Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Okehazama surprise attack?

One of the most photographed areas of the Okehazama battlefield (Koutokuin Temple, Toyoake City).

I have read some of the new information my friends from Japan have sent me. Another new theory. This time the surprise attack is omitted and now a frontal attack instead. Theory sounds good, but it does not add up. In my book OdaNobunaga: The Battle of Okehazama-How Japan's Fiercest Warlord Began the Unification of Japan, I listed four key points to Nobunaga's victory. They are: rainstorm Yanada Masatsuna's intelligence, small army, and Okehazama itself ( pp. 99-106).

Once Nobunaga received the intelligence from Yanada, he had to act quickly. Nobunaga did not have the time to set up tactically for a frontal attack formation. Timing was everything and Nobunaga did not have enough of it. If he did not act quickly the chances of succeeding would have been slim.

The rainstorm played a role too. It was known on the day of the battle the weather was stinking hot. Once the rain started, some soldiers took off their armor to cool themselves. Others huddled up to prevent from getting soaked and wet. This was important since Imagawa army could not see the Oda army due to the rain or being negligent. The rain also made the ground muddy which did not help the Imagawa army once Nobunaga attacked.

The small army was enough for Nobunaga to hide. Any larger and the chances of being caught
increased. The small army made the element of surprise work. As for Okehazama itself. Once Yoshimoto decided to stop and rest, all three things occured. The rain, intelligence, and the small army made the surprise attack possible.

I do not think the frontal attack theory is wrong. I disagree with it. It just does not add up. Surprise attack Edo fiction? No. Nagashino is different from Okehazama. There is more physical evidence for Nagashino than Okehazama. Nobunaga did not have the time to plan a frontal attack. The only way I can agree with it if he planned it before receiving the human intelligence from Yanada. If one accepts the frontal attack theory, I am not going to say that person is wrong or stupid. I disagree with the frontal attack theory.

If I was in Nobunaga's shoes at the moment when the intelligence was received. What would I do? Attack before it is too late. Nobunaga did not have the time to play tatical game with the Imagawa. Once the rain started, it was all she wrote for Yoshimoto.

Tenka no Tame!

No comments: