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Then reached the caverns measureless to man, And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean
October 27, 2011 10:01 AM   Subscribe

The 13th century wreck of an invading Mongolian ship that fell victim to a famous typhoon known in Japan as the "kamikaze" or "divine wind" has been found off the country's southern coast.

CNN reports:
In Japanese legend they are known as The Kamikaze -- the divine winds -- a reference to two mighty typhoons placed providentially seven years apart which, in the 13th century, destroyed two separate Mongol invasion fleets so large they were not eclipsed until the D-Day landings of World War II.

Marine archaeologists now say they have uncovered the remains of a ship from the second fleet in 1281 -- believed to have comprised 4,400 vessels -- a meter below the seabed, in 25 meters of water off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan.
posted by BobbyVan (14 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Amazing.
posted by empath at 10:02 AM on October 27, 2011


There would have to be more nearby, right?
posted by empath at 10:03 AM on October 27, 2011


Read a bit about this find elsewhere earlier; doesn't mention at these links, but it's most likely "really" a Chinese or Korean ship, as the steppes overlords were sensible enough to hire people who knew a bit of seacraft to handle the transport arrangements.
posted by Abiezer at 10:05 AM on October 27, 2011


Hire, force at swordpoint, you get the idea.
posted by Abiezer at 10:06 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Probably, considering how Mongolia today is the furthest country from the ocean.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:07 AM on October 27, 2011


It seems the horselords were right to distrust any water a horse would not drink.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:08 AM on October 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


It seems the horselords were right to distrust any water a horse would not drink.

It is known.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:18 AM on October 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


This seems to be an earlier report of the same ongoing excavation with a few nice pics of finds and an illustration of what a ship might have looked like.
posted by Abiezer at 10:19 AM on October 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Fascinating post, particularly with Abiezer's extra link.
posted by immlass at 11:40 AM on October 27, 2011


Interesting. Strange to imagine how different history would be if the Mongols had succeed.
posted by delmoi at 11:55 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a lot of alternative history science fiction where Mongols do succeed in invading Japan and much more
posted by Renoroc at 4:37 PM on October 27, 2011


In Japanese legend they are known as The Kamikaze -- the divine winds -- a reference to two mighty typhoons placed providentially seven years apart which, in the 13th century, destroyed two separate Mongol invasion fleets so large they were not eclipsed until the D-Day landings of World War II.

Not eclipsed until the D-Day landings.... that's CNN for you.

Over 1200 years before the Mongols and 2000 years before the D-Day landings (in 55 BCE), Julius Caesar attempted to invade the British Isles with two Roman legions (about 9000 men) and about 100 ships. That invasion failed on the beaches of Kent and he came back the next year with 800 ships carrying five legions and several detachments of calvary totaling almost 50.000 men.

The D-Day landings were about half that size.
posted by three blind mice at 2:52 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


And they had battles larger than that.
posted by empath at 3:48 AM on October 28, 2011


I'm not really sure that I understand the objection. Saying that something wasn't eclipsed until such-and-such a time doesn't mean it was the largest ever until that time; it means there was no larger after it until that time.

Or at least that's what it means to me.

Also, I'm not sure about your D-Day numbers. According to this, there were 6,939 naval vessels, 11,590 aircraft, 195,700 naval personnel, 132,715 amphibious troops, and 23,400 airborne troops.

And that was just the first day. Within less than a week there were 326,547 troops, 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies.
posted by Flunkie at 7:22 AM on October 28, 2011


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