View Poll Results: China's most glourious military in dynasties

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  • Warring states

    8 5.67%
  • Qin dynasty

    22 15.60%
  • Tang dynasty

    45 31.91%
  • Song dynasty

    4 2.84%
  • Ming dynasty

    16 11.35%
  • Qing dynasty

    7 4.96%
  • Nationalist China

    3 2.13%
  • People's republic of China

    36 25.53%
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Chinas best dynastic military?

This is a discussion on Chinas best dynastic military? within the Military History forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; the Tang. I couldn't believe my eyes when someone earlier said that the Tang was military wise weak. I believe ...

  1. #61
    whsie is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    the Tang. I couldn't believe my eyes when someone earlier said that the Tang was military wise weak. I believe they confused the Tang Dynasty with the Song Dynasty or they just didn't read their books. The Tang at its peak even surpassed the Han Dynasty in terms of expansion.
    If someone wants a rough idea of Tang's peak including vassals, here it is- http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...g_dynasty1.PNG
    This is around 668, 669. The Western Turks were subdued and completly vassalized in 657 after being defeated by Su Ding Fang 苏定方. Earlier in 648, half of Western Turkish land were already vassalized. The Eastern Turks were defeated by Li Jing 李靖 and Li Shiji 李世勣 in 630. Korea was conquered by Li Shiji 李世勣 and Xue Ren Gui 薛仁貴 in 668. Tibet (qinghai area) was defeated a few times before the marriage by Li Jing 李靖 and Hou Jun Ji 侯君集 in 635. Then a lot of the Tarim Basin and Central Asia was took down by Huo Jun Ji 侯君集, most noticeably GaoChang. Vietnam was also taken down. Obviously, this proves that the Tang was a military might. Furthermore, the Tang was probably the peak of the Han ethnic calavary based army. Part of the reason why they're so successful early on was because their army was a calvary based army. When Li Jing made the turning point against the Xieli Khan of the Eastern Turks, Li Jing used 3000 light calvary to raid Dingxiang and caught Xieli by suprise. Of course, he was suprised how fast Li Jing got to him.
    Later, after Tang Taizong and Gaozong, Wu Zetian took over a made a huge mess with the empire seen in the photo. The Khitans rebelled, Tibet rebelled, the Turks rebelled, Korea rebelled. Practically the whole country came crashing down in terms of land. It wouldn't be until Tang Xuanzong that we see him expand to Persia's border again, which is already noticeably smaller than the first great expansion under Tang Taizong.

  2. #62
    A Pirate is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    The mighty military power of Tang was relying on its superior economic strength. From the performance of the army alone, I think Qin was better.

  3. #63
    Ernst is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Qin army is the strongest

  4. #64
    sunchips is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Quote Originally Posted by T-U-P View Post
    i chose the Ming because it had the largest navy in the history of china. also there was an extensive use and development of firearms during that time in china, Qing just abandoned the firearms that Ming made and went back to the trusty swords.

    and also my last name is Zhu, if anyone have noticed.

    How extensive was the use of firearms, and how advanced were they compared to the firearms of Europe? (i.e. approx. what European time period)?

  5. #65
    sunchips is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Quote Originally Posted by whsie View Post
    the Tang. I couldn't believe my eyes when someone earlier said that the Tang was military wise weak. I believe they confused the Tang Dynasty with the Song Dynasty or they just didn't read their books. The Tang at its peak even surpassed the Han Dynasty in terms of expansion.
    If someone wants a rough idea of Tang's peak including vassals, here it is- http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...g_dynasty1.PNG
    This is around 668, 669. The Western Turks were subdued and completly vassalized in 657 after being defeated by Su Ding Fang 苏定方. Earlier in 648, half of Western Turkish land were already vassalized. The Eastern Turks were defeated by Li Jing 李靖 and Li Shiji 李世勣 in 630. Korea was conquered by Li Shiji 李世勣 and Xue Ren Gui 薛仁貴 in 668. Tibet (qinghai area) was defeated a few times before the marriage by Li Jing 李靖 and Hou Jun Ji 侯君集 in 635. Then a lot of the Tarim Basin and Central Asia was took down by Huo Jun Ji 侯君集, most noticeably GaoChang. Vietnam was also taken down. Obviously, this proves that the Tang was a military might. Furthermore, the Tang was probably the peak of the Han ethnic calavary based army. Part of the reason why they're so successful early on was because their army was a calvary based army. When Li Jing made the turning point against the Xieli Khan of the Eastern Turks, Li Jing used 3000 light calvary to raid Dingxiang and caught Xieli by suprise. Of course, he was suprised how fast Li Jing got to him.
    Later, after Tang Taizong and Gaozong, Wu Zetian took over a made a huge mess with the empire seen in the photo. The Khitans rebelled, Tibet rebelled, the Turks rebelled, Korea rebelled. Practically the whole country came crashing down in terms of land. It wouldn't be until Tang Xuanzong that we see him expand to Persia's border again, which is already noticeably smaller than the first great expansion under Tang Taizong.

