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Macao Artillery: nearly a Portuguese mercenary for the northern expedition to Manchuria in the Ming Dynasty.

lengpaolishi @ 2019/12/23


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What do you think of Ming Dynasty's attitude towards the use of Western mercenaries?


At the end of the Ming Dynasty, there were a group of Portuguese Gunners who fought for the Ming Dynasty. Their performance and ultimate fate are the epitome of this grand era. It has both the northern defense pressure of the Ming Dynasty and the efforts made by Portuguese for their own international space.


Background of times

The loss of Portugal's India galleon was 50% as a result of the Dutch attack.


During the 1580-1612 years, the forces of Portugal's eastern empire were at stake. Up to 50% of the ships that traveled between Asia and Europe were sunk by the Dutch. After the failure of the attack on Macao, the Dutchman tightened up with Japan's Tokugawa Shogunate and squeezed the survival space of Portuguese rivals. Therefore, the Macao colony has become more and more dependent on the Ming authorities.


But on the specific issues, Portugal and Guangdong are constantly rubbing against the local officials. The protests in the Ming Dynasty mainly lie in the construction of fortifications and the kidnapping of slaves by the Portuguese. At the same time, the Dutch's robbery is often counted into Portugal. The Macao authorities are dissatisfied with the extortion of Guangdong local officials. The outcome of these frictions is often that Guangdong has cut water and grain to Macao, which has made the already poor Macao Portuguese more bitter. Therefore, the Portuguese very much hope to have a direct dialogue with the court of Beijing and strive for greater space for the weakened colonial empire.


The Guangdong authorities need Macao to defend their borders and not to extend their fortifications.


In 1628, the Portuguese seized 10 artillery shells of the Holland vessel. The emperor heard that he ordered the Chinese side to purchase these weapons immediately, and hoped to invite 20 gunners to be the instructors of the Ming army. So the Macao Council went on the March and sent a team headed by the public sand - West and Lu Ruohan. While teaching artillery, he communicated with the Beijing court to pave the way for further negotiations in the future.


In terms of personnel composition, Gong Sha himself defeated the Holland invading officer in 1622. Lu Ruohan had long served in Japan's shogunate, and was good at dealing with Oriental bureaucrats. Only 5 of the remaining members are pure Portuguese. The rest are native people of Asian origin.


Most of the North's military advisers have experienced operations against Holland.


Bumpy journey to the North

Landscape of Pearl River Estuary written by Europeans in seventeenth Century


At the end of 1628, Gong Sha formally led the legendary sub unit in Macao. After passing through Xiangshan, Guangzhou and other places, their great differences in complexion and appearance make the residents along the way very curious. Gong Sha also visited Li Fengjie, governor of Guangdong and Guangxi, and received the promise of the latter to punish Fujian's profiteers and clean up corruption.


Then, all of them started off from Beijiang, and then came to Nanjing from the waterway after Meiling. Despite the embarrassment of money and food on the way, he was helped by Chinese Christians and Han Yun, a Xuzhou governor, so he could continue to make his way.


The threat of the latter gold is the biggest motive force for the introduction of advanced weapons in Ming Dynasty.


By the end of October 1629, after the Royal Taiji rate, the Jin army had crossed the line of Ningjin defense line and got to Mongolia directly to the capital. According to the news, the Portuguese artillery team has just arrived in Jining, Shandong. In order to speed up, they abandoned the inefficient canal watercourse and made rapid progress on land. Upon arriving in Zhuozhou, they heard that the enemy troops had approached the capital. So he immediately made gunpowder and prepared to fight the enemy quickly. Feng Quan, a former ritual minister at home, recruited hundreds of family members and 3500 troop troopers at their own expense to escort Portuguese to Beijing for defense.


But when these escorts of the Ming army came to the river, they found that they were conquered because of Huang Tai Ji. As a result, all of them were forced to take the team back to Zhuozhou without a heavy defense. They put 8 artillery on the wall and successfully repelled some of them. With the withdrawal of Huang Tai Chi, the Macao artillery team restarted in March 1630.

The active escort of the Ming army collapsed automatically after hearing the gold.


Training in Beijing

Beijing restoration map of Ming Dynasty in seventeenth Century


After arriving in Beijing, the artillery immediately displayed to the capital guards the firearms and operation they brought. In order for the courtiers to know the power of the artillery, the Portuguese gunner opened the gun test on the wall. Xu Guangqi, the official in Beijing, Liang Tingdong, governor of the Ministry of military affairs, governor of Beijing, and the eunuch of Li Shouhe, who were in charge of Jinyi Wei, came to the crowd. Finally, these Western artillery shells were shot 5-6 times outside the target of 200 paces, allowing the onlookers to appreciate their genuine materials, ingenious production, strong drug resistance and fair temperament.


In addition, the Portuguese opposed the city defense of Beijing. The philosophy of philosophy is that the walls of the middle ages were relatively solid, so long as the emplacement was properly arranged, it was difficult to break through. This made the officials present more satisfied.


Portuguese copper cannon in seventeenth Century


Soon the Portuguese brought 6 artillery pieces to the grand commander. Emperor Chung Zhen rewarded them with gold and silver, and assigned a special person to explain the courtesy to the Portuguese. Lu Ruohan was so strong that some of the dignitaries thought he was 250 years old. Every time Lu Lu Han travels, there will be a lot of people coming to look around and touch, as if they can pick up the fairy spirit of longevity. Meanwhile, the Portuguese officers also inspected the existing equipment of the Ming army. They agreed with Xu Guangqi that the commonly used fast guns, clips and three eye guns used by the Ming army were near range, low hit rate and gunpowder. Therefore, it is suggested that the Ming army should replace it with a large number of firearms, and build a professional fort for Western firearms.


In view of the excellent Portuguese firearms, Emperor Chung Zhen ordered that the relevant military departments and officials should cooperate with the Portuguese. With the help of Gong Sha and others, Xu Guangqi put forward the idea of organizing Western firearms troops. Weapons and equipment were entirely made by Portuguese and Chinese craftsmen. Portuguese gunners and instructors are placed in the inner city and outer cities of Beijing to allow them to install heavy heavy duty guns. The Ming army should also cast light guns such as the medium Shen Wei gun and the big bird gun for field operations.


The armies of the Ming Dynasty were judged to be backward and inefficient by Portuguese.


To this end, Xu Guangqi also proposed that the Portuguese as a craftsman and an officer, to set up 15 elite firearms battalions. There are 4000 battalions in each battalion, 120 wheelbarrows, 120 artillery trucks and 60 grain trucks. There are 16 large western guns, 80 middle guns, 100 Eagle hawks, and 1200 fire hose guns.


After initial recognition, the formation of the new army began in mid February of 1630. It is only because of the lack of funds and the difficulty of finding qualified craftsmen in Beijing, so the progress is very slow. The number of casting Western guns is hard to meet the huge gap at that time. So Lu Lu Han and Gong Sha wrote a letter to Chong Zhen, hoping that the Ming Dynasty could recruit more gunners and technicians from Macao. Because Dutch attacks often take place, Portuguese in Macao are relatively good at fighting, and can also produce and use sophisticated firearms. If we can invite more compatriots to go north, then we can get twice the result with half the effort.


Xu Guangqi's new army plans to use the Western firearms to arm the old car camps.


The two recruitment

The second batch of Portuguese mercenaries is far superior to its pioneers.


After receiving the approval of emperor Chung, Lu Ruohan and Jiang Yunlong, the middle school priest, were ordered to recruit soldiers in the south. They returned to Macao in August 1630. Despite the fact that only more than 1000 of the city's population is in Europe, the authorities decided to provide 160 Portuguese soldiers, 200 Macao local Chinese and half blood and 100 slaves from Africa and India to expand diplomatic achievements.


These men were led by Antonio Rodrigues, an officer who had resisted the invasion of Holland. Not only the top helmets, the armor and the armor are sharp, but also the morale is high. They are excellent soldiers and gunners. Everyone has enough pay and a young servant. They saluted the following teams in Guangdong City, and then put a gun on the sky, and the orderly military capacity made the Ming Dynasty shocked. Everywhere they go, they can get lots of wine, grain and fruit. But as we moved forward to Nanchang, the team was still suspended because of obstruction.


The army of Portuguese mercenaries impressed the Ming Dynasty.


The voice of opposition came mainly from Guangdong officials and traditional literati and officialdom in the government. The latter found that there were European missionaries in the Portuguese contingent, and thought it was foreigners who wanted to take this opportunity to change into summer. At the same time, due to the harassment of Holland red people, the southern region has obvious xenophobia. Local officials also want to clamp down on Macao to gain greater trade benefits for the areas under their control. If the army of the public sand is expanding in the north, they will surely open more ports to the emperor. So Lu Zhaolong, who was born in Xiangshan, Guangdong, served as a vanguard. He suggested that people from Fujian and Vietnam could imitate the red Yi cannon, so they did not use Portuguese troops to assist in the war. Moreover, allowing foreign troops to enter the mainland is exposing their own reality to the barbarians. Therefore, he suggested that the Ming Dynasty sent more Portuguese soldiers back to Macao with more money, and beware of Xu Guangqi and other Christian judges.


In the face of the difficulties of Lu, Xu Guangqi could only trace it slowly. On the one hand, it distinguishes Portugal from the Dutch, and at the same time persuades the emperor to use western weapons for the time being, so as to stabilize Manchuria's threat as soon as possible. But Lu Zhaolong also continued to strengthen the public opinion offensive. He pointed out that the Portuguese were greedy. After gaining 6 or two thousand silver, each person had to increase 300 or two silver as security allowance. Moreover, the Macao authorities should hope to send troops to coerce them, remove the rent of silver to Guangzhou every year, cancel the defense of Xiangshan ginseng to Macao, and lift the maritime ban on the Ming Dynasty and carry out more large-scale trade.


Many Ming officials prevented mercenaries from going northward for the interests of small groups.


In a period of silly abuse and prevarication, the Portuguese army has been hesitant in Jiangxi. With the temporary threat of Jin Jin's threat to Beijing, the attitude of emperor Chung is no longer urgent. Xu Guangqi was disheartened by further recruiting, and the Portuguese army went north. In April 1631, the Portuguese army who was staying in Jiangxi was forced to return from the original road, which contrasted sharply with the warm welcome ceremony. Guangzhou once wanted to recover the money paid for the Portuguese's clothing, home and food. In the end, it is still under the tolerance of Chong Zhen.


This rapid transformation has enabled Macao to see clearly the status quo of the Ming Dynasty. Different religious groups and regional interests are enough to burst violent conflicts. The Ming Dynasty reversed itself and greatly damaged its credibility. This laid a solid foreshadowing for Macao's future turning to Manchu.


Xu Guangqi, who recommended Western learning, was depressed afterwards.


The reform achievements of Fuzhi

Western artillery in the late Ming Dynasty


At the same time, the Portuguese Gunners who had arrived in the north were still actively involved in the Ming and Qing war. Gong Sha and Xu Guangqi's students, Han Lin, Sun Yuanhua and others, exchanged arms technology and defensive skills. Han Lin wrote his Western style firearms technology. Shou Quan Quan Shu It became an important model of Sino Western military cultural exchanges in the late Ming Dynasty.


Sun Yuan Hua, who had already had western learning background, directly used his achievements in Shanhaiguan defense. Under his deployment, there are more than 50 gates around the city of Shanhaiguan. Red cannon And more than 2000 prisoners' guns, so that the post Kim army is far away.


Shanhaiguan is afraid of gold because of its 50 Western guns.


In June 1631, with the change of the main direction of the post Jin, sun Yuan Hua will deploy the army of the Portuguese Gunners including the public sand, and deploy them on leather island. In the battle, Gong Sha and others sent guns to the warship and fired. Since there is no similar equipment in the armory behind the gold, they can only let their defenses be endured unilaterally before the withdrawal. Afterwards, the Ming army reported more than 600-700 enemies. Although the fruits of the war are exaggerated, the deterrent force of Portuguese artillery is indeed not to be underestimated.


It is regrettable that 2 years of hard work has been futile by the internal strife of the Ming Dynasty. In the Wuqiao mutiny triggered by the contradiction between the Liaodong soldiers and the local prominent families in Shandong, the elite firearms trained by Gong Sha and others were rebellion. Faced with the fiercely rebellious, Gong Sha and others and sun Yuanhua died together to defend Dengzhou, and the Portuguese soldiers destroyed many people with firearms. Finally, he was killed by an arrow in his chest, and 12 other Portuguese Gunners died. After losing the expert in operating artillery, insurgents helped to enter the city on their own. In the end, only Lu Ruohan escaped with 3 Portuguese and 11 fellow craftsmen, and returned to Beijing to report the incident.


Public sand And other Portuguese instructors were killed in the battle against the rebels.


Instead of betraying the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the more spirit of the Portuguese, the more spirit of the contract, they were fighting against their employers. The Chinese students brought out by them have become the effective drivers of the Qing army's entry into the border. The outcome itself is very ironic. In 1633, Lu Ruohan, who lived in the Far East for a whole life, died of heart failure and disbelief in Macao people. For the second time, the 400 Portuguese troops who failed to go north were sent to more important Goa to strengthen their defense against Holland and the Mughal Empire.


Finally, Han Yun, who helped the Portuguese artillery go north, also asked artillery and firearms to support Macao in 1632. However, in view of previous diplomatic mistakes and bureaucratic struggles, Macao has no confidence in the Ming Dynasty. Although the two sides still have cooperation in the Nanming stage, the extent is far from what they used to be.


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