Korean Turtle Ships

KOREAN TURTLE SHIP

     “The Korean Turtle Ship is the first ironclad warship in the world shaped like a turtle that was invented and built by Admiral YI, SOON SHIN in 1592 (16C).
During the IM JIN WAR (Korean and Japanese; 1592-1598), under Admiral YI’s command, the turtle ships were engaged as the vanguard and brought the seas under their control to lead the country to victory.
Therefore, the Korean people admire general YI as the most famous Admiral in Korean history, and an original form of the turtle ship was rebuilt and kept by the KOREAN NAVAL ACADEMY in JIN HAE.
The following are the details about structure of the original turtle ship

Length: 34.2m     Width: lO.3m     Height: 6.4m

     The turtle ship had it’s deck made firm with boards from two inches to a foot thick, and it was roofed with iron plates on boards, and numberless spikes on them which prevented the enemy from boarding.
Although it’s crew could look at the enemy from the ship, the enemy could not see into it from outside.
The bow is shaped after the head of a dragon and the stern the tail of a turtle.
A gun-port is installed at each end of the dragon head, and six more on each side of the ship. The name turtle ship is derived from the shape.
It had eight oars on each side and two sails used for maneuvering.
The masts were designed to stand up or lay down as necessary.
It had a total of 24 cabins: two were used as storage for iron products and metal works, and three for guns, bows, arrows, spears, swords and other weapons. The rest of the rooms were quarters for the crew.
In the upper part of the ship were two cabins; one for the captain and the other for the officers.

     REMARKS: The study of world naval history reveals that the turtle ship was the most unique and unquestionably epoch-making invention of the time.”

Source of excerpt: Korean Arts website’s Dolls_figurines page

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