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Battle of Funanoe, 13 May 1333

Battle of Funanoe, 13 May 1333



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Battle of Funanoe, 13 May 1333

The battle of Funanoe (13 May 1333) was an unsuccessful attempt by the exiled emperor Go-Daigo's jailor to recapture the emperor after he had escaped from exile on Oki, an island to the north-west of Honshu.

Soon after the outbreak of the Genko War (1331-33) Go-Daigo was captured by the Shogunate. After a period of captivity in Kyoto he was exiled to Oki island, where he remained for the next year while his supporters continued to fight in his name.

By the start of 1333 Go-Daigo was sufficiently encouraged by his supporter's successes to make an attempt to escape from exile. The Emperor was guarded by Sasaki Kiyotaka (Oki no Hogan in the Taiheiki), who received orders to keep a closer guard on the exile. Some of his guards were sympathetic to the exiled former Emperor, including Sasaki Yoshitsuna, who was in charge during the last third of the intercalary second month (6-14 April 1333). He managed to get a message to Go-Daigo informing him of the successes of his supporters. Yoshitsuna suggested that Go-Daigo should cross to Honshu and try and find refuge with one of his supporters. Yoshitsuna would pretend to pursue, but then when he was away from Oki would join Go-Daigo's side. Go-Daigo suggested that Yoshitsuna should go to Izumo Province first, find a suitable refuge and fetch him. This plan failed when the person Yoshitsuna tried to win over arrested him.

After waiting for a month Go-Daigo decided to escape on his own. He escaped by hiding in a litter and pretending to be a pregnant lady. On the night of the 23rd day of the 3rd month he headed to the coast (7-8 May 1333). He quickly found a ship and at dawn on the next day (8 May) Go-Daigo sailed from exile. Sasaki Kiyotaka soon discovered his prisoner's absence, and sent ten of his warships in pursuit. They caught up with Go-Daigo's boat, but he was hidden under bales of dried fish and wasn't found. A second pursuing fleet was successfully evaded (with divine intervention according to the Taiheiki).

After reaching land Go-Daigo's retainers attempted to find a local supporter who would aid him. Locals suggested Nawa Nagatoshi, who after some uncertainly was convinced by his younger brother to support the exiled Emperor. The Imperial party was rushed to Funanoe, a mountain castle whose location isn't entirely clear. Supplies were stockpiled in the castle and its defenders prepared for an inevitable attack. They build a barricade from tree trunks and house tiles, but didn't have time to build a ditch.

Sasaki Kiyotaka followed Go-Daigo to Honshu with 3,000 men. He soon traced Go-Daigo to Funanoe, and on the 29th day of the 3rd month (13 May 1333) he attacked the castle. He split his troops into three. He led the force attacking the main gate. The second force went to attack from the rear and the third remained in reserve. Sasaki Kiyotaka prepared to attack the castle from the front while the second force attacked from the rear.

The plan failed. The defenders had placed four or five hundred banners in the castle, each with the symbols of a local family. The attackers could see these banners, but couldn't see how few men were actually in the castle. The leader of the reserve force was killed by a lucky arrow shot, and his men withdrew. The commander of the force sent to attack from the rear surrendered without attacking. This just left Sasaki Kiyotaka, who was unaware of the failure of his second and third forces. He led his men in an attack on the front gate, but lacking support they were overwhelmed and killed almost to a man. Sasaki Kiyotaka escaped, but he couldn't land on Oki and after coming back to land committed suicide.

Go-Daigo created a court in exile at Funanoe, and remained there until his supporters had captured the Rokuhara in Kyoto and successfully captured the Shogunate's headquarters in Kamakura.


The Battle of Bannockburn, 1314

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Bannockburn. If there is a fact every Scot knows, it is who won the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 although it did not bring outright victory in the war, which lay 14 years in the future and would only be won at the negotiating table.

The victory was a combination of Bruce's demand of 1313: that all of the remaining Balliol supporters acknowledge his kingship or forfeit their estates, and the imminent surrender of the English garrison encircled in Stirling castle – which spurred Edward II to invade Scotland.

He mobilised a massive military machine: summoning 2,000 horse and 25,000 infantry from England, Ireland and Wales. Although probably only half the infantry turned up, it was by far the largest English army ever to invade Scotland.

The Scots common army numbered around 6000, with a small contingent on horseback. It was divided into three "divisions" or schiltroms (massive spear formations), led by King Robert Bruce, his brother, Edward, and his nephew, Sir Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray. After eight years of successful guerrilla warfare and plundering the north of England for booty, the Scots had created an experienced battle-hardened army.

In June 1314, Edward II crossed the border only to find the road to Stirling blocked by the Scots army. Bruce had carefully chosen his ground to the south of the castle, where the road ran through the New Park, a royal hunting park.

To his east lay the natural obstacles of the Bannock and Pelstream burns, along with soft, boggy ground. It seems Bruce planned only to risk a defensive encounter, digging pots (small hidden pits designed to break up a cavalry charge) along the roadway, and keeping the Torwood behind him for easier withdrawal.

The battle opened with one of the most celebrated individual contests in Scottish history. Sighting a group of Scots withdrawing into the wood, the English vanguard, made up of heavy cavalry, charged. As they clashed with the Scots, an English knight, Sir Henry de Bohun, spotted Robert Bruce.

