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Tang’s Invasion into the Goguryeo and Cavalry Battles

Yi Hong Du 1

1홍익대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Tang Dynasty reinforced the mobility of its force by organizing its main forces, with cavalry instead of chariot units, and invaded Goguryeo twice during the reign of Emperor Taejong and four times during the reign of Emperor Gojong. In the first invasion in May 645 during the reign of Emperor Taejong, there were two cavalry battles outside the Laodong Fortress between 40 thousands infantrymen and cavalrymen of Goguryeo and 4 thousand cavalrymen of Tang. In the first battle, Janggunye was defeated, and in the second one, Dojong won. Janggunye’s defeat was mainly because there was no close support by the infantry, and Dojong’s victory was thanks to the armored cavalry’s attack against the disorganized Goguryeo Forces. In the cavalry battle outside the Ansi Fortress, Tang Forces of 30 thousand defeated Goguryeo Forces of 150 thousand. Tang’s army lured Goguryeo’s force to the place around 3 km to the southeast of the Ansi Fortress, and then it lined up at an advantageous spot and launched an assault with its armored cavalry. In addition, 10 thousand cavalrymen of Tang attacked the Goguryeo Forces from behind. In the second invasion, cavalry battles tool place at the Namso Fortress and the Mokjeo Fortress in March 647. At that time, the Tang Forces deployed cavalry on the front line and enticed the Goguryeo Force’s imprudent attack, and won all the battles. In the cavalry battle at the Bakjak Fortress in September 648, Tang’s force of 30 thousands encountered Goguryeo Forces of 10 thousand in the field 16 km away from the Bakjak Fortress. In the battle, the Goguryeo Forces were defeated as it failed to penetrate into the strong phalanxes of the Tang Forces. Emperor Kojong invaded Goguryeo four times from 655 to 668. The first invasion was in March‐June 655. In the battles at Gwidansu and Jeokbongjin in Yoha, the Tang Forces defeated the Goguryeo Forces by attacking it from behind. In the second invasion in 661, Tang’s Forces of 175 thousand attacked the Pyeongyang Fortress from the land and the sea, but Goguryeo cavalry made sallies outside the fortress and crushed the Tang force. On the other hand, Yeonnamsaeng waged a harsh cavalry battle against Gyepilharyeo Forces in the Yalu River but was defeated. At that time, 30 thousand soldiers were killed while retreating without the cavalry’s covering. In the third invasion in February 662, Yeongaesomun Forces of Goguryeo defeated the Tang Forces in the cavalry battle on the banks of the Sasu River outside the fortress. Tang’s defeat was because of the cavalry’s imprudent sally without the infantry’s support. In the fourth invasion in 668 after the death of Yeongaesomun, Namgeon was defeated in the Pyeongyang Fortress Battle because he failed to take advantage of the infantry’s support and the ambush tactic.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.