Saturday, March 2, 2013

Muraki II

This post will continue to discuss the Battle of Muraki with some military doctrine.

Nobunaga's victory at the Battle of Muraki 1554 was important.  The Imagawa was kept at bay, but still were a powerful army.  Nobunaga knew he did not have an army to have a long war with the Imagawa.  Besides, the province of Owari was still not unified.  Here are some of the key points for Nobunaga's victory.

  • Support from his father-in-law Saito Dosan.  This was important.  Dosan sent Ando Morinari along with a thousand soldiers to protect Nagoya so the Kiyosu faction will not attack Nagoya.  Smart move on Nobunaga's part.  If the Kiyosu faction did attack Nagoya while Nobunaga was away, it would have been a war with the Saito, which they did not want in the first place.
  • Quick crossing of the sea.  Nobunaga's army quickly crossed the sea in very strong winds.  His army quickly arrived in time to assist Mizuno Nobumoto who was at Ogawa Castle at the time.
  • Nobunaga's use of guns.  Nobunaga fired guns along with the possibility of bow and arrows to mow down Muraki Castle.
  • Nobunaga's leadership.  His leadership was essential to victory.  Even with high casualty rates, he continued to press forward which the tide turned into his favor.  After the battle, he acknowledge the work of his men.
  • Mizuno Nobumoto attacked the east side, which was the main gate.  Oda Nobumitsu (Nobunaga's uncle) attacked the west side, which the rear gate.  Nobunaga personally took responsibility for the south side.
Now for some military doctrine for the Imagawa side.  This is not perfect by any means, but will give you some clues on the goals of the Imagawa army.

Strategic:  Owari.  Imagawa Yoshimoto wanted Owari in his hands for a future launching pad for the Kyoto campaign.
Operational:  Chita Bay.  More opportunities for economic and military shipping.  Ise Bay is close at hand.
Tactical:  Muraki Castle.  A stepping stone into the heart of Owari.

Everything went right for the Imagawa except that in early 1554, Nobunaga's army with the use of guns the defenders of Muraki Castle surrender.  A tactical victory on Nobunaga's part.  However, as history showed, Imagawa Yoshimoto did not give up his quest for Kyoto and Owari.

For those who are interested in traveling to the Toyoake Okehazama Battlfield, Mikawa-hide has a link in Japanese on train fare and the like.

Owari ni hikari wo

Nobunaga no tame!

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