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I've heard that the Jin are the first people that used cannon to defend Kaifeng when attacked by the Mongols.

However, I've also heard that one of the disputes between Kubilai Khan and Sung is that Kaifeng was captured by Sung.

So did the cannon successfully repel the Mongols?

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2 Answers 2

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I've heard that the Jin are the first people that used cannon to defend Kaifeng when attacked by the Mongols. So did the cannon successfully repel the Mongols?

From Cambridge History of China Vol 6: Alien Regimes and Border States 907- 1368 Page 263

"The siege of Kaifeng is also of some interest for the history of military technology, because gunpowder was used by both parties, if not as propellant for projectiles, then certainly for grenades hurled by catapults.These bombs were used by the defenders of Kaifeng against men and horses, with deadly results. Another weapon credited to the inventiveness of Chinese artisans was a flamethrower ( or rocket?), called a "fire lance." Sixteen layers of strong yellow paper were pasted together and formed into a pipe over sixty centimeters long. This pipe was filled with a mixture of charcoal made from willow wood, iron fillings, powdered procelain, sulphur, and niter and was fastened to a lance.The soldiers handling these weapons carred a small iron box with glowing embers and, in battle, ignited the fire lances, which ejected a flame over three meters long. When the explosive were spent, the pipes could be reloaded."

So to answer your question, some types of gunpowder weapons were used, but no cannon. The siege was ultimately successful and on 29 May 1233 the city gates were opened to the Subetei. The last Jin emperor escaped to Caizhou and committed suicide next year during a Mongol-Sung siege.

However, I've also heard that one of the disputes between Kubilai Khan and Sung is that Kaifeng was captured by Sung.

The Sung did try to recover their historical capitals of Kaifeng and Luoyang in 1234 but were easily repulsed by their "ally", the Mongols. The Sung never seriously considered recovering their northern territory. The final conquest of Sung by Kublai Khan was in 1279. I'm sure those incidents provided very good excuses for the Mongol to attack Sung.

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Welcome to History.SE Great first answer! –  E1Suave May 28 '12 at 12:48

From reading on Wikipedia, I found that Kaifeng was taken by the Mongols by Ogedei Khan. Kaifeng was defended with fire arrows. Wikipedia says nothing at all in the article about a cannon. I did more searching. I typed in to google, Kaifeng, Cannon, Jin. Links to this page were all that came up. I went to history of weapons. There is one Kaifeng in the entire article. It says nothing about Kaifeng cannons. Based of the absence of info, I'd guess that Kaifeng didn't have cannons. (I'll do more research)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_weapons

https://www.google.com/search?q=keifang+cannon#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&q=cannons+used+to+defend+kaifeng&oq=cannons+used+to+defend+kaifeng&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_nf=1&gs_l=serp.3...5463.5641.3.6009.2.2.0.0.0.1.228.374.0j1j1.2.0.W3jNGpQDUO0&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=7a66b061cff5f1ff&biw=1160&bih=620

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol%E2%80%93Jin_Dynasty_War

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