Can anyone tell me in detail about battle ships of Ming and Japan?

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
if not outright racist logic [ie trying to paint the credibility of all Chinese sources under the same brush]. On the other hand, the one time you were asked on sourcing, you've ignored the request.
It is bigoted and dishonest of you to make such claims. Contrary to your lies, it is Heavenlykaghan who has not provided sources despite repeated request:

- What direct contemporary testimony do we have that specifically states the 5,000 liao ships on the Chinese tombs were warships.

- What direct contemporary Ming records that specifically describe battleships of large (1000 tons burden) sizes? Treasure ships are not specifically identified as warships?

- What Ming record describes Louchan (Tower) ships with crews of 3,000 to 4,000 size being used during the Ming dynasty (and not earlier).

You and Heavenlykaghan have repeatedly lied when you have provided sources for those claims, but you haven't.


Since we know that the larger ships of Zheng He did not exist in later Ming times (Needham acknowledges this in Science and Civilization Volume 4 part 3), we cannot assume that because Tower ships existed in earlier times they existed in Ming times.


The question is to the size of Chinese Ming dynasty warships. We know, and Needham acknowledges this, that ships of the later Ming were smaller. The question is if the warships of the earlier Ming were any bigger. That requires evidence you have not provided.
 
Feb 2011
6,156
Bart Dale said:
Both you and Heavenlykaghen use the very sources I provided, such as the Anthony Rollo, and Sally Church's "Zheng He: An Investigation", so what you say is a flat out lie, and both you and have been flat out deceitful and dishonest. You use evidence of one year, of just one port, to make a claim, that isn't even relevant to the topic. The topic is battle ships/warships, not any old ship as you and heavenlykaghan try to convert it to. And even then your own evidence supports what I said, that European ships were larger.
I provided data and tonnage from ALL ships of the Anthony Roll, large and small. You did not. You make claims about the Anthony Roll, but unlike me you don't show where the claims came from. Likewise, you cherrypicked Sally K Church and made it sound as if the Chinese only had 400 liao ships as their largest ships, when Sally herself mentioned that the Chinese listed ships more than twice that large, and even up to around 5000 liao in size or more than ten times as large.

The topic is about East Asian ships, not European ships. Since you are the first to bring comparisons about European ships into the thread, by responding to a post that said nothing about European ships, then you should at least not cherry-pick the data nor should you misquote your sourcing.

Bart Dale said:
Contrary to your lies, it is Heavenlykaghan who has not provided sources despite repeated request
You couldn't quote where he made the claim, he doesn't have to provide sourcing for things he haven't claimed. I have told you this again and again.

On the other hand, you did claim the following:
Analyizing the ships of the 16th century Athony Roll, the 59 ships on the roll had a total of 8320 crew (sailors, soldiers, gunners) - [Post 89]​

This is my fourth time asking for sourcing on the above and you still haven't provided the sourcing. All you did was go on the offensive and demand people to provide evidence for things they never claimed.

You also misquoted Sally K Church by using her quote to claim:
Chinese documents demonstrated ships smaller than those of the London records you cited. 400 liao is only 50 tons, and that is the largest of the Chinese ship types listed [post 98]​
Even though you cut off her sentence right when she was about to mention larger 1000 liao ships and can be seen in my prior post, not to mention Sally also spoke of 5000 liao ships elsewhere. Her entire quote:
Considerable detail is given about the ships that are covered in Longjiang chuanchang zhi. In addition to their length, width, and height, as noted above, we are also told the amount of the various materials (including wood) that were needed to construct them, and the number of man-days needed for construction and repair. The largest ship for which such details are given is 400 liao. Two ship types are designated by this size, a combat ship 9.85 zhang in length and a patrol ship of 8.8 zhang, both approximately 91 ft long. Nanchuan ji also has 400 liao combat patrol boats, both 8.6 zhang long, but this is not the largest ship recorded in this work. There is also an entry for a 1,000 liao ocean-going ship. Unfortunately its dimensions are not given, but curiously the amounts of the different types of wood that were used for its construction are specified...

These aren't even all the misquotes you used, far from it as heavenlykaghan addressed a lot of them in post 95.
You see, when I say you are misquoting a source or ask you for sourcing, I can pinpoint just where you made the mistaken claim, and I can provide both your mistaken statement word for word and the post number where you made the statement. I can provide the actual quote from the actual source without the relevant parts cut off. You cannot, you are just making a series of demands that nobody claimed, and call them a liar because they refuse to bring evidence over things they never claimed.

