What country had the largest navy in history

Mar 2012
4,319
#61
You are confusing the issue but continuing to lump in normal cargo ships with actual warships with your discussion. This is a Navy (i.e. warship) discussion.
Bart, if you are not going to read the book carefully, don't waste more of our time reinterpreting what the author said. Page 69 explicitly said naval ships. Table 3.3 on page 68 explicitly divided the warships from the transport ships. Here is a clue where to start:

Chinese Maritime Activities and Socioeconomic Development, C. 2100 B.C.-1900 A.D.


The sub-average for Song-Ming for imperial transport ships is 10,320 and for warships 12,960.
There is nothing confusing about it, if you think it is, then you didn't understand the book.

Having read Gang Dengs's work, "Chinese Maritime Activity and Socioeconomic Development, 2100 BC to 1900" , I found his analysis is flawed and his conclusions incorrect.
Your comments show you clearly didn't read much of his book, so what you find is really of little value. And no offense, but you have a lot to say for someone whose demonstrated no competence whatsoever in handling the primary source materials nor even a basic grasp of shipping institutions of the Yuan and Ming period, but I will humor you and continue this comedy of a response.

1. He invalidly asumes a more or less constant rate of ship production. If the number of ships produced was 660, the something like that amount was produced the following year. That might not be the case. The production might be uneven, with a large batch produced one year and only a few next year. That would explain the spotty reporting of the amount , the years not reported produced too few ships to note.
Bart, if you don't know something, just ask, don't make asinine comments as if they are true.
Deng used primary sources from the Ming and Yuan period, showing transport shipping numbers as high as 12,837 during the early 15th century, meaning that his estimate of a sub-average of 9,060 transport ships total for the Ming is in fact a conservative under-estimatation.

"In Yuan times, apart from the grain carriers, there were 5,921 courier ships in the nationwide Imerial postal system. It is also documented that in Quanzhou alone, there were 15,000 government-owned sea vessels. Second, in the first half of the fifteenth century AD, the count of government owned grain transport ships was 11,839. In addition, there was an Imperial transport fleet of 998 vessels, which made the total number of ships in the Ming transportation operation up to 12,837. In the early Qing Dynasty, the grain fleet had over 10,000 ships. Such a number declined in the mid-Qing period but was still maintained at the 7,000 level. Meanwhile, in the second half of the eighteenth century there were some 130,000 private transport ships on the tax records. "

Gang Deng, Chinese Maritime Activities and Socioeconomic Development, C. 2100 B.C.-1900 p.69



2. If his assumption of course stsnt production was incorrect, then his estimatez of ship totals are way off. Perhaps by a magnitude.
And you are basing this on what? Your baseless opinion or an actual source? If its the former, I'm not interested.

Once one group of ships were built in a large batch. The replacements would have to be too. Steadily replacing the would result I ships replaced too soon or too late for the 10 year cycld you cited.
Gang Deng already addressed that in his formula, read the damn book.

I will direct you where to start:

In 1291 AD, the loss rate in the Yuan grain transportation was reportedly 16 percent. This situation was improved only after 1292 AD, when some special efforts were made by the Mongol government to establish new sea routes, allowing the loss rate to drop to 2-3 percent...

In spite of these increases, the estimates are still conservative, because other items, such as regular maintenance of ships, are not counted. Under Ming government regulations, all grain-transporting boats were to be maintained in the third year of service, overhauled in the sixth year, and replaced in the tenth year...Thus, in a ten year life-span a ship would be pulled out of the service twice for routine maintenance.

Deng, p.64

3. The Chinese did not have to keep the numbers constant in ship totals. An Emperor could decide not to replace ships as they reached their end of life, allowing the navy to shrink, then later decide to build it back up.
That's why the author used the sub-average total of the entire period for his estimates, including years when production was low.

One may argue that new ships may have been supplements to the existing fleet, not replacements. Or, new ships may constituted a fleet that had neve rexisted before those new ships were launched. Thus, to use new ships to estimate a fleet will inevitably lead to overestimation. This is certainly, true, especially if some isolated figures for new ships are picked up and used as the basis for estimation. However, if a long-term aberage approach is taken, the danger of overestimation can be minimized, if not eliminated.
Deng, p.66

The Ming naval institution demands every 100 household naval guards have one warship. This is a constant institution down to the end of the dynasty. This mean a force of 410,000 coastal guards would require a constant supply of 4,100 ships alone. This is not including the imperial fleets outside of these regulations.


4. The numbers he gives for the Mongol fleet is far too large. On page 71, he says the Yuan fleet was 12,750 and the Ming was 5,500.
And he cited the source for the estimation already in Table 3.3, which you apparently didn't catch.

The Yuan total is early wrong, we know this because if the Yuan had that many ships, the Yuan would not have needed to hastily build up ships for the Japanese invasion, which we know they did. Archeology of the some of Mongol invasion fleer ships shows these ships have signs of being hastily built, and if the Chinese fleet was anywhere near the size claimed, there would have been no need to bud these ships.
Bart, you clearly didn't read much of the book, read between the lines, nor understood much of what you read.
We have the annual data from 1270-1292, with 5,000 ships produced in 1270, 2,000 produced in 1273, 9,900 produced from 1274-1292. This describes a period of 20 years, not even a sub-average that spans out for decades.

As for why the Yuan needed to built ships in a haste for Japan and other states:

These estimates, for the Yuan in particular, seem to be inconsistent with the figures for the invading Yuan armadas to Japan, Vietnam and Java. However, if we accept that the basic principle in military arts is the same as that in economics - to keep the balance between costs and returns-then it may well be the case that the Mongols used only a proportion of their naval forces for the initial invasions and kept the rest in reserve as a second echelon.
Deng, p.71


5. His assumption for the average ship size of the Yuan and Ming ships.is far to high at 100 tons. It took 3,500 ships to transport 100,000 men in the Japanese invasion , about 28.5 men per ship on the average. The Mayflower carried 102 passengers, and was 180 tons, so adjusting the mass for fewer passengers gives an average of 50 tons for the Chinese ships. Thd Yuan used 800 ships to transport 30,000 men to Java, again giving 66 tons, far less than 100 tons. Note, if the100,00 and 30,000 also included sailors , the numbers would be lower yet, only 37 tons for the Japanese invasion ships.
No it isn't. If anything, its too low. Read the book. You are embarrassing yourself more and more.

