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Military Geographical Study on Su Dingfang’s Path of Attack on Baekje in AD 660

이재준 1

1영남대학교 군사문제연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The main purpose of this paper is to study Su Dingfang of Tang Dynasty attack on Baekje, one of three Korean kingdoms in AD 660, and to find out where Su Dingfang’s troops landed and which area Baekje tried to defend. Chinese historical sources suggest Su Dingfang entered Baekje through Ungjin Gang Gu or Ungjin Gu – Ungjin River mouth. On the contrary, Korean historical source, Samguk Sagi or History of the Three Kingdoms, indicates it was Gibulpo or Baek River. In this case of Su Dingfang’s attack on Baekje, Gibulpo or Baek River from Samguk Sagi was area where Baekje forces tried to defend. On the other hand, Ungjin Gang Gu or Ungjin Gu from Chinese sources was Tang forces‘ landing area to attack Baekje. In this context, this paper examines each place from different points of view – the defense and the offense. The defense carries out terrain analysis(war game) to develop strategy to defend against its enemy, which entails identifying key terrains, and deploying combat forces. Baekje must have done the same in its own time. This study concludes that Baekje forces were sent out to an area around Gaechuk-ri and Ugon-ri, where Geum River and Nonsan Stream met – as stated Baek River or Gibulpo in the historical source. The offense also conducts terrain analysis(war game) to formulate attack strategy, which involves selecting avenues of approach, landing and assembly area. This study finds that Tang forces cruised along Geum River to enter Baekje. They landed on area around Bongjeong-ri and Seoksung-ri, where Geum River and Seoksung Stream met – indicated as Ungjin Gang Gu or Ungjin Gu according to the historical source – and struck the opponent from the back. The avenues of approach and landing area were the most efficient path to their assembly point. To conclude, Baek River or Gibulpo in which Baekje formed a defense line, and Ungjin Gang Gu or Ungjin Gu where Su Dingfang touched down are two different locations. These areas are close to each other, but in fact, Su Dingfang passed Baekje’s disposition, landed on Ungjin Gang Gu or Ungjin Gu, and launched an attack from the back. Today, locations of Su Dingfang’s avenues of approach and landing areas differ between researchers because most studies overlook military nature of subject areas, if not adopt improper research methods. Therefore, it is only possible to accurately locate battle fields by conducting military geographical analysis(war game) which takes into account nature of battles.

Citation status

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