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East Asia

Mongolia

The Mongols also made use of the fire arrow (rocket arrow) during

The Mongols also made use of the fire arrow (rocket arrow) during their campaigns in Japan.[40] Probably as a result of the Mongolian military campaigns the fire arrows (rocket arrows) later spread into the Middle East, where they were mentioned by Al Hasan Al Ramma in the late 13th century.[41]

Korea

In 1374 the kingdom of Joseon also started producing gunpowder and by 1377 was producing cannons and fire arrows (rocket arrows), which they used against wokou pirates.Joseon also started producing gunpowder and by 1377 was producing cannons and fire arrows (rocket arrows), which they used against wokou pirates.[42][43][44] Korean fire arrows (rocket arrows) were used against the Japanese during the invasion of Korea in 1592.[45]

In 1451 a type of mobile rocket arrow launcher known as the "Munjong Hwacha" was invented in Joseon.[46]In 1451 a type of mobile rocket arrow launcher known as the "Munjong Hwacha" was invented in Joseon.[46]

The Japanese were introduced to early firearms by Portuguese traders arriving with European style arquebuses onto the island of Tanegashima, near the island of Kyushu in September 1543. The impact of this event would revolutionize Japanese strategy throughout the Sengoku-jidai, revolving around tactics that centered on usage of firearms.[47][48][49]

While memoirs by Fernão Mendes Pinto attribute himself and Diogo Zeimoto as the traders to initially introduce firearms to Japan, studies of said memoirs call this claim highly embellished, and therefore the validity of this claim falls into question.[49] Daimyō of the period, searching for any sort of new tactical edge over their regional rivals, were quick to acquire and have blacksmiths under their retinue, reverse-engineer and reproduce the early European firearms. Portuguese traders visiting Japan several years later found that the Japanese had successfully reproduced hundreds of arquebuses, and by 1546, a rough estimate of over 300,000 of the early firearms were in circulation throughout Japan.[48] Early production of said firearms were limited to the general region of Kyushu, though gunsmiths would eventually migrate throughout Japan. Different schools started to emerge from this migration. with notable examples from Sakai, Yokkaichi, and Kunitomo being the most prevalent.Fernão Mendes Pinto attribute himself and Diogo Zeimoto as the traders to initially introduce firearms to Japan, studies of said memoirs call this claim highly embellished, and therefore the validity of this claim falls into question.[49] Daimyō of the period, searching for any sort of new tactical edge over their regional rivals, were quick to acquire and have blacksmiths under their retinue, reverse-engineer and reproduce the early European firearms. Portuguese traders visiting Japan several years later found that the Japanese had successfully reproduced hundreds of arquebuses, and by 1546, a rough estimate of over 300,000 of the early firearms were in circulation throughout Japan.[48] Early production of said firearms were limited to the general region of Kyushu, though gunsmiths would eventually migrate throughout Japan. Different schools started to emerge from this migration. with notable examples from Sakai, Yokkaichi, and Kunitomo being the most prevalent.[48] Moreover, production of small arms ranged from the early Tanegashima arquebus, to later production teppo, which also subdivided into arquebuses of varying caliber and length, to "hand cannons" favored by those of the Shimazu clan.[47]

Japanese military strategy upon receiving the new weapon, began to gradually shift towards infantry based tactics, rather than those that favored horseback cavalry.[48] This is most famously portrayed at the Battle of Nagashino in 1575, where Oda Nobunaga's 3,000 riflemen had handily dispatched the much larger Takeda clan cavalry force using the first recorded utilization of volley fire. However, certain studies have disputed the claim that Nobunaga was the first to utilize this tactic, though Japanese forces were utilizing it far earlier than other world contemporaries.[48][49] Japanese battle planning soon centered around manipulating one's enemies into allied fortified positions to rapidly dispatch enemy manpower, only engaging in hand-to-hand combat when necessary.[48]

Similarly, Japanese daimyō were introduced to artillery in 1551, when a trader claiming to be the king of Rome presented elements of the Ōtomo clan with two examples of field artillery. As with their small arms counterparts, many warlords wished to quickly adopt the weapon in order to gain an advantage over their contemporaries, but difficulties in producing suitable reproductions led to limited early usage in comparison. As with personal firearms, Oda Nobunaga was early to adopt the new weapon, and later, after his death, one of his retainers Toyotomi Hideyoshi would use cannons to destructive effect to lay siege to Kanki Castle in 1582. Moreover, Nobunaga had attempted to incorporate cannons onto warships in 1578, but their inefficacy against rival naval daimyō forces under the Mori had led to the discontinuation of any further implementations to other naval forces.[48]

These changes and adoptions into Sengoku era Japanese warfare made themselves present during the Japanese invasions of Korea of 1592-1598 after Toyotomi Hideyoshi had unified Japan. Early success in the first incursion during May 1592 into Korea was attributed to the varied small arms and tactics of the Japanese forces, allowing them to make and defend early footholds into the Korean peninsula. However, after the Koreans had allied themselves with Ming China, they gained access to better artillery with greater range and destructive power than their Japanese equivalents. Finally, the Korean navy under the command of Yi Sun-sin had utilized the superior, cannon-armed navy of the Korean-Ming alliance against the Japanese maritime supply lines, eventually leading to a shortage of supplies and Japanese losses on the mainland. Japan was driven off their last stronghold in Seoul in May 1594, and subsequent ventures 1597 would not come close to the success of the first, as the Korean-Ming alliance had developed countermeasures and equivalent small arms to Japanese equivalents.[47]

