Friday, November 14, 2008

Thomas Conlan

Thomas Conlan's new book, Weapons&Fighting Techniques of the Samurai Warrior 1200-1877 AD, is a hit. I like the photos and drawings as well. It does cover some on Oda Nobunaga. Conlan does us a great service on the Battle of Nagashino. As you know, I believe that there were more guns at the battle than one expects. However, if the Oda/Tokugawa army was less than the previous numbers, of course, there will fewer gunners.

Here is a piece from Conlan,

"For all of its fame, the battle of Nagashino has not been particularly well analyzed. OwadaTetsuo, in his Nagashino Shitaragahara no tatakai, has complained that much of the analysis of the battle has come from individuals who knew nothing about the battlefield, or had never travelled there"(Conlan, p. 167).

What Owada stated is true. The geography was important to the battle. Conlan has stated that guns played an important factor. That is fact. He has even mentioned that nobody knows for sure how many guns were present at the battle. I do not know and nobody knows at the moment. Once we know how many guns were there at the battle, the real analysis begins.

I do understand Owada's point about people have not gone to the battlefield to do their homework. It think it is true. I know when I was writing my book on Okehazama, I could say I was at the battlefield at least six times.

Conlan did provide a color map where it shows the Takeda army advancing through the Tokugawa lines hoping to cut them off. It never happened. They were shot to pieces. Also if you look below on the map near the Oda lines, there were many bullets discovered near there (Conlan, 173). Part of the Oda/Tokugawa victory was on guns, but it was a tactic-type surprise attack that won the day. Conlan also mentions much of the blame has to go to Takeda Katsuyori himself for allowing one of his wings to be cut off.

I plan to write more later.

Nobunaga no tame!

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