Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Riverine III.

This is coolbert
See this web site for an excellent description of historical instances where the U.S. Navy [USN] employed riverine forces.

Much more extensive than just the American Civil War, Yangtze River Patrol and Vietnam.

Also if you have the time, read this pdf document [somewhat long] concerning the most current [2005] appreciations of the USN with regard to potential riverine warfare.

It should be apparent that persons of the stature of an Admiral Mullen, presently the Chief Naval Operations and the man slated to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, are acutely aware that riverine operations might very well be the "wave" of the future.

The Chinese too have a long history with riverine warfare.

Riverine operations seem to have been an integral part of Chinese military history even in ancient times. The Yangtze River and tributaries of same have witnessed significant naval battles at times involving thousands of naval vessels.

Once such naval battle on a tributary [Han river] of the Yangtze was the Battle of Red Cliffs. Eighteen hundred years ago during the time of General Cao Cao [became Wu Emperor.]

The Mongol Yuan [think Kublai Khan] dynasty also gained an understanding of and experience with naval power during the conquest of the Song [southern China] Empire. The Mongols were able to employ riverine naval craft with success, fighting in conjunction with traditional Mongol ground forces.

"General Bayan [Mongol commander] at first hoped to simply starve the defenders into submission, but he soon realized that to set an effective blockade he would need a small river fleet to control the Han River all the way to its juncture with the Yangtze."

"Korean and ex-Jin craftsmen from northern China built some 500 small patrol boats [this was the "small" river fleet] for use along the Han River."

The Song dynasty met a final and decisive end at the Battle of Yamen. One of the greatest [totally unknown in the west??!!] naval engagements of all time! A naval battle occurring in littoral waters.

[the Song had some pretty impressive naval technology of their own. Including paddle-wheeled vessels and a ship-mounted trebuchet [catapult] that could fling a primitive but effective gunpowder laden charge at opposing ships!!]

Notwithstanding their successes against the Song, Mongol naval power was defeated on three subsequent occasions. Twice during attempted invasions of Japan [kamikaze], and once during an expedition to Java

Thanks for the use of the photograph taken from:

"Chinese Siege Warfare: Mechanical Artillery & Siege Weapons of Antiquity" by Liang Jieming as the source.




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