Preliminary study on iron cannon unearthed in Changzhi City

Abstract: The invention and use of artillery in China did not retreat to the Yuan Dynasty.The time and space span of iron cannons unearthed in Changzhi is from Ming dynasty to Qing Dynasty.The casting of these iron cannons is local.These iron cannons are the epitome of the development and evolution of ancient Chinese and western iron cannons in the Ming and Qing dynasties, providing important material materials for the study of the military history and iron making history of Changzhi, with extremely important historical value.In the 1960s and 1970s, nine iron cannons were unearthed in Changzhi city, which are basically well preserved and now stored in chenghuang Temple Cultural Administration Office of Changzhi City.The situation of each gun is shown in Table 1.The first gun has a definite date of “fifteen years of Chongzhen”, while the rest of the iron guns can be inferred from the shape of their casting time, about qing Dynasty.These 9 guns are heavy iron guns, a kind of shore guns, used for defense, long barrel, generally more than 1 meter in length.The gun body generally has multiple reinforcement straps.Gun no. 1, Ming dynasty iron gun.In terms of shape, it should belong to the “Red Barbary cannon” with inscription (Figure 1).The gun is round cone shape, breeches big, small bore, the length of the gun body 197 cm, the maximum diameter of the rear body 28 cm, the diameter of the gun body 14 cm, the barrel aperture 7.5 cm.The gun body has 11 reinforcement hoops, with a height of 2.3 cm.The middle of the gun body by the left and right symmetrical handle (a broken), the handle is cylindrical, 6.5 cm long, 4 cm in diameter, near the middle of the tail has a diameter of 4.6 cm round ignition hole, the tail knob round ball.The gun body hoop casting inscription, a hoop vertical casting three lines of 23 words.The inscription content is “Chongzhen fifteen years made Changzhi County magistrate Yan Xi-kong made commission official County cheng Shen Jihui”.On the other hand, a 29-character inscription is erected between the hoops. The inscription reads: “Gold Firemaker: Jiang Shoubin, Jiang Shouyin, Eye maker: Wang Yifu, Jin Fengluo, Li Fenglou, Li Sankou, Jin Fenglou”.It shows that gun no. 1 was manufactured and used by Lu ‘an House at that time, and belongs to mud mold gun.Iron guns 2-9 have the same shape.All are straight barrel type, large caliber, the gun body cast reinforcement hoop, belongs to mud mold casting gun.Development of the Iron Gun The iron gun is a kind of old artillery.Artillery is a kind of metal tubular firearm with large caliber and weight, which is composed of barrel, charge chamber, gun tail and other parts. Most of them are equipped with a sliding bore and can fire stone bullets, lead rockets, iron bullets and explosive bullets. Most of them are equipped with special gun racks or gun carriages.China’s invention and use of artillery did not retreat to the Yuan Dynasty, mainly used for attacking and defending the fortress, but also used in field and water warfare, is an important equipment of the army.By the early Ming dynasty, the army had been mass-produced and equipped.During the reign of Yongle in the Ming Dynasty, in order to carry out the Mobei War against the Mongolian army, the Ming government established the “Shenji Battalion”, which was the first new recruit in the world equipped with firearms such as guns.”Zheng He’s fleet was also equipped with a lot of artillery and other firearms.It can be said that the early Ming Dynasty was the heyday of the manufacture and use of firearms in China.However, the firearms of the Ming Dynasty were mainly firewares, whose power had fallen far behind that of the West.From the end of the 13th century to the beginning of the 14th century, gunpowder firearms in China were introduced to the West.However, after the Establishment of the Ming Dynasty, the development of firearms was basically in a state of stagnation due to the fact that it was not necessary to develop firearms for a long time, and the fear of firearms leakage.At that time, the advanced technology of the Western shotgun and The Flemish machine far exceeded that of our country. Facing the reality, people had to learn from the West.The Flamingo was an early rapid-fire gun invented by the Portuguese.Ming Dynasty called Portugal Franc machine, so this kind of firearm named “Franc machine”.With this advanced weapon, the Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good Hope and reached India in 1498 (the 11th year of the Reign of Emperor Hongzhi of the Ming Dynasty), and continued to invade the east.In 1511, malacca, then an important stronghold of international trade, was captured.In 1517 (the twelfth year of Zhengde), he arrived in Guangzhou and asked to trade with the Ming Dynasty. A war broke out. During the war, China captured The Flang machine and the Ming Dynasty began to