    In the map shown, is the dark color also part of Tang empire, or is it "allies" of china, or something? Also, I remember reading about some "battle of talas" somewhere...that was in Kasakstan right? How did China shrink so much in 100 years, if the wikipedia map above was in ~669?
    Last edited by sunchips; 03-14-2007 at 10:08 AM.

  6. #66
    sunchips is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Quote Originally Posted by J T Z View Post
    Tang was never a military power house. it is known for its culture and science. Song was small and weak beacuse of all the boarder confilct with other chinese ethnic groups. and none of those nations during Song era was really big and well funded. thats why mongols just rolled through them all. Of course the mongols were amazing too.

    It basicly should boils down to: Han, Ming, Qing. Han is 3rd largest dynasty ever at its peak if you count in yuan. and during its time Kao Tsu, wudi and other empreors have expanded the boarder and opened up trade routes.(the silkroad) For its time it was no doubt one of the great powers. Even the Romans at the time couldnt match them.(206 b.c. - 220 A.D.) At that time the Romans were involved in Macedonian Wars. And these wars for the most of time were at a small scale thats fought between Greek city-states, and Syria. Kao Tsu also pushed out the Huns that was in western china and beyond, which enabled the silkroad to be open. Huns later dominated most of europe and the Romans couldnt really stop them. So in terms of territory size and amry size and technology Han at its time was far greater than any nation.

    As Ming and Qing, I think FriedRiceNSpice explained pretty well on why it was a great military power.

    The problem with most Chinese dyansty is that none of the rulers were ambitious enough. Han, Tang, Ming even part of Qing could easily conqure every other nation near by. And project its power over europe and even find america. But due to that they never got anywhere. and even for the ones that did explore, and seeked out others. because of china's technology were so much more advenced compare to other powers at the time. The explorers comes back with nothing new, and the king/empreor would assume that every other nation around the world are nothing compare to him therefore compeletly ignore other nations, unless they come to him. Over the time this settles in and became the close door policy. And China became more and more isolated and shortsighted that it stop most of technological and civil advencements. Until rest of the world caught up and surpassed them.

    Isn't it national chinese culture, and identity to be non-warring? That when we were strong, we jsut wanted security for our own peoples? I mean, that's why we installed the tributary system is it not, so that we wouldn't have to "conquer" anyone, only to "control" them?

  7. #67
    fishhead is offline Banned Idiot
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunchips View Post
    Isn't it national chinese culture, and identity to be non-warring? That when we were strong, we jsut wanted security for our own peoples? I mean, that's why we installed the tributary system is it not, so that we wouldn't have to "conquer" anyone, only to "control" them?
    No, it's just the mentality developed after the Tang. Before Tang Chinese were pretty much war-loving stock, so Tang is the turning point.

    Since Qing and Han, Chinese had been expanding their empire quickly. But at the Sui time, the war with Gaogouli went badly, led to the uprising and fall of Sui. Tang was a pretty military mind dynasty, all local governors were local military commands as well, with the great power. This administrative structure made Tang exetremely powerful toward the outside, but unfortunately also led to the military rebellions by those commands, exactly like Roman Empire.

    Song changed everything, they set up the first civilian administration structure in the world - civilian leading military, and followed by Ming. That made Chinese losing the military competency since then.

  8. #68
    NelsonChu is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Hello! i am a Chinese from Hong Kong.Although this website seems not the place i suppose to be, i hope i can provide useful information in the view of a Chinese.
    From this vote, it seems that most guys are familiar with China's history.Yes,
    from the text books i learnt, the strongest was Tang.

  9. #69
    FriedRiceNSpice's Avatar
    FriedRiceNSpice is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Also, I remember reading about some "battle of talas" somewhere...that was in Kasakstan right
    The Battle of Talas was a relatively small battle fought between the Arab Abbasid Caliphate and the Tang Dynasty for control of Central Asia. The Arabs defeated the Chinese, who's commander managed to escape the battle with the majority of the Tang regular army soldiers. Following the battle, many Turkic tribes in the area switched their allegiance from the Chinese to the Arabs. This also started the conversion of the Turkic tribes in the area to Islam. After the battle, the Chinese made no further attempts to expand into Centra Asia. However, their influence in the region remained strong, and in future conflicts, such as the An Lushan Rebellion, they were still able to call on auxiliary troops from Central Asia. It wasn't until the collapse of the Tang dynasty did China begin to lose influence in Central Asia. Some claim that the Arabs learned the secret of making paper from Chinese POWs captured during the battle.