It is known that during the Tang-Song Period, the loading capacity of an average sea vessel was around 230 metric tons, in Qing times, the loading capacity of the shallow water ship was between 100-200 tons. It is also known that in the Tang Dynasty over 2 million shi of grain (83,200 tons) was transported through the canals each year and in the Northern Song Dynasty, the amount reached over 6 million shi (278,900 tons), an average of 764 tons per day. This makes it possible to use the weight transported by ships as a base to estimate the size of transportation fleets.

Deng, p.63

We see the same results for the Ming ships. Gang also says on page 71 that Ming loyalist had 170,000 men on 8000 ships, implying ships of 37 tons on the average.
No where did Gang Deng say how much these ships weigh. Even if we use Song Li's standard, why are you ignoring all other cases where he gave explicit data?

6. We know the Chinese have had a long history of exaggeration . The 450 ft size of the Zheng He treasure ships have shown to be not feasible and was not in the earliest accounts . Yet this figure was reported as fact in multiple dynasties and multiple sources. In 300 years, no Chinese called into question this exaggerated number. For more on this, see Sally Church article "Zheng He: An Investigation into the Plausibility of 450 FT Treasure Ships".
Not this nonsense again. The record of 450 feet comes from a late 16th century novel called Sanbao Taijian Xiyanji. These are government statistics and primary sources.
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#62
Bart, if you are not going to read the book carefully, don't waste more of our time reinterpreting what the author said. Page 69 explicitly said naval ships. Table 3.3 on page 68 explicitly divided the warships from the transport ships. Here is a clue where to start:

Chinese Maritime Activities and Socioeconomic Development, C. 2100 B.C.-1900 A.D.


The sub-average for Song-Ming for imperial transport ships is 10,320 and for warships 12,960.
There is nothing confusing about it, if you think it is, then you didn't understand the book.



Your comments show you clearly didn't read much of his book, so what you find is really of little value. And no offense, but you have a lot to say for someone whose demonstrated no competence whatsoever in handling the primary source materials nor even a basic grasp of shipping institutions of the Yuan and Ming period, but I will humor you and continue this comedy of a response.


Bart, if you don't know something, just ask, don't make asinine comments as if they are true.
Deng used primary sources from the Ming and Yuan period, showing transport shipping numbers as high as 12,837 during the early 15th century, meaning that his estimate of a sub-average of 9,060 transport ships total for the Ming is in fact a conservative under-estimatation.

"In Yuan times, apart from the grain carriers, there were 5,921 courier ships in the nationwide Imerial postal system. It is also documented that in Quanzhou alone, there were 15,000 government-owned sea vessels. Second, in the first half of the fifteenth century AD, the count of government owned grain transport ships was 11,839. In addition, there was an Imperial transport fleet of 998 vessels, which made the total number of ships in the Ming transportation operation up to 12,837. In the early Qing Dynasty, the grain fleet had over 10,000 ships. Such a number declined in the mid-Qing period but was still maintained at the 7,000 level. Meanwhile, in the second half of the eighteenth century there were some 130,000 private transport ships on the tax records. "

Gang Deng, Chinese Maritime Activities and Socioeconomic Development, C. 2100 B.C.-1900 p.69





And you are basing this on what? Your baseless opinion or an actual source? If its the former, I'm not interested.



Gang Deng already addressed that in his formula, read the damn book.

I will direct you where to start:

In 1291 AD, the loss rate in the Yuan grain transportation was reportedly 16 percent. This situation was improved only after 1292 AD, when some special efforts were made by the Mongol government to establish new sea routes, allowing the loss rate to drop to 2-3 percent...

In spite of these increases, the estimates are still conservative, because other items, such as regular maintenance of ships, are not counted. Under Ming government regulations, all grain-transporting boats were to be maintained in the third year of service, overhauled in the sixth year, and replaced in the tenth year...Thus, in a ten year life-span a ship would be pulled out of the service twice for routine maintenance.

Deng, p.64



That's why the author used the sub-average total of the entire period for his estimates, including years when production was low.

One may argue that new ships may have been supplements to the existing fleet, not replacements. Or, new ships may constituted a fleet that had neve rexisted before those new ships were launched. Thus, to use new ships to estimate a fleet will inevitably lead to overestimation. This is certainly, true, especially if some isolated figures for new ships are picked up and used as the basis for estimation. However, if a long-term aberage approach is taken, the danger of overestimation can be minimized, if not eliminated.
Deng, p.66

The Ming naval institution demands every 100 household naval guards have one warship. This is a constant institution down to the end of the dynasty. This mean a force of 410,000 coastal guards would require a constant supply of 4,100 ships alone. This is not including the imperial fleets outside of these regulations.




And he cited the source for the estimation already in Table 3.3, which you apparently didn't catch.



Bart, you clearly didn't read much of the book, read between the lines, nor understood much of what you read.
We have the annual data from 1270-1292, with 5,000 ships produced in 1270, 2,000 produced in 1273, 9,900 produced from 1274-1292. This describes a period of 20 years, not even a sub-average that spans out for decades.

As for why the Yuan needed to built ships in a haste for Japan and other states:

These estimates, for the Yuan in particular, seem to be inconsistent with the figures for the invading Yuan armadas to Japan, Vietnam and Java. However, if we accept that the basic principle in military arts is the same as that in economics - to keep the balance between costs and returns-then it may well be the case that the Mongols used only a proportion of their naval forces for the initial invasions and kept the rest in reserve as a second echelon.
Deng, p.71




No it isn't. If anything, its too low. Read the book. You are embarrassing yourself more and more.

It is known that during the Tang-Song Period, the loading capacity of an average sea vessel was around 230 metric tons, in Qing times, the loading capacity of the shallow water ship was between 100-200 tons. It is also known that in the Tang Dynasty over 2 million shi of grain (83,200 tons) was transported through the canals each year and in the Northern Song Dynasty, the amount reached over 6 million shi (278,900 tons), an average of 764 tons per day. This makes it possible to use the weight transported by ships as a base to estimate the size of transportation fleets.

Deng, p.63



No where did Gang Deng say how much these ships weigh. Even if we use Song Li's standard, why are you ignoring all other cases where he gave explicit data?



Not this nonsense again. The record of 450 feet comes from a late 16th century novel called Sanbao Taijian Xiyanji. These are government statistics and primary sources.
There is not enough time in the world to keep answering your nonsenze, the facts speak for themezlselves.. Instead of relying on someone opionsz and your dishonesty backward projecting later periods of ships onto earlier periods (#hips got larger on the average over time), we can determine for ourselves the average size of Chinese ships. Gang Deng on page 71 talks about A Qing 1683 invasion force of 40,000 men and 800 ships, which works out to an average ship size of 88 tons, again below 100 tons. The Qing would have taken the bigger ships available to reduce logistics problems , and ships did become biGger over time in the modern era. You can see, everytime ships and large quantities of men are mentioned , the size of the ships turn out to be small. I have already cited a couple.of other examples from the Yuan and Ming dynasties, all of them give average ship dimensions well under 100 tons.

If we restrict to just warships , the mass might be indeed might be larger, around 100 tons, but the numbers far fewer . From Deng's figures, we cannot tell what were strictly warships from his figures which include mostly transport ships. A we can note is that at the importance Battle of Chilcheollyang, the Chinese had only 80 warships pesenrlt, which is not logical if they had rbousands of warships as Deng claims.

As to warship numbers, Gang figures for number of ships are BS, including what were mostly transport and cargo ships in the total. Nierher you nor he can be relied on to give accurate values when it comes to conclusions, his own data undermines what he says.

As to grain ship sizes, I calculate the early Ming would need a fleet of 16,425 250 ton ships of the size Song Li mentions to ship all their rice if all the rice was shipped in one shipment. If the ships could make multiple.trips to ship the rice, fewee ships would be needed. If a grain ship could make 4 trips a year, only 4,106 ships would be needed. Grain ships would be larger than typical ships, se saw that in ancient Rome, where a fleet of 90 thousand tons grain ships supplied the city with shear. When the Chinese switched from ocean to river and canal, the size dropped fo 5 tons. But these are all just cargo ships, not military.

In 1415 the Chinese stopped ocean grain shipment per Sally Church "Zheng He: An Investigation into Plausibility of 450 Ft Treasure Ships_ " page 22. , nd so would have shipped to smaller river boats, which per Song Li were 5 tons.

(The grain shipped would feed the urban population of China, farmers not needing grain shipped to them on the average. Urban population of China was 10%, and official early Ming census place it as 62 million , which is probably an undercount so I used 75 million, or 7.5 million urban dwellers. A person needs 2000 calories, and rice has 1300 calories per kilogram. 365 daysyear gives you the total rice they would need. Note wheat has 3300 calories per kilo, so you would need 1/3 less ships to ship wheat. These are ball park figures)

Just as the Chinese figures for the Treasure Ships were exaggerstion, and so are yours and Deng's figures for the Chinese navy ships.
 
Mar 2012
4,319
#63
There is not enough time in the world to keep answering your nonsenze, the facts speak for themezlselves.. Instead of relying on someone opionsz and your dishonesty backward projecting later periods of ships onto earlier periods (#hips got larger on the average over time), we can determine for ourselves the average size of Chinese ships.

No one is forcing you to reply, considering all you have are worthless opinions that can't be backed with sources, in fact it would do all of us a favor to stop reading your low quality garbage. Your so called facts are nothing but bold assumptions predicated upon another where the source origin cannot even be verified. Whereas I am actually citing an academic source utilizing primary source material and statistics and you wave it aside just because you don't like the facts provided.

Using later projection onto the past? What did I tell you about reading the damn book before commenting? Deng gave explicit sub-average for all three dynasties. Deriving an average of 27,000 transport ships for the Song, and 9,060 for the Ming. For warships, he derived 10,700 for the Song, 12,750 for the Yuan, and 5,500 for the Ming.
We all know later Ming and Qing ships got smaller, but that wasn't part of my original comparison.

Perhaps you should stop determining average sizes yourself and read the works by someone far more professionally competent than you.

The breakdown is here, get a clue:
Chinese Maritime Activities and Socioeconomic Development, C. 2100 B.C.-1900 A.D.



Gang Deng on page 71 talks about A Qing 1683 invasion force of 40,000 men and 800 ships, which works out to an average ship size of 88 tons, again below 100 tons. The Qing would have taken the bigger ships available to reduce logistics problems , and ships did become biGger over time in the modern era. You can see, everytime ships and large quantities of men are mentioned , the size of the ships turn out to be small. I have already cited a couple.of other examples from the Yuan and Ming dynasties, all of them give average ship dimensions well under 100 tons.
No it doesn't. You are assuming there is one person per ton (in the campaign with the smallest ships). Nothing in the primary sources indicates that.

Qing naval battles in 1661 had an average of 125 men per ship, in 1683, it had two campaigns with 50 men per ship and 67 men per ship on average. If we use 2.5 tons per man, this yields to average warships of over 300 tons, 125 tons, and 167 tons respectively.
Many of these ships, like the Yuan invasion, might not even be from the standing navy.

Qing ships are also smaller than Ming ships and earlier ships, which was also noted in the book if you bothered to read.


