View Poll Results: Samurai vs Medieval Knight

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  • Samurai

    20 62.50%
  • Medieval Knight

    12 37.50%
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Thread: Samurai against knight

  1. #676
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    I dunno that the Jin or Song had fortifications that could match the crusader castles, but they -certainly- had armies that far outclassed anything the Europeans or the Byzantines could put into the field. armies that were not just far more numerous, but armed with better weapons with superior logistics capabilities.

    the Song armies were armed and armored via proto-factories and had the same level of gunpowder weapon usage that wouldn't be seen in the West until probably the 15th or 16th century.

    and the Mongols still beat them. granted, it took twenty years of grinding warfare. i highly doubt Europe or even the Romans at their height would have survived twenty years of continuous Mongol campaigning right next to their center of power. the Song Navy alone was double the size of the entire First Crusade.
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  2. #677
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple C View Post
    What evidence suggests siegecraft was less advanced in the Chinese Jin and Song dynasties? They build stone walls around cities and used siege guns. Both had vast bureaucratic structures that could recruit huge armies. I assume this put them at at equal footing Europeans in the very least, if not suggesting a certain superiority in technique.
    Look at the surviving stone works. Chinese used flat faces that relied on the strength of the stone/packed earth to defeat the attack. Crusader style castles used curved faces to deflect incoming rounds, truly murderous interior defenses like bent entrances over topped with murder holes and false exits into dead spaces... and massively thick walls. They also built on a much larger scale. Nothing like the big European/Crusader castles exists in China from that time period.

  3. #678
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    Trebuchets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Trebuchets.
    Weren't most Chinese trebuchets traction style? The Mongols didn't encounter counter-weight trebuchets until they went west. The counter-weight trebuchet is a crusader era invention, though first mentioned in writings discussing Saladin.

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    z,

    The Mongols didn't encounter counter-weight trebuchets until they went west.
    small point, Mongols got 'em from the Persians they captured, whom in turn had learned about it the hard way or diffusion from the crusaders and the Byzantines.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  6. #681
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Weren't most Chinese trebuchets traction style?
    The Mongols actually had Persain counterweight trebuches.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    The Mongols didn't encounter counter-weight trebuchets until they went west. The counter-weight trebuchet is a crusader era invention, though first mentioned in writings discussing Saladin.
    Actually, my point was, name me one Crusader fortifications that even come close to the Great Wall.
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  7. #682
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    Sir,that is good point.While Europeans could be outnumbered badly and defeated,they could not be bribed and made turncoats.
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  8. #683
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Sir,that is good point.While Europeans could be outnumbered badly and defeated,they could not be bribed and made turncoats.
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  9. #684
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    The Mongols actually had Persain counterweight trebuches.

    Actually, my point was, name me one Crusader fortifications that even come close to the Great Wall.
    Errr ... Bodrum, Kerak, Salah Ed-Din, The Cittadella, Rhodes, The walls of Byzantium... the list goes on. The Great Wall while grand in scale was not intended to withstand even a moderate frontal assault.

    Its strength lay in the garrisons placed at regualr intervals along its length who could sally to repel an attack or move along it's base in response to a breach not the walls themselves. Like Hadrian's Wall it marked a dividing line, or trip wire if you will - inside was Imperial China, outside were the barbarians. Trade could pass through but any crossing by a military force constituted an act of war against the Empire. And cross it is what hostile armies did with almost monotonous regularity. The fortifications I named were designed to stop aggressors cold, even when the garrisons inside were vastly outnumbered (which they often were).

    The Great Wall is undeniably a tremendous feat of engineering but it is not a brilliant example of the art of fortification. The places I named were.
    Last edited by Monash; 16 Aug 16, at 10:01.

  10. #685
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Errr ... Bodrum, Kerak, Salah Ed-Din, The Cittadella, Rhodes, The walls of Byzantium... the list goes on. The Great Wall while grand in scale was not intended to withstand even a moderate frontal assault.

    Its strength lay in the garrisons placed at regualr intervals along its length who could sally to repel an attack or move along it's base in response to a breach not the walls themselves. Like Hadrian's Wall it marked a dividing line, or trip wire if you will - inside was Imperial China, outside were the barbarians. Trade could pass through but any crossing by a military force constituted an act of war against the Empire. And cross it is what hostile armies did with almost monotonous regularity. The fortifications I named were designed to stop aggressors cold, even when the garrisons inside were vastly outnumbered (which they often were).

