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Battle of Sarhu

History -- Military history -- List of battles

The Battle of Sarhū refers to the series of battles between the Manchus and Ming on March 1619, which ended in the overwheliming victory of the former.

Official documents exaggerate the numbers of Ming soldiers and Manchus up to 470 thousand and 60 thousand respectively. According to an estimate by Rikusenshi Kenkyu Fukyukai, the Manchu soldiers were ten thousand while the Ming armies with Yehe and Korean reinforcements were one hundred thousand.

Nurhaci adopted the interior line tactics. He defeated 10 times more enemies one by one by concentrating forces. It is worth noting that the Manchu cavalry defeated matchlock and cannon forces, so the Battle of Sarhū is often compared to the Battle of Nagashino.

Table of contents
1 Background
2 Battles of Sarhū and Jaifiyang
3 Battle of Wahūmu
4 Battles of Šanggiyan Hada and Fiyefun
5 Battles of Warkasi and Fuca


Nurhaci unified all Jurchen tribes except Yehe and took a hostile attitude toward Ming. In 1618 he proclaimed seven grudges (nadan amba koro 七大恨) to Heaven and declare war against Ming. He occupied Fushun (撫順), Qinghe (清河) and other cities, and then pulled out. The death of Ming General (zongbingguan) Zhang Chengyin (張承蔭) stunned the Ming court. In 1619 he attacked Yehe to provoke Ming.

Ming eventually decided to dispatch massive expeditonary forces led by Military Commissioner Yang Hao (楊鎬). Ming planed to besiege Hetu Ala, Nurhaci's home from four routes.

Unit Commanders Estimated size
HQ Military Commissioner Yang Hao (楊鎬) several thousand
Left Wing Middle Route Force Regional Commander Du Song (杜松)
Regional Commander Wang Xuan (王宣)
Regional Commander Zhao Menglin (趙夢麟)
Army-inspecting Censor Zhang Quan (張銓)
Mobile Corps Commander Xi Niansui (襲念遂)
Mobile Corps Commander Li Jibi (李季泌)
Left Wing North Route Force Regional Commander Ma Lin (馬林)
Vice-general Ma Yan (麻岩)
Army-inspecting Censor Fan Zongyan (范宗顏) 10.000
Mobile Corps Commander Bao Yongcheng (寶永澄)
Gintaisi (Yehe)
Right Wing Middle Route Force Regional Commander Li Rubo (李如栢)
Regional Commander He Shixian (賀世賢)
Army-inspecting Censor Yan Mingtai(閻鳴泰)
Right Wing South Route Force Regional Commander Liu Ting 劉綎
Army-inspecting Censor Kang Yingqian (康應乾)
Mobile Corps Commander Qiao Yiqi (喬一琦)
Gang Hong-rip (Joseon)

Battles of Sarhū and Jaifiyang

Battle of Wahūmu

Battles of Šanggiyan Hada and Fiyefun

Battles of Warkasi and Fuca