  10. #70
    T-U-P's Avatar
    T-U-P is offline The Punisher
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunchips View Post
    How extensive was the use of firearms, and how advanced were they compared to the firearms of Europe? (i.e. approx. what European time period)?
    well, firearms were developed in Song Dynasty and by the time of Zhu Yuan Zhang (the first emperor of Ming) the Chinese already had canons and various small arms, and he did use them in his army to conquer the Yuan Dynasty.

    Some time period comparison:
    Ming Dynasty: 1368~1644
    Fall of Constantinople to the Turks: 1453 (where bombards were used extensively by the Turks)
    Development of Matchlock in the West: mid-1400's

  11. #71
    crobato's Avatar
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    During the Imjin war, Chinese and Korean artillery was definitely superior to the artillery the Portugese supplied to the Japanese. During the Qing, advisers to the Kangxi Emperor told him that the artillery that they made were superior to the barbarians. The monstrous "General" cannons used by the Ming in the Great Wall, has ballistics comparable to WWI artillery. As many as 3,400 cannons were located in all parts of the Great Wall, making it the Chinese Maginot line, only much longer.

    However, by the Opium War, British steam driven warships were definitely outranging the Qing warjunks in gunfire. So sometime between the Opium War, and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, the Europeans overtook the Chinese in the quality and technology of gunpowder making. My estimate would be sometime around the late 1700s.

  12. #72
    goldenpanda is offline Banned Idiot
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    It's interesting that Chinese knew about Japan for more than one thousand years, but except for the Mongol time, never wanted to conquer it. We have a historical distaste for the oceans. Ming had good cannons, but did not maintain a navy to project that power.

  13. #73
    潇潇清雨 is offline New Member
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    I 'm a chinese. I think that Han dynasty is the best .As well known ,sino's language is chinese(han-yu,汉语);china's character: chinese(han-zi,汉字);chinese called their hers: han-zi(汉子).Form Han dynasty, china defeated Hun(xiong-nu) and become the most powerful country in far-east until 1895.

  14. #74
    cliveersknell is offline New Member
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    Smile Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    I think the Yuan:
    1. It defined China's present borders as a subset of it's immense borders.
    2. It started globalization
    3. It made Beijing (Khaanbalik or Dadu) the center of the world.
    4. It brought together ALL of China's nationalities for the first time under
    one central govt.
    5. China's military might was the strongest in the whole medieval world.
    6. It had great plans like cross canal systems, which the PRC is currently
    revisiting (ie. the north south link with the yellow and yangze rivers)
    7. It's legacies are the Qing and the present day PRC.

    r's
    Clive

  15. #75
    crobato's Avatar
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    Re: Chinas best dynastic military?

    I think the Yuan:
    1. It defined China's present borders as a subset of it's immense borders.
    2. It started globalization
    3. It made Beijing (Khaanbalik or Dadu) the center of the world.
    4. It brought together ALL of China's nationalities for the first time under
    one central govt.
    5. China's military might was the strongest in the whole medieval world.
    6. It had great plans like cross canal systems, which the PRC is currently
    revisiting (ie. the north south link with the yellow and yangze rivers)
    7. It's legacies are the Qing and the present day PRC.
    The truth is.

    1. China had its greatest extent under rhe Qianlong Emperor. This is sometime around Bonaparte's time, and it is in that reference why Napoleon called China a sleeping giant. The borders crossed into Siberia right up to Lake Baikal, the Amur river, owned much of Mongolia, and even Port Arthur. The area that was under Russian control north of Korea, yes, was even under the Manchu China.

    2. Globalization started in the Tang Dynasty. Chang'an is the first true international capital since Rome and later Constantinople. Here there are even districts for Jews, Christians, Japanese, Arabs, and so on.

    3. True. Not to mention the Yuan also established the Beijing dialect as the lingua standard for Chinese which holds even up today. Our current spoken Chinese is from Beijing. Prior to that, the standard tongue is based on a dialect spoken in Xian/Chang'an, and whose sounds are still preserved in Cantonese and Fujienese dialects and to a large extent, Japanese Kanji Kunyomi readings.

    4. True, if you wish to include Mongolians, Turkish and Manchurians.

    5. True. But Ming is apparently even stronger because the Ming is able to combine a new element---gunpowder into their arsenal. Ming China was the first country in the world to be openly using true gunpowder cannons as we know it. Not ballista or catapaults but true, wham bang set to ignite cannons.

    6. Not true. Great Canal network started a millenia before in the Han and all to later to the Sui dynasties.

    7. I think Yuan is the turn point in Chinese history because how it consolidated the present borders, how it established Beijing as the capital, and the Beijing tongue as the Chinese tongue. It made China more "East" centric towards Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia, when previous dynasties, starting from the Qin, made China more western centric, with its capital in present day Xian, where it looks more to the Mongols, Turkish, Afghans, proto-Russians, and even Indians and Persians as the line of culture and trade.

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