If we restrict to just warships , the mass might be indeed might be larger, around 100 tons, but the numbers far fewer . From Deng's figures, we cannot tell what were strictly warships from his figures which include mostly transport ships. A we can note is that at the importance Battle of Chilcheollyang, the Chinese had only 80 warships pesenrlt, which is not logical if they had rbousands of warships as Deng claims.
No Bart, you can't tell because you can't read primary sources, and that's why you are not qualified to comment on the subject. The term for transport ships and naval ships are very clearly distinguished in Chinese sources of the time. Deng gave an exact break down of transport ships and warships in his table, read it.
The Ming did not send more than 80,000 soldiers in the Imjin war and most of these were ground forces, the Imjin war was merely one of the 2-3 wars the Ming were fighting at the time, and it was the smallest of them.

As to warship numbers, Gang figures for number of ships are BS, including what were mostly transport and cargo ships in the total. Nierher you nor he can be relied on to give accurate values when it comes to conclusions, his own data undermines what he says.
No offense, but if you want to call some figures BS, you should at least demonstrate the competence to read the primary sources, which you clearly can't. You are nothing but a fraud with an axe to grind, denying figures just because it doesn't suit your pre-determined and preferred conclusion.
And which data undermines what he says? He's addressed every single one of your frivolous objections and it really comes down to the fact that you either didn't read his book carefully, or just don't understand the methodology involved in his estimations.

As to grain ship sizes, I calculate the early Ming would need a fleet of 16,425 250 ton ships of the size Song Li mentions to ship all their rice if all the rice was shipped in one shipment. If the ships could make multiple.trips to ship the rice, fewee ships would be needed. If a grain ship could make 4 trips a year, only 4,106 ships would be needed. Grain ships would be larger than typical ships, se saw that in ancient Rome, where a fleet of 90 thousand tons grain ships supplied the city with shear. When the Chinese switched from ocean to river and canal, the size dropped fo 5 tons. But these are all just cargo ships, not military.
Slip me a belt, my stomach is exploding. :lol: Your calculation? With what data? The figures you selectively stole from Deng's book, or fictional ones you pulled out of your ass? Table 3.2 already gave the detailed estimates, if you have a better one you can cite it here so we can test its validity. Wait do you read the primary sources? Didn't think so. Here is a clue:

Chinese Maritime Activities and Socioeconomic Development, C. 2100 B.C.-1900 A.D.


Just as the Chinese figures for the Treasure Ships were exaggerstion, and so are yours and Deng's figures for the Chinese navy ships.
I will post this again as I did elsewhere. The later Ming Shi and a novel in Sanbao Taijian Xiyanji are the ones which recorded 44 Zhang for the treasure ship. Deng is citing primary sources and government statistics. So are you purposely pretending these differences aren't there or are you so dishonest, bigoted, and maybe just outright stupid that you think all Chinese sources are the same in credibility just because they are Chinese?
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#65

Bart, if you are not going to read the book carefully, don't waste more of our time reinterpreting what the author said. Page 69 explicitly said naval ships. Table 3.3 on page 68 explicitly divided the warships from the transport ships. Hdon' start:

Chinese Maritime Activities and Socioeconomic Development, C. 2100 B.C.-1900 A.D.


The sub-average for Song-Ming for imperial transport ships is 10,320 and for warships 12,960.
There is nothing confusing about it, if you think it is, then you didn't understand the book.....
Transport vessels don't automitacslly



Your comments show you clearly didn't read much of his book, so what you find is really of little value. And no offense, but you have a lot to say for someone whose demonstrated no competence whatsoever in handling the primary source materials nor even a basic grasp of shipping institutions of the Yuan and Ming period, but I will humor you and continue this comedy of a response.


Bart, if you don't know something, just ask, don't make asinine comments as if they are true.
Deng used primary sources from the Ming and Yuan period, showing transport shipping numbers as high as 12,837 during the early 15th century, meaning that his estimate of a sub-average of 9,060 transport ships total for the Ming is in fact a conservative under-estimatation.

"In Yuan times, apart from the grain carriers, there were 5,921 courier ships in the nationwide Imerial postal system. It is also documented that in Quanzhou alone, there were 15,000 government-owned sea vessels. Second, in the first half of the fifteenth century AD, the count of government owned grain transport ships was 11,839. .....[/quote]

This is a about navies, and simply being owned by the government does not make them naval ships, as I have already pointed. So stop bringing irrelevant dataz which you are only doing to as a pathetic form of typical Chinese boasting, and stick to the pertinent facts. Grain ships are not warships, as any intelligent and honest person knows.


If you want to boast about the Chinese merchant marine instead of talking about navies , start a separate thread and stop your boasting here. Perhaps the Ancient Chinese did not make a distinction between their merchant marine and their actual combat warships, but others did, and you can't make valid comparisons when you are comparing ships with different purposes.

It is clear that many of the ships hat Gang considers Chinesd warships would not be warships in other countries

Gang's hand waving and asserting otherwise does not change the facf. so stop saying read Deng, I have. The very same data he presents contradicts his own claims, when you don't blindly accept his claims. Simply because someone from what is rated the most dishonest nation in the world says something, does not make it automatically true. I have already shown what he says in a number of areas is nonsense and not true.

It is known that during the Tang-Song Period, the loading capacity of an average sea vessel was around 230 metric tons, in Qing times, the loading capacity of the shallow water ship was between 100-200 tons. It is also known that in the Tang Dynasty over 2 million shi of grain (83,200 tons) was transported through the canals each year and in the Northern Song Dynasty, the amount reached over 6 million shi (278,900 tons), an average of 764 tons per day. This makes it possible to use the weight transported by ships as a base to estimate the size transportation fleets.
Deng doesn't provide a source for his claims about his claim about the the Tang -Song ships being 230 tons on the he average and we do not know such things for the Tang ships, given the poor records.we have. Deng does provide a reference at the end of the paragraph ,but since he is mentioning a half dozen facts.in the pragraph, he needs to reference them all, not some. If you can find where his source has all the information in the paragraph he claims, then show it.


Note, the 83,200 tons of grain shipped in the Tang dynasty is not particularly impressive, since that works our to feeding 150,000 people per year. The Romans were shipping grain to feed a million people of Rome alone for 40% of the year. Song Li previously cited iSally Church's article assumed crafts of 5 tons (20 liao) when shipping grain by river, so the 100.ton figure is clearly too high for canal boats.