It's also funny because you were the first to treat Zheng He's Treasure Ships as warships, I don't know who else had done so. Shouldn't it be you who provide the evidence?
You made this statement:
Gong Zhen said the crew size of Zheng He ships were 200 to 300. Per Song Li, Minster of 1405 to 1422, a sea going vessels needed a crew of 100 to transport 1,000 piculs of grain (250 tons), which implies 1 man per 2.5 tons. So for Gong Zhen crew size of 300 would imply a ship size of 750 tons. However, Ms. Church points out that the 2.5 tons/man rule was for commercial ships, and that military ships could have significantly larger crews; for example some 100 tons ships having crews of 100, 1 ton/man. (My observation:. Since Zheng He fought pirates , have crew size was more likely to be more like mililary ones than commercial ones, so the 2.5 rule probably over estimates the size of the ships. ) - Zheng He Treasure Ship - earliest primary sources don't say size
Now I haven't made any claim whether Zheng He's ships were warships or not, you however did. So if anything out of the three questions you asked, you are most obligated to answer them, not me.

Bart Dale said:
It is bigoted and dishonest of you to make such claims. Contrary to your lies
How am I lying? Did you or did you not say over and over how one single Chinese source was inaccurate, even though nobody used that source as evidence for anything here? Ergo, when I said you tried "to paint the credibility of all Chinese sources under the same brush", it is an accurate statement, hence it is not a lie.
 
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Feb 2011
6,156
Bart Dale said:
we cannot assume that because Tower ships existed in earlier times they existed in Ming times.
Umm... who assumed this? Quote it and the post number. If you want to talk about honesty or lack thereof, you should prove people made these claims before making statements such as this (in addition to your list of demands which nobody made a claim over).

Bart Dale said:
The question is to the size of Chinese Ming dynasty warships. We know, and Needham acknowledges this, that ships of the later Ming were smaller. The question is if the warships of the earlier Ming were any bigger. That requires evidence you have not provided.
Where did I say anything about whether earlier Ming ships were bigger. I only seriously joined this discussion when you made the mistaken claim: Both in Ancient times and modern times, commercial ships can be far bigger than warships

Ergo I provided evidence showing that whereas warships in the 16th century Anthony Roll averaged around 180 tons, most ships docking in London were only around 40 tons or less. Later I showed that ships docking in Port Royal 100 years later was still only around 120 tons. These came with sourcing and quotes. Hence your statement is too much of a generalized sweep, making it incorrect.
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
In the document on the history of Bristol shipping, in appendix 1, 4 English ships owned by Bristol men were listed as being 250 tons or larger, out of a sample size of 56 ships with 32 of them being of unknown size, for the years 1551 - 1560. The years 1591 - 1560, 2 ships were listed as being 250 tons or larger, with 30 ships out of the sample of 111 ships being of unknown sized. https://www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/History/bristolrecordsociety/publications/brs31.pdf This is larger than the largest Chinese ships we have for the same time period.

That the early Ming had larger ships than the later Ming dynasty is generally agreed. That the early Ming dynasty had larger warships than appeared in the later Ming or Qing dynasty is unknown, and unproven.
 
Feb 2011
6,156
In the document on the history of Bristol shipping, in appendix 1, 4 English ships owned by Bristol men were listed as being 250 tons or larger, out of a sample size of 56 ships with 32 of them being of unknown size, for the years 1551 - 1560. The years 1591 - 1560, 2 ships were listed as being 250 tons or larger, with 30 ships out of the sample of 111 ships being of unknown sized. https://www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/History/bristolrecordsociety/publications/brs31.pdf This is larger than the largest Chinese ships we have for the same time period.

That the early Ming had larger ships than the later Ming dynasty is generally agreed. That the early Ming dynasty had larger warships than appeared in the later Ming or Qing dynasty is unknown, and unproven.
Your own source gave a number of years between 1501-1600. If we add up all the ships recorded in this century, excluding the ships whose tonnage are unknown, ships of 200 tons or over only make up 7.7% of the total ships whereas ships less than 100 tons make up 60% of the total ships. This is bigger than 16th century London in which ships less than 40 tons make up 60% of total ships but 200 ships were still a rarity. This meant that British Warships of the 16th century, averaging around 180 tons (Anthony Roll already given), is still vastly bigger than commercial ships on average. Plus, the author which showed the London list specifically chose specific seasons throughout the year so that the ships are more representative of ships docked in London throughout the year, whereas we don't have that for your list.

Your source also says:
This information, gathered from many sources, has been compiled only to determine the general trend, since so many guesses have been made concerning the number of ships owned in Bristol and their size. Two things seem fairly certain: there was no disastrous decline in Bristol's shipping at the end of the century and the number of smaller ships in the port was greatly increased. Table I can give only a small indication of the wealth of the port since the sixteenth century calculation of tonnage was no more than a rough measure of cargo space and the tonnage of so many ships is unknown. No account is taken here of foreign carriers or of transhipment from other ports. A wealthy merchant community did not necessarily risk its capital in ventures at sea.
Ergo it's not exactly comprehensive like the London port register.

