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Old December 14th, 2016, 03:01 PM   #101

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I'm doubtful about the high military capability of the Japanese during the early modern period. Japanese were formidable fighting each other, but they have always failed when fighting with other military forces in the Asian continent and almost all battles Japan engaged against any non-Japanese army ended up with either defeat or a Pyrrhic victory.
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Old December 14th, 2016, 06:37 PM   #102

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Originally Posted by Piccolo View Post
Perhaps I am re-iterating too much; but the point is that Japan is more analagous to the Ottoman Empire than any of SPain or Portugal's conquests. The Ottomans and Japanese army may or may not be worse; and both have internal divisions that could be possibly exploited; but probably not. But the Japanese and Ottomans are both logistically sophisticaed enough to defend themselves. Consider the size of the Battle of Sekigahara for example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sekigahara


Spanish failure to subjugate England or the Netherlands alone is evidence; as England wasn't really a superpower yet (it's forces were of high quality but England's overall power was no match for the Ottomans, the Chinese, or the land-based logistics of the Japanese. British progressiveness didn't really mature in to a golden age until they won the war of the Spanish succession).

So if Spain had other priorities, Spain doesn't stand a chance. A distraction free Spain might win; but more because of it's navy, and would probably take a city (like the Portuguese did with Malacca), than an overall conquest.

If I have recyclled too many arguments; then perhaps let us ask; how many troops do you think Spain could mobilize, (and more importantly, how much DID they mobilize in their wars and battle in Europe?), much less ship over to Japan?
Well, to compare Medieval Japan against the Ottoman Empire is much stretch for several reasons and among them, the former fought a lot of wars among themselves in contrast to the latter fighting so many kinds of armies around the world. In terms of equipment, the Ottoman had been using gunpowder extensively, was also a sea power and had much army than Japan. I do agree that Japan had organized army to defend their land, but, on the basis of the argument that Spain shall be facing Japan only without minding fellow Western powers at that time, it is evident that Japan can be taken down.

The failure of Spain to invade England or Netherlands must not be the benchmark against Japan, for then latter had no military technology the former had during that time, because both of those nations were sea powers also, but Japan was not when compared to Spain.

Without thinking about their rivals, Spain had a lot of sources of infantry in Mexico, the South American countries, Caribbean Islands and the Philippines, in which the indios from those territories, it had enough forces to create out of them, plus their own army from Spain. I just don't have the exact data of them, but look at the sources of man power they had in 1500's. Japan had only one source of army which was from Japan only.
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Old December 14th, 2016, 08:48 PM   #103

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagul View Post
Well, to compare Medieval Japan against the Ottoman Empire is much stretch for several reasons and among them, the former fought a lot of wars among themselves in contrast to the latter fighting so many kinds of armies around the world. In terms of equipment, the Ottoman had been using gunpowder extensively, was also a sea power and had much army than Japan. I do agree that Japan had organized army to defend their land, but, on the basis of the argument that Spain shall be facing Japan only without minding fellow Western powers at that time, it is evident that Japan can be taken down.

The failure of Spain to invade England or Netherlands must not be the benchmark against Japan, for then latter had no military technology the former had during that time, because both of those nations were sea powers also, but Japan was not when compared to Spain.

Without thinking about their rivals, Spain had a lot of sources of infantry in Mexico, the South American countries, Caribbean Islands and the Philippines, in which the indios from those territories, it had enough forces to create out of them, plus their own army from Spain. I just don't have the exact data of them, but look at the sources of man power they had in 1500's. Japan had only one source of army which was from Japan only.
In games, source of the military doesn't matter.
In the real world, co-operation and discipline issues arise when soldiers from different parts of the world come together.
A massive, undisciplined force is not more useful than a smaller, disciplined force.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 12:21 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Landsknecht View Post
Well I have to agree with most of what he said about the Spanish. The Spanish did have a huge Empire and one good quality military for the time. I think a lot of people overlook or underestimate the Spanish.

