soldiers from many areas remained unfamiliar with guns, and the lack of experience of Chinese artisans led Hsu Kuang-ch'i to argue in 1630 that the manufacture of powder and shot should be left entirely to Europeans.

At the same time, Hsu had to fend off a suggestion from the emperor that they could make better use of the expensive imported cannon by increasing the recommended charge of powder. The Chinese were notoriously casual with gunpowder, and accidents were common: hundreds were killed in one explosion in 1605 after a group of soldiers, finding that their powder supply had been stored for so long that it had congealed into a solid block, attacked it with axes.

Even in Late Ming times the majority of soldiers were equipped with more traditional weapons. Cavalry were mainly mounted archers a technique adopted from the Mongols.

Source: SOLDIERS OF THE DRAGON. Chinese Armies 1500 BC-AD 1840, pp. 207f.
Backwards, superstitious, incompetent, dependent, these were the true gunpowder capabilities of the Ming and Manchu dynasties.

Last edited by Aetius; April 13th, 2015 at 07:15 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2015, 07:34 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by HackneyedScribe View Post
If we are speaking of giant wheeled carriages, the Chinese had been doing that for ballistas ever since the time of Mozi, and they did the same for giant cannons as well.

http://www.showchina.org/jjzg/bwzg/2...7194585663.jpg
Bullshit. This carriage to the left is an obvious copy of the European design. What is the image source?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HackneyedScribe View Post
In fact cannons on carriages were described as far back as the Huolongjing during the beginning of the Ming dynasty. A snippet from it says, and I quote:
The quote refers to a "four-wheeled carriage" which is essentially a cart, not a true carriage in the way it became canonical all the way up to the Napoleonic Wars, the Wars of German Unification and the American Civil War. I am talking of such a design: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._cannon_01.JPG

Last edited by Aetius; April 13th, 2015 at 07:49 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2015, 07:42 PM   #46
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Aetius, for someone who does not read Chinese and has no access to Chinese source materials, when did you suddenly become an expert on Chinese military technology? Please enlighten me, because I did not know that was humanly possible.

Last edited by mingming; April 13th, 2015 at 09:21 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2015, 07:49 PM   #47

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Bullshit. This is an obvious copy of the European design. What is the image source?
Did I say it was not a copy of European design? I said they had carriages for cannons. Just because it was origianlly European does not mean they didn't have it. Nevertheless, you still completely ignore the fact that the Zimu cannon and other LIGHT artillery don't need large carriages in the first place. You also ignore how you lied about your source and yet has the gall to call my statement BS due to something I never said.

You originally said, and I quote: As for field artillery, the Europeans invented the two features absolutely crucial to its success: the wheeled carriage and the barrel peg, which allowed for adjustment of height. Both design features were only, if at all, belatedly copied by Asians, particularly the latter not before the direct technology transfer set on.

Suddenly you change your goalpost from just "wheeled carriages" to "large wheeled carriages"? The point is light artillery, which is what the Chinese focused on, don't need large wheeled carriages. And of course the barrel peg statement is completely false as well, which you've been conveniently been ignoring. Also you've been ignoring how Chinese could improve upon European designs, rather than simply stuck copy/pasting. Your entire argument is that because the Chinese copied European designs, they had inferior cannonry of all types.

Yet here is a picture of the Great General Cannon, to the right, which was an IMPROVEMENT of local Chinese design:

Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

A Chinese added wheels, and lengthened the barrel, in an effort to improve upon it: "Among the large firearms there is none that is greater than the 'great general gun'. Its barrel (used to) weigh 150 catties, and was attached to a stand made of bronze weighing 1000 catties. It looked rather like the fo-lang-chi cannon. Yeh Meng Hsiung changed the weight of the gun to 250 catties and doubled its length to 6 feet, but eliminated the stand, and now it is placed on a carriage with wheels. When fired it has a range of 800 paces. A large head shell weighing 7 catties is called a 'grandfater shell' and the next shell of medium size weighing 3 catties is a 'son shell' while a smaller shell weighing 1 catty is a 'grandson shell'. There are also 200 small bullets each weighing 0.3 to 0.2 oz. (contained in the same shell) and called 'grandchildren bullets', while the saying is that the 'grandfather' leads the way and the 'grandchildren' follow. They are supplemented with iron and porcelain fragments previously boiled in cantharides beetle poison. The total weight of the projectile is some 20 catties. A single shot has the power of a thunderbolt, casuing several hundred casualties among men and horses......"-Pinglu, chapter 12