The Northern Song 278,900 tons would have fed 1.3 million assuming wheat, less if rice. (200 call per day per person,. Wheat has 330 call per 100 gm. ). But these would not be naval ships.

No where did Gang Deng say how much these ships weigh. Even if we use Song Li's standard, why are you ignoring all other cases where he gave explicit data?
Because Gang"s explicit data is based on his assumptions or secondary soruces , not primary contemporary sources. He assumes, with no actual source or fact to fact it up, that the Song Yuan ships were 100 tons, with a logic that would apply even more to smaller ships, 50 tons ships being even more maneuverable.

In contrast, the calculations for Yuan, Ming, and Qing ship sizes are based on solid evidence and reasoning, and with the figures Gang himself provided. Chinese warships as Gang calls them were small ships.

Not this nonsense again. The record of 450 feet comes from a late 16th century novel called Sanbao Taijian Xiyanji. These are government statistics and primary sources.
The 450 FT figure was repeated in official Qing government document Ming Shi as well, a fact you failed. to mention.

It may have first appeared in a novel, but was later adopted by others, including gvernment documents, and was accepted as fact by even 20th century scholars, and no Ming or Qing scholar called it into question once it became generally accepted , which it did.

And during the Sino Japan war, many of the Chinesd ships just existed on paper, Chinese government documents saying they existed . Government officials can be in honest error, sometimes statinf larger or smaller totals. You assumption that the Ming dynasty officials were all completely reliable without question is not justified. They may be correct and likely are, but everything needs to be evaluated.

That is size of the Chinese navy is greatly overstated is shown by multiple lines of evidence. If the Ming had 5,500 warships, then it makes no logical sense for them to use just a paltry 80 ships in the Battle of Chilcheollyang, when they could of easily used several hundred, and made victory even more certain. In all the naval battles for he Ming, the numbers of ships invovled by the Chinese is relatively small, never in the many hundreds. We see large numbers only when transport troops, but then the vasr majority of those ships were not warships as all hut the Chinese would think of them. If the Yuan had as laete a Navy as Gang claims, there would have been no need to hastily assemble ships for the Japanese invasion fleet as they did. Using there existing warships, that would still have left more ships.left over than in the entire Ming navy, according to Gang's own figures. And using the numbers Gang himself provided , when large numbers of ships are involved the sizes are all small, less than the 100 tons he assumed.
 
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Mar 2012
4,319
#66



This is a about navies, and simply being owned by the government does not make them naval ships, as I have already pointed. So stop bringing irrelevant dataz which you are only doing to as a pathetic form of typical Chinese boasting, and stick to the pertinent facts. Grain ships are not warships, as any intelligent and honest person knows.
Facepalm.
Bart, have you taken a single glance at Table 3.3 on page 67-68 of Deng's book? Any intelligent person will actually read the book they are commenting on before they respond, you said you read the book, so is your English so poor that you can't read the words "warship" or "naval ships" or are you so bigoted that you simply don't want to see these words written in the book? Do you not see the words "warship" in the table? Or is your intelligence so high that you can't read the table written in plain English? If you haven't read the book, don't respond to me, I've wasted enough time on your trolling already, and it isn't fun the first time.

If you want to boast about the Chinese merchant marine instead of talking about navies , start a separate thread and stop your boasting here. Perhaps the Ancient Chinese did not make a distinction between their merchant marine and their actual combat warships, but others did, and you can't make valid comparisons when you are comparing ships with different purposes.
Which part of the word "naval ships" as the title of the estimation on page 69 do you not see? Let me guess, you didn't read the page?




It is clear that many of the ships hat Gang considers Chinesd warships would not be warships in other countries
And you know this because you've flipped through the primary sources? Wait, you can't. How exactly is the merchant fleet of Europe more like warships? If anything, European ships tends to have dual functions, these warships were specifically reserved for military purposes as stated in the book, if you bothered to read.

Gang's hand waving and asserting otherwise does not change the facf. so stop saying read Deng, I have.
No you haven't. Or else you would have caught the words warship, and naval ships, in Deng's estimate. But your lies are transparent.

Let me quote his book for you:

"Estimation of naval ships

For the Yuan-Ming Period, the size of naval fleets can be estimated from the information shown in Table 3.3 and Equation 3.2. The results govem are: 12,750 for the Yuan and 5,500 for the Ming."


You simply ignored the words naval ships that's explicitly written here either due to negligence, dishonesty or just sheer bigotry.



The very same data he presents contradicts his own claims, when you don't blindly accept his claims.
What data? Show it so we can examine whether it actually contradicts what he said or its just you selectively distorting the data as usual.


Simply because someone from what is rated the most dishonest nation in the world says something, does not make it automatically true.
Deng is not from the PRC. Or are you so bigoted or just plain stupid that you think all people with Chinese names are lying?

I have already shown what he says in a number of areas is nonsense and not true.
Let's see what you've actually shown to expose to all the fact that you didn't in fact read his book. You said:

"Gang Deng on page 71 talks about A Qing 1683 invasion force of 40,000 men and 800 ships, which works out to an average ship size of 88 tons, again below 100 tons. The Qing would have taken the bigger ships available to reduce logistics problems , and ships did become biGger over time in the modern era. You can see, everytime ships and large quantities of men are mentioned , the size of the ships turn out to be small. I have already cited a couple.of other examples from the Yuan and Ming dynasties, all of them give average ship dimensions well under 100 tons. "

If you bothered to read Deng's whole book, and not something of a burned out hair splitter, you'll know that he's presented a much more exhaustive statistical list than your pathetic selective samples.

This is what's recorded in Table 2.2 on p.52

Year Person-Ship ratio
468 BC 27
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. Yet you, as biogted as you are, selectively chose the years under Mongol invasions (where Deng specifically said was an anomaly due to Mongol unfamiliarity with naval matters) and 1683, where there was only 50 men per ship and used that as something reflective. I'm sorry, the only thing you've proven, is that you are not competent enough to handle statistics objectively and lacks the detachment to be a historian.


