October 13, 2005

Chinese Siege Warfare. A nicely illustrated history, which amongst a multitude of riches introduces us to Ming dynasty rocket infantry, a 3rd century B.C. 'machine gun' and includes a handy strategic geography should you ever fancy invading the Celestial Empire yourself. Via
  • That yiwofeng thing looks impressive, though possibly dangerous to the operator. This stuff almost makes me wish I still played war games (the table-top sort, not dressing up)- there's definitely the material for an excellent game here.
  • Fun. Thanks A_C!
  • From that 'machine gun' link: Working copies of the Zhuge Nu were still in use as late as the mid 20th century, as home anti-burglar weapons. Its ease of use also meant that anyone could use the weapon, including housewives and even children making this unique weapon the longest continuously used mechanical device in the world! Dude. I want a siege weapon for anti-burglar use. That would rock.
  • The site also has a nice bit on མོ墨子 (Mozi) who always sounds like the coolest of Confucius' philosophical contemporaries. He and his followers preached universal love and went round China advising small states on defense against aggression from larger neighbours - sort of perpetual champions of the underdog. Not surprisingly, they didn't last.
  • Cool site, thanks Abie. Re: Mozi - I thought for a moment that he was Mencius, but looks like i'm wrong about that. BTW on a totally different older topic, I started reading Duggan's "Conscience of the King" which you recommended some time ago. It's great!
  • I liked it as it seems like a labour of love from an amateur miltary historian - judging from some of the pics he's making reconstruction models himself. I admire that kind of dedication. Glad you like the Duggan. Did you find it in print? There's acouple of his others I'd like to read but he seems out of fashion right now.
  • Abie, I checked my local library and they didn't have it. So on impulse, i asked them to order it. They did and not only that they bought four copies. It looks like Duggan might be on a revival because the copy I ended up with (brand spanking new!) is a 2005 paperback reprint. One of the things that impressed me about the writing is that it seems modern even though written fifty years ago.