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

Mar 2012
4,324
#81
The averaging of fleet's ship size is not very scientific: any fleet of any time consists of ship of different type and size.
And difference not only depends on ships availability, but also on tactical and strategical tasks: an invasion fleet must have a lot of big troop/supply carriers, but defending fleet does not need carriers at all- they need a fast and powerful warship, maybe of small size and coastal type.
Zheng He's fleet was close to former- it include a lot of transports (Bǎo Chuán, Mǎ Chuán, Liáng Chuán) escorted by warships (war Junks Fú Chuán and war galleys Zuò Chuán). Averaging will not give us any meaningful information about size of war ships.
On the other hand, during the Battle of Noryang, combined fleet of Ming/Joseon doesn't have any carriers- only war ships.
We were comparing the average sea going vessel, regardless of whether it was a transport ship or naval ship. Bart claimed that Nanhai #1 ship is large for the typical Chinese ship. An average ship with such size would mean ships comparable to the average weight would not in fact be at the upper end of ship size regardless of what the typical warship weighed.
 
Mar 2012
4,324
#82
Zheng He's fleet was not a war fleet, and there is no solid evidence that his largest ships, the Treasure Ships, were warships. Both in Ancient times and modern times, commercial ships can be far bigger than warships. The 1000 ton Roman grain ships were larger than the largest Roman warships, and the Harmony or the Seas, the largest cruise ship, at 226,900 tons is more than twice the size of the largest naval ship, for example.
Considering you were comparing ships to Nanhai #1 which was a merchant ship, not a warship, why do you think I'm restricting my comparisons to warships? Merchant ships were hardly larger than warships, if anything, the opposite was often the case because bigger ships are better at war to prevent boarding. Average warships in the 17th and 18th century century were often in the high hundreds of tons whereas merchant ships were often less than 100 ton. The largest ships, such as the HMS Sovereign of the Seas or the HMS Victory were also all warships.

Further, Zheng He's fleet seemed purpose built, so the size of the ships might not reflect normal ship sizes, but special case. And the dimensions of Zheng He ships have been exaggerated by official Chinese sources. Qing dynaty's Ming Shi accepted the 450 ft dimension of Zheng He's ships, a dimension that first appeared in a fantasy novel written many decades after Zheng He's voyages.
Haven't we already provided primary sources showing Ming ships with 2,000-5,000 liao (800-2,000 tons) displacement? Why are you continuously using the non-primary sources in Ming Shi and a novel?
There are other Ming operations, such as the Battle of Noryang, that indicate smaller ship sizes.
The Battle of Noryang mentioned Cheng Youliang having over 100 Louchuan which could fit 2,000-3,000 people in five decks, not small ships. Have you even read up the battle?
The combined Korean Ming fleet had around 148 ships, and about 16,000 men and marines, implying ships less than 200 tons on the average. The largest Chinese ships, 6 Ming junks used oars and sails, and from From the Anthony Roll, the largest galleass that used oars and sails, like the Anne Gallante, were only 400 tons, so the Ming junks would have been no larger than that. In the Chinese invasion of Taiwan and capture from the Dutch, there were some 25,000 troops and 400 ships, again implying small size for the Ming ships.
148 ships with 16,000 men implies 108 men per ship. That would be 270 tons if we use 2.5 tons per man. Hackneyedscribe already provided you the chart for all the ships of the Anthony Roll, and they are on average around that weight too.

Transportation ships which is what the article mentions, are not warships or battle ships. We know that the larger Qing naval ships, the Tongan Ji, were only 26 m long, far smaller than the commercial Qing ships like the Keying and the Tek Sing. This thread is about warships, not any old ship.
Unless you provide source where warships are smaller than the average transport ship, then you shouldn't use Nanhai or excavated ships at all, because they are not even warships.


Yet we have numerous Roman ships found in a variety of locations all bigger than the largest pre-modern Chinese ships that have been found , even including medieval Chinese ships. And the Vasa, the Mary Rose, the Mars are larger than any Chinese ship found before the 19th century.

If we can find not just one, but mutiple examples of European ships, but none for for the Chinese it does raise questions as to why not.

