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FIGHTING AGAINST OVERPOWERING ODDS


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Fighting Against Overpowering Odds

   Fighting Against Overpowering Odds

Meanwhile the Armada was preparing. Great China was coming to crush the little strip of land that refused homage to the invincible conqueror. The army numbered one hundred thousand Chinese and Tartars, and seven thousand Koreans, in ships that whitened the sea as the snowy herons whiten the islands of Lake Biwa. They numbered thirty-five thousand in all. In the seventh month of the year 1281, the tassled prows and fluted sails of the Chinese junks greeted the staring eyes of watchers on the hills of Daizaifu.

The Armada sailed gallantly up, and ranged itself off the castled city. Many of the junks were of immense proportions, larger than the natives of Japan had ever seen and armed with the engines of European warfare, which their Venetian guests had taught the Mongols to construct and work. The Japanese had small chance of success on the water; although their boats, being swifter and lighter, were more easily managed, yet many of them were sunk by the darts and huge stones hurled by the catapults mounted on their enemys decks. In personal prowess the natives of Nippon were superior. Swimming out to the fleet, a party of thirty boarded a junk, and cut off the heads of the crew; but another party attempting to do so, were all killed by the now wary Tartars.

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From General Nelson A. Miles
Thrilling Stories of The Russian-Japanese War, 1904

   Fighting Against Overpowering Odds
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