If de Bohun had killed or captured Bruce, he would have become a chivalric hero. So, spurring his warhorse to the charge, he lowered his lance and bared down on the king. Bruce, an experienced warrior, didn't panic, but mounted "ane palfray, litil and joly" and met the charge. Dodging the lance, he brought his battle axe down on de Bohun's helmet, striking him dead. Elated, the Scots forced the English cavalry to withdraw.

Two of Edward's experienced commanders, Sir Henry Beaumont and Sir Robert Clifford, attempted to outflank the Scots and cut off their escape route – very nearly surprising the Scots. At the last moment, however, Thomas Randolph's schiltrom dashed out of the wood and caught the English cavalry by surprise.

A ferocious melee ensued. Without archers the cavalry found they were unable to get through the dense thicket of Scots spearmen, even resorting to throwing their swords and maces at them, until the Scots pushed them back and forced them into flight.

The Scots had won the first day. Their morale was high and Bruce's new tactic of using the schiltroms offensively rather than statically, as Wallace had used them at Falkirk, appeared to be working. Yet Bruce must have been contemplating a strategic withdrawal before the set piece battle that would inevitably follow in the morning.

For the English the setbacks of the first day were disappointing. Fearing Bruce might mount a night attack, they encamped in the Carse of Balquhiderock. The following day they still hoped to draw Bruce into a full-scale, set-piece battle where their decisive Welsh longbowmen could be brought to bear rather than let Bruce return to guerrilla warfare.

At this critical moment, Sir Alexander Seton, a Scots noble in the English army, defected to Bruce bringing him vital intelligence of Edward's army: its confined position and the low morale within the English camp. Bruce decided to risk all in the morning and face Edward in open battle.

At dawn the Scots ate their breakfast and advanced out of the wood to face the enemy. Medieval battles were seen as the judgement of God it was important to have the saints on your side, and so, in the midst of the Scots schiltroms, Abbot Bernard of Arbroath carried their ancient lucky talisman, the Breccbennach (or Monymusk Relquary), which held the relics of St Columba.

Bruce himself made a speech invoking the power of St Andrew, John the Baptist and Thomas Beckett. Then, according to the chronicler Walter Bower: "At these words, the hammered horns resounded, and the standards of war were spread out in the golden dawn."

Abbot Maurice of Inchaffrey walked out in front of the army, led mass and blessed the Scots as they knelt in prayer. On seeing this, Edward II is reputed to have said: "Yon folk are kneeling to ask mercy." Sir Ingram de Umfraville, a Balliol supporter fighting for Edward, is said to have replied: "They ask for mercy, but not from you. They ask God for mercy for their sins. I'll tell you something for a fact, that yon men will win all or die. None will flee for fear of death." "So be it", retorted Edward.

An archery duel followed, but the Scots schiltrom rapidly took the offensive in order to avoid its inevitable outcome. Edward Bruce's schiltrom advanced on the English vanguard, felling the Earl of Gloucester and Sir Robert Clifford, while Randolph's schiltrom closed up on their left.

The English knights now found themselves hemmed in between the Scots schiltroms and the mass of their own army and could bring few of their archers to bear. Some broke out on the Scots flank and rained arrows into the Scots ranks, but they were quickly dispersed by Sir Robert Keith's Scots cavalry the rest were badly deployed, their arrows falling into the backs of their own army.

In the centre of the field there was ferocious hand to hand combat between knights and spearmen as the battle hung in the balance. At this crucial point Bruce committed his own schiltrom, which included the Gaelic warriors of the Highlands and Islands. Under their fresh onslaught, the English began to give ground. The cry "On them! On them! They fail!", arose as the English were driven back into the burn.

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The battle's momentum was obvious. A reluctant Edward II was escorted away. As his royal standard departed, panic set in. The Scots schiltroms hacked their way into the disintegrating English army. Those fleeing caused chaos in the massed infantry behind them. In the rout that followed hundreds of men and horses were drowned in the burn desperately trying to escape.

The battle was over. English casualties were heavy: thousands of infantry, a 100 knights and one earl lay dead on the field. Some escaped the confusion: the Earl of Pembroke and his Welsh infantry made it safely to Carlisle, but many more, including many knights and the Earl of Hereford, were captured as they fled through the south of Scotland. Edward II with 500 knights was pursued by Sir James "the Black" Douglas until they reached Dunbar and the safety of a ship home.

The capture of Edward would have meant instant English recognition of the Scots demands. As it was, they could absorb such a defeat and continue the war. For the Scots it was a resounding victory. Bruce was left in total military control of Scotland, enabling him to transfer his campaign to the north of England.

Politically he had won Scotland's defacto independence and consolidated his kingship – as former supporters of Balliol quickly changed sides. In exchange for Bruce's noble captives Edward was forced to release Bruce's wife, daughter and the formidable Bishop Wishart, who had been held in English captivity since 1306. For the Scots soldiers there was the wealth of booty left in the English baggage train and the exhilaration of victory.


Hundred Years’ War

The name the Hundred Years’ War has been used by historians since the beginning of the nineteenth century to describe the long conflict that pitted the kings and kingdoms of France and England against each other from 1337 to 1453. Two factors lay at the origin of the conflict: first, the status of the duchy of Guyenne (or Aquitaine)-though it belonged to the kings of England, it remained a fief of the French crown, and the kings of England wanted independent possession second, as the closest relatives of the last direct Capetian king (Charles IV, who had died in 1328), the kings of England from 1337 claimed the crown of France.

