Battle of Buir Lake
|Battle of Buir Lake|
|Ming dynasty||Northern Yuan dynasty|
|Commanders and leaders|
|General Lan Yu||Toghus Temur, Khan|
The Battle of Buir Lake was a battle between Ming and Northern Yuan forces at Buir Lake in 1388. The Ming army was led by General Lan Yu, who undertook the military campaign against Toghus Temur, the Mongol khan of the Northern Yuan. Later that year, the Ming army found and defeated the Mongol horde at Buir Lake, capturing many of their people.
Bolstered by the successful military campaign against the Mongol commander Naghachu and his Uriyankhad horde in 1387, resulting in the latter's surrender, the Hongwu Emperor ordered General Lan Yu to lead an army on a military campaign against the Mongol khan Toghus Temur.
Lan Yu and his army marched through the Great Wall, to Ta-ning and then Chi'ng-chou, where they were informed by spies that Toghus Temur was encamped near Buir Lake. Subsequently, the Ming army advanced northward across the Gobi Desert, eventually reaching Buir Lake.
They had not seen the Mongol horde when they came within 40 li of Buir Lake, disheartening Lan Yu, but his subordinate, General Wang Pi (Marquis of Tingyüan), reminded him that it would be foolish to return with such a large army without accomplishing something. The Ming army would eventually find out that the Mongol horde was located northeast of Buir Lake, and they approached them under the cover of the darkness and a sandstorm. On 18 May 1388, near Buir Lake, the Ming army launched an attack against the Mongol horde, which was caught off guard by the attack. The battle concluded with the Ming capturing many of the Mongols, but Toghus Temur escaped.
The Hongwu Emperor issued a proclamation, praising Lan Yu and comparing him to the famous General Wei Qing of the Han. Lan Yu was eventually created as the Duke of Liang with a stipend of 3,000 shi and as the Grand Tutor (Daifu, which was an honorific) for his military successes. Six of Lan Yu's subordinates were created as marquises, while the other officers and soldiers received generous rewards.
Langlois (1998) stated that the Ming captured 100 family members of Toghus Temur (including Ti-pao-nu, Toghus Temur's younger son), 3000 princes and their subordinates, 77,000 men and women from the camp, various imperial seals of office, and 150,000 domesticated animals, but that Toghus Temur and his eldest son T'ien-pao-nu escaped. Dreyer (1982) stated that the Ming captured 3000 notables, 70,000 ordinary Mongols, many different domestic animals, the Mongol crown prince and his younger brother, but that Toghus Temur escaped. Tsai (2001) stated that the Ming captured Toghus Temur's second son, General Qarajang, hundreds of thousands of Mongol people, and their livestock, but that Toghus Temur and the crown prince escaped.
- Dreyer 1982, 142–143.
- Langlois 1998, 159.
- Tsai 2001, 47–48.
- Kim 1998, 293.
- Dreyer, Edward L. (1982). Early Ming China: A Political History, 1355-1435. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-1105-4.
- Kim, Hodong (1998). "The Early History of the Moghul Nomads: The Legacy of the Chaghatai Khanate". The Mongol empire and its legacy. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 90-04-11048-8.
- Langlois, John D., Jr. (1998). "The Hung-wu reign, 1368–1398". The Cambridge History of China, Volume 7: The Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-24332-7.
- Tsai, Shih-shan Henry (2001). Perpetual Happiness: The Ming Emperor Yongle. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-98109-1.