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Old May 4th, 2016, 11:11 AM   #161
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ABSTRACT

OUTFOUGHT AND OUTTHOUGHT, REASSESSING THE MONGOL INVASIONS
OF JAPAN, by Major Ryon F. Adams, 123 pages.

In 1274 and 1281, the Mongol Empire attempted overseas invasions of Japan, following diplomatic efforts to make Japan submit. On both occasions, the Mongols were unsuccessful. Although the Japanese offered stiff and well-coordinated resistance, the invasions have taken on an almost mythical quality, not so much because of the brave samurai defense of Japan, but rather, due to the fact that both invasions ended disastrously for the Mongols, as storms destroyed their fleets. Many Japanese credited these storms, which came to be known in Japan as the “kamikaze,” or “divine wind,” as a sign of divine protection for the Japanese archipelago. Later, they served as a historical inspiration for the World War II (WWII) Japanese suicide pilots of the same name. However destructive those storms may have been, my research suggests that the Japanese would likely have been victorious even without the storms. The Mongols committed many diplomatic, strategic, and tactical errors during the invasions, and failed to properly apply the four instruments of national power, as well the principles of Sun Tzu. This thesis will show that the Japanese defeat of the Mongol Invasions was not primarily due to the weather, but rather, as a result of those other factors.

Weather forces soon brought about the end to Khubilai Khan’s expedition, though at this point, the Mongols appeared to be making no progress. Typhoons hit Japan regularly during the summer and early fall, and on August 15, 1281, a huge storm began to kick up around Hakata Bay.32 The Mongol vessels, all chained together, were helpless against the winds, and soon began crashing into each other. Other vessels were dashed against the shore.33 Thousands of Mongol and Chinese warriors drowned.34 Some
vessels managed to escape to sea, but a majority of the vessels were swamped.35 A minority of vessels, including the ones carrying Admiral Fan Wen-Hu and General Chang Hsi, managed to escape to Taka Island.36 One group of boats, led by Fan Wen-Hu, decided to sail back to Korea. Another group of about 2,000 warriors under Chang Hsi decided to remain.37 Shortly after the storm died down, a group of about 5,000 samurai sailed out to attack the survivors, killing over 500 Mongols, including the general. The remaining 1,500 or so then surrendered.38 All of the captives were enslaved except for three, who were allowed to return to China in order to inform Khubilai Khan of their defeat.39

Adams, Ryon F. Outfought and Outthought: Reassessing the Mongol Invasions of Japan. ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS, 2009. http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a502217.pdf

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Old May 5th, 2016, 03:40 AM   #162

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Soooo.....Did you read Conlan's book that you posted?

Ironically enough, Major Adams agrees with a lot of Conlan's arguments in his paper.
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Old August 25th, 2016, 06:16 AM   #163
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Does anyone have an opinion on some of Stephen Turnbull's books? I've been trying to find some short introductory books to the Sengoku period and found some that he's written in the Osprey series, but I'm seeing mixed reviews about his writing. Is he a relatively reliable writer? Can I rely on his Osprey books as an accurate introduction to the history?
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Old August 25th, 2016, 10:43 AM   #164

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In my opinion it depends on the book. Nagashino 1575 Slaughter at the Barricades was really good but the Samurai Invasion of Korea was average. Then again it is one of the few books on the Imjin War... so be happy with what you have?

Last edited by Lord Oda Nobunaga; August 25th, 2016 at 11:33 AM.
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Old August 25th, 2016, 02:41 PM   #165

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodz Mikolaj View Post
Does anyone have an opinion on some of Stephen Turnbull's books? I've been trying to find some short introductory books to the Sengoku period and found some that he's written in the Osprey series, but I'm seeing mixed reviews about his writing. Is he a relatively reliable writer? Can I rely on his Osprey books as an accurate introduction to the history?
Generally I'd say avoid him, and if you really want his Osprey stuff get it for the pictures only (since he's got a great picture library). Go with Karl Friday, or as Naomasa has recommended in another thread, George Sansom. I'd also recommend Mary Berry's book on Hideyoshi, and if you have access to any of the articles she's written, they're excellent too.

When Turnbull was the only one around writing books in English he was good to study from, since there was no comparison to any other historian, and few people could recognize the issues his books had (which were often outdated information, or in some instances invented fabrications). Now though, there's much better historians you can read.

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Old August 25th, 2016, 05:23 PM   #166

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Doesn't George Sansom only have like two books though? Actually I think he is dead. His was one of the first books that tried to cover all of Japanese history.

I agree Karl Friday's books are better than pretty much anything from Osprey Publishing.

Last edited by Lord Oda Nobunaga; August 25th, 2016 at 05:28 PM.
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Old August 29th, 2016, 07:33 AM   #167
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Thanks folks. I'll just follow the advice and pic up some Osprey titles for the illustrations but look elsewhere for hard facts.
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Old January 8th, 2017, 06:58 AM   #168

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BUMP - I was ready to start doing some more of these, but what is up with my beautiful links! Did the forum change how Amazon links appear now?
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Old January 8th, 2017, 04:53 PM   #169

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Quote:
Originally Posted by leakbrewergator View Post
BUMP - I was ready to start doing some more of these, but what is up with my beautiful links! Did the forum change how Amazon links appear now?
Yes. This thread has a bit more info about it:

http://historum.com/feedback/121314-...ml#post2607771
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Old January 9th, 2017, 03:54 AM   #170

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Originally Posted by Thegn Ansgar View Post
Yes. This thread has a bit more info about it:

http://historum.com/feedback/121314-...ml#post2607771
Ah. I guess we're still waiting to hear back from the admin. My reviews are nothing without the pretty picture of the book in the Amazon link!
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