Theoretically, the French kings, possessing the financial and military resources of the most populous and powerful state in western Europe, held the advantage over the smaller, more sparsely populated English kingdom. However, the expeditionary English army, well disciplined and successfully using their longbows to stop cavalry charges, proved repeatedly victorious over much larger French forces: significant victories occurred by sea at Sluys (1340), and by land at Crecy (1346) and Poitiers (1356). In 1360, King John of France, in order to save his title, was forced to accept the Treaty of Calais, which granted complete independence to the duchy of Guyenne, now considerably enlarged to include almost a third of France. However, his son Charles V, with the help of his commander in chief Bertrand du Guesclin, by 1380 had succeeded in reconquering almost all the ceded territory, notably by a series of sieges.

After a hiatus, Henry V of England renewed the war and proved victorious at Agincourt (1415), conquered Normandy (1417-1418), and then attempted to have himself crowned as the future king of France by the Treaty of Troyes (1420). But his military successes were not matched by political successes: although allied with the dukes of Burgundy, the majority of the French refused English domination. Thanks to Joan of Arc, the siege of Orleans was lifted (1429). Then Paris and the lle-de-France were liberated (1436-1441), and after the French army had been reorganized and reformed (1445-1448), Charles VII recaptured the duchy of Normandy (the Battle of Formigny, 1450), and then seized Guyenne (the Battle of Castillon, 1453). The end of the conflict was never marked by a peace treaty but died out because the English recognized that the French troops were too strong to be directly confronted.

English territory in France, which had been extensive since 1066 (see Hastings, Battle of) now remained confined to the Channel port of Calais (lost in 1558). France, at last free of the English invaders, resumed its place as the dominant state of western Europe.

The Reader’s Companion to Military History. Edited by Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker. Copyright © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


Battle of Funanoe, 13 May 1333 - History

the Civil War in the eastern theater was in a stalemate. After assuming command a year earlier, General Robert E. Lee and his smaller Army of Northern Virginia had repeatedly defeated the Union Army of the Potomac, first in the Seven Days' Campaign outside Richmond, Virginia, in June and July of 1862, then at Second Manassas in August. Lee then invaded Maryland, but was stopped in the bloody fighting at Antietam on September 17. At Fredericksburg on December 13 and yet again at the Battle of Chancellorsville (May 1-3, 1863), Lee's valiant soldiers repelled two more Union attacks. In spite of repeated victories, the larger Union army remained on Virginia soil, both defending Washington and threatening Richmond, the Confederate capital.

Two years of fighting in northern Virginia had devastated farming and food production in much of the region.

After defeating the Yankees at Chancellorsville, Lee reorganized his army and decided to invade the North. By so doing, the general hoped to draw the Yankee army north across the Potomac and out of Virginia, thus giving some reprieve to Southern farmers.

In a highly successful three-day raid of south central Pennsylvania in October 1862, Confederate cavalry commander Jeb Stuart had returned south with more than 1,200 horses. Lee hoped to gather supplies (horses, cattle, fodder, and other related foodstuffs) to replenish his troops. He also hoped that a victory on Northern soil might help sway foreign recognition of the Confederacy and perhaps weaken the North's will to continue the war.

In early June, Lee's troops began moving northwest from Fredericksburg into the Shenandoah Valley. Once Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell, commander of the Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, soundly defeated Union General Robert H. Milroy's garrison at Winchester, Virginia, on June 14-15, the way was open for Ewell's corps to move north across the Potomac River into Maryland.

Lee's other two corps followed more slowly, screened by Jeb Stuart's cavalry, just in case the Yankee Army of the Potomac crossed the Rappahannock River and tried to head for Richmond.

Avoiding the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry, Ewell's lead elements began crossing into Maryland in mid-June 1863.

Screening Ewell's advance was the cavalry brigade led by General Albert G. Jenkins. Jenkins previously had operated in the mountains of western Virginia, raiding the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and attacking Union garrisons when the opportunity presented itself. Lee ordered Jenkins to move his brigade into Maryland and shield Ewell's planned march into Pennsylvania.

Jenkins' advance was contested all the way north by a single company of Yankee horse soldiers led by Captain William H. Boyd, which was covering the rapid northward movement of a large baggage train from Winchester, one of the surviving units that had escaped the Federal debacle there. Once the train was safe across the Susquehanna, Boyd's company returned to the Cumberland Valley to watch the enemy.

On June 15th, Jenkins and his men became the first Confederates to cross the Mason-Dixon Line . Late that night, they rode into Chambersburg the county seat of Franklin County and one of the larger towns in south-central Pennsylvania. Their stay, however, was short-lived. On June 17th, they retreated into Maryland after a false alarm over advancing Yankee soldiers scared Jenkins' men.

The Confederate invasion of the state began in earnest on June 22, when Ewell's entire Second Corps began to move north. A short distance above Greencastle, Boyd's men again clashed with Jenkins brigade, which was now screening Ewell's advance up the main turnpike (modern US 11). In this skirmish Corporal William Rihl of Boyd's company became the first Union casualty in Pennsylvania.