Deng doesn't provide a source for his claims about his claim about the the Tang -Song ships being 230 tons on the he average and we do not know such things for the Tang ships, given the poor records.we have. Deng does provide a reference at the end of the paragraph ,but since he is mentioning a half dozen facts.in the pragraph, he needs to reference them all, not some. If you can find where his source has all the information in the paragraph he claims, then show it.
And where is your source that the average ship is less than 100 tons? You assume he is dishonest like you. Academics are peer reviewed and has a stake in posting nonsense, unlike you who can post any nonsense online to your heart's content.





Because Gang"s explicit data is based on his assumptions or secondary soruces , not primary contemporary sources. He assumes, with no actual source or fact to fact it up, that the Song Yuan ships were 100 tons, with a logic that would apply even more to smaller ships, 50 tons ships being even more maneuverable.

In contrast, the calculations for Yuan, Ming, and Qing ship sizes are based on solid evidence and reasoning, and with the figures Gang himself provided. Chinese warships as Gang calls them were small ships.
No they are not, many of them are based on the Veritable records of the dynasty, Shilu, which are primary sources compiled from the archives of the emperor in question. You are the one who is assuming, or at best (or worst) choose samples selectively to cater to your pre-determined conclusion.


The 450 FT figure was repeated in official Qing government document Ming Shi as well, a fact you failed. to mention.
I already said that in post 63 if you bothered to read.
"The later Ming Shi and a novel in Sanbao Taijian Xiyanji are the ones which recorded 44 Zhang for the treasure ship. "


It may have first appeared in a novel, but was later adopted by others, including gvernment documents, and was accepted as fact by even 20th century scholars, and no Ming or Qing scholar called it into question once it became generally accepted , which it did.
And there are plenty of scholars who also questioned it, your point? Many of Deng's sources are also primary if you bothered to read.

And during the Sino Japan war, many of the Chinesd ships just existed on paper, Chinese government documents saying they existed . Government officials can be in honest error, sometimes statinf larger or smaller totals. You assumption that the Ming dynasty officials were all completely reliable without question is not justified. They may be correct and likely are, but everything needs to be evaluated.
The figures was never meant to be precise, it merely gives a general picture, but if you think they are off the mark by astronomical levels, you are the one who is going to need to provide the evidence, not just your worthless opinion.

That is size of the Chinese navy is greatly overstated is shown by multiple lines of evidence. If the Ming had 5,500 warships, then it makes no logical sense for them to use just a paltry 80 ships in the Battle of Chilcheollyang, when they could of easily used several hundred, and made victory even more certain. In all the naval battles for he Ming, the numbers of ships invovled by the Chinese is relatively small, never in the many hundreds.
Poor evidence. The Imjin war was never a primary strategic concern for the Ming, and neither are any of the naval battles the Ming fought against Europeans. Furthermore, the data for 5,500 ships was for the early Ming, not the late Ming, as the last figure for shipping production was the year 1451.

We see large numbers only when transport troops, but then the vasr majority of those ships were not warships as all hut the Chinese would think of them. If the Yuan had as laete a Navy as Gang claims, there would have been no need to hastily assemble ships for the Japanese invasion fleet as they did. Using there existing warships, that would still have left more ships.left over than in the entire Ming navy, according to Gang's own figures. And using the numbers Gang himself provided , when large numbers of ships are involved the sizes are all small, less than the 100 tons he assumed.
Are you actually going to show the evidene how these ships are not warships or are you just going to say whatever you want because you can? Naval invasion of other states are all secondary pillars of grand strategy. The navy is there to maintain the stability of the empire in China itself. Potential rebellions from China are far more threatening than any foreign forces from the seas during this period. This can easily be seen when the Yuan ended merely a year after the grand canal was seized by the rebel's navies.
 
Feb 2011
6,233
#67
I can follow this no more without interjecting at the mistreatment of sourcing. Heavenlykaghan had repeatedly quoted from Gang Deng word for word to prove what Gang Deng said. Bart, you did not, and it's hurting your credibility.

Bart, you used the following quote from Deng to claim a lack of references on the author's part: It is known that during the Tang-Song Period, the loading capacity of an average sea vessel was around 230 metric tons, in Qing times, the loading capacity of the shallow water ship was between 100-200 tons. It is also known that in the Tang Dynasty over 2 million shi of grain (83,200 tons) was transported through the canals each year and in the Northern Song Dynasty, the amount reached over 6 million shi (278,900 tons), an average of 764 tons per day. This makes it possible to use the weight transported by ships as a base to estimate the size transportation fleets. -Gang Deng

However here is the author Deng's entire paragraph:
In premodern China, the most regular and bulky transportation operation was the transporting of grain from the south to the north (caoyun), because of the long-term economic dependency of the north on the south in the Sui-Tang period (see Deng 1993a: 156-63). The grain carriers were largely standardized in design and size, as indicated by the cargo-ship ratio of the Qing Period in Table 3.1 It is known that during the Tang-Song Period, the loading capacity of an average sea vessel was around 230 metric tons (see Li F. 983 A.D.: vol. 769; Sima G. 1084: ch. "Suiji Si"; Xu J. c. 1123; Zhou Q. 1178: vol. 3; Wu Z. 1334), in Qing times, the loading capacity of the shallow water ship was between 100 and 200 tons (Wang G. Z. 1991: 40-46; Zhang X. 1991: 101). It is also known that (1) in the Tang Dynasty over 2 million shi of grain (83,200 tons) was transported through the canals each year (Zhang X. 1991: 56) and (2) in the Northern Song Dynasty, the amount reached over 6 million shi (278,900 tons), an average of 764 tons per day (Blunden and lvin 1983: 104). This makes it possible to use the weight transported by ships as a base to estimate the size of transportation fleets.

What Bart claimed about the above quote: "Deng does provide a reference at the end of the paragraph ,but since he is mentioning a half dozen facts.in the pragraph, he needs to reference them all, not some."