We've found three Chinese ships with dimensions, and the mean is at least over 200 tons, which matches the typical ship size during the Song given in the primary sources and rivals the size of average ships from the Anthony Roll.



The Ming era Nan'ao's 25.9 m would make it similar to the Qing Tongan Ji ship in length, which was only equivelent to a 5th rate British ship.
As I repeatedly pointed out, ships of the line ratings only dates to well into the 17th century, not earlier; these ships were much bigger than pre-17th century ships, and would be better compared to Qing ships or ships of the Zheng regime rather than Ming ships.
 
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Mar 2012
4,324
#83
Just would like to add one consideration to above mentioned:
The early sailing warships in Europe ware rather "armed" merchants than actually warships (the first purpose-built sailing warships in Europe ware galleons -1540s). I believe that this is correct for Chinese shipbuilding as well. Therefore the borderline between those type of ships were not in construction or size , but rather in it's tactical characteristics. In general, the approach is same- warship shall be faster and more maneuverable, merchant/troop carrier - have bigger tonnage. But exceptions are known- for example flag ships like Henry Grace a Dieu or Junk of Pati Unus.
First, warships come in different tactical roles, some were built for maneuverability whereas others were built for damage tanking abilities, high platforms, and firepower, hence they are not in general tactically smaller than merchant ships. More importantly, merchant ships were often private and hence restricted in resources to be able to reach exceptional sizes whereas warships were government built ships designed specifically to win wars and are hence on average larger, especially after the 16th century.
Chinese imperial accounts did distinguish transport ships with warships as Gang Deng's book showed, so I assume that warships were in fact purpose built, although its not uncommon for transport ships to enter battle when the government needs more ships in battle. In any case, in a long distant naval operation, one needs bulk grain carriers to feed the warships as that is part of logistics. The presence of grain transporters in Zheng He's fleet is therefore a strategic necessity for projecting naval power across the Indian Ocean. So while European navies had better navigation and geographical knowledge by the 16th century, they lacked these bulk grain carriers to be able to project significant numbers of ships and men to the high seas like Zheng He's fleet.

With that said, while European ships seem to be comparable to Chinese ships in size in the 16th century, bigger in the 17th and after, they were much smaller on average than Chinese ships before the mid 15th century. With very rare exceptions, western sea vessels above 500 tons before the 1420s were almost absent, whereas Chinese ships got smaller after the mid 15th century with government bans on seafaring.
 
#84
Geng Deng's books are really excellent. I recently bought Chinese Maritime Activities and Socioeconomic Development and it's full of great info on Chinese maritime history. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the subject.
 
Dec 2018
65
Singapore
#85
First, warships come in different tactical roles, some were built for maneuverability whereas others were built for damage tanking abilities, high platforms, and firepower, .
Agree. Any generalization of statements leads to deviation from accuracy.That is why "comparing the average sea going vessel, regardless of whether it was a transport ship or naval ship" is possible, but not informative.Two fleets from same country and of same period could have significantly different "average size".
Chinese imperial accounts did distinguish transport ships with warships as Gang Deng's book showed, so I assume that warships were in fact purpose built, although its not uncommon for transport ships to enter battle when the government needs more ships in battle. .
I did not see any evidence that Chinese warships before 18CE were purpose built. If you know better, I will appreciate if you could provide me with references (Book/ link/etc).
For me distinguishing transport ships with warships is not evidence of purpose building of specially designed ship, it could be just evidence of different planned tactical roles, which of course will needs some adaptation of ships.
I have seen in the books a number of comments that war junk were of same design as merchant junks- but this needs confirmation, or ...

With that said, while European ships seem to be comparable to Chinese ships in size in the 16th century, bigger in the 17th and after, they were much smaller on average than Chinese ships before the mid 15th century. With very rare exceptions, western sea vessels above 500 tons before the 1420s were almost absent, whereas Chinese ships got smaller after the mid 15th century with government bans on seafaring.
Agree in general - I have mentioned this already.
In contents of this discussion I believe that size of ships are of less importance. Better to compare the shipbuilding technology, and from this comparison we can see that up to end of 16 CE Chinese shipbuilding was more advanced that European, and not only because of size of ships. W/T compartments, fenestrated rudders, load-bearing planking, battened sails with user-friendly rigging, perfect sea-keeping ability- those were main advantages of junks, which were overcome (arguably) by galleons.
 