In page 13 it says:
The changing direction and pattern of Bristol trade is shown in App. 6 and 7. It must be emphasized that these figures bear no relation to value or quantity, because of the very great variations of size in the ships involved. This is best illustrated by comparing the Irish trade at the end of the century, where the majority of the ships were under 20 tons, with the Mediterranean trade, where most were over 50 tons.

Bart Dale said:
The years 1591 - 1560, 2 ships were listed as being 250 tons or larger, with 30 ships out of the sample of 111 ships being of unknown sized. https://www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/History/bristolrecordsociety/publications/brs31.pdf This is larger than the largest Chinese ships we have for the same time period.
You also made no cross-comparison on the largest Chinese ships, besides a quote from Sally K Church that was taken well beyond what she meant. You made it sound like she was saying the Chinese only had ships of 400 liao (which is 100 tons not 50 tons as you claimed in post 98) as their largest, when in the same paragraph she mentioned Chinese ships of 1000 liao or 250 ton ships, but you cut that part off. Sally K Church also mentioned Song and Ming ships of 5000 liao or 1250 tons.

The portion that you cut off from Sally K Church's statement has been shown to you repeatedly, are you just going to repeatedly act as if it doesn't exist and you cut off nothing?
 
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Feb 2011
6,156

From book: England and the Baltic in the Elizabethan Era, pg 145

Average ship size for those docking in the port of 1601-1602 London was 46.29 tons. What's notable is that the Dutch (Netherlands) outnumbered English ships in London, and despite the Dutch being the wealthiest region in Europe, its ships were noticeably smaller on average, being only a third the size of British ones for those docking in 1601-1602 London. The same source says:

"Violet Barbour's researches have revealed in what respects Dutch transport was superior to English. The Dutch built ships much more cheaply, they purchased timber more cheaply, and their freight charges were lower. Moreover, their vessels were much better adapted to Baltic navigation than English vessels, and they carried smaller crews. All these factors enabled them to put up a competition which the English could not meet..... The Dutch flyboat (fluitschip) proved an especially useful vessel in the Baltic trade. It was a fast, light boat with a single deck and of considerable length, splendidly adapted to the transport of the bulky, heavy Baltic goods. It was also constructed that it needed a comparatively small crew to handle it. This vessel was introduced into service towards the end of the sixteenth century; and in 1620 John Keymer attributed England's failure to compete with Holland in the Baltic to this very type of ship. It needed only one third of the crew of an English ship of the same tonnage, and this reduced freight charges by about 100 sterling on a single Baltic voyage. -pg 144-145
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
31,606
T'Republic of Yorkshire
It is bigoted and dishonest of you to make such claims. Contrary to your lies, it is Heavenlykaghan who has not provided sources despite repeated request:

- What direct contemporary testimony do we have that specifically states the 5,000 liao ships on the Chinese tombs were warships.

- What direct contemporary Ming records that specifically describe battleships of large (1000 tons burden) sizes? Treasure ships are not specifically identified as warships?

- What Ming record describes Louchan (Tower) ships with crews of 3,000 to 4,000 size being used during the Ming dynasty (and not earlier).

You and Heavenlykaghan have repeatedly lied when you have provided sources for those claims, but you haven't.


Since we know that the larger ships of Zheng He did not exist in later Ming times (Needham acknowledges this in Science and Civilization Volume 4 part 3), we cannot assume that because Tower ships existed in earlier times they existed in Ming times.


The question is to the size of Chinese Ming dynasty warships. We know, and Needham acknowledges this, that ships of the later Ming were smaller. The question is if the warships of the earlier Ming were any bigger. That requires evidence you have not provided.
I've had enough of this. You do this every time, go into a thread about Asian technology and achievements, seek to minimise and denigrate them, are argumentative and continue to pursue this agenda despite past suspensions and warnings. And now you throw in ad hominems to boot.

I'm through chasing you around and dealing with this. You are hereby suspended for a year.
 
Mar 2012
4,283
You are the one cherry picking your data. You provided data for a single port, for a single year, that is really cherry picking and even then it shows 5 ships LARGER than the largest ship size even listed for the Chinese ships in sources at the same time., and that does not even take quantity into account.

Even taking the all the small ships of the Anthony Rolls into account, the average size works out to 200 tons, well above even the largest ships that were listed in detail.
The largest ships mentioned for Song and Ming ships was 5,000-6,000 Liao, or 2,000-2,400 tons, that is not smaller than the largest ship in the Anthony Roll, and there was only 4-5 in the Anthony Roll that weighed 1,000 tons or more, whereas there were ships in the dozens weighing over 1,000 tons in the expedition of 1412 alone.

We've provided data for all ships harbored at ports over several years, in multiple countries, you have a single list of English warships. The evidence shows that it is the Anthony Roll which is the anomaly, and you are the one cherry picking by focusing on that list alone.