Lee's plan called for Ewell's troops to spearhead the advance into Pennsylvania. Ewell's three divisions would forge ahead to gather supplies and attack Harrisburg, the state capital. Lee's remaining two corps, those of James Longstreet and A. P. Hill, would concentrate in the Chambersburg area to intercept any Union troops advancing to attack Ewell. On June 24th, Robert Rodes' Division moved into Chambersburg, followed by Edward Johnson's Division. Meanwhile, General Jubal Early marched his division north along the western edge of South Mountain, moving through Waynesboro and halting in the area of modern day US 30, covering the flank of the advancing army.

On June 26, Early's Division marched east towards York and the vital bridge over the Susquehanna at Wrightsville. Stopping just long enough to burn the Caledonia Furnace to the ground, Early then scattered a Pennsylvania militia unit defending Gettysburg. As he advanced, cavalry units ranging north and south of the infantry burned railroad bridges to disrupt the Northern Central Railroad and associated lines.

That same day, General Robert E. Lee arrived in Chambersburg. There he met General Ambrose Powell Hill, who's Third Corps had preceded him. In the square in Chambersburg, the two generals held a brief conference , witnessed by a crowd of curious onlookers, including several men who worked as intelligence agents for the Union.

When Henry Heth's Division started east, one of these agents raced to Harrisburg with the news. Lee had not yet fixed his plans, but now the Union commanders in Harrisburg and Washington knew that the Rebels were in Pennsylvania, and that a major force of Confederate soldiers was marching east towards the state capital at Harrisburg.

As Hill's corps had neared Chambersburg, Ewell's two divisions had broken camp and moved north through the Cumberland Valley , preceded as usual by Jenkins' cavalry. The Rebels had occupied Shippensburg on June 25, and reached Carlisle the next day, skirmishing all the way with Boyd's relentless troopers.

Outnumbered, the Union militia defending Carlisle fell back to earthworks just erected to protect Harrisburg. Jenkins continued east, entered Mechanicsburg briefly on June 28, and then headed east to scout the state capital's defenses in preparation for the Confederate infantry assault to follow.

While the main Confederate invasion force continued north through Cumberland Valley and east to the Susquehanna, smaller flanking forces ranged westward across Blue Mountain into Fulton County. Confederate forces occupied the county seat, McConnellsburg , on three occasions-June 19, June 24-26, and June 29&ndash and used the town as a base from which they could send out foraging parties to collect horses, cattle, and other goods the army needed to survive while in enemy territory.

As Lee's soldiers moved into enemy territory, many of them were surely tempted to pillage and plunder Northern towns and fields in retaliation for the destruction Virginia had been enduring for close to two years. However, in general the Confederates behaved themselves during their invasion of Pennsylvania.

Recognizing the need to avoid turning public opinion against his troops, General Lee on June 22 had issued General Orders Number 72, admonishing his men to avoid injuring or destroying private property. The order also placed the army's quartermaster corps in charge of appropriating goods for military use, all of which it would pay for in Confederate money, which, however, was worth only a fraction of Northern currency. If the owner refused to accept such payment, officers were to issue a receipt that enumerated the goods taken. Owners refusing to comply with requests for supplies would have their goods seized, but receipts would still be issued.

the Southerners obeyed this order, but there were a number of exceptions. General Early contravened it when he burned the Caledonia Furnace, which was owned by Pennsylvania's Radical Republican Congressman Thaddeus Stevens . Throughout the Confederate sojourn in Pennsylvania, relatively little violence took place between soldiers and white civilians.

When it came to African Americans, however, the Confederates acted quite differently. Throughout the invasion, troops seized all African Americans they encountered, making no distinction between escaped slaves and free residents of Pennsylvania. All were bound and taken south to be sold into slavery. On occasion, local civilians came to their rescue by overpowering their guards, and on a few occasions, stragglers from Lee's army were seized and executed.

In late June, it looked like everything was going Lee's way. Most of the Confederate army was in Pennsylvania. The Southerners had occupied much of the Cumberland Valley and were fast approaching the defenses of Harrisburg. General Early was closing in on York. The Union army did have one critical advantage: it knew the location of the Confederate troops. Moving through enemy territory, Lee normally depended upon the reconnaissance provided by his cavalry leader Jeb Stuart. But Stuart was off on a raid behind enemy lines. Unsure of where the Army of the Potomac was located and thus wary about acting rashly, Lee moved cautiously. The high tide of the Confederacy was rapidly approaching as both armies prepared for battle.


The Mongol Invasions of Japan, 1274 & 1281 CE

The Mongol invasions of Japan took place in 1274 and 1281 CE when Kublai Khan (r. 1260-1294 CE) sent two huge fleets from Korea and China. In both cases, the Japanese, and especially the samurai warriors, vigorously defended their shores but it would be typhoon storms and the so-called kamikaze or 'divine winds' which sank and drowned countless ships and men, thus saving Japan from foreign conquest. The whole glorious episode, which mixed divine intervention with martial heroism, would gain and hold mythical status in Japanese culture forever after.