So the statement is incorrect, as Deng provided much more than just "a reference at the end of the paragraph". Furthermore, even though Deng's paragraph gave "a half dozen facts" as Bart put it, Deng made it very obvious which specific source backs which specific fact. Before starting yet another accusatory battle over other people's honesty, one should make sure what he himself said is correct in the first place. This is just one example that seriously undermines your credibility. I'd be as pissed as Heavenlykaghan too if other people are using false, incorrect statements to attack me as a liar, if not for the sheer irony.
 
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Mar 2012
4,319
#68
Also, the sources that were cited for the average cargo capacity of 230 tons, such as Sima Guang and Suiji Si, are all primary sources. This just further proves that Bart didn't even read the sources he is pretending to critique (or doesn't even know what these sources are), and enjoys constantly shoving his foot in his mouth.
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#69
I can follow this no more without interjecting at the mistreatment of sourcing. Heavenlykaghan had repeatedly quoted from Gang Deng word for word to prove what Gang Deng said. Bart, you did not, and it's hurting your credibility.

Bart, you used the following quote from Deng to claim a lack of references on the author's part: It is known that during the Tang-Song Period, the loading capacity of an average sea vessel was around 230 metric tons, in Qing times, the loading capacity of the shallow water ship was between 100-200 tons. It is also known that in the Tang Dynasty over 2 million shi of grain (83,200 tons) was transported through the canals each year and in the Northern Song Dynasty, the amount reached over 6 million shi (278,900 tons), an average of 764 tons per day. This makes it possible to use the weight transported by ships as a base to estimate the size transportation fleets. -Gang Deng

However here is the author Deng's entire paragraph:
In premodern China, the most regular and bulky transportation operation was the transporting of grain from the south to the north (caoyun), because of the long-term economic dependency of the north on the south in the Sui-Tang period (see Deng 1993a: 156-63). The grain carriers were largely standardized in design and size, as indicated by the cargo-ship ratio of the Qing Period in Table 3.1 It is known that during the Tang-Song Period, the loading capacity of an average sea vessel was around 230 metric tons (see Li F. 983 A.D.: vol. 769; Sima G. 1084: ch. "Suiji Si"; Xu J. c. 1123; Zhou Q. 1178: vol. 3; Wu Z. 1334), in Qing times, the loading capacity of the shallow water ship was between 100 and 200 tons (Wang G. Z. 1991: 40-46; Zhang X. 1991: 101). It is also known that (1) in the Tang Dynasty over 2 million shi of grain (83,200 tons) was transported through the canals each year (Zhang X. 1991: 56) and (2) in the Northern Song Dynasty, the amount reached over 6 million shi (278,900 tons), an average of 764 tons per day (Blunden and lvin 1983: 104). This makes it possible to use the weight transported by ships as a base to estimate the size of transportation fleets.

What Bart claimed about the above quote: "Deng does provide a reference at the end of the paragraph ,but since he is mentioning a half dozen facts.in the pragraph, he needs to reference them all, not some."

So the statement is incorrect, as Deng provided much more than just "a reference at the end of the paragraph". Furthermore, even though Deng's paragraph gave "a half dozen facts" as Bart put it, Deng made it very obvious which specific source backs which specific fact. Before starting yet another accusatory battle over other people's honesty, one should make sure what he himself said is correct in the first place. This is just one example that seriously undermines your credibility. I'd be as pissed as Heavenlykaghan too if other people are using false, incorrect statements to attack me as a liar, if not for the sheer irony.
My mistake, I should have re-read the the work myself. I was going off of memory which was obviously incorrect, and I should have re-read the text.. work is beyond me, I don't know. It was not seeing the references that madd think of something elsse, I was was relying on HeavenlyKhagens quote whixheft the information.our. Unfortunately, I don't have access to Gang Deng's work any more, and it is not found on the local.librsry bookshelf.

In any case, regardless of the number of references they don't match the sizes we get from the multiple different accounts of troop numbers and numbers of ships for overseas expeditions. All routinely indicate ships smaller than 100 tons, and given the large number of ships.invovled, are a more reliable indicator of actual average ship size. The 230 tons seem.consistent with Sonf Li exampls off 1000 liao (250 tons) grain overseas ships ship being less efficient that shipping the grain by river boat. But that size does not seem to apply when transporting the military, the evidence consistently shows a much smaller ship, and even Gang Deng assumed an average size less than that for the warships. But base on analysis, even the 100 ton is far too large a size for the typical "naval" ship. Gang Deng reported that page 71 that the Mongols.had put together a force of 70,000 men and 5,000 ships to invsdd the Southern Song, which meant the an average ship size of 25 tons, suggesting the ships were.mostly river craft. As note earlier, Gang reports on page 71 that Ming loyalist had 170,000 troops on 8,000 ships , implying ship size of mere 37 tons.

If the Yuan fleet was as large as Gang Deng estimated, there would be no need for the Mongols to have to hastily build ships for the Japanese invasion, which we know they did. The numbers just don't match up with reality. Even devoting less than half their navy to the Japan invasion, would still leave a force larger than the later Ming navy, far more than the Yuan would ever need. After all, what naval threats wede there against the Yuan that would require a Navy? If the numbers are in any say accurate , then most of these ships.must have been small, too small.for use in the invasion. So Deng's calculation of naval tonnage for the Yuan is fsr too high, and his his assumption of a 100 tons has no factual basis to it.

And when it comes to naval conflicts in the Ming dynasty, with ships fighting each other on se (not river), I don't see any evidence of any large fleets. At the Battle of Noryang, only 63 Chinese ships were involved. With an alleged fleet off 5,500 surely the Chinese would have wanted to share a couple hundred ships.rommske victory more certain. What else were the Chinese doing with their navy?

Gang did say on page 70 that the in the 15th century the Ming had 48 bases and over a 1000 large ships along the mainland coast. (No size given for share large was). Given that along the mainland coast is where you would need your ocean going vessels, these 1000+ ships would represent the majority of the large sea going ships China had, and suggest a smaller Ming navy size than Gang elsewhere assumes. Since.we get average as small as 37 tons elsewhere, even a 100 tons would be largd.

