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How the Attackers Tried to Conquer Great Wall

In Chinese history, most of the attackers who tried to conquer the Great Wall were the grassland dwellers who favored riding horses as transports. The major way was the overwhelming blow by the rivalry. And that is the reason why the great wall was built in the first place. In the battlefields, the attackers always attempted to conquer the weak link of the great wall where the defense was very weak. Another strategy they tried was to divert the attention on one side and attacked on the other side. On one hand, they attacked the great wall with rivalry, and on the other hand they sent some infantry soldiers to climb over the wall. At the time, if some parts of the wall were conquered, it was all downhill for the outlandish attackers.

Great Wall

According to historical documents, the attackers always came in large numbers when conquering the great wall. For example, in 200 BC, the Mongolian leader Modu led 400,000 rivalries when he set his mind to conquer the great wall and besieged the Han Emperor for 7 days before he escaped from the siege. Another grassland dweller group also sent large army to attack the North Wei Dynasty with 60,000 soldiers, as it turned out, the army even made its way in the palace. In 615, the Mongolian tribes leader Shibi also sent tens of thousands of rivalries to attack the Sui Dynasty. During Ming and Qing dynasties, Mongolian and Manchu people also sent large number of soldiers to conquer the great wall. In a word, the northern people always sent a large number of soldiers to attack the great wall. To put it simply, this is the only way they could think of trying to conquer the wall as the economy is kind of far behind the inland people.

By the way, there is another strategy which was used to attack the great wall and this is very specific and called the Xuecheng, meaning to dig its way under the great wall. With some archers occupying some adventurous locations outside great wall to kill the defensive soldiers, some soldiers would dig their way under the wall to break the foundation of the wall and then the attackers found a weak link. This is also the reason why the Ming dynasty built the great wall more solidly and firmly with stone than before.

How Signal Was Transmitted on Great Wall

The signal was transmitted by way of the beacon tower lining the Great Wall. The beacon towers are all built on the high point on the wall to ensure better watching out advantages for defense.

Signal on Great Wall

The construction of the beacon tower can be dated back as early as the West Zhou Dynasty, when the military intelligence was transmitted by firing on the beacon tower. There is a famous legend about the signal transmission back then. Back then, the King of West Zhou Dynasty faked a military signal just to please his wife. After he did that, the other leaders were very furious about this and they all felt being played by the king. So later, when the ethnic tribes called Quanrong attacked, those leaders did not help the king, no matter how many times the signal was sent out to them. In the end, the king was overthrown and killed and his wife was taken too. The legend may seem pretty funny, but it tells us how serious the signal transmission was back then and you just could not in any way mess up with it even if you are the king.

The beacon towers on the great wall are divided into two types, square-shaped and round-shaped. Some of the towers are built with rammed earth, and some with stone slates and bricks. The layout of the beacon towers also can be divided into different types. First one is that the beacon towers are built further to watch out for the enemies; the second one is built inside the wall and connected with passes and towns; the third one is built on the wall itself to enhance communication between different sections of the wall. There are many soldiers who are sent out here on the wall to guard the beacon towers. The soldiers are responsible for different stuff while guarding the towers, some responsible for look-out, some for restoration, others for collecting wood and wolf feces. It is said that if you want to enhance the signal in daylight, the wolf feces should be mixed. Some soldiers even lived on the wall with their families. Moreover, there are different ways to sent out the signal, including flags, lanterns, drums and canons and the like. These different ways are combined to make sure the signal is sent out very well to help the military operations.

How the Great Wall Was Guarded

The Great Wall of China used to be guarded in different ways. In general, there are both some similarities and differences when it comes to the defense of the Great Wall. One of the most representative sections of the Great Wall was constructed during Ming Dynasty. The defensive administration of Ming Dynasty Great Wall was operated directly by the government, but there were some changes over time. At the beginning of Ming Dynasty, the defense of the Great Wall was always accompanied with the military operations as the whole country was still in chaos. At the time, the defense of the Great Wall was in charge of the generals. For example, during Hongwu reign of Ming Dynasty, generals Xuda and Fengsheng were responsible for the defense of the Great Wall and engaging battles at the same time. On one hand, they were responsible for restoring and administrating the Great Wall to build a complete defensive system.

Great Wall Guarded

Afterwards, as Ming Dynasty had officially consolidated its rule over the whole country, the administration and defense of the Great Wall changed. The then military administrative system was called Dusi Weisuozhi. Dusi was the local administration center, the Wei and Suo were its subjective institutions. In Ming Dynasty, there were 16 dusi, 5 xingdusi. There were dozens of dusi set up along the Great Wall, which were responsible for the defense and administration of the Great Wall. The Ming Dynasty Great Wall starts from Yalu River from the east and ends at Jiayuguan, with a large number of guarding passes scattered along the Great Wall. Back then the defensive system had become very complete and advanced. And the defensive system was controlled by the central government and the emperors.

The administration system of the military in Ming Dynasty includes: Wujun Dudufu – headquartered in the capital, with the leader called Dudu; Bingbu - leader called Shangshu; Dusi and Xingdusi headquartered in the provinces, leader called Duzhihushi; Weishihuisi, leader called Zhihuishi; Qianhu Zhihuisi, leader called Qianhu; Baihusuo, leader called Baihu; Zongqi, leader called Zongqi; Xiaoqi, leader called Xiaoqi. The administration and defense system of the Great Wall in Ming Dynasty is the most advanced compared with the former times.

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