History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In the Battle of Noryang, the combined navy of Chosun (Korean kingdom) and Ming (China) tried to prevent the Japanese from making a safe retreat. But considering the fact that the Koreans or the Chinese did not have any intention to follow them to Japan, what was the reason for preventing the retreat? The allied forces must have known that Hideyoshi had died, and the Japanese had no hopes of invading Korea again. Then, why did they not simply leave the Japanese alone, considering the fact that they did not have much to gain even after winning the battle?

share|improve this question
Much easier with hindsight, I fear. – o0'. Dec 24 '13 at 22:24
@Lohoris But all these facts were known before the battle too. Considering the fact that the Korean navy was led by an excellent tactician, there must have been something that prompted them to fight an unequal battle. – Arani Dec 25 '13 at 10:26
It may be worth adding the assessment (e.g. they stood more to loose from the battle than to win, given correlation of forces) to the question itself. – DVK Dec 26 '13 at 5:17

To expand on Amandeep Jiddewar's answer: The Wikipedia article on Noryang referenced by OP seems to indicate that the Japanese were not intending a retreat from the Korean Peninsula, but rather a consolidation inside their fortified perimeter around Pusan. As one of the most vulnerable maneuvers that an army can attempt is a withdrawal in the face of the enemy, and he intention of the Japanese to fully withdraw from the Korean Peninsula were far from clear, the decision to pursue the Japanese and engage them, with the intent of destroying their offensive and defensive capability, seems imminently sensible..

share|improve this answer

Japanese prepared army of 500 ships for peaceful retrieval from Korea to there homeland.

"Japanese had no hopes of Invading again!"

This idea was not convincing for Admiral Yi, he with his Chinese counterparts resolved to defeat Japanese once and for all and Japanese would never dream of attacking Korea again.

share|improve this answer
Where is the quote from? Can you source Yi's beliefs? Note that I think you are spot on, however I'd like to read more about it. – CGCampbell Aug 22 '14 at 16:47

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.