Mao Wenlong

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Mao.

Mao Wenlong (simplified Chinese: 毛文龙; traditional Chinese: 毛文龍; pinyin: Máo Wénlóng; style name Zhennan 振南); (1579–1629) was a marine corps commander of the Ming Dynasty, famous for battling the Manchus in the Yellow Sea. He was known for excelling in artillery warfare and for successfully incorporating Western-style tactics into a Far Eastern military.

Early life[edit]

Mao was born in Hangzhou and worked as a fortuneteller in his youth. He joined the Ming military in northern Shanhaiguan around 1600.

Career[edit]

Mao is sometimes blamed for the Manchu invasion of Korea. He was known for operating against the Manchu from bases within Korea, a Ming ally at that time. When the Manchus mounted a punitive expedition into Korea, Mao ordered a general retreat of all Chinese forces. This angered many Beijing merchants who had previously traded with the Korean peninsula.

Mao never dared to drag major Manchu cities into war even when there was a strategic advantage in doing so. In addition, Mao bribed a number of eunuchs and other public officials. In this way Mao was able to bring to bear the influence of many powerful Chinese officials against Yuan Chonghuan, a fellow Ming military commander.

Mao engaged in widespread smuggling using the Ming marine corps, contributing heavily to the booming economy of northern China. He was eventually caught and executed by Yuan Chonghuan, a fellow military commander who had been conferred the imperial sword of absolute authority by the last Ming emperor for smuggling. It is believed that Mao's death lead in part to an economic downturn in Ming China.

Further reading[edit]