I think you are the one who is underestimating the Japanese military. Japan has consistently mobilized troops dwarfing those mobilized by contemporary Spain, and the force it mobilized during the Imjin war amounted to some 320,000, and those which crossed the sea alone was 160,000 in 9 divisions. This was over twice the size of the soldiers Spain stationed in the Netherlands and nearly four times as large as the total forces Spain had standing. Only in the thirty years war did Spain mobilize a number close to the force Japan mobilized during the Imjin war, but even the total force mobilized for the Imjin war was probably just over half of the soldiers Japan had in the entire empire.

In short, it is far more likely that Spain gets conquered by Japan, than vice versa (although territorial concessions from Spain is more likely), if the two empires were right next to each other.



Quote:
I read somewhere here saying the Japanese had better fire arms than the Spanish? No, just no. That cannot be right.
Are we seriously still arguing over this despite all the evidence that was provided in the past by several people?
Other than basing this off of your assumptions, do you have solid evidence?
We have actual Chinese sources noting Japanese arquebus to be better than European ones.

According to He Langchen's work "formation record" under the section jiyong阵纪技用:“鸟铳出自外夷……但不敢连发五、七铳,恐内热起火,且虑其破(即膛炸),唯倭铳 不妨"
"The arquebus came from the foreign barbarians(Europeans)...but it's cautioned against firing five or seven rounds, in fear of heat and fire and worry that it will break, we hence only adopt the Japanese arquebuses and nothing else."

The Japanese arquebuses also adopted a faster loading device known as Hayago, which allowed them to fire 3-4 shots in a minute. The difference in loading steps and hence speed is shown here:



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

This reduces the steps needed to reload and shoot an arquebus:

Click the image to open in full size.

First step: Take the cartridge located from the waist, and put the gunpowder + bullet from the cartridge into the arquebus bore.

Click the image to open in full size.

Step 2: ram the bullet ball and charge into the bore using the ramrod

Click the image to open in full size.

Step 3: Prime the pan using a separate gunpowder container, also located at the waist.

Click the image to open in full size.

Step 4: Set the slow burning match

Click the image to open in full size.

Step five: Fire

This is two steps below the usual six-seven steps needed to fire an arquebus, because the action to put the gunpowder and bullet into the bore would be split into separate steps. Using a hayago a reenactor was able to fire 2 shots in about 30 seconds or about 4 per minute, as opposed to non-Japanese arquebusiers without a hayago who would be firing at around 2 shots per minute:


Plus, the hayago allowed a more stable input of gunpowder. Without it, it is very likely that the chaos/panic of battle would cause the gunpowder input to be too low.



Also, Japanese arquebus tactics were decades ahead of the Spanish ones, utilizing the 3 line rank rotation fires, and used offensive firing tactics which was only used by Spain during the thirty years war; contemporary Spain fought in more melee centered Tercio blocks; even the Dutch army only adopted a 10 rank formations after 1600 which didn't as successfully utilized firepower.

To quote Geoffrey Parker:
"volley fire was invented twice in the 16th century. First, Oda Nobunaga, a Japanese warlord fighting for control of the archipelago, de-veloped the idea of uninterrupted infantry fire by shooting arquebuses in rotatingranks, and successfully used it at the battle of Nagashino in 1575, where Nobunaga’s 3000 men in three ranks delivered volleys that proved devastating for the enemy.Thirty years later, and seemingly unrelated to the Japanese case, the Dutch army be-came the first in Europe to use and perfect this same technique. Parker shows that,thanks to their close reading of works describing Roman military tactics, Counts Wil-lem Lodewjik and Maurice of Nassau came up with the idea of volley fire in 1594,and within six years at most had taught their infantry to practice it in action. In the firsttwo decades of the 17th century, printed works and Dutch-trained instructors taughtthe armies of other Protestant states to follow suit. Yet, no western army used volleyfire in action until the 1620s, with the possible exception of the Dutch at the battle of Nieuwpoort in 1600." Parker (2003, pp. 40–51; 2007),

Quote:
The other things is that some said armor will have no role on this? Well I would not say none, but I would say that it is an bit of an edge that the Spanish have.
I believe we've went over this in multiple threads.
As figures of the thirty years war shows, only around half of the soldiers were armored and most of the armor are not full plate armor.