Diplomatic Opening

The Mongols had already sucked half of China and Korea into their huge empire, and their leader Kublai Khan now set his sights on Japan. Kublai was the grandson of Genghis Khan and had founded the Yuan dynasty of China (1271-1368 CE) with his capital at Dadu (Beijing), but just why he now wanted to include Japan in his empire is unclear. He may have sought to conquer Japan for its resources. The country did have a long-standing reputation in East Asia as a land of gold, a fact recounted in the West by the Venetian traveller Marco Polo (1254-1324 CE). Kublai Khan may have wished to enhance his prestige or eliminate the trade between that country and his great enemy in southern China, the Southern Song Dynasty (1125-1279 CE). The conquest of Japan would also have brought a new and well-equipped army into the Khan's hands, which he could have used to good effect against the troublesome Song. The invasions may even have been some sort of revenge for the havoc that the wako (Japanese pirates) had been causing to East Asian coastlines and trade ships. Whatever his reasons, the approach was clear: diplomacy first, warfare second.

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The Great Khan sent a letter to Japan in 1268 CE recognising its leader as the 'king of Japan' and expressing a desire to foster friendly relations but also demanding tribute be paid to the Mongol court with the ominously veiled threat that the use of arms was, the Khan hoped, to be avoided. A Chinese ambassador, Zhao Liangbi, was also sent to Japan in 1270 CE, and he stayed there for a year to foster some sort of understanding between the two nations. Further letters and ambassadors were sent by the Khan up to 1274 CE, but all were blatantly ignored as if the Japanese did not quite know how to respond and so decided to sit silently on the diplomatic fence.

The Kamakura Shogunate had ruled Japan since 1192 CE, and the regent shogun Hojo Tokimune (r. 1268-1284 CE) was confident he could meet any threat from mainland Asia. Troops were put on alert in the Dazaifu fortress and military base in northwest Kyushu where any invasion seemed most likely to land, but the Khan's diplomatic approach was rebuffed both by the Japanese emperor and the shogunate. The lack of subtlety in the Japanese response to the Khan's overtures may have been down to their lack of experience in international relations after a long period of isolation and by the bias of their principal contact with mainland Asia, the Southern Song, and the low opinion exiled Chinese Zen Buddhist monks had of their Mongol conquerors.

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The First Invasion (Bunei Campaign)

The Khan amassed a fleet of some 800-900 ships and dispatched it from Korea to Japan in early November 1274 CE. The ships carried an army of some 16,600-40,000 men, which consisted of Mongols and conscripted Chinese and Koreans. The first Japanese territory to receive these invaders was Tsushima and Iki Islands on 5 and 13 November respectively, which were then plundered. The Mongol attacks had met stiff resistance on Tsushima, where the defenders were led by So Sukekuni, but were successful largely thanks to superior numbers. The defensive force at Iki, led by Taira Kagetaka, was equally valiant, but they were eventually obliged to make a last stand within Hinotsume castle. When no reinforcements came from the mainland, the castle fell.

After a brief stop at Takashima Island and the Matsuura peninsula, the invasion fleet proceeded to Hakata Bay, landing on 19 November. The large bay's sheltered and shallow waters had suggested to the Japanese this would be the exact spot chosen by the Mongol commanders. Prepared they may have been, but the total Japanese defence force was still small, between 4,000 and 6,000 men.

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The Mongols won the first engagements thanks to their superior numbers and weapons - the powerful double-horn bow and gunpowder grenades fire by catapults - and their more dynamic battlefield strategies using well-disciplined and skilful cavalry which responded to orders conveyed by gongs and drums. The Mongols had other effective weapons, too, such as armour-piercing crossbows and poisoned arrows. In addition, the Japanese were not used to combat involving mass troop movements as they favoured allowing individual warriors to pick their own single targets. Rather, the Japanese warriors operated in small groups led by a mounted samurai skilled at archery and a number of protective infantry armed with a naginata or curved-blade pole-arm. Another disadvantage was that the Japanese tended to use shields only as protective walls for archers while the Mongols and the Korean infantry typically carried a shield of their own as they moved around the battlefield. The samurai did have certain advantages over the enemy as they wore iron-plate and leather armour (only the Mongol heavy cavalry wore armour) and their long sharp swords were used much more effectively than the Mongol short sword.

Curiously, 18 days after first landing on Japanese soil and despite creating a bridgehead at Hakata Bay, the invaders did not push on deeper into Japanese territory. Perhaps this was because of supply problems or the death of the Mongol general Liu Fuxiang, killed by a samurai's arrow. It may also be true that the whole 'invasion' was actually a reconnaissance mission for the second larger invasion yet to come and no conquest was ever intended in 1274 CE. Whatever the motive, the invaders remained by their ships for the night, withdrawing out into the bay for safety on 20 November. This was a fateful decision because, in some accounts, a terrible storm then struck which killed up to a third of the Mongol army and severely damaged the fleet. The attackers were thus obliged to withdraw back to Korea.

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Diplomatic Interval

Kublai Khan then returned to diplomacy and sent another embassy to Japan in 1275 CE demanding, once again, tribute be paid. This time the shogunate was even more dismissive in its reply and beheaded the Mongol ambassadors on a beach near Kamakura. The Khan was undeterred and sent a second embassy in 1279 CE. The messengers met the same fate as their predecessors, and the Khan realised only force would bring Japan into the Mongol Empire. However, Kublai Khan was occupied with campaigns in southern China against the Song, and it would be two more years before he turned his attention once again to Japan.

