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The 6 Great Military Achievements and Developments of Ancient China

The 6 Great Military Achievements and Developments of Ancient China

There have been lots military achievements to be proud of in ancient China. Here is a list of the 6 great military achievements and developments that created by ancient Chinese people.

1. The world’s earliest military strategy book

The world's earliest military strategy book
“The Art of War” is the first book on military strategy in the world, which can be dated back to 2,500 years ago. It is one of the three world famous military books, together with “On War” by Clausewitz and “The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi. “The Art of War” was written by Sun Zi (544 – 496 BC) during China’s late Spring and Autumn Period. It is divided into 13 chapters such as Detail Assessment and Planning, Waging War and Strategic Attack. The book is an ancient Chinese military treatise summary and has been admired by militarists and politicians throughout the ages. The book has been translated into many languages such as French, English, Japanese, Russian and German.

2. The world’s first periscope

The world's first periscope
The periscope was first invented by Chinese around 200 BC during the Han Dynasty. Using the plane mirror’s reflection principle, the device can help people see outside situations under cover, which has the same principle with modern periscope. The method is to “hang a big mirror high and put a basin under it, one can see the neighbours.” this record can be found in the book “Various Techniques in Huainan” by Liu An, a duke in the Han Dynasty.

3. The world’s first military map

The world's first military map
“The Military Map”, or《驻军图》in Chinese, was discovered in Tomb 3 of the early Western Han tomb complex at Mawangdui in 1973. The map is 98 × 78 cm in size, with red, black and blue colours drawn on silk. The map depicts an area covering today’s Xiaoshui River basin, Hunan province, within a circumference of 500 li. The map is marked with roads, rural settlements, rivers, mountains, and nine garrisons and each’s garrison area. The map was drawn in 168 BC, about 2100 years ago; this is the world’s first coloured map and the earliest military map.

4. The first hand grenade

“Gourd Flying Bomb”, created by Yi ethnic group in Ailao Mountain in the 1850s, was the first hand grenade in the world. The hand-bomb is made of dried gourd stuffed with gunpowder, lead blocks and iron ore ballast. It was first thrown with rope for hunting. After the Taiping Revolution broke out, Yi people responded, and in order to fight against the enemy, they gradually develop the technique of throwing the “bomb” with hands, creating the world’s first hand grenade.

5. The world’s oldest existing cannon

“The Western Xia Coppery Cannon” was unearthed in Wuwei City, Gansu province. It is 100 cm long and 108.5kg. The cannon is simple in design, with gunpowder and iron shell inside. According to experts’ research, the cannon was used by Western Xia Dynasty (1038-1227). It is the world’s oldest metal artillery ever found.

6. The world’s first female general

The world's first female general
Fu Hao was the empress of the famous King Wuding in the late Shang Dynasty (1600-1050 BC). She commanded powerful army and galloped on many war fields, helping King Wuding fight against the Kingdom’s enemy. After she died, in order to memorize her, many hundred pieces of Ge, bows, arrow bunches, bronze ax and other weapons were laid in her tomb. Fu Hao, who lived in the Shang Dynasty 3200 years ago, is the world’s first female general.

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