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the reason behind Tang's military superiority


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#16 Borjigin Ayurbarwada

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 09:23 AM

"True, but in the beginning, they rlied on family troops who were mostly Shatao turks, after all the Tang were the semi barbarian ursurpers from the borderlands trying to ressurect the power of the Sui."

Umm, no. Shato turks only came to the scene towards the end of the dynasty. I believe you are talking about the Tujue support, that was only partial in Tang's rise to power. The campaigns against the the tarim states of Kucha, Gao Cang, Tu Yu Hun were exclusively Han troops, and what does it matter if they use auxiliars? Thats what makes the Tang army powerful. Tang wasn't semi barbarous at all. Riding horses doesn't make you barbaric. The Tang fief was just as cultivated as the other parts of the empire.

#17 Merchant

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 09:25 PM

Yes, 'cause his mother wasn't Han, and they were semi-barbarians due to their kinda horse-rider/steppe barbarian-ish history.

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OK, if that's the only reason I cannot agree that Tang was semi-barbarian.
Can we say since Xie Hui was 1/4 english and say Chinese soccer team is 1/4 english team?

See Qing was consider Manchu empire, not only because the emperors were Manchu, the whole Qing court was prodominatly Manchu. The royal family were also not permitted to inter marry Han Chinese. Manchu enjoyed much higher social status than Han. They also imposed pig tails on Han Chinese by force. So it was a Machu empire by every mean.

Tang was completely different.

I know very little about Yuan, so I cannot comment on Yuan.

#18 RollingWave

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 04:51 AM

Hmm , traditional text books here in Taiwan often focus the eventrual failure of the Fu Bin on the rise of the population. as Fubin was almost totally tied to the 租庸調 equal land system of the Tang, As peace lasted and population rose, the government had great trouble continuing the system due to the obvious change in supply/demand ratio.

The failure of this system not only brought on great problems financially for the Tang and eventrually they had to revert back to total privatization of the land, it also messed up the Fu Bin system as it was tied up to the fact that the fields were given to the families that must supply the men as part of the deal.

In fact this system failure is inseperatable to the Tang's failings, as the Fu Bin cease to become effective, they must rely on professionals, severly raising the chances of military coup (same as the Romans in this sense) which later destroyed the Tang, whom now had little money due to a failed land system and not much option to raise a army except to hire more mercenary professionals or request auxilaries from aboard (both were highly prone to rebellions)
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#19 tadamson

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 06:36 AM

Hmm , traditional text books here in Taiwan often focus the eventrual failure of the Fu Bin on the rise of the population. as Fubin was almost totally tied to the 租庸調 equal land system of the Tang, As peace lasted and population rose, the government had great trouble continuing the system due to the obvious change in supply/demand ratio.

    The failure of this system not only brought on great problems financially for the Tang and eventrually they had to revert back to total privatization of the land, it also messed up the Fu Bin system as it was tied up to the fact that the fields were given to the families that must supply the men as part of the deal.

    In fact this system failure is inseperatable to the Tang's failings, as the Fu Bin cease to become effective, they must rely on professionals, severly raising the chances of military coup (same as the Romans in this sense) which later destroyed the Tang, whom now had little money due to a failed land system and not much option to raise a army except to hire more mercenary professionals or request auxilaries from aboard (both were highly prone to rebellions)

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This is perhaps too much of an inditement on the Fubin system, afer all The Liao had an almist identical militia system fully operational within a year or so of incorporating the 16 prefectures into their empire. This strongly suggests that, in the cities and border regions at least, the system carried on. Perhaps later Tang, and 5dyns/10kgdms, generals simply preferred not to use the Fubin. The Liao-Song wars saw extensive use of militia infantry on both sides.

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#20 kaixin

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 02:21 AM

The role of foreign mercenaries are over-exagerated.

Many early Tang victories were fought from the efforts of 'nei-jun' (native Chinese). In fact, Li Shimin used native infantry many times to beat back Tujue incursions (before and after he became Emperor). It was possible, if done with the right training and effort.