Meanwhile, the Japanese had been expecting an imminent invasion ever since 1274 CE, and this period of high suspense made a great dent in the government's treasury. Apart from keeping the army on standby, fortifications were built and massive stone walls erected around Hakata Bay in 1275 CE which measured some 19 kilometres (12 miles) in length and were up to 2.8 metres (9 ft) high in places. Intended to permit archers on horses, the inner sides of the Hakata walls were sloped while the outer facing was sheer. If a second invasion was to come, Japan was now much more prepared for it.

The Second Invasion (Koan Campaign)

Kublai Khan's second invasion fleet was a whole lot bigger than the first one. This time, thanks to his recent defeat of the Song and acquisition of their navy, there were 4,400 ships and around 100,000 men, again a mix of Mongol, Chinese, and Korean warriors.

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Once again, the invaders hit Tsushima (9 June) and Iki (14 June) before attacking Hakata Bay on Kyushu on 23 June 1281 CE. This time, though, the force split and one fleet attacked Honshu where it was rebuffed at Nagato. Meanwhile, at Hakata, the Japanese put their defences to good use and presented a stiff resistance. The fortification walls did their job, and this time the attackers could not establish themselves permanently on the beach, resulting in much shipboard fighting. Eventually, after heavy losses, the Mongols withdraw first to Shiga and Noki Islands and then to Iki Island. There they were harassed by Japanese ships making constant raids into the Mongol fleet using small boats and much courage. Many of the later stories of samurai heroics come from this episode of the invasion.

The Khan then dispatched reinforcements from southern China, perhaps another 40,000 men (some sources go as high as 100,000), and the two armies gathered to make a combined push deeper into Japanese territory, this time selecting Hirado as the target in early August. The combined fleets then moved east and attacked Takashima, the battle there taking place on 12 August.

Fierce fighting raged for several weeks and the invaders likely faced shortages of supplies. Then, yet again, the weather intervened and caused havoc. On 14 August a typhoon destroyed most of the Mongol fleet, wrecking ships that had been tied together for safety against Japanese raids and smashing the uncontrollable vessels against the coastline. From half to two-thirds of the Mongol force was killed. Thousands more of the Khan's men were washed up or left stranded on the beaches of Imari Bay, and these were summarily executed, although some Song Chinese, former allies of Japan, were spared. Those ships that survived sailed back to China.

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The storm winds that either sunk or blew the Mongol ships safely away from Japanese shores were given the name kamikaze or 'divine winds.' as they were seen as a response to the Japanese appeal to Hachiman, the Shinto god of war, to send help to protect the country against a vastly numerically superior enemy. The name kamikaze would be resurrected for the Japanese suicide pilots of the Second World War (1939-1945 CE) as they, too, were seen as the last resort to once again save Japan from invasion.

It seems, too, that the Mongol ships were not particularly well-built and so proved much less seaworthy than they should have been. Modern marine archaeology has revealed that many of the ships had especially weak mast steps, which is something absolutely not to have in the case of a storm. The poor workmanship may have been due to Kublai Khan rushing to get the invasion fleet together as many of the ships in the fleet were of a variety without a keel and highly unsuitable for sea voyages. Further, Chinese ships of the period were actually renowned for their seaworthiness, so it seems the demand for a huge fleet in a short space of time resulted in a risk that did not pay off. Nevertheless, the crucial factor in the fleet's demise was the Japanese attacks which had forced the Mongol commanders to have their large and unwieldy ships lashed together using chains. It was this defensive measure which proved fatal, come the typhoon.

Aftermath

The Mongols would also fail in their attempts to conquer Vietnam and Java, but after 1281 CE, they did then establish a lasting peace over most of Asia, the Pax Mongolica, which would endure until the rise of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE). Kublai Khan never gave up on the diplomatic route either and continued to send unsuccessful missions to persuade Japan to join the Chinese tribute system.

The Japanese, meanwhile, may have seen off the two invasions they called Moko Shurai but they fully expected a third to come at any time and so kept an army in constant readiness for the next 30 years. Fortunately, for them, the Mongols had other challenges to face along the borders of their massive empire and there would be no third time lucky in the attempt to conquer Japan. The great significance of the invasions to the Japanese people is here summarised by the historian M. Ashkenazi:

For the Japanese of the thirteenth century, the threatened Mongol invasion was, historically, and politically, a major watershed. It was the first time the entire military might of Japan had had to be mobilized for defence of the nation. Until then, even foreign wars were little more than squabbles that involved one or another faction within Japan - essentially domestic affairs. With the Mongol invasion, Japan became exposed to international politics at a personal and national level as never before. (188-9)

The Buddhist monks and Shinto priests who had long been promising divine intervention were proved right when the storms destroyed the Mongol fleets, and this resulted in an upsurge in both religions' popularity. One area of life where the invasions are curiously absent is in Japanese medieval literature but there is one famous scroll painting depicting the invasion. Commissioned by a samurai warrior who fought during the invasion, Takezaki Suenaga, it is known as the Mongol Scroll (Moko Shurai Ekotoba) and was produced in 1293 CE to promote Takezaki's own role in the battle.

