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  • Music [Birth of the People] by Demetori

  • The king had fled from Seoul. The court was making the arduous trek to Pyongyang. Half of Korea was already in Japanese hands.

  • Yi-Il, the very same man who had once tried to pass his negligence off to Yi-Sun-Shin, was the commander of the Korean Army.

  • His forces were routed in battle after battle

  • Essential fortifications and choke points were abandoned, surrendered with barely a fight. Then, in the battle of Chungju, the regular Korean forces under the command

  • of a man named Shin Rip were annihilated.

  • This is the moment that forces the king to abandon his capital.

  • This is the moment that leads many to fear that Korea as a nation may not survive.

  • But on the very same day that the king fled from his seat, Admiral

  • Yi was destroying the Japanese fleet in Okpo harbor. Hope for the nation lived in a handful of ships plying the coast.

  • For three weeks after Okpo,

  • Yi gathered charts, scouted out the enemy fleet, and waited for his secret weapon, the turtle ship, to arrive.

  • Then his spies reported to him that the Japanese were anchored at Sacheon

  • This was too near his personal headquarters for comfort, so it was time he tested out the turtle ship. It was time

  • he drove them off.

  • But when his tiny fleet of 26 ships arrived outside Sacheon, he saw that the Japanese arquebusiers had taken up positions along

  • the cliffs above the harbor. If he were to attack, they could pour down fire on his ships. He pondered this for a moment.

  • Then he sent a small detachment to sail within sight of the Japanese fleet. Once they were sure the Japanese had spotted them

  • they turned and fled and the Japanese gave chase, but the retreat was feigned. As soon as the Japanese fleet entered open water

  • Yi fell upon them with his entire force. His turtle ship plowed into the middle of the Japanese Armada.

  • Cannon fire rang out from all sides. Ships splintered and burned in the setting sun. The

  • Japanese tried to close in but they couldn't manage to board the covered turtle ship.

  • With the Korean Warships surrounding them, and the turtle ship in their midst,

  • the Japanese fought a hopeless battle until all 13 of the ships that had pursued the

  • Koreans to open water were at the bottom of the sea. Not a single Korean vessel was lost.

  • After the battle, as his commanders gathered for a debriefing,

  • Yi loosed his coat, pulled out a sword, and dug out a bullet that had lodged in his shoulder.

  • His sub-commanders were amazed. To maintain morale, Yi had let no one know that he'd been injured in the fight.

  • But as they all sat dumbfounded, Yi

  • simply began to brief them on what to do in case of a counter-attack. The next day

  • local fishermen reported to Yi that the Japanese were anchored at Dangpo and that their men were sacking the city.

  • Yi ordered his fleet to move with all haste. He would not let another Japanese slaughter

  • go unanswered.

  • When they reached the harbor city of Dangpo, he once again smashed through the enemy line with his turtle ship,

  • positioned it right next to the enemy

  • flagship, and buried shot after shot in its side. With his turtle ship in their midst, the enemy couldn't maneuver. And because the turtle ship

  • had heavy guns on all sides, it couldn't be flanked. It

  • simply loosed salvo after salvo at everything around it. And while the turtle ship caused chaos, the rest of the Korean ships

  • surrounded the Japanese and trapped them in the harbor. At the height of the battle, one of Yi Sun-Shin sub commanders Quan Jun stood upon

  • the deck of his vessel, drew his bow, and loosed an arrow at the enemy admiral. The shot found its mark. Two of his men

  • then lept upon the enemy flagship and cut off the Japanese admiral's head.

  • Seeing their commander's head held aloft, the Japanese were thrown into a panic. Command broke down. And in the chaos,

  • Yi's ships sank the Japanese vessels one by one. As night fell and the Koreans withdrew, not a single Japanese ship remained.

  • Two days later, another Korean fleet, a fleet that was supposed to have joined them before any of this began

  • but ran behind, finally rendezvoused with Yi, bringing his squadron up to 51 ships in total. With this larger force,

  • he began to chase down rumors of another anchored Japanese fleet sacking a Korean town. The rumor turned out to be true and again

  • Yi pounced upon the Japanese while they were disorganized plundering a town. Again,

  • Yi sent his turtle ship into their midst and again, he used a feigned retreat to lure them out into open water. Although this time

  • he did it to keep the japanese from fleeing to shore if they were defeated. Again they followed and again upon

  • his signal, his fleet turned upon their pursuers. Again the Japanese admiral fell in the battle and Japanese morale broke.

  • Again the Koreans trapped the fleeing vessels and again the Japanese fleet,

  • 26 ships in all, was destroyed without a single loss for Yi's forces. Turtle ship was OP.