Many Tang soldiers back then had the same qualities as a Bruce Lee. Imagine a million strong army of Bruce Lees!

#21 Yang Zongbao

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 09:08 AM

No doubt many of the people of those age WERE stronger than normal- but by what source did you take that most of them had a physique like Bruce Lee? Just wondering, because there usually isn't something like this written- though it's not a bad speculation either that they should've been quite physically fit, considering the jobs many of them would've held before joining the soldiery.
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#22 Yun

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 09:19 AM

Great Tang generals like Guo Ziyi and Li Siye were said to be over 2 metres tall. They were excellent fighters. But if you read the histories of other periods, Kaixin, you'll find that that is not at all unique to the Han or the Tang.
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#23 tadamson

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 10:17 AM

The role of foreign mercenaries are over-exagerated. 

Many early Tang victories were fought from the efforts of 'nei-jun' (native Chinese).  In fact, Li Shimin used native infantry many times to beat back Tujue incursions (before and after he became Emperor).  It was possible, if done with the right training and effort.

Many Tang soldiers back then had the same qualities as a Bruce Lee.  Imagine a million strong army of Bruce Lees!

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I would strongly suggest that any peasant militia man who looked as fit and well fed as Bruce Lee would likely be executed as a probable bandit. !

nb. The million strong armies of Sui and Tang both starved for lack of adequate logistics. Hundreds of thousands of men died of starvation, disease and exposure.

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#24 Moping4U

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 02:01 PM

if you can lift a spear and march, you can be a soldier

#25 vp98

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 04:57 AM

Humm, please educate me on why is Tang semi barbarians?  Are you refering to the fact that Taizong's mother was not Han?  Taizong fought the turks in the early days.  He actually save Sui emperor's *** once.  If we look at Tang's court officials, almost all are Hans.  Please advise if I missed something.

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The Tang's Li family has inter-racial marriage with the tribes that invade from the North, as such they are not regarded as pure blood han.

#26 superquarterback

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 05:47 AM

Great Tang generals like Guo Ziyi and Li Siye were said to be over 2 metres tall. They were excellent fighters. But if you read the histories of other periods, Kaixin, you'll find that that is not at all unique to the Han or the Tang.


Was their height significant to heighten morale of their troops and to scare their enemies? Or it was exaggeration and they depended more on strategy in winning the battles ? Or maybe both of them ?

Edit : Hmm I imagine an army led by Yao Ming and other Chinese giants.. could be quite impressive and frightening to their enemies.

Edited by superquarterback, 08 September 2005 - 05:50 AM.

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#27 MING-LOYALIST

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:17 AM

The role of foreign mercenaries are over-exagerated.

Many early Tang victories were fought from the efforts of 'nei-jun' (native Chinese). In fact, Li Shimin used native infantry many times to beat back Tujue incursions (before and after he became Emperor). It was possible, if done with the right training and effort.

Many Tang soldiers back then had the same qualities as a Bruce Lee. Imagine a million strong army of Bruce Lees!


LOL
More likely is that Tang army had quality weaponry.
Instead of a bunch spear wielding peasants Tang army had large quantity of good quality weapons and armor.

#28 Yang Zongbao

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 01:53 PM

Of course, that's not unique to Tang either...
Most dynasties had very good professional armies.
Armies of spear wielding peasants are a sign of troubled times...
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#29 Enkidu

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 12:36 AM

Great Tang generals like Guo Ziyi and Li Siye were said to be over 2 metres tall.


It may be dangerous to be 2 metre tall when you are in the battlefield as enemy projectiles will hit you with ease. A tall guy also needs a tall horse, otherwise he looks stupid. That means a really tall handsome target for archers.

#30 MING-LOYALIST

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 06:06 AM

Of course, that's not unique to Tang either...
Most dynasties had very good professional armies.
Armies of spear wielding peasants are a sign of troubled times...


Everything is relative.
If tang army was armed with spears while its neigbores use stone axes then Tang army would kick ***.
Tang and Han army had superior quality and quantity of weaponry compared to its niegbores and enemies(XiongNu, Tujue)




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