According to Guthrie, W.P., The Later Thirty Years War: From the Battle of Wittstock to the Treaty of Westphalia, 2004

Nationality------Year----------Armored------Unarmored----------Shot
Spain-----------1601-----------1047-------------954---------------56%
Walloon--------1601-----------1125-------------694---------------53%
German---------1601-----------5651-------------692--------------21%
Walloon---------1619------------857---------------0----------------65%
Cath. Leg-------1625-----------1000-------------200--------------58%
Cath. Leg-------1625------------80----------------10---------------68%
Cath. Leg-------1627------------300--------------350--------------65%



Also, "Most musketeers wore ordinary clothing, but some added sleeveless buff jackets, and a few had helmets."

Japanese arquebusiers on the other hand seem to have been mostly armored and carried longer swords for cutting compared to the rapier which European musketeers carried.

Yu Dayou casually dismissed the Europeans as having inferior melee in naval confrontations and used boarding as the standard tactic against them; "these people's only weapon is a soft sword, their naval combat ability is inferior to our soldiers, and on the ground, long spears would have subdued them."

On the other hand, here is what he said of Japanese pirates, not even the imperial army:
“倭奴长于陆战,其水战则我兵之所长”
"Wokou are better at land battle, while Chinese are better at naval battle."


”今贼有二三千,从贼有七千,且人人皆欲死斗。官兵之数仅与相当,约日列阵以合战,胜负之形相半 。“

"Now the bandits have 2-3,000, with 7,000 followers, and each one wishing to fight to the death. Imperial soldiers are roughly their equal, when we fight with formation on a given day, the casualties are roughly the same."


In sum, Yu finds Japanese pirates of the same standard in melee to the Chinese, but dismissed the European melee as nothing to note.

Last edited by heavenlykaghan; December 15th, 2016 at 12:35 AM.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 04:04 AM   #105

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagul View Post
Well, to compare Medieval Japan against the Ottoman Empire is much stretch for several reasons and among them, the former fought a lot of wars among themselves in contrast to the latter fighting so many kinds of armies around the world. In terms of equipment, the Ottoman had been using gunpowder extensively, was also a sea power and had much army than Japan. I do agree that Japan had organized army to defend their land, but, on the basis of the argument that Spain shall be facing Japan only without minding fellow Western powers at that time, it is evident that Japan can be taken down.

The failure of Spain to invade England or Netherlands must not be the benchmark against Japan, for then latter had no military technology the former had during that time, because both of those nations were sea powers also, but Japan was not when compared to Spain.

Without thinking about their rivals, Spain had a lot of sources of infantry in Mexico, the South American countries, Caribbean Islands and the Philippines, in which the indios from those territories, it had enough forces to create out of them, plus their own army from Spain. I just don't have the exact data of them, but look at the sources of man power they had in 1500's. Japan had only one source of army which was from Japan only.
The Spanish Empire had two massive problems:

1) Lack of money
2) Lack of manpower

........to deal with all the demands on both
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Old December 15th, 2016, 04:32 AM   #106

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Originally Posted by johnincornwall View Post
The Spanish Empire had two massive problems:

1) Lack of money
2) Lack of manpower

........to deal with all the demands on both
It is curious to see that the Portuguese Empire had exactly the same two problems. And yet… from 1580 until 1640 they were tied by the same kings…

So then they had:

1) Two times lack of money
2) Two times lack of manpower

Which is impressive due the richness that they produced and the lands that in theory they controlled.


EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlykaghan View Post
In short, it is far more likely that Spain gets conquered by Japan, than vice versa (although territorial concessions from Spain is more likely), if the two empires were right next to each other.
That “if” makes the all point… pointless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlykaghan View Post
We have actual Chinese sources noting Japanese arquebus to be better than European ones.
I think that we should be careful comparing the old rusty European arms sold to the Chinese to the arms made by the Japanese.

Last edited by Tulius; December 15th, 2016 at 04:38 AM.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 06:21 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Tulius View Post

I think that we should be careful comparing the old rusty European arms sold to the Chinese to the arms made by the Japanese.
They weren't old arms sold to the Chinese, they were war booties taken by the Ming from the locals at Shuangyu island.


It comes from Chou Hai Tubian, volume 13, written in 1558.
《筹海图编鸟咀铳》:鸟铳之制,自西番流入中国,其来远矣,然造者未尽其妙。嘉靖二十七年 ,都御史朱纨 ,遣都指挥卢镗,破双屿,获番酋善铳者,命义士马宪制器,李槐制药,因得其传而造作,比西番犹 为精绝云。

"The arquebus arrived in China from the westerners, from far away, but those who made it did not understand its secret. In the twentieth year of Jiajing, the Duyu Shi Zhu Wan, sent the Du Zhihui Lu Tang, defeated them in the islands, acquired European chiefs who were adapt at making the arquebus, and ordered Ma Xian to make these weapons and Li Gui to make the powder. They attained this skill and made it as a result, which was more sophisticated than those of the westerners."

Also, Chinese sources note that Japanese arquebuses were better than their own (after the Chinese already remodeled and improved their design based on the Europeans) and also explicitly mentioned the Japanese arquebus better than the Europeans and was adopted as a result.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 07:22 AM   #108

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I don’t know if the Chinese and Japanese weapons were better or better developed, due to posterior evolutions I must have doubts, and that doesn’t conflict with the quoted source (by the way thank you for posting it, I didn’t knew it, and I will take a look), but my point was that the state of the quality and the state of the weapons that arrived to the Orient could be far from the best that Europe produced, both in the quality but most of all in its state of readiness. As for powder the things would be even worse.

PS: I suppose this is the best site to begin to look:
Chouhai tubian ???? (www.chinaknowledge.de)

Curiously my browser search gave as a third result this long thread here in our Forum:
Spanish Conquset of Ming China
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Old December 15th, 2016, 07:28 AM   #109
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Quote:
I don’t know if the Chinese and Japanese weapons were better or better developed, due to posterior evolutions I must have doubts, and that doesn’t conflict with the quoted source (by the way thank you for posting it, I didn’t knew it, and I will take a look), but my point was that the state of the quality and the state of the weapons that arrived to the Orient could be far from the best that Europe produced, both in the quality but most of all in its state of readiness. As for powder the things would be even worse.

Much of the Japanese arquebus quality probably came through better craftsmanship enforced by a powerful state, which also implemented the standardization of their arquebuse bores (the Koreans also standardized their arquebus in 1615). The Hayago on the other hand, had no contemporary European equivalent, and was simply a better loading device.
The idea that European firearms were better has been challenged by many articles in the recent decades throughout studies of different Asian Empires, its nothing new. The idea that Asians were simply passive recipients of European arms is also misleading as we have plenty of records that European firearms were taken and improved upon. We even have European records commenting on better weapons in Asia. Corned powder was also introduced with European arms, and the chemical composition weren't much different. The posterior evolution you speak of is mostly a late 18th century phenomenon. Firearms weren't even the deadliest weapons on the battlefield in much of Asia in the 16th century. Armies like the Safavid and Manchus were able to out compete the Ottoman and Ming armies on a qualitative basis with just mounted archers and shock. This has been the core argument of Kenneth Chase's insightful book "Firearms, a Global History to 1700".



