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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2011, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Facts about the Great Wall of China

Hi Peter. The Ming wall was basically a completely different wall built in sections. For example, Shanhaiguan was built in 1381 and added to in segments, the western portions along the Ordos were built in the mid-1400s, and the majority of the sections closest to Beijing were from the mid-1500s to the end of the Ming. Each section was built in response to where the enemy was. In the 1400s it was Esen Khan, in the 1500s it was Altan Khan, and in the 1600s it was the Manchus. The reason it was in such poor condition recently is because the Manchus once they were in China, had no use for it. For the last 350 years or so it has had no military purpose.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2011, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: Facts about the Great Wall of China

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterLee View Post
1. Xiongnu & Yuezhi from the Northwest - Han Wall
2. Tibetans from the West - Sui Wall and Tang Wall?
3. Xianbei from the North - Eastern Wei and Western Wei Wall??
4. Mongolians from the North - Ming and Jin Wall, Song Wall
5. Khitans; Rourans; from the North - ?????
6. Nüzhen from the Northeast - Ming and Jin Wall
Interesting list, but I will try to complete and correct after returning home and having access to my sources.
There are some correct aspects but mistakes as well in your list. We can try together to improve it.


-chinoook
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chinoook's 2nd law: Newer walls are built next older walls, not over them.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-2013, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Facts about the Great Wall of China

Finally, from pure military purposes meaning, the Wall (s) didn't show much action against regular troups but rather to expel unorganised bands of marauders. When the organised army of Genghis Khan attacked the wall (Jin Great Wall) this one was breached immediately. Therefore, I may suggest, that the wall (s) served mainly just to impose taxes on incoming goods and persons. It reminds me Enver Hoxha of Albania who build 970.000.- bunkers to prevent foreign attack on his country. These bunkers never saw action and not a single shot was fired !
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 12-03-2013, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: Facts about the Great Wall of China

I think the Ming wall around Beijing saw its share of battles one way or the other (not least during the Japan-China war leading up to and during WW2 - there was a big battle at and around Nankou and as far west as Shuitoucun from there, and also back east at Gubeikou).

A couple I'm familiar with are some skirmishes at Juyongguan and of course Li Zicheng sneaking his way through Badaling after a feint (and small battle, I think) over at Shixiaguan.

Also, the Mongols made it to the gate at Andingmen during the Ming Dynasty, pillaging along the way, so they got past the wall then somehow. I understand that was one of the incidents that lead to Imperial approval for Qi Jinguang to spruce up the wall, giving us much of what we enjoy and marvel at today.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Facts about the Great Wall of China

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinikonteichosmaniac View Post
Finally, from pure military purposes meaning, the Wall (s) didn't show much action against regular troups but rather to expel unorganised bands of marauders. When the organised army of Genghis Khan attacked the wall (Jin Great Wall) this one was breached immediately. Therefore, I may suggest, that the wall (s) served mainly just to impose taxes on incoming goods and persons.
This is a very interesting question. A wall like the Jin wall (a structulally weak wall) is not able to repel a whole attacking army. It will only slow down the attack, hopefully giving the supporting armies from the backcountry enough time to gather right where the breach was. We see large fortresses there, never really close to the wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bianfuxia View Post
I think the Ming wall around Beijing saw its share of battles one way or the other (not least during the Japan-China war leading up to and during WW2 - there was a big battle at and around Nankou and as far west as Shuitoucun from there, and also back east at Gubeikou).

Also, the Mongols made it to the gate at Andingmen during the Ming Dynasty,
They (Atan Khan) breached through Gubeikou, which was not heavily defended (no wall at all at that time?). When was the Gubeikou section built? Anyone here who knows that?

The wall at Shanhaiguan was supposed to be unbreachable. At least for a classic nothern cavalry I would agree.


-chinoook
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chinoook's 1st law: Structurally weak walls tend to have double structures.
chinoook's 2nd law: Newer walls are built next older walls, not over them.
chinoook's 3rd law: Similar problems lead to similar solutions.


The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of people, who have not viewed the world. (Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), German naturalist and explorer)
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 12-03-2013, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Facts about the Great Wall of China

Something I found on the internet (ok, on a travel site) says:
The first section of the wall was built during the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 557). [That much we are pretty certain of]. Centuries later, General Xuda ordered to rebuild it in the early Ming Dynasty... The defensive capability of the wall was enhanced by adding more stones. When Qi Jiguang was appointed the chief commanding officer of Ji Garrison (one of the eleven garrisons in Ming Dynasty), he laid another line of brick wall beside the original one, thus forming the unique double-lined Wall.
Xu Da supposedly lived 1332–1385. From my recollection the incident at Andingmen was later than that. Qi as we also know went on a wall-building bender 1567-69 which is when I imagine GBK gained its present appearance (before it fell into ruin of course).

When i was up there the other day I wondered why some towers were more or less intact and the ones right next to them were all but demolished. I wondered if they'd taken artillery strikes during the big battle between Chinese and Japanese forces. I read somewhere that the battle was all over that plain there - it'd make sense that someone (on either side) might call in some fire on opponents holed up in a tower.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 12-03-2013, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Facts about the Great Wall of China

Quote:
Originally Posted by bianfuxia View Post
From my recollection the incident at Andingmen was later than that.
1550


-chinoook
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chinoook's 1st law: Structurally weak walls tend to have double structures.
chinoook's 2nd law: Newer walls are built next older walls, not over them.
chinoook's 3rd law: Similar problems lead to similar solutions.


The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of people, who have not viewed the world. (Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), German naturalist and explorer)
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 12-04-2013, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Facts about the Great Wall of China

Right, because I thought that was one of the main motivations behind Qi's renewed wall building push.

Every time I walk over Andingmen Bridge to catch line 2 I try to imagine what it must have been like that day in 1550. I suppose the noise of the burning northern suburbs could have been a bit similar to the roar of the 2nd ring road!
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