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Subject: Suppose the Mongols successfully landed on the shores of Japan
Commander    3/25/2005 12:52:54 AM
I think the Mongols would have a hell of a fight. The Samurais of Japan are the best sword fighters in the world. The Japanese fought to the death and the Mongols had to destroy the entire army. The Mongols relied in the enemy to fear them and the Japanese feared their emperor more than the enemy. this is what I personally think will happen if the Mongols landed in Japan I would like to hear yours.
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CJH    RE:Suppose the Mongols successfully landed on the shores of Japan   3/25/2005 10:50:22 PM
I have read that the best swords and swordsmen were Spaniards but I'll grant your point about Japanese swordsmen being great. I love samurai movies. This may seem an odd question but who controlled the waters around Japan at the time? An army has to eat and if it has to divide its duties between fighting and gathering supplies its capability is compromised. It also needs new troops often. Sea power helps. I understand Japan is very mountainous. That sounds like infantry territory. Weren't the Mongols cavalry? Well, they could always adapt. I really can't see a Mongol conquest of Japan although I guess they could have conquered Japan if they made it a high enough priority. I doubt it would have been worth the cost though.
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Commander    RE:Suppose the Mongols successfully landed on the shores of Japan   3/26/2005 4:09:07 AM
Well if the Mongols landed on the shores of Japan they would have to destroy the entire Japanese people ( Which the Monogols are good at ). If we look at World War II the reason for Japan's surrender was because of the atom bomb. It doesn't matter anyway was Japan even worth conquering for the Mongols? In WWII they were military strong but resource weak country so I think no it wasn't worth the effort
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BasinBictory    RE:Suppose the Mongols successfully landed on the shores of Japan   12/24/2005 7:16:59 PM
Had the Mongols successfully landed their army on Japan's shores, they would finally have run into a military force much like their own. The Mongols were expert cavalrymen, and the Japanese Samurai, for all their Hollywood-made fame as master swordsmen, were actually better as mounted archers, which is much what the Mongols were. It would be an interesting campaign, I'm sure. It should also be noted that the Mongols' typical practice was to recruit turncoats from the local population as scouts and as the first line of combatants (shock troops, if you will) in a battle. This practice was done primarily to preserve as much as possible the native-born Mongols. It would be interesting to see if the Mongols were successful in recruiting Japanese to their ranks. As far as controlling the sea lanes and supply routes - remember that virtually every Mongol army was, in effect, an expeditionary force. They were not a modern mechanized force heavily dependent on an unending stream of supplies from the home country, nor were they even a European-style army in similar need of a supply and baggage train. The Mongols traveled light - the ponies ate the grass around them, the warriors ate the goats they brought with them and drank their milk, and basically lived off the land. Supply was not a problem for the Mongols. Also, as far as having to exterminate the populace - the Mongols didn't just fight well, they fought smart, and avoided outright battle when possible. As stated earler, recruiting locals was common practice, and using divisive politics on their enemies was used frequently (what we would call Psychological Warfare) to intice them not to fight, or at least to fight with dissention and uncertainty in their ranks. I feel confident that the Mongols could have taken Japan. How long they could hold it was another matter, as evidenced by their huge, but flash-in-the-pan empire in the 1300's.
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CJH    RE:Suppose the Mongols successfully landed on the shores of Japan   12/24/2005 11:18:02 PM
In all probability, a successful Mongol occupation of Japan would have left Japan more cosmopolitan. There may have been Japanese participants in wars in eastern Europe and the Middle East telling about what they had seen as a result. Marco Polo and/or his father and uncles may have visited Japan in that case also. By the way, the Mongols mounted invasions on two separate occasions with the first ending in unsuccessful land battles with samurai according to a Web site at
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Pars    Mongols did land on Japan   12/27/2005 4:50:26 AM
A Mongol force with Korean vassals did land on Japan. It was a force of 15000 soldiers which had a mission of securing a port for the main armies landing. A large Japanese army of at least 50000 soldiers atacked them. Mongols defeated them easily in spite of numerical advantages of Japanese. There were several reasons. 1. United chain of command. Mongols had a united chain of command. But Japanese army was a coalition of many Daimyo's. They simply could not cooperate. 2. In Japan war was ritualised. They were not mentally open to new tactics and tricks. 3. Tactically Mongol army was the most advanced of his age. In the end main Mongol army was destroyed by storm of Kamikasi while on sea. Small Mongol army was then destroyed on a war of atrition.
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Thomas3    RE:Mongols did land on Japan   12/27/2005 10:01:34 PM
Basically the Mongols would not have rule Japan due to terrain: Mongols used mobility, which is very difficult in a japanese terrain, and a horse army once stopped is defeated, because horses eat very much.
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Pars    RE:Thomas3   12/28/2005 6:14:25 AM
Quite true. That is why no steppe army has invaded for long a territory that do not have large grazing grounds. On the other hand most of the main "Mongol" army that was destroyed by Kamikasi storm were Korean and Chinese infantry which were quite good.
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Carl S    RE:Conquoring Japan   12/28/2005 6:27:37 AM
The Koreans claim they did it quite a while ago. The Japanese deny it, saying that was a era when forigen pirates disrupted things.
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mustavaris    RE:Conquoring Japan   4/7/2006 12:25:24 AM
Well... the famous turtle ships wrecked Japanese lines of supply [talking about 16th century´s war]. And the naval commander who was to be blamed was no pirate, but a Korean admiral [or whatever they called them]. On land Japanese ruled when fighting against Koreans and won most of the crucial battles in the early phase of the war, but they couldn´t control the sea, so the Koreans won attrition war.
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Carl S    RE:Conquoring Japan   4/7/2006 7:19:30 AM
I dont know what the truth is about this era. I've been told the Japanse historians dont publish much about the archeological evidence, or of any documents from that century. They stick to the Japanese tradition, that Japan has never been conquored and the Emperors ancestral line has never been broken. Perhaps, perhaps not. The Koreans claimed otherwise long ago.
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