copy this kind of firearm.In the early Ming Dynasty, iron-cast artillery did appear. Although there was some development in large-scale artillery, such as the “general gun”, there was no major innovation.The existing iron gun cast in the fifth year of Hongwu of Ming Dynasty (1372) is 365 centimeters long, 11.7 centimeters in caliber and 15.75 kilograms in weight. It is the earliest iron gun discovered so far and is stored in the Chinese Military Museum.It was not until the Reign of Emperor Jiajing of Ming Dynasty that the Portuguese “Fran gun” was copied and improved, which improved the performance of the cannon.In the reign of emperor Qi tomorrow, the Western countries produced another kind of cannon, called “Red Barbarians”, which is named after the Dutch red barbarians.Later, red Cannon became the general name of similar western artillery, also known as western artillery.At that time, the Ming court had appointed Xu Guangqi and others to organize the imitation of a large number of “Red Cannons”.At the same time, local officials in Guangdong, Fujian, Shandong, Shanxi and other provinces were also making “Red Cannons” in large numbers.Especially in the Ming Dynasty chongzhen imitation of the “red cannon”, the performance of the Ming cannon has been significantly improved.The introduction and imitation of western cannon on the improvement of China’s military technology, and processes are produced significant influence, in the form of war accelerated the fast development of China’s firearms, which reached a new level, significantly narrowed the gap with the west, caught and close to the level of the big western firearms, it also affects the Ming with the latter to progress in the war and the failure of the delayed the Ming army.Before entering the Pass, the Qing army also began to copy the Red Cannon (called the Red Cannon in the Ming Dynasty) because of its powerful power. The manufacture of the Red Cannon was greatly developed, and only in kangzhao’s 13th to 26th year, 500 red Cannons were drawn.After Kangxi, until the first Opium War during the Daoguang Reign, the manufacture of firearms in the Qing Dynasty was on the decline for more than a hundred years, and the manufacturing and use technology of large-scale artillery in China barely developed.Iron guns are generally classified according to the “ballistic characteristics”. The ancient iron guns in China and the West can be divided into light guns, red cannons, skyrockets, rear-mounted guns and western cannons, howitzers, karons and mortar guns. There are altogether eight types.In ancient China, there were three methods of making iron cannon: mud mold casting gun, sand mold casting gun and iron mold casting gun.1. Mud casting gun method There are four processes in mud casting gun method: first, make the mud gun model and dry it at low temperature;Secondly, the clay cannon was used as the bottom to make the outer mold, and inscriptions and patterns were carved on the inner wall of the mold.At the same time to make the mud core inside the mold, drying the final mold, after the mold is built, melt molten iron, into the mold.In the book Fire Attack Guide written by Jiao Zhu, a famous firearm theorist in the late Ming Dynasty, it was mentioned that the sand casting gun was different from the mud casting gun. The outer shell was made of nanmu or Chinese fir, and the gun ears, gun hooping and various parts of the gun body were installed in wood models.After using a proportional mix good sand and mud of successive evenly on the cannon block, wire, iron and other after reinforcement, appearance slime, 24 months after natural drying, remove the wooden heart in the mud type and with the fire of coals after burn, the model of wooden trunnion cannon, and other accessories all namely get artillery van outside carbonized into ashes.The cannon cast by this method is strong and durable, but the cost and casting time are increased.During the Opium War, Gong Zhenlin, a magistrate of Jiaxing county, Zhejiang province, created a new technology for iron cannon casting, which changed the situation of long period of cannon casting with clay mold.In The 21st year of Daoguang (1841) in September, Gong Zhenlin had cast more than 120 new guns with the iron mold gun method.Later, Gong Zhenlin wrote the book “Iron mold casting gun said.”Three, changzhi changzhi iron cannon reasons, being to take, because of its high XianGu topography, there is a natural barrier, known as “the ridge of the world”, the ancients called the “elbow Beijing and shoe PuJin, leaning in taiyuan and new moon” across a river, the military geographical position advantage, is the natural barrier, since ancient times has been touted as a “use” and “for the keys”.All the dynasties, according to the landscape here, set up a pass to defend the state county, pass all over changzhi county villages.The famous passes in Changzhi are Huguan Pass, Shangdang Pass, Hengshui