The Noryang(노량) Maritime Battle has a very important historical significance whole throughout the Imjin War. It is of great significance in that it was the battle of the Joseon-Ming Combined Fleet fighting together and also the final battle of the seven years of Imjin war against Japanese invasive forces. However the general level of historical understanding for this sea battle is not very high compared to its importance.
It was simply recognized as a battle in which Yi Sun-shin(이순신) died, and the Japanese troops returned back to their country and finally the Imjin War was over. In fact, not enough individual studies dealing with the background of the Noryang(노량) Sea Battle, the combat power of friend or foe's participation in the battle, the course of the battle, and its historical importance.
Many researchers still have slightly different views on the size of the Joseon and the Ming naval forces that participated in the sea battle of Noryang. Although it can be said that the size of the Joseon naval forces has been grasped to some extent however the size that of the Ming naval forces remains controversial.
The size of the Joseon-Ming Combined Fleet at the Noryang(노량) Sea Battle is an important topic to understand the strategies and tactics of Joseon and Ming naval forces at that time. The more accurately we can grasp the size, the better we can understand the strategies and tactics of Joseon and Ming naval forces, and the better we can read the course of the Noryang(노량) Sea Battle and the war status and process of Imjin War.
To this end, this study examined the size of the Joseon and the Ming naval forces that participated in the Noryang(노량) Sea Battle in detail by reviewing some historical literature and various research data dealing with the Noryang(노량) Sea Battle. In particular, by researching newly introduced or excavated historical materials in detail, this study tried to clarify what existing researchers missed about the size of the Joseon-Ming Combined Fleet at the Noryang(노량) Sea Battle.
The size of Joseon naval forces was estimated in more detail than previous studies by comparing and examining changes in the size of the front line battleships after the Myeongnyang(명량) Sea Battle, the loss of the front line battleships during the SaroByeongjin Operation(Four Way Breakthrough Operation 사로병진 작전) and the number of remaining front line battleships after the Noryang(노량) Sea Battle. To this end, this study referred to various historical sources such as Annals of King Seonjo(선조실록), Yi Sun-shin(이순신)'s war diary Nanjung Ilgi(난중일기), Cho Kyung-nam(조경남)'s Nanjung Japrok(난중잡록), Lee Won-ik(이원익)'s Orijip(오리집), Lee Hang-bok(이항복)'s Baeksajip(백사집), Jin Kyung-moon(진경문)'s Seomhojip(섬호집), a Japanese record Jeonghanrok(정한록).
The size of Ming naval forces was referred to records of Ming dynasty such as Gyungryagoejui(경략어왜주의), Yangjopyongyangrok(양조평양록), Gyungryagbokgukyopyon(경략복국요편) and also the records of Joseon dynasty such as Annals of King Seonjo(선조실록), Yi Sun-shin(이순신)'s Nanjung Ilgi(난중일기), Sin Heum(신흠)'s Sangchonjip(상촌집), Shin Gyung(신경)'s Jaejobunbangji(재조번방지) were cross-verified.