Quote:
The quote refers to a "four-wheeled carriage" which is essentially a cart, not a true carriage in the way it became canonical all the way up to the Napoleonic Wars, the Wars of German Unification and the American Civil War. I am talking of such a design: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._cannon_01.JPG
Why is a four wheeled carriage a cart? Wagons have four wheels too, are you saying that they are carts? You do realize that the DEFINITION of a cart is a TWO wheeled vehicle, right? Btw, your picture is of a cannon from the battle of Antiem in 1862. No one said that the Chinese had them during the 1500-1600ds.

From dictionary.com,
Cart:

noun 1. a heavy two-wheeled vehicle, commonly without springs, drawn by mules, oxen, or the like, used for the conveyance of heavy goods.

2. a light two-wheeled vehicle with springs, drawn by a horse or pony.

3. any small vehicle pushed or pulled by hand.

4. Obsolete. a chariot.

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; April 13th, 2015 at 09:26 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2015, 08:01 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by HackneyedScribe View Post
Click the image to open in full size.
I cannot access the picture, but in any case I am interested only in the source for this image. Don't even bother to reply if you cannot come up with your source.

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Originally Posted by HackneyedScribe View Post
Why is a four wheeled carriage a cart? Wagons have four wheels too, are you saying that they are carts? Btw, your picture is of a cannon from the battle of Antiem in 1862. No one said that the Chinese had them during the 1500-1600ds.
Sigh....the basic design of this Civil War carriage goes back to the 15th century. It was invented then. A two-wheeler allows for swifter transport, is more adaptable to terrain, can be quicker brought into position and most of all allows easy vertical adjustment in conjunction with the pegged barrel. All requisites for a mobile field artillery worth the name.
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Old April 13th, 2015, 08:42 PM   #49

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Originally Posted by Aetius View Post
I cannot access the picture,
Click the image to open in full size.

Great general cannon on the left.

Quote:
but in any case I am interested only in the source for this image. Don't even bother to reply if you cannot come up with your source.
Why should I, it's not as if you care as you are just going to make some excuse about how Europe is so much superior whereas the Chinese are so pathetic anyways. If you can promise to refrain from doing so, then I will. But before that if anyone else want to know the source then they can PM me.

Quote:
Sigh....the basic design of this Civil War carriage goes back to the 15th century. It was invented then.
No, the earliest drawings of European cannons of the 15th century showed four wheeled cannons alongside two wheeled ones, but these would be late 15th century. The barbarian vanquishing cannon, one of the earliest cannons the Chinese had, was shown to have 2 wheels from the Huolongjing of the late 14th century.

Click the image to open in full size.

This was shown alongside a cannon of the four-wheeled type, so they had the concept of both:

Click the image to open in full size.

Quote:
A two-wheeler allows for swifter transport, is more adaptable to terrain, can be quicker brought into position and most of all allows easy vertical adjustment in conjunction with the pegged barrel. All requisites for a mobile field artillery worth the name.
No, it depends on the situation. Four wheel carts would be easier for the horse dragging it, you don't have to worry so much about balance, and make the cart unlikely to flip. Where there is a lot of turning about you want two wheels, but when the ground is a straight course you want four. And for a static emplacement you want no wheels, this way more of the force from the cannon could be transferred into projecting the cannonball as opposed to moving the cannon backward. That is also why some very large cannons would have small wheels in order to minimize this problem. So each have their advantages. Otherwise please explain why people have four wheel wagons or four wheel carriages when 2 wheels would be a cheaper option. Just like the rest of the world, 3 and 4 wheel artillery existed alongside 2 wheeled ones.

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; April 13th, 2015 at 09:27 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2015, 08:51 PM   #50
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The improved great general cannon's range of 800 paces with a canister is about 1200-1300 m or about 1300-1400 yds. A single round shot from this gun would go significantly farther, but of course these ranges are beyond what would be practical in combat.

Last edited by Haakbus; April 13th, 2015 at 08:56 PM.
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