    The Great Wall is undeniably a tremendous feat of engineering but it is not a brilliant example of the art of fortification. The places I named were.
    Plus it failed on bribes.
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  11. #686
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    I dunno, western feudal lords were notoriously unreliable allies for their kings. That's what the castle was for.
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  12. #687
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    The Great Wall is undeniably a tremendous feat of engineering but it is not a brilliant example of the art of fortification. The places I named were.
    I disagree. It channeled the opposing force into a kill box.
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  13. #688
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    I disagree. It channeled the opposing force into a kill box.
    If you mean killing Chinese Dynasties.... It might be able to stop raids, but it failed at stopping invasions. Long walls spread defensive forces thin. Castles on the other hand didn't need massive garrisons to remain near impregnable. It might have happened, but I do not know of a single great crusader style castle taken by force of arms. Smaller citadels sure but none of the truly massive fortifications. When they fell, it was either do to siege or trickery.

  14. #689
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    Sir,that is good point.While Europeans could be outnumbered badly and defeated,they could not be bribed and made turncoats.
    Bosworth?
    The Ottoman conquest of Eastern Europe?

    The Byzantines did not lost Asia Minor due to Turks,but to inane civil war after Manzikert.The Kutrigurs,Uzes,Pechenegs,Cumans and Hungarians came ,tried and died.
    Turks conquered them, so much so that Asia Minor, that former core territory, is called Turkey. Abbasid Ghulams got the better of the Byzantine Army, Bulgars scored a series of wins, and the Sassaniads and Byzantines both had ups and downs before the Arabs stomped both. And the Uz's aren't quite the grand Mongol Army.

    The Romans/Byzantines themselves picked up horse archery to a large degree (ebb and flow over time), dropped that classic Roman infantry we all learn was so great, and relegated much of what was left to less prestigious roles. Though we probably won't get very many people saying that Late Roman/Early Byzantine Army under Justinian which ran around the Goths in Italy would stand up against Hulegu.

    The next year the Huns managed to take Aquilea,then retreated after losing to elements of nature.
    They marched deep into Roman territory, set up for a siege, and got paid to leave.

    Its a bit like arguing that because the German Army lost the Battle of the Bulge they weren't in the same class as Allied Armies,and therefore obviously lacking the arms, tactics and leadership needed to win battles against them.
    The Romans were good at fighting Macedonian successor states, small confederations of Celts, and for a time Germans. They improved overtime against the Parthians then amazingly hit a funk with the Sassanians (Shapur-2). They look like world beaters when clubbing disparate Celtic tribes,looked pretty ordinary against Persia, and went back and forth with rather small German tribal groups: which pales to, well, conquering China which was a more advanced state with a massive military establishment, organized system of government, and large walled cities.

    Smaller citadels sure but none of the truly massive fortifications. When they fell, it was either do to siege or trickery.
    We are not talking about Mademoiselle de Montpensier during the Fronde. Battering and breaching the walls; surrounding the place; offering terms to get them outside counts as a win. It also counts when you give them a face saving forgery after surrounding the place and battering the walls.

    Krak fell, Antioch fell, Arsuf fell...
    Last edited by troung; 17 Aug 16, at 05:29.
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  15. #690
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    I disagree. It channeled the opposing force into a kill box.
    Sir, this may or may not have been the intention of the builders (at least along those sections of the wall where the terrain permitted such tactics) but I am not aware of many instances where this actually happened. I think this was mainly because:

    1) The garrisons assigned to defend it were never large enough (or concentrated enough) to achieve this except perhaps against small scale incursions;
    2) The 'barbarians' on the other side of the wall would become conversant with the tactic after a few encounters and take countermeasures, e.g. attacking where this wasn't possible, holding back sizable reserves or launching attacks elsewhere once the Chinese defenders started moving into position;
    3) Because of the huge volume of trade moving through the Wall any aggressor would have a fairly good idea of Chinese deployments, strengths and weaknesses well in advance (plus the opportunity to grease a few palms on the wall if necessary).

    Not say it couldn't be done or didn't happen, just that to the best of my knowledge it doesn't seem to have been used on a large scale and recorded.
    Last edited by Monash; 17 Aug 16, at 12:09.

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