Battle of Dangpo

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Battle of Dangpo (1592)
Part of Imjin War
Date June 2, 1592
Location Tongyeong, Korea
Result Decisive Korean victory
Belligerents
Japanese Fleet Korean navy
Commanders and leaders
Kurushima Michiyuki Yi Sun-sin
Won Gyun
Gweon Jun
Kim Wan
Yi Eon Ryang
Yi Gi Nam
Strength
21 ships 26 total ships
Casualties and losses
most ships destroyed minimal

The naval Battle of Dangpo was a battle during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598). between Korean and Japanese naval forces. It resulted in a Korean victory.

Prelude[edit]

The day after the Battle of Sacheon, Admiral Yi Sun-shin had his fleet rested in the open sea off Saryang where they would have tactical advantage were the Japanese to execute a counterattack. Admiral Yi once again summoned his resting fleet to arms the morning of June 2 when he received a report that 21 Japanese ships were docked at the harbor of Dangpo.

Here at Dangpo, the subordinate of Kurushima Michifusa, Kurushima Michiyuki, was commanding his troops to loot and burn a coastal town.

The Attack[edit]

As the Korean fleet approached the Dangpo harbor, Yi Sun-shin noticed that the flagship of this Japanese fleet was anchored among the other vessels. Realizing the golden opportunity, Admiral Yi led the assault with his own flagship (a turtleship) targeting the Japanese flagship. The sturdy construction of his turteship allowed Yi Sun-shin to easily ram through the line of Japanese ships and position his ship right alongside the anchored Japanese flagship. The light construction of the Japanese ship was no match for a full broadside assault and was left sinking in minutes. From the turtle ship, a hail of cannonballs rained down on the other ships, destroying more vessels. The Koreans circled the other ships anchored and began to sink them. Then, Korean general Kwon Joon shot an arrow into Kurushima. The Japanese commander fell dead and a Korean captain jumped onboard and cut off his head.

The Japanese soldiers panicked upon seeing the beheading of their admiral and were slaughtered by the Koreans in their confusion. Admiral Yi ordered a landing party to destroy the enemy base on the beach, but once again was forced to recall his order when he heard reports that at least 20 ships were bearing down on them from Koje-do. Wishing to give his fleet the greatest tactical advantage possible, he ordered his ships to sail out of the bay and into the open sea. The battle would not continue on this day, however, as the Japanese ships made a hasty retreat into the descending darkness upon seeing the intimidating Korean fleet.

Aftermath[edit]

After the battle, the Koreans searched Kurushima's flagship and captured a beautiful golden fan that had been personally presented to Kurushima by Toyotomi Hideyoshi himself. After the Battle of Dangpo, Admiral Yi set out and searched the surrounding islands until he received a report from fishermen that another small fleet of Japanese ships lay anchored at Danghangpo, which was to be the site of another battle.[citation needed]