Feb 2011
6,348
#87
W/T compartments, fenestrated rudders, load-bearing planking, battened sails with user-friendly rigging, perfect sea-keeping ability
The Chinese built the wall dividers of their watertight compartments first before adding on the planks, so it's closer in construction to a skeleton first format.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#88
Considering you were comparing ships to Nanhai #1 which was a merchant ship, not a warship, why do you think I'm restricting my comparisons to warships? Merchant ships were hardly larger than warships, if anything, the opposite was often the case because bigger ships are better at war to prevent boarding. Average warships in the 17th and 18th century century were often in the high hundreds of tons whereas merchant ships were often less than 100 ton. The largest ships, such as the HMS Sovereign of the Seas or the HMS Victory were also all warships.
The example you used talked about "transport" ships, which are not warships. We have no actual examples of the actual size of Ming warships. We do know that

1. When we no longer have to rely strictly on Chinese records, the Ming warships were smaller than their European counterparts. Both in conflicts with the Portuguese and the Dutch, the Ming warships were smaller. That places an upper limit on the size of the Ming warships. In both the Battles of Tunmen and Battle of Liaoluo Bay, the Chinese ships were smaller.

2. In the Qing dynasty, which we have better records for, the Chinese warships are consistently smaller than Western warships.

3. We lack detail as to the construction of the Chinese warships. We do not know:

- The names of the Chinese ships, either for Zheng He or other Ming ships.

- We do not know how many cannons they carried on the Zheng He Treasure ships or type, or on the other Ming warships as far as we know.

As far as large ships go, the Peter von Danzig, a 15th century 800 ton ship, was originally a commercial ship before it was converted into a warship, and that was largely than any purpose built warship of the time except the Grace Dieu. While in the 17th and 18th century, some of the largest European warships did exceed the size of the largest commercial ships, that was was the exception rather than the rule. The Great Eastern, at 32,160 ton displacement, was larger than any warship of the time. And as stated, today's commercial ships are far larger than any warship.

The reality is, when you do the math comparing number of men and ships for naval encounters of the Ming dynasty, the average size of ships is small. For example, in the Battle of Penghu, the Qing naval forces had 600 ships and 60,000 men and the Ming loyalist 200 ships and 20,000 men, which works out to mere 100 men per Qing and Ming ships, which is rather small. Battle Of Penghu


Haven't we already provided primary sources showing Ming ships with 2,000-5,000 liao (800-2,000 tons) displacement? Why are you continuously using the non-primary sources in Ming Shi and a novel?
Again, the fact that the Chinese built ships as large aa 5,000 liao (1,250 tons burthen) does not mean that that the Chinese were building warships that large. The Qing built ships as large as 800 tons (Keying, 45m long, 20 cannons Keying (ship) - Wikipedia ) and 1000 tons (Tek Sing, 50 m long Tek Sing Shipwreck), yet the Ji Tongan ships were the largest Qing battleships:

Tongan ships were large traditional sailing vessels that emerged in the middle of the Qing Dynasty. Named after the place they were constructed, Tong-an, Fujian, they were first widely used in the private sector and by pirates before finally becoming the naval mainstay of the Qing court. Before the arrival of steamships in China, Tong-an ships were the most representative sailing vessels. [Source: National Palace Museum, Taipei npm.gov.tw \=/ ] ......
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The biggest and most heavily armed of the Tongan ship family were also class 1 and class 2 warships. According to the National Palace Museum, Taipei: “ The No. 1-type Tongan ship was 22 meters long ..........The Ji-type Tongan ship was 26 meters long with a mainmast measuring 29 meters high. As shown in the diagram, the biggest difference between Tongan ships and old naval ships was the three masts .......The Ji-type Tongan ship possessed eight primary cannon outlets, which were used for two 1,440-kg red cannons, two 1,200-kg red cannons, and four 900-kg red cannons. In addition, one 480-kg and sixteen 84-kg short-ranged artilleries were added for a total of 25 firing outlets ......CHINESE SHIPS, SEA DEFENSES AND MARITIME TRADE IN THE QING DYNASTY | Facts and Details
As one can see, the Qing warships were much smaller than the commercial Qing sailing ships, with the larger Qing Ji Tongan ship only 26 m long compared to the 45 m length of the Keying, which shows that the fact the Chinese had ships that were 5,000 liao does not show they had "battleships" of 5000 liao (1,250 tons burthen). It is entirely reasonable to assume that the Ming dynasty battleships were similar in size to the Qing dynasty ships.