Unfortunately for the Japanese government, though, the practical costs of the invasions would have serious consequences. An army had to be kept in constant readiness - Hakata was kept on alert with a standing army until 1312 CE - and payment to soldiers became a serious problem leading to widespread discontent. This was a war of defence not conquest and there were no spoils of war like booty and land to reward the fighters. The agricultural sector was also severely disrupted by the defence preparations. Rivals to the Hojo clan, who ruled the Kamakura Shogunate, began to prepare their challenge to the political status quo. Emperor Go-Daigo (r. 1318-1339 CE), eager for the emperors to regain some of their long-lost political power, stirred up a rebellion which resulted in the eventual fall of the Kamakura Shogunate in 1333 CE and the installation of the Ashikaga Shogunate (1338-1573 CE) with its first shogun Ashikaga Takauji (r. 1338-1358 CE).

This content was made possible with generous support from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.


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Gempei War

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Gempei War, (1180–85), final struggle in Japan between the Taira and Minamoto clans that resulted in the Minamoto’s establishment of the Kamakura shogunate, a military dictatorship that dominated Japan from 1192 to 1333.

The Taira clan had dominated the Imperial government from 1160 to 1185. Minamoto Yoritomo, the son of the great Minamoto leader Yoshitomo, had been spared after his father’s defeat in 1160 because of his youth. Now an adult, he capitalized on the growing dissent with Taira leadership on behalf of members of both the Taira and Minamoto families and organized a new revolt in 1180. He soon gained control of the strategic east coast of Japan and by 1182 was ready to advance on the capital at Kyōto. The Taira leaders fled, taking with them the infant emperor Antoku. In the sea battle of Dannoura (1185) on the Inland Sea in western Japan, the Taira were finally defeated. The emperor Antoku was drowned in the battle, losing a famous sword, one of the Imperial Treasures of Japan supposedly brought from heaven by the first Japanese emperor. The battle became legendary through accounts such as the Gempei seisui-ki (“Record of the Rise and Fall of the Minamoto and Taira”).


Murray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Murray was first used as a surname by descendants of the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The ancestors of the Murray family lived in the county of Moray in the northeast of Scotland, but some historians describe the Clan's forbears as originally Flemish, some as Lowland Scots. More enlightened research places them as descendents of MacAngus de Moravia, who was descended from King Duncan of Scotland and who was the first Earl of Murray.

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Early Origins of the Murray family

The surname Murray was first found in Moray, where the Clan founder, Freskin, received a grant of the lands of Strathbrock in 1100 AD. He was descended from the first Earl, and his grandson, William, married the heiress of the Bothwell Clan in Lanarkshire. His sons founded many other houses, including the Murrays of Tullibardine, who later became the Dukes of Atholl, and Chiefs of the Clan.

At the same time, an early branch in the north had given origin to the Earls of Sutherland. Andrew Moray (died 1297) also known as Andrew de Moray, Andrew of Moray, or Andrew Murray, was prominent in the Scottish Wars of Independence.

He led the rising in north Scotland in the summer of 1297 against the occupation by King Edward I of England. He was mortally wounded in the fighting at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

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Early History of the Murray family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Murray research. Another 596 words (43 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1170, 1100, 1255, 1297, 1320, 1333, 1360, 1629, 1703, 1446, 1586, 1598, 1598, 1715, 1745, 1765, 1608, 1673, 1660, 1724, 1600, 1655, 1631, 1703, 1640, 1650, 1716, 1691, 1701, 1663, 1719, 1710, 1715, 1663, 1734 and are included under the topic Early Murray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Murray Spelling Variations

Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Murray has appeared Murray, Murrey, Moray, Morey, Morrey, Morry, Murry, MacMhuirich (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the Murray family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Sir Robert Moray (Murrey, Murray) (1608-1673), a Scottish soldier, statesman, diplomat, judge, spy, freemason and natural philosopher John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl, KT, PC (1660-1724) was a Scottish nobleman, Knight of the Thistle, politician, and soldier William Murray, 1st Earl of Dysart (c. 1600-1655), the childhood whipping boy of Charles I of England and later an.
Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Murray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Murray family to Ireland

Some of the Murray family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Murray migration +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Murray Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Murray, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [1]
  • Anna Murray, who landed in New Jersey in 1685 [1]
  • Johnathan Murray, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1687 [1]
Murray Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Barbara Murray, who landed in Cape Fear, North Carolina in 1737 [1]
  • Charles Murray, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [1]
  • Garret Murray, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [1]
  • Elizabeth Murray, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1755 [1]
  • Archibald Murray, aged 17, who arrived in New York in 1755 [1]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Murray Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Murray of County Derry, who went to Philadelphia in 1803 aboard the "Mohawk"
  • Alex Murray, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Hannah Murray, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • William Murray, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Robert Murray, aged 46, who arrived in Tennessee in 1812 [1]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Murray Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

