The Samurai Invasion of Korea 1592-98by Stephen Turnbull, Peter Dennis
Stephen Turnbull, a renowned expert on the history of Japan, examines the samurai invasion of Korea, the first step in an ambitious Japanese plan to conquer China. Examining the various stages of the war, from the pitched battles of the early war years, to the great naval encounters, the dramatic sieges and the bitter trench warfare that characterized the end of… See more details below
Stephen Turnbull, a renowned expert on the history of Japan, examines the samurai invasion of Korea, the first step in an ambitious Japanese plan to conquer China. Examining the various stages of the war, from the pitched battles of the early war years, to the great naval encounters, the dramatic sieges and the bitter trench warfare that characterized the end of the war, Turnbull provides a concise analysis of the conflict.
Highly illustrated with contemporary photographs, full colour battlescene artwork, detailed maps and bird's-eye views, this is a concise history of a unique and exciting campaign, which not only involved huge numbers of men, differing terrain and tactics but was also the only time that the legendary samurai were pitched against a foreign nation.
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Written by Stephen Turnbull, an expert on the age of the samurai in Japan, this book covers one of the least known episodes in the history of the samurai, their invasion of Korea under Hideyoshi. The scale of this war is shocking even by modern standards and must have been terrifying at the time -- roughly one million dead in Korea, and out of 250,000+ Japanese, at least 100,000 died. The book covers the planning for the invasion, Hideyoshi's desire for an Asian empire that drove the attack, the horrific ease of the Japanese attack -- they practically strolled up the peninsula -- and the brutality of the occupation. This is not a tale of noble samurai honoring their enemies even as they fought. It also covers the fierce Korean resistance, the assistance from Ming China, and best of all the sadly all but unknown exploits of the great Admiral Yi Sun-sin, the hero of Korea, who lead fleets of warships often outnumbered by as much as 10 to 1 to victory after victory. His life reads like a novel, with the Admiral facing the Japanese in the war and court nobles at home. He was disgraced and brought back, and finally died at the height of the greatest and final naval battle of the war. It is a shame that more is not known in the west of this great commander. A very well-done, well-illustrated (always Osprey's best point), and well-told if brief history of one of the fiercest wars in Asia before the modern age. I recommend this to anyone interested in Korean or Japanese history.