And note, the Ming Shi was an officially Chinese source, and and as Sally Church said in her "Zheng He: Plausibility of 450 ft treasure ship" article , it was the not the only Chinese source that claimed such dimensions for Zheng He ship. That is why the 450 foot figure is still consistently mentioned, because the figure was note confined to fantasy novels. It does raise questions about the reliability of the rest of what Chinese sources say, although we have a number of non-Chinese sources that support the idea of 1000 tons burthen Chinese ships, at least commercial ones.


The Battle of Noryang mentioned Cheng Youliang having over 100 Louchuan which could fit 2,000-3,000 people in five decks, not small ships. Have you even read up the battle?
And what source is this from? Cheng Youliang lived more than a century before the battle of Noryang in the Imjin war. Perhaps you meant Chen Lin?

Chen Youliang (1320 – August 23, 1363) was the founder of the insurgent state of Da Han (大漢; literally: "Great Han") in the late Yuan Dynasty period of Chinese history. Chen Youliang - Wikipedia
And the Louchuan were "Tower Ships" used on river warfare, and would have been totally unsuitable to be used on the open sea, such as in the Battle of Noryang. And unlike for European ships, were have actual physical evidence supporting the claims for the sizes of the European warships, we don't have such evidence for the Chinese ships, including the Louchuan/Tower Ships.

What we do know is that both before the Battle of Noryang, with the Portuguese in the Battle of Tunmen, and afterwards with the Dutch, the Chinese ships were smaller, although Zheng Zhilong was building ships incorporating European elements when the Dutch destroyed them in a surprise attack during the Battle of Liaoluo Bay before the Chinese had a chance to properly deploy these new ships.

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148 ships with 16,000 men implies 108 men per ship. That would be 270 tons if we use 2.5 tons per man. Hackneyedscribe already provided you the chart for all the ships of the Anthony Roll, and they are on average around that weight too.
The 2.5 tons per men does not apply to late medieval and later European ships. You can clearly see this in the Anthony Rolls. The Mary Rose was 700 tons burthen and had 200 sailors, for 3.5 tons per man. The Harry Grace a Dieu had 1000 tons and 301 sailors, for 3.3 tons per sailor. Since Song Li used a 2.5 ton per sailor number for grain ships, the 2.5 tons were man Chinese figure was for sailors, and did not include soldiers.



Unless you provide source where warships are smaller than the average transport ship, then you shouldn't use Nanhai or excavated ships at all, because they are not even warships.


We've found three Chinese ships with dimensions, and the mean is at least over 200 tons, which matches the typical ship size during the Song given in the primary sources and rivals the size of average ships from the Anthony Roll.
And I can cite the wrecks of 3 Europe ships, the Mars, the Mary Rose, and the Vasa, with a mean well over 1000 tons. We have found wrecks of ships in the Anthony Roll, the Mary Rose, 700 tons, which is far greater than the largest pre-modern Chinese ship ever found.



As I repeatedly pointed out, ships of the line ratings only dates to well into the 17th century, not earlier; these ships were much bigger than pre-17th century ships, and would be better compared to Qing ships or ships of the Zheng regime rather than Ming ships.
We only have claims these pre 17th century ships were bigger. If we are not going to restrict ourselves to warships, the 12th century Muslim traveler Ibn Jubayr talked about traveling on Genoese ships carrying 2500 Christian pilgrims, as well as Muslim travelers.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#89
First, warships come in different tactical roles, some were built for maneuverability whereas others were built for damage tanking abilities, high platforms, and firepower, hence they are not in general tactically smaller than merchant ships. More importantly, merchant ships were often private and hence restricted in resources to be able to reach exceptional sizes whereas warships were government built ships designed specifically to win wars and are hence on average larger, especially after the 16th century.
Except in China, most of the needs for the navy were for combating smugglers and pirates, where there was little need for large warships after the 15th century. Unlike European powers, China was usually not engaged in naval warfare with other countries of comparable naval power. Except for the Imjin war, most of China's conflict with the Japanese and others was with pirates, and for that the need was for small, manueverable ships.