Question must be asked:. If the Chinese had the large number of warships as claimed , exactly what were they doing with them? They were not using most of.thdm xkd battle far as I can see, and with that many ships.piracy should have esily been eliminated, yet the Chinese srruggled with piracy .
 
Mar 2012
4,319
#70
My mistake, I should have re-read the the work myself. I was going off of memory which was obviously incorrect, and I should have re-read the text.. work is beyond me, I don't know. It was not seeing the references that madd think of something elsse, I was was relying on HeavenlyKhagens quote whixheft the information.our. Unfortunately, I don't have access to Gang Deng's work any more, and it is not found on the local.librsry bookshelf.

In another words, you read the quote I presented, not the book, assumed the author didn't have any references, and then boldly assumed he was lying, because you didn't bother to check. But why doesn't that surprise me?



In any case, regardless of the number of references they don't match the sizes we get from the multiple different accounts of troop numbers and numbers of ships for overseas expeditions. All routinely indicate ships smaller than 100 tons, and given the large number of ships.invovled, are a more reliable indicator of actual average ship size. The 230 tons seem.consistent with Sonf Li exampls off 1000 liao (250 tons) grain overseas ships ship being less efficient that shipping the grain by river boat. But that size does not seem to apply when transporting the military, the evidence consistently shows a much smaller ship, and even Gang Deng assumed an average size less than that for the warships. But base on analysis, even the 100 ton is far too large a size for the typical "naval" ship. Gang Deng reported that page 71 that the Mongols.had put together a force of 70,000 men and 5,000 ships to invsdd the Southern Song, which meant the an average ship size of 25 tons, suggesting the ships were.mostly river craft. As note earlier, Gang reports on page 71 that Ming loyalist had 170,000 troops on 8,000 ships , implying ship size of mere 37 tons.

Reading isn't your strong point is it? I've already addressed every question you asked, and I will just copy and paste it here.

You literally chose the lowest end samples either because you do not know how statistics work, or purposely ignored the high end samples to cater to your pre-determined conclusion. 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
468 BC 27
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. Yet you, as biogted as you are, selectively chose the years under Mongol invasions (where Deng specifically said was an anomaly due to Mongol unfamiliarity with naval matters) and 1683, where there was only 50 men per ships (literally the low end samples on his table) and used that as something reflective.
Maybe if you actually read his book, or wait, checked it as you claimed earlier because you forgot, before jumping to conclusions, you would have caught that.

Gang Deng reported that page 71 that the Mongols.had put together a force of 70,000 men and 5,000 ships to invsdd the Southern Song, which meant the an average ship size of 25 tons, suggesting the ships were.mostly river craft.
Many of these were in fact river crafts, so it has no pertinence to the 230 ton average figure, which pertains to sea vessels. The Yuan and Ming naval ships estimated by Deng were all sea crafts as explicitly recorded in the sources he cited.

If the Yuan fleet was as large as Gang Deng estimated, there would be no need for the Mongols to have to hastily build ships for the Japanese invasion, which we know they did. The numbers just don't match up with reality. Even devoting less than half their navy to the Japan invasion, would still leave a force larger than the later Ming navy, far more than the Yuan would ever need. After all, what naval threats wede there against the Yuan that would require a Navy? If the numbers are in any say accurate , then most of these ships.must have been small, too small.for use in the invasion. So Deng's calculation of naval tonnage for the Yuan is fsr too high, and his his assumption of a 100 tons has no factual basis to it.
Already answered in my last post; Naval invasion of other states are all secondary pillars of grand strategy. The navy is there to maintain the stability of the empire in China itself. Potential rebellions from China are far more threatening than any foreign forces from the seas during this period. This can easily be seen when the Yuan ended merely a year after the grand canal was seized by the rebel's navies.

And when it comes to naval conflicts in the Ming dynasty, with ships fighting each other on se (not river), I don't see any evidence of any large fleets. At the Battle of Noryang, only 63 Chinese ships were involved. With an alleged fleet off 5,500 surely the Chinese would have wanted to share a couple hundred ships.rommske victory more certain. What else were the Chinese doing with their navy?
Answered already again, you just don't read. The Imjin war was never a primary strategic concern for the Ming, and neither are any of the naval battles the Ming fought against Europeans. Furthermore, the data for 5,500 ships was for the early Ming, not the late Ming, as the last figure for shipping production was the year 1451.


Gang did say on page 70 that the in the 15th century the Ming had 48 bases and over a 1000 large ships along the mainland coast. (No size given for share large was). Given that along the mainland coast is where you would need your ocean going vessels, these 1000+ ships would represent the majority of the large sea going ships China had, and suggest a smaller Ming navy size than Gang elsewhere assumes. Since.we get average as small as 37 tons elsewhere, even a 100 tons would be largd.
That 37 tons is just your selective sampling, with questionable calculation methods too (if we use 2.5 tons for one man, it actually yields 52 tons), choosing the lowest end samples from a rebel group, whereas Deng actually provided a table with all recorded samples of naval operations in every dynasty by the government. The result, as I already said, are average ships of close to or over 100 men per ship on average, which would easily yield 200-300 tons of displacement.


Question must be asked:. If the Chinese had the large number of warships as claimed , exactly what were they doing with them? They were not using most of.thdm xkd battle far as I can see, and with that many ships.piracy should have esily been eliminated, yet the Chinese srruggled with piracy .
You are assuming ancient China is a nation state, its not. Southern China as a whole has the potential to rebel and seizing the Grand canal can be a checkmate to the ruling regime. This led to the speedy demise of the Yuan dynasty, and this was also how the British ended the Opium War, by sailing the gunboat Nemesis right into the canal. Most ships are for defense of potential rebellion. Pirates are secondary, as they don't threaten the Ming or Qing Empire's existence, but a large force was still needed to defend against them, its just not possible to prevent every intrusion in a coastline that is over 18,000 KM long.
 
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