The Japanese version of the fire arrow (rocket arrow) was known as the bo hiya. The Japanese pirates (wokou, also known as wako or kaizoku) in the 16th century were reported to have used the bo hiya which had the appearance of a large arrow. A burning element made from incendiary waterproof rope was wrapped around the shaft and when lit the bo hiya was launched from a mortar like weapon hiya taihou or a wide bore Tanegashima matchlock arquebus. During one sea battle it was said the bo hiya were "falling like rain".[50]

It is believed that Vietnam's Lý dynasty had begun using fire arrows (rocket arrows) hỏa tiễn in the Lý–Song War (1075–1077) during the siege of the fortified city of Yongzhou.[51] Around 1260s, the Vietnamese introduced the new thủ pháo ("proto cannon musket") which was a small bamboo tube with one side closed and a small hole for the fuse that ignited the gunpowder on it and launched out a sharped iron piece.[51]

In 1390, the King of Champa Po Binasuor and his army was ambushed and killed by the cannons of Vietnamese prince Trần Khát Chân while Champa was attacking Đại Việt.[52]:107–109 Hồ Nguyên Trừng (1377–1446) was a Vietnamese gunpowder engineer that was captured to the Ming Empire in 1407. He later helped the Chinese produce many effective cannons.

Western matchlock arquebuses were imported into Vietnam during the early 16th century. The raging and lengthy wars between Le and Mac dynasties, and later Trinh and Nguyen clans invoked an arm race between the opposing factions. Gunnery and marksmanship rapidly spread across the country and soon Vietnamese musketeers became famous within Asia as masters of firearms.

China

The discovery of gunpowder was a result of Chinese Alchemy as they were seeking immortality[citation needed]. The earliest record of gunpowder was during the 11th century.[citation needed] As their knowledge of gunpowder spread through the early modern world, the development of warfare weapons emerged.

The introduction of gunpowder allowed for the creation of the first guns that were invented in China. Other Chinese inventions such as the compass did not spread as rapidly as guns. Gunpowder and the development of guns influenced other empires as it changed early modern warfare.[15]

From the 15th through 18th century, there were widespread advances in gunpowder technology. While the Europeans were presse

In 1390, the King of Champa Po Binasuor and his army was ambushed and killed by the cannons of Vietnamese prince Trần Khát Chân while Champa was attacking Đại Việt.[52]:107–109 Hồ Nguyên Trừng (1377–1446) was a Vietnamese gunpowder engineer that was captured to the Ming Empire in 1407. He later helped the Chinese produce many effective cannons.

Western matchlock arquebuses were imported into Vietnam during the early 16th century. The raging and lengthy wars between Le and Mac dynasties, and later Trinh and Nguyen clans invoked an arm race between the opposing factions. Gunnery and marksmanship rapidly spread across the country and soon Vietnamese musketeers became famous within Asia as masters of firearms.

The discovery of gunpowder was a result of Chinese Alchemy as they were seeking immortality[citation needed]. The earliest record of gunpowder was during the 11th century.[citation needed] As their knowledge of gunpowder spread through the early modern world, the development of warfare weapons emerged.

The introduction of gunpowder allowed for the creation of the first guns that were invented in China. Other Chinese inventions such as the compass did not spread as rapidly as guns. Gunpowder and the development of guns influenced other empires as it changed early modern warfare.[15]

From the 15th through 18th century, there were widespread advances in gunpowder technology. While the Europeans were pressed on technological advancements and military developments with gunpowder, the Chinese fell back in regards to further developing military technology. This was due to the matter, that the Chinese were not as heavily engaged in wars or conquests as the Europeans. Notably, when the Chinese were at war with the Portuguese, for example, they swiftly adapted to military technology, and adopted Western style guns.[53]

The Chinese pioneered the use of gunpowder weapons, crossbows, advanced forms of arms and armor, naval and nomadic cavalry. Thus, the Chinese even adopted Western military technology. Interestingly, the Chinese had many descriptions of how they utilized their technology. For Ming China, they had experiences on the battlefield: against Chinese rebels, Shan elephants, and Mongol horsemen.[15] Nonetheless, under the Ming Dynasty, intensively practiced tactical strategies based on their firearm use. Qi Jiguang and his troops used innovative battle techniques such as counter marching, dividing the troops, as a flexible way of adapting to the battlefield. These tactics were proved effective during the Sino-Dutch War beginning in 1661. While the Chinese were undermined as the inferior empire due to lack of weaponry, their strict adherence discipline and tactical strategy led to them defeating the Dutch. This draws a parallel to the Sino-Portuguese conflict. During the first war, in 1521, the Portuguese firepower was far more effective than the Chinese. As they witnessed the power of Portuguese artillery, the Chinese better prepared for the war in 1522. They modified, adapted, innovated and improved. The Chinese were a display of rapid militarization, as they instilled Western style learnings to their knowledge of artillery and war tactical strategy.[15]

The fire arrows (rocket arrows) were first reported to have been used by the Southern Wu in 904 during the siege of Yuzhang.[54]