Pass, Changping Pass, Jinggu pass, Dongyang pass, Yuxia pass, Hongtong pass, Zhengti pass, Dahe Pass, Nan Pass, Angche pass, Shimen Pass, Mianshang Pass, Chaidian Pass, Funiu Mountain pass and so on.These passes were not only important military fortresses, but also important communication channels between the ancient Party and the outside world, which had played a very important role in history.At the same time, because of the importance of changzhi, the ancients attached great importance to the construction of the city, strengthening the city defense facilities, stationing troops, attaching great importance to the defense of the city, the configuration of facilities, the configuration of heavy weapons iron guns is naturally the focus of the city defense facilities.Xu Guangqi, the most outstanding scientist in the Ming Dynasty, believed that “firearms are the first thing in today’s affairs”, and “those who can defeat the enemy have only one Shenwei cannon”.Changzhi is rich in pyrite and hematite resources, rich in coal and iron resources for the development of iron industry has laid a unique natural conditions.Therefore, the local iron smelting industry, iron manufacturing industry has a long history and a long history.Both historical records and unearthed cultural relics have been confirmed.According to records of Changzhi County, when Emperor Wudi of han set up iron officers in 49 counties and counties, he set up iron officers in Huguan County of Shangdang County (including the whole of today’s Changzhi County).In song Dynasty, the output of iron ware in China ranked first in the world at that time, and Luzhou, east of Li River, was one of the developed areas of iron production in Shanxi. At that time, Yincheng had been able to manufacture iron cannons, iron thunder and so on for military use.Iron industry production more developed in the Ming dynasty, according to the “Ming • shihuozhi volunteers” and continued his literature contained: five years hongwu (1373) national 13 iron smelting, shanxi has five, LuAn name (s) as the 0 including iron goods products, variety complete, fine classification, from the articles for daily use, means of production to the military equipment, sacrifice ritual vessels.Cast in “Chongzhen fifteen years” iron gun is Changzhi county magistrate Yan Xikong built, according to the “Lu ‘an Fu Annals” volume 15 official table and “Changzhi County annals” official four records: Yan Xikong, ancestral home in Yizhou, Shandong province, after jinshi, rose magistrate changzhi county magistrate called Tianqi to Chongzhen years, is the Ming Dynasty’s decline and fall period.Economically, land is highly concentrated, and feudal production relations have become serious fetters of the further development of social productive forces.Politically, the emperor was corrupt, incompetent, headstrong, eunuchs monopolized power, the party was fierce, the bureaucracy was corrupt, bribery, the ruling class became more and more corrupt.In this context, a new force of the Nuzhen nationality in Liaodong took the opportunity to rise, unified the nuzhen nationality, established the Jin State, and constantly attacked the Ming Court, launched a long-term fierce military struggle with the Ming Court.In the struggle, both sides tried to overpower each other, vigorously developed military technology and paid attention to strategy and tactics.In order to fight against the later Jin dynasty and suppress the peasant uprising, some members of the ruling class made great efforts to improve weapons and equipment, introduce western military technology, and put forward various countermeasures in an attempt to recover the defeat.During the Reign of Chongzhen in the Ming Dynasty, the peasant army zijinliang marched eastward from Shaanxi province and had a fierce battle with the official army at Shangdang Pass.The no.1 iron gun unearthed in Changzhi was probably a copy of the Western cannon built by Yan Xikong, a magistrate, for defensive purposes, fearing the attack of the rebels under this historical background.No. 2-9 Qing iron cannons were excavated in one place at the same time. Although there is no other information to prove their age and function, they were excavated at the edge of the city wall with a large number of them, which can be inferred as the installation of urban defense at that time.To sum up, the author believes that the time and space span of the iron cannon unearthed in Changzhi is from Ming Dynasty to Qing Dynasty.The casting of these iron cannons is local.These iron cannons are the epitome of the development and evolution of ancient Chinese and western iron cannons in the Ming and Qing dynasties, providing important material materials for the study of the military history and iron making history of Changzhi, with extremely important historical value.(The author works at Changzhi Museum, Shanxi Province)

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