  • Upon hearing of all this, Hideyoshi was furious.

  • He was so close to conquering Korea. His men had taken

  • Pyongyang. The Korean Court had been driven all the way to a tiny border village. Any further and the king of Korea wouldn't even be

  • on Korean soil

  • anymore. There was only one province he had not yet been able to overrun,

  • Jeolla, where Yi was based. And without control of the sea, he couldn't resupply his massive army in the field.

  • Yi must be destroyed. The order was given.

  • There would be no more land raids from his navy until Yi's fleet was at the bottom of the Tsushima Strait.

  • He ordered his admirals to pool their forces and to form a massive fleet to sweep aside this admiral that was causing him so much

  • pain. The three main Japanese admirals were to gather their fleets in Busan. But the admiral with the largest fleet,

  • Wakisaka Yasuharu, decided that bringing the fleet's together was taking too long. Side note, if you watched our Sengoku Jidai series,

  • this is one of the men who would eventually betray Ishida at the battle of Sekigahara.

  • Anyway. Eager for glory and unwilling to wait for the rest of the Japanese forces, he set out with his

  • 73 ships. I mean why wait. He had 73 of the best ships in the Japanese fleet, and he knew Yi's Armada, however devastating

  • they might have been so far, was a small force.

  • But Yi hadn't been idle after his last battle.

  • He'd been drilling his men in new tactics, and constructing additional ships. With these new additions, his fleet now numbered

  • 56 and most importantly with two new turtle ships he could bring to bear. On July 7th

  • 1592 a local farmer came to tell Yi that he had seen a huge Japanese

  • Armada, at least 70 ships strong, in the Gyeonnaeryang strait. Yi had his fleet there by the next day.

  • Knowing that he couldn't maneuver in the strait, Yi sent out six of his ships to lure the Japanese and sure enough the entire

  • Japanese Force followed at all haste but this time the Japanese faced yet another surprise

  • This technique of luring out the Japanese had been working so well that Yi had trained his men in a special formation called the cranes

  • Wing where they would form a U around the enemy vessels that chased his ships compressing them from all sides

  • Making them easy targets and leaving them no room to maneuver the cranes wing

  • Descended the sound of Cannon fire ripped the air one of the largest naval battles in world history raged for hours

  • but when the smoke cleared

  • 47 of the Japanese ships were sunk and 12 were captured

  • Only 14 of them escaped to the Harbor at Busan and still not a single Korean ship was lost the next day

  • Yi was informed of the location of the other two admirals fleets

  • they were anchored together at Angolpo Yi saw the

  • Opportunity for a decisive blow and so he set his vessels fresh off the last battle towards another attack this time though

  • No matter what he tried the japanese refused to be lured out of their position so Yi, sent

  • His ships in in small assault squads using their superior range to hammer the largest of the japanese ships then moving clear

  • So another squad could circle in and fire the battle was long and bloody though still none of Yi ships were sunk

  • between the action outside of Gyeonnaeryang and the Battle of Angolpo

  • Hundreds of his sailors were wounded it was the most damage the Japanese had done to i's fleet to date

  • But the majority of the Japanese fleet in the harbor was destroyed

  • Only a few ships remained and these

  • Yi ordered not to be touched because many of the Japanese

  • Soldiers had fled to the nearby shore and as he said

  • Many Brigands escaped into the mountains where local inhabitants have taken refuge if all the japanese ships were to be burned the brigands would massacre

  • Korean citizens and revenge as he expected

  • Instead of slaughtering the peasants in the hills the japanese boarded their remaining boats and slipped away in the night

  • six days later upon hearing the news of these

  • calamitous defeats

  • Hideyoshi ordered all offensive naval operations to cease from now on the Japanese

  • Navy would only guard the passage to Busan and so with one stroke

  • He destroyed all of Hideyoshi

  • hopes for Invading China

  • And without being able to resupply from the sea even the Japanese efforts on the Korean peninsula

  • Were in Jeopardy the supply lines to the forces occupying Pyongyang were sorely stretched and pursuing the Korean court any further became

  • Effectively impossible though the Korean army had been beaten on land time and time again

  • Yi, had saved Korea

  • But the war wasn't over join us next time for Yi's attempt to land a finishing blow

  • treachery and perhaps the greatest last stand in Naval history

  • (Music)

Music [Birth of the People] by Demetori

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Korea: Admiral Yi - The Bright Moonlight of Hansando - Extra History - #3

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    香蕉先生 posted on 2022/06/25
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