That is why the Qing did not build large warships until after the Opium war, even though the China clearly had the capacity to build much larger warships than the Tongan ones they did build, as ships like the Keying and Tek Sing show. The Chinese were able to defeat the larger European ships with their more numerous smaller ships on the few occasions they fought the Europeans, until the Opium wars. Why would China build large warships comparable to size of European warships, when most of the time they had no need of them?

And large warships are a drain on the resources, while large commercial ships can make money. Scotland ended up selling it's 16th Great Michael. The largest warship of its time, to France because they did not want to pay the cost. The 15th century 800 ton Peter Von Danzig started off life as a commercial ship.

Only the larger first and second rate ships were bigger than the largest commercial ships like the East Indianman, and it is really only for a few centuries that warships would up bigger than the biggest commercial ships, and by the 19th century commercial ships were being built larger than warships again. Of course, occasionally rulers would build totally impractical warships for show, like the Grace Die or the Syracuse, but they were exceptions.


Chinese imperial accounts did distinguish transport ships with warships as Gang Deng's book showed, so I assume that warships were in fact purpose built, although its not uncommon for transport ships to enter battle when the government needs more ships in battle. In any case, in a long distant naval operation, one needs bulk grain carriers to feed the warships as that is part of logistics. The presence of grain transporters in Zheng He's fleet is therefore a strategic necessity for projecting naval power across the Indian Ocean. So while European navies had better navigation and geographical knowledge by the 16th century, they lacked these bulk grain carriers to be able to project significant numbers of ships and men to the high seas like Zheng He's fleet.
I don't think you can say that, since we don't have rotals for European ships. European ships like the Peter Von Danzig in the 15th centuey, with 800 tons burhen, were comparable in size to Zheng He ships, and we don't know if Europeans were building bigger ships than that. Ibn Jubayr"s 12th century account of Genoese ship carrying 2500 passengers, and a 13th century Genoese ship thd Oliva was know to carry 1,100 passengers (Ships - The Crusades), implies ships comparable in size to any the Chinese were building.

Many commercial ships in the past had to be able to defend themselves, so they could be pressed into service as warships. Unless you plan to use the warship in a line of battle against other warships, you really don't need a specialized warship. Against smugglers and against pirates or as a privateer, you could still.convert regular ships to that use.

With that said, while European ships seem to be comparable to Chinese ships in size in the 16th century,
Actually, I think European ships were bigger than Chinese ships in the 16th century. The Portuguese carracks, weighing up to 1000 tons, were bigger than the Chinese ships being built at that time. Analyizing the ships of the 16th century Athony Roll, the 59 ships on the roll had a total of 8320 crew (sailors, soldiers, gunners) and a total tonnage of 11,886 burthen, for an average of 141 men per ship.and and average ton burden of 200 tons. The Spanish Armada had around 24,000 men on 130 ships, for an average of 184 men per ship. In the Battle.of Noryang, the 63 Ming ships had 5000, which works out to only 80 men per ship, and even if you include the 2,600 Ming marines fighting on the Korean ships, still gives you only 121 men per ship. The evidence indicate by the later 16th century, Ming warships were smaller than European ones. I haven't seen any evidence yet for large size of 16th century Chinese commercial ships comparable to the 800 to 1000 ton European carracks.
It is only in the 19th century that I see evidence for 1000 ton Chinese ships post the Zheng He era. Do you have any examples of 1000 16th Chinese ship?

bigger in the 17th and after, they were much smaller on average than Chinese ships before the mid 15th century. With very rare exceptions, western sea vessels above 500 tons before the 1420s were almost absent, whereas Chinese ships got smaller after the mid 15th century with government bans on seafaring.
We have evidence of 13th century 3 masted Genoese ships based on iconagraphy, and based on the documentary evidence of for the 2 masted ships (docmentaty evidence for the 3 masted ships haven't survived) we can extrapolate the 3 masted ships were likely 805 tons. (See chart for late medieval ships Ships - The Crusades) . It may be that the large Chinese ships were more common, but I don't know if we have evidence for the quantity and percentages of large Chinese ships that we can state with certainty that the large Chinese ships were more common.
 
