Mongol Fleet Invasion of Japan
In 1281 the Mongol invasion fleet of of Japan was overwhelmed by a Kamikaze or "divine wind", probably a typhoon. 4,000 ships were sunk and 100,000 men lost their lives. This disaster occurred at Takashima, in the west of the Japanese islands. Kublai Khan's armada had consisted of 4400 ships and 142,000 troops. Their purpose was to sail from ports in China and Korea in order to invade and conquer Japan.
Kublai Khan was the grandson of Genghis Khan and ruled a Mongol empire that stretched from the Black Sea to the South China Sea. He had already conquered the north of China and Korea. He had demanded obeisance from Japan but they refused to acknowledge his suzereignty over their island home. The Japanese were ready - they had built a wall around Hakata Bay. When the waves of mongol warriors came ashore to attach the Japanese positions they were held back by the wall and the ferocious Japanese defenders.
Out at sea, many small Japanese boarding boats launched quick and savage attacks on the anchored Mongol fleet. In 1281, the Japanese lacked a sizeable navy so they used local pirates to harass the Kublai Khan's fleet out at sea. Most of the mongol ships were anchored to the south and this is the direction that the typhoon came from that destroyed most of the fleet of the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan.
Model Boat Building
16th Century Ships
17th Century Ships
18th Century Ships
ship of the line