Posted 02 August 2008 - 01:17 PM
I'm not sure if the Goguryeo people really trained from childhood to use the spear. Spear was a popular weapon, but the Tang and Sui probably had superior spears and infantry tactics. Previous dynasties, such as the Qin, produced excellent spears and swords (swords were sealed with the stamp of approval if qualities meet standards), and the Tang and Sui, if it followed suit of previous dynasties, would have had excellent array of weaponry and armor.
Goguryeo is not really famed for quality spears. Goguryeo seems more like a bow using (Goguryeo's founding fathers, such as GoJumong was a great archer. the name Jumong was a title that means great archer), horse riding nation (as depictions in Goguryeo murals show. Goguryeo people seem to have been herders instead of farmers, alot like the mongols). Much of Korean combat occured in the form of harrassment and guerrela warfare at night. Nightly raids deprived the Sui soldiers of sleep, making them tired. Not only that, because the Sui's first campaign occurred in the rainy season, they had to walk thru tiring fields of mud. After harrassment, the Goguryeo attackers would feint retreat, to make the Sui soldiers think they were winning, which caused the Sui soldiers to be dispersed, unorganized, and eaiser to pick off individually (Later, the mongols were very successful in using thses tactics). Goguryeo soldiers also harrassed Sui supply lines to add to the problem.
like Borjigin Ayurbarwada's comments, Sui soldiers were largely conscripts and would have had poor discipline, making them easier to lure off from the main army.
Vastly outnumbered and out-weaponed, if Goguryeo fought the Sui in a direct confrontation in a battlefield, Goguryeo would have lost. That is why they fought mostly a Guerrela type warfare, played defensive in a siege, and used cunning instead of strength. The Sui lost alot of their men at the river of Salsu, when Goguryeo drowned the crossing men by opening up a dam as they crossed. The Sui were unfamiliar with the territory of Goguryeo, whereas Goguryeo had home advantage, which they used to the fullest.
Tang had a more professional army, and better weapons than the Sui, and had Silla to cover them if Goguryeo cuts off their supply lines. Goguryeo was probably weakened from previous assaults by the Sui and With Tang attacking from the North, and Silla from the south, they were fighting a two front war, worn down on both sides.