Murray migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Murray Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Margaret Murray, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Christopher Murray, who landed in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Mary Murray, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
  • Morton Murray, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1783
  • Mr. John Murray Sr., U.E. (b. 1735) born in Scotland from Tryon County, New York, USA who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia c. 1783, then settling in Prince Edward Island, [Island of Saint John], New Brunswick in 1784 was a passenger aboard the ship "Eleanor", married to Mary Kennedy having 8 children, he is among the 37 names listed on the Bedeque Harbour Loyalist Monument in Prince Edward Island [2]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Murray Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Donald Murray, aged 25, who arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1815-1816
  • Hugh Murray, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1815
  • Isabella Murray, aged 18, who landed in Canada in 1815
  • Angus Murray, aged 72, who landed in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1815-1816
  • Christian Murray, aged 25, who arrived in Canada in 1815
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Murray migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Murray Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Jane Murray, English convict who was convicted in Huntingdon, Cambridge, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" in March 1810, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[3]
  • Miss Mary Murray, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" in March 1810, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[3]
  • Miss Jane Murray, (b. 1775), aged 38, Irish convict who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Catherine" on 8th December 1813, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[4]
  • Mrs. Bridget Murray, (Wall, Welsh), (b. 1797), aged 20, Irish convict who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Canada" on 21st March 1817, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1852 [3]
  • Mr. Francis Murray, (b. 1770), aged 57, Irish stockman who was convicted in Monaghan, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the “Countess of Harcourt“ on 14th February 1827, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1827 [5]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Murray migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Murray Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John A. Murray, aged 25, a clerk, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840
  • William Murray, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840
  • John Murray, aged 24, a ploughman, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • John Murray, aged 37, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • Mary Murray, aged 35, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Murray (post 1700) +

  • Sir Andrew Barron Murray O.B.E., (b. 1987), Scottish professional tennis player for Britain. He has won three Grand Slam singles titles, including two at Wimbledon, and has reached eleven major finals in total. He has won 46 ATP singles titles, including 14 ATP Masters 1000 events. Gold Medalist in 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, he won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Aware in 2016, 2015, 2013 and came 3rd in 2012
  • Ronald King Murray PC (1922-2016), Lord Murray, a Scottish Labour politician and jurist, Lord Advocate (1974�), Member of Parliament for Edinburgh Leith (1970�)
  • Maxwell "Max" Murray (1935-2016), Scottish footballer who played for the Scotland U23 National Team (1956-1957)
  • William David Mungo James Murray DL, JP (1930-2015), 8th Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield, Scottish nobleman and Conservative politician
  • James "Jimmy" Murray (1933-2015), Scottish footballer who played from 1951 to 1965, member of the Scotland National Team in 1958
  • Sir David Murray RA (1849-1933), Scottish landscape painter
  • William Murray (b. 1930), 8th Earl of Mansfield, Scottish nobleman and Conservative politician
  • Alexander Stuart Murray (1841-1904), Scottish archaeologist
  • Charles Murray (1864-1941), Scottish poet
  • Albert L. Murray (1916-2013), American literary and jazz critic, novelist, essayist and biographer
  • . (Another 47 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Murray family +

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Owen John Murray (1946-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Mataura, South Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus he died in the crash [6]
Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Michael Wade Murray (b. 1954), American Sergeant from Washington, Indiana, USA who died in the crash [7]
Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Peter Murray, British Trimmer from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [8]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Robert J.  Murray (1869-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [9]
  • Mr. James Anderson  Murray (1871-1917), Canadian Naval Instructor aboard the HMCS Niobe from Quebec, Canada who died in the explosion [9]
  • Master James Monson  Murray (1905-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [9]
  • Ms. Jacqueline Murray, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [9]
Hillsborough disaster
  • Paul Brian Murray (1975-1989), English schoolboy who was attending the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough Stadium, in Sheffield, Yorkshire when the stand allocated area became overcrowded and 96 people were crushed in what became known as the Hillsborough disaster and he died from his injuries, his school organised speical awards in his honour [10]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Malcolm Murray (1912-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Beaconsfield, Western Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Sidney Murray (b. 1921), English Electrical Artificer 5th Class serving for the Royal Navy from Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [12]
  • Mr. Hugh Murray (b. 1917), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Cockermouth, Cumberland, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [12]
  • Mr. Frederick C Murray (b. 1920), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Earlsfield, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [12]
HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Michael Murray, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [14]
HMS Royal Oak
  • John Murray, British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk he survived the sinking [15]
  • William Roderick Murray (1920-1939), British Stoker 2nd Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk he died in the sinking [15]
Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Jean Aitkin Murray (1906-1988), Scottish resident of Lockerbie from Scotland, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [16]
RMS Lusitania
  • Master Walter Murray, Scottish 3rd Class passenger residing in Chicago, Illinois, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [17]
  • Mrs. Margaret Murray, Scottish 3rd Class passenger residing in Chicago, Illinois, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [17]
  • Mrs. Mary Murray, English 3rd Class passenger returning from Cuba, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [17]
  • Mrs. Rose Ellen Murray, American 2nd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [17]

Related Stories +

The Murray Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Tout Prêt
Motto Translation: Quite ready.


Battle of Halidon Hill

Edward III himself came north to command his army, and laid siege to Berwick. However, a temporary truce was declared with the stipulation that if not relieved within a set time, Sir Alexander Seton, the governor, would deliver the castle to the English. Douglas raised an army to relieve the beleaguered defenders of Berwick. As a feint to draw the English away he invaded Northumberland, but was forced to return to Berwick when the English refused to be lured. On 19 July, Edward's army took positions at the summit of Halidon Hill, a summit some mile and a half north of the town with commanding views of the surrounding country. Douglas' numerically superior force was compelled to attack up the slope and were slaughtered by the English archers, a prelude, perhaps, to the battles of Crécy and Agincourt. The English won the field with little loss of life, however by the close of the fight, countless Scots common soldiery, five Scots Earls and the Guardian Douglas lay dead. The following day Berwick capitulated.

Archibald was succeeded by his son, William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas.