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Spanish Armada vs Ming Treasure fleet

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  • Spanish Armada vs Ming Treasure fleet

    Iíve been reading the book on the Chinese treasure fleet of the 15th century, led by Admiral Zheng He. They were massive floating vessels Ė twice as large as the European ships of the 16th century.

    Now, as usual, I was wondering:

    If these Chinese vessels of 1433 had as many artillery on board as the Spanish Armada in 1588, who would win the naval confrontation?

    Of course, the number of vessels in each party would be the same.
    So, what do YOU think?



    VS





    Greets,
    Stratego
    26
    The Chinese fleet
    57.69%
    15
    The Spanish fleet
    42.31%
    11
    Last edited by Stratego; 11 Apr 10, 05:48.
    Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

    It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

    Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

    BORG

  • #2
    I go with the Ming due to thier compartments construction and shear size. Neither sides ships were that fast or maneuverable afaik
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    youíre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

    Comment


    • #3
      The Armada was smaller, thus much more easier to manoeuvre then the much larger Ming fleet!

      The Spanish, having a smaller vessel would be able to direct their artillery on one spot...

      Of course, it would take much more to get the Chinese sheeps to sink !



      Greets,
      Stratego
      Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

      It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

      Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

      BORG

      Comment


      • #4
        Your Euro-centric environment is showing.

        The Ming would have a smaller target. Were is the advantage? Ming would be firing down on the deck and even with the rigging of the Spaish ships.

        The Ming fleet was not made up of just the gaint treasure ships but also escorts of purpose designed fighting ship.

        Again the Ming ships were of a totally differt design built with bulkheads. Something European ships of the time did not have.
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        youíre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

        Comment


        • #5
          I guess the bulkheads would make the Chinese ships more survivable. Do we factor in the general health of the sailors too? I saw a feature on Zheng He's fleet, and it was said that the fleet was self-sufficient, and everyone had fresh vegetables (bean sprouts in particular, which dealt away with scurvy) etc., which in turn led to healthy crew.
          "We have no white flag."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
            Your Euro-centric environment is showing.
            Eurocentricism? Man John, that hurt ! I'm an Internationalist...

            It's harder to hit small targets! The giant Ming fleet is a 100% guarantee hit.

            The Spanish were much more maneuvrable...

            Bigger is not always better !



            Greets,
            Stratego
            Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

            It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

            Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

            BORG

            Comment


            • #7
              Despite their size, and the fact the fleet had many smaller vessels (Fuchan warships about 1/3rd the size of the treasure ships), the spanish ships were horribly limited in their ability to manuver especially into the wind and could only make safe head way running before the wind. Although also limited, the Chinese escort vessels were more manuverable. i have not been able to find information on comparative gun tactics, but based on what I know, I would go with Chinese.
              Boston Strong!

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm with Stratego on this one!
                At least when it comes to normal bombardement...the Spanish artillery was way better than the Chinese and the Spanish could maneuvre much faster then a ship 3 or 4 times larger (a rubber dingy can maneuvre much faster then the USS Cape St.George). However, if the Chinese had the opportunity to enter, the Spanish would be toast.
                'Let them hate us so long as they fear us.' Caligula

                Comment


                • #9
                  The pure intimidation factor of 300 ships, some 5 times bigger than the largest Spanish vessels would make the Spanish admiral sail for home.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wow. If all the sailors there let loose even with only fire arrows on the spanish ship... They can have a nice toasty BBQ!
                    "We have no white flag."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think the better match up would be Korean Navy of the Imjin War vs Spanish Armada. These two fleet actually existed during the same time period.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Stratego,

                        All that one of those giant treasure ships had to do was to drop their anchor on a Spanish galleon.

                        Or maybe just run over it.

                        With a crew of 28-30,000, that was one hell of a boarding party!

                        They had ballast trim, and could counterflood. Not sure, but I seem to remember reading that they had for the time the best sail square-footage to mass ratio in ocean going vessels, having up to twelve masts. They also had a floating anchor system off each side to increase agility.
                        Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

                        Prayers.

                        BoRG

                        http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Stratego View Post
                          Iíve been reading the book on the Chinese treasure fleet of the 15th century, led by Admiral Zheng He. They were massive floating vessels Ė twice as large as the European ships of the 16th century.

                          Now, as usual, I was wondering:

                          If these Chinese vessels of 1433 had as many artillery on board as the Spanish Armada in 1588, who would win the naval confrontation?

                          Of course, the number of vessels in each party would be the same.
                          So, what do YOU think?



                          VS





                          Greets,
                          Stratego
                          Well, the biggest advantage for the Europeans would be that chances are good any wooden ship that size would simply break apart and sink.



                          The problem I have is that you specify a similar number of ships, If those ships did float, the sheer mass and hull size would make sinking one an extremely difficult task. Not to mention that it's not too fair if you give each one a crew of 20,000 troops.

                          In any other instance, (similar tonnage, similar manpower, similar cost) I think the European ships would have an advantage.


                          However the treasure ships weren't even built for combat. I think it might be much more interesting to compare the Spanish ships to the other Ming warships.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In any other instance, (similar tonnage, similar manpower, similar cost) I think the European ships would have an advantage.
                            Why? Just because they were European? Don't discount the Chinese. thier craftsmen were well advanced when you would compare them to the European of the same period.

                            The Chinese ships did sail and they did not break apart. The actual size is questioned today but pretty much excepted that the Treasure ships were in the 150 meter range. That is about 500 foot.
                            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                            youíre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stratego View Post
                              Eurocentricism? Man John, that hurt ! I'm an Internationalist...

                              It's harder to hit small targets! The giant Ming fleet is a 100% guarantee hit.

                              The Spanish were much more maneuvrable...

                              Bigger is not always better !



                              Greets,
                              Stratego
                              Where do you get the idea that the Spanish ships were much more manuverable? We have little data on the Chinese ships but for the Spainish ships there is quite a bit. They moved at the speed of slugs. 3 - 5 knots. Very poor sailing against the wind. That is one of the main reasons that the Spainish galleons sailed from SA back to Spain depended on the seasonal winds.
                              "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                              Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                              youíre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                              Comment

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