Siege of Ulsan

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First Siege of Ulsan
Part of the Imjin War
Date December 23, 1597 to January 4, 1598 (Chinese Calendar)
Location Ulsan Japanese Castle, Ulsan, Southern Korean Peninsula
Result Japanese Victory, Withdrawal of Korean and Ming Forces
Belligerents
Korea and China Japanese army
Commanders and leaders
Korea:
Gwon Yul
Jeong Ki-ryong
Kim Gwi-hoe
Jang Un-ik
China:
Yang Hao
Ma Gui
Qian Wanli
Katō Kiyomasa
Mōri Hidemoto
Konishi Yukinaga
Nabeshima Naoshige
Tachibana Muneshige
Asano Nagamasa
Asano Yoshinaga
Hachisuka Iemasa
Strength
Korea:

11,500
China:


44,000[1]
16,000 Kato's army and 13,000 reinforcements[2]
Casualties and losses
20,000[3] over 1,120 dead[4]

The Siege of Ulsan (Hangul: 울산성 전투; hanja: ; RR: Ulsanseong Jeontu) was an unsuccessful Korean and Ming Chinese attempt to capture Ulsan Castle from the Japanese late during the Japanese Invasion of Korea (Imjin War). Korean and Chinese allied forces suffered heavy losses during the siege,[5][6] and the allied forces were ultimately withdrawn when the garrison sallied forth with the arrival of a relief force.

First Siege of Ulsan[edit]

Korean and Chinese soldiers assault the Japanese-built fortress at Ulsan.

In 1597, the second phase of the Japanese invasion of Korea was launched. After limited progress on land and several naval defeats, Japanese troops withdrew to the southern Gyeongsang province, in which they had set up a defensive perimetre. Without provisions and reinforcements, the Japanese forces had to remain in safety and security of the coastal fortresses (known as wajō) that they controlled. The Japanese commander Katō Kiyomasa had his army stationed in Ulsan, where he had his troops construct a castle. Commanders Yang Hao and Ma Gui led an army of 44,000 Ming troops, and Commander Gwon Yul led an army of 11,500 Korean tropps in a first assault on January 29, 1598. They caught the Japanese army unawared and still encamped, for the large part, outside of Ulsan's unfinished castle walls. The Japanese managed to drive off the attack and withdrew into the castle, but lost 500 men in the process.

A total of around 55,000 troops with the help of singijeons and hwachas then besieged the fortress. The allied force made several assaults on the castle, but all attempts were repulsed by concentrated gun fire. However, the Japanese suffered heavily as well, with more than 600 men being killed and numerous more wounded.

By the tenth day of the siege, the Japanese garrison was on verge of capitulating because of hunger and cold, but reinforcements under the overall command of Mōri Hidemoto came across the river to aid the besieged fortress, threatening the rear of the Chinese and Korean troops.

The Ming commander Ma Gui began to realize the dangerous position of the allied forces, and late on January 3 decided to call off the attack and pull out of the area before the situation deteriorated any further.

However, the calculated retreat quickly broke down and turned into a chaotic rout. The hasty and sudden timing, the heavy rain, the lack of discipline among the troops, and the quickly approaching Japanese forces all contributed to panic.[7] In addition, the chief administrator present at the battle, Yang Hao; left ahead of the troops, which only strengthened the impression that the intended calculated withdrawal was really a chaotic rout.[8]

With the advance of the relief force imminent, and seeing the disorganized withdrawal of the besieging force, the besieged Japanese garrison sallied forth and made a joint attack with the relief force. The allied forces retreated with 20,000[9] losses, and the siege of the fortress was suspended.

After the defeat, in May, 1598, the Ming government called General Yang Hao back and sent another army of about 20,000 men led by Liu Ting and a navy of about 13,000 men and 500 battleships led by Chen Lin and Deng Zilong to Korea.