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Mar 2012
4,324
#90
The example you used talked about "transport" ships, which are not warships. We have no actual examples of the actual size of Ming warships. We do know that

1. When we no longer have to rely strictly on Chinese records, the Ming warships were smaller than their European counterparts. Both in conflicts with the Portuguese and the Dutch, the Ming warships were smaller. That places an upper limit on the size of the Ming warships. In both the Battles of Tunmen and Battle of Liaoluo Bay, the Chinese ships were smaller.

2. In the Qing dynasty, which we have better records for, the Chinese warships are consistently smaller than Western warships.

3. We lack detail as to the construction of the Chinese warships. We do not know:

- The names of the Chinese ships, either for Zheng He or other Ming ships.

- We do not know how many cannons they carried on the Zheng He Treasure ships or type, or on the other Ming warships as far as we know.
1) The battle the Chinese had with the Portuguese were not standard warships from either side. Using such logic, the average Portuguese fleet was also less than 100 tons.

2) As I already cited twice from Gang Deng's book in the other thread, this is what's recorded in Table 2.2 on p.52 on all the naval operations recorded in every dynasty:

Year Person-Ship ratio

242 AD 100
401 AD 100
388-411 AD 100
612-614 AD 133
644 AD 86
1274 AD 17
1281 AD 32
1284 AD 75
1292 AD 20
1405 AD 134
1412 AD 455
1661 AD 125
1683 AD 50
1683 AD 67


In the majority of these naval operations, there were close to or over 100 men per ship on average, which would easily yield 200-300 tons of displacement.

As far as large ships go, the Peter von Danzig, a 15th century 800 ton ship, was originally a commercial ship before it was converted into a warship, and that was largely than any purpose built warship of the time except the Grace Dieu. While in the 17th and 18th century, some of the largest European warships did exceed the size of the largest commercial ships, that was was the exception rather than the rule. The Great Eastern, at 32,160 ton displacement, was larger than any warship of the time. And as stated, today's commercial ships are far larger than any warship.

The reality is, when you do the math comparing number of men and ships for naval encounters of the Ming dynasty, the average size of ships is small. For example, in the Battle of Penghu, the Qing naval forces had 600 ships and 60,000 men and the Ming loyalist 200 ships and 20,000 men, which works out to mere 100 men per Qing and Ming ships, which is rather small. Battle Of Penghu
100 men per ship already gives an average of 250 tons, that might be smaller than 17th century European battleships, but its bigger than pre- mid 15th century ones. Since you know that commercial ships often converts to warships and that purpose built warships did not exist in Europe until the mid 16th century at the earliest, then you should not emphasize the difference between commercial ships and warships before that.

As for European commercial ships larger than warships, cite your source. Hackneyedscribe already showed you that the majority of merchant ships docking in London in 1567-1568 are mostly 21-100 tons. These are smaller than the average warship in the Anthony Roll, which had a tons burthen of 180 on average (roughly comparable to contemporary Ming ships).

1551074469720.png

Again, the fact that the Chinese built ships as large aa 5,000 liao (1,250 tons burthen) does not mean that that the Chinese were building warships that large. The Qing built ships as large as 800 tons (Keying, 45m long, 20 cannons Keying (ship) - Wikipedia ) and 1000 tons (Tek Sing, 50 m long Tek Sing Shipwreck), yet the Ji Tongan ships were the largest Qing battleships:



As one can see, the Qing warships were much smaller than the commercial Qing sailing ships, with the larger Qing Ji Tongan ship only 26 m long compared to the 45 m length of the Keying, which shows that the fact the Chinese had ships that were 5,000 liao does not show they had "battleships" of 5000 liao (1,250 tons burthen). It is entirely reasonable to assume that the Ming dynasty battleships were similar in size to the Qing dynasty ships.
If you can prove to me that China had significant different design between transport ships and warships, you are welcome to cite it here. We know large warships were used on Riverine fleets, there is no reason why they wouldn't be used on the seas if ships that large exist. Zheng He's 63 ship fleet averaged 455 men each at over 1,000 tons and they included a sizable number of warships. Unless you are telling me that over half of the ships in the fleet were above 1500 tons and they are all transport, then some warships in the fleet was at least over 500 tons.

