The Chinese War-Junk

By G.R.G. Worcester, published February 1948

Abstract

China has traditionally placed emphasis on scholarship but little has been recorded on nautical lore. There is an absence of plans or dependable descriptions and records of the war-junk are limited to a few woodcuts which liken them slightly to the fighting craft of ancient Egyptians and warships of the Venetians of A.D.1200. For centuries the Chinese war junk played a part on the Yangtze River during tribal and civil wars and to combat pirates and illegal migration. Early tactics relied on flags, banners and trumpets to strike terror into the heart of the enemy but painting a tiger’s head on the bow or decorating the junk as a dragon were also used. Bows and arrows followed by the installation of cannons later were found to be more effective.

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies | Shipbuilding & Design

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