July 18, 2024


Obey Your Travel

Turtle Ship

The turtle ship was made in the end of Goryeo dynasty and in the beginning of Joseon dynasty to fight the Japanese. If we look at Korea’s old history book, there is a record of it during the year of 1413. There is also a record of enemy ships falling to the turtle ship in 1415. After that, there was no trace of the turtle ship. Then, in 1592, General Lee Soon Shin’s personal diary described the strong ship in the war with Japan. Under the leadership of General Lee Soon Shin, Na Dae Yong built the new turtle ship.

The first day that a cannon was used with the new “turtle ship” was on March 27,1592. General Lee Soon Shin’s new ship had its first battle on May 29, 1592. The turtle boat is the world’s first iron ship. It was used to lead the fleet and charge toward the enemy’s fleet.

The new turtle boat was longer and had a bigger capacity than its predecessor. The top part of the turtle boat was covered with a board and sharp objects were nailed to it so that enemies could not jump onto the boat. The front end had a dragon head and the dragon’s mouth had a gun. The back end was shaped like a turtle’s tail and had an ability to shoot through it. On both sides, the left and right, there was about twenty-two cannons. The primary weapon of this ship was the cannons and it was able to shoot with a very long range. This allowed General Lee to win many of his battles. In the bottom, there was room that about ninety ores to steer the ship. In the beginning, the front of the ship had a head of a dragon but it was later changed to a turtle’s head. Although the turtle boat is said to be the first iron ship, it was not entirely made out of iron as it would not have been able to move fast and because there were no methods to stop the iron from rusting at the time.

There were three turtle ships built in the beginning of the war with the Japanese but today there are no left over remains of the actual turtle ship. In 1980, the navy of Korea rebuilt the turtle ship based on a number of records that was left behind. It is floating in front of Korea’s naval academy today.