Siege of Namwon
|Siege of Namwon|
|Part of Imjin War|
|Japanese Left Army||
Korean GarrisonMing army
|Commanders and leaders|
Mao Cheng Xian†
|Casualties and losses|
|Siege of Namwon|
|Revised Romanization||Namwon Jeontu|
The Siege of Namwon was a battle of the Imjin War (1592-1598). The samurai armies of Japan had invaded the Korean peninsula, and in the summer of 1597 laid siege to the city of Namwon, which was defended by a combined garrison of Korean and Ming Chinese troops. The defenders faced overwhelming odds, and after fierce fighting, the Chinese general entered into secret negotiations with the Japanese commander. In exchange for safe passage for him and his men, they would leave one gate open and undefended. Both sides honored the bargain. The Chinese were allowed to withdraw and the Japanese forces poured into the city. The Koreans fought hard, but were reportedly all killed, with the exception of one survivor.
A Japanese Force of 56,000 soldiers led by Ukita Hideie besieged and assaulted Namwon, defended by 10,000 Korean and Chinese Soldiers and at least 5,000 women and children. The city was protected by a wall, constructed in the northern Chinese style, with a shallow dry moat, and corner gun towers. The Koreans wanted to relocate to the nearby mountains because of their knowledge of the terrain, hoping to play off their strengths and engage in guerrilla warfare. This also would have given them the higher ground. However the Chinese general Yang Yuan demanded the defense of the city claiming that he had fought and won numerous battles in China therefore he knew what strategy would serve them best. He wanted to withstand the siege from within the city walls and threatened to withdraw back to China if his orders were not followed.
As the city was on flat ground, with high ground all around it, the city was immediately placed under arquebus fire from day one, from all sides. General Yi Bok Nam and his cavalry was able to successfully repel the Japanese attack several times. However, with the annual rainfall the flat land was reduced to fields of mud rendering the Korean horsemen and their one great advantage, their steeds, useless.
When it became apparent his siege warfare strategy failed, the Chinese general Yang Yuan who was defending the South wall with his troops, negotiated with the Japanese in a secret meeting. In exchange for a safe retreat for himself and his troops Yang Yuan would give up the south wall and entrance to the Japanese without aggression. When Yang Yuan left abandoning the south wall the Japanese entered through the gates, Yi Bok-nam rode out along with his soldiers and met the Japanese. Every Korean defending Namwon fought to their death. None survived except for one 12-year-old boy who carried the royal seal of the Korean King. He was taken back to Japan where he was adopted and raised within a Japanese household. When asked why he had abandoned Namwon Yang Yuan claimed that he didn't intend to take a loss in Korea tarnishing his record. He was subsequently executed upon his return to China.
Order of battle
Ming-Chinese forces 3,000 men
Yang Yuan (Chinese: 楊元)
Middle Army : Li Xin Fang (Chinese: 李新芳)
Mao Cheng Xian (Chinese: 毛承先)
Jiang Biǎo(Chinese: 蔣表)
Korean forces 1,300 men
According to the map of the Siege of Namwon drawn by Kawakami Hisakuni, the Japanese Left Army established their lines at Namwon on the four directions.
|Operation Zone||Japanese Left Army||Joseon - Ming Army||Comments & Events|
|Northern Sector||Kurushima Michifusa
|August 13 th : First Attack led by Kato Yoshiaki and Shimazu against the northern Gate
Kato Yoshiaki had been ordered not to attack but to move even north from the castle to guard against a possible relieving army coming from Jeonju after defeating a Ming army under Chen Yuzhong leading 2000 men.
|Western sector||Konishi Yukinaga
|Mao Cheng Xian
|Eastern sector||11 generals :
|Li Xin Fang
|August 16 : Hachisuka launched his attack, Li Xin Fang is killed and Yang Yuan retreated|
|Southern sector||Ukita Hideie
|August 15 at 10 p.m. : Final Assault : Ukita Hideie launched his attack|
In Namwon, there is a small section of restored wall today, near the train station. However, the only true remains of the wall is just north of the train station, in the small farm houses, where large stone piles are still found (as of 2002).
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (December 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- The Siege of Namwon (in Korean)
- Beyond Turtleboats: Siege Accounts From Hideyoshi’s Second Invasion of Korea, 1597-1598 - The Siege of Namwon