Quote:
Well, to compare Medieval Japan against the Ottoman Empire is much stretch for several reasons and among them, the former fought a lot of wars among themselves in contrast to the latter fighting so many kinds of armies around the world. In terms of equipment, the Ottoman had been using gunpowder extensively, was also a sea power and had much army than Japan. I do agree that Japan had organized army to defend their land, but, on the basis of the argument that Spain shall be facing Japan only without minding fellow Western powers at that time, it is evident that Japan can be taken down.
The largest the Ottoman Empire ever mobilized was 100,000, this was still significantly lower in number compared to what the Japanese mobilized during the Imjin war. The Japanese army had 35% firearms (mostly arquebus) at the time, which was comparable to the amount that typical European armies had. The Ottomans were not extensively gunpowder based, they also used archers and mounted archers (which are arguably superior to mounted musketeers). The entire population of the Ottoman Empire was also only around 15 million in the 16th century, smaller than that of Japan. Also, despite the constant comments regarding the weakness of Japanese sea power, Japan was able to transport 160,000 soldiers across the Sea of Japan with over 20,000 sailors alone; far larger than the Ottoman and Spanish fleets at Lepanto. In a time when boarding was still the main tactic, such a large number mattered in any naval engagements.

Last edited by heavenlykaghan; December 15th, 2016 at 08:51 AM.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 09:01 AM   #110

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@ heavenlykaghan

I found this text while researching for the subject, its quite interesting, but of course it's just an opinion.

link from 2009

On the accuracy of the teppo (Japanese arquebus) - I, Clausewitz : A Would-be Conqueror's Diary

relevant text

Quote:
It is often said that the Japanese version of the arquebus--known variously by the names teppo, tanegashima, and many others--was more accurate than the 16th-century European weapons that they were developed from. Of course, the reality wasn't that simple, and in this post I'll try to examine whether there was a real difference and why.


First, let's sort out the technical details of the relevant weapons. An expert in European firearms, if given a Japanese arquebus without any information about the weapon's origins, would notice two salient features. First is the lock (firing mechanism); European military arquebuses mostly used the simple matchlock system, while the Japanese used the more complicated snapping-matchlock variant. When the user pulls the trigger (or lever) on a non-snapping matchlock, the connection between trigger and sear would gradually rotate the cock and bring the match (a length of smoldering cord) down onto the small load of gunpowder in the priming pan. A spring inside the lock resists the pull of the trigger, giving both a measure of safety against accidental discharge and returning the trigger to the original position after firing. In contrast, the trigger in a snapping matchlock mechanism releases a spring that "snaps" the cock down into the pan, providing a shorter trigger pull and a "cleaner" action that causes less interference with the shooter's aim. This feature makes the snapping matchlock more useful for applications that require greater accuracy, such as hunting and target shooting; however, it also makes the mechanism less robust (because the spring is under constant tension until the gun is fired) and somewhat less safe (because it is most effective when combined with a hair-trigger or a similarly sensitive "button" trigger). Another disadvantage of the snapping matchlock is that the violent introduction of the match into the pan (as opposed to the slower, more gradual descent of an ordinary matchlock's cock) often extinguished the match and forced the shooter to re-light it during the already-complicated loading process.

The second most striking feature of the Japanese arquebus is the cheek stock; exactly as the name says, it means the gun has a short stock and is fired with the butt held next to the shooter's cheek rather than against the shoulder, as seen in this demonstration. This placement gives the shooter more control over the alignment of the sights atop the gun's barrel and therefore makes the weapon more accurate (especially in the vertical dimension) when employed by a sufficiently skilled user. The cheek stock was also known in Europe--some examples are shown in the lower half of this page--but again its use was largely restricted to the non-combat applications of hunting and target shooting. It was not deemed practical for battlefield use in Europe because its employment could not be generalized to heavier weapons like full-sized Spanish muskets--which were so heavy and had so great a recoil that using one with a cheek stock would probably have resulted in the weapon jumping altogether out of the shooter's hands upon firing. By comparison, the Japanese seemed to have been content with the relatively mild firepower of the arquebus and seldom scaled up their weapons into something comparable to the musket proper.