Second Siege of Ulsan[edit]

Second Siege of Ulsan
Part of the Imjin War
Date September 22 to October 6, 1598 (Chinese Calendar)
Location Ulsan Japanese Castle, Ulsan, Southern Korean Peninsula
Result Japanese victory, Withdrawal of Ming and Korean forces

[10]

[11]
Belligerents
Korea and China Toyotomi Hideyoshi's Japanese army
Commanders and leaders
Kim Eung-seo
Ma Gui
Katō Kiyomasa
Strength
5,500 Koreans and
24,000 Chinese army
Unknown
Casualties and losses
heavy

[12]

[13]
Unknown

On September 22, 1598, Korean and Chinese allied forces made a second attack against Japanese forces at Ulsan. The alliance army formation was led by Commander Ma Gui, leading an army of 24,000 Chinese. An army of 5,500 Koreans was led by general Kim Ung-so. Korean and Ming allied forces failed to take the Ulsan Japanese Castle, but unlike the first siege, managed to withdraw in good order.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ History of the Ming chapter 259 鎬會總督邢玠、提督麻貴議進兵方略,分四萬人為三協,副將高策將中軍,李如梅將左,李芳春、解生將右,合攻蔚山。
  2. ^ (Japanese)「日本戦史・朝鮮役」, edited by Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office.
  3. ^ https://zh.wikisource.org/wiki/%E6%98%8E%E5%8F%B2/%E5%8D%B7320 History of the Ming chapter 320 士卒物故者二萬
  4. ^ (Japanese)「日本戦史・朝鮮役」, edited by Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office.
  5. ^ History of the Ming chapter 320 島山視蔚山高,石城堅甚,我師仰攻多損傷。
  6. ^ History of the Ming chapter 259 官兵四面圍之,地泥淖,且時際窮冬,風雪裂膚,士無固志。賊日夜發砲,用藥煮彈,遇者輒死,官兵攻圍十日不能下
  7. ^ Annals of Seonjo entry on January 14th 解副揔【生。】接伴使戶曹參議宋諄啓曰: “蔚山之賊, 被圍日久, 援船多來泊, 又於賊窟迤西遠山, 山上盛張旗幟, 以助聲勢。 正月初三日夜間, 喧說船賊下陸, 而唐軍卒然解圍, 一時移陣。 初四日朝, 諸軍馬鳥驚魚駭, 達夜崩潰, 俱棄器械, 狼藉原陸
  8. ^ History of the Ming chapter 259 行長救兵驟至。鎬大懼,狼狽先奔,諸軍繼之。賊前襲擊,死者無算。副將吳惟忠、遊擊茅國器斷後,賊乃還,輜重多喪失。(Yukinaga's reinforcement came suddenly, and Hao was scared and fled wildly, followed by the troops. The enemy attacked and we suffered a great loss. Lieutenants Wu Weizhong and Mao Guoqi took cover and fought back the enemy. Much impedimenta was lost.)
  9. ^ https://zh.wikisource.org/wiki/%E6%98%8E%E5%8F%B2/%E5%8D%B7320 History of the Ming chapter 320 士卒物故者二萬
  10. ^ Annals of the Joseon Dynasty 31-10-12-7 Korean language http://sillok.history.go.kr/inspection/insp_king.jsp?id=kna_13110012_007&tabid=k
  11. ^ Annals of the Joseon Dynasty 31-10-12-7 Chinese language http://sillok.history.go.kr/inspection/insp_king.jsp?id=wna_13110012_007&tabid=w
  12. ^ Annals of the Joseon Dynasty 31-10-12-7 Korean language http://sillok.history.go.kr/inspection/insp_king.jsp?id=kna_13110012_007&tabid=k
  13. ^ Annals of the Joseon Dynasty 31-10-12-7 Chinese language http://sillok.history.go.kr/inspection/insp_king.jsp?id=wna_13110012_007&tabid=w

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°33′17″N 129°20′22″E / 35.55466°N 129.33940°E / 35.55466; 129.33940