Qing ships in general were smaller than Ming ships. We almost never hear of Qing ships above 1000 tons (whereas we have multiple primary sources talking about 5,000-6,000 liao ships from the Song-Ming). So unless you can demonstrate Qing ships of these sizes, there is no reason to assume Ming warships were all similar in size.


And note, the Ming Shi was an officially Chinese source, and and as Sally Church said in her "Zheng He: Plausibility of 450 ft treasure ship" article , it was the not the only Chinese source that claimed such dimensions for Zheng He ship. That is why the 450 foot figure is still consistently mentioned, because the figure was note confined to fantasy novels. It does raise questions about the reliability of the rest of what Chinese sources say, although we have a number of non-Chinese sources that support the idea of 1000 tons burthen Chinese ships, at least commercial ones.
And its still not a primary source, while we have a primary source in the form of Hongbao tomb inscription found in Nanjing mentioning 5,000 liao ships.
I ask you for the third time, are you so bigoted that you think all Chinese sources are the same in credibility just because they are Chinese?


And what source is this from? Cheng Youliang lived more than a century before the battle of Noryang in the Imjin war. Perhaps you meant Chen Lin?
I thought you were talking about the battle of Boyang Lake, in any case, the battle did not mention small ships nor it is representative because its not a sea battle.

And as I already stated, 148 ships with 16,000 men implies 108 men per ship. That would be 270 tons if we use 2.5 tons per man.



The 2.5 tons per men does not apply to late medieval and later European ships. You can clearly see this in the Anthony Rolls. The Mary Rose was 700 tons burthen and had 200 sailors, for 3.5 tons per man. The Harry Grace a Dieu had 1000 tons and 301 sailors, for 3.3 tons per sailor. Since Song Li used a 2.5 ton per sailor number for grain ships, the 2.5 tons were man Chinese figure was for sailors, and did not include soldiers.
Song Li did not say they were sailors, he said it was the crew, period. To quote Church:


"The standard num-ber of men on an ocean-going grain transport seems to have been 100, and the ratio of crew to capacity on these ships was one man per 10 liao, or 2.5 tons. Song Li’s statement makes clear that this ratio was different for river and canal boats, which could get by with one man for every 20 liao, or five tons. The larger crew for ocean-going ships was probably necessary because of their greater size, larger equipment (such as anchors and rudder), and more complicated rigging."

You can say that warships can have more crew when there is a shortage of ships, but history also showed that it is often under manned as European warships of the day often have far less crew than the standard.


Unless you provide source where warships are smaller than the average transport ship, then you shouldn't use Nanhai or excavated ships at all, because they are not even warships.
I wasn't the one who brought up the Nanhai, you are the one who stated the average ship was smaller than that. You also didn't argue about warships or transport ships, you said Nanhai was big for a ship, period.

This was what you posted in post 74:


"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. "


So the burden is on you to prove that warships were smaller than transport ships on average and that Nanhai was an exceptionally large ship for its time.




And I can cite the wrecks of 3 Europe ships, the Mars, the Mary Rose, and the Vasa, with a mean well over 1000 tons. We have found wrecks of ships in the Anthony Roll, the Mary Rose, 700 tons, which is far greater than the largest pre-modern Chinese ship ever found.
That's not how statistics work. You find the mean data when you compare the average, which was what you did in fact compare.
There aren't many Chinese ships found to begin with and the ones we have found shows an average of at least over 200 tons.


We only have claims these pre 17th century ships were bigger. If we are not going to restrict ourselves to warships, the 12th century Muslim traveler Ibn Jubayr talked about traveling on Genoese ships carrying 2500 Christian pilgrims, as well as Muslim travelers.
Exceptionally large ships can easily be built when we talk about shallow water or coastlines, Chen Youliang also have over 100 Louchuan with 2,000-3,000 people.
 
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