This study focuses on how General Lee achieved continuous victory streaks in the beginning of Japanese invasion. Unlike previous studies that focused on the victory factors on the water, this study focuses on analyses of General Lee’s combat preparation and emphasized combat ability during initial battles, which defeated Japanese force.
General Lee substantially prepared for possible battles considering Hong-Yang Japanese invasion on Year of Jeong-Hae (1587). By developing the foundation for discipline and commanding system based on the past experience, Lee focused on creative, yet fundamental war-preparation. One of Lee’s creative works is that he collected information of Japanese combat style to create his battle strategies: to avoid hand to hand fights, but to be close enough to target enemy ships with turtle ships, and to inspect the war preparations. For the war preparations, Lee inspected ships, various weapons, and defense system on the field. But most importantly, Lee’s victorious background originated from his nationally scaled propulsion for increasing the number of war-ships, development of cannons specially designed for battles against Japanese forces.
When the actual Lim-Gin Japanese invasion occurred, Lee was fully prepared to go to the war against Japan by utilizing the effective reporting system, which reached Right Jeon-Ra provinces, observatory posts, and central government in a very short time. Lee also prepared for all possible routes of Japanese incomings and settled his navy on Gyeong-Sang Sea waiting for the imminent engage command from the government.
In order to execute Command & Control system in the battle at Gyeong-Sang Sea, Lee required strict command system, and hierarchy with Won-Gyun and Uk-Gi Lee’s fleet, which allowed well-coordinated strategic system. Also, strategy integrated intelligence, maneuver, fires, and protections against Japanese Force. First, spot the enemy, approach with fleets during earl dawn when security is assured, then charge with turtle ships and full-on assailment of cannons with Pan-Ok ships to defeat Japanese Navy. After such strategy, Lee quickly fled from the battle scene in order to prepare for the possible ambush attacks and buy some maintenance time for his navy. In sum, Lee achieved the victory via analyzing Japanese Navy’s current status, geography, water current, surround and attack strategy, ambush attacks, and effective maneuvers, which integrated with turtle ships and navy’s fire power. He also inspected his forces, fleets, and other weapons to sustain his combat abilities. He distributed trophies from the battles to his soldiers to alleviate their fear and fatigue.
The most important victory factor would be Lee’s victory aimed leadership. His leadership highlighted field focused operations, principles, executions, and keen discernment, which contributed to flexible strategies, all with courage, fairness, people and his navy.
In order to win the war, combat capability had to be performed at its best, and Lee’s victories at the initial battles exemplify preparation for the war and successful coordination of combat ability with his leadership in the naval battles.