Both you and Heavenlykaghen use the very sources I provided, such as the Anthony Rollo, and Sally Church's "Zheng He: An Investigation", so what you say is a flat out lie, and both you and have been flat out deceitful and dishonest. You use evidence of one year, of just one port, to make a claim, that isn't even relevant to the topic. .
Hackneyedscribe is the one who brought up the graph from the Anthony Roll, not you. As for deceitful, you mean how you purposely cut off Gang Deng when he said his estimate of average ships being 100 tons was an underestimation? Or your multiple cutting off of Sally on ships larger than 100 tons? Even now, when questioned just where you got the crew number figure on the Anythong Roll from, you cower away like a sacred puppy and refuse to show the source, which suggests that this number of yours is as fictional as the rest of the lame strawman arguments you've made. So cite it or stop lying. It's just pathetic on your part.


The topic is battle ships/warships, not any old ship as you and heavenlykaghan try to convert it to. And even then your own evidence supports what I said, that European ships were larger.
If you are a follower of your own cult of sensitivity, then why are you comparing warships to transport ships like the Nanhai #1 in the first place?

This was what you wrote:




That wreck was the biggest premodern Chinese shipwreck found. When you look at the number of ships involved and the number of people involved in Ming dynasty battles, you can see the ships were rather small, smaller than the Nanhai Number One ship on the average.

When you look at operations by the Ming dyansty and the number of ships and men inovlved, it impiles the Ming ships would have been smallef compared to Western warships counteon't.

You were clearly comparing ships overall originally, not just warships or why would you say Ming ships would have been small compared to western warships, and not Ming warships.

And if you were talking about warships, then where is your prove that Ming warships were smaller than the Nanhai #1? Even the case of Noryang you cited had on average over 100 men per ship, which gave roughly 270 tons per ship, something you still ignore. You made the claim first, you prove it first. Don't ask me to prove something I challenged because you couldn't provide the prove.








And it is heavenlykhaghan is the one making claims of that not only have no actual evidence to support, but are refuted by other evidence. Simply because some one could have done something does not prove, as Heavenlykaghan repeatedly asserted, they must have done it. It is up to him to prove that that the Chinese did, not me to prove that they did not. Proving that the Chinese were building ships of 5,000 lia, does not mean the Chinese were building warships of 5,000 liao.
Bart, you are the one who claimed European ships and the Nanhai #1 were on average larger than Chinese warships in the 16th century first. So where is your prove?
I stated they were probably overall comparable in size and I cited primary anectodal evidence where Europeans described Chinese ships as very large, and also sources stating that the average sea vessel in China in Song was 230 tons, while the average warship for Portugal was 150-200 tons (European merchant ships on average were much smaller than even that). I have never treated this claim as a statistical fact, and it was made because you made an unsubstantiated claim first.

For example, I know that the Qing build ships of 1,000 tons. But I find no evidence that the Qing built sailing ships even close to that size. The largest Qing sailing ship, the Ji Tongan ships, were only 26 m long [Rebuilding the Tongan Ships _Introducing the artifacts] versus 60 m of the Tek Sing [Tek Sing wreck | SILK ROADS] It is Heavenlykaghan, not I, who has been making unsubstantiated claims

Do you not see me cite twice the Ming sailing ship to Ryukyu weighing 1200 tons in 1633? I know reading isn't your strong point, but all the unsubstantiated claims comes from the fact that you can't prove Ming warships been smaller than the Nanhai #1 or contemporary western ships as you claimed originally.
 
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Mar 2012
4,283
Anyways, we actually have a list of the Ming navy in Zhejiang province in 1570 with the following ships:

83 Fuchuan: 103-123 people 300 tons Total tonnage: 24,900
29 Shaochuan: 70 people ~175 tons Total tonnage: 5,075
62 Cangchuan: 50 + people ~150 tons Total tonnage: 9,300
16 Tongqiao: 30-40 people ~90 tons Total tonnage: 1,440
128 Laba Huchuan: ~10-20 people ~40 tons Total tonnage: 5,120
27 Chachuan: 10-20 people ~40 tons Total tonnage: 1,080

Total: 345 ships
Total tonnage: ~46,915
Average tonnage: ~136 tons
Personnel: ~25,000

The source I had only gave a Fuchuan as 300 tons (showing that it actually had over 2.5:1 displacement to men ratio, so these ships are somewhat undermanned), the rest I used Song Li's standard.
This mean yes, the average coastal Ming warship (~140 tons) is not too different in weight from a Portuguese caravel warship (150-180 tons). Note however, that if we average all the merchant fleet, most of which were well under 100 tons, the average of the Portuguese fleet would probably be much lower, the Chinese average would probably be lower too, but Gang Deng hinted that the merchant ships (and government transport ships) on the seas in China were often over 100 tons as well.
 
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