So, in summary, both of the Japanese arquebus's distinctive technical features appear to be chosen to deliberately emphasize accuracy at the cost of firepower and robustness. It should also be noted that both features were also known in Europe, though neither seemed to have been very popular in military contexts.


The other side of the equation is technique. One fairly famous fact about traditional Japanese firearms usage is the existence of several traditional schools that teach sophisticated methods for loading and firing the Japanese arquebus. These methods obviously produced far higher accuracy than the rather abbreviated musket drills used by European infantry formations in the late 18th century and the Napoleonic Wars, and this comparison is often cited as evidence for the superiority of Japanese firearm techniques. But there's a fundamental fallacy in this comparison: it's comparing apples with oranges. For one thing, European musketry wasn't always so inaccurate; in fact, Renaissance European musketeers and arquebusiers were supposed to aim quite carefully and were probably expected to achieve a much higher level of accuracy than their Napoleonic descendants. The design of their weapons certainly helped; like contemporary Japanese weapons, their firearms normally had front sights and often rear sights as well, unlike later European muskets that often had no dedicated sighting devices at all. The social dimension of firearm usage also played an important part. In Europe, the civilian use of firearms gradually spread down to the lower levels of society, and armies also recruited extensively from the lower classes if for no other reason than that these lowlifes were less likely to have the money or sociopolitical influence to wiggle their way out of compulsory recruitment. Meanwhile, the unification of Japan under the Tokugawa shogunate in the early 17th century effectively brought a stop to the kind of large-scale open warfare where the arquebus's presence was most keenly felt, not to mention that the shogunate actively sought to restrict the ownership and use of firearms to its own agents and allies. In this atmosphere the art of marksmanship gradually became the exclusive preserve of the hereditary military classes (the samurai and the ashigaru). Naturally, the firearm schools that grew during the Edo period (named for the capital of the Tokugawa shogunate) catered to the needs of these classes, so they were more comparable to European gentlemen's shooting parlors and marksmanship clubs than to the musket drills of the Poor Bloody Infantry.
So while japonese arquebuses were definetly one of the best among the asian nations, they weren't better/worse then european ones they were just adapted to japonese style warfare, so suited diferent needs. also the Edo period of peace didn't helped mantaining the "level" although development of firearms still continued.


Quote:
You Say

"Oda Nobunaga,use of uninterrupted infantry fire by shooting arquebuses in rotatingranks, in the battle of Nagashino in 1575"
This is not 100% historical verified fact, althought the use of volley firearms fire by the japonese in the later 1592 Korean invasion is. If you go by that route there are alot of possible use of volly firearms in europe as earlier as 1520 and in China even earlier with more crude guns in this case.

Regarding Japonese Navy, their artillery firepower was pretty meager, their ships structure, size and weight didn't enabled more then 2 or 3 larger artillery pieces to be mounted in them. Even Korean navy was better in the long range artillery distance. The Japanese even considered employing two portuguese galleons to make for that shortcomings in the Korean Invasion.

About the large numbers of mobilization that you present and are constantly being reminded by many in multiple threads here, i already gave an example in this thread (Naval Battle of Diu) to say that isn't always a crushing advantage.

I agree that Asian powers, like India, China, and Japan, and many large African or Native American nations, could indeed mobilize large and vast numbers of armies when compared with european armies of the time, moreso when fighting on their turf. The point still is that european military organization and technology of that time (1550 up, including the muslim empires like the Ottomans), were in most cases more effective. That doesn't mean that a full scale invasion of Japan would be possible, like it as been said, to few economical and manpower ressource on that side of the globe to achieve anything meaningful, against a well developed and organized society.

Last edited by Medieval; December 15th, 2016 at 09:13 AM.
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